Visual Aesthetics Infographic

Both time periods look bad, but this recession doesn’t compare to the Great Depression. The charts looks similar due to scaling.

Our third project for Phillip’s Visual Aesthetics class might have been my least favorite.  Working on Flash projects in groups just doesn’t seem to work as well as the individual projects.  On the positive side it gives you a chance to learn from other group members or teach them.  Group projects are tough as it is but they’re especially difficult when only one person can access the file at a time to make changes.

We were given the economy as a topic to make an infographic about.  The group chose to compare the economy of today to how it was during the Great Depression.  My job in this project was to research the stock market during these years and find comparable numbers and charts that we could show in a graph form.  I ended up making a line chart that is not visible at first, but once the reveal button is clicked the line of the line chart begins moving across the chart.  Hotspots appear on the line to indicate important dates and government involvement.  Overall I think we did a good job on the project, but I think it could have been better.  I say this knowing that we made it in the middle of the semester and seeing how everyone’s work has improved since then.

Kelsey did a great job designing the dock while Emily implemented some advanced Flash that took our project to the next level.


Journalism in the Age of Data

“Journalism in the Age of Data” has made me realize two things: the people who work in the info-graphics business are a little strange, and my group project on the economy needs to be tightened so that it tells more of a story.  Luckily, I can do something about my second realization.  During our critiques in class on Friday, Lou made the most important and useful observation about our project: it was missing a page that tied the whole story together.  His idea was to do a final graphic on the government involvement during the Great Depression and the current recession.  The two obvious examples being FDR’s New Deal and 2008’s $787 billion stimulus package.

The New York Times goes above and beyond with their data visualizations.  I was most impressed with the porcupine line graph of current economic data, which then had the experts’ projected data that was always higher and more optimistic than what actually ended up happening.  I wonder if Amanda Cox, the “queen” of info-graphics, only works on info-graphics or does she do other stuff as well for the New York Times.  I think I would be incredibly bored only creating info-graphics as my job and thinking up new ways to tell the story of the information.  I would have to be doing something else as well like we do in iMedia, flash projects mixed in with info-graphics and videos.  I think it takes a certain person like you see in the video to be able to only do info-graphics for a living.

An entire year of someones life chronicled through infographics.

The section of the video “Life as a Data Stream” is the coolest part of the video.  Nicholas Felton’s idea to go back and look at the past year of his life and turn that information into a book of info-graphics is a great and innovative idea.  Someone in iMedia could do their capstone project on information like this and print it out into a little book like he did.  I think this would be a very successful project because the concept is familiar but it has its own twist that makes it unique.


Producing Interactive Media – Project 3

Can you figure out who the killer is?

This was by far my favorite of the projects this semester because I was able to work on video.  Our group went above and beyond on this project because we were able to express a certain creativity compromising of several aspects of interactive media.  This was only the second project that we had the opportunity to do a video for in all of our classes so our group knew it was important and wanted to do it right.  We shot all of our footage on the Saturday during Thanksgiving.  We spent a little more than six hours filming inside and around Lindner’s “Hogwarts Room.”  What made this project so much easier to work on was how fast it went by because every part of it was fun to make.  I might not have thought editing the 2+ hours of footage down to 10 minutes was fun towards the end, but I am ecstatic with the results.  I think we captured the essence of the game “Clue” as well as the film noir style in which we shot and edited the short film.  I’d also like to give kudos to the actors in our video, who all did a great/convincing job.  The one thing that I would have changed with the video is more close-ups of our actors when they’re sitting around the table just to break it up from the long medium shots.


Producing Interactive Media – Project 2

JJ Redick doesn't miss.

