Sunday, December 6

excellent promo video

audi has a very effective video for their new 2010 TT car. the "form edits" (remember those from the editing lecture? cutting from a plane propeller to a ceiling fan, etc) are amazing. check it out.

Wednesday, December 2

4D :: opener/data :: final due date

let's do this: have the crit on friday, take the feedback, and make any necessary revisions for

wednesday dec 9, 1:00 pm

put final files on my CAS dropbox. i will grade what's on the CAS at that time.

Tuesday, December 1

4D :: opener/data :: final crit requirements


  • final .mov file, 720 x 480 (basic digital video resolution) or  1280 x 720 (hdtv resolution).
  • filenames: "" or ""
  • place your file in my CAS dropbox ten minutes before the start of your class friday. note that a timestamp goes on the folder when it's uploaded, so make sure you’re on time or your grade will suffer.
we wil handle crit the same as last time, for the sake of time efficiency and quality of feedback. respond to the following bullets with a brief statement on your blogs. title it "statement for show opener" (or data presentation, as appropriate), post a screen shot, and label the post "NA". your statement will count toward your final presentation grade.

  • explain hierarchy of and relationships between the communication channels. what takes priority, if anything, and when does it do so?
  • why you used the media/production techniques you utilized. what did that rendering style or formal approach add to your story?
  • what, if any, new things did you learn through this process? was it more difficult to orchestrate things with all your options open?

class time will consist of demos of your projects with no formal presentation. we want to share all of the great results you will have achieved.

the actual critique will consist of each student providing written criticism of two peers. your criticism of your peer’s project will count toward your participation grade. post your crit as a comment on the appropriate classmate's blog post titled "statement for show opener" (or data presentation).
here is who you crit:

luke crits sean and tammy
micah crits luke and sean
lance crits micah and luke
abby crits lance and micah
carly crits abby and lance
bryan crits carly and abby
dmitri crits bryan and carly
amanda crits dmitri and bryan
dustin crits amanda and dmitri
jessica crits dustin and amanda
kate crits jessica and dustin
mo crits kate and jessica
tom crits mo and kate
johnna crits tom and mo
richard crits johnna and tom
jonathan crits richard and johnna
tammy crits jonathan and richard
sean crits tammy and jonathan

process blog requirements

  •  your chosen project and why. how will this project work better in your portfolio than the other option?
  • written statement on purpose, context, audience
  • research examples
  • initial storyboard
  • work in progress -- production stills, wacky model set-ups, screen grabs, and so on
  • a still or two of final project (can be part of your final post/statment for crit)
  • writing supporting the above visuals (insights, commentary, and things learned during the process)

Friday, November 27

project 4 :: aftereffects tutorials

i know this is late in the game, but upon request, here are a few links to aftereffects tutorial sites:

this looks like a great starter tutorial

kirupa has a good starter tutorial as well

easing animations on kirupa


video copilot

layers magazine these look really useful

similar stuff to above, but as podcasts

Wednesday, November 18

4C :: OPENER / DATA :: project runway day

meeting in the same small group as last class, take ten minutes (or less) each to share your work, get feedback, and determine ONE direction to pursue.

a final 11 x 17 unmounted storyboard is due at the end of class today. turn in a copy to me, folded in half with your name on the outside. that is your direction for the project. go play!

due friday
initial production pieces/parts: built models, artwork, test shots, hair-brained schemes, etc.
the timeline is up to you, so plan carefully. you only have one class session until final crit on dec 4.

fri nov 20: field trip to take 2

wed nov: thanksgiving break

fri nov 27: thanksgiving break

wed dec 2: work day

fri dec 4: final crit

make it work, people!

Tuesday, November 17

amazing film

SCINTILLATION from Xavier Chassaing on Vimeo.

in a nutshell, this was done as a stop-motion piece (probably at 30 frames-per-second) with imagery projected onto the objects. a simple idea made incredible through impeccable craft and unique concept and compositions.

Friday, November 13

4B :: OPENER/DATA :: concepting

your project decision is made -- show opener vs data presentation. your basic content is written -- audience description, purpose of the work, and its context. you have some examples of similar work.

this class session we will brainstorm in groups of three, with one extra group of four. the main rule for brainstorming is that there is no criticism of ideas. everything is valid. you should focus on generating a wide range of ideas. work together. share freely.

due next class
a wide range of great and crazy ideas to share with your small group in crit at the start of class.

