Kathy’s Reflection on Final Animation Project

Before taking Communications Lab, I didn’t realize how much potential a person could have.  There’s no single correct way of doing things (like Math) in IMA. But essentially I found them quite similar. They’re all about technique or knowledge, thoughts or ideas, and time. I really enjoyed the way of creating an IMA work: just eliminate unnecessary anxiety and stress, and devote all yourself to a work, and even “live with it” for a period of time as professor said in class.  When facing technical problem, you should have the ability of self-learning and try to figure that out instead of avoiding it. In this process, you can put your idea into reality, and also have new inspirations when knowing how to do a new technical stuff. That’s pretty much what I’ve learned from this course.

In this final project, Villa and I experienced the whole process of story-boarding, materials collecting and editing, After Effect using, and finally Premiere using. I feel quite satisfied with our final piece, since it reached our goal, and we both tried our best and put our great efforts into it.  There’s certainly a lot more I could and would like to learn and do using Adobe Software. I really love Com Lab!!!

Midnight Party- Animation Project by Villa& Kathy

Our animation project- Midnight Party

Animation Final Project

I always believe that ComLab is a place where miracles happen and, indeed, it never fails me. Two weeks before, both Kathy and I never had any experience in using After Effect, or, to be more precise, both of us even didn’t have much ideas about what animation is. But, today, we were able to present our own animation. It is just hard to describe our feelings when we see our ducks and chickens moving and dancing.

The biggest problem of our animation is the blinking of eyes. The doll on the floor is actually a real doll of mine. When we took the photo, the light cast shadows on her, which made the color of her face slightly different in different areas. It really took us a while to do the blinking effect. We first used the clone stamp to Photoshop her face without eyes and then drew the closed eyes ourselves (Tablet is the best invention ever). And it is totally worth it because it made us feel like giving live to her.

There are two things that I really treasure in the process of making animation. One is timing. After watching Billy’s balloon, I had a strong feeling of how important timing is. Not only does it bring surprise, but also it drags people’s attention and influence the future development of animation. Therefore, when the doll is zoomed out and becomes pretty large, we didn’t make it blink immediately. Instead, we stopped the moving for 2 to 3 seconds. The other important thing is about the moving of camera. Unlike making video, there is no real camera moving and zooming in animation. But the working screen is exactly the camera. The audiences’ sights move together with the zooming and the changes of positions of things achieved by after effect. So even though there is no real camera, people can still feel the existence of the camera when they are watching animation.

This is the final project of ComLab. To be honest, I don’t want to end this course so quickly because I feel there is still many techniques I need to learn in order to do great pieces. This course is just amazing. 🙂

Animated Chinese Painting and Calligraphy– Connie Yu

Here’s the video of my animation project: Animation by Connie Yu

The animation project requires the combination of Photoshop, After Effects and Premeire, which is really challenging and time-consuming. But we did it! And all the final works are excellent! 

The goal of my animation is to make traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy alive. This idea occurred to me the moment when  we were informed to make animations. The process of making animation is enjoyable. I cannot even stop once I begin to work on my project. Basically, my animation is about the 3D moves of birds, flowers, insects and fish. I use calligraphy and sounds such as birds chirping and water flow to make transitions between different scenes. The background music is a classical tune played by Guzheng– a traditional Chinese musical instrument. The song is called 渔舟唱晚–if any interest : )

Here’s some tips based on my experience of Adobe After Effects:

  • Rotation is really important when making 3D effects.
  • “Pen tool” is a good way to make penmanship.
  • Always make sure that your working files are of the same size. (I once made my files in different sizes and had to fix all the stuff…)
  • Be careful, Don’t lose any of the working files or relevant files in the process!

All in all, I’m so glad to be in this class. It is incredible that I hadn’t heard of “Adobe” before I took Comm Lab! The final effect of the animated paintings and calligraphy looks really well and actually exceeds my original expectation!

Thanks Marrianne and all my classmates. Your talents inspired me a lot  during the whole semester, and your comments and reflections helped to improve my projects. Thank all of you!

Catherine and Sherry’s animation: Parents and Time, and reflection

To watch our animation, click this link: parent and time

Sherry’s reflection:

For this animation project, Catherine and me got our inspiration from an online comic collage which is made up of several scenes delivering a whole story. We picked our figure setting from the Internet and then drew all the scenes by ourselves with the IMA tablet.

