Weekly Summary (Week 5)

As this course comes to a close, I am here to do a little reflection. This course was rather difficult for me as I don’t classify myself as an overly creative person. However, this class did push me to get those creative juices flowing and put out some great content. I would say, for sure, the most difficult week for me was the audio week. I really had not done much storytelling before then, especially audio storytelling so that was rather challenging. My favorite week was definitely the photography week because I love photography. I think the most important skill I learned was all the programs that we used. Before this class, I only really used Photoshop, but after this class I have many new tools that I can add to my arsenal. If I had to take this class over, I would definitely focus more on the daily creates. I just kinda went through each week, completing the daily creates, but not really thinking about it as I did it. It was almost involuntary, but as I look back, I see that some of them had great themes that could have been applied to my work or even every day life. Overall, this class was a challenge for me but a challenge that was graciously accepted. It helped me to grow as an artist and as a person. It gave me a deeper appreciation for many forms of media, especially radio and the impact they can have on other people. I had a great time and can’t wait to check out what people did for their final assignments!

As for my final assignment, you can check that out here.

And here is my tutorial for how I made that assignment.

Behind the scenes of my final assignment

This post is a tutorial for how I created all of the media for my final assignment. First, let’s start with the iPhone 8 billboard. The first step was to choose an image that someone made as a representation of what the iPhone 8 might look like. After that, use the text tool to write something pertaining to the image. In this case, I just chose to do “iPhone 8” and keep it simple because that is what most apple billboards do.

And really that is about it! Just head up to File -> Save As and save it as whatever file type you want. I chose JPEG for this example.

Next I worked on some audio media for this assignment. So open up audacity and import all of the sound files that you want to use for this. Once they are imported, use the move tool to slide all of the sounds to where you want them to happen. I left two of the sounds overlapping because I wanted them to play at the same time. This is how you hear him walking, and hear the city sounds at the same time. It should look something like this:

Next, highlight all of the tracks (CTRL + a)  and go to Tracks -> Mix and Render. This will combine all of your individual tracks into one big track.

And you are done! Just head up to File -> Export Audio. Give it a name and choose what file format you want. I chose .wav for this example.

The next piece of media I made was an animated gif. For this I actually used an online tool called “gifcreator.me”. For this website I found a useful trick which is to not import multiple gif’s at once. If you are combining a couple gif’s into one, import them in the order that you want to see them in your final gif. So head to the website, and click upload images, but follow the trick I just said.

Next you can scroll down and either rearrange the gif’s if you want to change the order that the gif’s are in or if you want to change the duration that they show up for.

Finally, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click the Create Animation button. Then you can download your animated gif!

Finally I made a photo based off of a past assignment in which you take an image of an eye and Photoshop something into it as if it was a reflection. The first is to find an image of an eye and an image of something to put in it. Open the image of the eye first, this will make it your background. And then drag and drop the image you want to reflect into Photoshop. It should look something like this:

Next, before resizing your image, it is useful to click the button that maintains your aspect ratio. This means that when you make your image smaller, it will stay the same shape and not flatten out or get really thin.

Next, you can resize the image and rotate is as you wish. Make it look like it is reflecting off of their eye. If you accidentally click away, the keyboard shortcut to transform an image is CTRL + t. When you like the size and location of the image, hit ENTER to place it.

Next, to make it more like a reflection, we need to lower the opacity of the image. This makes it more see-through. To do this, click on opacity and drag the slider to the left until you are happy with it. See the image below:

And you are done! You can follow the same exporting process as the billboard picture. Just go to File -> Save As, pick the filename and file type and you are good to go. And that is it! That is how you create all of the media for my final assignment. This class has been a blast. I can’t wait to use all of the media tools that I have learned in the future.

The Life Of A Phone

This story is told from the eyes of something that we take for granted every day. The humble smart phone. Most smart phones love their owners. The owners take them for walks, they feed them electricity, and they constantly play with them. They are constantly paraded around and being upgraded by large companies. Everyone seeks to have the perfect smartphone and these phones love the attention. This story begins with a smartphone, we will call him Tim as to not take sides. One beautiful summer day in New York, Tim and his owner started the day as they always did; With a run through the city. Now Tim’s owner did not have a holder for his phone so he was always held in hand. As they began approaching 44th street, Tim could start to see all the bright lights and billboards that Time Square is so notorious for. Among some of the biggest board were companies like Nike, Chevrolet, and of course, Apple. Tim’s owner took a brief jogging break to admire the advertising conglomeration. And then he saw it. The billboard to end all billboards. It was an apple billboard finally announcing the release of the iPhone 8. Tim looked up in horror to see his newer, sleeker cousin, soon to be released.

And just like that they continued the run. The approached 59th street and entered on the east side of the park, right by the 5th avenue apple store. Again, Tim’s pit in his stomach grew deeper as he saw yet another advertisement for his upcoming demise. They finally make it to the Bethesda fountain, which was decided to be the turnaround point of the run. As they began jogging home, Tim began buzzing with excitement. A text message had come in. As soon as Tim’s owner glanced down and began reading it, it happened.

