Eric - Updated 12/07/08

Final Essay

First off I would like to say print in my option is not dying. The physical process of ink on paper is slowing declining, but will never die in our life time. Print is changing; it’s taking the shape of different types of media. New forms of media includes: TV, Internet, and new technologies such as e-ink. All of these forms of media are part of Graphic Communication. All are a way to get a company’s messages across to the public. In the past word of mouth was the only way for messages to travel, then came ink on paper. Then new technologies game along and gave us radio, TV, and internet. Each has played an enormous role in Graphic Communications. No one form is going to be extinct, but evolve over time. Example radio can be received AM, FM and now by Internet. As each form evolves Graphic Communication becomes more technical allows the messenger to choose its platform. As student we shouldn’t dwell on the past, but fully diversify ourselves in all Graphic Communication forms.

Ink on paper has been seen has the main way of Graphic Communication in our department. Ink on paper still plays such a large role in Graphic Communication industry and still will for years to come. Ink on paper is being supplemented with other forms of media. Cross media marketing plans are being used in the media right now. Businesses are delivering their messages using print, radio, TV, and Internet. Internet then encases all of the forms of Graphic Communications. The Internet has webpage’s which can be compared to print. Flash and video is a form of digital media, along with Internet radio. Each form of Graphic Communication is a powerful platform to deliver a message to the public, but embracing all as a cross media platform is extremely powerful. Just like our current teachings in our department that we don’t get trained in the specific presses and how to run them, but we are taught the general concepts. With the general concepts as student we learn each printing process and their limitations for design. Since Graphic Communication is growing, so should the Graphic Communication Department.

As Graduates from the Graphic Communication Department we should have knowledge in all forms of Graphic Communications. Leaving out all new form of Graphic Communications would be a flaw in the degree. The Graphic Communication Department has done a great job in keeping up with the latest technologies. We do hit on Internet development, Flash, database, and photography. Some of the important classes such as Video and advance Internet classes are electives. More and more classes need to be offered in the field of Internet development. Not only should classes go over xHTML and CSS, but Flash development, e-commerce websites, and Mobile. Mobile devices are falling more and more in the hands of the average public user. More users have cell phones then a credit card, which means people, can charge products and services to their cell phone bill then people paying with credit cards. A specific market such a Mobile devices falls within the realm of Graphic Communication industry. Just like ink on paper we do not need to be taught the specifics, but the overall all technology. Other technologies such as 3D might be in the realm of Art Design, but as Graphic Communication major we need to know where and what to do with it. An example Adobe PDF’s can not only incorporate text and images, but full videos, flash, sound, navigation, and full 3d models. PDFs are so powerful not only for their tools, but virtually for its standardized reader/viewer. Knowing the outline of how and what are our limits to these new technologies makes us a valuable assets.  

A college degree gives us the power of being a valuable asset to business around the world. If the current industry is using cross media Graphic Communication to get its message across to everyone, is a Graphic Communication degree maximized out of Cal Poly or do we need to be educated in all forms of Graphic Communication. It’s true some of us are just going to work for printer. Are we all going to use ink on paper knowledge or will we need more? The market will always have some sort of demand for print, but will a printer be more valuable if they knew more about the Internet. Different concentration within the Graphic Communication major still should be focused print, but with an increase on newer technologies. A concentration such as Design Reproduction Technologies can have a large benefit in expanding its Graphic Communication forms. Less of ink on paper and more on current and future trends in the industry, diversity will benefit the students.

