Saturday, 3 September 2011

Final module progress

I sorted the problem out with the sound trapped within the flv file (staticTV).  I converted it to QuickTime in Premiere and exported it.  I then converted it to an flv within the Adobe Media Encoder and it finally worked without the sound.... eureka!  I had a few problems with the picture quality from Premiere, but I finally sorted the export settings and I was much happier.  I then added the sound file that I had stripped from the movie earlier and toned the static sound right down.

One of the biggest learning curves that I have encountered during this module is with using and editing sound in Adobe SoundBooth and using Adobe Premiere effectively to achieve what I need for the module.  I have also used some sounds from  The website classifies itself as The Freesound Project and is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds.  I have now joined the Freesounds Project and also have some sounds that I have created that I can upload for others to use.

I created a telescopic character that slides up out of the ground for one of the scenes and I wanted a swishing sound as it came up and went back down.  I searched high and low on freesound, soundjay, partnresinrhyme and also soundsnap (where I am also a member), but I couldn't quite find the sound I wanted - so I resorted to recording myself in SoundBooth and by adding some effects - 'ethereal' and 'canyon echo', I achieved what I wanted.  The great thing is that I only use the built in microphone in my Mac!

The swish track in SoundBooth
Telescopic character

I have also learned to use Illustrator, which I have never used before - but ended up reverting back to using Flash, due to some surprising incompatibilities, particularly in the use of alpha masking - but in order to achieve a similar technique as Illustrator drawing, I have been using the pencil tool, which I have found much better than the brush because I did not want the variations in the outline.

I have incorporated a wide range of techniques that I have used throughout the course - masking to blend the 2D into photographic images, the use of mixed media and I have also used a wider range of animation techniques.  The majority of the animation is limited animation and I have used symbols to create separate body parts - but I have also used frame by frame techniques a lot more within some scenes.  Chris Georgenes calls this 'tradigital' which is a great phrase that epitomises the blend of traditional and digital techniques.  I have created some little pop up animations like a door that grows from the ground and then reverses back and a flying bird/bat type creature using the tradigital techniques (onion skinning, frame by frame and reverse sequence).

I also feel more confident in the use of ActionScript because of this module.  I could have just created an animation (which originally was the plan - based around a poem), but felt that this would not push me as hard.  I am interested in visual narratives and wanted to create something that people could interact with rather than simply view.  I do not profess to be expert in ActionScript, but I feel more proficient now and have been able to utilise the script to create the interaction required.  I used a lovely script to zoom in and reverse out on a newspaper lying on the ground so that the user can read it.  I also intend to use this within the 'Magic City' scene, where I have used the 3D tool in Flash to create a 'Truck in' style camera movement.

Cityscape zoom, using 3D position and View in Flash
I found using the 3D position and View to move the images along the z axis rather cumbersome initially, because I am not used to using the z axis - but I think it was worth the effort of persevering to get the effect.

Must crack on, need to complete the Magic City scene.  Nimium efficio , in aliquantulus vicis.

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