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Hello World!

I am Aaron Ford, a developer and designer, living in Longmont, Colorado. I strive for perfection in all that I do. I look forward to making your vision become a reality.

Web Development

Skills

Skills

Technical

I develop for the web mobile first using HTML5 and CSS3. I primarily use pure JavaScript, however, I use libraries when needed or if it will be more efficient. I have experience with both PHP and SQL as well as experience with object-oriented programming using Java.

Software

I use Cyberduck as an FTP client and Sublime Text as my text editor. I have previously used GitHub and AWS, but due to the scale of my current projects, they are not necessary. I also have experience creating mobile applications using Java with Android Studio.

Design

Most of my UI Design revolves around Google's Material Design Guidelines. Proper UX Design is essential for all web pages that I create to ensure that the information is delivered to the user and navigation is intuitive.

ODD

One Day Design

What is it?

One Day Design is a project that I recently started and am currently working on. The idea is to expand upon my knowledge of web development every day. I will then implement this knowledge into a web page. This may be something simple like creating different styles of buttons or animations, or something more complicated, such as creating a web application.

Concepts

Some of the One Day Designs that I plan to create are a web app media player with custom UI and the ability to import local media. A web app guitar where one can select what strings are being held and play the chord or individual strings. I also plan to delve further into material design, specifically in reference to animations.

Where?

One Day Design can be found at aaronford.design/odd or by clicking on the link below.

Graphic Design

Ps

Adobe Photoshop

Mockups

I use Photoshop to create mockups for projects that I am working on, whether that be a web application, a motion graphics project, or something else. Between all design applications, I have been using Photoshop for the longest time. Because of this, I am able to quickly create digital versions of my ideas within Photoshop.

Photo Manipulation

For graphic design work that requires photo manipulation or retouching, I turn to Photoshop. While Lightroom offers photo editing capabilities, it does not offer more complex functions. Photoshop allows for greater control over photo editing.

Raster Graphics

Adobe Photoshop is the raster image editor that I am most accustomed to. I have been using it for over a decade and it offers an endless amount of options to edit raster graphics. Illustrator and InDesign do not allow for raster editing like Photoshop does.

Ai

Adobe Illustrator

Vector Graphics

When I need to create scalable graphics, I use Adobe Illustrator. One area where this is especially useful is designing .svg's for the web. Due to the unlimited number of device resolutions and screen sizes, having icons that scale without losing quality are essential.

Logos

Logos are a type of vector graphic that needs to be able to scale to any size. A logo may appear on a letterhead, t-shirt, or billboard. Because of this, raster graphics do not suffice and using Illustrator is the most logical option for me.

Custom Typography

If I want to create an entire typeface, like the one at the bottom of this page, or just a few custom characters for a project, Illustrator makes this process easy. It is also simple to adjust a previously existing typeface if a character needs to be altered for a specific design.

Id

Adobe InDesign

Page Layout

I use InDesign when working on projects that use multi-page layouts, or multiple pages that all use the same layout. InDesign allows the ability to set up master pages, as well as automatic page numbering, along with other features that Illustrator does not.

Merging Projects

Adobe InDesign offers the ability to import Photoshop and Illustrator projects into a single project. Changes made in the Photoshop or Illustrator documents will be seen in the InDesign project as well.

Typesetting

While both Illustrator and Photoshop offer typesetting options, they are not as advanced as InDesign's. With InDesign, I can ensure that text is consistently formatted over multiple pages. Most printed media that I create utilize InDesign's capabilities.

Motion Graphics

Ae

Adobe After Effects

Plugins

After Effects allows the ability to install a variety of plugins. One such plugin that I have experience with is Red Giant's Trapcode Suite. In the Kinetic Typography video, I use Trapcode Particular for the particles in the background that appear to be stars. I also used Trapcode Mir, Shine, and Sound Keys in my intro video.

Timing

The most important aspect of any animation or motion graphics project is timing. With the graph editor in After Effects, I am able to fine-tune the timing for all elements to ensure that their movements are smooth and well calculated.

JavaScript

In the Kinetic Typography video, I use several scripts created with JavaScript. The first script tracks the location of the globe with the camera upon rotation. The next two scripts generate text onto individual layers from a list and randomly position that text onto the screen.

