Monday, April 10, 2017

Movie Trailer Premier

P2T5_Anonymous from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.
Hi there, and welcome to todays blog. Once again it is about a GT project.  Our current project is a movie trailer. This time, the class got to vote on what project we wanted to do. Along with a few of my friends, I was rather disappointed with this project choice. No matter, though. If we work hard it can be fun and rewarding. The trailer needs to be 90 to 120 seconds long. A dramatic voice actor is required. Personally, I prefer text with voice overs from the characters, but rules are rules. I don't mind voice actors at all. The voice actor should intrigue the audience, and the trailer is supposed to end on a cliffhanger. Many great trailers end on cliffhangers, so I think filming and editing the cliffhanger part will be fun. We will improve the production value by using various different composition techniques. We also need to create a movie poster, to create
interest in the movie. Our trailer is about a girl who receives a mysterious
letter, with a picture of her and another person. Thinking it may be her lost sibling, she follows a map on the letter, and on the next letter it leads to. She is soon lead to an eerie abandoned building, where all shall soon be revealed. If not her sibling, who or what will she find?

Just like any other project, this project has had its highs and lows. One the biggest challenges for us has been meeting up to film. Our group lives far apart, which presents the first challenge. Our group member that was the main character was sick over break and I was not on island. She also had difficulty getting a ride to the setting. In my opinion, our biggest success was the editing. Treyson and I have understood the editing process, even though we rarely use Final Cut Pro. We both agree on how it should be edited, so the editing has been a smooth ride overall. The group is going to meet this weekend, to makeup for lost filming time because of the aforementioned complications.

By now the project is completed. We are happy with the result, and it got a reasonable grade. The class voted on it, and the results shown here. Most of the class thought we met all expectations on all subjects. A few people thought that we did better than expected, hence the subtle "ABOVE AND BEYOND!!!" On the results. Others thought we did not meet the requirements, because "others" were salty because ours was actually sort of good. I think the overall consensus was that it fell right in the middle, and was acceptable quality. Over the time we had to work on this project, I have learned a lot. The most I learned about was working in groups. Everybody's working style varies, and that may be a challenge during the process.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Metamorphosis Animation

Hello again. Today is the start of our new GT project. This one is an animation. Hence the title "Metamorphosis Animation", the main character must have a physical change or alteration. We also have to create a positive underlying message.  To create this, we will be using Stikz. Stikz is animation freeware we have used once before. It uses nodes and an onion skin effect. Onion skin means that in each new frame, you can see where the segment you are moving was in the previous frame. In our first animation, which was of a bouncing ball, the onion skin effect was helpful in creating, smooth, realistic movement and creating realistic trajectory of the ball.

Our teams animation focuses on a piece of coal named Cole. The plot is this: Cole, an impatient piece of coal, achieves self fulfillment through becoming a diamond and learning patience with the help of a gem. Our animation will have five scenes. In the first scene, Cole is in a park with his friends, who are also pieces of coal. His friends then turn into diamonds, but Cole does not. This upsets him, and he runs home. The second scene takes place the next day. Cole comes back to the same park, still not a diamond. He goes up to the top of a hill, and finds a gem named Patience the Shiny. Patience  the Shiny tells Cole that if he wants to become a pretty gem, he must have patience and let it come at the right time. Cole dismisses Patience and leaves. The third scene moves ahead two years. Cole still has not transformed, and is unhappy. He returns to the same park. There, he remembers the words of Patience the Shiny. At the spot where they met, he starts meditating. Now we are in the fourth scene. after 6 months of meditating, we see coal on the hill top where he began meditating. Then he opens his eyes. Unbeknownst to him, Cole has become a gem more beautiful than any of his friends. Now were are in the fifth and final scene. Coal, now aware he is a gem, runs down the hill to his friends. Surprised, they ask why he has become such a pretty gem, and he tells them his story. His friends cheer and they all high five.

Our animation is now done. In the ending days we were crunched for time. Thankfully we did finish it. I did the editing, & Nick and Mele did the soundtrack. I think my editing could have been a little better, but I did the best I could, especially with my little knowledge of iMovie and editing in general. The soundtrack does not change according to the scene, but I am not disappointed by this because I know Nick has very little experience using GarageBand. I am happy with how the animation came out, and we lost for class best by one point. Ironically, my whole team voted for the winners. I think on our next project we will all be more time conscious, and not slack in the beginning. The classes opinions are presented here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Geometric Portraits

Hello again! It's been a little while since my last blog post hasn't it? I was on fall break. A whole week off. Today is my second day back at school, which means this I'm way too tired. In GT we've been talking a lot about low-poly portraits. I'll get to what low poly is later, but for now I have to talk about portraits. Portraits focus mainly on the face of a person. Because of this, facial expressions are probably the most influential part of a portrait. Facial expressions are normally easily recognizable. Facial features rarely effect expressions. Most of the time, I think facial expressions are universally recognizable. I do know of one culture in which sticking out your tongue signifies how friendly you are, as opposed to the more common meaning, mockery. That is the only time I have heard of a non universal facial expression.

Low Poly is a term referring to the resolution of an image. Most pictures are high poly, which is what makes them clear. The photos are made up of many small polygons, or polygonal mesh. When there is a large number of polygons, that's called high poly. Low poly means there is a lower number of polygons, and you can see each individual polygon, almost always in the shape of triangles. Using Adobe Photoshop, you can take a high poly image and give it a low poly effect. That's what we've been doing in class recently. The process isn't extremely complicated, but it is time consuming.
Steps to create a low poly effect:

1. Pick your image.
If you're learning as I am, It is best to use a symmetrical photo. Put it into Photoshop, and copy that layer.

2. Align it.
Once the photo is in Photoshop, turn on your grid. Make sure it is an equal distance away form all four sides, then draw a line straight down the center.

