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On your marks, get set, GO.

This is the post excerpt.

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The academic year of 2017 has begun at De Montfort University, and so starts the studying and analysis of Social Media Production as part of the Social Media & Technology module within Media Production. But, before talking about the specifics of this module I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself and my other academic endeavours. Opting into 3D Animation as well as the mandatory Television Production and Image Capturing modules, I am looking to make a successful and relevant career for myself with my degree. Following on from my first year of learning at De Montfort University I have eased into the comfort of learning in a style which leans more on balanced responsibility and self-study, allowing myself to be prepared and confident with the year to come.

Social Media Production; it surrounds us all in this newly digitalised modern world. As a youth growing up with technology rapidly accelerating in efficiency and ease of access I could perhaps say that it’s hard to imagine a time before a message to the other side of the world was just a button away. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, all of these websites allow communication to be instant, connected and shared. Communities and societies being built in union by complete strangers, strangers who become friends, friends who become family. The world we live in today has been shaped by Social Media and the affects it has had on us as a society and a people. Countries borders slowly meaning little and little as cultures shape together and gain a new understanding and tolerance for each other. Looking at Social Media Production this way is what inspired me to pursue such a course, and enticed me to want to learn more about what it offers us.

All of my social media links can be found via the ‘About Me’ page, it would be great if you could check them out.

Thank you,

-Ben

A New Pledge – My first Society

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For todays DailyCreate we were asked about a new pledge. I decided to talk about my current experience of joining a Society for the first time at University and how pledging to a new community and overall entering a new community felt. Pledging into Squash was a very easy and welcoming experience, with several friends pledging to join at the same time as myself and the group taking such a prominent role in my life it seemed like a perfect opportunity to take about it. The Squash society hosts ‘Socials’ every Wednesday, where new members or potential members meet up for a ice-breaking and general good time. Purchasing my full Squash kit, I am currently in the waiting to start actually training and learning how to play. I’ll continue to update this post as my Squash time continues.

Little Bo Peep’s Global Pandemic

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For today’s DailyCreate we were asked to select a new phone for the Global DailyCreate phone. I decided to use this image of Little Bo Peep and her Sheep near a payphone completely vandalised. I chose this image because it prominently shows a globally innocent character attempting to break the law, break moral boundaries and steal money from the pay phone. Looking into this, it shows a different perspective of a world that many of us rarely get a glimpse of. Often living the average life in a first-world country we are numbed and ignorant to the struggles of the rest of the world. The world struck by war, famine and disease. Banksy, the artist behind the piece attempts to bring these issues to life in an art form which attracts many people who would not normally pay attention to these issues. Therefore I choose this as the new global phone for DailyCreate as it signifies finally answering to the rest of the world, a world that needs our help.

Something Simple, Velvet Inspiration

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Following the DailyCreate idea of ‘something simplistic’ I decided to take a single photograph of a banana being held up by one of my hands. This is, in fact something simple however to many people the image of a banana by itself can hold a lot more meaning. The standalone Banana, at least for me brought back memories of Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground – a band consisting of the famous Lou Reed; instrumental genius John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Angus MacLise (and obviously the band featured the female artist Nico in a multitude of songs). Much like the image I presented for the DailyCreate, the Velvet Underground had a simple message of love, equality and expression – something mirrored by the idea of recruiting super-famous artist Andy Warhol to create their Album cover for their likewise named album ‘The Velvet Underground’. Understandingly the ideas behind my¬† image made me question myself whether it was truly simple – however this just proved to me that meaning can be found behind anything, and in this modern age almost every art form has become a reference upon itself.

Gaming ‘n GIFs – The Adobe Way

Creating GIFs in Photoshop is a basic but challenging way to create a GIF from scratch. Most forms of reaction GIFs are created from videos and are often created by websites which automatically complete the process for the user – I’ll let you in on a secret, I used to be quite the nerd and spent a lot of my younger days playing on games and learning how to use a computer. I never really got into scripting or learning code, but I really took to Adobe Photoshop, Sony Vegas Pro and Cinema 4D. I taught myself how to create GIFs by recording them myself with a recording software such as Fraps* Hypercam* or by simply taking several still images and editing them together. Once a video has been selected, it can be imported into Photoshop as several frames of an animation to then be fused together as a GIF. There are some limitations to the quality of this though, as creating a GIF this way only allows you to use 164 pxs of colour, anymore will cause a distorted look. Here’s a GIF that has been distorted.

The GIF is simple enough, however the large colour pallet which must be used due to the different colours visible (vibrant hat, yellow car, trees & buildings). It does not matter if a GIF takes ten seconds to look, or just half a second. The quality is determined by the about of coloured pixels used on a pallet before the length of a GIF when deciding size. Here’s another GIF.

This GIF is different, the quality still stands (as much as it possibly can with the use of the animation) however as a different pallet has been used (grey and dingy) joined by a slight flash of similar light colours which portray lightning the quality comes across more and the colours are more apparent and crisp without any presence of noise. Take a look at this final GIF, in which I used a simply black and white colour pallet.

Notice anything? Compared to the other two GIFs provided the quality is much better. The black and white colour pallet minimises the amount of work having to be done to generate the GIF and run the GIF. This leaves us with a smooth looping GIF of higher quality.