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Works in Process: Advanced Typography Design Development

Moving on from the designs developed for consideration in the Schematics phase, I honed in on the execution of the isometric 3D type design. As the design developed, it seemed with the inclusion of extra ‘adventure’ elements, the design seemed too cluttered, so I took away any additive design bits and simplified it just to the large 3D letter forms. I also got feedback to try and incorporate in the whole text of the words so they could be read without any additional need for descriptive text around them. With this, the final design development began to take form.

Poster Development

  • evolution of the poster design from phase 2 to 3

Taking feedback from the last step, I stripped down the elements of the poster I’d developed thus far, moving away from a more literal approach of projecting adventurers in a game space and using the abstract forms developed by 3D typography as they intersect to infer the adventuring space.

One of the benefits of working in Maxon Cinema 4D was that my central design for each element was a single 3D object that I could use in different applications for each the brochure, poster, and animation. This was part of the reason why I wanted to use C4D for this project. I hadn’t worked with it really at all before this project, so I’m very happy with what I ended up able to accomplish. After each session of feedback, I was able to create new iterations of the base design and improve upon them as I developed towards the final iteration. 

Brochure Development

  • assets from the brochure; built type spaces for exploration

  • planning out brochure layout

Continuing the themes developed in the poster iterations, I worked with the elements present in the brochure to create word buildings like the poster design for each section. After some feedback, I also stripped down the elements of these word buildings, taking away the more literal elements and leaving just the letter forms so stand for abstractions of game space. From feedback about the event timeline, I changed from a single branching path to a kind of adventure progression from one event session to another, still using the motif of type as built form, with the letters of the event composing the type buildings. 


The animation was the section that I was most worried about creating. Up until this point, I hadn’t been able to do much with the animation because I had absolutely no experience animating in C4D before this project. I didn’t even know how to render to video before discovering how while working on another project, having to instead take a video of my computer screen earlier on to show the progression of the choppy camera movement I’d made. I watched a ton of tutorials online to find out how various animation techniques worked. I knew with C4D there was a potential to be able to execute something that was procedural enough that I didn’t have to spend hours and hours animating individual key frames, so I thought I could make something that look much more professionally executed with my still limited skill set. As things came together that turned out to be correct, as I was able to find various effectors for the MoText in program that could animate elements in various ways. 

To get a base for animation, I messed around with the displacement effector and was able to get an interesting explode in/explode out effect. This was in a sense my experimental phase, discovering how to animate while knowing nothing. With displacement, I was also able to incorporate a sleek looking transition for the event text of speakers and location which I was quite satisfied with. 

I sent some samples to the prof to get feedback and was able to act on her comments. She mentioned the success in execution of a much earlier video I had where I was just messing with the text extrusion in After Effects, which the letters extruding out of each other at various rates. I tinkered around in C4D a while trying to figure out how I could emulate that effect, eventually finding that I could manipulate the z-axis of the letters (and therefore their extrusion) but using a randomizer effector that effected the z-axis with a seed of noise. This animated the text so much more and gave the composition life through its movement and I was really happy I found out how to apply this. With a fall-off zone I could manipulate over time how intense and where the randomizer effect was, so I could exaggerate it in the beginning and end, and normalize it a bit when important text was appearing to draw attention to content while still feeling like the text had life to it. 

In the end, I was very happy with what I ended up with. Working in C4D, while a new experience, was great since it accommodated the needs of this design process perfectly. Imagining executing an actual event like this, with the 3D rendering mathematically generated, content could be rendered large enough to display on billboards, the 3D forms could be easily modified to be modeled for 3D printing so the type could live in the event space, to everything from integration into an event app, VR overlays, further print material, even event-themed table top pieces to play a tabletop campaign with the design context of the even itself, within the event. 

I found working with this schema, 3D isometric minimalist text with a clean lighting environment, a really good fit for the feel of the event. The type generates a space present enough to apply the viewer’s imagination to, imagining how they could move through the type space and use it as the basis for their adventuring into Area of Effect’s campaigns built to accommodate for people using table top role playing games as a way to socialize in spite of anxiety. 

Below are a conglomeration of extra imagery from the process of honing in on the right designs, from stages of rendering, to design experiments in color, etc.:

Using Format