3. Make the outline.
 Use the line tool to outline half of your face. Make sure to include your hair, eye, nose, and ear. Each line should start and end on a line of the grid.

4. Draw the tringles.
Use the line tool to create triangles everywhere you see a different shape or skin tone. If large areas only have a few triangles, you can add to more to improve how it looks.

5. Color the triangles.
Use the polygonal lasso tool to trace each triangle on the outer extremeties, one at a time. After tracing the first one, you go to filter-blur-average and select it. This adds to the low poly look, and adds a 3D touch. After that, you can press command-f for the same color effect.

6. Complete the face.
The last step is very simple. The best way to complete it is to click on the layer containing your low-poly face half, and drag it all the way to the opposite side to flip it. Connect it to the other side, and your done!

In class, we have done two poly portraits so far. They are both different from each other. The first one is a symmetrical photo of us, taken with a low quality camera. The second one is an unsymmetrical photo of someone else, taken with a better camera. In the first one we are looking at the camera, and in the second the subject is looking away. We also used different techniques. For the first one, we drew thick lines on the photo where we wanted out triangles to be, then we made our triangles. We then used the average color in that triangle. To make it easier, we only did half of the face and then flipped it to make the other side. Because the second one wasn't symmetrical, we didn't do that. We also completely skipped the step of drawing the lines before our triangles, and we picked a color from each triangle and filled it with that instead of using the average color. On the first one, we left the thick lines i described before on it.
The last difference is the background. For the first one, we selected and outline of our face, then turned it inside out, if you will. That means we selected everything around our face, then we turned it white. For the second one, we drastically edited the colors and shapes in the background of our original photo and used that.

Here is an automatically generated or "easy" version made from a website.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Verbal landscapes

MeredithC_Retime from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.
In an attempt to keep the very small amount of anonymity I still have on the internet, I'm not going to tell you where I live. What I will say about where I live is that there you're constantly surrounded by nature. Everything is plants, plants, plants. And I think I'm the only one here who actually doesn't like it. Nature has impacted life in multiple ways. The first way that comes to mind is that it has impacted my personality. After living on a tiny island for the current extent of my existence, nature gives me a feeling of isolation, so I'm not a fan of large outside plants. That's kind of a naive thing to say because they give us oxygen, but you get my point. I do enjoy houseplants, flower gardens, and succulent terrariums. But I think the feeling of isolation it gives me is part of why I like cities and urban culture, which affects most of my personality.

If you read my first blog, which you should, you'll know that this blog is for a Gifted and Talented class. I like it though. Before I get anymore off track, I should probably write about what I was assigned to write about, shouldn't I? Anyway, our most recent project is fairly complicated, and involves a lot of filming. This isn't any old filming, though. We're filming slo-mo and timelapses. Neither of those are as easy to film as you might think. Let's first talk about camera positioning. Slow-mo's should be close up. This is because they are, hence the name, slow. If you see something slow from far away, it gets boring. If you can see details, it's much more entertaining. Time lapses should be wide angles. In some cases, such as documenting the growth of a plant, they can be close up. But most of the time they should be wide angle. This is because time lapses are used to show time and change, and that is easier to see when you can see everything and how it's all changed. Tripods should be used for time lapses , because despite the movements of the camera being quick, they are very visible. Slow-mo's can have tripods, but movement is common as well. Most things you need slow-mo for are moving things, and slow-motion video is an integral part of sports culture. Because of this, if you are filming sports, the camera has to follow the subject to see more of it and so that it gives the feeling of motion. Hopefully these tips will help you improve and find your own unique style of filming.

This project has had fun parts, and not so fun parts. Overall, this project has actually brought me new, fun experiences. Filming the slow-mo's and timelapses has been difficult, but also my favorite part so far. The hardest part overall was the filming, because I needed to make time early in the morning and late in the evening on a busy weekend to film. Filming has also been my favorite part though. I enjoy filming. For one time lapse and slow-mo, I had to get up at 4:00 AM and work at a coffee shop. But from that I got an early start on the day, and learned how to pull an espresso shot. For another video, I had  to drive to the opposite side of the island that I live on, but because of that I got to bodyboard a new beach. So overall, filming was the hardest yet my favorite part.

The screenshots above are of the results from the classes critique of my video. I am happy with my results, although I don't think I deserved as many 2's as I got. However, I missed one day of school so I can understand if it isn't top quality. Overall, I think it was accomplished. Despite having a lot of 2's, I tied for overall best video, which is gratifying. Personally, I don't think my video was the best, but it's nice to know that some people do.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Poetic Personal Statement

Hello there! As you know, my name is Callum, and this is my blog! The reason I'm blogging is for a gifted and talented media class. Don't get me wrong, though, I enjoy doing it and talking to you. In class, we've been talking a lot about poetry recently, and have a Photoshop project coming up soon. Poetry is not a big part of my life, but it does have meaning to me. It can be many things. It doesn’t even have to rhyme! It can be lighthearted, or very deep. There are comedic poets, Like Shel Silverstine, and serious poets, like T.S. Elliot. Poetry also comes in many forms, such as haiku, free verse, and sonnets. Overall, I think poetry is a way of expressing yourself, entertaining others and evoking emotion.

I get my motivation from others, friends so close they're almost brothers.
Putting in hard work, but saving time to enjoy the artwork.
My biggest goal is to be happy with my life. Go the extra mile, so I can truly smile.

Above was my personal statement, in the form of a poem. It wasn't very long, but it's true for me. Because it's a poem, I used rhythm and rhyming. I used rhyme in a cuplet form, by using a different rhyming sound in each line and putting the rhyming sound in the middle and the end of each sentence. I tried to use rhythm by splitting each line evenly in the middle.