Final Essay Response 12-12-08

I agree with Tom’s statement that print is not dead and will probably never die. It’s hard to imagine where print will one day be in the future, but for now it’s important to give print its value and place while also recognizing the huge amount of potential in digital technologies and new media. For even the most traditional printer to ignore these new technologies, would be a huge mistake resulting in the soon demise of their business. Print has its footholds, but can be taken so much farther with the integration of digital technologies.

I have found this to be true firsthand in my upcoming job search. No longer is it enough to know traditional print processes, but employers demand a knowledge base in new software and emerging technologies. Its greatly to my advantage to have been exposed to both flash, and Final Cut Express in this past quarter, but it still may not be enough in this changing environment. I feel like that is one of the challenges in this Graphic Communication program. How much of the software, like Creative Suite, Final Cut, or even the management side like FileMaker, need to be taught in class and how much is the responsibility of the student to learn on their own. In our courses, we are given a taste of the programs and their capabilities, but to really become proficient in them, it would require a great deal of outside time and the student’s dedication.

Incorporating new courses into the program, like GrC 452: Emerging Digital Technologies, is no longer really an option for the faculty. These technologies are no longer emerging, but are here and here to stay. In order to be marketable in the workplace, we as students need exposure to these technologies. We must as least gain a familiarity and understanding of how digital technology is changing and what is its potential. I know we cannot learn everything there is to learn, as that would take a lifetime to cover and we could be in school for years, but it is a huge advantage of the curriculum that we have opportunities to learn and gain a broader knowledge base.

Specifically related to this course, I feel that this has been a huge success for me. I can’t create masterpieces, but I do understand a new software and how it works. I was able to learn things I had no idea I could do. This course has provided me with a base of knowledge of Final Cut Express, which will allow me to build upon and develop projects of my own. We covered a lot of the basics involved and were able to create videos that looked pretty cool!

I also thought that posting to a blog was a really interesting idea. I had never really done any kind of web posting, (other my .mac page at home) and this was a great way to learn how to upload and host a web page. It was nice that Tom provided us with a template to start with and every week we learned how to post our video and text to update our web page. We also got to learn about a site called vimeo.com, which allows you to upload videos and convert them to a format to put online. This was really cool so that we can post the videos online as well.
           
It was fun seeing all the work that the rest of the class had done. I really liked being able to watch other peoples’ videos and get new ideas for my own. This was also a really cool way to learn more about how to create certain features in videos. If I saw something someone had done with their video, I would ask them how they created it. Seeing the classes’ videos allowed us to learn more than what we would have just learned in class and allowed us to work cooperatively.
           
Having other people in the class view my work was encouragement to do a better job on my videos. If it were just something we would turn in for a grade and the other person ever to see it was Tom, it might not be as motivating to create a really good video, but instead just get something done and turn it in. Having the other people in the class see my videos motivates me to work harder and really post something that I can be proud of.

Working on our own blog pages and practicing updated and changing content, has inspired me to develop my own personal site for a portfolio of my work and post a resume. There is an entire course our department offers on building a website, but I was unable to enroll in the class. In GrC 452, we have some experience and I think that with some self-teaching I will be able to develop a site and post it online with my resume and my design work. Another really cool idea would be to put together a slide show of my work and develop my own splash screen in Flash and integrate all the things we have learned in this class.

In closing, this course has been a lot of fun and really exciting to learn. Thanks Tom for all your hard work and helping us out with everything! You have been great and have taught us so much this quarter. I went from never having opened Final Cut to creating components and assembling them to create my very own customized videos. So Exciting!! Thanks!

 

Week 8 - UGS Promo Video


:::OBJECTIVES:::

The objective of this weeks was to create a video to promote UGS: University Graphic Systems. They have done a lot of work to revamp the organization and could use a promo piece to advertise their services to students and other customers. We were provided with the raw footage of the interviews and asked to create a 90 second video that would showcase all the great work UGS is doing.

:::PROCEDURE:::

The first thing I did to start this project was to watch the interview footage. I created an in and out point for each clip I wanted and dragged it onto the filmstrip. Then I needed to make it an independent clip so that when I created the next in and out point for another clip it was not affected. Once I gathered all the clips I wanted to use, I laid them out on the filmstrip to fill the 90 second time frame. I wanted the interviews to be the base of the video and I would build the rest from there. Next I did the same viewing and creation of in and out points for clips on the pressroom footage. I wanted to use clips of teh students working over the interviewees so that the viewer could see some of the work that UGS does. Once I gathered enough pressroom clips I put them off to the side of the sequnce. Then I created the bar and label that plays over each interviewee. I created a solid color bar with transparency, overlaid the logo and text with their name and position. I also added a fade in and a dafe out after about 4-5 seconds. After the name bar fades out, I added in the pressroom clips. I filled the space from there to the next interview with quick cuts of the pressroom. After all the sequence had been filled, I added UGS's contact information on a solid background with the logo and faded it to black.

