Mga Pahina

Lunes, Abril 29, 2013

Video production tips

These are just a few tips for producing better looking videos for yourself.  Most are fairly obvious once you're aware of them, but they don't seem to occur to many people (see the complementary “filming gripes” page for a quick synopis of common problems and solutions).  If you want something to corroborate them, watch something on television but pay more attention to what's being recorded, and how, than whatever it is that they're portraying.  You'll only need to study a few minutes worth to understand what I've outlined below, and you'll pick up a few more ideas as well.  If you're really keen on producing interesting-to-watch footage, then I'd suggest studying some of the more well-known Alfred Hitchcock films, or some of Stanley Kubrick's films (just to mention a couple of directors famous for interesting photography in their work).  You can see some simple, but very effective, techniques that can be done with virtually any camera (i.e. most of what they've done is production technique, not special effects).
Get physically close to your subject
Although you can zoom into a shot, to appear to get closer, it's not the same thing.  The visual perspective is different, and so is the sound.  You get nicer looking shots when you get closer to a person that you're filming, and the sound will be much better.
A telephoto shot is more susceptible to jerky pictures than a wide angle shot, and focussing is harder to do, as everything is magnified.  You also lose depth of field with telephoto shots (only things in a narrow range remain in focus, e.g. the background may go out of focus), although this may be an effect that you deliberately want.
The microphone will pick up sounds from all directions, though usually mostly from the front.  Anything that's closer to the microphone will be heard the most (the noises of the camera, the breathing of the cameraman, wind noise, road noise, etc.), and the further a sound source is from the microphone, the quieter it becomes in comparison (the ambient noises become louder than the sound that you actually want to record).  It's another of those “inverse square” laws—when you double the distance, you get a quarter of the sound, and so on.
Manually control your lens
Turn off auto-focus and auto-exposure, and manually control them.  They're not magic, they can't tell what part of your picture is the focal point, nor what is the correct exposure for the entireity of the picture (they'll just average the picture to mid-level exposure, which doesn't work for very contrasty shots, or anything that shouldn't actually look mid-level exposed).
Focus is a distance-related thing—it needs to be set to suit the distance between what you're filming, and the camera.  On a real film camera, you'd measure the distance and set the focus to the same mark on the lens.  For less precise lenses, you set focus by adjusting for a sharp looking picture.  Do so to see a sharply defined image on the actual point of interest in the shot.  e.g. If you're filming a person speaking, then focus on their mouth or their eyes, that's what the viewer will be looking at.  Do not focus the camera on the wall behind them.
Likewise, set the exposure to suit the point of interest in the shot.  Again, if you were filming a person doing something, then set the exposure so you can see them properly, with the right amount of illumination for the shot (whether they're supposed to be in a bright room, or skulking around in the dark), ignore the exposure of the rest of the scenery around them unless that is actually important to the shot.  If there's a lighting problem between them and the room around them, then adjust your lighting (how bright it is; the height, spread, and angle of lighting; and use separate lighting for foreground and background).
Film scenes using more than just one shot
It's usually best to film a scene using multiple shots, giving different perspectives to what's being viewed (different angles, different magnifications, etc), but don't overdo it.  There are times when lots of quick cuts make a scene good, and there are times when a really lengthy shot make something more natural to watch.  You can see some examples of the latter by watching some children's television (they often seem to be done in a very simple style), and some of the cheaper, older, made on film, television shows (it costs less to do a prolonged two-shot of some actors talking, than it does to film lots of individual close-ups, and it's quicker to film).
Decide on the style of shots that you will use, and be consistent unless there's a reason to change.  For example, most productions tend to use static shots, and will change camera angles (when needed) by cutting to a new shot.  Generally, you'll only have a motion shot if there's a need for it, such as to follow someone who walks around in a fairly tight shot.  Whereas action scenes might use nothing but motion shots, usually to make things look more frantic than they really were.  Some directors will start using motion shots during boring scenes, but they really should have changed the scene to make it less boring.
Film more than just your subject
Filming something else gives you shots to break up what you're filming, to hide where you place your edits (cutting away to something else, for a moment, allows you to edit out parts that you don't want, without it being glaringly obvious that you've taken something out), and so it's not boring to watch.  But make sure that what you use as “cut-aways” are appropriate to what you're interrupting (e.g. show what they're talking about, the whole scene around them, or the reactions to what they're doing, etc.), and aren't confusing (e.g. don't switch views so that something that was going from right to left is suddenly moving in the opposite direction, nor do everything all in close-up so that viewers can't comprehend a scene).
Film at the same height as your subject
Unless you're trying to achieve a dramatic effect, then adjust the height of where you place the camera to match the height of what you're filming.  This gives a much more natural look for your subject (picture yourself talking to people—if they stand, you generally stand with them; and if they sit, you sit down with them; so you're all on the same eye level, as if you were both the same height).
To remember the usual reasons for dramatically filming someone from different heights, think of the phrases, “looking up to someone,” and, “looking down at someone.”  The effects (in filming) are the same.
