Archive for the ‘mutlimedia writing’ Category

h1

A Script of My Own

October 21, 2009

For my latest assignment, I was to write a script either for a video or interactive feature. Web writing includes creating preliminary documents to a project, such as an outline, proposal, flowcharts and/or design documents as well as storyboards, scripts, and final documents.

I decided to create a fitness video script. The process began with a clear goal set in mind, to educate and inform women how to properly perfom an arm exercise, specially the dumbbell curl. From this, a clear location and set was determined by thinking it to be an at-home video.

Then I had to plan out what exactly the model would say, where the camera would zoom in/zoomout and its focus points, the angle of the camera, the set directions, and the writing format. Using a linear screenplay format, the fitness video script was produced.

Check out my work: Fit Fashionista Video Series

What do you think? Would this be a video you would be interested in watching?

Advertisements
h1

Web Design for Beginners

October 13, 2009

A clip into the how to create your very own site- great HTML tutorial!

Web design seems complicated and tricky, with all those codes and text language that is so unfamiliar to many of us. As a beginner to this design world, I have learned some key skills, tips and tricks from “Learning Web Design”, by Jennifer Niederst Robbins. She exemplifies and makes this crazy HTML language and CSS come alive and simplifies it a to make it much easier to understand and perform.

If you want to learn web design or become a web designer, and if you feel as if you just couldn’t start now, that it was too late in the game for you, well i have got news for you – Absolutely Not! Web design can be learned by anyone, and with this simplicity guidebook, you should be okay.

Depending on your intent, such as blogging for personal or professional, or creating your very own web site for a small business, depends on the materials you will need. There are several core disciplines within the web design process:

Graphic Design: This person will create all the graphics and visual aspects of the site, such as graphics, font, types, color, layout, etc. In this role, it is important to understand and work with Adobe Photoshop, the industry standard. Taking a course or two won’t hurt if you want to pursue this as a career and there are other great books out there to learn more about this in-depth.

Information Design: This person will work with flow charts and diagrams and is in charge of organization of content and how you get to it. Another name for this role is also called an informational architect. Specific courses and additional books can be purchased to learn more. 

Interface Design: This role focuses on how the page works. Qualities such as concept of usability, how easily visitors get to the information they want or need, the general experience of the site, and the function of the interface design. The methods on how you navigate through the site, such as buttons, links, navigation devices, etc. all encompass the elements, function, and organization the interface designer works on. Often, interface design is intertwined in the duties of the graphic designer or in other cases, it is handled by an information designer or interface design specialist.

Document Production: The web design process involves creation and troubleshooting of documents, style sheets, scripting, and images that make up the site. The writing of HTML (the markup language used to create web documents) and CSS (Code Scripting Sheets) is often referred to as authoring, and will be managed by the “production” or “development” team in larger firms. 

Scripting and Programming: This job is handled by programmers or developers. They handle the advanced web functionality such as forms, dynamic content, and interactivity. Web scripts, special programs, and applications are behind the scenes work that this role encrypts, basically the backend development. Traditional computer programming skills are required, but also can be self-taught by copying existing scripts and adding to them on your own.

Multimedia: Flash, animation, video, sound are all elements of multimedia and interactivity. Flash developers and multimedia specialists are sometimes called in for these duties. Macromedia Dreamwaver and Adobe Flash are programs used to design these multimedia elements.

There are a certain number of technologies associated with web development, but it is not a requirement to know all of them. The most basic that you should know is HTML and Cascading Style Sheets.

HTML, know also referred to as XHTML, is the markup language used for identifying and describing the various components of a document, such as headings, paragraphs, titles, and lists. You can easily create your own and try it out through many tutorials on the web, such as the one I have posted above.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) describe how you want the content to look. It is the official and standard mechanism for formatting text and page layouts. CSS can also control how documents will be presented in media, other than traditional browsers. It also works as an automated production as you can edit and make changes to all pages through a single style sheet.

JavaScript is a scripting language that is used to add interactivity and behaviors to web pages. It includes things such as checking form entries for validity, swapping out styles for an element, or remembering browser information about the user for next time they visit. DOM (Document Object Model) scripting refers to the standardized list of web page elements that can be accessed and manipulated through JavaScript.

Server-side programming is where programming gets a bit more complex. It enhances web functionality by incorporating applications such as shopping carts, dynamically generated pages, content management systems, databases, and etc. There are various scripting programs that can be used to accomplish, some of which being: CGI scripts (written C++, Perl, Python, or others), Java Server Pages, PHP, VB.NET, ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails, to name a few.  Developing web applications is programmer territory, and not expected for webs designers. However, solutions are offered by purchasing packages that contain shopping carts, guest book, mailing lists, and content management systems without ever having the need to do from scratch.

XML (xTensible markup language) is not a specific language, but instead a robust set of rules for creating other markup languages. It is creating your own data and using it accordingly from then on out. It is a powerful data tool for sharing data between applications. Although XML was developed with web in mind, it is often used behind the scenes on a number of software applications, such as MS Word, Apples iTunes, and Adobe Flash.

Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a new technique being utilized for creating interactive web applications. The advantage that Ajax offers is that is allows content on the screen to change instantly without refreshing the whole page.

The web design and development process does require certain equipment in order to be possible. Here is a list of necessary equipment:

  • Solid, up-to-date computer
  • Extra memory
  • Large monitor
  • Second computer
  • Scanner and/or digital camera

Software makes it possible for creating web pages and some are designed to make things more simpler. There are many available softwares that can be purchased, but there are also equivocal versions that can be downloaded. Some popular web-authoring programs that provide a visual WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Can-Get) interface and save you time from typing repetitive (X)HTML and CSS.