GrC 452 Motion in Graphics was an extremely beneficial class in my education in Graphic Communications. I didn’t sign up for GrC 452 for fulfilling my concentration units, but as a choice to learn more in the field of graphics in motion. Graphics in motion didn’t have to be a highly extensive class for us student to learn the general concepts of video. We have been introduced to so many programs in our major that learning the key concepts of video was easy and fun. As a class we produced high enough quality videos for us to see the potential and limitations of motion graphics. In the eleven weeks we didn’t just work with video editing, but a whole list of valuable tools. We were taught basic video editing, graphics in motion, sound, green screen concepts, effects, video capturing basics, flash animation, flash players, FTP, web development, and team work. All of this was done in one class and in eleven weeks. Every tool we learned can be used to maximize cross media marketing for our industries. In this class we didn’t learn how to be movie producers or become professional video editors, but diverse valuable assets that come out of Graphic Communication. As valuable assets we as students can step out of into the industry and take over.

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Project 6- UGS Promotional Video

:::Objective:::

The objective of this project was to produce a promotional video for University Graphic Systems. Just like some of the other video project we were given stock video to turn into a viewable piece. But this time we had to deal with voice and not just video and music. Adding one more dimension of interviewing gives the project another level of difficulty. This promotional video needed to be a good balance of people talking and video playing of the facility.

::Procedure::::

We started out using the sequence project that you already created. I created a new sequence for a new timeline to start on. First I took the interviewing clip and played through the entire clip. I then went back through and selected starting and ending points for a good clip to pull out. Once the clip was set I dragged it to my timeline and made it an independent clip from the original large video. I continued on and went back and took clips out of the original full interview to fill up my timeline. I then started out by taking the UGS’s logo and scaling it to fit on the screen. I went into the color correction effect to increase the saturation and hue of the logo. I applied an opacity transition so it would fade in and fade out. Then one by one I lined up the interviews till it felt like it flowed well. Then I went back through to make sure that everyone’s sound level was near 0db. Going back through again to make sure everyone’s voice was at the same level when listening to it. I applied audio transition to fade some of their voices in and out for better transition between voices. I took the same background music that you had and placed it on my timeline below the vocals. I lowered the audio track to -12db. Then I went through the other two video clips that you provided to pull out small independent clips to use. I took those small clips and placed them above the interviewers and overlapped them so the video would have hard transitions between interviewers and facility. Once I felt the video looked good, I took another instance of the GRC logo and scaled it down. I placed the logo in the lower left hand corner for better contrast. The logo was placed on the highest level so it would stay on the screen through the duration of the video. I then took the beginning clip of the large GRC logo and copied it to place at the end of the video.  After making my last touches I rendered the video.

:::UGS Promotional Video:::


Untitled from Eric Coomer on Vimeo.

:::Summery & Conclusions:::

At the end I exported the video to QuickTime and got that it was 600mb and that was too large fro vimeo. So I went back through and rendered it as a QuickTime with the settings of a high quality I set the size to be HD, but every time I rendered it came out in standard form.

:::Project Significance:::

The significance of this video was for us to take another real life situation where a client could come to us asking us for a promotional piece. We were tested on how we could take video footage and convert it to a well presentable video piece.  Plus teach us how to make transition between voice and video.

:::Closing Thoughts:::

This project was another fun video to do. I like mixing it up by bringing in video interviews for us to mix into our videos

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Project 5- Splash Video

:::Objective:::

The purpose of this video was to open us up to the real world. We were given a real situation on a video job. A client came in and told us their specification and gave us their logo and some marketing pieces. With the files we were able to see the style of their graphics, color scheme, and typography. From the file we could create a splash video that best represented them.

::Procedure::::

For this project I used programs that I was best familiar with, Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe After Effects. I used After Effects just because it’s easier to work with animating graphics then just Premier alone. I started out taking the given logo and cleaning it up, I also separated and compressed the files so the overall logo was on one layer except the two signals were on their own. I then went into Illustrator to get the silhouettes and transfer them to Photoshop.  I saved each person on their own layer.  The background was created in Photoshop. Jumping back to After Effects I loaded all files. Starting out I created a new composition that was 8 seconds long.  I then placed the globe in the middle creating a motion tween that had an arch to it. I also scaled the globe from 0 -225%.  I then faded the globe out to the background. The logo was brought up using scale, position, and a mask. Each person had the same key frames applied to it; scale, position, opacity. Once the two people started to come together in the middle, I started to flash the signals white on the logo, until the people came together at that point I flashed a blurred circle shape that had a scale and position tween applied to it. I then faded in the “The Ultimate College Job Board” along with an instance of the logo. Once this was done I rendered the video in After Effects. I jumped to Premier and placed that file using a dynamic link. I then place the song on the time line with -12db. I rendered the video in MPEG2 and QuickTime.