Use an external microphone
If you can't get close enough to what you're taping, or you're in a noisy environment, then using a microphone that's remote from the camera really helps get a much better sound (you record more of the scene's sound, rather than the camera noises, this way).  You can get wireless mikes quite cheaply, so you're not tethered together; or you can get a very long cable so you avoid radio interference with the sound, but still be able to record distant sources.
You can also get mikes with different pickup patterns:  Omnidirectional mikes pick up sound from all directions, unidirectional mikes are optimised to pick up sound from one direction, superdirectional mikes are heavily optimised to pick up sound from just one direction, and noise-cancelling mikes will only pick up sound directed at them in a specific way (general ambient noise will be cancelled out).
Be mindful of what you want to record.  If it's just one thing, then get the microphone as close to that as possible.  But if you want to also capture some of the ambient sound, then you want to pull the microphone back a bit, use certain types of mikes, or use more than one microphone through a sound mixer.
Use headphones with your camera at the same time.  Then you can hear what you're actually recording, and you'll be able to tell if something goes wrong (the mike becoming unplugged, being switched off, batteries going flat, noises interferring with the sound, really loud sounds distorting, etc.).  You can waste a lot of filming if you only find out later on that the sound was unusable.
Use a shockmount to hold your microphone, it'll help prevent handling noises getting into the sound.  Likewise, use wind filters to reduce wind noise pickup.
I'd recommend against taking sound feeds from someone else's mixing desk, unless you've got your own mixer and microphones to record ambient sound with it, have audio transformers to avoid hum loops, and you're somewhere where you can properly monitor your sound without interference from ambient noise.  Typically, you'll find that they've not miked everything, and some things will not be covered (leaving you with poor, or no sound, for that portion).  And that the mixing levels for amplification purposes are usually not suitable for recording.
Control your lighting
Use lighting as best you can, or adjust what you're filming when you can't.  You want most of your light to be lighting up the front of what you're filming, and usually to one side and above, rather than head on (think of how the Sun lights things when it's not midday).  If the light's behind what you're filming, such as filming someone with a window behind them, or a light source in front of them (e.g. candles or table lamps at their own height), they'll be too dark.  Lighting used in the wrong places can cause shadows in nasty places (e.g. lighting that's front on, directly above, directly beside, etc.).
There are times where it's nearly impossible to adjust the lighting (e.g. filming outdoors).  Then, you're best to rearrange what you're filming into different positions, or use reflector boards to bounce more light into where you need it (you can use ordinary white cardboard, cloth, or specialist devices to do this).
Mixing together different light sources is usually a bad idea.  Daylight is much bluer than most artificial light sources.  Studio lighting is generally reddish–orange compared to daylight.  And flourescent lighting usually used to be quite greenish, although they do come in a variety of colour temperatures.  It's well to remember that it's common enough for a room to have a mixture of different types of flouros being used in it, and their age also affects their colour.
Use a tripod
If you're filming something that needs a steady shot, then use something like a tripod (or place the camera on a stable object), so that you get a steady shot.  It's very distracting to watch something like someone speaking at a presentation, if the camera is wobbling all over the place as if it were being filmed during an earthquake.
You can get quite small tripods that are easy to carry around, even tiny ones designed so that you can place a camera on a table to get a steady shot, but still be able to adjust the angle of the camera.
It's usually best not to lock the tripod head in position, so that you can easily follow moving subjects (including standing or seated people, that are still most of the time, but might move).  But for long telephoto shots, you might get a bit of wobble.  A partial solution is to increase the friction without actually locking the head into place.  Also, don't grip the panning arm like grim death, try to hold it in a relaxed manner.
Use a tripod that's designed to carry the weight of your camera.  It shouldn't wobble while you use the camera, the locks should be strong enough to hold the camera in any position, by themselves.  Video camera tripods should let you do smooth pans and tilts, many still camera tripods aren't suitable for supporting a camera with movement.
Edit, and be ruthless while editing
Editing means putting together just the shots that you need.  You should remove anything that doesn't belong (mistakes, lots of waiting around for something to happen, boring pauses between things, etc.), and remove things that are just pointless.
NB:  You can't fix filming errors with editing, you're stuck with them.  Bad sound is bad sound, out of focus shots are out of focus, etc.  If you make a mistake while filming, re-do the shot straight away.  I've seen plenty of people waste lots of time trying to fix the unfixable, after the event, and either dumping a lot of material that they wanted to use (after wasting a lot of time), or including really awful material that should have been completely dumped.
Experiment, and read the manual
Practice using your equipment on something that's not important, ahead of time, so that you're not trying to figure out how to use it at the crucial moment.  Try out some of its special features, and learn how to turn some of them off (having a date over everything you record looks awful, even more so if it's wrong, and it makes wobbly camerawork even more noticeable; auto-focus can keep changing the focus, and end up focussing on the wrong thing in a shot; auto-iris can keep incorrectly set the exposure of a shot if there are conflicting conditions, such as a person with a window behind them, or when you're following someone who's walking around).

