Design I // Stop Motion Animation Final

For Design I’s final project, we focused on time and motion. With technology speeding ahead these days, it is beneficial to challenge students to try this as a school project.

Students had to produce a one-minute stop motion animation consisting of photography and sound. Creativity wise, the sky was the limit! The best video-editing software available to them were Apple iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. The more frames per second that were compiled, the smoother the video appeared. To put this into perspective, the Wallace & Gromit 30-minute shorts were shot close to 20 frames per second, adding up to be around 35,000 shots per video. That’s a bit extreme for my students, so they were encouraged to place at least two frames per second. We also watched short films by Disney and Tim Burton, and the hilarious YouTube classic “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On“.

It was a challenge for students to work on an art project of this scale, especially if they were new to Apple iMovie & Windows Movie Maker video-editing software. However, they were very proud of themselves for figuring out such a feat. We had a lot of fun in both sections eating snacks and watching everyone’s videos, and celebrating the end of another school year!

Below are some examples of what was submitted. So turn up your audio and be entertained by these one-minute shorts!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

2 sections:

Ashley Baker

 

Lexi Bennett

 

Cassidy Jones

 

Taylor Robbins

 

Taylor Vaughn

 

Mary Beth McClung

 

Landen Rucker

 

Breanna Rochelle

 

Paige Davis

 

Wes Edgeworth

 

Forrest Beasley

 

Willie Griffin

 

Laken Beasley

 

Jacob Ingram

 

Bess Reilly

 

Zac Varner

Design I // Stop Motion Animation Final

For my Spring 2016 Design I class, I decided to do something different for their final project to focus on time and motion. When I was a graduate student and instructor of record at Louisiana Tech University, my Basic Design class produced stop motion animation films for their final project. With technology speeding ahead these days, I thought it was time to bring this project to Mississippi State University.

Students had to produce a one-minute stop motion animation consisting of photography and sound. Creativity wise, the sky was the limit! The best video-editing software available to them were Apple iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. The more frames per second that were compiled, the smoother the video appeared. To put this into perspective, the Wallace & Gromit 30-minute shorts were shot close to 20 frames per second, adding up to be around 35,000 shots per video. That’s a bit extreme for my students, so they were encouraged to place at least two frames per second. We also watched short films by Disney and Tim Burton, and the hilarious YouTube classic “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On“.

It was a challenge for students to work on an art project of this scale, especially if they were new to video-editing software. However, they were very proud of themselves for figuring out such a feat. We had a lot of fun in both sections eating snacks and watching everyone’s videos, and celebrating the end of another school year!

Below are some examples of what was submitted. So turn up your audio and be entertained by these one-minute shorts!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

Mimi Sheppard

 

AK-Russell

 

Jeremy Hamilton, "Brains"

 

Emory Endicott

 

Malik Henley

 

Mary Hannah Ruff, "Words"

 

Anna Katherine Surholt

 

Gabrielle Martinez

 

Elizabeth Costa

 

Kyle Murphy

 

Olivia Williams

Intro to Computing // Impossible Reality

For my students’ first Photoshop project, I wanted them to think outside the box and create an “Impossible Reality”. They had to gather their original photography and make new photos as needed to compose their surreal image. The main artist of inspiration was Eric Johansson. He is an incredible Photoshop artist, but also kind enough to post photos and videos to demonstrate his entire process, which is great for beginners to see. Like Eric, they needed to produce an image that tricks the eye to appear realistic.

Below are some examples that were turned in. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

Fall 2015 // 2 sections

Section1_Abbey-Rigdon_ImpossibleReality

by Abbey Rigdon

Section1_Alleigh-Moffett_ImpossibleReality

by Alleigh Moffett

Section1_Amy-Farrar_ImpossibleReality

by Amy Farrar

Section1_Carly-Melton_ImpossibleReality

by Carly Melton

Section1_Imani-Smith_ImpossibleReality

by Imani Smith

Section1_Katie-Erickson_ImpossibleReality-

by Katie Erickson

Section1_Phoebe-Fitzgerald_ImpossibleReality

by Phoebe Fitzgerald

Section4_Alex-Cayson_Impossible-reality

by Alex Cayson

Section4_Haylee-Upton_Impossible-Reality

by Haylee Upton

Section4_Katherine-Moore_Impossible-Reality

by Katherine Moore

Section4_Lauryn-Rody_Impossible-Reality

by Lauryn Rody

Section4_Maddie-Marascalco_Impossible-Reality

by Maddie Marascalco

Section4_Nicolette-Johnson_Impossible-Reality

by Nicolette Johnson

Spring 2016 // 1 section

01_cecilia_lemus_impossible_reality

by Cecilia Lemus

Abbey-Goodman_impossible-reality

by Abbey Goodman

ConnerBooth-impossible-reality

by Connor Booth

Gerard-Woods-Impossible-reality

by Gerard Woods

Katherine-Huang_Impossible-Reality

by Katherine Huang

Stephen_Latham_Impossible_Reality_Cyborg

by Stephen Latham

Intro to Computing Art // Photoshop Project 1

For my students’ first Photoshop project, I wanted them to think outside the box and create an “Impossible Reality”. They had to gather their original photography and make new photos as needed to compose their surreal image. The main artist of inspiration was Eric Johansson. He is an incredible Photoshop artist, but also kind enough to post photos and videos to demonstrate his entire process, which is great for beginners to see. Like Eric, they needed to produce an image that tricks the eye to appear realistic.

