GrC 452 - Graphics in Motion Final Paper - 12/12/2008

I would like to start off by saying how cool of a class I thought this was. When I enrolled in this class, I was a little reluctant because I had very little Flash, Final Cut Express, and web site management knowledge. Throughout this quarter, I have gotten such a better understanding of how motion graphics are very important in todayís marketplace. Everyone is incorporating motion in their websites; in fact, if you donít you are a little behind. Motion graphics attract attention and engage the consumer. This class has given me not only the knowledge of how important motion graphics are, but also how to create them myself. I agree completely with the blog description of this course and in this paper I will offer suggestions from a studentís perspective.

I wasnít originally planning on taking this class, but in order to graduate I discovered GrC 452 would fulfill what I needed. I didnít sign up for this class in the first place because I was intimidated by the curriculum. I always hear about people who are really tech savvy, HTML masters, etc. and frankly their knowledge leaves me in awe. I thought I was going to be way behind on the first day, but to my surprise this was not the case. Tom knows a lot about Final Cut, but he also made us feel like we were all learning together. It was really cool. We got to learn the basics of motion graphics and then gradually build on the knowledge were acquired along the way. I think our coolest project was when we got to recreate the ipod commercial. We were given footage of different people dancing in front of a green screen. We then cut the green screen out and added our own colorful backgrounds. We clipped the different dancers together in Final Cut, added music to the background and created a two minute video that resembled the same ipod commercials we see on TV. It was really cool to understand how those commercials are created.

I just recently finished my senior paper, which was focused on whether online media will eventually eliminate the need for print media. My conclusion was, like was stated in the blog, that print has faced a lot of competition over the years and yet there is still a want and a need for it. There is no reason that print and online media canít work together in order to reach as many people as possible. Print can reach people that donít have access to the Internet, while the Internet reaches the more tech savvy audience. That being said, GrC 452 would be a great addition to the curriculum because it a great tool that could supplement print. Motion graphics and online media is the new wave and it is important that our professors stay current on all of the technological advances. I feel that GrC has some of the best professors who know about the new advances before most of the world does. Teaching motion graphics is a perfect example of how GrC can stay up with the trends. If our major in particular doesnít embrace the new technologies, this major could easily become very dated and could lose the attention of prospective students. Graphic Communication really is all encompassing, so I think it would be really beneficial to introduce yet another way to reach the masses.

I really wish this class were introduced earlier in my college education. I would definitely take the next class if it was being offered, but I am graduating this fall. Throughout my job search, I have found it so interesting how many employers are looking for people specialized in Flash and motion graphics. A company who had seen my resume on a job site recently contacted me. He said it looked like I had the experience he was looking for, but wanted to make sure I knew what ďskinningĒ was. I had never heard the word and he was disappointed to hear this. The next 452 lab topic was, of course, about nothing else but skinning. I was able to call the company back and proudly share my newfound knowledge of skinning. It was just so cool to personally see how relevant this class is.

I think it is important for Graphic Communication students not be afraid of what online media will do to print. Instead, try to figure out how the two different modes of advertising can work together. We have been taught that print will never disappear because people like the feel, smell and nostalgia of it, but is that enough? Companies utilizing both print and online resources will reach more people and sell more products. We, as students, should be coming up with ways to incorporate graphics in motion with print. In talking with companies regarding how they reach the most people, I have found that they are relying on email blasts to keep loyal customers and inform them of the latest promotions. Newspaper ads, however, are great for informing readers of one-day events. If a company uses both print and online media, they will get a wide range of customers.

This class is a great idea because it allows people like me, who feel motion graphics is way out of their league, to really learn a lot about such cool programs. I would suggest advertising this class as just that. Anything web related can be very intimidating and we need professors who can absolve that fear. I think Tom did a great job of making Final Cut Express, Flash and blogging a less scary topic. We were given the perfect combination of direction and freedom. I am really grateful I was able to take this class in the last quarter of my college education. I can now enter the workforce and have at least a basic knowledge of the up and coming technology. I really think this class has rounded out my GrC education. Thanks for a great quarter Tom!

