Friday, 23 March 2012

Adobe Flash As2 Screen Scaling

Today I used flash to scale a website to fullscreen  I also implemented some buttons which would enable me to create a user interface in any future projects I create. I learnt that I will initially need to crop an image in photoshop before using it as a flash background because an image can become strectched is not sized correctly.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Digtial Video

Introduction:

In the 21st century media has changed massively with the implementation of new technologies such a faster bandwidth and portable devices with the ability to record and upload media to social networking sites which act as a platform to relay information throughout the world.


Interactive TV

Sky TV which basically enables users to press a button on their handset to interactive with what you’re viewing. This is commonly used on advertisements which enable users to read more about the product being advertised. The designer would design the interactive interface so that it can be very easily navigated using the users remote handset. The actions of the user would commonly be put on a database which enables the owners of the database to analyse the data and create a profile on that individual or household. This technique could then potentially result in target advertising which basically means you will only be shown advertisements of products which are relevant to the profile they have built on you.

David Burke. (2010). A Guide to Interactive TV. Available: http://www.whitedot.org/issue/iss_story.asp?slug=shortspytv. Last accessed 23rd Feb 2012.



User-Created content



A good example of where user created content is used is YouTube. YouTube is very widely used throughout the world and basically enables users to upload any video they want. For example YouTube has been used to upload content which would typically be filtered on national TV. In places such as Libya because foreign journalists were restricted from reporting inside the country then the way in which video content was able to be sent from inside Libya was by people uploading video which they have recorded on their portable devices and putting them on sites such as Twitter and YouTube. The video content was able to be seen by the rest of the world and ultimately resulted in action being taken by the international community.



Movie Trailers



The way in which designers market movies is by producing movie trailers which promote a movie before its initial release. A movie studio would likely produce a teaser trailer for big summer block busters to promote a movie well in advance for its release. A movie trailer would then be marketed in various ways for example showing the film in cinemas, on television and on the internet and any medium which would reach a large audience. 



Digital Video Formats



There are various different digital video formats which are used and each of the formats have their own advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to realize what the formats are and what they are based used for. Compatibility is another factor which needs to be considered because devices such as iPhones are only compatible with MPEG-4 files and wont playback other video file types. Luckily User-created content sites such as YouTube can pretty much support any file type you wish to the upload because once you upload content to YouTube it undergoes a conversion process which reduces the file size of your file signifantly. There are some limitations when it comes to uploading to YouTube for example currently the maximum duration a video can be is 15 mins and the maximum file size of a video can be 20GB although these restrictions will likely be modified with the increase in screen resolutions and video codecs. The process which is undergone during an upload to minimize the file size of your video is called Lossy Compression.

           

The lossy compression process basically means the removal of various parts of a file to minimize the files size. The lossy compression method aims to keep the compressed file looking visually the same to the user but removing all of the digital information which consumes most of the file size. The compression ratio for video is around about 100-1 which when uploaded on YouTube can speed up the upload speed and also the video playback without hindering the quality of the video.



Just like social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, YouTube has been filtered by countries such as China in an attempt to cease the release of video content which may reflect badly on the current government.



Wikipedia. (2012). YouTube. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube#Quality_and_codecs. Last accessed 1st March 2012.

Games



In the 2st century computer games have improved massively thanks to the constant improvement in computer hardware. Improvement in hardware such as storage and graphics has enabled the visual quality of games to a lot better than it was ten years ago. The future of video games will likely be digital as video games will likely be stored on devices instead of being written to a physical disk. This development has been made possible thanks to the increase in broadband speed. Fibre optic broadband means that a user could potentially download a full game in less than a hour. This could mean that the overall price of games could reduce slightly because production costs would be significantly  less thanks to not needed to produce disk cases ect.



A gaming service called OnLive enables customers to stream full games instead of downloading which means that the user doesn't need to physically download a game instead they basically stream the game to their device. This would only be possible for users with super-fast broadband but in the future it is likely that everyone will have faster broadband. There is also disadvantages to streaming content instead of downloading it for example you only play the games if you have established a internet connection and it will also consume a large amount of bandwidth if you planning on multitasking.



The advantages of having a physical or downloaded version of game would be that it's playable whenever you want and isn't restricted to having a internet connection all the time.



