Reflection

As someone who had always messed around with things like Photoshop, Audition, and Premiere before beginning this class, it was fun to get to learn about these programs that I loved in a professional and academic sense. My favorite project was most likely the Premiere project because it seemed like a culmination of all the other skills we had learned before, making use of images, audio, and video. I feel like it was a good example of how all the things we learned in the class came together. Each smaller project, like making a poster or audio clip, was all rewarding, but they felt like they were limited in scale. However, when all of those skills were combined it felt vast, and I know I could’ve made the video much longer just because with all the different mediums that were used, ideas seemed to flow infinitely.

The biggest skills I learned were probably design properties for things like shots, as well as how to collect raw footage. I don’t plan on taking a career path in content creation, but I do see myself using the basic techniques for media I collect in my day to day life. One thing I believe could be influential is the techniques about recording clean audio, but I’m unsure if it would ever truly come into play. I wish I had learned more about making a video aesthetically pleasing, such as color correction. However, I understand that the project was mainly to do with simple composition.

One of the biggest alternative resources I found was the Adobe forum. While some sections are locked behind needing an Adobe account which I’m fortunate enough to have, any strange question that the reading didn’t explain, and especially with odd errors I didn’t know how to resolve were often resolved with thanks to the forum. One especially useful time involved me having a corrupted rough draft which the forum assisted me in repairing over several hours.

The skills learned here are applicable both in your personal life and passion projects as well as being a marketable skill in many career paths. I think that while I may not see myself using it professionally, I do see myself using not only the skills that I’ve learned with content creation but the design tenants that we also learned. I know more about taking photos and filming audio, and even if I don’t have to produce any professionally, I know that I will at least in my personal life. Even just being able to effortlessly make my personal media higher quality is an important skill which this class provided me.

Final Draft

For my video I decided to go with an informative video on the Thompson Hall and the Foreign Language and Cultures department. The Thompson building has become somewhat of a second home ever since I began classes, and I when I considered my topic this seemed to fit somewhat naturally. This video goes along with the overall theme of encouraging more kids to get involved with foreign languages. While my topic was just the blanket term of “foreign languages” this is definitely the direction the blog wound up taking over the course of the class.

I was inspired by all of the introduction videos you usually see on a websites homepage. They tend to act like a longer commercial that is focused on explaining the product more than selling it. After that, I started researching the history of the department and buildings. Luckily there is an entire webpage dedicated to the story and history of WSU and can be searched by the building.

Then, I began to collect footage using a camera and tripod I had rented from the Academic Media center here on campus. I began with various establishing shots of the outside of Thompson, making sure I got long footage following the 10 second rule along with some panning shots. I then did the same for the Department’s office, the LLRC, and the halls of Thompson. I then got into contact with my teachers, and established a time where I could film my class, and received my classmate’s permission to use footage of them in class. Everyone who wasn’t okay with being in the video sat in an area of the class which wasn’t in the shot.

When editing, I tried to only using transition effects when the cuts felt particularly choppy, and tried to transition similar shots (such as the two shots of computer monitors) into each other with effects so that it would seem like an appropriate shot. Easily the biggest thing I learned about adobe was Subsequences which is basically a smaller Premiere sequence inside a sequence which can be made. This was critical for moments like the blurred out text section. I wrote the script first, and then set up my video according to it. Because of this, a lot of my cuts were made to line up with parts of my narration. For these cuts, I used the razor tool a lot. This worked exactly like the same tool in Audition, so it was what was most familiar for me.

My process from beginning to end was fairly makeshift. I began with a rough storyboard, and then filmed clips according to the storyboard. I then wrote a script for narration based on the shots I had and the storyboard. From there, I imported all the folders and arranged cut versions of the clips in alignment with the narration. I applied effects, particularly on the areas with subsequences and then found a music track last. The biggest technological challenge outside of what was fixed by subsequences was simply that the computer I was using lacked the processing power to export my video, which was fixed by using a higher end computer.