Lab VI: Creating UGS Video in Final Cut Express

Objective

This week we created a UGS promotional video in Final Cut Express. We were given different audio and video clips to incorporate in this video. The clips consisted of interviews from the UGS team, video of the facilities and print process and a background song. We also had the UGS logo to incorporate. The objective of this lab was to create a video to accurately portray the UGS team and their services. It needed to be a minute and a half long. We were given the freedom to pick the clips we thought would do the UGS team justice.

Procedure

To begin, we made sure we had access to all of our clips by locating our files and reconnecting in Final Cut Express. Once we did that, we were able to have freedom to use the tools in Final Cut Express that we have learned over the past few weeks to create a minute and a half long video. I decided to place use the music that was provided and I placed it in the FCE sequence. I then scrolled through the interviews to choose who described the business the best and where I could incorporate each person. To choose the different clips, I needed to use the ins and outs tool to mark where my clips would begin and end.

After I placed all the interviews approximately where they would play, I added in some of the video clips from inside the facility. Transitions were placed so that it had an easy flow from one clip to the next. I tried to make the transitions go along with the music, but wasn't too successful. I also wanted to make sure the voices of the students were heard over the music. This was done by increasing or decreasing the decibel level.

When I felt like the video ran smoothly and the audio levels were perfect, I added in the UGS logo throughout the entire video. This was good because it consistently showed who the video was for.

 

Video


UGS VIDEO from CAR MATTSON on Vimeo.

 

Video Summary and Conclusions

This project was different from last weeks because it was long enough to actually get a concrete message across. We had time to incorporate many different clips and people in this video. Next time, It would be cool to pick my own music, but I also like this song alot.

Project Significance

This project was a way that our class can interact with a student run printer on campus. Most of us know the UGS employees so it was cool to have them in a video that we created. It was nice to know what UGS is all about before doing this project. I think that really helps in understanding who they are and who they are trying to reach.

Closing Thoughts

This was a cool project because it directly effects us. We know about UGS and we can basically understand their needs. I am guessing company's designing a video would need to understand their clients needs as well. UGS needs more advertisement, so this might come in handy for them.

 

Lab V: Creating Wihire clip in Final Cut Express

Objective

This lab was my favorite lab in this class so far. We had a few men from Wihire come and introduce their website to us. They were looking for someone to create a 5-10 second clip to be played before all of their videos on the site. We were to use Final Cut Express and the logo that they provided. We could also use any text or pictures from their brochure. The Wihire employees were then going to choose their favorite and hand out a prize. If they really liked one of ours, they would actually use it on their site. This would be a great thing to put on our resume.

Procedure

For this lab we were given text, the Wihire logo and some images that we could use for our video clip. We needed to use these elements to create a clip for Wihire. Given our background in FCE, we just inserted the clips, created movement, added sound and edited it the video as we thought was best for Wihire. We also were given audio clips that we could also incorporate.

 

Video


Wihire Clip from CAR MATTSON on Vimeo.

 

Video Summary and Conclusions

My video clip is very simple and that was ultimately my goal. I think it would be good to go before a video because it is not too complicated. It lets everyone know where the video is coming from. I think there are a few more things in my video that may need to be perfected.

Project Significance

This project helped us see the more professional use for Final Cut Express. I always see the logo of a company before online movies, but never knew how one would be created. This was a cool way to implement our work into the business world.

Closing Thoughts

This project was interesting and it was nice to have some incentive. I think it was a good project because we knew enough about Final Cut Express to complete the project in a timely manner. It was nice to be able to work on our own for the entire time and have complete freedom to do what we want.

