Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 2 - Recap (what we did/what we should be doing)

I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciated your efforts on Wednesday night.  Thanks for making for a great class!!!  Believe me when I say - 'we really accomplished a lot!'  For those who may feel they need a little 'extra' help - I'm planning to avoid 'rush hour' and be in around 5pm for setup.  You can consider you have ALL of my attention starting at 5:30pm, but feel free to show up early to take advantage of the access.  Di Anna, good to see you for questions (early) last Wednesday.  We're really going places.

This week we considered planning an effective 'draft' for your GUI (Graphic User Interface) final project.  In your drafting your content, we will enter into the 'critique' process this week (week 3) in order to consider 'what' we'll need regarding both gathering technology and content, starting with your (mostly) completed storyboards (handouts).

Goals for class by next Wednesday (Week 3):
  • Create links in the 'rollover menus'  *See the referenced Week2/HTML 5.0
  • Utilize the video window to link a file that represents your research requires your video link being accessed through an <embed src=”video URL”> OR placed in your “Week2/videos” folder for viewing solely through your computer’s URL.  
  • Add some content either listed using ‘li’, ‘ol’, or ‘ul’ ‘tags’ or simply write a paragraph.
  • BONUS, you may generate an entirely different web page to link to for additional content using <a href=”myOTHERwebpage.html”> (More research) Just remember to keep all ADDITIONAL .html pages in the same folder unless you provide ‘strands’ in your HTML to other folders.

What we covered this last week
example <img src=”OKeefeMEDIUM.jpg” width=50% (or) width=”400”(pixels)>
  • Resolution (leading to file sizes)
  • Image quality (low to high resolution) – adds to the quality of the image file
  • File size (overall) –What constitutes an ideal image size for the web? / (see below).

(For above OKeefeIMAGES.jpg) was resized in Photoshop’s “File>Save for Web”
  • Saved as .jpg ‘medium quality’ / Resolution 900 x 450 @ 72dpi = 90KB (Quality?)
Note – example of how to resize mages to fit on various ‘browsers’ using width=100%
Example (img src=URL://domain/folder/file   width=”100%”)

Additional considerations:
We missed discussing FTP (File Transfer Protocol) using ‘Online Servers’ for data storage and the accessing of links to various web pages.  “What are your URL sources’?
  • Content resources include: videos, images, animation (.swf) and other HTML pages
  • URL resources: Facebook*/Photobucket(Kodak)/Snapfish/Google/Picassa/YouTube 
*Joining a social network (for free) to take advantage of file sharing, storage, and access

If you don’t have ‘Photoshop’ there are various other image editing softwares available:
What to look for:  
  • OS (Operating System/Mac vs. PC)
  • File type (be able to save as a .jpg, .png, .gif)
  • Levels (adjusting color, brightness/contrast, modes RGB vs. CMYK)
  • Cropping (adjust image size/resolution/pixels)
Make sure you comment on something - should you have concerns or you've had an epiphany! See you on Wednesday with your digital or storyboard drafts.

Links to various files for class (still editing):

Week 1 - Introduction to class and multimedia content
Item 1 - Materials list and questions (week 1)
Item 2 - Syllabus / Opening for class (week 1)
Week 2 - Revisiting HTML and starting your research draft (for content development)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Maybe the pressure is off me?

After the first week, students have yet to respond to my posting (initial blog spot) regarding last week's class.  A quick review and some inspiration were posted, the goal is a desire to develop content in line with 'feedback' therefore leading to more effective communication to result in their finalized works.  My contention, or thesis, is that interactivity 'potential' exists and this class stands to formulate a concept of what content and direction are available for such development to occur.

I. Establish a form of 'open' dialogue through interpersonal communication with the students (in class).  Student Input is encouraged in their formulating a direction.  The way I see it, inspiration is a lost  art for most educators and students.  I am proposing the following items for consideration: Creativity, Conceptual, and Content (over context).
  • Creativity - based on a 'theme' means effective problem solving, knowing what is at your disposal, could be a consideration of the crisis at hand (ie "an ability to put out fires").
  • Conceptual - are the ideas and inspirations that form out of creativity (ie "a direction", "plot").
  • Content over Context - stresses that what we choose to say, our direction, our premise, our argument, is more important that how we say it through the visual means at our disposal.
We will begin the process of consideration for content in the following manner (steps to fulfillment of an idea).  The following is taken from the ISO (International Organization for Standardization).  Based on the introduction of our 'theme' our 'template' in the preliminary stage (1st day of class), students are to execute the following stages over the course of the next seven weeks:
  • Stage 1: Proposal stage (new work item proposal - 'your plot', your direction)
  • Stage 2: Preparatory stage (develop/submit a working draft using the storyboard/needs?)
  • Stage 3: Committee stage (a critique of your proposal by your classmates)
  • Stage 4: Enquiry stage (a more refined 'draft' or preliminary finalization of your work)
  • Stage 5: Approval stage (a second critique of your work)
  • Stage 6: Publication stage (submitting work online / may require some 'tweaking')
Reference for each of these 'paragraphs' for the following items at:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 1 - What we set out to explore...

