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This semester was the first time I took a multimedia class this intensive all online. The class presented some challenging, but overall rewarding moments and it has been fun.

Favorite Projects – Creating the logo and the audio story were probably my favorite projects in the class. The logo project in paticular because I used to try and create logos back in the day when I had photoshop and it never worked out once the images left photoshop, so it was exciting to learn how to use illustrator and work with shapes and lines. Took alot away from that project. The audio story was fun because of the editing. Much like with Premiere, the process of editing and fine tuning and adjusting volume levels all the geek stuff, I enjoyed it.

 

Career Path – I’m going to be involved in broadcasting and sports for my career but the tools I learned this semester from this class are going to be very valuable for me going into a media-driven field. Given the competitive nature of the line of work I’m aspiring for, having the tools to contribute in other ways can help get my foot in the door.

Skills I Didnt Learn - I would have maybe liked a little more time with the video aspect of the course. I feel like with it being at the end it can be rushed as all other classes are ending too and the focus can shift a little. I found myself juggling back and forth between this project and the 3 other projects for other classes as they were all due at the same time. (Stressful!)

Final Thoughts – Like I said earlier, this class presented alot of challenges for me both through the content and my own ability to stay focused with an online class. This class did provide alot of personal satisfaction and rewards for being able to complete all of the assigned projects and recieve good markings on them. I feel like I learned in this class that I will be able to take with me in the future. I do wish that I had purchased the entire suite so that I could continue to work on my skills after this semester, but a $500 price tag was, and still is, too much! For the instructor, I never met Dr. Beam in person and actually never saw him on campus, but he was 100% spot-on with responding to student’s questions. I have never seen a professor so prompt on their reply or availability than he was, so I thank you for that, because anytime I got lost I could go to the discussion forum and see the question I had is already answered. Also, the tutorial videos were easy to understand and follow and directions for assignments were always clear. TA’s did a great job too of getting grades in promptly and staying in contact with us, or me in paticular, throughout the semester.

Thanks for everything.

For the future of this blog, I’ll still continue to use it most likely for any other classes I need to.

VideoStoryboard

Above is my final video story.

Throughout the semester I’ve been working on this “About Me” topic as a way to help develop a brand for Tony Black as well as do some personal reflection and see if there are things about me that I didn’t know about already. Much like I did with the other assignments in this class I wanted to focus on the three things that I feel “sum” me up. Family, Brothers, Sports. That was the theme I was working with for this video.

As for the video itself, the storyboard is linked above. I had myself interviewed and filmed from two different angles. In the video, the angles that are looking up at me were filmed in color but I gave them a Black and White effect as well as added a time code to the video to help differentiate it from the other in-front angle. Alot of the video features voice overs as I had alot of pictures and videos rather than a narrative. I still was able to tell a story for each section however.

The video features 4 video segments that are “fragmented” meaning that they are videos from an event or occassion and it’s only a snippet. While they have no direct relevance to the topic of the video, they allow for the viewer to see different aspects of my life as it happened then and there. For instance: After the “Family” segment of the video there is a live video of my mother who is reacting estatically to her re-made kitchen that was done in 1 day while she was at work.

The video also features some aspects of this class. The beginning of the video is the final logo I created for the logo assignment. The title screen for the title of the video features the final collage that I created for the photoshop assignment.

The video has a “movie-type” intro (and ending) featuring cut-aways from still photos of me to credit rolls. This was done simply for effect and I feel it came out really well.

Alot of the pictures in the video feature a type of effect to transition them from one photo to the next but not all of them. I was weary of crossing the line between too many and not enough effects. Didn’t want it to appear choppy, but also didnt want it to look like a screen saver.

The music for this video comes from DJ Salo who posted a CC-licensed hip-hop instrumental beat titled “Hip Hop Instrumental 2″. It was found on soundcloud.com and can be accessed via this link: https://soundcloud.com/#djsalo97/hip-hop-instrumental-2-djsalo

Couple More Technical Notes:

* Video features over 35 photos/videos combined into a 4-minute film.

* All photos were scaled to fit frame

Final Audio Story

If above widget doesnt work:

http://soundcloud.com/tonyblack206/finalaudiostory-mixdown

Above is the final audio story.

I’ve had alot of problems with this assignment but I am pleased I stuck with it (came close to giving up) and was able to finish. Because I posted the draft so late, I was only able to get 1 comment in which it was suggested I lose some of the unneccesary details. After listening to it over and over, there was only about 10 seconds that I felt wasnt needed and removed it.

