Trapped in a Jacket

Hello everybody! One of my assignments today was to create an alternative book cover for “Oryx and Crake”, the novel I am reading this semester. I was tasked to use design concepts I have learned this week in this assignment. An extra challenge, that I of course could not turn down, was to make this cover into an animated GIF.

Below is my final product.

Behind the Process

To begin this assignment, I reflected on the parts of the book I have read thus far. With these chapters in mind, I wrote a list of random themes or objects that popped into my head about “Oryx and Crake”. Below is the list:

  • Lake
  • Snowman
  • Dark
  • Dreary
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Cityscape

I also looked online for images that people have created about “Oryx and Crake”. I found the following image for inspiration.

These images and words really helped me understand how I wanted to approach this assignment and what design elements I wanted to include. With these ideas in mind, I then came up with the part of the book I wanted to replicate. In the book, Snowman sits near a lake by himself and dwells in his loneliness. I think that this part of the book sticks out to me as there is a lot of emotional language in it. I then took my vision and made it a reality by searching tirelessly on the internet for the objects I wanted to include. These objects were specifically a lake, a cityscape, a man sitting and fire. After searching for what felt like forever, I finally was able to go into Final Cut Pro and combine these elements together. This combination required a lot of fiddling with the exposure, saturation and speed.

It was in Final Cut Pro where I was able to apply some of the design lessons I learned from my readings and watchings. The biggest design principle I played with was color. I wanted the text to stand out, so I desaturated the background and objects. I then chose a concrete texture for the text to make it pop. Moreover, this color difference led to a stark contrast between the text and the background. I also think that the repetition of the gif lends to its efficiency as a design. Lastly, I worked with the spacing as I tried to balance the visual weight of the text with other elements of the gif.

Furthermore, something I learned from this assignment was to really use the positioning in the manager. Something I struggled with was to line up the city scape as it is two separate images. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the alignment and cohesiveness I wanted. I then learned that I could use the arrow keys and the manager to make sure they line up.

On the other hand, I found it easy to adjust the exposure and saturation. Adjusting these was easy for me as I have done it a million times. Adjusting these settings ensures that objects come together to create a well functioning design. Moreover, something I feel I did well was turn my movie into a gif. I found it easy to convert the mp4 file to a gif format and to ensure that it was under 5 MB.

However, something I want to improve is the quality of the fire gif behind the city. I needed to add something behind the city scape to cover the trees that were in the original video. So, I decided that fire would be a good cover up and lend itself to the theme of destruction I was going for in my design. It turns out high quality, transparent gifs of fire are nearly impossible to find. Thus, I settled on a lower quality gif to save my sanity and time (mama’s busy).

Overall, I liked this assignment as it allowed me to put the design lessons I learned into practice. I always found it fun to make gifs, so I of course would do this assignment again in an instant.

Well, that is it for now. I’ll catch you on the flipside.

2 Comments on “Trapped in a Jacket

  1. I love how much thought and effort was put into this cover! I saw the comment about bonus points if we make it into a GIF and didn’t even consider it, but you did an amazing job!

    • Thank you! I really love gifs (like an obsessive amount) so I definitely seized this opportunity!

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