Summary #6 Final

Creating my final project was a lot of work, but was a lot more fun than I expected. As someone who loves writing it was fun to make a story and be able to expand into the digital elements. I decided to be a bit more creative with my media elements as most of the assignments given didn’t quite fall under what I wanted from my story. I decided to edit some assignments as well as create my own idea in the form of writing my own song for the project.

I think the biggest thing I can take away from this course is to not be afraid to share what I make, and to not shy away from using new programs. I had never used any form of photoshop, or more intricate video editors before this course and now I think I could use them quite regularly.

I think while I was taking the course to fill a gen-ed requirement, it was actually one of the most interesting courses I’ve taken in my three years at Mary Washington. If I could go back and do the course again, I would start with taking the summer course to have more time to spend on assignments, but also I would try to not shy away from more difficult assignments as now I do think I am capable of them.

I think of all the projects I have done this term, I especially enjoyed making the Should You Accept Cookies? book as it was my first time playing with photo manipulation and I really enjoyed the task.

Overall, I think this course was very beneficial to me and I learned so much more than I expected.

Final project:


Making the Logo

I decided to make a logo for Fey’s inn based off of the assignment Create a Logo that is Simple yet Detailed.

To design the logo for the inn, I first found a website that was a logo maker.

I began filling out the basics page by page starting with the name.

Then I selected the style, font category, and layout. I could pick more than one of each but I knew how I wanted it to look.

Then I looked through the premade designs and picked one that stood out to me.

That opened the editor and I changed the colors a bit as well as the font and centering to suit my needs.

Then I saved the logo and used a screen capture to save the image.

Making the Poster

I chose to include a poster as a visual part of my narrative to show what Ackerley had been looking at. I based this off of the Event Poster design assignment.

To do this, I wanted to make it quite monochrome to add to the idea of an older fantasy world without modern technology therefore the poster would not have much color.

First I opened the paper template and image of the lute as layers in GIMP.

Then I moved the image where I wanted it and used the text tools to surround the image and add in what I wanted it to say. I used the side panel to select the font, size, and color of the lettering.

Finally I was able to export it and save it.

Making The Forest Scene

For this design/visual assignment I used the Are We There Yet? idea and applied it to my character Ackerley.

Since I have dressed as this character before I already owned the cloak I always imagine him wearing. I decided to avoid a full costume for one picture to have my photo taken from behind wearing the cloak and a pair of brown boots. This was the original photo.

I then found a picture of a forest and added both of these into GIMP as layers using file > open as layers…

I then used the intelligent scissors selection tool and the pen that came with my computer to trace my outline for the image.

Then I had to switch the selection so it selected everything outside of the silhouette using the select > invert tool.

Selecting the eraser next, I increased the size and erased the entire selected area of the image, leaving just the silhouette.

Then I had to use the invert tool again to reselect the image and then use layer > anchor Layer to make sure that the image was solid again.

Then I was able to use the tools to change and distort the image to fit the frame. This mainly included flipping, scaling, and shearing the image.

Then I was able to erase any excess around the image before exporting the file.

Making Ackerley’s Journey

For the video portion of my final I did a variation on the Where Do You Want To Go? assignment. I decided to keep the theme of a montage of places, but instead I wanted to show his journey using images to show the passage of time. I chose to pick videos of the different areas of forests he had to travel through and set it to appropriate music, the theme I created earlier in the project.

To do this assignment I used OpenShot Video editor. I first had to import all my clips, music, and title cards into the project. To do this I used import files in the top bar.

Once everything was imported, I dragged each clip down to the bottom and lined them up in the order I wanted. Once they were in order I dragged them to their desired length.

Once I had all clips and audio dragged in I had to add a fade between each clip using right click on the clip > fade > entire clip > fade in and out (fast)

Once I watched it through I was able to export it as an MP4 video.

Making Ackerley’s Theme

For the audio portion of my final, I decided to come up with my own idea by creating a song myself that went along with my story. As my character Ackerley is a bard and plays the flute I decided to use musescore to create a simple flute tune that goes along with the idea of adventuring.

The way I made this song was by first opening a new score in the musescore software under file>new…

Then I had to select my presets. The first one was to name the piece and put in the name of the composer.

Then I selected choose instrument rather than the clef I wanted so it would auto pick it. I then Picked flute and clicked add to score to choose the instrument.

Then I had to pick my key.

As for the time and tempo I kept the presets but to choose another time these are adjustable.

Then it was time to add in the actual notes. To do this I selected the note length I wanted to play in the top bar and used the letters on the key board to add them into the score.

I did this to write my whole song, then I had to export it. I went to File>Export… then in the export popup selected MP3 audio as my output before doing the final export.

Finally I uploaded it to SoundCloud.

Final Story: Ackerley’s Journey

It was all a big misunderstanding how Ackerley ended up in this situation. Lost from his traveling companions and with no where to turn, debt racked up to his eyes from all the nights he stayed at inns and snuck away before he could pay at dawn. He had no where to go but forward and hope no one caught up to him soon.

Without his traveling companions to rely on for travel, he had accepted his fate, he was never making it back to his home in Greenmeadow. Wrapping his cloak tighter around himself, the elf carried on his journey into the next town, hoping to find a place he could stay for the night again.