SMACK! Tim’s owner ran right into another jogger while reading his text and Tim went flying. He soared out of his owner’s hand and tumbled through the air. There was a loud smack as glass his cement. Then it all began to go black. Tim could feel the cracks in his glass spreading and his screen slowly got more and more dim, until finally, it all went black. Tim’s owner picked up his lifeless body and looked in horror at what he had done. He begin frantically thinking of what to do, and then it finally hit him. Just a few minutes ago he had passed the 5th Ave Apple store. If there was any place in the world that could fix him, that would be the place! He ran over there as fast as his legs could carry him, making sure to not damage Tim anymore than he had already done. He burst through the doors, descended the stairs and ran to the help desk. They looked at Tim and immediately rushed him back for emergency surgery. They operated on him for what seemed like hours, but in the end, he came out as good as new!

Tim was so happy to be reunited with his owner. He was buzzing with excitement from all of the notifications he had missed. Right there in the store Tim’s owner bought a new LifeProof case to keep him safe. It fit like a glove and Tim felt better than ever. Still to this day Tim and his owner are quite the dynamic duo, jogging all over the city and Tim providing valuable information to his owner. You can even see the reflection of Tim in his owners eye from time to time!

And that is the story of Tim, the smartphone who suffered a catastrophic injury, but came back stronger than ever.

The End.

Weekly Summary (Week 4)

This week was all about video. How to make video, how to watch video, anything you could imagine. So I started this week by learning all about video. First I looked at Roger Ebert’s “How to read a movie”. This was a very interesting article on how to look at movies and really break down why the scene is shot that way and why the director chose to do that. You can check that out here.

Next I looked at popular movie scenes to continue applying these ideas to film. I chose to look at one of my favorite movies of all time, The Pursuit of Happyness. This was so fun to do because I love this movie to begin with, but adding this level of analysis really deepened a lot of the scene for me. You can check out that breakdown here.

Next was 2 assignments that were very fun to do. The first I did while I was down in the Outer Banks this past week. I decided to make a time lapse of a view over the sound. This was a very fun assignment to do for the simple fact that it makes an amazing outcome. Check out that here.

The second assignment I did was to make an instant replay of a video clip. For this assignment I chose to take one of my favorite teams, the Yankees, and one of the best players in the league right now, Aaron Judge, and make a slow motion video of one of his swings. This was pretty tough because he swings pretty damn fast! Check it out here.

Here are my comments on other peoples blogs from this week:

Here are my daily creates from this week:

Looking at peoples blogs this week gave me a different reaction than last week. Last week I saw more things about the process of making things on other people’s blogs, but this week was different. This week gave me an appreciation for peoples’ lives. Sure, I learned some things about how to cut and rearrange video, but watching peoples 60 second days or where my feet take me gave me a peek into other peoples’ lives and I thought that was awesome. Another invaluable thing I learned this week was how to read a movie. This was something I really had not thought about before, but after reading about it, it was really crazy how much of it is used in movies. You could really see many styles that directors have and use on a regular basis. It gives you something to look at when watching films and really helps you to analyze them. Overall, these assignments were rather difficult because I really hadn’t used any video editing software before and getting used to it was kind of difficult. The feedback I got back was also very valuable. Some people brought up many things that I had not thought of to do in the original assignment. Something I will need to change in the future! Overall this was a good week. The challenges of the software was outweighed by the reward of watching my own and everyone else’s amazing videos. Onward towards the last week!

 

How to Read a movie

How to read a movie was really a quite interesting thing. I feel like most people, me included, take movies for granted. We watch them and say what we think at the end, but really miss a lot of the work that directors put into them. “How to read a movie” really gave me these tools to appreciate this more. I first tested this out on Stanley Kubrick’s one point perspective and man was it amazing! The video showed you just how consistent the shots are and how much he uses that perspective. The shots give an increased sense of depth and give a very eerie feeling. That is why his film style is so successful. The second video I watch was the shining. I had watched the film previously so that is why I chose it. This was another very interesting because I had no idea how many zooms there were. The zooms, either in or out, are extremely slow which builds tension and adds to the overall creepy vibe of the whole film. The last one I chose to analyze was Tarantino’s style of shooting from below. This style really puts the viewer right in the action as it makes you feel like the actors are looking right at you. It truly adds to the viewing experience. So many of Ebert’s principles can be applied to any movie that we look at. One that struck me in particular is right vs left. Up vs down. Foreground vs background, etc. These are things that I never really think about but make a lot of sense when it comes to this. A character moving right is more favorable than a character moving left. Because the future is perceived to be to the right, moving right is better. This theory applies to many things such as movement up is more favorable than movement down. So many of these techniques can be applied to any movie and that is so interesting to me. Moving forward I will be looking for many of these in the theaters!

Instant Replay

For this assignment I chose to take a clip of something and make an instant replay for it. I am a huge baseball fan and have always been a Yankees fan. That is why I chose to take Aaron Judge’s swing and make it a slow motion video. Aaron has hit so many home runs this year that finding a video of one of them was quite simple! To do this I downloaded a video of his swing from youtube. Next I found an online tool called MP3care.com. From there I could slow down or speed up the clip however I wanted. I chose to remove the audio so it didn’t sound all weird. It should look something like this:

And that is about it! It was a relatively simple process but seeing his swing in slo-mo is such a satisfying thing. Check it out: