Week 8: Final Project Preview

Last semester’s DigiTech projects:

As discussed in class, on the first video, it would have been really neat to see the kaleidoscope image larger in the background – or maybe even projected onto three screens if a larger projection wasn’t possible.  But I did see how the dance related to the kaleidoscope and enjoyed the video!

The second video was a good idea too.  I liked the hand-puppet idea.  But, one thing that looked “off” to me was the angle of the guy (like, if a light was really shining, it would not be hitting the frame — he seems too far off to the side for the angle to look real.)  I was also confused when there was text along with the shadow puppets, because he obviously didn’t create that with his hands!  But it was cool anyhow.

The third video had a really cool concept with the ghost.  I think it could have been executed a little cleaner (lining projections up), but it was still awesome.  I didn’t notice the mirror was not really a mirror (apparently it had posterboard over it so it could have a surface to project upon?) until I saw the projection.  So it had the illusion of a mirror with a ghost in it and was really successful.

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I won’t comment on all the videos from a year ago, but I did enjoy the dancers with the projected feet the most, out of any of the videos listed on the blog.

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I’m still unsure of what I’m going to do in my own final project.  I am nervous about topping last years, they were all very very good and creative!  I am great with technical stuff but lack a lot of originality/creativity when thinking up new ideas, so hopefully getting into a group will help me.

Week 7: Announcement

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The exciting and hilarious comedy coming to the main stage at the University of Akron this Spring is “A Flea in Her Ear”.  Written by George Feydeau and directed by Aubrey Caldwell, this comedy is a classic French farce sure to please audiences.

The story takes place during the turn of the century, and involves affairs, trickery, mocking, mimicing, and rowdy fun.  Students can see the show for just $6; Seniors/Faculty/Staff/Alumni $10, and all other general admission is $12.  

The play takes place in Sanedfur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall at the University of Akron.  It plays Feb 28, March 1-2 and 7-9 at 8pm, and March 3 at 2pm.  Reservations can be made by calling (330) 972-7895.

 

Week 6: Photoshop Resources

http://psd.tutsplus.com/articles/web/50-great-photoshop-tutorials-for-clever-beginners/

This website has a TON of information about how to do things in Photoshop.  I only know the basics of Photoshop, but I am a very fast learner – so glancing through a few of these tutorials was really interesting to me.  

This website has 50 different tutorials.  The ones I found most interesting were  the ones dealing with Lighting Effects (#7), Silhouettes & Gradients (#9), Pencil Effects (#10), Smoke Effects (#26), Worn Vintage Posters (#27), and Custom Patterns (#36).

Each of these tutorials goes very in-depth and step-by-step, with a lot of photos to help the reader understand.  In each tutorial, multiple tools in Photoshop are utilized, so you might be learning multiple tools rather than just one effect.

Week 5: Design Critique

newyears_poster1

 

Link to full-sized poster: https://artistkae.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/newyears_poster1.png

The principles of C.R.A.P. are Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity.

Contrast:

There is good contrast in this poster between the white text and the orange/scarlet background.  It stands out without needing a border or some kind of shadow behind the text.  There aren’t many contrasts with the texts, beyond the san serif-type font used in the main lettering, the font on the actual image of the theatre, and the Times New Roman font in the link at the very bottom.  But, a regular and italic form of the same font is used at the top.

There are some good contrasts between the shapes of the crowd, theatre, and sky; it sort of moves the eye downward.  The texts near the bottom do not overpower the main focus at the top.

Repetition:

The same font is used for the bulk of the lettering, but one version of it is italicized.  It makes the poster clean and informative; it is not too jumbled or confused.

The entire poster uses a color scheme of browns, scarlets, oranges, mustard yellows, and white.  Some of the yellow of the theatre can be seen in both the sky and the crowd.

Alignment:

The diagonal alignment of the tagline “Swing in the New Year” is repeated in the text announcing the orchestra.  The horizontal alignment is repeated in the show information, the theatre marquee, and the website link.

The lights in the sky sort of act as a link to connect all the important text together.  Also the alignment of them moving inward leads the eye down to the rest of the poster.

Proximity:

The information about when to see the show is grouped together – dates and times and number of performances.

The heading is in close proximity to what it is referring to – the name of the orchestra.