:::wihire Splash Video:::


wihire Splash from Eric Coomer on Vimeo.

:::Summery & Conclusions:::

In summary this video helped us see how to take in a customer’s request and create a video with their specifications.  I had fun with this video knowing that it wasn’t just another school project, but a project for a real life client.

:::Project Significance:::

This video showed us one potential way a client could present their project to us. Plus as a designer we always have to do what the client asks, so following their graphic styles, color scheme, and typography was crucial. Along with the above spec we had to follow the company’s image and sayings.

:::Closing Thoughts:::

I made sure that I didn’t do any techniques that Final Cut Express couldn’t do to keep it fair.

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Project 4- Flash Advertisement

:::Objective:::

The purpose of this lab was to learn more about Adobe Flash.  We dove deeper in Flash animation this time. By recreating a flash advertisement that we were able to learn more about key frames, tweens and action script. In addition to above we got even more familiar with the tools that Flash offers us.

::Procedure::::

Starting off we were given a Photoshop file that contained all of the layers for our project. All layers except the background layer were turned off, and then a save for web was used to save the background as a JPEG. The “Learn more” button was copied another document with both layers of hover and off. Then a saved for web action was used saving the button as a PNG 24 with transparency.  We then opened up flash selecting presets of Action Script 2.0. The stage was defined to the size of the background image. Then we imported all files to the library. The background then was pulled from the library as an instance of. The background was placed at x=0 and y=0 to completely fill up the stage. We then typed in the first text line on its own layer. The text was then shifted 300px to the left of the stage. We then set a blank key frame at frame 15. Starting back at frame 0 a key frame was set on the text layer, then jumping to frame 15 another key frames was set by moving the text to the desired ending point. Then selecting the text a motion tween was set. We then continued inputting the rest of the text by using the same concept of key frames, but changing the beginning and ending point on each to get our desired effect. Every time we advanced 15 frames we made sure to give the text that was already animated a blank key frame to make sure it stays on the stage. We then tackled the button in a different manner. First we took an instance of the off state of the button from the library and animated it just like the text. Then we took the PNG 24 and made it into a movie symbol. Inside the movie symbol we left the first frame as the off state, then place a blank key frame on the second frame and placed a instance of hover state graphic in. Then, backing up to the main level, we inserted a blank layer at the top naming it actions. Then, a blank key frame was set at the very end of the clip. Selecting the last frame of the actions layer, we then selected the action script panel to begin scripting. The very first line was a stop so the flash piece would not loop. After that scrip was placed on the buttons calling the instance of it and the action related to that instance. Lastly, the flash piece was published to a .swf for upload to the web.

:::Flash Advertisement:::

:::Summery & Conclusions:::

In summary this project a very good intro to flash animation and the theories behind frames. I enjoyed this lab even though I have had experience in flash; it’s always nice to learn how other s implements a project.

:::Project Significance:::

The significance of this lab was very important. Knowing how to use flash is a very important tool. Majority of us won’t use flash, unless we become flash or web developers, but just like printing we need to know our limitations if we were planning to design or manage a flash piece for our business.

:::Closing Thoughts:::

I appreciate Kevin coming in and spending time with us. Kevin shows to us that he knows what he is doing and was a very good teacher to us for the two weeks.

