Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Image Compositing

Image compositing is the combination of multiple images to create a new, unique photograph. These types of photos are created to enhance viewer perspective and creatively convey a message. One way to enhance photo composition is through the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is where you break up your screen into nine different squares, with two lines going horizontal and two lines vertical. The goal is to place your subject within the intersection along the lines. An incorrect use of the rule of thirds would be to place your subject in the center of the frame. Before taking a photo, professional photographers think about what they want to convey and how they can compose their subject to make it interesting. I believe that not all photos should be edited. Sometimes, a photo can stand on it's own, without the use of a computer, and be just as stunning. However, whether or not a photo needs editing should be up to the photographer and the statement they want to make.

The strongest message I plan to communicate is through my "crying over spilled milk" composite. Through it, I will show how teenagers in the 21st century find problems in meaningless things. We dwell on trivial things like our hair, clothes, and what color eye shadow we're going to wear today. Instead of "crying over spilled milk," I would prefer that our generation look towards the future, rather than exist in the past. For this image, I used rule of thirds composition to improve the portrait (Actually I didn't, I used the stamp tool to make it fit the size guidelines). I also lowered the saturation to give it a more gloomy undertone and cheated a little by using the brush tool to add some tears. When the viewer first looks at the image, I want their eye to go to the subjects face, and then to the cup of milk. This is because of the intensity of the subjects expression and how the milk leads from their eye to the cup. However, after adjusting the saturation, I believe that the milk is such a bright white that the viewer will first look there, and then at the subject's face.

ACO 3.1 Analyze how elements and principles of design in various forms of media are applied to communicate to a specific audience.
ACO 3.2 Critique how the effective integration of elements and principles of design within a variety of medium impact target audiences.
ACO 3.3 Apply elements and principles of design to clarify, focus, or enhance a message or concept for a target audience.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Visual Statement

For this project, we had to create a visual statement. The goal was to produce a 2-3 minute video with compelling audio and visuals about a topic we care about. My team's message is that we need to stop being insensitive about serious topics, such as death, cancer, suicide, and terrorism. We use humor as a coping mechanism to emotionally handle these things, and it's not okay. It's important to us because it's relevant to our generation in particular. We can't normalize phrases like "kill yourself" and "you are cancer" in our society. It's offensive and definitely crosses a line. My team consisted of Eli and Emma. Eli was our main voice actor and writer, but Emma and I helped edit the writing to make it more powerful. Emma and I both worked on writing the visuals, and filmed a lot of it. I was the main editor (because I love editing), but others had a chance to edit it as well.

Two tricks I learned to use in Final Cut is the graphic match cut and color isolation. A graphic match cut is the combination of two clips to look like the subject is moving throughout multiple locations.  we used this towards the middle of our video where she's walking throughout the various locations. Color isolation is pretty much exactly how it sounds. We used this for some of the flower shots to brighten the yellow and dull the surrounding points. It's subtle, but still noticeable. It is important to use FCPX Libraries, Events, and Projects correctly in order to ensure that video clips can be found easily. A huge part of making a successful video is staying organized and knowing where all your files are. If you don't, you could end up wasting time trying to find everything, or just never find it and have to re-film. Another big part of a successful video is audio. Different clips tend to vary in audio levels. To balance it out, you must adjust the levels of each clip in order to match up.  I think our audio displays a higher quality than our visuals because it's more compelling than just seeing a bunch of people laughing.

The biggest challenge during this project was coordinating times to film visuals. Either someone wasn't there, had to work, or there just couldn't get to the filming location. Another huge part of this was that most of our shots had to be done at school. Because of this, filming on weekends wasn't practical, as two members, Emma and I, live on the North Shore. We managed to overcome them, and film everything on two separate days. However, I would have liked to film more. I'd like to think that I was the driving force behind the project, mainly because I was bossy and slightly irritating. "We should film today," "Can we film after school?" and, "Do you think we should work on this?" I don't think that my teammates really hindered the process at all, they couldn't help being busy, or just not being at school that day. I think the most enjoyable part of this project was learning new editing techniques in Final Cut. As a long term iMovie user, I loved being able to use Final Cut (basically iMovie on steroids). The best part was being able to stack as many clips I wanted on top of each other. In iMovie, you can only stack 2 clips, Final Cut is limitless! It was so glorious! I had like 5 clips on top of each other. After the critique, we found that our video was relevant and high quality. I agree with these results for the most part. I definitely think that our video displayed high quality voiceovers and editing techniques, even though our visuals were a little repetitive. Despite this, I feel that the color isolation and graphic match cuts made up for it.