            Our animation is made up of 8 scenes with the theme “parents and time”. We want to show that our parents are getting old without our notice and we should cherish the time we spend with them. After finishing all the movements in AE, we exported the files to Premier and then added the audio, as well as some transitions between each scene.
           We really had a lot of fun during this animation project!
Catherine’s reflection:
           After Effect turned out to be one of the most difficult softwares for me.  Just as what Marianne said, animation just depends on how much time you putting on it. The more time you spent on doing it and fixing it, the better animation you get.
         I drew the cartoon first. It took me a while to get used to the tablet. Then, Sherry and I worked hard in dealing with the movement of characters, catching the timing and solving the problem of resolution.  Something (like the size of the picture) that we forgot to check at the beginning finally caused us many problems. Next time, we may need to be very care about the setting  before we start.
         Anyway, it is still a very meaningful and interesting thing to do an animation.

Guille and Francis’s animation-Mr. Treasurer’s Music Video

Please click this -> Mr Treasurer’s Music Video to watch our animation.

Francis’s Reflection: Hooray! We finished the last work! At first, I actually intended to use this opportunity  to adapt a comic strip to an animation but we could not find pictures with high resolution so we gave up this idea. Then Guillermo came up with the idea of making a stick man animation and we thought this idea would work so we started to do it. I used Photoshop to make a stick man with several layers. After that, we started to split our work and create our animation.

During my process of creating animation, I find making animation is actually much much more harder than I thought. In most cases, I had to add more than one key frames in one single second within a single layer. As a result, although my part lasts only 30 seconds, it still took me hours to finish. Then I passed my part to Guille and he really did a good job in integrating our work together in Premiere. Huge shout-out to my teammate Guille!

Since this is my last reflection, I would like to add some personal feelings about this course. Of course I learned a lot of practical skills from this course.  Moreover, I really appreciate that ComLab offers me a completely new perspective of the world. I still clearly remember that when we went outside the classroom to search sounds during our sound project, I was surprised that there were so many beautiful sounds surrounding us and I had never noticed them before. Anyways, IMA is so fun that I cannot love it more!

Lily’s final animation project: Rescue

Lily’s final project

I really consider this final project as a good chance to challenge myself. During this class, starting from knowing little about remix and technical creation to getting more familiar to it, I now feel more capable of changing my interesting ideas into reality. I learnt a lot from this class. Not only about multiple techniques but also about our discussion on class. The more I have done, the more I realized that other people’s feedbacks are really important.

For this final project, I came up with the idea of doing an environmental piece (Maybe because all my course this semester is related to environmental issues). I want to use the existing cartoon characters because I’m not good at drawing… After I started doing it. I met so many difficulties: the resolution problem, the gap between my thoughts and actual effects… But I tried my best to figure it out. I really appreciate Professor Marianne and my classmates, who helped me a lot when I was working on it. Although there are still some flaws in the final piece, I believe that the days and nights efforts do works.

I just want to add some reflection about this final work. The first is that resolution is super important…I have spent an afternoon fixing all the work only because I forgot to adjust all the sources to the same resolution. The second part is there are several ways to create the effect that you want, but choosing the best one and figuring out how you would like to use it is the central part of doing animation. The third reflection is that try to learn by myself. We only have limited class time to discuss some techniques, but we can search online for further information. I found some interesting effects such as cc glass wipe, wiggle, etc. Learning by oneself is really important. The class led me to see the magic of aftereffect, but it is the further discovering and practicing process that really strengthen my skills.

Again, it is really a great great experience of taking this class.

Nicole Chan Animation Reflection

This class has been primarily based on group projects. The benefit is that I feel as though I’ve been able to become good friends with many of my classmates, but the disadvantage is that I have not mastered all the softwares because of my reliance on my group mates.

For this project, I decided to work individually. Learning After Effects was very difficult, and the learning curve was very steep. Nonetheless, I appreciated the creative freedom and the satisfaction I felt at 2:30AM when I finished the entire project was unbelievable.

Alicja’s Animation: Running to Stand Still

So this is my animation to the first minute of the song “Running to Stand Still” by U2:

The process of animation-making was fun, I have to admit, but at the same time much harder than I thought it would be. I have always liked to draw, and I draw a lot, but my drawings are certainly far from being perfect. They are more of sketches, so while I wanted to make the video from scratch (meaning that I will create all the assets by myself, without the help of internet resources), I was hesitant whether my very simple, almost childish drawings, will fit the animation and be “animatable” in the first place. I decided to give it a try anyway, and I was positively surprised. I did not expect it to be possible to animate the motion of the lips, for example, so flexibly. In the end, I think I like the effect I got – simple drawing coming to live.

