Home Advanced Graphic Design nUAnce The University of Akron Men's Lacrosse


Matte painting is something I have seen frequently over and over again and just have now finally gotten around to trying. With a background in Graphic Design, it’s extremely easy to manipulate a photo and basically put anything you want, where you want, and have people not know the difference between real and fake. With that thought in mind, I wanted to know the same way on how to do manipulation but with video. So after a little bit of research and some YouTubing, I went after a quick matte painting that I thought would work to get my point across.
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So for those who know me and for those who have looked at my website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc…you’ve probably gotten the idea that lacrosse is a pretty big thing in my life. It was what I did my entire college career and it helped me achieve some of the greatest moments in my life. Last season I didn’t have nearly as much time to get footage and any of the “behind the scenes” clips that I wanted…so where as last year, when the season ended, I didn’t hesitate to start making a video because I had so much content. This year, I didn’t know what I had because so many different people had my camera, I wasn’t sure what was good and what wasn’t. At some point however, I did sit down and realize that getting something like this out there and on the internet would do better things that not being out there at all.

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So this technique caught my eye in recent weeks and I was trying to find the right time to shoot this short and simple clip and that time ended up coming a lot later than I expected. Regardless, I was able to shoot the clip with my buddy Luke in about 20 minutes…the second time around. The first attempt led me to a re-shoot because I didn’t like how the footage looked.

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With this After Effects practice, I really wanted to enhance the look of the weapon fire I used in a previous video After Effects Training | Sci-Fi Weapons. I wasn’t satisfied with how the animation of the plasma looked coming out of the gun but also wasn’t ready to commit to VideoCoPilots Shockwave Plug-in that includes pre-rendered animations like the ones you see in this video. Thankfully, they released a video tutorial on how to achieve the look they are selling in their plugin.

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Video was shot using a Nikon D5100 and edited in After Effects CC

Shot the video in about an hour and a half and edited it down for a quick prelude to an epic David vs. Goliatch 1v1 Basketball Game. I got the inspiration from watching the David vs. Goliath preview from the show “The Bible” and thought it would be interesting to interpret it on the basketball court! This was a slight deter from what I have been practicing using after effects but gave me more practice on the filming aspect to get some test shots to work with.

Hope you enjoy!

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When visiting Boston this past Friday, I came across this interesting piece of typography painted on a garage door on Yawkey Way where the historic Fenway Park sits. I find it pretty interesting for the reason of how clean the typography is while sitting on a grunge type background that most people develop in photoshop. It reads “Best Of Boston” with the “40th Anniversary” in the middle to create spacing between the statement. A nice piece of inspiration for your everyday designing! (Click Below To See The Full Picture)

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Finally beginning to move towards using real people in some of my VFX…I chose to test out the fan favorite on YouTube of futuristic weapons. This was a quick edit I attempted to get done in under 2 hours which I can hopefully cut down to an hour at the most in the future. Jared Sansonette is the weapon holder in this video and can be seen wielding just a standard black paintball gun (only gun we could find at the moment). After shooting a couple of scenes of him firing the gun as if it is releasing a massive electrical light beam, I tracked the barrel of the gun in After Effects and began masking and lighting the area as if the beam was growing inside.

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After working with a couple of different lighting techniques in some title sequence tutorials…I finally gave it a go on a real life model. Using the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 3, I turned on the flashlight and then used the glowing light to project a red light ray from the camera with a HUD Display above it.

Still progressing towards working on something larger scale but beginning to dive deeper and deeper into After Effects and get a better understanding of actual camera use. I am currently filming with a Nikon D5100 with a Rode Microphone, GoPro Hero 3 and Cannon EOS 7D.

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With this technique I used three different point sources of light pushed back in Z space to project through three different layers of fractals I generated and enhanced with a wiggle to give movement to them as the light appears through. I gave the “knekolas” title three layers with different bevels to give it some dimension and also cast a large shadow. I hope to use this quick project as a reference to a video clip I will be editing of a smart phone.

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As I continue to familiarize myself more and more in After Effects and enhance my knowledge with the program..I will continue to upload these 3-7 second practice projects I am working on. I am doing this to prepare myself to edit something on a larger scale and get familiarized with everything After Effects has to offer…which is a lot. I also am very interested in VGX and if I could have done school all over again, would have potentially gone this route rather than Graphic Design.

This is a video introduction I learned from VideoCoPilot.net and is labeled as a “Shatterize” technique.