Resolutions



            Screen resolutions have increased rapidly in the 21st century to enable better quality images to be displayed. Currently the maximum screen resolution which is used on Televisions and monitors is 1920 x 1280 which is also known as 1080p or full HD.  We are likely to get an even higher screen resolution fairly soon as there are HDMI cables which are able to support over 4000 x 2000 resolutions and over 16 Gbps. The hardware is available but there is currently no content which uses these high resolutions. The only thing which these HDMI cables are used for is for displaying 3D video which requires a high quality HDMI because of the high transfer rate. One of the reasons why we might not be able to view video which is 4k is because we don't have a storage medium which can hold the typically massive file size which that would require. The only thing which is close to holding massive files is Blu-ray disks which have a 50 GB storage capacity. In my experience videos which are 720p look very similar to videos in 1080p on a small screen and the difference is noticeable on larger screen sizes so maybe there's no demand for higher resolutions by the consumer because they don’t have the room for large screens in the living room.



NA. (2011). HDMI. Available: http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_1_4/hdmi_1_4_faq.aspx#19. Last accessed 4th March.

E-learning

E-learning is basically a virtual learning environment which enables a user to learn in their home and at their convenience. E-learning included the digital transfer of learning resources which is basically a cheaper and more efficient way for an individual to learn in. E-Learning will likely be the future of teaching and learning as it is likely that everyone in the country will have access to the internet.  This means that is feasible to consider that everyone in the country could learn via E-learning instead of going to school. The e-learning platform is estimated to be worth billions so it likely to expand massively in the future.  It’s a great platform to use for people who are working and not able to attend college. The resources which are used in e-learning include sending emails, video tapes, video conferencing and online groups. There I great deal of interactivity involved.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Reflective Analysis

The game which I was tasked to make for an Interactive YouTube games was something which was similar to LA Noire or Cludeo. Our group's initial idea for the game was to have a classic Cludeo game which consisted of having videos of every suspect in every murder location with every weapon which when we quickly discarded due to the amount of video clips which would of needed to be produced. We then conducted some research into what other people on Youtube had done and we came across one interactive game which had the same theme of the game which we would like to make but the interactivity didn't really work well. We then looked at video clips of a game called LA Noire which consists of analysing a person's body language to determine if someone is lying or not. We then designed a site map which would be a link draft of the interactivity in the video. We concluded that this was a feasible game to make so we began production on our LA Noire style game. We began creating storyboards and scripts as we wanted to film as soon as possible.

This process took a lot longer than I initially thought as group members didn't complete their given tasks by the time I had designated on the schedule. This resulted in use falling way behind so it resulted in me having to do the scripts myself. Once I had completed all the scripts for all the characters the next college day we were able to film all the scenes successfully. During the filming stage of the project everyone did very well and actually went better than I was thinking. Once we had filmed everything the editor in the group was tasked with editing all of the video and adding effects such adding grey scale and annotations. Once he had completed all of the editing I printed off a version of the original site map so that he knew what videos linked together which then resulted in him being able to upload the whole game to YouTube.

One of the resources which I used when producing the documentation for our game was Adobe Story. Adobe Story was a great resource to use as it enabled me to create scripts and character bios professionally as it provided a template for the type of document I needed. One thing I would of done differently would be get all the group members using Adobe Story as the program has a feature which enables sharing of a project so I would shared the project with group members so that everyone can contribute to every part of the documentation.

The location which we filmed in wasn't our first option as we did plan to film in the TV studio but we had to relocate to another classroom. This location did kind of meet the specification of the original location but because some parts of the room didn’t really fit with the theme of the video then we weren’t able to use different angles in our shots.
This was a result of not keeping on schedule. One thing which I think hindered the project was the roles I designated to each group member because I don’t think some of the group members liked their role in the group and would of preferred another role. I did end up doing most of the documentation and the other members of the group just ended up doing one task. This lack of efficient management will likely hinder the final grade for the project.

Another element of the project which hindered the development of the task was initially someone else was designated as the leader of the group but after consistent absence I was designated the new team leader which is a role I'm not very experienced at.

During the time we were missing our original team leader we didn't have much enthusiasm on the project in general so that would of likely been a factor which hindered the production of work by the other team members.
When the former team leader joined the group again two weeks from deadline work started getting done for example the storyboard got done and they continued working on their version of the script even though we decided to use the script I wrote on the day of filming.

When I produced the background research for our game I didn't share the research that I had obtained with the team members as much as I should of because when I asked other team members to do documentation such as the recce or storyboard they weren't sure what to write.