I used a tablet to do all the drawings in Photoshop, and using it was not much different than pen and paper, I felt. I am now considering buying one of my own. Then I exported the files into AfterEffects to animate them. However, as the drawings took a long time and the work in AfterEffects was much more complicated than expected, I only managed to do the illustration for the first minute of the song; during holidays I want to extend it so that the entire song is covered.

It was quite amazing to notice how all we learned came together in this project: I used Photoshop, I worked with sound and then, once I animated the drawing in AfterEffects, I exported them out and combined them in iMovie, editing process very similar to the one for the video. That made me realize how I much I learned in this class, and it was a rewarding feeling, one that I am happy to end this course with.

Bridget and Richard’s animation project

Link to video

We got our inspirations from the dumpling festival, the Little Talks lip-sync video made by Shirley, Michelle, Kevin and ZZ,  the tradition of rickrolling, and the crazy nights spent at the IMA lab.

Most dumplings shown in the video are actual dumplings we bought for filming purposes.

We used Photoshop to draw the limbs of the dumplings, After Effects to animate the dumplings and special effects, and Premiere to compose the final video. After Effects was awfully slow on our computer. The “glowing lunchbox scene”, which is 10-second-long, took our computer 2 hours 15 minutes to render. We thought we would have to spend another night in the IMA lab, but luckily we found a monstrous iMac which boasts 32 gigs of RAM. It rendered and exported the video in a breeze.

We received a lot of help from other comlab students who agreed to portray truthfully in our video how they spend every night in the IMA lab. The beloved professors of IMA and CompSci also showed us their best moves back in the 80s. We’d like to say thank you to all of you. You guys are awesome.

**REAL** link to video

Mental&Susie’s “Mario’s Dumb Ways to Die”

Mario’s Dumb Ways to Die

Reflection:

Mental:

The course of working on the animation makes me feel satisfied. During the past two weeks, I together with my teammate Susie worked on this piece of “Mario’s Dumb Ways to Die” animation using almost every software we have learned this semester: from Photoshop, Premiere, to After Effects. Making animation requires great patience and effort because every single move and every single change of the character, we will have to spend a lot to change. Designing for the scene, collecting the materials and controlling the pace, all becomes interesting experiences after we finished all jobs. This is the first time that I feel that I am not doing something like rubbish. But totally a great piece of work! Also, I enjoy the course of teamwork!

Susie:

The com lab course almost finish and I really enjoy the class. Doing animation is something I want to do but  never try. I found that it is not such an easy work as it requires the skills of not only after effects, but also Photoshop and we need to arrange everything well before we start to do the animation, otherwise we will find that we lose some of the small pieces.

Mario is the character keep me company during my childhood, but this animation is actually make fun of him. What we want to do is to make everyone who watches our animation laugh and be relax during the finals.

“Little Talks” final cut! by Kevin, ZZ, Shirley and Michelle

youtube link http://youtu.be/j5oHw9-7WVg

We had a lot of fun when we were filming and editing this video assignment. We put emphasis on transitions in the video. We met a lot of difficulties when were filming. There are still some mistakes/ imperfect clips in our video, which shows us that we really need to consider all the details when we are filming, otherwise the edit will be a disaster.

We created all the transitions of our video and do filming together. We edited it and solved every technical problems together. We learned from each other and also got a lot of fun. I think it’s a perfect video because everyone works well as a whole team!

The biggest feeling we have is that when we were filming we have some small mistakes and we thought we can fix it in pr later. But in fact, when we tried to fix them it was much harder than we thought. And we also put a lot of efforts on the transitions. They were all a lot of work to do. Finally we made it! I feel so glad to work with our fantastic team members. Good job!

Long Overdue Reading Response: Ecstasy of Influence

Johnathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence: A plagiarism was a very complicated read that seemed to have no structure or cohesion. Only until I reached the “Key,” where Lethem cleverly reveals his literary craftsmanship–or outright plagiarism, did I realize what he was doing. His disposition about the originality (or lack there of) of all works of art was made clear.

