Reflection Blog Post

Multimedia Content Creation 210 was one of my favorite online classes of all time. The clear instruction, and hands on experience made it effective and enjoyable. My favorite part of the semester was the Adobe Premier unit, which covered basic video editing. This section helped me to take more intentional photos and videos when I record an experience. Though vertical smart phone shots can help with depth perception, they don’t look that great when spliced into a movie. I really liked bringing my existing content to life by adding music, transitions, and action effects.

I fully intend on using my Adobe Photoshop and Premier skills in the future. Since technology is so readily available, these two platforms will come in handy often. With Premier I can chronicle favorite moments of my life, or develop how-to tutorials for beginners. Photoshop will especially be useful for trolling my friends, and coworkers.

Content creation will be useful in almost any endeavor I set out on. If I end up in Law Enforcement, I can use the skills I’ve learned to develop community outreach fliers, or public service announcements. If I go to work for my airline’s reservation department, I might use my Audition skills to create an employee performance review file.

This course was a great survey of the major media platforms. However, if there were more time I would have really enjoyed learning basic web design skills, or 3D object rendering. Though I don’t plan on needing either of those skills in the future, I would have been interested in knowing the processes people go through to create such content.

The learning material provided for this class covered almost every question I had. For the issues I was stuck on I found help through online forums by way of Google.com. These forums feature people asking and answering particular questions about a program. Since Adobe’s programs are so big and functional, there are often unintuitive ways to complete a task. I’ve found it much easier to go directly to the web instead of spending several moments on trial and error. Adobe also provides great introductory videos that help jumpstart your base knowledge. These tutorials helped get me up and running with auditor, and illustrator; the programs I was least familiar with.

Communications 210 is a thoroughly enjoyable class that I would recommend to any student. The ability to create media content is especially needed in our technology driven culture. I’m not sure how else this class can improve its objectives and methods. My only difficulties in class had to do with the nuances of Adobe’s software. Perhaps a discussion post could encourage students to share what they’ve learned in dealing with the program. Overall, I’m very impressed with Professor Chelsea Newman, and my TA Chan Chen, and am very glad I took this course!

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Video Story Final

My video story draft needed a lot of work. First off, it wasn’t much of story, because it had no explanation. The lack of narration was my number one critique, so I added a few short remarks at the beginning and end of the video to provide context. Since it was only a 2 minute video I wanted to keep the information short so the viewer could pay more attention to the clips themselves. As promised, I added a few shots from work using the 3×3 method. One of my pet peeves on social media is when people post beautiful pictures and don’t include a description of where it was taken. As if we’re just supposed to know! I’m not sure if my travel captions added or took away from the overall presentation, but I like having them there. After searching for quite a while I came across bensound.com’s free music collection. There I found the track “sunny”, which I think fits my overall theme perfectly. One of my biggest problems was adjusting volume levels. Premier’s audio adjustments weren’t quite as intuitive as Adobe’s Auditor. I also think parts of my narration are a touch too loud, but I didn’t notice it until after I already uploaded it to youtube. This story could have benefited from a more thorough story board. I had began straying from the original one while I was splicing the clips together. This is because I was not aware of how my written concepts would transfer to actual video editing. Understanding that will be useful in future projects. The transitions between clips was a lot of fun to play with, but hard to get create uniformity without redundancy. There aren’t actually that many preloaded transitions, so I used anchor points to add additional movements between slides. My main regret with this project was only having 2 minutes to show it all. I now have a better understanding of what can and can’t be conveyed in 2 minutes! I want to say thanks to all my peers for their valuable feedback! Hope you enjoy!

Video Story Draft

My video story will be continuing the concept of previous projects. I hope to convey the contrast between work life and the travel it allows me to do on my days off. The beginning of this short video has two still images of me at work. I plan on replacing these images with live footage I capture of me doing my job. This draft as a whole is rather one dimensional, because of the lack of angles and distances I use with subject matter. To correct this I plan on implementing the 3×3 rule when shooting. All of the travel footage in the video was shot with an Iphone, and collected over the last two years. Unfortunately, several of the videos I could have included were taken vertically, and would not mesh well with the landscape format. I have since changed my ways, and vow never to shoot vertically again. The music took a surprisingly long time to find, and I’m still not sure whether it fits my overall theme. I got the song from http://www.purple-planet.com. They have a lot of great free content, which I will peruse more this upcoming week. Laying down the videos and photographs was a pretty easy task. I had trouble with the sizing of some of the pictures, but remembered how to adjust them after a while. I set anchor points and had some of the images shift and zoom to provide a more interesting element. One of my favorite parts was experimenting with the different video transitions. Some areas I plan on improving in my final draft are: adding narration, include text to geotag some of the images, and work with the transitions more. I would also like to add some relevant sound bites, like a airplane cabin chime, or jet engines idly running. I know this draft needs a lot of work so please comment any suggestions below!

