Monthly Archives: September 2015

Daily Creates for Week 6

This week, I completed 3 daily creates. These were:

Designing you own road sign,

combining you favorite logos,

and upside down day.

Love at First Shot

This is a picture of my grandparents, Peggy and Gene, shortly after they were married in 2009.

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My maternal grandfather passed away when I was around 10 years old, and I was never convinced that my grandmother would find someone else again. However, these two first met at a dance one Friday night, and only a few months later, were married. It truly was love at first sight.

They were married at our church in front of a small group of family and friends, and then left for Myrtle Beach on their honeymoon. Since then, they have traveled all over the country, enjoying life as much as they can. When they’re not off on an adventure, you’ll usually find them spending time with their grandchildren (me!), or at the lake fishing and boating. These two are a great example of true love and happiness.

I was inspired to use this photo for this assignment, because I thought it accurately represented what “love at first shot” actually looks like, and because of the backstory, I know it is true. This is one photo of several that my grandparents have taken over the years, and I think this is the one that is most effective, as it shows what true happiness and love looks like. I found this picture stored on my computer, along with several others that are similar, and uploaded it here to WordPress. I am glad I found this picture and was able to talk about it for this assignment, as I got the joy out of seeing them again, and allowing their story to be told to others.

Vignelli Canon Reflections

The Vignelli Canon was an informative read for me, and had many design tips and elements that I had never thought of before. As for the booklet itself, I thought it had an interesting look, and I like how some of his design elements were placed on the pages themselves, such as when he talked about grids and different font types. The pictures also added more interest for me, and altogether, it was a quick and entertaining read.

According to Vignelli, the three most important design aspects are semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics. These three terms basically amount to knowing the meaning behind what you are designing, and to be able to relate the design to your target audience. Furthermore, some other important aspects to design are an attention to detail, and discipline. As Vignelli states, “there is no room for sloppiness, for carelessness, for procrastination”. In other words, if your design is to become something tangible, than you will have to put in the effort, and have the discipline, to make it happen.

Another interesting idea that Vignelli presented in his booklet, was that ‘design is one’, instead of many different ones. This means that the design principle itself is the same regardless of the method or medium used, so these aspects (such as discipline) are important regardless of what the design is, or the way it was created. There are many other elements that Vignelli talks about, such as the timeless of design, and the visual power of a design, but the basic message stays the same; that without the three key design aspects talked about above, the design will not able to be successful.

After talking about all of the different intangible aspects to design, Vignelli moves on to the tangibles. In this section, he talks about elements such as paper size, font type, scale, and color. From this section, I thought the more important elements were grids and columns, correct typefaces, and texture/color. For example, Vignelli notes that “grids represent the basic structure of our graphic design.” So, even if you are able to closely follow the intangible design aspects, it is still important to remember that tangible elements also can have a big effect on the finished design. All together, there are many different aspects to design, and for something to be successful, they all need to be followed closely.

Week 5 Summary

This week was all about audio, which was interesting and a bit challenging for me as I have never experimented much with audio creation devices, such as Audacity and SoundCloud.

This week I brainstormed some ideas for our future Radio Show, and created a Radio Bumper. I also participated in a live tweet-along of Ds106 radio, which can be found on my Twitter page.

I completed three daily creates, which I posted into this blog entry. I also completed 10 stars worth of audio assignments, including creating spooky sounds, symbolizing a certain emotion (sadness) through sounds, and telling a story using only sound effects.

This week there were several reading and listening assignments that we had to complete. These included an analysis from Tales of The Crypt: Last Laugh, an analysis of Moon Graffiti, and reflections of audio storytelling (including our reflections of Ds106 radio).

This was a very busy week for me, but was, as usual, very interesting and informative.

Radio Bumper

For this assignment, we had to make a short “radio bumper”, which is audio that announces a radio station between songs.

To make this bumper, I first created a clip of myself talking about the radio station, and then found a short, creepy sounding audio clip from freesounds.org for an introduction. I also found a beat to add to the background for the duration of the bumper. Then, I edited these audio files in Audacity, before saving and uploading them to SoundCloud.