Wednesday, November 11

4A :: OPENER / DATA :: objectives/get started

SHOW OPENER [description]
design a 30-second (or less) piece that serves as an introduction to a cable television show about your activity/hobby. you will need to first determine the type of content that will be covered on this show. i suggest simplicity -- some type of weekly survey of all things related to the topic, with a host. these types of shows range from martha stewart to jackass (mtv), from curb appeal (hgtv) to jurassic fight club (history channel).
required content: show title, one sentence show description, host name (host image optional), at least three communication channels (image, text, voice, music, sound effects).

design a sequence of five important/interrelated/interesting statistics about your activity/hobby. they should be combined in a way that makes a logical case (logos) about your activity/hobby and provides information to the viewer in a clear and compelling way. required content: five facts, at least three communication channels.

above all, don’t forget that we’re developing a narrative (how you say it) as well as a story (what you say/structure) with this work.

as a result of this project, you will be able to,
• apply all temporal elements (duration, motion, and transition) and at least three communication channels (image, text, voice, music, sound effects) to your work
• explain hierarchy of and relationships between the communication channels
• develop a range of form generation methods from analog to digital
• explain the differences and qualities of digital and analog motion
• hold a perspective on the practical applications of narrative in the design field and its practitioners
• apply deeper technical understanding of flash, photoshop, illustrator, and video / sound software and apply to the production of classroom projects

• the purpose of the work. why does this piece of graphic design exist? what is it supposed to do?
• context for the work. what surrounds it? where or when does it appear? is it stand-alone or does it require a presenter, what else is on that channel? etc.
• audience description. who are they and why are they watching?

find all examples you can find of this kind of work, as well as other work that is inspiring or relevant in some way. look at higher-end motion graphics studios in addition to more diy or user-generated content.

PROCESS BLOG [due next class]
post to your blog the following information:
• your chosen project and why. how will this project work better in your portfolio than the other option?
• written component described above: purpose, context, audience.
• research examples.

Friday, November 6

flash color palettes

mister richard pratt has generously offered up some color palettes he found out in the ether. you can go into the options of your color palette in flash and select "add colors". thanks richard!

3G :: SOUND :: final crit requirements

  • final swf and fla file. filenames: na_lastname_nonlinear.swf, na_lastname_nonlinear.fla
  • final collection of carefully edited mp3 files. filenames: lastname_voice.mp3, lastname_music1.mp3, lastname_sfx1.mp3, lastname_sfx2.mp3, etc.
  • for multiple files within a communication channel, simply add a number for each successive file.
  • collect all files into a folder labeled with your last name only and place in my CAS dropbox ten minutes before the start of your class wednesday. note that a timestamp goes on the folder when it's uploaded, so make sure you’re on time or your grade will suffer.
respond to the following bullets with a brief statement on your blogs. title it "statement for nonlinear project", post a screen shot, and label the post "NA". your statement will count toward your final presentation grade.
  • what music, voice, and sound effects bring to a narrative that is different from visual communication channels
  • the different communicative qualities of music, voice, and sound effects (compare and contrast)
  • the differences between simultaneous and sequential communication
  • user vs designer control of your project
  • participants’ ability to discover relationships through interactive play

class time will consist of 3-minute demos of your projects with no formal presentation. you will just click through the project and show how it all works. this will allow everyone to see all results.

the actual critique will consist of each student providing written criticism of two peers. your criticism of your peer’s project will count toward your participation grade. post your crit as a comment on the appropriate classmate's blog post titled "statement on nonlinear project".
here is who you crit:

luke crits lance and abby
lance crits carly and bryan
carly crits dmitri and amanda
dmitri crits dustin and jessica
dustin crits kate and mo
kate crits tom and johnna
tom crits cam and richard
cam crits jonathan and tammy
jonathan crits sean and micah
sean crits micah and lance
micah crits abby and carly
abby crits bryan and dmitri
bryan crits amanda and dustin
amanda crits jessica and kate
jessica crits mo and tom
mo crits johnna and cam
johnna crits richard and jonathan
richard crits tammy and luke
tammy crits luke and sean

process blog requirements
  • sketches of initial visual directions
  • semi-final directions
  • final direction(s) in progress
  • a screen grab or two of final project
  • writing supporting the above visuals (insights, commentary, and things learned during the process)

Wednesday, November 4

flash actionscript sites

i stole this from my multimedia class with the seniors. they are currently doing a ton of actionscript stuff for a portfolio project, so they may be a good resource for additional links or help. of course. paid subscription site.

several helpful beginning actionscript videos in here.

five video demos for flash beginners (includes some basic actionscript info)

some good sample fla files for beginners and intermediates

a good collection of beginner video tutorials

a huge range of user-generated tutorials, including a section on interactivity and navigation. is a site that aims to make designers better developers, and maybe even help developers become better designers.

Friday, October 30

3F :: SOUND :: final schedule

nov 4 wed: group crits on 3 visual iterations. select a final direction.

nov 6 fri: production / work day.

nov 11 wed: final crit

3F :: SOUND :: actionscriptology

in class
flash actionscript3 demo

  • post to blogs: a selection of your initial sketes, your refined ideas, and your three visual iterations of your final direction.
  • get feedback from classmates about your iterations and we will review those in small groups again on wednesday.
  • consider how your project is shaping up in relation to the initial syntagm/paradigm lecture. what types of “sentences” will users be able to make using your project? imagine a linear process they can go through in one play session and map out the syntagmatic/paradigmatic possibilities using words. we will look at those along with your sketches.

project deadline: wednesday november 11
do everything in your power to amaze and delight yourself, me, and future participants in your interactive sound/image conglomeration.

