Saturday, December 23, 2017

PBA Performance Task

Animation PBA from Kapaa Warriors MEDIA on Vimeo.

*Gasp* It's almost the end, and here's the last post I'll probably ever post on this blog. How tragic. Just kidding, it's not tragic. Though, on a serious note, this will probably be the last blog post because the semester is ending in a day. It's been fun... Somewhat. Anyways, onto the actual blog post!

So, for the last project we're doing in our digital media class, we were to do a PBA (Performance Based Assessment) project. It's basically a project that you do in order to get a CTE certification thingy, and CTE Honors when you graduate. As you can probably see, it's a pretty important project. And as it was the last project of the course, we had the freedom to choose what we wanted to do for our project, as well as who we wanted to work with.

Being who I am, I decided to work alone, and do my project on animation. Animation, you say? Yes! If you're wondering why I decided to do animation, you're not alone, because I'm still wondering about that, myself. I guess I was just in the mood for animation (which has been quenched to the point of being totally sick of doing animation). On the bright side, the research proved to be interesting, and making the presentation slides was a pretty fun process of looking at a bunch of GIFs. As for showing my depth of knowledge in this class, I think my animation did a perfect job of showing it. It shows that I have general knowledge of digital media, and how to use a camera, but my knowledge only goes about that far. Well, that, and I just kind of rushed to get it done (oh procrastination).

The most challenging part of this PBA (if you haven't noticed yet) was making the animation in the time-frame we were given. At the beginning of the project, I was convinced that we had more days until winter break. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how sorely mistaken I was, until I finished writing my essay, and started on the presentation. By the time I actually started on working on the animation, it was a matter of choosing between finishing on time, and making quality work. Somewhere along the way, I lost motivation, but managed to finish the project on time, sacrificing the quality in the process. So I pretty much dragged myself through the whole process, lying down, and slugging across the floor, so to say. Great analogies, people.

As for the critique, it was...Actually better than I expected to go. Most of the scores I got was around the two or three mark, which was more than what I was expecting to get on the critique. Of course, always room for more improvement, though with the time span we had, the animation came out better than what I thought it'd be. Yeah... I don't really know what to say about the critique results, since I'm happy with it. Just glad I got this over with!

Also- IT'S LIT!!! LITerally!!!

Hope you people on the internet enjoyed my horrible humor and awkwardness. See ya!

ALD 5.1 Design a targeted digital media message or concept that addresses the needs of a client.
ALD 5.2 Plan and construct a digital media product from budgeted resources that addresses client needs.
ALD 5.3 Assess the collaborative process for its impact on the design, planning, and production of a digital media product.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Public Service Announcement

Road Road Road PSA from Kapaa Warriors MEDIA on Vimeo.

Oh hello there, lovely internet. I hope you're up for another blog post, because it's happening, wether you like it or not! We're nearing the end of the semester, so here's to our second to the last, or so, project! This time, our class has been assigned to make a video, and join a PSA contest. And so far, it's been a pretty smooth process, with very little bumps in the road. Personally, I find most PSA's to not be very moving, or influential. But for most people, I think that a good PSA, with the right message will be able to persuade a person to change or think differently about a topic. Though honestly, it just depends on what a person feels connected to. If a person doesn't connect or relate to the PSA, there's a good chance that the PSA will not effect that person.

Through this project, I'm not really hoping to accomplish much. I mean I could say something boring like, "Ohh, I want to help the cause of decreasing the amount of distracted drivers on the road," insert rainbows and sparkles here. But, realistically speaking, I'm just doing this for a grade. As horrible as that sounds. I just want a grade. A. Grade. Nothing more, nothing less.

As for the lovely audience, you should probably care, because it's your own life that's at risk. Well...Along with the lives of innocent drivers. Even if you survive, there's a possibility that you'll have to live the rest of your life, knowing that you accidentally killed a person. It's probably not the best way to live your life, don't you think so?

If I remember correctly, I mentioned something about entering a PSA contest, right? So Our team decided to go with a contest by BKFK Education, called Drive Smart. BKFK is an organization that promotes creative ways of learning effectively. Because BKFK stands for "By Kids For Kids," although there are adults who help keep this organization running, there is also a youth advisory board. You can't always let the adults run the show.

Well, getting back onto subject, since this is a PSA contest, there's undoubtedly rules to follow. Through looking at the different rules (that were quite wordy), there were three that really stood out. Most of it were just for the technical parts of your video. The first one is that your video must be more than 15 seconds, but not more than a minute. The second rule that I found important was the fact that you couldn't use anything with a copyright in your video. I mean, it's always important that you don't steal others' work, but hey, I thought I'd mention that rule anyways. And the last rule that I found to be important is if you're eligible or not. You have to be between 13 and 18 years old, and a resident of the U.S., and that your guardian has to give consent of your participation.