Even though most of the thoughts and ideas Lethem expressed in this piece were lifted from other writers/artists, his piece was still well crafted and intellectually stimulating. The part I resonated with most was in the section discussing surrealism where Lethem explains Martin Heidegger’s notion of “enframing,” the tendency for humans to see objects in our world only in terms of how they can serve us or be used by us. I couldn’t agree more, and think this subconscious tendency emphasizes the importance of exposing yourself to as many things as possible in order to expand your mental library of what can be used during creative problem solving.

Lethem’s comment that copywriting makes the world smaller and prevents people from simply “participating in the world” was also very strong. This issue was also discussed in Kirby’s TED Talk, with the ridiculous example of Steve Jobs patenting a rectangle with rounded corners. Lethem’s reading and the TED talk have both reaffirmed my belief that all knowledge and ideas should be made available for public use. I could still argue, however, that limiting people’s access to the greatest ideas may also help generate more innovative ideas by forcing people to think outside the box.

Nicole Chan Animation Storyboard

photo1 (1) photo2

 

For my animation project, I will be doing a short film on “the awkward first date”

The premise is a young couple with Person B trying to reach for Person A’s hand. When Person B is ALMOST about to hold person A’s hand, there is a large noise and Person B recoils and hits himself/herself in the face. Person A then notices Person B’s embarrassing predicament, Person B becomes disheartened, and then Person A reaches out and holds Person B’s hand.

The drawings will all be EXTREMELY BASIC and gender neutral. There will be 4 types of shots:

1. The two people sitting next to each other

2. Zoom in on hands

3. Zoom in on face

4. Scene from behind (last scene of them holding hands)

Animation Storyboard by Connie

I’m going to make an animation about the nature using Chinese ink paintings and calligraphy.

I’ll probably using image sources online.

Storyboard by Connie

I was inspired by an exhibition in Shanghai World EXPO in which a famous painting in Song Dynasty is created as an animation.

清明上河图

Alicja’s Animation Storyboard

I can’t believe we are already starting our final projects. I want to work on something that I have been thinking of doing for a while now. I would like to make an animated video clip for the song “Running to Stand Still” by U2. This song means a lot to me, and perhaps this is my way of making it even more personal. As I am sensitive to the visual, when I listen to songs I find myself very often adding images to the music. And, as I have listened to this particular piece so many times, coming up with a storyboard was not very hard. I knew exactly what I wanted to show at which moment. However, what I think is going to be hard as I go through with my animation (I already had a little problem with that drawing the storyboard) is matching the idealized images in my head with the reality limited by time and my abilities. Perhaps because of that I will not be able to finish doing the entire song, and I will have to simplify some of the ideas, but I still hope I can come up with something worthwhile.

storyboard2storyboard1

Reflections on Animals of NYU Shanghai

It has been a month since we started this project. We first came up with the idea of Jeff Lehman’s daily life, but later we found the idea too hard to implement. After a group discussion, we decided to make a mock documentary on life in NYU SH. To somehow continue the the legacy of our original idea, we decided to ask Jeff Lehman himself to do the narration, to which he gleefully agreed.

We divided our video into parts with different themes such as food, mating and hibernation. We also shoot a lot of ECNU scenes to be used as transitions in the video. However, some videos turned out to be a lot more blurred/shaky than we expected, so we had to drop a lot of scenes and reshoot some scenes in post production.

The editing process was a bit complicated as we want to ensure everyone can get his/her hands dirty in premiere. So we borrowed an IMA hard drive and took turns to edit the video. Fortunately, we finished the video in time.

I am overall pleased with the ending result. It is an interesting mix of real life footages showing the feral life of the local fauna with top-notch narration. There are still places where we can make the video more interesting or more documentary-like, though. For example, we were still unable to fix the white balance problem in the clip where I steal food from the fridge. However, I believe everyone in the team has done his/her best to make this video happen. The comments from the class on the rough cut also helped us a lot. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this happen.

and finally,  here’s the video

Reflection of our video project: Animals in NYU Shanghai

After a month-length effort, nearly 40 hours editing, our fake documentary: “the animal of NYU Shanghai” finally comes out!

At first I really want to thank every team member in our group. Richard, Bridget and Max. We have so many interesting ideas! And the process of being an actress as well as the director is really fantastic. (I’ve never thought of slapping someone directly on his face before.)