Transitioning from my first draft to the final video, I took into account a lot of the criticism I received. The only major thing I was unable to fix was some mumbling of my narration, as I unfortunately had lent out my mic and was unable to find an alternative quickly enough. I tried to use more panning footage, added some additional effects and information, and increased my voice’s volume while lowering the music in hopes to make my voice sound clearer. One useful tip I learned from this experience is that you can actually copy the effects and parameters of a video clip by copying the video and then an option to paste aspects will appear upon right clicking another clip.

The only outside materials I used was a song called Sweet Promise by Nicolai Heidlas, which I found by searching for Creative Commons songs on sound cloud:

Premiere Rough Draft

For my rough draft, I decided to go with an informative video on the Thompson Hall and the Foreign Language and Cultures department. The Thompson building has become somewhat of a second home ever since I began classes, and I when I considered my topic this seemed to fit somewhat naturally.

I was inspired by all of the introduction videos you usually see on a websites homepage. They tend to act like a longer commercial that is focused on explaining the product more than selling it. After that, I started researching the history of the department and buildings. Luckily there is an entire webpage dedicated to the story and history of WSU and can be searched by the building.

Then, I began to collect footage using a camera and tripod I had rented from the Academic Media center here on campus. I began with various establishing shots of the outside of Thompson, making sure I got long footage following the 10 second rule along with some panning shots. I then did the same for the Department’s office, the LLRC, and the halls of Thompson. I then got into contact with my teachers, and established a time where I could film my class, and received my classmate’s permission to use footage of them in class. Everyone who wasn’t okay with being in the video sat in an area of the class which wasn’t in the shot.

When editing, I tried to only using transition effects when the cuts felt particularly choppy, and tried to transition similar shots (such as the two shots of computer monitors) into each other with effects so that it would seem like an appropriate shot. Easily the biggest thing I learned about adobe was Subsequences which is basically a smaller Premiere sequence inside a sequence which can be made. This was critical for moments like the blurred out text section. I wrote the script first, and then set up my video according to it. Because of this, a lot of my cuts were made to line up with parts of my narration. For these cuts, I used the razor tool a lot. This worked exactly like the same tool in Audition, so it was what was most familiar for me.

My process from beginning to end was fairly makeshift. I began with a rough storyboard, and then filmed clips according to the storyboard. I then wrote a script for narration based on the shots I had and the storyboard. From there, I imported all the folders and arranged cut versions of the clips in alignment with the narration. I applied effects, particularly on the areas with subsequences and then found a music track last. The biggest technological challenge outside of what was fixed by subsequences was simply that the computer I was using lacked the processing power to export my video, which was fixed by using a higher end computer.

The only outside materials I used was a song called Sweet Promise by Nicolai Heidlas, which I found by searching for Creative Commons songs on sound cloud:

Storyboard and Raw Footage

 

Visual Elements Audio Elements
0:00-0:20  Establishing shots of Thompson Hall, basic internal shots. Picture of the building during or right after construction once we begin to talk about the history of the building. J-Cut of introductory explanation of Thompson Hall narration. In the explanation, explains that it is the main language learning building for the school. Background audio begins to fade in after the video comes in
0:21-0:25  Recording of Japanese class beginning. Background music fades out before the beginning of the clip. Audio of class recording.
0:25-0:35  Internal shots are cut in but are out of focus or frosted over, text begins to explain the various language courses, minors, and majors available at the school. New background music trackAudio narration explaining the classes, majors and minors available at WSU. (Include a few example languages as well as film and culture studies)
0:35-1:00  Lots of cuts in this shot. The audio is discussing various resources available to language student, the video cuts to examples of all of these (The LLRC, Printing, tutoring, and conversational classes) The Audio here is more narration that explains the various resources available to language students. Discuss the various benefits from free tutoring and extra conversation classes, to the computer lab and free printing.
1:00-1:25 Cuts involving a lot of people studying or socializing over languages. If I end up getting permission to film a whole class (still waiting on a response) then this is where a lot of the best footage would go. State some of the appealing elements to the classes, such as the ability to learn from native speakers, socialize in these environments, and learn valuable life skills.
1:25-1:50 Conclusion, while the closing narration wraps up with more footage of the building or classes, put contact information on the screen. Narration including contact information and how to learn more.
1:50-2:00 Once ending narration ends, fate to white, place credits and any ending messages. A simple “thanks for watching” before fading out the voice and increasing the volume of the background music before it fades out too.

