MAT-120 P3 :: Final Project

Final Project : Individual Multimedia Project

40% of Semester Grade

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Overview

Students will work through the process of creating either a linear or non-linear formatted multimedia project whose goal is to educate, instruct, or inform the audience on a chosen topic.

Consider the following general educational categories and some examples:

By choosing a “linear” approach, you will be creating a single short film comprised of separate audio, video, and images. The video needs to be between 3-5 minutes in length TOTAL. You will likely need to shoot at least some of your footage, although you are allowed to use other sources.

By choosing a “non-linear” approach, you will be creating at least two videos that are 1-2 minutes in length each, connected via your original interface design. Think of how it could function for a kiosk in a museum, public landmark, or other public place as an educational tool. The interface can be designed in either Animate CC.

You will also need to produce a 3D logo graphic for your invented production company and use it in the project intro (linear) or in the interface (non-linear).

Tools, Techniques, and Concepts Covered

As part of the overview section, you can see at a glance which tools, techniques, and concepts will be addressed in this assignment:

Tools and Techniques
  • Video editing
  • Audio editing
  • Keyframing
  • Blend Modes
  • Applying Filters to video segments
  • Making simple audio adjustments in the timeline
  • Layering audio and video clips to apply seamless transitions
  • Introduction to audio formats, bit depth, and waveforms
  • Introduction to video formats, codecs, and resolution
  • Introduction to interactive interface design
  • Audacity sound editor, Adobe Premier, and Photoshop
  • Edge Animate or Flash
  • Basic 3D Modeling
Concepts

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Process

For this project we will use a standard professional Project Management Outline so that you can become familiar with the stages of larger scale professional projects.

Following is the outline at a glance. After this summary, you will find all of these sections broken down and detailed with specific information to help you complete your assignment successfully.

Project Management Outline (summary):

  • Concept Development Phase
    • Define Project Scope
    • Set Goals and Parameters (Requirements)
  • Prototype Design Phase
    • Develop Project Outline
  • Content Development
    • Step 1 : Creating the Stream-of-Consciousness copy
    • Step 2: Individual storyboarding (how to approach getting started and generating creative ideas)
    • Step 3 : Collecting media resources
  • Prototype Development
    • Create a draft of your composite using appropriate tools demonstrated in lessons.
    • Focus Group Feedback (Peer Review)
    • Rework Prototype and Collaborate
  • Delivery
    • What to turn in and how to turn it in

Project Management Outline (detailed)

Concept Development Phase

Define Project Scope

Analyze the need for the project and define the media scope. Include the reality of budget, time, and resource limitations (if any).”

For this assignment, you will have 7 weeks to complete the entire project in the following phases:

  • Week 01 : Decide on a topic, research it, and write two possible pitches to deliver next class (using a logline). Collect imagery resources that support the look and feel of your pitches to help people understand what you will be going for in your visual impact.
  • Week 02: Pitch to peers to get feedback. Begin writing scripts and story boarding.
  • Week 03: Work on story boards in class. Start collecting/shooting materials (images, audio, video) to use.
  • Week 04: Work on 3D logo. Start developing the interface.
  • Week 05: Continue developing work. Create a rough draft ready for review next week.
  • Week 06: Get peer review feedback from draft and work toward completing assignment.
  • Week 07: Complete assignment.

Resources Available:

You will need to use audio, video, and still imagery with Audacity, Adobe Premier, and Photoshop to edit and composite files, as well as build an interface deliverable for the class. The written copy must be produced exclusively by the student without outside help.

Additionally, you can collect and use media source files from the web following the Fair Use Guidelines. To avoid copyright issues, you can use Public Domain or Creative Commons licensed media. You can also create your own media resources by shooting video, recording audio, and taking photographs. Most smart phones will work great for this, but you can also check out handheld cameras for short periods when available at school.

Set Goals and Parameters (Requirements)

Goals:

Each student will successfully make an original video composite that communicates a predefined idea creatively and uniquely. All media sources MUST be used in a transformative way so that the new work becomes an original piece taking on a distinct life of its own.

Additional goals met within this process are within the Student Learning Outcomes for this course.

Requirements

Each individual’s composited video must meet the following:

  1. time range: See “Overview” above. This is based on whether you choose the linear or non-linear format.
  2. resolution: minimum 720p (1280px x 720px) AND maximum 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
  3. concept: must be based on the broad educational topic you chose.
  4. video resources:
    1. NON-linear projects: each video must be comprised of at least three visual sources cut together.
    2. Linear projects: the final video must include at least six video resources cut together. One video can be substituted by still images.
  5. audio resources:
    1. NON-linear: each video must use at least 2 audio resources
    2. Linear: must use at least 4 audio resources
  6. MUTE: You are required to MUTE audio that is attached to found video resources. You need instructor approval if you feel the audio is really important to keep from a video that you did not shoot yourself.
  7. Still imagery resources are optional to use, but you need to collect at least 10 images as part of your research.
  8. Filters, blends, opacity: Must use at least two video filters, two blend modes, and video two opacity changes.
  9. Titles and transitions: Must create introductory title with a fade or crossfade transition.
  10. Audio adjustments: Must create audio fades, volume adjustments, and transitions where appropriate.
  11. Attributions/credits:
    1. NON-linear: you are required to have a credits link that gives credit to all resources used for the assignment.
    2. Linear: You are required to include your resource attributions at the end of your clip in a credit roll, crawl, or screen.