GSA Interview – Final Audio Draft

Continuing with the work and travel theme of my blog, I conducted an interview with my fellow employees to get their perspective on the contrast. I sought diversity rather than depth, so I asked many people two simple questions: “Do you enjoy working as a ground service agent, why or why not?” and “What is your favorite travel experience using your flight benefits?” I found that my first round of interviews didn’t produce the best responses, because I took the first answer they gave, rather than inquire more to get more sound bites. I made my second round of interviews more personal, and conversational.  Stretching out the interview also made it easier to dissect the responses, and created more airtime which helped the rearranging sound more natural. I received a lot of valuable feedback from my peers regarding my first audio draft. The most common concern was with my transitions, and flow. I agree that some parts seemed choppy, and abrupt. In my final draft I did the best I could to use the full two minute time frame so it would not seem rushed. As promised, I switched out the recycled chimes from previous audition projects for more relevant sound bites. I found a great cabin PA chime that accompanies the piece rather well. Another concern that was voiced was my sound levels. I learned that the airplane hum was pretty distracting in my first draft so I adjusted the overall decibel level down even further. Perhaps my most obvious shortcoming was the lack of an introduction. My previous draft began with a question, rather than an explanation for what the track was about. I added a short description at the beginning of the track to help listeners understand what I was trying to convey in the story. Last of all, I believe I addressed the issues of fading in and out from my original draft. I accomplished this through trial and error. I played around with the starting and ending points of each intro and outro’s sound bite. All interview clips are my own. The free sound bites I used and their sources can be found below.

Airplane Cabin Chimes https://freesound.org/people/aaronray/sounds/71996/

Jet Landing Sample  https://freesound.org/people/bigpickle51/sounds/262755/

Airplane Interior Ambiance              www.pacdv.com/sounds/ambience_so…ane-interior-1.mp3

GSA Interview Audio Draft

For my story I decided to stick to the original theme of the contrast between work and travel as a ground service agent. With this first draft I chose a similar style as the previous audio projects to  hear how all of my clips sound together. I began with a base layer of an airplane engine running to tie in the airport theme. My original idea was to have this run through out the interview, low and subtly, but I found it too distracting. Instead, I had it fade out at the beginning of the interview clips, and fade in towards the end. To embellish the track I added chimes 1 and 2 from the previous audio tutorial project. I do however, plan on finding more original and applicable sounds for my final draft. When asking the questions, I didn’t get the most direct responses I was hoping for. On the production side, I had to cut, and rearrange the answers to make it flow better. The people I interviewed also had vastly different tones and volume levels, so I had to adjust the decibel levels to give it one consistent tone. For my final draft I will conduct a few more interviews so I can present a wider, more dynamic perspective. This should make the over all story more compelling. I also realize that some of the transitions are pretty rough. To correct this I will focus more on fading and volume levels, and may consider adding a different airport related sound bite, to increase authenticity. Another area I find this draft lacking is ambient noise. I believe the interviews themselves to be quite dull because the voice is the only thing featured. Adding a low hum like that constantly present at an airport may help had texture and atmosphere to the piece. I will also try to record various sounds of equipment operating, and agents talking to create more layer and dimension to the voices. All of the sounds are my own except for the airplane interior clip which was free to use and remix. You can find it at www.pacdv.com/sounds/ambience_so…ane-interior-1.mp3

Raw Audio Assignment

Here are two raw audio samples I plan on using in my final audio story. The story will be an interview I will conduct with some of my fellow employees. I hope to get short concise answers for the following questions:
“Do you like working as a ground service agent? Why or Why not?”
and
“What was one of your best travel experiences using your flight benefits?”

Logo Final Draft

Designing a logo for this particular blog was surprisingly difficult. Any good logo must be simple and attractive. I found this to be especially difficult with my ground service work and travel theme. I first started with the images that I thought best encapsulates my job, and ability to fly. Some ideas that came to mind were a silhouette of the plane I work with, a person marshaling in a plane, and a passport. Though these concepts might lend themselves well to other endeavors, I wasn’t sure they were quite minimalistic enough for a logo. I ended up choosing a bag as the main focal point for my logo, because of how well it works with both concepts of my motif. I also thought an image of a bag would be a more natural vehicle for text. Following drivedigital.ca’s top 5 logo principles, I went with a generic suitcase design to create a sense of timelessness. I also see this as an appropriate choice because of how universally relatable an image of luggage can be.

After reading through some of my peer’s feedback I decided to simplify my logo even further (see previous “Logo Draft Project” post). Instead of a 3D element I flattened the image to have a more direct straight forward appearance. I accomplished this by creating a tan rounded rectangle shape with a brown stroke. For the handle I created another rounded rectangle without filling, and snipped it in half horizontally. Next I long rectangular straps with a white filling and brown stroke to match. Inside of these straps I included the text “Russell” and “Hustle”, which I think was an improvement on my previous travel sticker concept. Since the middle was open and rather blan I decided to add the silhouette of a plane. For this step I found an image of the plane’s blueprints and opened it under a new tab. Next I used the pen tool to trace around the plane and copy-pasted it on top of my suitcase. To give it more depth and contrast I placed it on top of a bright blue circle with a darker blue stroke. To tie the circles and plane to the suitcase I created a stitching effect by adding another brown circle and putting gaps in the circle’s stroke. The suitcase was still a little flat so I copy-pasted the bag and handle, and increased their size using shift. I colored it black to make the suitcase pop a little more. I’m much happier with how this final design turned out and I couldn’t have done it without the feedback from my instructor and peers!Logo-Final