I feel attacked by the ones person who said it wasn't skillfully edited >:(

ACO 5.1 Apply problem-solving techniques to create deliverables that address the needs of a client or target audience.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Modern Art Movement

For this project, the art movement I had to present on was Installation art. Installation art has roots in both conceptual and environmental art. It developed out of the artists' needs to express themselves through experimentation. Until the 1970s, it was not actually called Installation art. During this time, it became a popular way to reflect socio-economic concerns, political, social, and cultural disorder. Installation art has influenced the industry by breaking the boundaries of conventionality. It made people start thinking about "What is art?" This movement is one of my favorites because the range of pieces is so diverse.

The artist Nam June Paik created the example you see to the right. It's called Electronic Superhighway and is from 1995. My interpretation is that he was trying to convey the connection that technology gives us, specifically television and the media. Based off the images within the screens, he must want the connection to be dependent upon politics and culture. I definitely believe that a single artist can change someone's opinion. Art is meant to evoke emotions and express ideas. If looking at an artwork makes you feel something different, your opinion can change. Advances in technology have aided the production of skilled art production, and this is a great example. As the internet becomes a more prevalent part of our culture, artists must adapt their creations to reflect new perceptions of society. Other improvements in technology, including cameras, television, and drawing programs, have allowed artists the ability to better express ideas. However, this doesn't mean they necessarily have to use it. Having decades of tools to experiment with can only help artists grow, and I don't believe that technological advances could ever hinder the production of art.

Presentation Quiz Results

ACO 1.1 Assess the evolution of art forms for their impact on the arts and communication industry. 
ACO 1.2 Evaluate the interaction among media, design and society to assess how each influences the other.
ACO 1.3 Evaluate innovative applications of media and design in society that have impacted the arts and communication industry.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Workplace Safety

The goal for this project was to educate viewers on how to stay safe in the workplace. We had to create a 60-90 second video using iPads. My team's topic was avoiding stress and burnout, so we explained how to identify anxiety and gave steps on how best to evade it. My team consisted of Michael and La'a. La'a was one of our "hosts" for the video, and helped research different steps to include. I contributed to the team by writing most of the voiceovers, doing the basic editing, and being the other host. However, the person I feel deserves the most recognition is Michael. He was pretty much our "creative genius," and was the mastermind and star behind our visuals and added effects. While I editing the clips together, Michael added music and sound effects, which I feel brought our video to the next level.

My biggest takeaway from this project was learning how to better manage stress. I'm a person that cannot handle anxiety or pressure very well, so being told to research ways to avoid it was very helpful for me. I also learned more about filming and how to get steady shots without a tripod. We ended up using "T-Rex arms" for most of it, but it was still a valuable experience. After the critique, we found that our video had low quality audio, but a high entertainment factor. The other scoring areas, relevance of visuals and overall quality, were within the 3-4 range. One way to improve our audio, while still using the iPad we were given, would be to shoot it as voiceovers. That way, we would be closer to the microphone, and therefore, louder. Another thing we could have done is practiced more. It was hard to understand some things because we were mumbling, but if we had been more confident with what we were saying, and projected our voices more, our audio would have turned out more clear.

ACO 7.1 Analyze the beneficial effects that safe and healthy work habits have on productivity that improve workplace efficiency.
ACO 7.2 Apply practices to maintain a safe and healthy work environment in relation to careers in the Arts and Communication Pathway.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Art & Design

The elements of art are basically the building blocks of art creation. In my Still Life painting, I utilized the elements of line, shape, value, and texture. I first used line and shape to contour the image I downloaded. I then used texture and value to add in shadows. The darker they were in the original image, the more closely knit the scribble texture. I used a larger 15pt brush for my outline and a smaller 5pt brush for my shadows. Using a smaller brush allowed me to better control the value, making super loose or tightly knit scribbles. It also created a nice contrast in size. The part I found most enjoyable in this was making the shadows, yet it was also one of the most monotonous parts. It was fun making the smaller shadows on the rose, but a little too repetitive making them for larger areas. The most challenging part of this project was the outline. Being a perfectionist, I wanted my lines to be exact, and using a mouse was not fun for me. However, I still got the job done, and I'm proud of how it turned out.

I took my landscape image on one of the large plots of land right off the highway in Kilauea. I'm not quite sure on the specifics, but I do know that it has a lot of cows. In comparison to my finished still image, my landscape image relies less on lines and more on texture. While texture was important in my still, it wasn't a make-or-break thing. Line and shape were important in my landscape, but they didn't affect it as much. However, both my still life and landscape relied heavily on value to exhibit a hand drawn look. To refine my image, I used a sandstone filter to achieve a papery look, and a crosshatch filter to make it look more like a sketch. At first, my image just looked like a low-quality black and white picture. However, because I was able to use the more advanced filter techniques, it now looks more like a stamp or ink wash painting.