One the incentives of our group joining this contest was the cash prizes that you could possibly get. I didn't really question it, but since I have to talk about why I think Media students get so many opportunities to earn rewards, let's get down to it. After some thinking, I figured, "Oh, media students are gonna practically rule the world one day, of course you want them on your side." In other words, because media is an ever growing industry, and is having more sway over the general population more than ever, the students training to join the media industry would eventually become very powerful people. If you give them incentives, then there's a good chance that these students will continue down this path, and would be able to make videos, and other media for good causes. Or at least something like that!

As for who benefits most from these contests, I think are the students. Not only will there be students who get prizes, the students who do participate get experience from the contest, and could put the fact that they entered the contest on a resume to get into a film school. Not to mention, because students also have to research about the issue, these students gain more knowledge about a topic. Sure, the organizations get videos to support their cause, and the audience is more aware about an issue, but the students get so much more.

Our PSA didn't evolve much from our rough cut, to the final product. Sure, we redid the VO's, but our visuals were pretty much the same, save for one scene added in, and one scene replaced. For our rough cut, we mostly needed to redo the voiceover, so it sounded more emotional, add in more natural sounds, and get more B-roll for the middle of the PSA, of Haylee with her family. So, basically we didn't have much to work on. We had Haylee work on sounding more alive in the VO, then have her film more of her family, and had me cut up the audio, and raise the volume for more natural sounds. Easy-peasy. It was worth it, although we didn't really need to improve much, I can say that our final product was better than our rough cut.

You know? I never thought that non-literal messages would be so difficult to create. I mean, I knew they would be a challenge to come up with, but this. THIS. This was just not going to happen. So, in order to make a decent video, (as the editor) I decided to focus on the visuals. Visuals can be pretty powerful, and can convey a good message when done right. Our critique results were okay. We had a pretty good result for our production value, and audience impact. As for the non-literal creativity, not so much. Overall, I think that our PSA was pretty okay, and at least half-way decent. Of course, there were a lot of things that we could have improved on. Other than that, I really don't know what else to say about the final result. I think from the critique results, my favourite compliment we got was about how some liked how we matched the VO to the B-roll. I think it's because I was the one editing it though...Haha.

Well, that's to another blog post. Until next project!

P.S. Don't mind the lack of visuals at the moment, all of the photos are on my school computer, so I'll have them up eventually.

ALD 2.1 Assess the evolution of digital media as it affects and is affected by society.
ALD 2.2 Assess changes in technology and markets as it affects digital media designs.

Friday, November 17, 2017

15 Day Photo Challenge


Just when I thought I ran away from Inktober, I get pulled into this. Lovely. Just lovely. Now instead of drawing everyday, I get to take photos everyday, for fifteen days straight. I don't have the motivation for things like this! Well, enough of my ranting and raging, let's get to the actual explanation of this activity/project thingy. Basically, for this assignment, we were to take 15 photos throughout the span of 15 days. Each day had a subject/prompt that we would have to take a picture of- each subject, free to interpretation. Each day, at the beginning of class, all of us would upload our photos into Google Drive, and have a class critique, with one student leading the critique. Out of the fifteen days, I only had to run one of the critiques. My critique was on day 14, the prompt was "Street", and the CAPs needed for this day was leading lines.

Through these fifteen days, I can't say I've improved, since, towards the end, the quality of my photos started to go down, because I got lazy, and didn't want to take photos. I think, if I were more motivated to do an assignment like this, the results would be true, and could possibly show some improvement. Although my photos don't say much, I can honestly say, that I, now have a better understanding of each CAP, even if it was through examples of my classmates' photos instead.


ALD 4.1 Evaluate diverse processes of forming and conveying a targeted message.
ALD 4.2 Compare and contrast how various audiences perceive digital media to anticipate desired reactions and responses.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Digital Manipulation

A slideshow of my concepts and surrealism research.

So...Hello internet!~ Another project has come up. This time, we're doing a project on the Surrealism Movement. Sounds like fun, right? First thing's, first. What is surrealism? Yeah, I didn't really know what surrealism was. Basically, surrealism is an art movement that emerged from the Dada movement (1920s), and was used to create statements about certain aspects of society. These artworks steered away from reality, giving them a dream-like feeling.