I also moved the intro song to the end, I feel like it’s better placed at the end because if this Audio Story were to continue that audio could be a good transition (I talk for almost 3 minutes straight so the break would be well placed if this were an extended piece, in my opinion). I turned down the volume for the custom drums in the background to allow better clarity for when I’m speaking and I also adjusted the overall volume of the crowd @ the end as it was suggested that it may be too loud. (It was, given the volume levels of the rest of the piece)

For the editing, with the drums I simply did a 45 second beat and then duplicated it to extend throughout the interview. I tried to time the switch from 1 beat file to the next so that it would be seamless and you wouldnt hear any hiccups or sudden stop/starts.

When I initially recorded myself for this interview it was about a 7 minute piece that I cut down to 3 (this was before I realized the raw-audio assignment, which I missed) I think I did a good job of making the breaks in speaking seem natural, not too drawn out or sharp. The story about directing a play and the ensuing comments afterwards were heavily edited as I talked far too long about intricate details of that story and I was able to smooth it out and still have the story make sense, so I’m happy with how that turned out.

I stuck with the idea of this being a “snippet” of an interview, 1) to give the impression there is more to the story, and 2) the story sounded canned and unfinished when I tried to “Wrap it up” with a closing statement of sorts. So, again, the idea is to assume you are only hearing a small piece. As if you turned on your radio and just caught the tail end of a conversation. I actually like this method because it made editing easier. I was able to assume that if this were a real, extended interview where I would add information and where I wouldnt.

Overall, a frustrating process in which it’s nobody’s fault but my own. I am pleased I was able to complete the task, and learned alot about editing once I took a step back and really approached this project with a winning attitude.

Audio Story Draft

The link below is for my Audio Story Draft:

http://soundcloud.com/tonyblack206/audiostory-mixdown

Throughout this course I’ve used “About Me” as my theme. With the photo collages I was able to showcase the three most important things to me personally. With the logo portion I was able to identify Tony Black as a brand. With this interview of myself, I was able to explain the roots to which Tony Black came about. I set this interview up in a couple different ways. First, it’s portrayed as a snippet. It has an abrupt ending though that is not intentional, and will be corrected for the final version. As you listen to this piece, imagine that you just asked me what the roots of Tony Black are and how they connect to me, Anthony.

I started the piece off with a sound-byte of the entrance the Cougars make at their home football games. I really didn’t have any other purpose for that sound-byte other than I just really, really, liked it. I may tweak it and use it at the end rather than the beginning but I’ll figure that out later. Being a student at WSU has become a big part of who I am, and in paticular who Tony Black is going to become, so I do think that it fits for this assignment.

The drum background you hear is a custom one. Simple three-beat that I made on my new phone. It’s on repeat and there is maybe one or two moments where it lulls and I’ll be sure to go back and correct it.

My hopes are that this audio story will allow for a more personal connection to the Tony Black brand.

Here are the soundcloud links for the tutorials:

If the above files do not show, here are the links:

Interview: http://soundcloud.com/tonyblack206/interview-mixdown

Countdown (w/ Ascona) : http://soundcloud.com/tonyblack206/countingascona-mixdown

Counting (Out of Order) : http://soundcloud.com/tonyblack206/countingmixdown

Final Logo

Here is my final logo:

 

I just want to start off by saying that I probably created 30-50 different shape combinations for the blue part of this logo using the pathfinder tool and the shape builder tool. I got lost in that feature for quite a while. Staying with the simple theme from previous work and utilizing my name as a brand, above is the final logo. Taking suggestions from classmates who didn’t understand what the two box outlines above my name were supposed to mean/represent I decided to change the shape all together. A few of the designs I came up with involved curvy lines, a large assortment of sharp, thin lines or even wrinkled shapes using the wrinkle tool. In the end though, I wanted to maintain simplicity while still being effective. I took to heart the readings about creating a functional logo that can be used across multiple platforms. I chose the shape of a triangle with it’s sides being “blasted” away for its symbolism towards my attempts to pursue a career that involves the public. I wanted to keep the logo’s true meaning open to interpretation and I feel that this logo achieves that goal.

To create the blast shape on the triangle I first created the triangle using the star tool. After setting the points to 3 and using the eyedropper tool to have the triangle match the previous blue color I had used in my draft logo, I selected the crystalize tool in the shape builder tool option. Using my mouse I clicked and held until I was satisfied with the look.

When I was coming up with the shape design for this logo I spent alot of time on the other shapes, staring at them, trying to decide if I liked them or not, determining if they would be effective for this assignment, etc. When I created this triangle shape and added the effects it was instant satisfaction. There was no debate. It was simple, yet effective.

