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Critique2,709 posts since 9 Aug 2009
Anglia (East) Look East
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An issue we get at TV Forum quite a lot is that people post mocks as either total novices or without putting any thought, time or effort into them. Because of this, the Gallery has recently been dragged down with an influx of bad mocks, mostly from new users. This thread is here to help - read it through carefully and take the advice it gives. Maybe, with a bit of luck, we can prevent you from becoming the next TVMocker14 prodigy, and maybe even an MDTA prodigy? Wink

So, the basics. When planning your mock, try to a basic idea of what you want it to look like. In fact, why not get a pencil and paper out and sketch some rough ideas out? These basic plans can help you a lot, as they give you something to aim for in your end product. Also, there's a higher chance that the elements in your mock will all work together, as opposed to you bunging every new idea that hits you as you make your mock in to create one contrasting mush.

Don't spend five minutes rushing out a few half-formed ideas. In fact, don't spend five minutes rushing any part of your mock. Chances are, it will show, and you'll get slated by SomeRandomStuff for it. Wink Take your time. No-one is rushing you to finish your mock, so set yourself an easy pace, so you can create something that looks like you've put some thought and time into it. The best mocks are the mocks where the user has spent time crafting it, with an eye for detail - and it will show!

In addition, some sort of skill is important. You can become skilled at mocking, even if you aren't at first, but it takes time. Don't expect to post one mock and get bad reviews, and then get rave reviews when you post another mock the next day! To start off, why not make mocks, but not post them? You'll gradually improve but you'll do it without the potential abuse you'd get if you posted your first ever mock in Paint here!

It's also important to look at software. There's a wide range of software you can use to make your mock, from expensive software (like Adobe Flash and Sony Vegas), to cheap, even free programs (like GIMP), and it's important to know how these programs work - it will really help when you make your mock! Plus, you'll know the limitations and capabilities of your software and will be less likely to compromise.

However, never blame your tools. Don't post a bad mock, and then say:

Quote:
Sorry it isn't very good, I used PowerPoint.


Whilst things like PowerPoint and GIMP can be limiting, it doesn't mean you can't produce something good in them. Work around any difficulties you may face, and if you really are finding the software limiting, try something else.

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Safe Areas are zones where the graphics displayed inside them will appear on a TV of a certain aspect ratio. All important graphics (like the information in a strap of BBC News, or the logo in the titles of your favourite flavour of quiz show), will appear in the 4:3 Title safe area. This means that the graphics will be visible to those watching in 4:3 and 16:9, even if they have overscan turned on. So, when making a mock, make sure all the important stuff is in the 4:3 title safe area. However, some channels, like Sky News HD, use the 16:9 title safe area, because HD viewers will be watching in 16:9 - over the past few years more broadcasters are putting information in the 16:9 zone, as fewer people still have 4:3 sets. Here is the Safe area guide, courtesy of DBL:

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It's also available in 1080p resolution here.

Outside of these safe areas, you can put non-essential graphics, like the DOG. These graphics don't need to be seen, so some TVF members probably think of them as bonuses...

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Once you've finished your mock, stop and look back at what you've done. Is it the best you can do? And then, even if it is, come back to it at later date, before posting, and see if you still think so. Always try to improve on what you've done - nobody's perfect, and there are sure to be some flaws.

Do this again. And then, when you finally think there's absolutely nothing else you can do, only then post the mock. If you've followed the advice given in this thread, then other members will actually take the time to give you their opinion, and maybe some constructive criticism. Alternatively, if you ignore the tips and tricks given in this thread, expect the other members to give you hell. You've been warned.

And if you are given criticism, take it on board. Don't claim that you'll listen to other people's ideas and comments if you'll just ignore them, and then pretend they gave you rave reviews and continue to produce monstrosities - others may spot flaws you don't. And who knows, if you do all that, they might even praise you!

And finally, take a look at the all-time top rated mocks in the Gallery, which you can access here. These mocks have all had a shed load of time and effort put into them, and it really shows. These people know their software, are skilled at their craft, and have produced some of TVF's best mocks.

One day, maybe you could be up there too.
Last edited by Critique on 12 October 2013 10:20pm - 4 times in total
623058: it just seems like your an mp3 whore
4
GTV2012
Anglia (East) Look East
Thanks for this. I've had some bad reviews lately and I hope this will make my mocks much better.
AlejoBBC75 posts since 2 Nov 2011
BBC World
Very interesting topic of the safe areas of the screen. Do you recommend using Firework or Illustrator to design or photoshop is better?. Firework I use for my blog. Someday I will create something of BBC World News. Smile
Critique2,709 posts since 9 Aug 2009
Anglia (East) Look East
Very interesting topic of the safe areas of the screen. Do you recommend using Firework or Illustrator to design or photoshop is better?. Firework I use for my blog. Someday I will create something of BBC World News. Smile


Photoshop is what people tend to use, although I believe SVRS has done his/her BBC World News mock in illustrator.
623058: it just seems like your an mp3 whore
SomeRandomStuff1,282 posts since 29 Apr 2009
Very interesting topic of the safe areas of the screen. Do you recommend using Firework or Illustrator to design or photoshop is better?. Firework I use for my blog. Someday I will create something of BBC World News. Smile


Photoshop is what people tend to use, although I believe SVRS has done his/her BBC World News mock in illustrator.


You are correct. I find Illustrator is far superior when using vector graphics. I tend to only use Photoshop for editing non-vector work, or for touching up images including those originally created in illustrator.

At the end of the day, it is a visual image you are creating, and different programmes will have different methods but they are all capable of producing the same images... with skill, time and effort.

http://venus.oracchi.com/Illustrator/instrument.html#

A new copy of Illustrator CS5 would set you back more than 500, so its not for everyone. If your looking for a free vector programme i've heard good things about Inkscape. (though never tried it)

But I'd say anyone mocking should definitely have a copy of After Effects... I wish Laughing ...unfortunatly my tip for the Grand National was a non-starter.

regards
Phil
(definitely a bloke's name)
Possibly the ramblings of a crazy person?!