Some programs include:

  • Adobe (previously Macromedia) Dreamwaver
  • Microsoft Expression Web
  • Nvu (available at nvu.com)

HTML editors such as TextPad and Adobe Homesite offer a sped up process of writing HTML by hand (as some designers prefer to do so).

Graphics software that allows you to add pictures and web graphics-creation include:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe (Macromedia) Fireworks
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro (Windows only)

Several multimedia tools are:

  • Adobe (Macromedia) Flash
  • Apple Quick Time and iMovie
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Microsoft Windows Movie Maker

Internet tools such as different browsers are important to track, view, and transfer files.

These are some of the basics and start-ups to web design and how you can get started. I hope this helps and wish you luck on your design endeavors.

May we be on this journey together! 🙂

h1

The Production Team

October 7, 2009

Chapter 4 discusses the different members that encompass the production team, and make it all possible for the project to be completed and successful.

The writer creates the documents and script, such as proposals, outlines, sitemaps, design documents, and any other form of written material. The tasks that are performed vary project from project, and the needs to be met, as well as budget, and amount of people working on the specific project. The writer may handle only a small portion to handling all the element, some of which being on-screen text, dialogue, story structure, narration, characters, and so forth.

The content strategist will determine the content strategy to be played out, dependent upon the analysis gathered from user’s information needs, technical expertise, favored media, and culture. By researching the client’s goals and needs, the content strategist will gain a better understanding and will present the most effective way of communicating this content for the specific project.

The instructional designer is most concentrated within e-learning, training, and educational multimedia. This is tutorials where a specific subject or skill is taught. The job of the instructional designer is to produce process flowcharts (lay out of sequence and relationship of information) and wireframes (information design of individual screens in rough sketches or prototypes).

The information architect or interactive architect is responsible for the overall structure and navigation of the informational multimedia or web project. This requires some overlapping skill sets of the instructional designer, but instead they are more concerned with making body of information easy to find and use. Same deliverables are required as an instructional designer of process flowcharts and wireframes.

The interface designer is primarily associated with the structure layouts and visual look of a project’s interface, which requires graphic design skills. Sometimes, this position incorporates information architect and instructional designer positions and other times, will be separate.

The game designer is mostly responsible for structure of game play, visual look, and sometimes interface design of the project. This too required graphic design skills.

The usability expert tests the functionality and use of the project from the user’s point of view. Their responsibility is to make sure it is functioning effectively and meeting the client’s goals. This is done through questionnaires, blind testing, surveys, site visits to the user’s location. The usability expert will analyze the results and transcripts and will have a better understanding of the user and their experience.

The subject matter expert is essential to the writer as they are a main reference point for the subject of the project. They will provide reference material, outlines, and will review the writer’s script for accuracy.

The business strategist is similar to subject matter expert, but instead is an expert in the business issues. Their role is usually to write user scenarios, describe typical users, and how they may use the product. This role is most often seen on corporate websites, marketing sites, and e-commerce sites where it is important to understand the client’s goals and how to achieve them.

The art director/creative director/graphic artist plays an important role in the visuals aspect. This role requires creativity and will create visuals, such as background, interface, graphics, screens, animations, etc. These roles work in hand and hand and may work side by side with information architects to deliver visuals that engage the viewer and maximize a positive experience.

The animator is the one that creates the animations, as sometimes this is the best way to present information. It provides a clear explanation of the subject, such as scientific processes. Macromedia flash animation has become an important tool for websites.

The project manager oversees the team and manages the budget, client, schedule, and personnel.

The video/audio director/developer are in charge of developing live-action video or audio. The writer and video/director work together to collaborate content with video, and developer may comment on drafts of the script, and may extend into production. On smaller projects, director and developer may be same person, but larger projects, the director will lead a team of cameramen, editors, lighting technicians, sound artists, actors, etc.

The photographer/videographer is in charge of capturing photo and footage that is necessary for the project. The writer must communicate exactly what images need to be captured, describe the visual needs, and keep in mind the limitations of equipment.

The voice talent and actors are those that perform the script. The writer must listen in when they speak the lines written, and therefore, will help the writer tune the language so it is better suited for the particular speaker.

The programmer/coder writes the codes and program that make it possible for the project to come alive on the computer screen. The writer must establish a good relationship with the programmer so they can better understand the information and story element manipulations that are possible with the tools available for the program.

The product manager works with the client and producing the marketing of the program. This role is sometimes combined with the project manager. If the writer is brought in early, ideas can be thrown around with the product manager, since they are the ones that know the market best and have done their market research.

Depending upon the project size, client, and budget – not all these roles are played out and usually combined. The core creative team is most usually writers, designers, and programmers. The other roles may be extended to many personnel or may be squeezed into the smaller labor available, combining many roles into one. Communication, direction, and development are the fundamentals of a multimedia project and all players on the team work together to produce a successful project/program intended.

h1

Welcome to the Wonders of the Web

October 3, 2009

The web has transformed itself into an interactive, multimedia display of information, knowledge, and expertise. The evolution of the world wide web is incredible and the possibilities are endless. This is my introduction into the world of design, interactive platforms, and multimedia writing.

“Writing for Multimedia and the Web”, by Timothy Garrand, is my guide and direction to the “Multimedia Writing”
course I am currently taking. In this blog, I will be discussing the readings, opinions, analysis, and experience I take from this book.

The video included is an extremely quick portrayl of website creation, and hopefully, by the end of this course I shall become a pro (or at least semi-pro)!