Wednesday, October 28

3E :: SOUND :: non-linear refinements

our demo will be friday instead of today. we will demonstrate and practice the three interactions you are restricted to:
-- clicking an item to stop/start a sound
-- clicking an item to enlarge and view an image or movie
-- click that enlarged image or movie to remove it from the screen

as i have said before, anything beyond that is your own issue.

in class
look at examples from previous year.
brief demo on making "flv" files, movie clips, and playing a clip on the stage using actionscript.
review refined sketches as a group.

develop one final solution into three different (wide-ranging) visual approaches for friday.

Tuesday, October 27

3D :: SOUND :: blog posts

for this project, i'd like you to document
  • your final collection of sounds [refer to previous posts (a) (b) for help]
  • a few of your promising first-round ideas
  • semi-final designs
  • a few screen grabs of your final project in action

3D :: more sound hosting sources

jessica meurer sent this over as a complement to the sound cloud option that bryan told us about.

here are the details:
- 1 GB of space that you can access from any computer
- 250 MB of daily outgoing bandwidth.
- Upload files as large as 50 MB.
- Create up-to 20 folders to neatly organize your files, mp3's, and images.
- Hot linking enabled!
- Cost = FREE!

here is the embedding code you can use for your blog, that jessica gave me:
<embed src= ""
quality="high" width="300" height="52" allowScriptAccess="always" 
wmode="transparent"  type="application/x-shockwave-flash" 
flashvars= "valid_sample_rate=true&external_url=THIS IS WHERE THE FILE 
NAME GOES" pluginspage=""> 

make sure you get rid of the line breaks i have in there.
awesome, jessica. thanks!

Wednesday, October 21

3C :: SOUND :: non-linear story framework

by now you should have a solid collection of sounds that give an accurate, if personal, idea of our activity/hobby. we will now embark on phase two of the project -- constructing an interactive framework in which all previous story elements may be placed.

framing question:
how can you design an interactive, non-linear framework with your set of elements (sounds, images, movie clips) that allows participants to construct their own stories? 

the purpose of this for the participants is to P L A Y, to make their own decisions / discoveries as they create their own stories.

requirements / restrictions: 
  • 1024 x 768 screen size in flash
  • elements need to clearly be components of a story: individual actions, words, images or short scenes.
  • new visual elements can be added as needed, but make good use of your existing library of visuals and footage. 
  • because this is our first real interactive project, participants will only be able to engage in a few basic actions

    -- clicking an item to stop/start a sound

    -- clicking an item to enlarge and view an image or movie

    -- click that enlarged image or movie to remove it from the screen 

  • how much control do you want participants to have in your narrative? 
  • how small, large, long, short, etc, should each component be? 
  • how can you build something that will make people want to actively particpate in your narrative? 
  • think of your story elements metaphorically as words that can be recombined to make different sentences. 
  • think about the structure/composition of the screen as an abstract space that allows multiple elements to interact. what kinds of visual structures can allow for that? 

for clarification, i view the sounds/images/movies you have made as narrative elements, because they have a pre-made form and point-of-view. participants will be actively building a story structure, narrated by you. they become the editors of your narrative. but of course, feel free to argue that.

due next class: 
  • final aif or mp3 files of all individual sounds, including revisions to sound mark. 
  • six sets of loose sketches of a screen structure that allows for your participants to play with your narrative elements. each set will consist of the original screen (before clicking) and two more screens revealing how the participant is building and interacting with the story. use annotations as needed to clarify visuals.

Friday, October 16

uploading sound files

use to upload your sound files. i have not looked at the site, so i don't know all of the details, but look into it. bryan says you can embed the soundcloud files into your blogs. thanks for the link, bryan!

3B :: SOUND :: sound examples

music with lyrics
family guy theme song

oscar mayer jingle

mcdonalds “you deserve a break today

mood-setting music study of its effects

note the hierarchy and sequence within multiple sound channels:
mood music + sfx sound design project
mood music, lyrics, + voice over for sony
click videos to listen

voice / voice-over promo reel

t-mobile sound mark
this commercial includes music, voice-over, and a sound mark

3B :: SOUND :: sound mark

develop a “sound mark” for your activity.

A sound trademark is a non-conventional trademark where sound is used to perform the trademark function of uniquely identifying the commercial origin of products or services
-- wikipedia

this is the sonic equivalent of a logo, branding your activity and making it memorable. i would argue that it should communicate an idea different from that of a visual mark, but of course you may argue differently.

the sound mark must be less than 2 seconds, and must be created by you, not “found”.

sonic brand (aptly named) is an example of a studio designing sound for brands.