For this project, each person had to come up with three concepts, that we would later make on our own. My first concept started with something easy to do. It was of a person standing on a pile of homework, with a victorious pose. It was to pass on the message that if you study, then you will become successful. My second concept included a picture of a leaf, someone walking, and a picture of water. With these three photos, I would have the person hold the leaf, as if it were an umbrella, and have that person walk on the water. It's a little random, so I didn't know what to do for this one, thus, I cam up with the meaning, "Nature is beautiful." It's generic, and boring, but I was feeling a little too lazy to find some deeper meaning for it. As for my third concept, there were four photos involved; A person, another picture of that person, another picture or that person... Well, I think you get the point. The meaning? Solitude can lead to imagination. Don't ask me what that means, because I honestly have no idea. Just go with it.

After making a slide show for each concept, we were to present our ideas to the class. Oh the dread (even if there's only nine of us in class). Honestly, I feel that presenting each idea, neither hindered nor helped me with actually creating the final product- It just made me very nervous. As for my final images, I think my most powerful image was my first image. It was simple, and probably had the most clear message out of the three (since I rushed the last two concepts). Not to mention, I actually thought of the concept before starting the image; it gave me more room to think out something that would actually make sense.

Concept 1: Homework leads to success (Top), Concept 2: Nature is beautiful (Bottom)

Well... Time for some informational writing, I guess. First off, RGB and CMYK, they're both colour groupings. RGB stands for red, green, and blue, while CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (K stands for black, I know, it's weird... Or maybe I'm the weird one). RGB is known as the additive colours, because supposedly, if you keep adding these colours together, you eventually get white. On the other hand, CMYK is known as the subtractive colours, since if you keep adding them together, you get black. Normally, RGB is used for publishing things on the web, while CMYK is used for printing things (thus the reason printing inks come in those four colours).

Speaking of printing and web sharing, let's talk about raster and vector files. Raster files are files like JPEG, PNG,  and GIFs. Raster files are also known as bitmap images, which are typically used when uploading images to the internet. If you resize these photos later, you'll lose the original quality of the photo. As for vector files, like PDFs and AI, are normally used for logos and printing items. Vector files keep the same quality, even after resizing it numerous times. Though, unlike raster files, the colors you use are more limited, and do not allow smooth gradients.

Lossy and Lossless files are somewhat similar to raster and vector files, when considering the quality and information used. Lossy files take up less memory space, while losing some of the original information. And Lossless files take up more memory space, due to the fact they preserve all of the original data of a file. A couple of examples of lossy files are JPEGs and GIFs, as for lossless, PNG, BMP, and RAW. Once a file is changed to lossy, it's not possible to change it to a lossless file, because once the information is gone, you won't be able to get it back.

Finally, the last topic I'll cover for today is dithering. Dithering is basically the process of using two colours of dots and putting them together to create a more complex colour. This gives images a more artistic effect to them. Using dithering, you can create shades and shadows. And in Photoshop, there are a few features and function that you can use to give you photo a dithering effect.

Concept 3: Solitude can lead to imagination

Photos used for concept 3

Ahhh, well to end this whole bog post, I guess I'll be talking about the relationship between technology and productivity... I find that the relationship between technology and productivity impacts digital media because through the years, people come up with new ways to do things, and they also come up with new styles of design. With all of these experimentation and sharing of experiences through the web. Without the computer, and all of this technology, creating surrealist images would be like my typical drawings. I would just draw weird, but realistic things. It would most likely look less realistic than if you were to use actual photos, though it would give the artwork it's own personality.

In my opinion, my best photo was probably my second image. But, since the class critiqued my third image, I'll just talk about that image instead. Personally, I liked my cutouts, and I found that the blending was pretty okay. Although, I found my image quality to be generally alright, but of course, it could be better. Much better. One of the main things I would totally want to improve would be the lighting in each photo. In my room, the lighting isn't very good, so in photos, you can see the graininess. Not to mention, some of the pictures of me, weren't very focused, and so I look a little blurring in some areas. And finally, the background was busy, and distracting. If I were to redo this photo, I think I would use a different location (with better lighting, and less items in the background), use another person (so the subject is clear), and place the person in more interesting poses. For the most part, I agree with the class critique of this photo, though, I think I should have gotten a lower score.

No one got it right, but I like those meanings more haha.

Class critique results

Well, that's all for this bog post. Until next time!

The making of concept 3

ALD 1.1 Assess how mathematics is used to create and manipulate digital media.
ALD 1.2 Assess how changes in digital technology affects the creation and manipulation of media content.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hiki Nō Video

P1T3 Mrs Falavinha from Kapaa Warriors MEDIA on Vimeo.