 

Audio Story: Final Draft

To me, foreign languages are not only one of my favorite subjects; they are a genuine interest that I spend my free time on. While many kids feel the same as I do, others find no interest or dislike studying foreign languages. Some go as far as to say they don’t think they can, or that it’s too difficult to learn. Here in Washington State, kids to take two years of a language as a requirement in high school. I thought this would be a new subject which I could make a vox populi style track for. As a bonus, I was able to interview a teacher of the Japanese language here at WSU.

The most significant design element is repetition, which helps add a sense of flow to the audio. All of the clips were recording on my smartphone, and then I made liberal use of the razor tool to get what I was looking for. The biggest technical difficulty I found was editing the people who spoke faster, using some fading effects and by leaving myself with some white noise before a response, I was able to get it to sound decent. One trick worth mentioning for outdoor interviews is noise prints. By capturing a noise print of white noise, you can remove some of it by using the sound print noise reduction under effects. This was helpful for a particular interview which had people talking and cheering in the background.

To me, this project is very important to my topic. Over 40% of all people interviewed said they felt bad or incapable of learning a language, and almost all of the students interviewed said their lack of ability ruined their enjoyment of learning a language. My goal for this blog is to help show the less intimidating side of languages, and this is a worry I hear so often when discussing languages. Of course it can be challenging, but it’s not that you’re incapable. Everyone can learn a language, if they want to and are willing to put in the effort to. And even then, once the majority of people started answering that way, I feel like people may be too hard on themselves with this topic. When I asked the students who were still learning a language why they continued it, all of them answered that being able to communicate with new people and the moment when the hard work pays off and something begins to make sense for you made the work worth it, even the ones who said they weren’t good at it. I hope that maybe this can help show someone who thinks they are unable to learn a language that it’s not about can or can’t, and that everyone struggles with the subject

Moving from my rough draft to the final draft was really difficult. For one, I wound up having a corruption error on my file, but luckily with some time spent on the Adobe forums I was able to eventually discover a fix. It would take too much space to explain here, but maybe I’ll make a separate post about it later. The major feedback I got was that some of the voices were hard to hear from the music, and that the story lacked a clear beginning and conclusion. It was hard making an introduction and conclusion that still fit within the 2 minute time limit, and as someone who stutters a lot the recording process was really difficult. My tip for similar people would be to record only a few sentences and leave a long pause so that it’s easier to edit them close together later. I did wind up having to cut the introductions, which is unfortunate because it’s something I received praise for during the peer feedback, but I simply had to cut it due to the time restraints. Additionally, I messed with some of the audio levels. There are definitely still a few really rough cuts, but they are usually caused by people stuttering really fast during a sentence which I tried but wasn’t able to effectively remove.

Only one non-original content was used, which was La ville aux ponts suspendus by Komiku. I love this track, it’s so soothing yet engaging. I feel it not only helped mask the noise but also displayed the laid back tone I tried to have in the interviews. The song is public domain, and can be found on FMA:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Komiku/A_Monplaisir_Best-Of__Lets_hear_that_crap/Komiku_-_A_Monplaisir_Best-of__Lets_here_that_crap_-_14_La_ville_aux_ponts_suspendus

All interview clips were recorded and used with recorded permission of the people.

Rough Draft – Can I learn a Language?