Linggo, Abril 21, 2013

Bulletin Board Tips
  • Make two to three covers for bulletin boards at once, placing one on top of the other. When it is time to change displays, simply pull off the top display, revealing the next one beneath it.
  • At the end of the school year whenever students have some free time, let them create a bulletin board for you. It will be ready for the fall, welcoming the new class back to school. You might want to have them cover it with newspaper to protect it during the summer.
  • Rather than repeatedly correcting students for the same errors, create a bulletin board display explaining the error and the correct procedures.
  • From a roll of colored paper, tear a piece to the approximate size of the bulletin board. Mold to the bulletin board by hand and temporarily pin it to the board. With a small pin or razor knife, tear or cut along edges to remove the excess paper. You are ready to place objects and letters on the board.
  • You need not decorate every bulletin board. Use blank ones for announcements, posters, student work, newspapers, magazine articles, etc. Use some class time to have students brainstorm ideas for bulletin boards.
  • Generate graphics and letters with computers. Special software is readily available in most schools for printing banners and posters. Use letters of various sizes. Large ones grab the students' attention and get them to read the rest.
  • Give your students time and materials to cut out bulletin board letters of various styles and sizes. Store these in envelopes for future use.
  • Project coloring book images onto large sheets of paper taped to the wall. Trace and color the images to make large characters to include in your bulletin boards.
  • Use some bulletin boards to teach or reinforce a skill or concept.
  • Reserve one section of a bulletin board for students to use to post interesting articles, invitations, unusual quotations, pictures, cartoons, and other items of interest.
  • Experiment with three-dimensional bulletin boards. Objects such as feathers, dried flowers, discarded ties, masks, hats, and costume jewelry can all be incorporated into your bulletin boards. Strive to use multiple textures to make the bulletin boards more attractive.
  • Develop interactive bulletin boards. Use pockets and flaps to hide answers to questions displayed on the board. Post a daily question, riddle, or puzzle for students to explore when they enter the room. Some displays might pose a question to which students write their answers or estimate in a block on the bulletin board. These are especially valuable if they relate to a topic to be studied that day.
  • Hang a clothesline across one wall of your room. Attach students' papers to the line with clothespins.
  • Velcro or flannel boards can be incorporated into manipulative boards that invite students to experiment. Bulletin boards can be dynamic, inviting students to interact and reform the display. Self-checking questions can be displayed with answers covered by flaps.
  • Think of creative materials and ideas to incorporate into unique borders. Discarded fabric, game pieces, silk flowers, ribbons, leaves, greeting cards, or photographs can all be incorporated into attractive borders.
  • To help maintain interest, alter some part of a bulletin board every day or once a week. Changing a featured quotation or startling statistic each day keeps the students motivated to keep looking at it. Remember, a bulletin board is more than just wall decoration. It can be a great motivational device and instructional aid.