During this process, we tried to use what we have learned in the class to make the video looks best. But because of the theme that we chose, it is hard to add many colorful transitions in it. We tried but it looks weird. So then we reached an agreement that we should focus on how to express the story rather than simply focusing on the effects. For me, I edited the part of stealing food and seeking for partners. I tried to adjust the white balance, add background music and sound effects. Because I think the background music is a very important implication of what is going on next in the video, I spent a lot of time trying to find the best suitable music pieces and adjust them to fit our video. I think that is quite fun when the sound effect fit completely well with the video. Also when the voice of Lehman and background music appear in the same time, I need to make the background music lower so that it won’t cover it. There are so many details need considering and work on.

For the video editing, we did it by part and then review them together. Basically we are trying to combine different parts of our video based on the script. We have enough footages so it is always fun to combine things together and create perfect effects. Also, the basic idea of our video is to use students to represent animals’ activities in Spring. So when we are editing, we always keep in mind that it should be fun and meaningful. For some details such as white balance, speed as well as subtitles, we tried many times to make them better.

Bur I also think we can do better in the transition part. Maybe try some rotation or zoom in and out.

Again, it is a fantastic experience of team working!!

– Lily

Animals of NYU Shanghai: a video by the Dream Team (Richard, Bridget, Lily, and Max)

Our journey into this project began with coming up with a topic.  Our first idea was to have a pretend diary of a day in the life of Jeff Lehman.  But after some consideration we decided that we probably wanted to do something else.  After some brainstorming, the idea that we came up with second was to create a mock nature documentary based off of National Geographic nature films.  We thought it would be funny to have the narration and the visual trappings of a nature documentary but with shots of our classmates and ourselves going about our daily lives.

That’s precisely what we did, and our first step, besides storyboarding, was to come up with ideas for what each of the scenes would represent.  We wanted to have scenes that would correspond with ideas like “mating season”, “waking up from hibernation” and “looking for food”.  But we also wanted to have a general spring-y vibe to the whole thing so our first foray into filming was just some simple shots of flowers and people walking past.  But gradually we moved on to more complicated scenes of ourselves and our classmates.  Filming was a lot of fun, and I think we all really enjoyed figuring out the best ways to make it look good and be funny at the same time.  One challenge we had was making sure that we were careful with the tripod, because of all it’s fragile pieces on the top, but by the end we had mastered it and were able to work with it safely and without losing any parts.  It was also difficult to film several different shots at different times that we knew would be put together in the video chronologically but didn’t seem related at the time.  But we knew that this was a big part of filming and when we put them all together in the editing process it looked pretty good.

But in the meantime, we also knew that we would have to have a vocal track that would match the visuals.  We wrote the words knowing the general scenes that we had in mind, and tried to make it sound as completely ridiculous and overly dramatic as possible, much like a nature documentary might but without the matching sweeping views of real live wild nature and with the everyday views of ECNU.

Professor Lehman was good enough to agree to read the script in about 15 -20 individual pieces.  We recorded his voice with the Tascam Field Recorder and the Sennheiser microphone after GPS Lecture.

The editing process for us was done in several different parts.  We divided at first and did it in two separate segments just to get it into a form where it was playable as a whole, but then we did more work together so that the whole thing would have a cohesive style.  After the first showing to the class, we knew that one of the most important things that we had to deal with was sound: what would be in the background along with Professor Lehman’s voice?  Some would be music, some nature sounds, and some the natural sounds of the video itself.  We also added on some scenes and re filmed a few.

As a finished product we are all pretty satisfied with the project, although there is of course always room to improve.  Input from the class was a lot of help and helped us to know in which direction to go.  It was a long journey but we got pretty far I would say.  I at least felt very accomplished because I felt like we came a long way not only in our knowledge of the equipment, hardware as well as software, but also as a team.  The four of us come from very different backgrounds and we have very different perspectives but we learned how to be patient and listen to each other well and I think in the end that really served us well because we realized that each of us had something unique to offer to make up our Dream Team.

