VSST 108 - Design for Media

Final Project and Project Proposal

A Strongly Visual Product

This course has been emphasizing the visual component of media art, describing it and defining it in design terms. The final project must, therefore, be a highly visual one. "Visuality" must be at its center.

One way to understand visuality is the concept of emphasis - which brings together the components of the first parts of the course in this final part of the course. Consequently, visual emphasis will be a major consideration in the final project.

Use of Emphasis

Emphasis can be created in a static 2D composition by use of scale, position, quantity, balance/imbalance, regularity/irregularity and by value and contrast—which may be interpreted as light/shadow if the composition is photographic.

In photographic imagery, we can further consider sharpness and softness (or focus and blur) as elements contributing to emphasis or de-emphasis. Note that sharpness is essentially detailed contrast. Also, in photography, "value" is based on both the inherent values of the subject matter and by lighting.

In time-based pieces (i.e. animation and video) emphasis may also be created by changes, by motion, by duration and by other editing choices.

Part 1: Final Project Proposal

As is true in all media professions, the proposal for a project is very important. You will describe what you want to do and how you will do it.

The proposal must be:
- articulate
- clear
- complete
- illustrated
- visually attractive

The quality of your proposal is important - it will receive its own grade.

First - see below to understand what your medium and limitations are.

Then write one paragraph (concept) describing the work - its intended content, or its narrative, or its physical appearance. In other words, describe what you want the viewer to see in this work. This is basically your "elevator pitch." Don't use the word emphasis in this description!

In the second paragraph (process), describe your production process. Where and what you will photograph. What your production tools will be - both for shooting and post production. (You don't need to give the names of your cameras, tripods, etc.!) And, most importantly - how you will create emphasis (or de-emphasis) in your images.

Make a list of the shots you will want to capture. (You don't need to include every one of the 60 or more images - just the groups of shots, or motion-creating sequences.)

Be sure to include illustrations in your proposal - either made by you or found ones (that come close to what you want).

Be sure to make your proposal good looking and easy to follow.

Proposal example one

Proposal example two

Proposal example three

Put your proposal in AW Express in .docx format. The filename should be <sec-lastname-proposal-v1.docx>. (Alternately, you can build your proposal as a web page.)

Proposal is due in AW Express at class 8a (Tuesday 11/14).

Note: most likely, you will have to submit a revised proposal <sec-lastname-proposal-v2> that will be due at class 8b (Thursday 11/16).

When I've approved your proposal, I'll move it into the "approved" folder.

You should not begin work on the actual final project until I have given you approval.

Part 2: Final Project

The work you make should stand on its own, in terms of its narrative, or subject, or composition. This means that a viewer who doesn't know that skillful use of emphasis is the basis of the project should find the piece interesting and well done. But, the reason the work will succeed is that you are consciously emphasizing what is important and, if necessary, de-emphasizing what is not important and could be distracting.

The project will be a video made from still photos. There must be at least 60 individual photos used in a 60-second video. The onscreen time for each photo will vary based on emphasis, rythm, creating the illusion of motion, etc.

Your story should not be complex or require highly specific interpretation. Remember, you are working with just 60 frames and 60 seconds total time. It has to be purely visual - no dialog or signs; no audio narrative. You are not making a movie - at best you're making the equivalent of a short single scene or a 60-second commercial. Your story could simply be illustrating a process, or a journey, or it could represent an encounter.

Note: if your story is very simple and straighforward (e.g. demonstrating how to cook something) then your visuals must be of extra high quality - well composed, well lit, well focussed, etc.

There must be an audio track - music, foley, or a mix of both. There must be a title and an end credit (separate from the 60 seconds of action - although these can blend with starting and ending images).

Completed Final Project due on Wednesday 12/13 at Noon.

Do not send it me by email - this blocks my inbox. If you can't access AW Express, please send it by Google Drive or DropBox.

The critique will be on Thursday 12/14, but you must submit your piece by the above deadline for it to be included in the critique and not considered late. Attendance at the critique is mandatory - missing it will result in a five-point grade penalty.

Course Index Page