How to Draw Like an Artist On a Chalkboard

by Diane Henkler on 07/09/2012

Sherry at Young House Love, Katie at Bower Power, Kate at Centsational Girl, and Michelle at Ten June are holding a Pinterest Challenge Party this week.   It is a party for linking up a project that you completed that you have been itching to do since you pinned it to  a board on Pinterest.  This challenge gets your butt in gear to just do it! I took the challenge.
I wanted to re-learn how to artfully and decoratively draw on a chalkboard without being an artist.

Here are a few of the chalkboards I have pinned that were my inspiration.
Image Credits:   Inspired By Charm, Dana Tanamachi,  Dana Tanamachi has time lapse videos on her site. AMAZING!
When I first started working in retail display drawing signs was one of my jobs. When I stopped working at the store and no longer was creating signs by hand,  I lost my touch.  This challenge is my time to re-learn what I once knew how to do so well.  I am a bit rusty, but over the weekend I had a family birthday celebration at my house and embellished a chalkboard with a menu for the party.
How to draw Art-on-a-Chalkboard

Chalkboard art and lettering is not hard, the process just takes some planning and with each board you create – you will get better.  This post contains a step-by-step tutorial as well as a section on tips and tricks.
I know some of you may be saying, but I can’t draw a stick figure or have no idea what to draw?   This is when you head over to your boards on Pinterest or look in magazines for quotes, line drawings, and images you like.  Look for shapes you like, not complex art. Flowers, fonts, basic shapes are good images to start with.  Use a stencil or your doodles until you feel more confident.
I printed out the words “Happy Birthday” using my computer and printer as lettering inspiration.  I used the font: EcuyerDAX.   To print out swirls and flourishes to use as design elements to copy,  install a font that produces decorative elements instead of letters when you hit a letter key on your keyboard.
Free Decorative-Ornament-Fonts
Download the ornamental fonts here:  Bergamot Ornaments, Nymphette, Swinging
To learn how to install a free fonts see my post:  My Favorite Free Fonts

Chalkboard-Drawing-tips and tricks

  • If you are using a brand new chalkboard – season it first. This will help lessen “ghosting”.  Ghosting is when you draw on a chalkboard and after it is erased – you still see the images, but in black.   To season a chalkboard:  Use a full piece of chalk and run it on its side over the entire surface of the chalkboard.  Make sure to rub it in well.   Once the board is covered – erase it.   It is now seasoned.
  • Most important tip:  Don’t use dry chalk.  Dip the chalk in water before drawing on the board. As you work, keep dipping the chalk in water to keep it wet.  At first, the chalk lines will look faded – not bright – be patient and let it dry – it will dry bright white or whatever color chalk you are using.   You can also keep the board wet and draw on a wet board.  I did both.
  • Keep it simple at first – the more boards you create the better your drawings, centering, and lettering will become.
  • Make a sketch  to determine placement of your images and words.  Pick one image to make the focus. In my art it was the cake and copy – Happy Birthday.
  • Make a border – I used a square at each corner and double lines. I then filled the double lines in with dots of color.
  • Mix up font styles – Thick, 3-D, thin, serif, shadow, and script. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 fonts.  One heavy print font, a script font, and one thin caps font.
  • To find the center of a word or words – count the number of letters and spaces between each word.  For instance “Birthday” has 8 letters – no spaces, so the 4th letter “T” is the center.   If I wanted “Happy Birthday” all on one  line.  The letter/spaces count would be:  14 – making the  “B” the center point.  Capital letters take up a bit more room, but this is a good rule of thumb to center lettering.  Draw the center letter on your center point and then draw the other letters to complete your word. This is the hardest part of chalkboard art – making free hand letters. Some letters will be bigger and your centering will look off.  Mine is off, but it still looks OK  – not perfect – but fun and festive. Don’t try for perfection.  The imperfections can sometimes add to the charm of chalkboard art.
  •  Use a dime store pencil sharpener to keep the tip of  the chalk pointy.
  • Use colored chalk on the focus image or border.
  • When you add the wet colored chalk over existing dry white chalk it will appear that the white chalk has been ruined. It has not – just wet and looks faded. When it dries it will look nice and bright again.


