GrC 452 Student Blog - Login Page

Graphics in Motion Blog enteries will be posted as course progresses.

Bad Audio Demo Video:

This is an example of what can happen when you do not balance the background music with the voice over audio tracks of the person being interviewed.

:::Introduction to Graphics in Motion:::

Week 1 - GrC 452 began with an overview of the digital video import, edit, and export workflow we will be using in class. Students were introduced to the Final Cut Express (FCE) user interface (UI) and began an exercise that demonstrated how to give graphic assets motion properties in FCE. We explored the importance of .PNG files when working in FCE and the proper workflow to export this file format from Illustrator and Photoshop.

:::Public Service Announcement TV Commercial - SLO County Creek Day:::

Week 2 - GrC 452 began covering basic to intermediate digital video editing practices as well as exploring web video hosting services. Students were introduced to the concepts of source video and non-linear editing practices. Using actual video clips and audio tracks originally captured for a TV Public Service Announcement (PSA) commercial which aired in September of 2007, students were required to create their own version of this PSA. The video was required to be 30 seconds in length and utilize a variety of transitions, filters, and effects. Each student was required to choose theme music to go with the voice over audio track provided to them by the instructor. In addition students were required to include the SLO County Creek Day company logo and poster graphic.

After completing the second lab I am sincerely looking forward seeing what the students will create this quarter. We have two companies coming to class where students will have the opportunity to use their creativity and editing knowledge to create a short marketing video and splash introduction video clip for use in video website branding.

I am both pleased and impressed with the student progress after two weeks of instruction and am excited to move forward with the rest of the quarter!

:::Working with Illustrations in FCE:::

Week 3 - GrC 452 did not meet this week because I was feeling very sick and unable to present the lesson plan. The missed material will be rolled into deferent class periods as we move forward during the quarter.

:::iPod Style Green Screen Video Project:::

Week 4 - GrC 452 hit the ground running this week with an introduction to green screens and the Chroma Keyer filter in FCE. Students were taught the process of isolating and removing the green screen background, and then added their own custom backgrounds using effects and transitions of their choice in FCE. We chose to do an iPod style 30 second video featuring the black silhouette dancers as seen in the original iPod commercials. Students were required to include graphic assets within their project video and apply motion properties to those graphics using motion key frames. Many thanks to the Cal Poly "Hip Hop Congress" dance club for donating their time and dance moves in front of the green screen for this class project. An example video can be viewed at the link below. ("See Kevin's demo Flash player"):

This was a fun project because as the students over-all understanding of Final Cut Express increase I am seeing much more creativity in the finished projects uploaded at the end of the week.

:::Flash - Session 1 - Creating a custom Flash player:::

Week 5 - This week GrC 452's focus shifted from FCE to Flash, we will continue to work in flash through the next class period. This class period we focused on teaching students the basics of how to make and brand their very own flash player. To help facilitate the Flash lectures I enlisted the help of a recent GrC graduate Kevin McGinn. Kevin has been working at Etna Interactive for the past year and a half in their growing web/media department.

The class went through all of the steps required to convert a video edited in FCE to the Flash video format and build a player to view the video content online. Once each student completed their Flash players we walked them through the steps to upload, and embed the proper code required to view their Flash video's on their individual student blog pages. The video tutorials for the lesson may be viewed here:

:::Flash - Session 2 - AT&T Advertisement:::

Week 6 - GrC 452 continued to focus on Adobe Flash, this time students were required to recreate an AT&T Flash advertisement from a customer supplied layered Photoshop document (PSD). From the PSD students exported the necessary layers to their project folder and then imported all graphic assets into Flash. Kevin McGinn from Etna Interactive was good enough to spend another evening with the class leading the Flash instruction. The students had a general understanding of the proper use of layers and basic action script from the previous week but were challenged by the introduction of motion and shape tweens.

This particular project from an instruction stand point was very challenging because there are so many steps in Flash and communicating them to the class as a whole is difficult. Students struggle with different areas of the project and the constant stopping and starting to keep everyone on the same page was stressful for both myself, Kevin and the students. For a project this detailed a handout will be required in the future for the students to use as a reference and follow along.

The project over all was successful as students have expressed their excitement and enjoyment of the project and learning the basics of Flash. The project was designed to introduce students to the most common effects, motion properties, and action script that they would expect to find and be required of them if working on a Flash project for a real life client.

:::WiHire Video Intro:::

Week 7 - This week GrC 452 began the first of three real world projects. During the next 3 weeks students will be exposed to 2 different real world company's with real world online digital media needs. A local San Luis Obispo start-up company called WiHire challenged the students with a great first project. The students were required to create a branded video intro 5-10 seconds in length. Each student was provided with current company marketing materials, digital copies of the WiHire company logo and given a 10 minute presentation by the founders describing their business and project objectives.

Each student had to create a intro video from scratch, using their creative intuition, motion graphics skills, and project outline. The exciting part about this project from an instructors stand point was that although not required, some students opted to do their projects in Flash after only two labs! This was very exciting and satisfying because I worried that the Flash instruction may have been too detailed to learn in just two class sessions. I have been pleasantly surprised with many of the projects I have seen so far this quarter, many exceeding my expectations. Please take the time to review some of the student projects here: Click Here

:::UGS Promo Video:::

Week 8 - During week 8, GrC 452 students were charged with the responsibility to create a video to promote Cal Poly's premier student run printing enterprise, University Graphic Systems (UGS). Students were given fewer guidelines for this project but were required to include the UGS logo and feature interviews with the current UGS management team. Each promotional video was required to be 60 seconds in length and raise awareness of UGS, its services, and to illustrate the educational value of UGS to Cal Poly's "learn by doing" philosophy.

This was an exciting project for both the students and for me as the instructor. As the students mature their skill sets in digital video editing and integrating re-purposed graphic assets into their projects I have been able to identify individual styles and approaches. This is fun for me and is reassuring that the students take the course curriculum seriously and understand its importance in the ever expanding field of graphic communication.

:::30 Second video PSA:::

This video is a short 30 sec PSA I did for SLO County Creek Clean Up Day last year. You can see The Land Conservancy logo placed in the bottom right corner of the screen. There is also one other graphic that had to be imported into the video at the very end of the clip. This PSA aired locally on TV in San Luis Obispo county during the summer of 2007.

30 Second video PSA

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