Why I Choose Animation Over Real People Acting

May8

I’ve been making different types of videos for a few years. I’ve done videos both with real people acting and pour animation, and now I found myself completely into the world of animation making. I think it is the best way to communication ideas visually for a few reasons.

1. It’s eye-catching.

As there are so many startup products and projects out there now. How to make yours stand out and get more exposure is very important. No matter how good your idea is, you need to draw people’s attention first in order for them to have interest in it. And animation usually looks more interesting as the style of the characters could be very different.

2. It’s simple

Unlike real people acting in real world, you can focus your animation in specific areas and just have the minimum elements of what you need. Nowadays everything is like fast food; no one would like to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what you are trying to express in your video. As Mies van de Rohe has said, “Less Is More”; keeping the elements in a video to the bare minimum helps people to stay focus on the actual idea you try to communicate.

3. It’s flexible

With animation, you can draw anything you want, in any form and any environment. Acting needs collaboration; you need people with good acting skills, good filming skills, good editing skills and all that to complete a good video. You might get limited by weather, lighting, environment etc. It is frustrating when such things happens and you are just facing much more expected issues. Animation on the other hand, is highly flexible. Even simple characters drawn with a few lines can represent a real human being. All you need to control is yourself, who will be producing the drawings (or 3D models if you can create 3D characters on computer). With this flexibility animation provides, you can be more creative and simple focus on how you can develop the story better.

Of course, real people acting is more appropriate and attractive in many other fields. Just for the purpose of pitching or promoting your idea, I personally think animation is a much better choice.

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Re-Purposing Existing Technology to Learn a Language

May8

Since we’ve been talking about ways to re-purpose different programs for our final projects, I thought it would be interesting to look into yet another way we can change the purpose of technology to fit our needs. An article posted on forbes.com (linked below) spoke about three different technologies that one would not normally think of to help the user learn a new language.

The first technology is subtitles. It’s not unheard of to watch foreign movies in the language one desires to learn, but one often does not think about the benefits of subtitles. When watching foreign movies the subtitles are usually set to one’s first language, but this dooms the movie watcher to simply read the subtitles rather than listen to what is being said. It is suggested, rather than putting the subtitles in one’s native language, to set them to the language one wishes to learn.

Secondly, listening to GPS directions is often overlooked. The GPS should be set to the language one is trying to learn rather than his or her native tongue. This will give the user read world practice with the language. First use the GPS on familiar routes to learn the words that may be unfamiliar. Then more advanced users can choose to use the GPS in a foreign language when he or she is driving an unfamiliar route.

Changing the language settings on one’s phone computer, phone, and/or tablet is the third and final suggested technology. This gives the user the opportunity to use the language to complete everyday tasks to further learn and understand the language. The user could even use his or her newly learned language at the ATM or other such devices.

Reference:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2014/05/08/three-surprising-ways-to-use-technology-to-learn-a-language/

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Com 421 Reflection

May8

As this semester comes to a close, I feel that it is only necessary to reflect on the things I have learned these past few months and think of the tools I will carry with me from here on out. Taking this class was overall a very enjoyable experience, I don’t think there was ever a time where I thought the work load was too much and I never treated it as a drag. Having walked away from this class with the knowledge of coding a website is something that I know will definitely come in handy in my years to come. Another skill that I know will benefit me is knowing how to communicate properly depending on how formal or informal a situation is, and knowing how to respond and act on a situation that entails either or. Overall, this class was one that I will miss coming to because it was one that I learned a lot in, and not in that boring sort of way, but more so in the way that I know I will need to know these skills later in life.

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The Pruitt-Igoe Documentary

May8

After watching the Pruitt-Igoe Documentary and going over my notes on ethos, pathos, and logos, I noticed various things about the presentation of the information itself.  Each of these techniques were used pretty frequently throughout the video.

For those who do not know, Pruitt-Igoe was an apartment complex of sorts in St. Louis, but perhaps the term projects fits it better.  It was made on the basis of public housing, supposedly creating an affordable but safe place to live.  As people flocked to these apartments, they became segregated with the outbreak of suburbs and lack of upkeep due to residents unable to pay for maintenance.  This led to Pruitt-Igoe becoming a hive of gang activity and crime.  Eventually, the buildings were taken down with a televised explosion.  While presenting the story behind this and the reasoning for the Pruitt-Igoe failure, ethos, pathos, and logos are all used.

Ethos:

The presentation shows ethos by continuously including news reports from the time and interviews of historians like urban historian Robert Fishman alongside interviews of actual residents of the project.  This shows credibility, trying to prove that the information and argument they are presenting about the cause of the incident is credible.

