Google Doodle – Weeks 1-2

It’s third year time, come on and grab your friends, we’re going to very distant lands! We just got given our first brief! For our first project, we’ve got to design and create an interactive Google Doodle!! I’ve never done anything like this before, but it’s been really exciting so far.

I started by doing a bit of research into other doodles, to get an idea of the style, and possibly some ideas about interactivity. doctor_who_google_doodle_close_up__new_version_11__by_hugolynch-d61blf9

I really liked this one, just because it was quite simple, and also it’s Doctor Who, and I kind of love Doctor Who. Which got me thinking that, firstly, I wanted to watch Doctor Who when I got home (Tennant episodes, obviously), and that it might be a good idea to make a pop culture Doodle! Now, my mind turned instantly to something I think pretty much everyone is obsessed with right now; Stranger Things. I love that show. Who doesn’t love that show?! It rolls up many of my favourite things, including sci-fi, 80’s movies, and Stephen King, all into one magical ball. I did a quick mock-up of what I might like the doodle to look like;

stranger-things

I liked the imagery, but I was feeling like it wasn’t feeling 80’s enough. So I got into looking into how the posters for the show were made to look like 80s movies posters. I discovered they were created by an artist called Kyle Lambert, and he created the look by using textured brushes in Photoshop to create a hand-painted look. He also researched artists such as Drew Struzan, who is responsible for creating classic movie posters for films such as Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Back to the Future.

stranger4

(Kyle Lambert)

back_to_future2univ

(Drew Struzan)

I realised that getting the look of an 80’s movie poster meant using the correct colour palette, and creating the right texture. I had a go at making my own poster in a cartoonish style. I used Photoshop, and got this look by using noise filters, texture overlays, and different blending modes. This website also helped me to create an amazing colour palette;

http://www.pictaculous.com/

Here’s my finished poster;

eleven-poster-test

It was really fun making this, and now I’m really determined to get this look into my doodle. I think I’ll have to do this by creating the artwork in Photoshop, and importing it into Flash as a symbol.

I had a lot of learning to do for this project. I have only ever used Flash for my E4 sting project, in which I only used a frame-by-frame traditional technique. I’ve never had any experience with using symbols, tweening, actionscript, or any of the other features of Flash. So I took to YouTube, and spent a good few days watching tonnes of video tutorials on things like how to create movie clips and buttons, creating effects like glow and blur, tweening, the bone tool, and quite a few other things!! I found DrawWithJazza to be the most helpful, I think I watched his entire playlist of Flash tutorials! I also tried some basic actionscript; it took me a little while to really get my head around it, but after I understood it I was able to use it for quite a few different things.

I then took what I’d learned and did some extensive testing! I found using ActionScript to be the best way to complete most of the interactivity; I tried using buttons to begin with, but I found them to be a little restricting. I think my favourite test so far was this one, in which you hover the mouse over Eleven, and she moves into her action pose, and at the same time Mike flies up from behind the waffle. They loop there until you take the mouse away, Eleven wipes her nose, and she returns to static, in a blink cycle! It took a while to get it right but it was really rewarding seeing it work in the end!

eleven

We have just under a week left now, so my plan for this week is to create the finished artwork in Photoshop, then animate and ActionScript everything!! Hopefully it shouldn’t be too bad, it takes surprisingly little time to code stuff thanks to the code snippets that you can use in Flash! The only thing that could take a while is if I decide to animate Eleven’s sequence in Photoshop and import it into Flash…out of all the letters, hers is the only one that is traditionally animated frame by frame, but I still want her to be finished in the same way as all the other letters, which will all be done in Photoshop. I’m definitely going to attempt to animate her in Photoshop, because I’m reeeeeally excited to see her animated and finished in that 80s style I managed to create in the poster. FINGERS CROSSED!!! Lets hope it works!

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