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.