 

-MB

Final Cut of “You Belong with Me” by Catherine, Sherry and Susie

You Belong With Me

Reflection

Catherine

It occurred to me that it would be much fun to remake a music video that was popular. So we unanimously chose You Belong With Me, a music video of Taylor Swift, because we all like its story. We started with an sense of excitement and perfect imagine in our mind but we soon faced with a big challenge–that the reflection of glasses forbid us from shooting things through windows!!! We spent much time on finding a solution and finally we made it by shooting part of it in daytime and shooting the other part of it in the evening. When we edited it, we changed the brightness of the images to make them fit each other. Besides, it was hard to keep the time exactly as the original video. We spent a lot of time shortening the videos while still keeping the sequences make sense. Moreover, how long is one scene last really matter. So we took someone’s advice to longer the scene of Sherry Zhuang showing “Tired of drama”. To sum up, we did a quite good job to solve many problem and succesfully finished a good video! I am satisfied with what we have done.

Sherry

This project about video shooting and editing really makes me fall in love with producing videos! Actually, when we began to shoot footages, we met a lot of difficulties. For example, we can’t find a suitable room with a big window to shoot the beginning scene of the music video. We also had a hard time zooming in and out in a stable way. However, as we got more and more familiar with the camera, things became much easier and much more fun. We chose the lobby window in our dorm and change the setting of the opening scene. And we also changed the brightness in Premier to make the lighting inside consistent with the lighting outside. I think one of the biggest challenge in reshooting a music video is the match between the new video and the original sound track. Because we remove a few scenes from the original one, we also need to cut off the audio and make it sound like a whole and continuous piece. We used some audio transitions to deal with this problem, but there is still some place to make improvements.

Susie

It is really interesting to make a music video by ourselves, but it is also a challenging experience. What I think is most difficult is how to act. I just found that not everyone can be a good actress. It is really hard to show your feeling and thoughts only by your facial expression, and you should still looks beautiful. And the next thing is shooting. We have a lot of thoughts before we started out project, but they are somehow hard to realize, and we try to use something else to replace it. For example, we use the text message to replace another window shot, as we thought that may be repetitive. The transition of music between different parts of the mv still needs improvement. Because we can hardly achieve some scenes in the mv, we cut some parts of it , and we find it hard to connect the music fluently. In short, this is a challenging but interesting experience

“What do You Love about NYU Shanghai” Final Cut by Kathy, Nicole, Francis, and Mental!

Kathy:  Making video is a lot of fun, though the process is not easy at all. After discussing, we came up with an idea to do an “advertisement” for NYU Shanghai. The video did some teasing towards some small but funny things that happen in NYU Shanghai. For our project, we did a lot of filming in our campus (extra credits to Nicole~~~), and we selected two background music. For editing, I took charge of my own acting part, sequence order, and the main film cutting. For GPS part especially, I wanted to have authors’ name of GPS articles appearing in order and floating around, and it was really difficult to edit them by Premiere. So I learned to do it by After Effect, and then adjusted the speeds of those captions in Premiere. There was also some sound problems when we were filming the videos. I used Capacity to fix it ,reduce many noises when people speaking, and increase the amplitude. From the result of the final cut, the sound improved a lot comparing to the rough cut! This the first video project I’ve done and gone through the whole process of planning, footage collecting, editing, and exporting. I love it very much, and my teammate Nicole, Mental, and Francis all made their own efforts to it! Before this project, I always found visual effect editing more interesting than sound editing. After this project, I feel like sound editing is also lots of fun, and as powerful and impressive as visual ones.

Nicole: Video editing has been the unit I’ve faced the most difficulty with. I feel more empathetic towards people who struggled with photoshop now, since I found the overall interface of Premiere extremely confusing. For this project, I felt a strong reliance on my group members (HUGE shout out to Kathy) who did a bulk of the editing and also assisted me with my parts. Nonetheless, I still feel that I contributed to the preproduction planning and the actual filming. I enjoyed this unit a lot, since I was able to get a better appreciation of the film industry and the roles I feel more comfortable and less comfortable with.

Mental: The initial intention of shooting and editing this video is to make an advertisement of NYUSH, but later I found it gradually become a funny thing to make fun of something happened in NYUSH. Therefore, the focusing point of our group changed to what it is now. About my own part, I mainly took charge of the campus store part of my own acting and hold the camera and shot for group member. The campus store one we have shot and edited for twice because not everybody understand the point of fun we are showing. The second time, with new shooting skills and ideas, we do improved this part. Anyway, this course of making a video that belongs my own is full of satisfaction. Hurray!

