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UI Experiments with Boyan Kostov

UI Experiments with Boyan Kostov

What is the medium that you are working in, it's always a great thing to experiment with your work. Whatever it is to try new things or just creating things offline, these things are part of your journey as someone from this industry. For this case, UI design is always an evolving platform with so many new and different behaviors/user flows to explore. We are taking a look at Boyan Kostov's work and his UI experiments. A collection of UI experiments I've been working on. About Boyan Kostov Boyan is an experience and product designer currently based in Bulgaria. He specialized his work and experiments in interface design, UX and data visualisation. We look forward to see more of his work. For more information: http://boyankostov.com.

Cooollage - Collage experiments

Cooollage - Collage experiments

Collages became quite popular in late 80s and 90s in the print world, with David Carson being one of the exponents of the trend. In the late 90s and early 2000s it was big on the web as well. After that it seemed to fade away. Nevertheless, it's always awesome to see people playing with the technique. In my opinion this style will never cease to amaze me. The work of Viet Huynh is a good example, just check out after the break. An experiment through scanned images. Created purely for visual.

Abstract Typographic Experiments

Abstract Typographic Experiments

Anthony James put together a series of amazing abstract typographic experiments that are really inspiring. I am really motivated to play with some of the techniques explored, especially those combining several lines to create an object. Perhaps inspiration for a new tutorial on the way... A series of playful and sometimes abstract typographic experiments, simply created to practise various techniques (aren't entirely literal). For more information about Anthony check out his website at http://www.anthonyjamesart.com/

Sound Design: BMW Tunnel Experience by Andrew Spitz

Sound Design for the BMW Tunnel Experience by Andrew Spitz This time, I want to get into the more technical stuff of the Sound Design and illustrate with an Interactive Sound Design project. Andrew Spitz is a designer, interactive designer and lecturer based in South Africa. To find out about Andrew, please visit his website - http://www.andrew-spitz.com/ The Project Few months back, Andrew was invited to participate on a great project for BMW. BMW announced they would sponsor the South African rugby team – The Springboks. with Mann Made Media. The brief was to simulate the feeling a rugby player would experience as they walk into a packed stadium. The brief was well received and we were finalists at the Loerie Awards 2011. General Overview Participants enter the event through a dark 30m long tunnel. As they walk, the sound builds from a distant stadium stomping their feet in unison, to the South African anthem being sung. As they go deeper into the tunnel, the sound keeps developing and getting more exciting, loud, and present. Around the bend, a motion detection system picks them up and the whole “stadium” erupts sonically and visually. We had six LCD wall panels displaying a stadium full of animated people standing up and cheering. We also hacked the flashes of disposable cameras to augment the experience. Check out this video to get a feel for the installation as a whole: BMW Tunnel Installation from Mann Made Media on Vimeo. sound design The goal was to quickly and effectively give participants a feeling of excitement and pride. I was going for an army-like collective – a stadium is the perfect venue for this. There’s nothing quite like a packed stadium cheering and singing an anthem to unify a country. Fortunately the Soccer World Cup happened recently, so I had lots of material. Also, for the commercial I had gathered a small crowd of 20 to sing the anthem and also had them stomp their feet together, which is the sound stomping you hear in the first two mixes below (with lots of processing). All and all, each loop is made up of a gazillion layers! I used a combination of sounds I recorded specifically for this, sounds from my personal library (mentioned above), and I crowd sourced a little on Social Sound Design to fill up the stadium crowd stuff. These sounds were donated by Rene Conorado and Kurt Human – Thanks so much guys! I also found some really useful sounds in the blastwave FX library. For general rugby crowd sounds (eruptions, claps, screams, singing, etc.), I did a recording trip to a rugby match. My gear consisted of an MKH 418s, a stereo pair of DPA 4060s, and a Zoom H4n (which turned out useless). I have to say, those little DPAs sounded amazing with crowds – beautiful spatiality and clarity! I have two Sound Devices 702, which is handy to split up perspective. Thanks to Wesley Mace for helping me record! Here are the loops. They really don’t give any justice to the experience, as they were mixed specifically for the space and to the system in the venue. There’s some serious low end going on, which massive subwoofers were dealing with. When listening in the venue, the loops sound a lot more accurate to how it would actually sound. Distant South African anthem. At the entrance of the tunnel. As you’re waiting in the reception area, you can hear this sound very distantly. BMW - Distant Shosholoza by SoundPlusDesign More present South African anthem. From one third into the tunnel. Synced to first loop. BMW - Shosholoza by SoundPlusDesign Picking up the pace and excitement with this loop. Close to the exit of the tunnel. BMW - Wild Loop by SoundPlusDesign The climax as you step out of the tunnel and “onto” the pitch. This loop is triggered by a motion detection system. BMW - Climax by SoundPlusDesign This transition allows the loop to reset itself and go back to the idle “excited” state. BMW - Transition by SoundPlusDesign Software I programmed the software to control the loops in Max/MSP. Each section controls several speakers lining the tunnel. Below is a screen grab of the program. The tricky bit was to have all the loops work rhythmically and sonically together, transition smoothly, and not be too obnoxious so that people already inside don’t go crazy from the repetition. I also had to create a basic dynamic mixing system to avoid all the sound just piling up on top of one another and creating a wall of noise. Our control room, I’m on the left, Stephen Buchanan (realtime graphics programmer) on the right: sound in the venue I sent the sound engineer six channels, and we distributed it to a total of 12 speakers and two subwoofers lining the tunnel. The tunnel was made of material that diffused the sound and made the speakers sound way less directional – handy! Once out of the tunnel, when the stadium erupts, we had a speaker array right above them. Sadly, because of the position and huge cost of the LCD panels, we could only safely fit one set of speaker arrays, so we didn’t get that big and wide surround feel I wanted. It still sounded alright. It was tricky getting all the levels and frequencies right, as each section had to not conflict with the next, and not be too loud for the people that have either already experienced the tunnel or waiting in the entrance. Link to Andrew's Portfolio - http://www.andrew-spitz.com/portfolio/bmw-tunnel-experience Andrew's Twitter - @SoundPlusDesign Andrew's Blog - http://www.soundplusdesign.com/

