Celestial City 3: peer feedback

http://www.pagad.net/2014/06/celestial-city-2-creative-suburbs.html

This piece of video is made by Rebakis & Karen Young. It is kind of advertising video aiming to promote a NGO. In my personal opinion, it has following advantages:

Successfully created a light and entertaining atmosphere with a good use of music.

Qualified, smooth animations which illustrates the contents well.

While the disadvantage, in my opinion, is lacking basic facts. I think even though this is a advertising video, basic information about the NGO like when it was founded, how many staff it has, as well as sounding successful examples are all necessary to make it convincing.

Had I been given the opportunity to make this video, I would have the above information included.

Digital Story Producing (Celestial City 2)

Designing digital story

Project Title: Karma

Group Members:

Zhang Zihan s3463046
Chen An s3466635
Jiang Naizhong s3419839
Zhong Chengming s3442428

Image

The digital story our group (Zhang Zihan, Jiang Naizhong, Zhong Chengming, Chen An) is a story about karma.

The story is simple. The protagonist (I) suffered a series of supernatural after he wasted food and water.

He wants to drink water but water turns into sand. He wants to eat food but food turns into sand. He wants to jump into the ocean yet falls into jungle.

Shots were taken in the following places: St Kilda beach, Dandenong Mountain, RMIT city campus.

The filming technique we used (stop camera) is a relatively easier special effect for students to achieve, by doing this we are able to turn water into sand, and make actor disappear.

In order to achieve the effects, Naizhong and I both jumped into the ocean. It was a windy day,and the sea water is freezing with lots of waves. Luckily, we finished that shot with out first try.

Image

Following by the previous scene, there is another one about me running into the ocean yet crashed on the trees. i did that in the Dandenong mountain and fell over on a ant nest, and was stung by ants.

I had to bite real sands many times as well and that taste is really… Unforgettable…

But I’m not doing these things alone. Naizhong is a good director, he jumps into the freezing water with me, he demonstrates how to eat sand for me, and got stung  by ants as well. Chengming and Chen An spent  a lot of time in editing scenes, this story cannot achieve this without any of them.

We are also running a Twitter page to promote our story https://twitter.com/AgainstHunger11 mean while Vimeo and Youtube will also be used to share this video.

About this video:

Strengths: From the technique angle this video is relatively mature, Naizhong and Chengming are experienced video makers, they used stop camera trick professionally to create supernatural scenes. After Effects, Final cut pro and Davinci Resolve are used to produce this video.

Weakness: We are not quite satisfied with the audio as we did not record sound when making the video. Most of the audio are from Sound Track Pro, but we could have done better if we spent some time recording our own audio.

 

Designing digital story

Designing digital story

Zhang Zihan

The digital story our group (Zhang Zihan, Jiang Naizhong, Zhong Chengming, Chen An) is a story about karma.

Naizhong and I discussed this with before Jenny before May 14 SSCC meeting, and we all agreed to use stop camera as the key technique in this digital story. 

The story is simple. The protagonist (I) suffered a series of supernatural after he wasted food and water. 

He wants to drink water but water turns into sand. He wants to eat food but food turns into sand. He wants to jump into the ocean yet falls into jungle.

Shots were taken in the following places: St Kilda beach, Dandenong Mountain, RMIT city campus.

The filming technique we used (stop camera) is a relatively easier special effect for students to achieve, by doing this we are able to turn water into sand, and make actor disappear.

In order to promote this digital story we have established a twitter page and keeps uploading relative information. The final project will be uploaded on Youtube and Vimeo.

Here are some photos of the story board we made:

ImageImageImage

 

 

Wall of salvation 3: Soundcloud

What is design? “Design is relationships. Design is a relationship between form and content,” as American logo design master answered in his Conversation with students. According to him, the content hereby means an idea of a goal, while the form means how we deal with the idea and realize our goal. Design means the combination of form and content.

While to me design is communication. No matter its product logic model design, information architecture design, UI design or visual design, they are design for communication. You want your target user/reader/visitor to receive a certain message, and designing helps to convey this message.

From this aspect, design shares similar definition with presentation and marketing.

I also agree with Steve Job’s words, he said “In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”

Of course, content is the start point everything, but without proper design, target user/reader/visitor can fail to get the “fundamental soul of creation”

 

Enchanted Ground 3: locative media

IMG_20140606_124619

When I was doing my research in the library, a student suddenly approached me and talked me with lowered voice: “Hey brother, do you know how to use P2P download on campus network?”

Well, I know, but i won’t do it because I’m also aware that such activity is against university regulations and he would get caught easily. So I pretended i knew nothing.

“Sorry brother, I don’t understand what you are talking about,” I said.

“Oh really? I though you Asians are all good at computers!” he looks a little disappointed.

“Well, not every Australian plays footy,” i answered.

App Phenomenon

 

App is an absolutely necessary element for smartphone users living in the digital age. While for developers making an app is both interesting and potentially profitable. Then what should you do to make an app?