Lab V: Recreating AT&T Ad in Flash

Objective

Originally, this lab was supposed to be a two-part project, but we soon found out that that was too much action for one lab. We ended up creating an advertisement for AT&T in Flash. In this lab we learned more of the ins and outs of Flash and got a better feel for what Flash can do.

Procedure

For this lab we were given text, a background, and the graphics needed to recreate an AT&T advertisement. We opened up the project in Photoshop and saved every element of the project on different layers. We were able to save the background as a .jpg, but other than that everything needed to be saved as a .png-24. We then saved everything for the web so that they would appear correctly on the site.

Next, we imported everything to Flash. After putting each element into a different layer and naming them accordingly, we would be able to animate them all separately. The Learn More Button had some special instructions because it needed to become a movie clip in order for it to be a rollover link. That was done by converting to symbols and added the rollover capabilities. To create the text animation, we dragged the text off the screen in the first frame and then created a motion tween that ended on the screen where we wanted it be placed. When everything was completed, we copied the HTML and added it to our index.

 

Video

Video Summary and Conclusions

I am actually pretty proud of my AT&T clip. It may appear very simple, but it was far from it. I bet as you learn more about Flash, this type of project might be very plain, but to me is was very complicated. I think my animation could a little cleaner, but overall I am glad everything works!

Project Significance

I always thought that Flash was used for cartoons and funny videos. I was obviously mistaken. It is nice to know that we can use Flash to add animation to any of our work. Even moving text and rollover buttons can have a huge impact on the customer's view of you. I have realized that using Flash allows you to create very professional looking products.

Closing Thoughts

This project was very insightful because I never really put any thought into how these types of videos can be done. It is kind of cool that we can create something that looks even remotely close to a professional commercial. Working with flash has been very informative, but I think I am ready to go back to Final Cut Express..

 

Lab IV: Skinning in Flash

Objective

This week we got an introduction to Flash. Our goal of this lab was to work with different skins in Flash and apply them to one of videos that we have worked on in the past. A skin is a term used to describe the unique way you design your screen. In this case, we were using skins to create a play bar at the bottom of our video. In Flash, we were to design our own skin even though you can also use the ones that are already designed by Flash. The goal was to create a bar, play button, volume button and have a logo that would link to our favorite web site. There was a lot of information presented in this lab and it was hard to understand every detail, but we ended up with a nice finished product. Most importantly, we needed to create a functional bar that matched well with our video.

Procedure

This week's lab had alot of information to process. This was our first time being introduced to Flash and there were alot of details in the procedure. First, we needed to export our finished video as a Quicktime video into Flash ActionScript 2.0. It is important to resize your video here so that nothing gets cut off when the time to play it comes. After importing your video into Flash, we then began to build our Flash player. We used our own video components to create our player. We designed a seek bar, play/pause button, and volume bar. We could position them, size and color them as we liked. When we had them positioned as we liked, we assigned them their appropriate actions. We also created a logo that, when clicked would link to a new tab or page. We assigned these actions by added script to our page. We assigned the play button action to the play button etc. We then previewed our video in HTML and copied the java script and put it into our index page.

Video

 

Video Summary and Conclusions

I think I got the concept of skinning and how to create actions within our play bar. I wish I chose a different video for this project because I accidently chose a very video that I was in the beginning stages of working on. Even the sound in the background wasnt cut out. Most importantly, I was able to create a functioning skin.

Project Significance

I always see play bars, start-up bars etc. and never think of the way they are created. It was nice to see that someone actually has to go in and create actions for all of the buttons. I wish I had more knowledge in Flash so I could really jump into this project because it was hard to learn Flash and complete a project all in one lab. Overall, it was nice to learn how to create something that I fell like I take advantage of.

Closing Thoughts

This lab was an information overload. It was really nice to have the tutorials to look over in case we didn't fully get a concept. Maybe next time, one lab could be solely to introduce Flash. I feel like learning about it is a project in itself. It was fun finally learning about Flash though.