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Project 3- Flash Player

:::Objective:::

The objective of this lab was get our feet wet in Adobe Flash. We were then introduced on the idea of flash players and its skins. Flash players are used to present flash videos over the web. You can use standard flash player skins that Adobe has already set up for us or we can build custom flash players. The custom flash players are skins that change the look of the player. The skins consist of the bounding box of the video. They also consist of the buttons and tools that can be used along with the flash video. The flash player is developed in a standard flash platform. The skins can have all the same characteristics of a flash piece. Once the flash skin is created we then embed the flash video within the flash skin. The power of the flash player allows the user to further brand the video along with other user tools.

::Procedure::::

In this lab we were shown three different ways to custom pick a flash player skins.  The first thing we did was convert our QuickTime i-pod commercial to a compressed .flv. The first way was the simplest way to post flash videos on the internet. In order to quickly post a video, you paste a flash video on your document and you choose from a list of pre-canned skins that were designed by Adobe. The second takes the pre-canned skins and we then edit them.  First we opened a pre-canned skin of our choosing. We were then able to edit the border and buttons by double clicking on them and opening them up to their video file to edit. Once completed we saved our edited skin with our own name. Then when it came down to import the flash video we could then choose our own skin to use. The third way was the most difficult. We started out with a blank document that was larger than the video that we were going to post. Importing the video with no skin, we then could place a box around the video to hold all of the buttons, tools, and branding mark. Then importing the pre-programmed buttons, seek bars, and volume controls we could place them below our video. We then separated all of the objects to their own separate layers. We then gave each object an instance name. Adding a blank layer to the top called “actions”, we then could apply action script to this layer. Opening action script we called the instance of the video to the instance the corresponding button, seek bar, and volume. This allows the pre-programmed buttons by Adobe to control the flash video. Once the video is tested and working, we then can publish it for the .swf and html code. Lastly the .swf is uploaded to the server along with the corresponding html code to my blog page.

:::Video w/custom branded skin:::

:::Summery & Conclusions:::

Overall this project went a little rough, but nothing goes right for the first time. I had fun in this lab learning more on flash players from an experience flash designer.

:::Project Significance:::

Flash players are so important in the world of the web because about 98% of users can view flash unlike windows media player. Large websites such as Google’s YouTube uses flash players to show their videos. Flash players can be highly customized for branding, advertisement, and usability. Flash players are just one more thing to control.

:::Closing Thoughts:::

I think flash players are extremely powerful for how easy they are to customize. This was a good topic that you choose to go over. I enjoyed learning from a outside source and looking forward for this week’s class.

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Project 2- IPod Commercial

:::Objective:::

The objective of this lab was to continue allowing us to learn the power of FinalCut Express. We dug deeper and got more experience in movie editing, effects and sound. The concept of key frames was practiced throughout the entire video. The Majority of the lab was to learn about Keying. Keying deals with the concept of extracting a color and replaying it with an alpha channel. The concept of keying is done by filming an object and having an uncommon color in the background that can be distinguished easily. A green screen is a common method. The green screen needs to be well lit so no shadows and un-uniform color occurs. Keying can be used without a green screen.  The concept is used to eliminate a specific color or highlight to further adjust a picture or motion clip. Using the process of keying we were to make our best judgment on our settings to remove the background from the dancer. Once the background was remove the object was then to produce a 30 second iPod commercial with all techniques learned

:::Procedure:::