:::MY VIDEO:::


UGS Promo Video from Christina Richardson on Vimeo.

:::SUMMERY & CONCLUSIONS:::

This was the longest video we have worked on thus far. It was a little more challenging to complete this project because we had a lot more time to fill. It was necessary for the video to be thing long however, because otherwise we would not be able to get enough content from the interviews. I think this was a good exercise in using the basic skills again that we have learned in Final Cut Express.

:::PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:::

This was a cool project to work on because it was for UGS. It would be fun to see them actually use a student project in the promotion UGS. It was good to get another week of practice on a video before we have to do the final project next week.

:::CLOSING THOUGHTS:::

Every week I feel like I get to learn a little more, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with the way my video looks. There's little shots and abrut transistions that I can't quite get to go away. It's hard because I could sit and spend all this time, but I still have some problems. Hopefully when we do the final project in a group, between all of us we will be able to create a really nice video without any weird glitches.

Week 7 - WiHire Splash Screen


:::OBJECTIVES:::

The objective of this assignment was to create a splash screen to play at the beginning of every video played at wihire.com. Wihire.com is a new company that helps college students find jobs, internships and connections, while finding quality employees for the companies that sign up. We were given assests by the company to create a 5-10 second clip that identified their corporate identity and gave their videos a starting place.

:::PROCEDURE:::

The first thing I had to do for this video was to open the photoshop file of their logo and export it as a png file. Then I placed the logo at the end of the video, because I knew i wanted it to fade out on the logo. Next, I had envisioned their three tag words: connect, inspire, and succeed fading a moving across the screen and then joining together. I got the idea from some of the brochures they showed us. So I typed the three words and placed them all on different layers. Then I used keyframes, on the center, origen, and scaling tabs. I used these properties so that the text would scale from very large to smaller to fit on the screen, and so that it would move from off the canvas back on the page and align on the righthand side. After the motion properties were applied, I faded out the three words into the logo that scaled from small to fill the screen.

:::MY VIDEO:::


WiHire Splash from Christina Richardson on Vimeo.

:::SUMMERY & CONCLUSIONS:::

This project was actually pretty cool, because we were able to create something unique. It was nice to be able to use what we've learned and apply it to a real world solution. It was also fun to have a real assignment that would be significant for the company. They may actually use of our student projects in their website.

:::PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:::

This was a huge step in our learning Final Cut. We were actually able to create something on our own. It was hard to try and remember some of the things, but because we were working in class we were able to ask questions and figure things out. It was also a good reminder about how planning out a project is important. On our other projects we have been much more instruction and guidelines, but this project we were given a general idea of what they needed and it was up to us to meet those expectations.

:::CLOSING THOUGHTS:::

This was a good first project on our own. It wasn't too intimadating because it was very short, but a good reinforcement of what we have learned in Final Cut so far. I really want to continue to try and learn more on my own and maybe even create my own splash screen for a slideshow of my work for a video portfolio or something.

Week 6 - Flash Video


:::OBJECTIVES:::

The objective of this week's video was to create a splash screen for ATT services. We used provided graphics and Adobe Flash to create an interesting popup for an advertisement.

:::PROCEDURE:::

The creation of the ad started with an Adobe Photoshop file. I exported each of the graphical parts as its own piece so that I could manipulate them individually in Flash. Then I imported the pieces of the file into Flash all onto their own layer. If they are on their own layer they can be given properties and will not destroy the other graphics. We used keyframes on each of the graphic layers to add motion tweens and order the appearance of graphics. They were delayed on some to appear only after certain actions occurred. Then I exported and uploaded the ad along with its swf file onto my blog.

:::MY VIDEO:::



:::SUMMERY & CONCLUSIONS:::

This was a cool project because we got to learn a lot more about what flash can do. Instead of just using the program to make a static screen, we created something actually in flash that had its own functions and buttons that worked.

:::PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:::

I learned a lot more this week about what we can do, and I'm sure there's still much much more. However, it made me think that I might be able to create something similar to this for my own use in the future. I would also like to learn more about Flash, as it seems something that employers would value as a beneficial skill

:::CLOSING THOUGHTS:::

Even though we only got to do Flash for two of our weeks, it has defiantly sparked my interest and I would like to continue practicing on my own since I already have the program at home. I think I might get a tutorial book and try to do some projects on my own.

Week 5 - Flash Video


:::OBJECTIVES:::

The objective for this week was to create our own Flash video player. Instead of using Vimeo to convert our video, we were able to create our own buttons and play screen to view the video from last week.

