HAWK Hildesheim, 2017


dynamic fontset


Duration | 5 weeks

Things I learned | patience, stepping out of comfort zone, keying & masking of mealworms

Challenges | overcoming my own boundaries

The most fun | prototyping in my bathtub

The goal of this university project was to create a dynamic fontset including a showcase and a tutorial clip of how to use it as well as creating a poster.

By filming mealworms I wanted to display natural movement that comes from living beings - or several in this matter.

With this project I overcame my own fears. As worms are not my favorite animal I learned how to work with them. It is important to note that no animal was harmed. 


1. Idea generation - wanting to display natural movement I did research and created mindmaps. My first idea was the nervous system. A perfect illustration of biological processes is dependent on perfect animation skills - perfect easy ease. A different idea that inspired me was the one I realized as final result. I saw it as a chance to overcome my own boundaries.

2. Prototyping - but how to realise this idea? I got mealworms and prototyped in my bathtub, which was a secure space. 

3. Final production - having a plan of how to conduct the shooting in the greenscreen studio of the HAWK, I planned two days of filming. In total I generated 350 GB of data due to 4k resolution. I also practiced patience. 


4. Post production - first I was looking at the footage and noting which movements could represent which letter. I would then go on and key the part of the clips that were needed. Sadly the contrast was not strong enough so I had to mask the worms manually - frame by frame. One item took me about 4 hours.

5. Storyboarding - Having the items all keyed I continued with the creation of a storyboard for the showcase. 

6. Creation of showcase, tutorial clip & poster - The last step was marked by the implementation of the items into After Effects and editing the overall clips. 

Making of


Key Learnings

1. Check the contrast and keying before filming as often as necessary

Shortly before I started filming I checked the contrast and believed it to be fine. Turns out - it wasn't. The reason why I couldn't key the mealworms but had to mask them frame by frame. Therefore it is very important to check more often if the settings are still correct. Could have saved me a lot of time. ;)

2. Overcoming boundaries is worth it

I am very happy with the final result and glad I did this. In the beginning it felt like a crazy idea that I would never pursue...but why not? Never try, never know. And who knows - you might end up making friends on the way.

Any questions? :) - leave a message

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