26 Jan 2011

legibility 10 principles.

this chap Dean Rleck (into marketing and copy) has articulated quite well a summary of principles of legibility. rather than ping you off - I will print them below, and put a link up for more if you wish. I am not the author, nor wholly agree, but it is a good foundation and glossary of terms.

The Reading Process

To understand legibility and how design affects readership — and thereby sales — we must first understand how people read. (Forget how people “should” read. We are only concerned with how the average person actually does read.)

Here are the basics of the reading process:

Eye Rhythm
— In Western culture, we print written materials with the words arranged horizontally left to right. To read this material, the eye moves left to right along a line of type and then sweeps to the left and down to the beginning of the next line.

— As the eye moves along a line of type, it stops at certain points to allow the eye to see and the brain to comprehend one or more words. These stops are called fixations, jumps, or “saccades” from the French saquer meaning to pull. Each fixation is about 1/4 second.

Eye Span
— During each fixation, the eye sees the word or words upon which it fixates as well as an area around that point. A reader’s eye span may be as small as a single word or as large as whole phrase. A good reader will see about 2 1/2 words per fixation, but the average reader may see less. The ordinary radius maximum is 2 inches around a fixation point. With standard text, this translates to about 29 letter spaces, 17 of which are clearly seen.

Thought Units
— The eye span isn’t arbitrary. The brain naturally divides sentences into thought units or idea chunks. In the sentence “Bill caught the ball,” the two thought units are “Bill” — the person who did something — and “caught the ball” — the thing he did.

Configuration — Every word has a particular shape. With constant, repeated exposure to a word, reading stops and instant recognition begins. When you see a stop sign, for example, you don’t mentally sound out S-T-O-P, you perceive the whole word by its shape and instantaneously understand its meaning. Because numerals have little configuration, the eye fixates more on numbers than words. Also, since there are more shape differences with lower case letters than with capitals, configurations in lower case are recognized faster than all caps.

Recognition Rate
— How fast a reader understands words during reading is called the recognition rate (or word response rate or rate of perception). Obviously, the faster a person recognizes a word, the faster and more effortless the reading. In the previous sentence, you probably whizzed over words like “the” and “a,” but paused for a split second on “recognizes” and “effortless.”

— The more familiar a reader is with the type and the appearance of the words used, the easier the reading. Roman or serif faces are generally more familiar to readers. Type that gives words irregular features give words a more distinct and recognizable shape.

Reading Rates — The average person shows a constant increase in reading rate throughout the school years, followed by a sudden drop after graduation. In Junior High, the average reading rate is 200 words per minute (wpm). In High School, it’s 250 wpm. In College it rises to 325 wpm and then to 400 wpm in Graduate School. Then it drops back to 200 wpm in adulthood, with reading comprehension at about 50%.

Compare this to the average rate of speech, which is 140 to 160 wpm, and you’ll see that most people read slowly. (By the way, for most people, anything above 600 to 700 wpm is scanning, not reading.)

— Moving the eye back over previously read material is called Regression. Not only does this lower the reading rate, it actually alters the sequence of information into the brain and lowers comprehension.

Eye Fatigue — The average adult eye travels approximately 1,600 feet per day — that’s 584,000 feet or 110 miles per year! So, it doesn’t take much to produce Eye Fatigue, which in turn slows the recognition rate and generally makes reading slow and even more difficult.

25 Jan 2011

Don't forget about FREESOUND

don't forget about freesound for those audio samples... Support us! Get your Freesound T-Shirt! (worth €25). Freesound project homepage

24 Jan 2011

fujiya and miyagi

one for Jack and Livvy - fujiya and miyagi video sore thumb

Do not do this

give yourself a chance. do not forget your professional practice, and development work. do not represent youself like this recent graduate.

I am a recent graduate who as a (hons)degree in Digital Animation from Thames valley university, London. After wasting 3 long years meeting coursework deadlines on unecessary modules, writing useless essays and not forgetting my attempt at character rigging and set modelling, i have decided to stick to the original plan of becoming an animator. Currently. i am working really hard on my character animator showreel and willing to give all i have to achieve this goal for as long as it takes.

The exercises may be useless, the essays useless, but this is not funny, ironic, right. it is a moaner. someone who does not understand the privilidged position and opportunity they have just had. Things are not given, opportunities are taken. ultimately if you do not take full advantage of the opportunity no one knows or cares and you will be left behind.

19 Jan 2011


up lighting and heavy make up, very little can be seen except for the expression, which may appear frozen as in mid Arrgh...

18 Jan 2011

Bafta Nominations out today

the BAFTA nominations are out. full list here

the specific interest for us;


The Eagleman Stag
- Michael Please (RCA and my old gaff Picasso Pictures Ltd).

Matter Fisher - David Prosser (another RCA Graduate)

Thursday - Matthias Hoegg (Kingston and RCA, now working with ex trunk Steve smith new outfit Studio Beakus)

RCA masters programme
- Joan Ashworth will be introducing a special programme of animation from the RCA at animated exeter on the 18 Feb

separated at birth

what do you reckon? Cluckie and crazylegs crane.

14 Jan 2011

Friday Man Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 – July 31, 1784)

Listening to the news about Wikipedia and its founders Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and their ambitions for Wikipedia, made me think about knowledge sharing.

Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment and is best-known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie.

Pears Cyclopaedia was a household must have, (they were always a decade old and well thumbed). sponsored by Pear's soap. and annual 'penny' gazettier. what is the capital of Venezuela? Caracas.

(Animator christy Karacas superjail)

where was I? Diderot, "An encyclopedia ought to make good the failure to execute such a project hitherto, and should encompass not only the fields already covered by the academies, but each and every branch of human knowledge." Upon encompassing every branch of knowledge this will give, "the power to change men's common way of thinking." he was commenting about the disparate nature of reference books of knowledge prior to his proposal to collect all together and distribute knowledge much wider afield.

however its popularity threatened both the church and national positions, and "The Encyclopédie threatened the governing social classes of France (aristocracy) because it took for granted the justice of religious tolerance, freedom of thought, and the value of science and industry. It asserted the doctrine that the main concern of the nation's government ought to be the nation's common people. It was believed that the Encyclopédie was the work of an organized band of conspirators against society, and that the dangerous ideas they held were made truly formidable by their open publication. In 1759, the Encyclopédie was formally suppressed.

We are seeing the same parallel now with the Wikileaks story, and the trouble that its founder Julian Assange, and his colleagues are facing from National leaders and guardians.

A good site for history of shoes

More than enough.


Paper shuffling stops, animation begins. it all turns a little mathematical now. the brain has to stop interferring and worrying about this or that. tune your brain into doing the maths.
how long is this shot?
how many frames is that?
where does the animation sit in this shot?
how many frames is the animation?
How long is the hold?

do not watch single shots on a loop. watch in a context of three shots together, even if the shot before and after is not animated yet. learn where the cuts may be...

I got into the habit of having a Friday person last year. a Friday hero. let me think.

13 Jan 2011


the trouble with marking is that I get distracted... this one is for Dan K.
Trilobites are the most diverse group of extinct animals preserved in the fossil record. Nine orders of trilobites are recognized, into which 15,000+ species are placed. Trilobites appeared some 600 million years ago during the Cambrian period, long before the fish inhabited the seas and the Dinosaurs roamed the land. They belonged the phylum Anthropodal (joint-footed), a phylum which to this day represents the most successful (78%) of all animal life forms, including crabs, centipedes, spiders, shrimps and insects. The Trilobites, living in shallow seas, flourished as swimmers, crawlers and burrowers for some 350 million years. more info here

Welcome to the L3 collection 2011