Ahhhh, through much stress and a few weeks, we've been working on our actual Hiki Nō video. Originally, our story was going to be about a program called Healing Horses. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get an interview in time, so we had to change our topic. With this, we decided to interview one of our Spanish teachers at school, and thankfully she was kind enough to allow us to interview and film her.

This new story would be about Mrs. Falavinha's struggles of moving from Colombia to the U.S. and how she overcame these struggles. Our intention of making this story is to show others that it is possible to overcome challenges and to not give up, even if times become difficult. From our critique from our rough cut, we have added more b-roll and cleaned up our voice overs to make the tone match the mood of the story. Unfortunately, we weren't able to add more photos of Mrs. Falavinha's past, due to a miscommunication. We didn't really improve the flow of our 5 point outline because we decided that there were other things that we needed to work on more, such as our visual plan and editing the video to make it seem more complete.

With the ability of filming comes the responsibility of making sure what you make isn't breaking any rules. The DMCA, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which same into effect in 1998, basically protects people from copyright infringements. It criminalizes the act of trying to get around and control a copyright, meaning you can't steal works from other people, or use those works without the permission of the creator. The penalty is a payment of up to $150,000 in cash, or time in jail. To avoid being thrown in jail or having to give your life worth's of money away, you can get permission by asking the creator of the content if you can use their work and have a written agreement from the person.

Though you can still make things such as commentary or parodies of someone's work without getting the creator's permission. This is called "Fair Use". A few examples of what you can do are things like quoting a line or two from a song or book, or summarizing something you saw on the news. You can also make a parody of someone's work. It may be based of of something that's copyrighted, but it's still turned into your own idea.

Permission to film a person or at a place is just as important as making sure you don't use someone's work without their permission. You can't just go into a store and start filming right then and there. Not only is it rude to do, and can be unsafe, but you also need the permission to film a person. If you show someone's face on screen, and they didn't agree to it, then you can get into some big trouble. In the case of filming minors, you need something called a "Video Release Form". This says that you have permission to film that person.

Finally, our final product was slightly disappointing (at least to me). We probably could have done much better with the B-roll if we used our time wisely. Though, the B-roll was probably what we improved in most. This project was a bit of a wake up call. Our team was good, but we had bad time management, making things much more stressful as it was difficult making the deadlines. Next time we do a video, we'll have to make sure we hustle and keep to our work, making sure we're not slacking and being efficient.

ALD 3.1 Evaluate the relationship between digital technology and criminal activity for its affect on the digital marketplace.
ALD 3.2 Evaluate legal and ethical behavior related to the creation, use, and distribution of digital content that minimizes the risk of legal or moral consequence.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Practice Story

Before starting our actual Interview story, we had some time to make a practice interview story.

To start off the process, we had to decide who, on our team, to interview. Somehow we decided to interview Haylee. We honestly didn't know what to interview her about, so we decided to take something mundane and kind of plain topic. Our topic was originally about lunch. This was slightly altered when running the proposal past our teacher. The final topic we went with was about Haylee's lunch, and how it affected her as a volleyball player.

At the beginning, our roles consisted of Haylee as our interviewee, and support. Kendra was our camera person. I was the supposed producer and editor. By the end, Kendra and I shared the camera person role, she also took the role of becoming the voice over person. Haylee stayed as our subject and support. And I somewhat stayed as the producer, though my lead wasn't the best (I'm not leader material, so I have no idea why I got the producer role), and I stayed as the main editor, though my skills are obviously very rusty and need some polishing again.

It's not entirely clear if generally sticking to our roles helped or hurt our production, because we have never worked together before, so there isn't really anything to compare our work to. Just to be safe, I would say that sticking to our roles probably both helped and hurt our production. In my opinion, if we shared our roles more, we may have had a better product in the end, because we would have more eyes and views for each aspect to critique the work in each process. I know for sure, if I had my two teammates also edit our story, the editing job may have turned out better, and our final product may have been smoother. There were many things that I accidentally overlooked when I edited the video.

In the production process, safety always comes first. I mean, if you accidentally get hurt or you accidentally off yourself while trying to make a video, what's the point? You won't be able to finish the video. Plus there's that whole thing about law suits, and your folks won't be too pleased when they find out.

To make sure everyone on the team and around us is safe, a few things that should be considered and practiced are things like being aware of your surroundings at all time. Don't jeopardize yourself, or anybody else's health and safety, just for the sake of your video. It is also always good to follow any safety precautions a place may have when shooting for your video. As for your equipment, it's always nice to make sure you don't damage anything by dropping it, stepping on any parts, forgetting anything behind, or leaving your equipment unattended for people to steal or take.