Draft Logo

Here is the draft logo I created:

Playing off the theme I chose from my photoshop collage of “simple” I kept that idea with the creation of this logo. After doing some of the readings about different logo types and what is and is not effective, I realized I needed to have a brand before I could have a logo. Since my topic for this semester is about me, I used my name as my brand. The blue part of the logo I actually came upon by mistake. I was originally going to use boxes for my logo but after the click of a button in the pathfinder menu, I got that. For the ‘Tony Black’ text I was looking for a text that would be sharp enough, but not too sharp as well as a font that would allow me to utilize the bold/regular type style used in one of the tutorials.

I wanted to use the same color in the design for at least part of the text but was unsure how to accomplish that as of publishing. The drop shadow was added initially because of the white background but I realize that if this logo were on a dark background the drop shadow would be uneccessary. Likely wont use that for the final logo. I may also tweak the text color, but I actually like the simplicity of it.

Obviouly I will adjust the size to make it more proportionate to the canvas.

Here are the .gif

images of the completed Illustrator Tutorials.

 

Final Graphic Collage

Above is the final collage that I created.

Maintaining what I had done in my rough draft, I stuck with the “3 boxes” image and still wanted to keep things simple. In my rough draft post, I explained that I consider myself to be a simple guy. I frequently use the phrase “Simple guy, simple needs” and that was the theme I was hoping for when I came up with this idea.

The RD (Rough Draft) had compatitibility issues w/ this blog as far as color schemes, so I ditched the color scheme and chose to focus on the quality of the pictures instead. I kept the three phrases “Family, Brothers, Sports” but removed the black background box I had and simply kept the text a clean white. I added a solid 3-pixel border around each photo, and for the split photos I simply used the line tool to cover the gap/split between seperate pictures. For each picture I would create a new layer and cover it with gray. I’d then lower the opacity of that layer to 65% and add a “Darken” filter to kind of give it that gray/gloss look that it has. I would then group the layers and add a Gradient Overlay (all top to bottom w/ the exception of the Seahawks photo with is bottom to top — this was done to allow visibility of the action in the picture).

Some of the feedback I got was about the quality of pictures, in my RD I had them stretched out. I was focusing on making the pictures fit my predetermined box sizes rather than vice versa. I worked around the pictures and ensured that they were all semetrically lined up in a way that made sense but still kept a clean look. Other feedback included me potentially using more pictures, or just overall better quality pictures. I took that advice and changed the “brothers” picture. I also added a photo of me and my mother.

When I first posted the RD I was not happy with it, and I was also pressed for time. As a result, I came up with an unfinished product, but a good concept. I feel like I captured what I was trying to convey in this collage and I am satisfied with how this final version came out.

 

Photo Credits:

FAMILY : All Photos credit to Me.

BROTHERS: (Top) Photo used w/ Permission from [Alisa Sanchez] // (Bottom) Photo Credit to Me

SPORTS: Photo Credit to Me

Graphic Collage Draft

Here is the rough draft of the Graphic Collage Assignment:

I’ve always preferred to keep things simple. Alot of the times, I find myself saying “Simple guy, Simple needs”. That is kind of the idea that I took when I created this collage. My life is essentially broken up into three pieces: My Family, My Brothers, and Sports. And so I tried to convey that through this image. The first one is an image of my family and I at graduation just this past June (2012). The second picture is a picture of all of my best friends, guys that I truly consider to be brothers to me. The last photo is a shot of a Week 16 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, taken last year by me at the game. I love sports, but football is definitely my ultimate passion. I love every aspect of the game and can easily get lost in translation if I were to start talking about football (So, let me stop there!)

For the image itself, I chose to have 3 seperate boxes because I thought it would look cool, but still keep the “simple” idea going. Personally, I am my biggest critic and I don’t neccesarily like how it turned out, but I am glad that it’s just a rough draft. The color selections I used were intentional (Crimson and Gray for the borders/drop shadow). I was considering adding more to maybe “connect” the boxes since this could seem like these three areas of my life are disconnected in some way, when in reality they are not. I think the font I chose looked good in Photoshop, but now it looks a little off when it’s on the web. There is a good chance my final draft will look nothing like this, not because I don’t like the concept, but I don’t like how the pictures came out with this concept, if that makes any sense. Please feel free to add any input you may have, or even maybe a better method for making this collage succeed, I can handle any and all constructive criticism. Thanks.

 

**EDIT** Didn’t take into consideration that the background to my blog was crimson red, so….you cant see the stroke/drop shadow! For the sake of getting the assignment in on time, I’ll leave this as is, but just know that I intend to address a few cosmetic issues before the final collage is due.

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