Lab III: Creating an Ipod Video in Final Cut Express

Objective

This lab was a continuation of last weeks Final Cut Express. This week we were given more freedom to create an Ipod video. People danced in front of a green screen which allowed us to play with the background and the color of the people themselves. There were a few guidelines that were required in our video. We needed a variety of dancer clips, it needed to be 30 seconds to one minute long, have three motion properties, five different transitions, and three different graphics. Also, we were supposed to have one of the people divide into many. We were given the video of the dancers, the graphics and audio. We also needed to adjust the greenscreen so that it didn't appear to be a green screen. Overall, this project needed to be innovative just the Apple commercials always are.

Procedure

We were given a folder of all the footage, text, logos and sound clips needed to put together this videol. We needed to select any of the dancer clips that we felt a connection with and splice them so that they would fit together with the music provided. I chose dacner clips that I liked the most and listened closely to match the music with them. I then used the chroma key to change the background to one solid color and the dancer to one solid color. In order to hear the music, the voices that were in the original video needed to be clipped out. To make one dancer divid into many, you copy the clip and paste it on top of the original. You then use the add motion key to drag the copy wherever you want it to be. The graphics were tricky to mesh with the rest of the video. I lessened the opacity to make them as noticeable. Also, different transitions like dissolve were used to make the transition less blunt.

Video


Untitled from CAR MATTSON on Vimeo.

 

Video Summary and Conclusions

I think this was a really cool project. I have never worked with this program and I would definitely like to spend more time with it. I would have liked my video clips to have been more in sync with the voice over, but I would have needed more time.

Project Significance

I was surprised how user friendly this program is. If you want to make a simple video, the basics are pretty easy to learn. I can imagine how in depth you can get with it and I am sure it is a very tedious process.

Closing Thoughts

This project was very unique and informative. I think it would also be very cool if we could pick our own video clips and put together a video that no one else will have anything like. Overall, this project has peaked my interest in video making.


Lab II: Editing a Video in Final Cut Express

Objective

This lab gave us a basic knowledge of Final Cut Express. This program is used to cut down video footage in order to ultimately make a smooth clip. This specific lab was to make a commercial for the San Luis Obispo Creek Clean-Up day. We learned how to cut the video at any given frame and piece these cuts together to convey a message. Along with video clips, we were also provided with a voice over and sound clips to add in. While you may not have realized, almost every commercial has a tune in the background and someone speaking. We used this same technique in our commercials. Transitions like dissolve and fade out were used to make more natural to go from one scene to another. Text can be added in as well. It can be consistent through the entire scene, or just be moved in on one frame. We used Vimeo to upload our videos to the web which compressed them and allowed us to embed them onto our blog.

Procedure

We were given a folder of all the footage, text, logos and sound clips needed to put together this commercial. We needed to select any clips that we felt would convey our message and splice them so that they would fit nicely together. I aligned all of the clips I wanted to use and put transitions like dissolve in between each different scene. The provided logo just needed to be placed so that it was present in the corner for the whole video. At the end of the commercial, we needed to have a background image that would provide, in text, all the necessary info. I faded the image and text in. The voice over was 30 seconds long so all I needed to do was place it into the audio layer. Also, I added in background music that was quiet enough to hear the voice. I then uploaded my video to the internet by way of Vimeo.

Video


Untitled from CAR MATTSON on Vimeo.

Video Summary and Conclusions

I think this was a really cool project. I have never worked with this program and I would definitely like to spend more time with it. I would have liked my video clips to have been more in sync with the voice over, but I would have needed more time.

Project Significance

I was surprised how user friendly this program is. If you want to make a simple video, the basics are pretty easy to learn. I can imagine how in depth you can get with it and I am sure it is a very tedious process.

Closing Thoughts

This project was very unique and informative. I think it would also be very cool if we could pick our own video clips and put together a video that no one else will have anything like. Overall, this project has peaked my interest in video making.

 

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