The final result of our video wasn't the greatest. Though that's probably pretty obvious, considering this was our practice story, and we didn't put that much time into it. Though even as a practice story, there were some....MANY things that could have been improved. When we did our critiques, our story mostly got 2's, while we had one or two 1's. I agree with this, we could have done much better, and it may have been a more compelling story if we had more guidance and time with the story.

The three largest words that we had on our critique was Editing, Lighting, and B-Roll. Editing was due to the fact that the audio levels between the B-roll's nat sounds, and the interview were off, and became distracting at certain points, while the nat sounds would be practically missing in other places. There was also a jump cut in the interview at one point, that unfortunately we couldn't cover up due to the lack of B-roll. Lighting and B-roll was another issue as in some of our B-roll, our lighting was dark and grainy, due to the camera's settings. Not to mention, the lighting in the gym was horrible, and we didn't know how to fix that problem. There was also one sequence that should have been rearranged so that the wide shot came first, so you knew where we were.

If we were able to do this story again, there's a good chance that I would make sure that we would take more B-roll to make sure we would have enough for any cuts made. It would also be good to to have my other teammates help me with the audio next time, because sometimes my hearing can be a little off. As for the story itself, it may have needed a change. The idea wasn't the strongest to begin with, as we were going with a plain, mundane topic on purpose. The story needed more of a backbone. Overall, the practice story was a great learning experience, and will definitely help us with our upcoming interview.

ALD 6.1: Anticipate potential health and wellness concerns while operating computing devices in order to enhance workplace safety.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Interview Composition

Okay...So the background wasn't well compressed, but I like to think this was my best one.

Another project so soon? Yep! This time, we are doing Hiki Nō interviews.

Let's start with the basics.

The main difference between a host/reporter shot and an interview shot is if you have the interviewer included in your shot or audio. Host/reporter shots include the reporter or host in the scene. In interview shots, you only show the interviewee and what they have to say. Although they may be different, they still require some of the same composition techniques to make the shot look good and presentable.

Good interview composition depends on a few different variables. You need rule of thirds, meaning look room and head room. A good, well compressed background, that isn't too busy. Your lighting needs to be a certain direction... To put it simply, it's a long list.

Going into depth, we'll start with backgrounds. A good background is well lit, but not overexposed. The background shouldn't be a flat surface because it would be boring, and wouldn't show a story. Of course, the same could be said about a very busy background as well. If there are too many things happening in your background, your audience may become distracted with something behind your interviewee. Protruding objects may also have the same effect, so make sure there isn't anything coming out of your subject. Though this problem could also be fixed by a compressed background. A compressed background will leave your interviewee clear as day, while your background is blurred, so you don't see every detail. This can be achieved by moving the camera further away, and zooming in towards your subject.

Now to explain a little more of how you should film your interviewee. This may seem obvious, but you want to have the rule of thirds. Have your subject on one side of the screen, while having them look towards the open side of the screen, which is called your "look room". But, your look room is like everything else in life: too much is bad. Good look room will have your subject as about one third of the screen, while the space in the direction they're looking is about two thirds of the screen. 
Head room is also something important. You don't want to cut off your subject's head, but you don't want their head too far from the top of the screen either. The spacing between the top of the screen and your subject's head should only be about one ninth of your screen. It's a very small spacing, but can very much change the quality of your interview shot. 

Another thing to keep in mind when filming is that you don't want your subject to look at the camera. You want them to be slightly faced away from the camera, without it being a profile shot. You should be able to see both eyes, as well as both ears. To achieve this, you use "The Line", which is an invisible line that you use by shooting a little off to the side, but still being behind the interviewer.

To me, the most important thing to do to film a successful interview is to know what you're doing, and how you're going to execute your plans. Unfortunately, this is something I lack. But in all honesty, I think if I knew what I was doing and how I was going to execute my plans, some of my past interviews would have been a better quality. This goes in hand with being organized and prepared, which can easily make or break the quality of pretty much anything. Being organized and prepared will most definitely help your interviewing process become easier and less hectic.

A little too bright, and the background isn't compressed.

Stop looking at the camera, geez.

The look room is a bit backwards.


ALD 5.1 Design a targeted digital media message or concept that addresses the needs of a client.
ALD 5.2 Plan and construct a digital media product from budgeted resources that addresses client needs.
ALD 5.3 Assess the collaborative process for its impact on the design, planning, and production of a digital media product.

PBA Performance Task

Animation PBA from Kapaa Warriors MEDIA on Vimeo . *Gasp* It's almost the end, and here's the last post I'll probably ever...