To me, foreign languages are not only one of my favorite subjects; they are a genuine interest that I spend my free time on. While many kids feel the same as I do, others find no interest or dislike studying foreign languages. Some go as far as to say they don’t think they can, or that it’s too difficult to learn. Here in Washington State, kids to take two years of a language as a requirement in high school. I thought this would be a new subject which I could make a vox populi style track for. As a bonus, I was able to interview a teacher of the Japanese language here at WSU.
I wanted to make it seem like an opinion or more personal, so I decided to keep each of their names at the beginning. Additionally, this helped discern voices. The most significant design element is repetition, which helps add a sense of flow to the audio. All of the clips were recording on my smartphone, and then I made liberal use of the razor tool to get what I was looking for. The biggest technical difficulty I found was editing the people who spoke faster, using some fading effects and by leaving myself with some white noise before a response, I was able to get it to sound decent. One trick worth mentioning for outdoor interviews is noise prints. By capturing a noise print of white noise, you can remove some of it by using the sound print noise reduction under effects. This was helpful for a particular interview which had people talking and cheering in the background.
To me, this project is very important to my topic. 60% of all people interviewed said they felt bad or incapable of learning a language, and 40% of the students interviewed said their lack of ability ruined their enjoyment of learning a language. My goal for this blog is to help show the less intimidating side of languages, and this is a worry I hear so often when discussing languages. Of course it can be challenging, but it’s not that you’re incapable. Everyone can learn a language, if they want to and are willing to put in the effort to. And even then, once the majority of people started answering that way, I feel like people may be too hard on themselves with this topic. When I asked the students who were still learning a language why they continued it, all of them answered that being able to communicate with new people and the moment when the hard work pays off and something begins to make sense for you made the work worth it, even the ones who said they weren’t good at it. I hope that maybe this can help show someone who thinks they are unable to learn a language that it’s not about can or can’t, and that everyone struggles with the subject
Only one non-original content was used, which was La ville aux ponts suspendus by Komiku. I love this track, it’s so soothing yet engaging. I feel it not only helped mask the noise but also displayed the laid back tone I tried to have in the interviews. The song is public domain, and can be found on FMA:

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Komiku/A_Monplaisir_Best-Of__Lets_hear_that_crap/Komiku_-_A_Monplaisir_Best-of__Lets_here_that_crap_-_14_La_ville_aux_ponts_suspendus

All interview clips were recorded and used with recorded permission of the people.

Unit 2 Final Draft – The Thompson Scholarship

final-draft-jpg

Similarly to the Photoshop unit, when I designed my assignment I wanted to create something that could help a potential language student at WSU. When I thought of important aspects of language study at this school, I thought about studying abroad and the many excellent programs that it has to assist students in being able to immerse themselves in other countries and cultures. With that in mind, I chose the Thompson scholarship for study abroad. This scholarship is something almost every foreign language student will be told to at least consider if they are interested in studying abroad, and it makes the option much more viable to many students.
Starting from my design, I researched logos for various scholarships. Many of them simply used crest-like designs similar to their schools, but I knew that would not fit my topic, so I kept looking until I found scholarships which had logos more related to their purpose. Keeping what I had seen in mind, I thought of ways to would isolate the concepts I wanted to express, and decided to focus on travel as a focal point. I decided, in the end, to use a planet with a plane flying around it, as I felt that would directly communicate my purpose for the logo. While I could have tried and based the planet on the real world, I decided I would rather do it entirely from scratch without the need for a reference image. Finally, I decided I want Thompson to be overlapping on the planet a little bit, with the remaining text below. With all those points decided, I knew I was going to make most of the elements circular to keep a sense of harmony throughout the design. Most other design choices I made came from through trial and error, such as adding a path for the plane.
All the assets in the logo were made by me, excluding the default fonts. The planet was made by creating a circle, penciling in some shapes for land masses, and then using the pathfinder’s divide function. The plane was hand made using the pen tool, and the path of the plane was made by using the scissor tool on a circle. The Thompson typography used a similar technique to the tutorials. However, I never divided the white shape with the image it overlapped. The outline alone looked somewhat dull, so I decided to make it look more like a physical object on top of the picture of the world. To do this, I created a drop shadow with no blur just a pixel below This revealed an awkward problem about the white outlines, underneath letters with gaps like “h” or “n” were small bumps which made the drop shadow look awkward. In the end, I wound up smoothing them out by deleting the anchor points using the remove anchor tool. Another awkward problem was the gradient tool not cooperating as I added it from the transition from rough to the final draft. Using feedback I had received, I changed the font of the bottom text and tried to add more color. In the end, I wound up copying the gradient and slightly altering it for each of the green land masses. In addition to the gradual change in color, an inner glow was added to make it look more like a sphere.