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Prototype Design Phase

Develop Project Outline

Students will work through the process of creating either a linear or non-linear formatted multimedia project whose goal is to educate, instruct, or inform the audience on a chosen topic.

Consider the following general educational categories and some examples:

  • timeline
    • family history (StoryCorps)
    • history of computers, photography, (or any topic of interest)
    • unfolding of an event (Local Projects 9/11 work)
  • instructional
    • how to properly use kitchen knives on food
    • document the process building/making something special (origami, making  form[s] of art, making a skateboard, etc.)
  • learn about an organization
    • commercial approach: learn about a company by interviewing its staff members, clients, and highlighting projects (inVision App)
    • learn about a campus organization or church by interviewing its leaders/members and including images/footage from its events

Write a very basic outline of how you think that the story will be told and how it will progress through the film (linear) or interface (non-linear).

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Content Development

Step 1 : Research your topic, collect imagery for pitch, and start writing a more fleshed-out outline

Explore your topic in greater depth by doing research. Take notes and begin writing a more solid outline of the project based on your findings. Your research will help shape and inspire your project’s direction.

Consider whether or not you will want to interview people for this project, and if so, find out if they will be willing participants before putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Create the “logline” for your project to give your pitch. “A logline is a one (or occasionally two) sentence description that boils the script down to its essential dramatic narrative in as succinct a manner as possible.” Read more about writing loglines on Raindance.com. It can also be described as “… truly an art form of its own. It’s the one or two sentence summary of your film that not only conveys your premise, but also gives the reader emotional insight into the story as a whole.” – Indiewire. For a very good article on loglines, check out this article on scriptologist.com.

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Step 2: Write scripts and do individual storyboarding (how to approach getting started and generating creative ideas)

If you intend to interview people for this project, think about how you might want to cut in and out of their conversation with “B-Roll” footage (background footage/imagery that plays while the voiceover continues).

This is also where you want to focus on what is really important an what is not. Try to keep your storyboards focused to hit the high points of your story, whether it is in a linear or non-linear format.

This set of drawings and mockups are intended to walk us through the phases of your project, including notes that explain what happens in the the scenes and transitions (in with interface decisions if non-linear).

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Step 3 : Collecting media resources

In this collection phase, you should collect more than you are actually required to use so that you have really good resources for telling your story.

Where and how to collect video footage

You can use the following resources:

  1. Original video that you shoot from a digital device that can easily share video via email, cloud storage, or download via syncing cable to your computer. You can also check out hand-held cameras from the school onsite, but you need to buy your own SD video card to record and store footage. Many smart phones take pretty decent video and have simple sharing options built into their interfaces. Furthermore, there are a lot of free video filter apps you can download to your smart phone to directly apply color affects while shooting video.
  2. Copyright-free, Public Domain, or Creative Commons video footage available on Youtube, Vimeo Creative CommonsInternet Archive, or other resources of copyright-free material. Note:  “copyright-free” is not the same as “royalty-free.” You typically still have to pay for “royalty-free” media. “Public Domain” media is defined by lacking a current copyright and is open to the public for reuse. “Creative Commons” licensed media is typically free to reuse, but you should look at the licensing notes. To search Youtube for Creative Commons licensed videos, type your desired search term followed by “,creativecommons” on the Youtube search bar.
  3. You can also request permission to use people’s work. It’s surprising how easy it can be to get permission to reuse someone’s work as long as you explain that it is for educational use only and that you will give the author credit.
  4. You can use copyrighted material for educational use only. The use of copyrighted sources is not encouraged for this assignment. Using copyrighted materials as part of your assignment will prohibit you from using it for commercial uses. There are still restrictions about how much of someone’s copyrighted work you can use even for education. Read the Fair Use Guidelines for details.

How do I convert video formats if they aren’t showing up properly in Adobe Premier?

You can try using Adobe Media Encoder, but chances are that if one Adobe product can’t read it, then another probably can’t either.

A great FREE tool is VideoLAN, an open-source software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has a huge range of codec support and can open almost any file even when other apps cannot.

So you can try a free online converter tool like onlineconvert.com. Works great.