Francis: What I did during the whole process is filming part of our shots and the whole edition of the blooper. Editing blooper is actually really funny but also requires a lot of work. First I made a background upon which all the NG shots would be shown. Then I collected all the funny NG shots and scaled down all of those shots to make them fit in the little picture of the full picture. Also, I cut a piece of music from a song by Taiwanese band SHE and remix it to make it match the video. And the last is adding subtitles. Although video editing is not easy but I feel that I start to love it because it is a kind of art. We are not only editing videos. We are actually creating arts.

Connie, Villa & Alicja: Ai (爱) Shanghai

Connie:

It’s so exciting to make videos with our group! The name of our project is “Ai (爱) Shanghai”. By exhibiting several representative places in Shanghai in a day, we are showing our understanding of this unique city. Basically there’re three parts in the final video. The First Part: morning at the Bund, children feeding pigeons in the People’s Square and local residences jogging show the vigour of this modern city. The second part in the park represents the residents’ leisure daily life in the afternoon. The last part in Tian Zi Fang indicates that Shanghai is a sleepless city. Hope you enjoy it!

Making a video is not an easy work though. We first had a longgg discussion on the topic of our video and finally agreed to make a trip in Shanghai. Each one of us takes charge of shooting two places in Shanghai, so we created the storyboard separately. At that time, we had no idea of the duration and how to link our shootings together. When we started filming, we decided to shoot in different times during a day and link separate shootings in chronological order. Considering that Shanghai is a metropolis within diversified characteristics, we chose three different pieces of music: a relaxing one in the morning, a slow music for the afternoon part and a fast-paced song for the night in Shanghai. The final effect is pretty good.

According to comments received in class, we made the part in the park more compact. We also made some adjustments in the order of the scenes. We found ending with the night scenery in the Bund a good idea for it gives our video a perfect unity.

At last, thanks Alicja for her superb photography and Villa for her skillful using in Adobe Premiere.

Villa:

It actually took us much time to first decide which kind of video we would like to make. We felt hard to make a choice between a funny story or a scenery video of Shanghai. We tried to think about funny stories but we failed. Therefore, we finally chose to do the homage of Shanghai. Actually, this video doesn’t simply introduce the beautiful scenery of Shanghai, it shows our Shanghai. People Square is the place where I spent most of my childhood. Feeding doves with my parents on weekends is one of my top ten memories. Since we had six spots to go, each one of us got two. My part is of course my beloved doves and the park near my home. We took good advantage of the amazing weather during the Spring Break and finished shooting when we returned to class. But then the biggest problem emerged. Since we don’t want to divide the footage by spot, it is very difficult to mix them and then put them together. And we had no idea about which music we should choose. At last we figure out a way of piecing footage together-finding similarity and put similar footage together. And we decided to use three different music to represent the different perspectives of Shanghai: Energetic, Relieving and Modern. The effect is actually better than we thought it would be, so we were all very excited. After the sharing class on Thursday, we got plenty of feedback from our classmates. We cut many park scene that seem abundant and thus reducing the time to 6 minutes. We also fixed the day scene to night scene and night to day problem. The only trouble is that we had different opinions about transition between footage, but after a compromise we finally figured out the appropriate solution.

In all, the whole video shooting to video editing process is so amazing and exciting to me. I really love making videos!!!!!!!!!
Alicja:
It was my first time really making my own video, from the very beginning till the end, and I loved it. Before, when I worked on a video, I was only involved in one part of the process – either filming, editing or script-writing, so it was wonderful to go through the entire process this time. Not to say it was easy though.
In our group, we all had different ideas about what and how to do it. The process of making the video was a constant discussion about different options, which ended in coming up with a compromise – hopefully though it made our video better.
After coming up with several ideas, including filming a short story or a music video, we decided to work on a project that allowed us to use what we all have in common – our fascination with Shanghai. Each of us sees the city differently, and so each of us covered a different side of Shanghai for the video. The footage that we had after the shooting process (which was so much fun!) was extremely rich in its diversity.
That was its big advantage, but also a challenge for us – we had to somehow make all those different scenes (day and night, fast and slow, lively and relaxed…) work together as a unified piece. And in the end I think we were pretty successful at that (though it was not an easy or quick process). We spent a lot of time arranging and rearranging sequences, listening to potential songs we might use, and checking out many different fonts, before we finally decided on the final version. That was a long and tedious, sometimes confusing (“I don’t know which option is best anymore!”), but overall a pretty satisfying journey. Also, the tips we received from our classmates helped us enormously, we implemented them and I believe they made our project much better, so thank you all!