[live web week 1] Interactive self-portrait

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(See my interactive self-portrait here.)

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get this first homework assignment done in time, given that I fell horribly sick this week (as I couldn’t help alluding to in the homework itself), but thankfully I managed to pull it off today. The code will probably not win any awards for efficiency, but I’m happy to have done a simple exercise in “pure” (non-p5) Javascript, HTML5 and CSS.

https://gist.github.com/nicolehe/cb6facf4ddac8e03049a.js

[live web week 1] Response to “Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video”

This week, we read Steven Levy’s “Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video,” and were tasked with betting for it or against it. Levy says that in 10 years, over half of the videos we watch will be in real-time, while his friend Kevin Kelly bets that it will not be true.

It’s funny that Levy uses the app Color as his example of what the future will hold, as Color notoriously turned out to be one of the biggest and most embarrassing start-up failures in recent memory. Technology changes fast and is often quite unpredictable, which is one of the points of the piece, but the unpredictability factor works against the author, even just four years later.

Of course, I’m sure that if Levy wrote the article now, he’d cite Twitch as his top example, the popularity of which is certainly real and points to some kind of trend. I don’t know if I’d still bet on his side, though. I think there are some things that are suited for live consumption, like news, sports (and other competitions), award shows, pageants and panda cams, but most of the things that are happening in real-time are just not that interesting to simply watch as they’re happening. Improved streaming quality and technological advances don’t make mundane things compelling.

But I do think that if video chat is within his definition of “real-time video,” then maybe he does have a point. We enjoy looking at the faces of our friends and family as we speak to them, and that is an area that I think could overtake simple phone calls if the technology improves. Also, once video-conferencing gets even better, I’m guessing more employers would be willing to have employees that work remotely if there isn’t much of a loss in productivity.

In general, though, I’d go with Kelly.

[video & sound week 7] How To Fly A Kite (final video)

Aaron, Melody and I had a great time filming and editing our little video about flying a kite. We went to Prospect Park on a lovely beginning-of-fall day a couple weeks ago with a camera, tripod, kite, and a heavy dose of optimism about wind conditions.

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We set up the camera, and then decided that the two “characters” from our storyboard should be consistent throughout. It ended up being me as the main kite flyer, Aaron as the kite thrower, and Melody as the main person behind the camera.  IMG_0397

The park wasn’t too crowded and it was a beautiful day, so filming conditions were pretty good. We found that it wasn’t too hard to get the kite in the air, but the wind wasn’t strong enough to keep it up for more than a couple minutes. For our movie-making purposes, however, this was fine.

One of the challenges was that as the kite flyer, I generally had to run around to keep the kite up, which made it difficult for Melody to capture all the action in a smooth way on film. In order to get shots of the kite from below, Melody had to run around the park with me, all while craning her head and the camera up to get the footage.

After a successful afternoon of shooting, we rewarded ourselves with some ice cream floats.

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When it came time to edit, we structured the video as we originally envisioned it: in three main steps, from set-up, to getting the kite in the air, to keeping the kite in the air. We figured we would add either voice over or more titles to explain some of the in between steps, like testing the wind, or throwing the kite.

After getting feedback on our rough cut, we decided that the video didn’t really need any text-based instruction because visually, the steps were pretty straightforward. We found two tracks we liked from freemusicarchive.org by the artist Podington Bear that matched well with the kind of cute and lighthearted feeling we were going for.

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Matching the cuts to the beats brought it all together.

Overall, I found it to be a really helpful experience to make a video from start to finish. Watch it above!

[video and sound week 3] How to fly a kite storyboard

We’ve now moved on to the video portion of video and sound, and our first assignment is to draw a storyboard for a short video. I’m working with Melody and Aaron,

We decided to make a “How to Fly a Kite” video, though that may certainly change depending on how successful we are at flying a kite when it comes time to shoot. If that happens, the theme will likely be slightly different…

For now, we broke it up into three sections: 1) Get a kite, 2) Get the kite in the air, and 3) Keep the kite in the air.

Below are the storyboards we made. (Apologies for the lack of drawing ability in our entire group!)

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