The crowd at the bottom is in close proximity to the image of the theatre, to show it is related to that and not the other information.

The text does not go OVER the image of the theatre, as this would be confusing and one might think that it was a sign or banner over the top of the theatre (much like the marquee).  Instead it is separate.

But all elements work nicely together and compliment each other.

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The material includes most of the necessary information.  It includes what the show is, when it is, partially where it is, and what times it plays at.  The only other information missing would be the actual address of the theatre, but the website link for the theatre is located at the bottom and I assume information could be found there.

All of the other information is very clear and easy to understand.

Week 4: Example Site (Individual Performer)

Gary Mauer, Musical Theatre Actor —

http://garymauer.com

Gary Mauer’s website has a very clean and focused design to it.  It features a photograph of him and simple links to the right side.  It is balanced, and easy to find what you are looking for.

It differs from a group site in that it focuses on one person.  This person, whether in an individual photograph or a group photograph, should be the focus of the website.  The website is to get their name out in the world, represent themselves, and sell themselves.

I think the website as a whole represents Gary ok; although he is a very fun person in real life, the website is strict and professional, but that’s how it should be.  There are fun elements to the website, for example, the photographs section.  On this part of the website, music is played in the background and there are photo “books” you can flip through.

The only change I would make is to update it more often.  The last update to his touring schedule was done in 2011.  It would be a lot better to inform any fans of upcoming appearances, shows, and concerts and keep that current.

Week 3: Example Site

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KÀ by Cirque du Soleil

http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/ka/default.aspx

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This website for KA has a good design for a few reasons.  First, it is colorful and appealing to the eye.  It is not cluttered, and has an image of a performer in costume that is very striking.  It “speaks” to what the show is like.  

It uses both light and dark, and good contrast between the colors.  There is a simple menu at the top where information is easy to find.  There is a main focus to the right on their goal – to get viewers to buy tickets.  There is also a video that the viewer can play if they so wish.

I think having the option of viewing the video is a better idea than having a big flash thing going on or some other complicated web code that some viewers’ browsers may not be able to handle.  This website is “easier” to view although it is less impact than a special splash page or flash animation going on in the background.

My only criticism would be having enough information on the home page where the user must scroll down.  I was taught in a web design class to keep the home page simple, and not have a ton of information that required the user to scroll.  That is just a personal preference though.  And this website does not contain TONS of information; it is very clear and balanced.

The website represents the show well.  It is captivating and intriguing.  They make use of various videos and photos, and have a menu category for all different types of media.  Social media is used, but it is not very prominent and is located towards the bottom of the page.

 

Week 2: Introduction

My name is Kaedra and I am a fifth year senior at The University of Akron.  I have an Associate’s of Applied Business in Computer Information Systems – Cisco Networking.  I completed that degree a few years ago, but have abandoned that career field (fixing computers can drive one insane), and I am working towards two different Bachelor’s degrees.

The first Bachelor degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies, with a production/design emphasis.  The second degree is a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Supervision, which is merely to not waste the extra credit hours I completed for my Cisco degree (and put them towards a different Summit College degree).  

I’ve always been involved in both art and computers since I was a teenager.  I took my first art class (outside of normal school classes) when I was 14.  I’ve enjoyed both traditional and digital artwork ever since, but primarily I focus on sewing costumes as my hobby.

Aside from traditional artwork classes, I have not taken any formal classes dealing with Photoshop or other applications.  However I love to experiment with those programs and I use some of them quite frequently (outdated versions I can afford, of course).  In dealing with website building, I have experience from my computer degree – but we had to code our html/xml/css in a wordpad instead of using an application; but, I have experimented with certain web design applications.

As for video editing, I cannot stand to edit on a Windows computer with the free programs provided, but I have used an older version (~2008) of iMovie on my Mac.  I’ve also experimented with Adobe Premiere here and there but don’t have much experience.

My goals for the class are simple – continue to learn more about the tools we will be using.  I feel like I have a somewhat strong background in design (compared to the average non-design student), but I would love to learn more about the programs that can help me put this knowledge to good use.  I do not have access to the current versions of the Adobe Creative Suite or other applications like Final Cut, so it will be interesting to learn the new interfaces of these programs on the computers in the Mac lab.