As Ackerley found his way into the town of GoldMist, he passed by a notice board and his eyes caught onto a single sign that looked fresh, as if it had only been put up that day. A sign for a concert at none other than his companion Fey’s establishment, the Poison Apple Inn.

He had never been to his companion’s business, only heard about it on their journeys, but seeing the sign gave him hope. He tore it down and ran to the nearest establishment, a local inn, brandishing it in front of him and catching the halfling owner off guard.

He asked him how far he was from the town of New Winter that was listed on the flier. The halfling laughed, letting him know it was a four-day journey if he were to walk there, but only one by horse. Ackerley felt defeated as he told the owner he had no money to help him with travel, and the event was in three days, with Fey’s traveling schedule he would likely miss her if he didn’t make it in time. He turned to leave and the halfling man called out to him, noticing his flute in his pack. He offered that if he were any good at his instrument, he could offer to pay him to entertain his guest for the evening.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth he eagerly accepted, making a deal for a place to stay for the night as well.

That evening Ackerley played for the guests of the inn keeper, serenading them with his own musical stylings until he had exhausted all his abilities. The inn keeper was pleased with his performance and handed him a room key and a sack of gold as payment. For the first time in weeks, he had a good night’s rest.

The next morning, he was up at dawn and went out to get himself a horse. He found a bright white stallion and chose to name him Boopsy. They got along splendidly, and they began their journey through the forests leading to New Winter.

After a long day and night, dawn had broken again. Ackerley and Boopsy arrived upon a familiar logo that he had seen only embroidered on Fey’s bag, The Poison Apple Inn.

He tied his horse and knocked on the door of the inn, barely a moment later the door flew open to see Fey standing over him a grin on her face.

“You made it just in time, ready for a new adventure?”

Summary #5

The video assignments this week were something new for me as I am not a video editor. When I was 14 and had a youtube channel, I didn’t even want to touch editing so my friend who I had the channel with did all the editing at the time (There is a reason she went to film school and I did not). Due to my avoidance of editing videos, trying to navigate this on my own was an interesting experience. I am a hands on learner, so I made the choice not to use any tutorials, as I have more fun learning as I go. This did mean some things took me more time than they needed to learn. I also used the built in windows editing program so I didn’t have a lot of options when it came to making projects super unique which I would like to do in the future.

As we are now in the final week of the class, I am getting more comfortable getting my posts out there and commenting on other peoples posts. I think doing the daily creates has helped me push past a lot of my barriers in posting as I get to see everyone else’s each day.

The analysis assignments this week were really interesting for me and I think they definitely improved my abilities to understand how films are shot. There is so much that ties together to get a message across and finding the right scene or shot to do it can be difficult.

As for my comments, I enjoyed getting to see my classmates post this week! Here are the comments I made.

#1 (This one wouldn’t let me view the comment in moderation)




The comments I received were also nice and helpful and had things I will need to consider in my future projects.

This sections assignments:

Daily creates:

Look. Listen. Analyze. :

Reading movies:


Look. Listen. Analyze.

I chose The Good The Bad The Ugly Cemetery Scene to analyze.

  1. Look: The first thing I noticed is the pan up/ wide lens shot as he sees the cemetery from behind the grave stone. It makes it seem overwhelming and almost daunting. The angle keeps getting wider making him seem smaller and less important to the scene. As the angle switches and he is running, the whole background blurs, making him seem the focus again. When looking from his perspective it again gives a sense of overwhelming. In a way the blurring makes him seem lost and unsure through the scene until he finds what he is looking for and focus is found again.

2. Listen: After the canon shot the music is suspenseful and slowly gaining pace. There is almost two songs happening one a steady rhythm and the other softer over it. A dog barks. The music grows to be hopeful before becoming unsure and frantic. Then the music slows back to hopeful again and cuts as he finally speaks.

3. Analyze: the growing hope goes with the frame getting wider, sense of growth. Dog bark signals music change. The music gets louder and more hopeful with the running until he gets caught up in running and becomes more nervous and frantic. As he gets closer to his goal the music gets hopeful again until it cuts out at him finding the grave.

Overall, the music and video tie together to make the final goal apparent. The scene alone he looks more scared than anything, but with the music it becomes a hunt for whatever he was looking for, it is more hopeful and less about running away.

Reading Movies

The article on reading movies taught me a lot about perspective of shots in two ways. One was that it showed me new ways to think about how films are shot, but also to reflect on things I recognized in the past and now have a name for.

While I don’t know all the techniques now, this article taught me more about how to recognize them though light, color, angle, and weight of a shot.

I next chose to read the article on camera angles. I liked this because I didn’t realize how much thought goes into different angles and they all have a purpose. I’ve always recognized an over the shoulder shot was to show a conversation or confrontation, but knowing that there is a defined intention adds to my understanding.

The one point perspective video made me recognize that this effect seems to almost create a suspense to the shot. The depth stretches out the moment. It also creates a frame around the scene that it builds for itself.

The from below video also added more to the perspective I’ve seen many times. It gives you a good shot of the actors face, but also shows you how they are really viewing whatever you are in the angle of. Often this will be the angle of an injured or dead person, or an item they are inspecting closely.

Overall, these different shot types add to an experience and help you understand the context of a shot without even having to think deeply in the moment.