aled's cyfle

Monday, 26 March 2007

The crazy insane last week

Posted at 3:37 pm. 0 comments

We've all just finished the course, and are all moving on to pastures new. I just want to thank all the guys at Cyfle; all the tutors; but especially to Gareth, who's been fantastic. It's a shame really that this is the last Dimension 10 for the foreseeable future. Anyway, I'd like to finish off this blog by mentioning some notible events of the last week:

1. Our graduation showcase went well on Wednesday, and we had many many industry people over to look at our work. To showcase the work for the night (and for the next year), we bought; which has a profile of each of us which shows our work. James designed it, I built it.

2. I finished my portfolio (at last) with examples of all the work I had done in the past 6 months.

3. We visited @Wales, a business incubator for you digital startups, which was very interesting; and got a visit from Richie Pugh, the Nesta Project Manager for Wales, who told us about their insight out scheme.

I might blog here a little more, but for all intents and purposes, i'm finished. I'll probably blog to tell y'all where I'm blogging next, and maybe (if I don't blog elsewhere) blog about the next six months internship I have at cube.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Being nosy...

Posted at 9:35 am. 0 comments

I came across twitter a few months back while reading modernlifeisrubbish, and could instantly see its appeal for other people. I'd never really use it because I'm too lazy, but tom marban today found a little mashup called twittervision. It's a combination of the twitter data and a Google map to create a nice and visual way of following people's location and activities around the world.

I could look at this for hours.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Being Unique...

Posted at 12:56 pm. 0 comments

Last week, we got a visit from Jon Stethridge, Managing Director of Unique Media and Unique Media TV, which I think are two different sections of the same company. They're an established design and communications agency from the Bristol area over the border in England.

They've become specialized over the years to provide video streaming services. He came to give us a short workshop on the process of shooting, cutting and encoding video for the web.

When we finished our impromptu group chat about various aspects of the web - politics, web2 and social networking etc., we got down to business.

As I have a degree in Film and TV studies, I expected to know everything he was about to explain to us, but my expectations were quashed slightly due to the realisation that shooting and cutting film for the web is a totally different affair.

It's a little obvious when you think about it... keep long shots to a minimum (only once to establish the situation). Keep to tighter shots when filming (not shooting) a person, and avoid excessing or unnecessary zooms, pans, crabs etc.

The reason for these limitations are nothing to do with things like screen sizes or their refresh rate or a computer's processing power, but rather with encoding the video to keep its size to a minimum. The more pixels that change in every frame, the higher the file size. We were also told not to use dissolves in any video shot for the web for this reason... in the short sequence of a dissolve, every pixel in the video is a different colour, meaning that every pixel has to be encoded, resulting in a higher file size.

This, I suppose, applies to all digital film formats. It certainly was a very useful resource for when I go to Cube, who do a lot of encoding as part of their work.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Post D10 placement

Posted at 9:23 am. 0 comments

Theres only 2 and a half weeks left until the end of the course!

However it's still a very busy time... we have another module to complete for our post-graduate diploma which is offered with the course. We've also got to finish our documentation for our recent projects, and organise our graduation show which is two weeks today!

The show is in Cardiff Bay's City Canteen Bar, but before that we've all got to design our own portfolio site, and James and I are to design and develop a gateway site to all of our various portfolios.

After the course finished, I've been offered a place on another (similar) course with Cyfle (it's already started, with Ioan, Owen and Rianne being the other trainees). It's lucky that both courses end the same time, because I'll be skipping the training aspects of the course and heading off into a 6-month internship at Cube Interactive, based in the bay.

I'm excited with this, as I've met the guys already and seen what work they do... they've mainly been providing interactive services to some of S4C's programmes, which includes not only websites, but also flash video technologies. In fact, last year they provided online video streaming services to many of the top summer festivals in Wales. They also have some interesting happenings going on over there over the next couple of months (hush! hush!)

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Work Experience

Posted at 5:23 pm. 0 comments

I spent the last two weeks at Merlin, a PR, Marketing and Events management company, based in Cardiff Bay. While it doesn't actually sound like the company does much with interactive media and web design, they provide their clients with the whole package, which includes all kinds of interactive elements.

I was in the studio with the other designers, and I must admit that the way they work is unusual (from my point of view anyway). There's about 6 people in the studio who produce all design materials for the various account managers.

Unfortunately it was a slow first week (and me being ill didn't help either), so I didn't get much to do. However, by the end of the first week I started to get involved with CSS-ifying a website Merlin had built before for the Dovey Group, Cardiff-based property developers.

In addition to this, I asked if I could keep myself busy with designing and developing a concept re-design of the current Merlin website (a 6 year old design). Its purpose wasn't to replace their current design, but to serve as a portfolio piece for myself.

I'd like to thank Paul, James and the rest of the Merlin team for the experience and support during my placement.

My conceptual site and my work on the Dovey site will be up on my portfolio site. I'll be posting about that when its finished!