3B :: SOUND :: some thoughts

here are a few things for everyone to consider as you all collect sounds:

- be thinking of these sounds as a "sonic palette" that represents your activity as a whole, similar to a color palette for a visual identity project, or a collection of visual elements to select and rearrange in a composition. when people hear your whole collection of final sounds, they should be able to name the activity.

- make sure you spend adequate time recording your own custom sounds -- both literal and abstract representations. digging around for pre-existing sounds is like using stock photography or google images all the time versus making your own images. a big part of this project is appreciating how difficult it is to produce good sounds, and to try and be creative in how you capture those sounds.

- give an honest try to writing and recording a custom voice-over for the same reasons as stated above. i believe you will learn more from the process than just finding a nice pre-existing quotable piece from a movie or tv show.

- technically speaking, make sure every sound is its own aiff or mp3 file, and only contains one communication channel (only voice for the voice-over, no music or sfx). we will worry about layering things later on.

next class we will listen to some highlights from everyone and compare notes. then we'll determine where to go next.

p.s. if someone will grab "the films of charles and ray eames, volume 1" (call number PN1997 .A1 E122f 1989) and their book about "the powers of ten" (call number QB981 M881p 1982), we will take a look in class this coming week or next.

Wednesday, October 14

3A :: SOUND :: objectives/get started

you asked for it, you got it -- sound (well, sort of). this project will be examining two narrative issues at once -- the aural communication channels of music, voice, and sound effects, as well as non-linear narratives.

• explain what music, voice, and sound effects bring to a narrative that is different from visual communication channels
• explain through comparison and contrast the different communicative qualities of music, voice, and sound effects
• explain the differences between simultaneous and sequential communication
• apply knowledge of narrative, its manipulation, and application across media in linear and non-linear forms
• apply the communicative potential of the various temporal elements (duration, motion, and transition) and communication channels (image, text, voice, music, sound effects) to classroom projects
• apply deeper technical understanding of flash, photoshop, illustrator, and video / sound software and apply to the production of classroom projects

to begin the project, let’s build a set of sounds that will work nicely with your chosen activity/hobby thingie. as with visual processes, your first idea is not always your best. collect a range of things to edit down and refine.

music (2 sound files)
- a song where the lyrics relate to the subject matter in any way. it needn’t be a direct or overt reference, but can hint at the subject matter if desired.
- an instrumental song (30-second minimum) that captures a feeling that relates to your activity/hobby.

voice (1 sound file)
- write a 30-second or less “voice over” narrative that serves as one of the following:

  • basic introduction (tells what your experience/activity is);
  • history (tells how it began), or;
  • emotive/poetic description (tells what it’s like). 

in a test, i spoke about 80 words in 30 seconds, which is one (quite) short paragraph. keep it very concise. time yourself because you will be held to that limit.

sound effects (minimum of 3 files)
- anything involved in your activity, or related in any direct way. abstract as well as literal sounds are encouraged.

free sound editing software
download audacity here
and a nifty how-to handout to help you use that free software.

a digital audio recorder (built in mic) and stereo mics are available from the media center if you wish to do field recording. “mono” is single-channel sound, and “stereo” is dual-channel sound, allowing you to control recording and playback for a left or right speaker. an example is hearing two people whispering to you, one in each ear, or a siren moving (panning) from left to right.

you will have two class sessions to collect all of your sounds and edit them down to the required number of files.

Thursday, October 8

2H :: KINETIC TYPE :: animation/production

in class: review near-final ideas in small groups. work day. 

crit next class session. see post below for details.

Tuesday, October 6



again this project is due wednesday october 14.

  • one digital file of your animation, 720 x 480, quicktime format.
  • filename:
  • upload a final of your movie to your blog through vimeo or direct upload.
  • place your file in my CAS dropbox: CAS > faculty > tgalloway > public > dropbox

you will have two minutes to present your work and show your movie, and four minutes for comments (about 6 minutes total). your presentation should specifically and directly address what you learned, relative to the project objectives. you will also be responsible for generating discussion on your work, so prepare a few starter questions for your peers. what do you want feedback on?

when discussing what you learned, consider the following examples

average: “i learned that analog motion looks different than digitally-produced motion”
better: “the fluidity of keyframe animation with easing-in gave me the mechanical sense of acceleration that i could not achieve using a hand-generated process”

average: “storyboarding helped me plan out my animation”
better: “my first attempt at production went way longer than planned in my storyboard, so i had to edit my footage down more to fit my original design.”

hopefully you can see much clearer evidence of learning and understanding of the concepts in the “better” examples.

for blogs
make sure you have all the cumulative required data:
  • initial word lists and final decision of noun + three verbs
  • 30 sketches for selected words, in three separate images -- one verb per image. piece together in photoshop if necessary
  • 3 pics of your storyboard sketches
  • good photo or screengrab of final storyboard
  • semi-final animation test(s)
  • final animation

Friday, October 2


you should be making decent progress on the production of your animation by now. in class we will do some finding and sharing, then have a flash demo on tweening, easing, masking, transparency, etc. (see video below).

afterwards, conduct small group discussions/critiques/help sessions so you can have the benefit of multi-student software/production wisdom. help each other out both conceptually and technically. the remainder of class will be work time.

post to your blogs by next class:
semi-final version of your animation using the little "add video" button on the top of your post input box in blogger. 100 mb max and an example of what it looks like is below. if it's too big, try changing the compression quality in the quicktime settings . try h.264 and set it to "medium quality". your animation needn't be finished -- just post up what you have so far.

this project is due on wednesday october 14. final crit requirements to come.