First things first, a developer should have a clear understanding about what he wants to achieve through this app. Is it an ebook reader? A game or a messaging tool? Make sure you know what you want, and keep reminding yourself that essential through out the making of app.

Secondly, you should do basic research in the App Store to find out if there are existing apps which have similar functions like yours. If you are going to make an app for commercial use this is extremely important. Let’s say, you want to make an instant messaging tool to earn some profit you will likely fail, as Apps like LINE and WECHAT are already owning hundreds of millions of users.

But if you are going to make an app just used by yourself and not for profit, such research would be definitely helpful as you can learn from other developers.

The UI design of app is significant. Modern people are becoming lazy, they hope they can get what they want in easiest way, so make sure there are not too many icons or buttons on the screen, and adding gestures, GPS and gravity sense into your app will make it more handy.

Actually gesture, GPS and gravity sense are probably the most popular technology used in apps. If you are going to make a food guide app, which shows restaurants that are close to, the user, how about adding features like shaking? Let’s say, every time you shake your phone the app will recommend a random restaurant nearby, this might be an good idea for those people who are always troubled by “where should I go for dinner?”

There are tons of tools available for app developers, Xcode is essential if you are going to make an app on IOS. It is an integrated development environment which provides a set of app development tools. It is developed by Apple and runs only on Apple’s OS X systems, so you will need an Apple Mac as well (PCs that are installed with OS X can also be used but it seems it is illegal to do such things). Also, you will need an iPhone or iPad to test your app sample.

Plenty of XCode tutorials can be found on Youtube:

Once you finished coding, you might need a platform for optimizing your app. There are several third party online platforms available, for example:

Split Force

https://splitforce.com/

Telerik

http://www.telerik.com/purchase.aspx

These websites allows you to upload code to the platform and use graphic interface to show you whether your code is correct. You can run as many times of prototype apps without bricking your iPhone or iPad.

Ebook Phenomenon

With tablet PCs and smartphones becoming extremely affordable and handy nowadays, ebooks are also getting more and more popular. But what makes an ebook? Since it has “book” in its name, it should have some different features comparing with a plain txt/pdf file.

In my personal opinion, an ebook should be book like first in appearance. Since the smell and touch of paper can not be replaced by  screens, ebook makers should at least make pages paper like on screens. On the one hand this will make readers feel familiar, on the other the color of paper looks warm and will make readers feel relieved.

Secondly ebooks should allow readers to make notes like real books. Notes are extremely important to readers, they can be sparks of innovation, ebooks should  be able to keep them.

ipad-ibook-screen

Also the font  size is very important. An good ebook should allow readers to adjust front sizes so as they can read them at ease.

Other features which will make a good ebook including but not limited to visual turning page effects, which would make readers feel familiar;

page_curl2

green color background mode so as to protect readers’ eyes; open links to Internet which can show other readers who are also reading this book, thus they can communicate instantly.

There are plenty of ebook making softwares available. eBook Maestro is affordable and it generates .exe format ebooks, while DeskTop Author is relatively expensive but it creates ebooks with beautiful 3D page turning effects. But if you only want to make a simple ebook for private use u can also choose to ePub creator (if your book is text only, set up the format before converting and it’s quick!); or if what you get is lots of scanned photos you should consider using Adobe Indesign to make it a pdf.

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/instant-indesign/creating-an-ebook-with-indesign-part-1/

Go big data in the age of big data!(Doubting castle 4: advanced blogging)

Get numbers in the age of Big Data!

Zhang Zihan

I came across this article when reading RSS feeds, and it draw my attention immediately.

The most important skill is the ability to learn new things: data journalism will always involve new challenges, new tools, and new opportunities – and you will always be learning. Thankfully there are always communities and resources out there to help you. It never gets boring…

http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2014/02/09/faq-big-data-and-journalism/

屏幕快照 2014-06-06 上午2.08.12

 

We are living in the age of Big Data!! Continue reading

Doubting castle 3: audio editing

When I was searching for Audacity training tutorials i accidentally found this on this official website. Basically it is about teaching users how to remove the vocals from a recording to make a Karaoke track.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq_i18n?s=editing&i=remove-vocals&lang=en

Give “remove vocal make karaoke” a google you will get hundreds of thousands of results and people seems are pretty into this as many music made by amateurs available on Youtube and soundcloud are using these music.

The question which makes me wondering is: isn’t this illegal?

I don’t know much about the copyright law in Australia, but I think songs are protected. According to Musicrights.com.au, the basic principle is that people cannot copy or distribute music without the permission of all relevant copyright owners. I suppose here uploading unauthorized de-vocaled music to the Internet is also kind of distribution?

In fact, I have discovered many de-vocaled songs in Karaoke clubs, in China and in Australia. Apparently owners of these clubs did not purchase official versions of these songs for Karaoke, and what they are doing now is following the instructions form those tutorials as well as  instructions from Audacity to make profit, which is definitely illegal. Maybe people who create such content and tutorials should add warnings in those tutorials next time.