First we loaded all of the corresponding files into the composition we were working on. You provided us with the green screen video of the dancers. We then applied the keying effect to eliminate the background and replace it with an alpha channel. The settings of the keying started out with a color gamma; the color gamma was an array of hues that most closely matched the green screen hue.  We then adjusted the lamination of the hue to further match the green screens color to maximize the alpha channel. Lastly we adjusted the alpha channel by increasing the area it covered, thus slightly cutting off part of the dancer eliminated the green halo. Once the alpha channel was finished I then started to cut out small clips of the full green screen dancing clip. I arranged the clips by preference on the timeline to make up the 30sec. Some clips had key frames applied to them such as opacity, scale, position, and shadow. In order to apply a key frame I would set a starting point and add a key frame, then mover further down the time line and set a second key frame. Then on either key frames I would change the value so be they would be different. Once the video was played an automatic tween would occurs. Graphics was also included with the effect of 3d space using only 2d. This process started by placing the object on top of the dancer and creating a swooping motion path that curved around the dancer. A scale tween was applied by setting starting point to be 0% and in from to be around 240%. We would then use the razor tool to cut the clip where the graphic is exactly in the middle of its path. We would then take the front part of the clip and place it underneath the dancer on the time line. Lastly transitions and music was applied to the timeline.


Week 4 IPod Video from Eric Coomer on Vimeo.

:::Summery & Conclusions:::

This video was fun to create. It is always fun to recreate what you have seen thousands of times. I had fun editing the video clip to find my favorite from each of the hip hop dancers. Great job teaching us how to cut away the green screen.

:::Project Significance:::

The concept of keying is such a great and powerful tool. Keying has been used the industry for years for special effects and the cost of site filming. Now days keying has been making its way into the web. Many flash advertisements had been created by using keying techniques. Also, Help and intro videos for the web are also being filmed using green screens to maximize their alpha channel.

:::Closing Thoughts:::

I got into keying about a year ago and had my many problems. I saw the power of green screens and wanted to learn how to do it and embed it in Adobe flash.  In this lab I learned more on how to adjust the setting to get the most effective alpha channel. I used Adobe products and their field value and adjustment are different, but similar. I saw a similarity between the two programs but never picked up on it until now about the gamma spectrum.

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Project 1- Creek Day

:::Objective:::

Lab 2 was a continue intro to Final Cut Express. Within the intro to Final Cut Express we learned how to import photos, videos, and audio files. Basic editing techniques were shown to us. Techniques including how to cut a video at a specific frame and split it off from the original clip. Video and audio separation techniques were shown to us. Video and audio effects was demonstrated including; video transitions and the most common fade-in fade-out and how to apply them to clips. Basic filters application and overview. Working with animation and the significance of key frames and motion tween and how to apply them to scale, rotation, position, size, filters, text, effects and much more. We also learned how to edit and apply text to our timelines.  Also, an overview of Livetype and how it can be easily applied to type and exported to Final Cut Express. Lastly exporting to the web using Vimeo to upload and compress our files to the web, then embedding our video on our blog site.

:::Procedure:::

By taking the provided folder I was able to browse through the given footage that was already broken down into small clips. By dragging and dropping video clips to the time line I was able to form simple edits using the razor blade to cut and separate the desired footage. I took all video clips that I cut out and placed them side by side on the timeline. Using transitions I applied simple fade-in fade-out transitions. I applied a png image over the top of all of the footages, so it can be seen throughout the entire 30sec clip. At the end I applied simple text that I increased and decreased the opacities to give the illusion of fade-in fade-out. Also, at the end I applied a background image of the last several frames. Taking the prerecorded voice from the project folder and placing it on the audio 1 layer. I then choose a background music to layer 2 and lowered the sound level down so we can hear the voice clearly.  Exported the rendered video clip to QuickTime at its highest quality, then uploaded it to Vimeo to host the video.


GrC 452 Week 2 from Eric Coomer on Vimeo.

:::Summery & Conclusions:::

In summary I was happy how my video turned out in the little time we had. Learning Final Cut Express has been pretty easy transition. Final Cut Express has many of the same features as Adobe’s Premier Pro.  I’m looking forward to learn more in class.

:::Project Significance:::

The project significance was to show us how the simple tools how to make a video comp from scratch and apply simple edits and effects. In addition we were shown how to render and export the files to upload to the web

:::Closing Thoughts:::

Nice project to gives us an intro in making a simple video comp from start to finish. After working with audio in this project, I’m looking forward to next week on how to work with audio more in depth.

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