Multi-media One

Course Overview...

This is the first of three multi-media courses. This series of courses will develop your communication skills using multiple media. Your previous graphic design courses provided a strong background in print and web design process and technology; multimedia expands design with motion, sound, and time. It excels at telling stories.

Here is a special bit of advice for you kids, from Falls alum and LA pro Ben Hurand.

“Advice… well, when considering timeline, I suppose the key is narration. Story telling. Doesn’t matter how good anything is designed, edited, produced… if it doesn’t inspire thought or inspiration, deliver a message, create a myth or tell a story, it isn’t doing it’s job.”

We will explore media not previously emphasized; video and audio; and will address design with the new element of time. We will develop key skills gradually—each project will add more onto our basic skills.

All "hands-on" deck!

We have a lot of tools to learn. These little machines need to be explained, demonstrated, and experienced. This is hands-on learning! There will be tech demos and in-class activities throughout the quarter, so show up on time and stay involved.

Time budget

The college norm for a 3-credit course says that it consumes 3 hours per credit, per week, or 9 hours per week. We meet 4 hours in class, so there is an expectation that you will have 5 hours per week for research and projects outside of class.

The Core Skill Sets

  • Research
  • Project planning
  • Collaboration
  • Design
  • Use of tools for audio, video, lighting, editing, and compositing.

Planning activities

  • Adapting or creating a story?

  • Using briefs, outlines, storyboards, mood boarding, shot sheets, animatics.

  • Storyboarding as a planning tool

    • Organize the narrative of the story
    • Control flow of action, composition, framing
    • Define the scenes; composition, location, props, actors
  • Animatics-storyboards with audio

    • Using audio skills and After Effects basic animation.
    • Expanded storyboarding; drawings are crudely animated to show action of actors and camera.
    • Soundtrack is a “rough” or “comp” level and syncs with the visuals. An effective soundtrack will carry the message.

Using our tools

  • Camera basics: frame resolution, format, RAW and JPEG. The exposure triangle: shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity. Focus, depth of field, white balance, using the menus, camera hand-holding and stabilization.
  • Shooting video w/DSLR: format, frame rate, interlaced and progressive, shutter speed, ISO, rolling shutter, stabilizer, auto focus and manual focusing, selective and rack focusing, tripod techniques. Camera Modes: auto, shutter priority, aperture priority, program, and manual.
  • Shooting with the Canon camcorder.
  • Shooting with phones, tablets, etc.
  • Audio: capturing sound with external microphones, on-camera mic., using external microphones, and synchronizing audio with video. Audio software, formats, sample rates, CODECs, effects, editing.
  • Lighting basics: types of light sources, color temperature. Quality of light: width of source, reflectors and modifiers, bouncing. Key lights, fill light, and hairlight. Lighting ratios. The use of lighting to model and define forms.
  • Content: framing, composition, story-telling, scripting, storyboard, using a shot list, acquiring audio and music.
  • Copyright laws, licensing, release forms.
  • The Adobe tools: Premiere, After Effects, Audition basics: Assembling sequences,animation of element properties on the timeline; and editing audio files.
  • Video editing: Premiere: projects, sequences and compositions, timelines, trimming, insert and rolling edits, effects, soundtracks and rubber band levels, output options.
  • Greenscreen: Using color filtering tools to mask out green areas and replace them with other content.
  • Stop-motion: Animating with a series of still images.
  • Shooting (with a video camera) people: interviewing strategies, scripted and unscripted styles. Lighting and microphone placement.

The time for tools

Since we will be sharing the equipment it won't be possible for everyone to practice using a piece of gear simultaneously. Here is the plan. You will have a checkoff list for the tools that lists the major features you will need to learn. The lists have checkoffs; one from a fellow student, and for the instructor. You can use the lab time to get these checkoffs, and you can do them in any order. Some will be really quick and some will be arduous.

Seeking the Level of Entry-Level

Being the first in a series courses, emphasis will be on learning the process of production and planning, but not every detail of the most complex software. Imagine yourself working as a designer for a small agency or in-house position. These folks often do not own all the professional equipment, yet they still get multimedia projects.

If you plan your production to fit the capabilities of the tools, you can produce excellent results with our tools and software.

Basic tools have easier learning curves. We can develop concepts and produce fully-formed projects more quickly.

If you have a strong desire to learn the bigger tools, perhaps you already have experience, please speak up. If you'd like to take any project to a higher level, that would be great.

Who are these Multi-media folks...what do they do?

The acclaimed Digital Kitchen spells out what they do in this job post, and it gives us an idea what a job in multi-media design might entail:

“Digital, for us, isn’t a technical term that designates media or medium. It’s the defining term for the era of engagement marketing.
We create innovative and mischievous communication strategies and assets designed for this era. We stimulate and navigate the machines and minds of 21st century consumers by speaking through the most effective portal, device, page, wall, animal, mineral, or vegetable available and relevant to a brand’s message.
We are award-winning creators and producers of branded content in multiple mediums. We are directors, designers, writers, new media strategists, musicians, animators, producers, illustrators and developers. The artists of DK have learned marketing and communication in the only school that counts: the rapidly shifting world of the last 10 years.”

So, they are looking for...

  • directors
  • designers
  • writers
  • new media strategists
  • musicians
  • animators
  • producers,
  • illustrators
  • developers

Where will you fit in?

The list above has a lot of room your talents. You may find yourself concentrating in some of these areas; or you may do an occasional project with multi-media. Or, you may be an art director hiring multi-media experts.

This course will expose you to the tools of the trade and the production process at a basic level, and you will have resources to build onto your skills in the future.