C4D

Cinema 4D

3D Objects

Adobe After Effects offers some options for creating 3D objects, but Cinema 4D is superior with regards to this. It offers countless options for editing 3D forms. As well as creating 3d objects, Cinema 4D allows animating these objects. In the Motion Graphics History video, the Spiderman web was created and animated in Cinema 4D.

Camera

Similarly to After Effects, Cinema 4D allows camera control. In the Spiderman animation, the camera moves back through the spinning web. This dynamic action is more visually intriguing and guides the viewer's eye, in comparison to a static camera.

Lighting

Cinema 4D is able to render more realistic lighting than After Effects. This is especially true when using effects like global illumination that model how light is bounced around an environment. This light reflects differently depending on the materials of the objects around it.

Photography

Lr

Adobe Lightroom

Editing

Adobe Lightroom allows the ability to edit raw images. Raw images capture much greater information than a compressed image, and Lightroom is able to utilize this information to adjust the image in post-production. Lightroom is also able to adjust the image depending on the type of lens used to reduce distortion.

Panorama

Many of my landscape images feature the use of a panorama. Most modern phones offer this ability, but so too does Adobe Lightroom. By stitching together multiple images from my Rokinon 12mm Lens, I am able to create an even wider image at a high resolution.

HDR

High Dynamic Range (HDR) merges multiple images of the same subject but at different exposures to ensure that no areas are over or underexposed. Adobe Lightroom makes this process simple and can create a great effect if it is not overused.

Gear

Camera Equipment

Canon T3i

My current DSLR is a Canon T3i. The stock lens that comes with the Canon T3i is a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5. Currently, I rarely use this lens, but since it is my only zoom lens it does prove to be useful from time to time.

Rokinon 14mm F2.8

The Rokinon 14mm F2.8 is a full frame ultra wide angle lens. I primarily use it for landscape photography to due to its wide angle. This lens is also a manual focus lens, which limits its use to static subjects. The 14mm focal length makes this lens great for astrophotography as well.

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II

This prime 50mm lens has an aperture range down to F1.8. This aperture creates wonderful bokeh, making it a great lens for my portrait photography. The 50mm focal length is very similar to what the human eye sees, which makes shooting with it feel natural.

Game Design

Unity

Unity Game Engine

Parallax Effect

A New Perspective features a parallax effect as well as an infinitely scrolling background. This is created by moving the background layers at different speeds in relation to the character. This games the game a sense of depth without having to use three-dimensional assets.

Dynamic Lighting

This game also features dynamic lighting and sunshafts. Despite the sunshafts within Unity's engine not being meant to work with two-dimensional objects, it was still possible with some modifications. The game also features a sun that sets over time.

C#

All Scripts for this game were written in C#. Scripts in Unity can be written in JavaScript as well, however since I already knew JavaScript, I chose C# so that I could learn a new language. A few of the scripts are found below.

Ai

Adobe Illustrator

Vector Graphics

Adobe Illustrator was used to create all of the vectorized, curvilinear graphics. They were simply created by using the pen tool and then exporting them as .png's to preserve transparency. Unfortunately, Unity does not natively support true vector graphic filetypes, such as .svg.

Raster Graphics

The rasterized, blockier looking graphics were created by importing the curvilinear graphics into Photoshop and scaling them down and then back up to pixelate the image. This image was then brought into illustrator where the final asset was created.

High-Quality Sprites

After creating the assets in Illustrator, they must be imported into Unity. Unity does not import sprites at maximum quality by default. This is done to reduce the number of resources required to run the game, but for a small game, this is not necessary. After adjusting the max size, filter mode, and format of the sprite, they will be imported at the maximum quality.

Type Design

Ai

Adobe Illustrator

Style

It is important that all of the characters repeat the same visual elements. This gives the typeface continuity and allows one to identify the typeface from one another. Within Illustrator I could easily copy over identical components from one character to another.

Variations

After initial sketches, all of the type design was done in Illustrator. Seeing how different variations looked was simple to layout and more time efficient than sketching them by hand. I could see what common attributes worked well for all of the letters.

Contact me

Please send me any questions that you may have.

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