Wednesday, September 30

2E :: KINETIC TYPE :: form making/testing

you should now have the following:
  • a final planning document (storyboard) for how you want your animation to flow. 
  • a general sense for how long the piece should be. 
  • a plan A and plan B for how to execute your kinetic type. 

today we will look at basics of imovie and aftereffects as production tools.

considerations for analog typography 
  • how will you generate your typography physically? what materials, spaces, objects?
  • how will you capture that in a movie? still camera? video camera? scanner? copier? other? 
  • how will it be lit? 
  • how will you move it around (camera move, object move, both move)?
  • what will you use to move things around? 
  • how can you control things so viewers focus on the typo-concept and not how you did it or what you used to do it?
  • what is the difference between real-world motion and computer motion? which is most appropriate for your words?

due next class
  • review “newton’s laws of motion” lecture over in the sidebar to the right. 
  • production work; preparing objects, models, words, and so on. making test movies. you have three more class sessions, then crit. 

in class friday
flash demo: import to library, motion and shape tweens, motion paths, masks, transparency

Friday, September 25

2D :: KINETIC TYPE :: storyboards

in class we will work in pairs to determine the strongest direction for each of your three actions. when making final decisions, keep in mind how everything goes together both formally and conceptually.

due next class
one 30-frame storyboard that covers your entire animation. using a timer while looking at your rough storyboard, determine how long you want your animation to be. you will start a timer and imagine the animation progressing. do this a few times, writing down the duration each time. you will be making a 30-frame storyboard, so divide your average time by 30. that will tell you the duration of each frame in your storyboard.
a 1-minute animation, divided by 30 frames = 2 seconds per frame.
a 10-second animation, divided by 30 frames = a frame every .33 seconds (or 3 frames per second).
a 15-second animation, divided by 30 frames = a frame every .5 seconds (or 2 frames per second).

mounting specs for storyboards are here.
import this pdf into an indesign file. position the margins correctly and crop out the titles and measurements. add in your own text. drop in scans on a layer underneath the template or carefully draw in images after printing out. this is an 11 x 17 print. do not mount but make sure it is of good quality.

have a solid plan for how to produce your kinetic type: materials, processes, etc. a “plan B” is always a smart idea, so have that also.

post to your blogs by next class session
- 3 pics of your rough storyboards from friday's class
- good image of your final storyboard

Thursday, September 24

new links to studios

i put these in the sidebar to the right, but wanted to highlight them here as new finds.

from josh eithun. thanks, josh.


we are royale

also, lecturing at KU on monday oct 26, 6pm:


Wednesday, September 23

2c :: KINETIC TYPE :: transitions

take a macro view of your mass of sketches and look for treatments of words that might be linked together nicely with your existing animation. this linking could be done conceptually, formally, or both. identify three actions that you can link, and begin working out transitions between word and image or word and word.

  • which actions are extending the meaning of the narrative rather than re-stating what is already told in the image sequence? 
  • what are the possible categories of juxtaposing of type and image over time? examples: simultaneous text/image, sequential text/image. are there others? 
  • what sequence of text and images might narrate a new story in an interesting way? 
  • how might the nature of the transition itself be meaningful? 

at some point during class, let’s regroup and take 15 minutes to share initial brainstorms about how our transitions are working.

at this point you should be refining your initial ideas both formally and conceptually. typeface choice/lettering style, quality of motion, composition, color, etc should be taking shape now. these ideas can be produced in flash, but i would recommend attempting to produce them in some analog fashion. be creative here -- that’s your job as a designer, to create amazing and original ideas. work within the 3:2 aspect ratio, or 720 px x 480 px (6” x 4” in print).

homework for next class 
read “moving type” pp 46-63, available as an e-reserve from the library.
- go to the kcai library website
- at the bottom of the page, click “retrieve by instructor name” under “course reserves”
- type in “galloway”
- select the narrative class
- type in your name and info. our course password is “narrative”.
- click on “view image of: moving type” it’s a pdf file.

produce three different ROUGH directions for how your text might combine with your current “image duration” animation. use whatever method is fastest for rendering your previous images -- drop existing scans into a storyboard template, trace them in pencil/pen, or whatever. then show how the type could behave in relation to the imagery.