How To Draw Like an Artist on a Chalkboard

Happy  Birthday  font:  EcuyerDAX   Menu:  Monterey BT
Entertaining and Party Ideas

Gather supplies:
Chalk – white and colors
Bowl or glass of water
Damp rag – Do not use paper towels – they will leave a fiber residue on your board. I used a Handi-Wipe.
Q-Tips – dipped in water are the best erasers to get into tight spots and fix mistakes.
Sewing measuring tape or ruler
Computer fonts or art print-outs, clippings, or stencils to use as visual guides
Sketch pad and pencil

1.  Clean board with a wet rag. Repeat to make sure you are getting as much chalk residue off the board before starting your drawing.
2. Use the tape measure to find the center of the board – width and height.  You can draw a faint line down the board to help guide you and erase it later with a Q-Tip.
How to draw art and lettering on a chalkboard
3. I like to do the border first as it helps guide me on how much space I truly have to draw on.   Use a ruler to make straight lines if needed.
4.  Using your sketch as a guide, start drawing your focal image. If you mess it up, just wipe it away and re-do it.
Chalkboard-Art Ideas
5.  Add in the rest of the design.

6. Add the color last.  Remember the white chalk around the newly applied colored chalk will look like it faded since water touched it after it was dry. Just let it be, it will dry bright white again.
7.  Erase mistakes and smudges with the tip of a wet rag and/or Q-Tip.
8. Let dry and display.
With a little practice and a few imaginative ideas you too, will be on your way to creating fun and festive chalkboards to use for entertaining or to add some of your personality when decorating your home.  Decorative Chalkboards can truly add a festive personal touch to your surroundings.

In-put dated April 17, 2013

Traditional Media 

1. Printed Materials. It is considered as the foundation of classroom instruction. It includes textbooks, reference books, booklets, hand-outs, manuals, worktexts/worksheets, etc.

    1.1. Advantages. 
  • Availiability
  • Flexibility
  • Portability
  • User-friendly
  • Economical
    1.2. Limitations
  • Cost
  • Reading Level
  • Prior knowledge
  • Memorization
  • Vocabulary
  • One-way presentation
    1.3. Integration
  • common application of printed materials is presenting information
  • augment teacher information as presented in class
  • used in all subject-areas and in all ages
    1.4. Utilization
  • made sure that students are actively invlved with the usage of the material.
  • technique common to use is the SQ3R which means Survey, Question and and the 3R (read, recite and review). Survey, require students to skim/broqse the printed material and go over the overview and summary. Question, reuiring student to make a list of questions while reading. Read, look for the organization of the material, put brackets around main ideas, underline supporting ideas and answer questions. Recite, allow test reading ability and put context into students own words. Review, require students to look over the material immediately after use, a week later and so on for retention of information.
2. Display Surfaces. This is where printed materials such as photographs, drawings, charts, graphs and posters are usually placed for display. This visuals can be displayed in the classroom in the various ways which includes the chalkboards, whiteboards, electronic boards, bulletin boards, cloth boards, magnetic boards and flip charts.

     2.1. Chalkboards. Before, chalkboards are called interchangeably as blackboards or greenboards. Now, it refers to a display surface inside the classroom where chalk is used as main tool.
            Tips on using the chalkboards:
  •  write clearly and legibly. Always consider children on the last row.
  • bring hard copy of your diagrams or outline to visualized how it should appear on the chalkboard.
  • avoid crowding notes on teh board.
  • make use of colored chalks to highlight kay points.
  • avoid turning your back. Write side view and keep eye contact with the class.
  • start writing from the left to right in order to keep writing on the board orderly and clean.
  • lines on the chalkboard is needed if teaching in the elementary.
  • use curtain if there is glare on the chalkboard.\concave chalkboard can lessen the effects of glare.  
  • write "please save" if board work will still be used the next day.
  • make full use of the chalkboard. its instructional importance should not be underestimated despite new technologies.
            Practical tips/techniques suggested by Brown (1969):
  • Sharpen the chalk to get good line quality.
  • Stand your elbow high. Move along as you write.
  • Use dots as "aiming points". This keeps writing level straight.
  • Make all writing between 2 and 4 inches high to ensure its readable.
  • When using colored chalk, use soft chalk so that it can be erased easily.