HDR Guest Experiments

Abduzeedo has became a reference in the Internet when the subject is HDR posts. It's a huge pleasure for us to find those cool pictures and post it here for you. But now, George Wilson, a student from the UK, has written us an email, telling his experiences with HDR. Really cool! Here it is: A little comparison between hdr and non-hdr. "I am a student living in the UK with a Canon 400d with a hobby for photography. Whenever I have free time (rarely!), I try to use my camera. I have only been using a DSLR for a short while, but I have learned so much about photography since. Where do I get my inspiration? I first saw HDR photos in photography magazines and saw the dramatic effects that the process has on photos. I started using Flickr as a portfolio but I was soon hooked on the community! From Flickr I have learned so much and it really inspired me to take more photos. Flickr was another place where I found HDR; I found all the different styles of HDR. I was mainly inspired by the works of Stuck in Customs (Trey Radcliffe) and followed his tutorial about how to start with HDR. I have since then found many HDR photographers which inspire me in different ways. Most people (non-photographers) who see them say things like “But that’s not real. That’s not photography!” But I think this is one of the reasons digital photography has its advantages. It opens up whole new dimensions in imagery, and this is one of them. I think HDR is just a new medium for digital photography, a new style. How do I do them? Most times I use my camera; I shoot in RAW mode, unless I am saving memory. This means that when I look back through the photos after loading them onto my computer, I might spot a photo and think to myself: that might make a good HDR! I then load the RAW file into photomatix and play with the tone mapping until I find a result which suits the photo. Many of my HDRs, especially the early ones, made when I was less experienced with photomatix tend to be very different from one another, because I was changing the settings each time. After processing them in photomatix, I always transfer them to Photoshop for touching up, balancing colours, cloning out unwanted features etc. I then of course upload them to Flickr! I rarely go out with my camera just to take some HDRs, it is usually just an effect I consider afterwards when looking through the set of shots. I prefer photomatix because I like the setting “light smoothing”. Although I am rather against the extremely tone mapped photos, with virtually no light smoothing, sometimes it can be used as a cool effect! An example of an HDR with little light smoothing Some of my favourite HDRs that I have taken were in Iceland recently. When testing out an HDR on a RAW file of one of the waterfalls, I found some great settings which I used for all the Iceland shots:

3D Layer in Photoshop

One of the coolest features in the CS3 Extended version of Photoshop is the 3D Layer tools. These tools allow us to import a 3D file and transform it like if we were using a 3D software, we can rotate, move, and scale the layer in a 3D dimensional environment. Last weekend I decided to try this feature, but first I needed a nice 3D model, and a good site to get free 3D file is http://artist-3d.com/. They have lots of very cool .3ds files for free. I found a very nice Robocop robot over there and used in my image. Despite the fact that my computer suffered to complete simple tasks like rotate, I liked the 3D functionality. I was able to position the robot the way I wanted, and you can even edit the textures as well. Here’s my image:For more information I recommend you take a look at this video workshop from the adobe site and the Use a 3D Model to Create a Dramatic Scene in Photoshop tutorial on PSDtus.

Breaking Apart tutorial request

Firstly I’d like to thank you all for the emails, I really appreciated them. Besides that, I’ve received some requests from readers, what is awesome because sometimes I don’t have much time to think on ideas for tutorials. The best thing about this requests is that I can learn new techniques and explore Photoshop in a new way. This new tutorial I’m writing is an example. Some users sent me emails asking how to create explosions, like breaking apart some objects in images. So yesterday I took some time and did my first image, you can see it below.UPDATE: THE TUTORIAL IS AVAILABLE AT PSDTUTS:http://psdtuts.com/tutorials-effects/seriously-cool-photoshop-explosion… I have to say, the breaking apart effect was easier than I thought, at least for this image. I will try new ways to achieve explosion effects as well. And please, keep sending requests.