Where and how to collect audio files

  1. Original audio: You are encouraged to record your own audio as much as possible. You can grab environmental sounds (nature, busy public places, crowds chattering, car engines, etc.) very easily with a smart phone, digital tablet, or even portable computer. You can share, sync, or download them depending on your device. You can also use a microphone with a computer in a quiet place to read your stream of consciousness prose into a digital format,
  2. Copyright-free: The following are terrific sites for collecting copyright free, creative commons, or public domain audio resources:
  3. Copyrighted material: Not encouraged. Because there is so much out there, go explore. Don’t just go to what you know.

Where and how to collect still imagery

Things to watch out for

When using audio files, be certain that songs and clips with spoken/sung words will not compete for the viewer’s attention in your voiceover or visual text. Either avoid using songs with words or be sure that you adjust the volume in Premier to avoid conflicts.

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Prototype Development

Create a draft

Create a draft of your composite using appropriate tools that you have been shown how to use in demonstrations.

Focus Group Feedback (Peer Review)

We will have a peer review of your work so that you can get feedback from the class.

Rework Prototype
  1. Finalize your project component and create final rendered files.
  2. Test to see that your full project files will work when transferred to another computer before uploading to the server. This will help you immediately see if asset links are broken in Premier before turning in files. This is important because I will look at your original files to see what you did to them prior to issuing a grade. To avoid missing link problems, use the ” File > Project Manager > Collect Files and Copy to New Location” radio button option saving and before leaving that computer. This will ensure that Premiere Pro collects any videos or assets located outside the project folder, and it creates everything in one place.
    • Premiere Pro: File, Project Manager, Collect Files
      Premiere Pro: File > Project Manager > Collect Files and Copy to New Location

      Use the settings above for the best results, and be sure to change the Destination Path to your removable drive if you are at a lab station!

  3. Be sure that the work you turn in has used the resources in a very transformative way if you didn’t shoot the footage yourself. You will lose significant points if it does not set itself apart from the original resources a new and unique work.

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Delivery

Due BEFORE the Critique

Progressive Deadlines!

Please see Canvas’s calendar to find out when components are due. You will be graded not only on the final outcome of the project but you will also be assigned points at benchmarks of the project phases to ensure that you are keeping up.

Due at the Critique
  1. Upload the following to the server in your student directory (see Canvas for server connecting info):
    • project3_lastname (FOLDER)
      • ALL project asset files/folders!!!
      • final mp4 (linear) / final HTML file (non-linear) with Edge Animate or Flash file embedded.
  2. BE SURE that all supporting linked files have functional linked pathways.
  3. If linear project, upload your final lastname_p1_video.mp4 file to Youtube or other free streaming service of your choice. You can also get a free streaming account with http://screencast.com as well. Note that Vimeo only allows ONE HD video per month on free accounts.
  4. In non-linear, post the link to your HTML file that has your embedded work.
  5. Post your streaming video link to to the assignment’s discussion forum in Canvas, along with your artist statement.

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Grading

Design, Concept, Participation

  1. layout
  2. audio and visual consistency coherence, and cohesion
  3. successful communication/ impact
  4. craftsmanship
  5. color harmony
  6. movement
  7. form
  8. image quality
  9. inventiveness/ creativity
  10. Did you meet all of your progressive deadlines?

Technical Requirements

  1. GET A FREE VIMEO ACCOUNT: Go to http://vimeo.com/  to set up a free account for yourself. This will allow you to upload your final mp4 for streaming for the critique. The free account only allows ONE HD upload per month, so make sure that the mp4 you upload is really your final, good version. Alternatively, you can upload to a Youtube channel if you have one, but Youtube might flag your work if it detects any copyrights embedded in the music files. You can also get a free streaming account with http://screencast.com as well.
  2. Technical Setup: …Mode: RGB, …Minimum size: 1280px X 720px at 72ppi, …Max 1920 x 1080
  3. Acceptable runtime range: See ranges in the “Overview” section at the top of this page.
  4. Resource file requirements: see compositional requirements above.
  5. Video trimming, syncing, and transitions
  6. Audio transitions where necessary (fades, volume control, trimming)
  7. File and asset link management: Be sure that all links are functional in your original Premier project file. Also keep your files organized in folders as shown in class.
  8. Timeline Layers: Clearly organize and label your layers for the file.
  9. Layer Styles, Blend Modes, and Filters: Use at least two of these techniques to create effects in color, transparency, or filtering effects on clips in the timeline.
  10. Keyframing: Successfully keyframe transitions such as fades, effects, and audio adjustments.
  11. Color, Lighting, and Contrast Balance: You will also be graded on the overall successful manipulation of color, lighting, and contrast balance in the work. Be sure that your effects are suitable to the work (appropriately harmonious, which can also include properly applied discordant colors).

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Example Student Work

To see all examples visit this project’s Vimeo Collection.











Digital Art, Design, and Communication Education