post to your blogs by next class 
  • initial word lists and final decision of noun + three verbs 
  • 30 sketches for selected verbs, in three separate images -- one verb per image. piece together in photoshop if necessary

Friday, September 18

2B :: KINETIC TYPE :: brainstorming

once you have a single direction decided upon, work on expanding your motion ideas in both breadth and depth. try to come up with more ideas as well as roughly storyboarding those ideas out over five frames to show the idea’s progression. these can be digital or analog, but analog is probably less restrictive -- use your discretion and don’t restrict yourself by using only digital tools.

is this exposition, narration, or description (argument and drama are probably not appropriate here)? how does that shape typeface/lettering choice, color choice, motion quality, character, etc?

what is the duration of your action in the real world? how does that affect its representation in your work? will you remain consistent with actual elapsed time, or change for clarity or dramatic effect?

what is the quality of the motion you are depicting? how is that conveyed through the elements of design and not just the motion itself?

for next class
add five new ideas to each of your verb ideas, for a total of 30 sketches -- 10 sketches per verb. each sketch should consist of a five frame storyboard.

Wednesday, September 16

2A :: KINETIC TYPE :: action/object concepting

while the first project looked at image, duration, and editing to create a narrative, project two will focus on the text communication channel and the temporal elements of motion and transition. you will name objects from your activity and use that typographic name to communicate an action through motion over time on the screen. that typography in motion will be edited together with project one to develop a more complex narrative. 

project objectives
  • interpret principles of 2-d design within temporal media 
  • learn the basics of story boarding to convey movement, direction, the passage of time and mood 
  • explain how messages are constructed over time 
  • develop a range of form generation methods from analog to digital 
  • explain the differences and qualities of digital and analog motion 
  • apply the communicative potential of the various temporal elements (duration, motion, and transition) and communication channels (image, text, voice, music, sound effects) to classroom projects 
  • apply knowledge of proper planning and creative processes (ideation, story boarding, writing, file management, editing, and presenting) to classroom projects 

as the foundation of your typographic narrative, you will identify by name a couple of objects (nouns) that can engage in three actions (verbs) that are related to your activity in some way. 

examples for my activity “playing guitar” 
object (noun) = “strings”; actions (verbs) = “bend”, “vibrate” and “break” 
object = “guitar pick”; actions = “flex”, “slap” and “scrape” 

carefully consider the relationship of your nouns to your existing “motion capture” project. should the relationship be explicit or implicit? should your words seek to specify or expand meanings? 

color and typeface/lettering choice is open on this project. while choosing typefaces or lettering style, look closely at the form and detail of the letters and think about their formal relationship to your words before choosing. attempt to visualize a formal connection between the chosen type and the object words which function conceptually as a unit. read and think about what your three event/movement words mean. begin sketching ways to animate the letters of your object word to reflect the event/movement ideas. DO NOT consider how this might be done within the software. that is a dangerous limiter of creativity. 

  1. noun + 3 verbs 
  2. noun + 3 verbs 
  3. a range of appropriate typefaces or lettering styles for each noun 
  4. five thumbnails (min) for each verb, visualizing a frame or two of how the animation might develop; 30 sketches (min) total. sketches do not have to be done within frames of a storyboard, they should be much looser than storyboards and explore as many visual ideas as possible. 

during next class session, you will be choosing one of those object words to create your narrative, consisting of three actions.

Friday, September 11

1F :: MOTION CAPTURE :: presentation

two to three minutes will be given for presentation of your work. show your work to the group and tell us what you learned relative to the project objectives below. address the ones most relevant to your learning process. 

  • demonstrate a compelling and clear use of sequence in narration. 
  • explain how messages are constructed over time. 
  • demonstrate how point-of-view adds interest to a narrative.
  • learn the basics of story boarding to convey movement, direction, the passage of time and mood.
  • experiment with a variety of media to tell stories.
  • interpret principles of 2-d design within temporal media (balance, contrast, direction/motion, emphasis, rhythm, unity).
  • explain the affordances of screen-based linear narratives in relation to printed communications.
  • apply precise craft to the creation of story board panels and overall presentation.
  • engage in thoughtful and positive group and one-on-one critiques. 

four to five minutes will be given for class critique. each student has seven minutes total for presentation and feedback.

1E :: MOTION CAPTURE :: editing

now that you have been armed with some basic knowledge of how to approach editing, see what you can accomplish with both a combined book and movie. work out a range of ideas for combining both points-of-view. what types of edits can you manage? does it work to try and match your movie to your book, or vice versa? do they need to be the same, or should you take advantage of each medium and its affordances to do something different? select the best edit for each medium and prepare them for final presentation.

artifacts due
three books -- two original actions and one edited book combining the two p.o.v.s
two storyboards -- from your original 20 frame narratives
three quicktime movies -- two original p.o.v.s and one edited movie combining the two p.o.v.s. use the following naming convention:,,
if you share a last name with someone, use, etc.

turn in all three books and storyboards; before crit, place digital files in my CAS dropbox: faculty > tgalloway

Wednesday, September 9

1D :: MOTION CAPTURE :: putting movies on vimeo

  1. go to
  2. click "sign up for vimeo" on the right side of the screen.
  3. go for the free "basic" account.
  4. you will receive a confirmation email, to which you have to respond.
  5. once you're in, click "upload a video".
  6. read over the compression guidelines info to make sure your video is as high quality as possible. most of these issues are covered in my demo steps.
  7. hit the "upload a video" button and browse to your file on your computer.
  8. add in a title and relevant info and hit "save".
  9. you will have to wait in line for your video to be processed, so be patient.
  10. all done!