:::PROCEDURE:::

We started by importing our video onto the stage. Instead of using premade players, we used premade elements, such as buttons and bars to customize our player. Each element had to be dragged and sized on the stage. We were able to place each button we wanted for the functionality of our player. We learned how to change the colors and use the scripts to create actions for each of the buttons. We also added properties to the buttons so that they would change once they were rolled over, clicked or on. We also added a custom logo or text with a link to an outside page.

:::MY VIDEO:::


:::SUMMERY & CONCLUSIONS:::

This project was a little difficult. It was the first time I have ever even opened Flash. It was completely unfamilar to me. It's a whole new way of creating digital content. The scripting is foreign to me, but it was good to learn a few simple commands. I think I might have a hard time using Flash on my own mostly because of the scripting.

:::PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:::

This was a big step in moving towards being able to use Flash. It took away a lot of the unknown for me. Maybe I can try to do more on my own with the tutorials to build confidence in what I can do in Flash. I would really like to learn more so that I can make my own Flash projects one day.

:::CLOSING THOUGHTS:::

I'm looking forward to next week to do another class of Flash.

Week 4 - Green Screen Video


:::OBJECTIVES:::

The objectives of this assignment were to create a commercial similar to those used for the ipod commercials. We were to use the footage shot with a green screen and use filters and effects to transform the video. The requirements for the commercial are as follows: 30 second minimum, replace the cameria audio with a hip hop track, use 12 clips of the dancers and turn the figure solid colors, use 3 motion properies to transform the figures, use 5 different transistions, seperate the dancers into multiple dancers, and use 3 graphics around the main figure to create the illusion of depth.

:::PROCEDURE:::

The first step in creating the video was to remove the green screen and the turn the figure into a solid shape. We were able to do so by using the Chromokey filter and adjusting to remove as much green as possible. In order to create graphics that appeared to fly around the figure we had to cut the clip and layer in below and in front of the figure layer so that in the back it was behind and in the front it was in the foreground. We also used the motion properties by starting at a keyframe at one point in the video moving the keyframe seconds later and applying movement or rotation or scaling to create that motion in the time between keyframes.

:::MY VIDEO:::


Untitled from Christina Richardson on Vimeo.

:::SUMMERY & CONCLUSIONS:::

This project was much more challenging than the previous clip. We were required to use many more features of the software. There was a lot more planning that I had to do before I started to put together the video, rather than just putting video clips in a line. Because of the layering of clips and motion properties, I had to more or less plan what I wanted the video to look like, then deconstruct that into how I would arrange and layer different clips.

:::PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:::

This project was significant in that I was able to learn a lot more about Final Cut and the features within it. It also showed me how good planning in advance can cut down time wasted in creating a video. If I had just started by throwing clips on the track it would not have flowed together well.

:::CLOSING THOUGHTS:::

This was a challenging project, and I feel like I was able to get a better grasp of the software and complete the required elements. I do not however think that my video is all that interested or nice to watch. I really would have liked to perfect the video to flow better and make it a little more creative, but with the limited hours in the EPL I think I did the best I could have done for now.

Week 2 - Creek Day Clean Up


:::OBJECTIVES:::

The objective of this project was to create a commercial advertising the SLO Creek Clean Up day. We were provided with the graphic material and audio and from there were to create an advertisement combining all the items. It was our first project, so the commercial was simple, but we were able to use simple transitions and effects to create a graphically pleasing and interesting 30 second spot.

:::PROCEDURE:::

The first thing I did was import the raw material for the commercial. This included the video footage, logo, graphics, voiceover track and background audio. Once everything is imported, I first laid down the voiceover track. This is what we were going to use gauge the commercial length. Everything we created must fall within the time of the voiceover. Then I put in my video clips. I kept each clip to 5 seconds or less and then applied transitions between them. I also wanted to put in the Land Conservancy logo, as they are the sponsors of the event, so I input that in the beginning and applied a rotation effect. I was also able to add text at the end to remind the viewer of the information for the event. Then I saved and exported the video.

:::MY VIDEO:::


Week 1 - Christina Richardson from Christina Richardson on Vimeo.

:::SUMMERY & CONCLUSIONS:::

I feel like this project has been a huge learning experience for me. I was able to learn a lot about basics of the program and actually make a video that works. I found myself very surprised at how quickly the process can go. Obviously, there is a lot more to learn, but this project gave me a lot of insight into what I can do with Final Cut Express.

:::PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:::

This project was huge in removing the fear I had about video editing. I never thought I could even come close to making something like this. I know I have a far way to go and a lot more to learn, but now I don't have as much hesitation. I've learned a lot in just 2 weeks and am excited to see all the other features and projects we can make.

:::CLOSING THOUGHTS:::

I look forward to our next project and am ready for another challenge. Every week hopefully building on what we have already learned, I can become comfortable with Final Cut Express and start making movies for my friends and family.

 

 

 

 

 

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