Introduction: Week 1
I started out this class introducing the concept of "Cold vs. Hot Mediums", a theory proposed by Marshall McLuhan (Wikipedia: that in researching, they got it completely wrong!!!  As I indicated and will continue to alude to in this class, 'cold' mediums are those mass media outlets that offer for little, if any, potential for dialogue or discourse.  Meanwhile, 'hot' mediums are those items that take into consideration not only the argument being made (and, while we're on the subject, not all arguments are 'bad'), but allow for the viewer, the reader, the consumer in general, to offer their input or - for that matter, formulate a direction based on the content provided.  We alluded to television, print, radio and even the Internet as a possible 'cold' media, while holding email, text messaging, and social networks as 'hot' mediums and ideal for verbal intercourse to ensue.

An additional item for consideration in developing your 'final project' requires you to consider your audience prior to you channel of communication.  Click Here for an image that may further your thoughts regarding Mass Communication Methods and our goal of developing more 'interactivity'.
  Feel free to comment... (please consider that as part of your grade for this class, dialogue through this blog will be encouraged).

All of you filled out your 'queries' regarding Hardware and Software experience.  In reading these, I am aware of a more focused need and potential direction regarding our 'goal' in this class of developing an interface design or GUI (graphic user interface), based on your experience and access to various forms of software and hardware items.  Expect a strong consideration of your 'access' potential when developing your final project for this class (ie. video equipment, software, and content development).

We viewed the .swf (Flash file) that we are beginning the process of building towards; an interactive multimedia presentation, and we briefly discussed the potentials of content - in which you printed 'storyboards' for developing your ideas.  Expect to diagram a video (next class) for the following items:

  • ":trt" (total running time)
  • "transitions"
  • sound, music, text, and other effects (which may include transitions) that you should consider as content for your work.
Additionally, I offered a basic introduction to HTML (coding) that your support page should provide enough for content and direction.  I apologize that we did not go further in developing this understanding, but expect it to be a part of our review on Wednesday.  Reference your handout as well as links that were provided (Otherwise, click here for an 'updated' version online)

To what we did not discuss, I am going to offer the following as inspiration of your content development for your final project:
  • First consideration, "Why are you here?" (Thanks for your sharing of goals for this class).  For many of you it seems to be for reasons of business, for a few, for personal reasons. . .
  • My input - "What are you passionate about?"  This is your purpose for 'study' and the inspiration that will lead you to discover what you are 'good at' which will lead to discovering your career.
  • Should you consider making this a 'documentary' work (which is what I initially wanted to 'require' from you for this class), and then I considered "should I open this up to exploring 'why do you currently do what you do'?"
  • You might consider documenting something or someone that 'inspires' you (ie 'a mentor', or an artist)
  • Do you have a project you are currently working on that you'd like to share in the process of discovery?
  • Is it to be a portfolio of your current work?  I have several 'websites' that support such efforts.
  • How about creating a 'Family Album'?  Or, what about a recent 'vacation' that you took?
Quote: For ALL of your prior knowledge, experience and understanding, without application eventually goes away.  You might as well document it!

Content vs. Context - The notion that we are more drawn to visual distractions (context) over the true makeup (content) of items we encounter.  Therefore, "Don't judge a book by its cover" may serve to a point, but it is our responsibility as content developers to 'balance' the equation of our visual senses through the opportunity of dialogue.  Consider posing a question, a statement, an 'argument' that requires audience participation*.

Did anyone listen to the Ayn Rand audio book?  I think Chapters 1 and 2 are viable for this development.  In this one hour (part 1) listen, you will begin to learn the difference between 'theme' and 'plot'.  Consider that we are in a multimedia class (the theme), meanwhile - what you make of this class, how you formulate a direction, becomes the 'plot'.  Let's try and make the most of it.