1D :: MOTION CAPTURE :: making movies

today we're going to create a basic stop-motion animation using flash.

once your 20 storyboard frames are digitized, create a layered psd file of them.
- final animation and photoshop files = 720 x 480 pixels, 72 dpi, RGB color mode

scan your frames above our target size and resolution at, for example, 105% or 144 dpi. scanning them at a higher resolution and slightly larger format will allow you to make any necessary quality and cropping adjustments in photoshop.

stack your frames sequentially in a multi-layered photoshop document a bit larger than your scanned images to allow for your adjustments. you can now easily fine-tune frame by frame alignments by turning layer visibility on or off and moving the frames as necessary. wait until all image adjustments and alignments are made before cropping and resizing to the final format. be sure to keep the larger version saved with a different name in case you need to readjust anything.

in flash, start a new document that is 720 x 480 px, 30 frames-per-second. these settings can be found in window > properties.
select file > import > import to stage. select your desired psd file.
- select the layers you want to import, say "convert to keyframes" and "place layers at original position"
- this will auto-magically give you a sweet stop-frame animation.
- to adjust speed, grab keyframes and drag them back and forth on the timeline.
- to export as a quicktime movie, select file > export > export movie.
- select quicktime format and hit "save".
- in "export movie", select "quicktime settings" and select "video settings"
- under "compression type", select H.264. under "frame rate", select "automatic", and under "compressor quality" select "best" and hit the "best quality" radio button.
- hit export.
- done!

next class
have one quicktime movie of each action ready to show the group.

final books
remember that 10-frame book we talked about at the very beginning of the project? make two final copies of each book -- four total. use good quality paper and add front and back covers. the front should state 1) the event/experience, 2) point of view, and 3) your name in simple typesetting, in black and white. here are the exact specs:

- 7” wide by 4” high, trimmed and french folded (fold on the outside edge, not at the spine). 14” x 4” unfolded.
- image area is 6” x 4” with a 1” margin for binding with two bulldog clips. take off the silver thingies.

your blogs
post pics of each spread from your two books. you will have 10 pics total. label your post “NA”.
post your two quicktime movies to a vimeo account and embed to your blogs. let me know if you can’t figure that out and i’ll provide instructions.

understanding comics pp 74-93, available on library reserve.

Thursday, September 3

1C :: MOTION CAPTURE :: revised friday deliverables

friday's class (sept 4) will be primarily a work day, with a break for the "narrative vs story, part II" lecture. all that is due is progress toward the deliverables from last class. everything that was due for friday will be due next class session, so you have this extra day to do your work.

there is a ton of stuff due, so make very good use of your time between now and friday, as well as good use of your time in class friday.

a quick re-cap of deliverables for next wed, sept 9:
  • read "understanding comics" pp 60-73
  • two finalized 20-frame narratives, each mounted on board
  • digital files of each storyboard image.
  • blog documentation of each storyboard

see the previous post (below) for details.

Wednesday, September 2

1C :: MOTION CAPTURE :: storyboards

in class:
- desk/small group crits to determine final two narrative approaches.
- find+share
- narrative lecture part II.

select a final rendering style for each p.o.v.; two total. your two final narratives will be developed into two 20-frame, fully rendered storyboards.

what needs to be done to double the amount of information in your narrative? is it simple enough to add frames in between each moment in the action you’ve captured in images? are there other ways to approach this?

each storyboard frame will be output at half size -- 3” x 2”. final display specs are here. make sure you have digital files for each frame that are fairly high res -- about 1000 pixels wide, minimum, would be ideal.

snap a photo of each storyboard and post it to your blog. label it “NA” of course.

understanding comics pp 60-73, available on library reserve.