Project 2 is another example of work I will be putting on my portfolio.  I decided to make a basketball shooting game for this assignment.  I think it was successful because no one else made a game like that.  In my head I envisioned a game where you hit the space bar and the shooter jumps and you hit it again and the shooter shoots the ball.  Depending on if you got the time right the shot would either go in or miss.  It ended up being easier to just create power bars (thanks, Sang!) that you can click and if it gets within a certain space on the power bars it would do one of four things: airball, front of the rim, swish, off the backboard.  Once we figured out how to make the power bars work it was easy to make.  If I could do it over again I would have messed with the bone tool from the beginning in order to give the shooter movement and make it look like he was actually shooting instead of standing stationary.  I tried doing it once I was done with everything else but the image I created of the shooter was too complicated for flash to implement the bone tool.  I think I did a nice job on the graphics and the font as well.

Producing Interactive Media – Project 1

I need to make a few tweaks to my GB Packers timeline before I try and send it to the organization for use on their website.

For our first project I made a Green Bay Packers timeline.  I really like the way it turned out with its visual and functional aspects.  However, I need to go back and make a few changes.

1.  If I had to do it over again I might have done less dates.  I think I got a little over-ambitious with the amount of content I wanted to use, but it turned out looking good.

2.  I need to go back in and change some of the action script so that you don’t have to open a movie clip and then have to close it using the same button.  You should be able to open it and then close it by opening another movie clip on the timeline.

3.  I think some of the movie clip boxes that pop up from the timeline have to much text on them and might need more from a graphics standpoint.

These are all things that I plan on fixing over winter term so that it will be ready to send to the Green Bay Packers in hopes that they will be able to use it on their website.


The Beatles Alarm Clock App

For Visual Aesthetics we had to create an alarm clock app for our final project.  We had the option of designing it in Illustrator, Photoshop or Flash and then had to give it some function in Flash.  I’m pleased with the design and layout of my project, I just wish I had been able to get it to function more in terms of navigability.  I ran into some problems that I couldn’t fix and had to do very basic navigation.

I wanted to use each silhouette to direct to a different feature.  The first one would take you to the alarm clock, second to the calendar, third to the radio and fourth to an iTunes image.  I was able to make that navigation work, but I had to make the buttons little rectangles that fit inside the silhouettes.  When it would go to the desired page the buttons would still be showing, so I made them numbers and put them outside of the iPhone.

No band will ever be better than The Beatles.

I needed to figure out a true/false statement that would make them visible on the home screen and invisible once they went to a new page.  Then when navigated back to the home page they would be visible again.  I also created buttons on each feature that would take you back to the home screen.  I went with the theme throughout to use the silhouetted images of The Beatles as the home button.  I couldn’t get these to work either because it kept saying it couldn’t recognize the movie clip that they were in.  I checked to make sure that everything was named properly and it was, but it still wouldn’t work.

Here is the code I had to use for the home screen navigation:

stop(); alarm_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,buttonPressed1); function buttonPressed1(event:MouseEvent){ home_mc.gotoAndStop(2); }

calendar_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,buttonPressed2); function buttonPressed2(event:MouseEvent){ home_mc.gotoAndStop(3); }

radio_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,buttonPressed3); function buttonPressed3(event:MouseEvent){ home_mc.gotoAndStop(4); }

itunes_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,buttonPressed4); function buttonPressed4(event:MouseEvent){ home_mc.gotoAndStop(5); }

I wanted to make my radio play Yellow Submarine when you click play. I used the actionscript and xml files that we used for our mp3 player in class. It wouldn't play even though no errors came up.


Augmented Reality

This was another assignment for Theory and Audience Analysis.  I think this was my favorite blogging assignment we had to do because we actually got to do something that was hands-on instead of reading like we had done every week.  JTR figured out a way to make this assignment possible.  I used her tutorial to make my own spinning Duke Basketball sphere through flash.


Theory & Audience Analysis Interactive Paper

For our Theory & Audience Analysis class we had to turn our 15 page research paper into an interactive paper.  I decided to make something in flash.  It’s simple, but tells key statistics and points to my paper.  I think the best part about it is the different images on the home pages comparing the looks of the iPhone apps that I covered in my paper.