Edward’s Humble Abode

Assignment

This scene depicts what my horror character Edward hears outside of his manor every day. As you can tell, it sounds like a peaceful and relaxing place to live, but it may be a totally different story as to what lies inside.

For this assignment, we had to create a story using at least five sound effects, and no dialog. To complete this assignment, I found my sound effects on freesound.org, downloaded them and imported them into Audacity. I then edited it to get my finished product, saved it, and uploaded it to SoundCloud.

Daily Creates for Week 5

This week, I did 3 daily creates.

Five Card Flickr Story:

Crossing Abbey Road:

and Latte Art:

Emotions through Sound – Sadness

Assignment

For this assignment, we had to find different audio clips or sounds effects and combine them to symbolize a certain emotion.I chose sounds that I thought represented sadness. 

To complete this assignment, I found four different audio clips on freesound.org, and imported them into Audacity. I then trimmed them down and positioned them  to make the finished product. Finally, I exported the file to SoundCloud.

Spooky Sounds

Assignment

For this assignment, we had to find different sound effects and combine them together to make something spooky, and have it last for at least one minute.

To do this, I first found four different sound effects on freesounds.org and added them all into audacity. I then edited them to have them fit into a one minute window, and spaced them out accordingly. I then exported the file to an MP3 format, and uploaded it to SoundCloud.

Audio Storytelling Reflections

This week we have been solely focused on audio storytelling, and in the process, I have learned a lot more about how audio can aid a story. There are many different ways audio impacts the storytelling process, all depending on what kind of story it is and how the audio is used. For example, a story can be made up of only spoken dialog, with no sound in the background whatsoever. Or, the story could be made up of mostly sound effects. In most films/videos, it is more of a mixture of these ideas, with dialog being spoken by the characters, along with numerous sound effects during the scenes. In horror movies specifically, it is important for the audio to be prominent and convincing, as it is this audio that really can make horror stand out.

A horror example from previous weeks that I was reminded of was the comic Last Respects. From the scene pictured below, the line “the rusty hinges squealed a horrified protest as he pushed the cemetery gate open!” jumps out at me, because of the level of detail provided. It is very easy to imagine what the audio from that one line alone would sound like, and that is one of the ways that the storytelling process was aided.last-respects-1

This week, I listened to DS106 Radio Tuesday night, when the story Pigeons from Hell was being played. This story focused on an old, haunted manor, and a demon-like creature that had taken over and began to kill innocent people. Even though this story consisted solely of audio, the character and scene descriptions, along with the sound effects, really brought the story to life. According to chapter 8 of Sound Design and Science Fiction, “Alien: Audio Biomechanics”, sound effects have three functions; “to simulate reality, to add or create something off scene that is not really there, and to help the director create a mood”. If the story does not have interesting or entertaining audio, then there is nothing that would hold the interest of a potential listener. Instead, in the case of Pigeons from Hell, I was able to actively listen and imagine the story visually as it was being told, and it held my interest from beginning to end.

Also this week, I picked a page from Tales from the Crypt: Last Laugh to analyze and reflect on. This was a comic, but the writing made it easy to imagine how the audio would be portrayed. For example, in the image below the writer made it easy to decipher where the dialog between the two characters would be elevated, by bolding some words, and by using appropriate punctuation (exclamation marks). It was also interesting to imagine what other audio would be included besides just the dialog, such as the two men walking down the hall, or the doctor taking off his overcoat. IMG_3094The Moon Graffiti story that we were assigned to read this week also made good use of sound effects to make the story seem more believable and alive. It is clear that audio is very important for a story, and in some cases, is the only element of a story. Audio is also very important in the creation of a story’s mood and atmosphere. Outside of dialog and sound effects, audio is also often used in musical form. There are not many better ways to symbolize a sad story or scene than to use some kind of somber music. Conversely, happy music can quickly lighten up the atmosphere, and bring joy to the viewer.

In conclusion, from these examples and more, it is clear that audio is one of the defining aspects of a story, and is a major aid in the storytelling process. Audio can create an atmosphere, emphasize horror elements, and most importantly, make or break a story.