Friday, August 28

1B :: MOTION CAPTURE :: refinements

in class: find+share.
full group review of sketches in class. post sheets on wall.
lecture on narrative theory, pt 1.


review the following information about storyboards here.

revisions for next class -- sept 2:

based on the feedback you’ve received from critique, eliminate one rendering choice and improve/revise, tighten, and generally improve the remaining four ideas (2 mediums, 2 p.o.v.) for next class period. produce tighter storyboards and improved rendering samples to show the media/style -- same specs as before, just better. you have only two days for four well formed narratives, so work quickly to highly refine the following aspects of your work, with the goal of creating a more compelling narrative:

narrative considerations

creative plot/story structure (is your story [what you say] surprising, funny, visceral, emotional in some way?)

creative narrative approach (is the overall point of view [the way you say it] interesting/unique?)

narrative clarity / flow of events (is the sequence evident, coherent, understandable across frames? can you communicate more subtleties?)

direct vs indirect storytelling (use of metaphor or indexical signs, rather than icons)

layering on additional meaning (the implications / results of the action, editorializing? similar to point of view)

pacing (slower? faster? should you change pace through the piece?)

visual considerations

recognizable objects / actions (can we tell what’s happening in each frame? is there a better vantage point? does the rendering need to be clarified?)

overall visual quality (framing, scale, composition, color contrast/values, lighting, foreground / background editing for clarity, etc)

media / material (appropriate to subject matter? does it convey meaning or help with the narrative in some way? do physical objects help?)

are there consistent elements so the variable elements seem to actually be moving? how do we know things are moving?
- - - - - - - -

we will look at improvements to your four narratives next class. document these improvements in the same manner as last class -- two 11 x 17 storyboard sketches and four rendering studies. label post as “NA”

Wednesday, August 26


project objectives:
- demonstrate a compelling and clear use of sequence in narration.
- explain how messages are constructed over time.
- demonstrate how point-of-view adds interest to a narrative
- learn the basics of story boarding to convey movement, direction, the passage of time and mood.
- experiment with a variety of media to tell stories.
- interpret principles of 2-d design within temporal media (balance, contrast, direction/motion, emphasis, rhythm, unity).
- explain the affordances of screen-based linear narratives in relation to printed communications.
- apply precise craft to the creation of story board panels and overall presentation.
- engage in thoughtful and positive group and one-on-one critiques.

choose an activity / sport / hobby / game you enjoy. do not choose the subject matter that you used for last year’s icon set. your choice has to encompass a range of actions/activities, and you have to be able to observe it firsthand this semester to make images, photos, video, and observations. it’s better if other people you know participate in it as well. there also has to be a t.v. program, t.v. station, video, or film about this activity (hg tv, nfl, documentary, etc).

choose an event / experience from your activity / sport / hobby / game to visualize over a ten-image book sequence from two points-of-view (yes, image class is already proving useful). consider micro and macro motions/events; complex and simple motions; various points-of-view (first, second, and third person. and what does that mean, by the way?); literal, abstract, or metaphorical actions. consider pacing and sequencing through your book. how fast is the experience going? are you maintaining a consistent speed, or changing speed? how can this be done in a book? is it possible to “freeze” the action?

by the end of the day (wednesday), post your activity / sport / hobby / game decision to your blog, as well as your chosen event / experience. label your post "na" for narrative class.

- two 10-frame sequences sketched out in 3” x 2” horizontal frames on 11 x 17 horizontal paper, one sequence for each point-of-view. this is your storyboard to show how the action progresses in your event.
- select a key moment in the event to render in three media of your choice -- 6” x 4” images. show both p.o.v.s for each medium on an 8.5 x 11 sheet, for a total of six tight images on three sheets.
- 1st person p.o.v. in collage, 3rd person p.o.v in collage
- 1st person p.o.v. in photos, 3rd person p.o.v in photos
- 1st person p.o.v. in pencil, 3rd person p.o.v in pencil

any analog medium is fine, as are digital photos.

- document everything to place on your blog -- two 11 x 17 storyboard sketches and six rendering studies. label your post “NA” (for narrative)

Friday, August 7


we will look at one new short narrative form each class session, provided by you, dear students. the format is open -- it can be a book, magazine, motion graphic, short film, tv commercial or even a sequence of billboards. the important aspect is that it is a temporal narrative -- a story told over time. each person will be chosen at random in each class session, so have a few options in your back pocket at all times.

stick all of your found stuff here, or at least a reference to it if it's a printed piece. we will view in class to be sure everyone has the benefit of seeing them. good times, kids!

Saturday, August 16


all project descriptions, objectives, specifications and deadlines will be posted here. it is your responsibility to check regularly for important updates, new assignments and topical references.

i intend the blog to function as an ongoing dialog and extension beyond the classroom. If you have project-specific questions that arise outside of class please ask. Everyone is welcome to reply and I will respond on/before online hours or in class.

required readings and discussion topics are provided to clarify and expand your knowledge of issues addressed in studio and design in general. we will discuss these either as a class or you will be asked to post responses to this blog.

visual & creative inspiration abounds online and i encourage you to embark upon serendipitous or purposeful surfing. once you find something share-worthy post it to "find+share".

occasionally i will assign an online crit in order to provide an alternative forum for classroom feedback and collaborative effort.

if those reasons aren't enough to get involved, remember, your online presence does count toward your online participation grade. i evaluate post quality and quantity, which is factored into individual project grades under the "process" and "participation" sections.