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WHAT’S NEXT | 5.25.2014

In the span of 2 weeks, three of the largest events of my life took place that would close out a chapter I’ve lived for the last 4 years. I’ve recently spoke about our Senior Exhibition which can be found in a couple articles on the site and everything involved in that. What hasn’t been spoken about is what came following our exhibition and in between.

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Continuing on from where I left off in the Graphic Design Portfolio Exhibition post. As I had mentioned, there we’re specific committees in charge of a multitude of things that prepared the gallery for the opening. As the clock began to tick and tick away with time closing in, everything came together for a great and successful night at the Myers School of Art.

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Today is the opening reception of our Senior Exhibition at The University of Akron Myers School of Art. I had previously mentioned a little about the show in a post The University of Akron Senior Exhibition and stated that I would reveal my presentation later in the week. Today is that day!

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The exhibition that we’ve all been waiting for…dreaming of…worrying about…has finally arrived. This week, on Friday April 25th, 48 seniors will display their work at the Emily Davis Gallery in the Myers School of Art on the University of Akron campus for all to see. The exhibition is the final stepping stone of a student Graphic Designer’s educational career, as employers and professionals will look to hire creative, young talent to enhance their businesses and corporations.

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This week I was lucky enough to be featured as the Lacrosse All Stars “Photo of the Week” which displayed my current project “Ballet Lacrosse” that I had just recently spoke about for Advanced Graphic Design. Lacrosse All Stars is a “Sports media outlet determined to make lacrosse the most popular sport in the world. By players, for players. Grow The Game!”

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“Sports of all forms are usually recognized as competitive physical activities, which aim to use, maintain, or improve physical ability and skills. What is not usually recognized is the art that a sport creates within all the motions being exerted and the movement of participants painting a portrait on a field instead of a canvas. Lacrosse is my blank canvas, my vision. It is a sport based on agility, strength, endurance and the physical mind, that not only combines the speed of hockey, brutality of football, and endurance of soccer, but also the finesse and beauty of ballet. The images on display juxtapose these perspectives and identify the motions seen in both.”

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Graphic Design majors who enrolled at The University of Akron Myers School of Art during the 2010 school year became the first students to experience the new course curriculum. The new curriculum includes two classes that both deal with 4D Design. 4D Motion and 4D Interactivity are scheduled during your final two semesters of college. This semester (Fall 2013) I am enrolled in 4D Motion which teaches the understanding of film-making and editing in Adobe After Effects. This would be the first time my outside film-making and After Effects skills would be critiqued for a grade and set on a deadline. The first project we were given would be a 1-3 minute persuasive film. We were not permitted to use typography and 50% of the clips had to be filmed by ourselves.

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A recent opportunity I had, was assisting two of my current professors in the filming of the Collider6: Data Performance at the Emily Davis Gallery in the Myers School of Art at The University of Akron. Anthony Samangy is currently my 4D Motion professor which involves video editing and Markus Vogl is my Advanced Graphic Design professor and the one who presented me the opportunity. With wanting to explore and enhance my video work, I felt this would be a unique experience to film in an area with difficult lighting and sound…and difficult it was. Above is the video with minor editing done in Adobe Premier to boost the color and lighting as well as shot with 3 different cameras. Below is the information regarding the Collider Series and I am hoping to gain a better understanding of performance filming such as that as my semester in 4D Motion continues.

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being hired by the women of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority to take their Bid Day pictures. Bid day, is when women who participated in recruitment, find out what sorority they have received invited membership to, and then are welcomed by the current members of their respective chapters. Though, with the event being hosted by staff members of the department I am associated with, I was asked to take the community photo as the department camera had died during the earlier events. Above, is the middle section of what is panoramic built by consecutive photos taken of the community (none of that iPhone stuff). The image comes out to 10,352 pixels wide and features all the Panhellenic Council (PHC) Chapters at The University of Akron on the back steps of Buchtel Hall with the statue of the universities founder John R. Buchtel in the background. About 90% of the 300+ women are looking at the camera as I took the photos with so many of them, that is a victory in my book!

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UA PHOTO CONTEST | 10.11.2013


As my design career continues on at The University of Akron, I have found myself getting involved in more and more art competitions to see how my work is perceived in the eyes of the public. After recently participating in the UA Barnes and Noble Football T-shirt Design Contest (see in work) I decided to take a chance at the UA Photo Contest that following January. The photo above was taken during UA’s Welcome Weekend, where incoming students were welcomed to the university by the President, VP, and other members of the school. With the perfect blue sky, I looked to capture the typical college campus image with the University President, old campus building and a sea of students. The photo was chosen as a finalist in the competition and now hangs in the Student Union 3rd Floor at The University of Akron.