Pathos:

A lot of emotion went into this production, specifically evident in the opening scene.  Fear and sadness are portrayed here as Sylvestor Brown, a former resident, is interviewed about a memory as he remembers the fear of living in Pruitt-Igoe. The narrator appears morbid throughout as well.  This documentary utilizes pathos through the memories of those who had lived there by interviewing them and piecing together a story using their memories.  One interview said: “My memories of Pruitt-Igoe are probably some of the best memories I have.”  So not only are the memories depressing, they are also happy at some points.

Logos:

The main question addressed that required logic to comprehend was “What caused the failure [of Pruitt Igoe]?” The narrator explains, “Some blamed the architect… Others attacked the welfare state, which welfare the problem… Many stated… that the residents were too poor…”   Overall, the narrator claims that it was the entire effects of the city, such as segregation and the inability of the residents to pay for maintenance caused the issue of Pruitt-Igoe getting out of hand.  The entire documentary is built around discovering how Pruitt-Igoe became the infamous place as it is known today.  It points out the failures of the public sector and public housing as well.  This is all compiled using credible sources and real-life accounts of actual residents, forming a logical standpoint that backs up the claim.

 

-Rick Nellis

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Group Work Organization

May8

After finishing up the group project and with the presentations happening today, it is a good time to look back over the project.  I have noticed that one of the biggest problems with a group project is not people who aren’t being helpful, it is the planning and organizing that goes into the project.  In this way, software like Google drive that allows many users to work, edit, and access documents quickly and easily ends up being a huge advantage.  The ability for collaboration in a group is heightened, as instead of giving one person the task, many people can work on it easily, even without meeting in person, which can often be a big issue in group projects.

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Catch 22 In Tech Com

May8

There is a common Catch 22 present within many businesses. Drop Box is a commonly used tool, but often corporate content becomes mixed within an employee’s Drop Box that shouldn’t be there. Employees want an efficient application that syncs to all of their devices, easily allows them to share content, prevent corporate data from leaking to insecure locations, and to comply with relevant regulatory and audit concerns. Drop Box is a great tool, but doesn’t offer the security needed for corporate work. 

There are many common alternatives to using Drop Box. One option is a mobile-enabled SharePoint. It reduces the user’s likelihood to share their content on a personal cloud, while still providing them with easy access to their files. Another option is to Deploy an Enterprise Container / Persona. This means that a portion of a devise can be made enterprise only. This would increase the security of a mobile-enabled SharePoint. Drop Box and Google Drive could be blocked as well. By not allowing these apps to run the company can ensure that the employee’s work is not ending up on personal clouds.

These are all good solutions, but what’s the Catch 22? Many employees enjoy the simplicity and efficiency that drop box provides them. It is easy to use, can sync to all of their devices, and it makes sharing data exceedingly easy. Even with the options listed above implemented, employees will often find ways around them and continue using drop box anyway. This leaves a hole in the security of the company and still allows corporate information to be shared to personal clouds.

The Catch 22 is: how will security requirements be met when it’s impossible to turn off the service violating those requirements?

 

Reference:

http://www.appstechnews.com/blog-hub/2014/mar/11/mcm-and-the-dropbox-catch-22/

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Where is Tech Com useful?

May8

Being a PTC major, I had to ask myself this question often.  I always find a place where the skills and knowledge gained in classes such as Tech Com 421 are very useful.  For instance, looking for jobs.  This type of knowledge is helpful in knowing how to communicate well with others professionally.  In the end, this is one of the most important pieces of knowledge gained through this class because many do not do this well.  However, I am confident in this now.  PTC is applicatable all over.  Writing professionally to communicating between professionals is important no matter what your profession is.  Keeping the knowledge and using it properly will help tremendously no matter what.  I use it daily in every class and I see the difference in my work already.

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COM 421 Online

May7

Just a thought that came to my mind recently, but I believe that Technical Communications 421 should become an online course in the future. Doing so would help emphasize the course’s focus on establishing connections with other people by means of computing technology. The lectures can be replaced with live streams that take place twice a week. Doing this can help students who missed a lecture or two keep up with the rest of the class, because all previous lectures and assignments will be accessible on the class website.

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Some thoughts for COM421

May7

With technological development, when I first realized that this class can be used in the form of Web pages to do their resumes instead of the traditional form of the paper, I realized that if you do not learn these things I will soon be eliminated. To see so many new American kickstar site good idea, I have an idea that in the future these things back to China, so that more people feel the charm of technology

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Cool Tools for School

May7

When trying to make a presentation many people rely on Powerpoint, but there are other tools out there that can be a helpful tool. One website that I found when looking at ways to make a better presentation was Cool Tools for School( http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/Presentation+Tools). This website that gives someone various tools that can be used to help better a presentation, and gives a description of what each tool does. These tools can cover images, videos, and audio presentations. The site also has a bunch of links to  sites where the presentation can be uploaded to the internet for public use, or group use. This is relevant to the class because it is a tool that I looked into using when trying to create a presentation to give in a classroom setting, that was not just a simple Powerpoint presentation.

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