The portrait photo I used is of my friend Violet and was taken at my birthday last year. I like to think that if the photo was displayed somewhere it would be titled "Angsty Vi." I chose to use this photo because Violet recently moved to attend NYU, and I wanted to give her a metaphorical salute. This final image uses all the elements of art, including line, shape, form, value, space, texture, and color. Because it's a combination of both techniques listed above, you can refer to my earlier paragraphs to see how they involve line, shape, value, and texture. However, unlike my first two images, this one incorporates the elements of color, space, and form. The blurred out person in the background creates depth, utilizing the element of form. The way it uses space is by providing look room to the left of Violet. Lastly, color is used in the middle part separating the two techniques used. For the critique, I got ranked as professional for both my still and my land, and expert for my mix. I agree with all of my results, however, I am surprised at how well my mixed image was graded. Personally, I think that my mixed image could have used more work in the texture department, but if it blew my peers' minds then I'm not going to argue.

Critique Results

ACO 3.1 Analyze how elements and principles of design in various forms of media are applied to communicate to a specific audience. Elements of Art: Space, Line, Color, Shape, Texture, Form, Value.
ACO 3.2 Critique how the effective integration of elements and principles of design within a variety of medium impact target audiences. Gestalt Theory: Similarity, Continuation, Closure, Proximity, Figure and ground
ACO 3.3 Apply elements and principles of design to clarify, focus, or enhance a message or concept for a target audience. Principles of Design: Scale, Proportion, Unity, Balance, Harmony, Contrast, Repetition, Variety, Emphasis)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Audio Production

One of the most important parts of speaking is intonation and inflection. Intonation is the rise and fall of your voice when you speak, and inflection is basically the emphasis you put on certain words to convey emotion. Without these, you would sound like a soulless robot, and we don't want that. For this assignment, our goal was to create an audio recording of a script we wrote. My job was team leader. This meant that I had to proofread the script, press the record button, and check for quality. Rehearsal was a crucial part in ensuring that we had the best recording we possibly could. A big part of the assignment was that the audio had to be recorded in one take. If there was background noise or someone messed up we had to start all over again. It was a tedious process, but we rehearsed and rehearsed, and managed to get the job done to the best of our ability.

Our critique results showed that we had excellent audio quality and clarity of speaker's voice. Our lowest scores were in intonation and inflection. While we may have answered all the questions and gotten our message across, our audio wasn't really engaging. Being more expressive with our voices would've definitely helped with that. One of our biggest challenges was recording all of our audio in one take. We kept stumbling on words or pausing between sentences for an abnormal amount of time. In order to improve this, we should have practiced more. If we had to do this project again with the same people, we should spend our time more productively. A lot of our time was spent staring at screens, but not doing anything. If we had used that time to practice, our intonation score would have definitely been better.

ACO 5.1 Apply problem-solving techniques to create deliverables that address the needs of a client or target audience.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Proprietary Information

(Original Picture from Pexels)

 Copyright infringement is when you reproduce, copy, or distribute someone else's work and call it your own without permission. For example, if you take your favorite song online, download it, and use it in a video, it's copyright infringement. The consequences of doing this can be a fine of as low $200 to up to $150,000, your work being seized, or even jail time. Fear not, however, there is still a way to legally use someone else's work. Step one is to see if you even need to get permission. Some images, songs, and videos are public domain. This means that you don't need authorization to use it. Step two is to identify the owner. You must know who you need to ask permission. The last step is to contact them and ask for their terms. Another way to bypass copyright infringement is through fair use. Fair use is when you take someone else's work and "transform" it. In this case, you don't need the original owner's permission. One example of fair use is parodies. This is when you imitate or mimic something for a comedic purpose. Another example is commentary or criticism. Quoting a book for a school report is considered fair use.

The term "confidential" means to keep information secret or private. Some things that I tend to keep private are my home address, social security number, and how much money I have. Personally, I don't think anyone should share these things, but they do. Social media has become the ultimate over-sharing device. For some reason, everyone feels the need to snapchat where they live and have all their money laid out on a table; probably for bragging purposes. Censorship is when a group in power hides certain images, websites, or books that they find offensive. Personally, I think that there should be censorship. While the 1st Amendment does guarantee the right to free speech, there are still limits. For example, you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theater. I believe that this should also apply to what is put in public settings. There are still boundaries to what can and can't be said, and not everyone should be exposed to it. I do, however, think that artwork, writing, or images that are "offensive" should still be made, but stay in private settings. I don't believe in telling someone they can't have certain ideas, just where they can and cannot display them. The 5th Amendment gives you the right to privacy. Because of this, you should be able to do or make whatever you want in non-public settings.
ACO 6.1: Analyze the use of copyright and proprietary information in arts and communication to facilitate responsible, legal and ethical behavior.
ACO 6.2: Examine ethical issues in arts and communications to make appropriate decisions related to clients, co-workers and society.