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Order at least 2 products to get free standard shipping! Choose from a variety of clothing styles such as tanks, t-shirts, and hoodies and join the #FreedomToLax movement or support the University of Akron Men’s Lacrosse team with their “Fear The Roo” navy shirt. Offer expires 9.17.2013 and use the voucher code “Fall2013″ when checking out.

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This past week I have been in the process of re-branding myself on all of my social medias (see above) to essentially start forming an identity as I continue to make more and more designs as well as videos. I have recently begun working on a video for our campus’s Panhellenic Council and in order to brush up and learn more in After Effects, I am going to be doing quick 10sec videos testing out different effects. The video posted above is an attempt at trying to lift off the ground like Superman. In total it took about 10 minutes to shoot, and 30 minutes to edit. Essentially the the video is shot with 20 secs of background footage. Then I step into the camera, jump up into the air and come back down. I cut the video where I am walking in and out of the camera, freeze the frame before my feet leave the ground. Use the pen tool to cut myself out of the image and then drag it up out of the picture while adding a motion blur and camera shakes.

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Have you ever heard the phrase “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well that phrase means nothing to designers as we are always trying to come up with new and creative ways to bring more attention to a company or organization. I myself am in the process of creating a new identity and it can be a grueling task. Usually large companies who adopted a logo when they first began, tend to stick with what they have like Nike and their Nike Swoosh for instance. But sometimes you will find a company, like Apple, who want their logo redone until it reflects the quality and feeling their clients get with every product. An article recently posted on Yahoo, discusses some big name companies who after 20-30+ years finally changed their logos to something more modern. After reading and viewing the new logos compared to the previous ones…I found myself applying the phrase “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” to more than just a couple.

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FREE SHIPPING JULY 23 & 24 | 7.22.2013

This week, all items available for purchase in the Shop will be eligible for free standard shipping on Tuesday July 23rd and Wednesday July 24th using the coupon code “XMASINJULY”! Men’s and Women’s attire of all sorts are available in the “Freedom To Lax”, “Akron Lacrosse”, and “Fear The Roo” series. If there is something you don’t see and would like, please feel free to contact me at knekolas@gmail.com. Also, be sure to check out Zack D’ulisse’s site and shop for some of the best custom Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers and Cleveland Indians/Browns attire, along with many more.

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During my daily research I usually browse the news to see what could pop up for design, while also trying to stay updated with everything going on in the world. Today I came across an article by Yahoo titled “College Majors That Require The Most Effort” and coming in at #3 was “Arts and Humanities” which included common majors of fine and studio art. I found the ranking results to be spot on when discussing expectations and criteria needed to be successful in the major such as “Average Hours Seniors Spent Preparing for Class Per Week: 17 hours” and “Average Hours Faculty Expected Seniors to Study Per Week: 18 hours.” Studio based classes are a lot different then normal classes usually offered whereas instead of spending 1 hour in a class MWF you spend 2-3 hours in a class MWF.

“The graphic arts can be very time-consuming because you work and work and work on a project, and there’s no formula to follow that says that what you’ve done is right or perfect,” says Rambo.

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My website has officially been restored! I can confidently say that the money spent for Web Design 1 & 2 were 100% worth it as I was able to restore and even clean up my WordPress and website. I have now learned my lesson about not renewing web hosting.

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I have finally completed adding in all the missing WordPress Posts with descriptions for all my Portfolio pieces and Shop items. I have to complete an altercation with my resume now and have that loaded back up and then I can embark on fixing the Vegas Background Slider. This week I have also been shooting the staff photos for the Department of Student Life.

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Day three of rebuilding should not be as bad as I am now placing in all the lost text/descriptions for the images displayed on the website. I was able to replace all the lost magic fields and fancybox but am still stuck on the Vegas Background Slider.


Day two of my attempt to rebuild my website and I am running into an issue with my Vegas Background Slider as it is not pulling from my source file. Going to pass on that and move through re-uploading everything else before indulging into Jquery.

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REBUILDING | 7.9.2013

Rebuilding my website from ground up after some unfortunate events. I have officially learned my lesson about losing email addresses and not paying attention to hosting.

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