Below are some examples that were turned in. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website

by Claire Burgett

by Claire Burgett

by Keats Haupt

by Anna Zollicoffer

by Anna Zollicoffer

by Hayden Lambert

by Hayden Lambert

by Kelli Clayton

by Kelli Clayton

by Layne Smith

by Layne Smith

by Sami McDougall

by Sami McDougall

by Sarah Prater

by Sarah Prater

by Anna Barber

by Anna Barber

by Aubrey Pohl

by Aubrey Pohl

by Marianna Myrick

by Marianna Myrick

by Kelsey Bishop

by Kelsey Bishop

Freelance Photography

As all art is relative and can blend to achieve a goal from time to time, graphic design and photography tend to be a complimentary pair. I touched on this topic in my last blog post Gearing Up for Back to School.  It may be easier to see my love of integrating illustration in my portfolio work (brittanyspencer.com), but I am also capable of implementing original photography.  This goes back to my undergraduate education at Mississippi State University, as we were taught to have a solid fine art foundation education to make us better designers.  The use and know-how of your very own DSLR camera opens much more possibilities in achieving a particular project goal.  Stock photography can be cheesy, boring, and overused.  (Check out this girl’s collection of ways her stock photos have been used.)  Come on, be ORIGINAL!  View my last blog post Gearing Up for Back to School to see how I combined photography with graphic design.

I also do some freelance photography on the side for families, babies, graduating seniors, engagements, and weddings.  And I am one of those people that LOVES Photoshop, and will edit a photo to make it perfect– free of blemishes, stray hairs, that sneaky fat roll, and even the random power pole in the background.

Here are some of my favorites:

babkids43

babkids12

babkids4

babkids1

seniors40

Before and After: A storm is coming 🙂 I love Photoshop.

couples15

couples6

weddings26

weddings16

family21

I can even design some pretty snazzy wedding albums.  I finished this album a few days ago.  Flip through the digital preview:

Or view the album by clicking this link.

May I be of any service to you?

Crash Course in Portfolio Websites

This week I did a crash course presentation for a class of junior photography majors about portfolio websites, and some basic notes about good (and bad) website design.  The students must put together an online portfolio of their work this quarter.  Most of them do not know how to code HTML and CSS, so my presentation was geared toward making an account with a user-friendly website builder.  I supplied my notes below if anyone else would like more information on how to make a portfolio website.  There are MANY choices to choose from today….


NOTES ON WEBSITE LAYOUT
If you have no idea what website layout you prefer, visit an array of portfolio websites (photography, design, illustration, studio, etc.). http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/best-photographer-websites/  Make note of the layouts that you enjoy, and layouts that you find bothersome. You want to highlight your work, and also be organized. If it is confusing for viewers to navigate, they will get tired of trying, leave, and not come back. You want your website to be memorable!

Domain name:
-Choose a domain name that is distinct, clear, professional, and will stand the test of time.
-Examples: JulieApplebee.com or JulieApplebeePhoto.com is better than JulieApplebeeIncrediblePhotography.com, JulieApplebeeSelfPortraits.com, and AwesomeJulieApplebee.com.

Features to consider:
-Home page appearance
-Horizontal or vertical navigation
-How to organize work in navigation (Specific photo series? Theme? Year? Etc.)
-Minimal scrolling or a lot of scrolling
-Photo gallery layout
-Include a blog? (If you choose to incorporate a blog, keep it up-to-date with new work on a regular basis, and only focus on your work, inspirations, tips, etc. Do not stray and turn it into your diary or music log.)

Fonts:
-Use standard, legible fonts throughout your website.
-As a professional, Papyrus and Comic Sans are forbidden font choices.
-Choose a color that sits comfortably on the background color, and does not hurt the viewer’s eyes.
-Build hierarchy in your descriptions/artist statements/etc. by using regular, bold, and italicized versions of your font and changes in font size.

Background color:
-Use neutral colors that will not compete with your images. You want viewers to notice your awesome work– not your Pepto Bismol pink, Tennessee orange, or bedazzled unicorn background.

Search engine optimization (SEO):
-Choose a website builder that will maximize your search engine optimization to reach new viewers. When “Sally Mae Photography” is googled, it should appear within the first few listings.
-City, specific photo process, photo themes, etc. are also important to program into your website for search engine purposes.

Computer, laptop, tablet, and mobile friendly:
-Choose a website builder that will arrange your website to look great and operate effectively on all media.

eCommerce:
-Some website builders come with an eCommerce option to promote easy business with client galleries and shopping carts. A small percentage of the profit will go to the website builder.

Logo:
-A professional logo is SO IMPORTANT! Make friends with a Graphic Design student. Make a trade. Offer to photograph their self-portrait and/or three-dimensional portfolio pieces, in trade for their design skills for a logo and branding/website advice. Get to know them, and show them examples of what you like. They may just come up with something fantastic you would not think about.

Website background music:
-Don’t do it! This is 2014. MySpace days are over.

Flash websites:
-Don’t do it! People visit your website to see your work– not to watch fancy visual effects that take twice as long to load your images.

Examples of what NOT to do:
http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com/
http://www.topdesignmag.com/20-examples-of-bad-web-design/
http://art.yale.edu/

 

WEBSITE BUILDERS


1. http://wordpress.com/
-Online review: http://blog-services-review.toptenreviews.com/wordpress-com-review.html
-Features: http://en.wordpress.com/features/

-Watch demo: http://wordpress.com/#video 

-Cost: Free. Every site has a default web address that ends in wordpress.com (for example, yourgroovydomain.wordpress.com). There are some paid upgrades available but they are entirely optional (and very reasonably priced!). As a professional, you will want some of these upgrades…
-Upgrades and prices: http://en.support.wordpress.com/upgrades/
•Custom design: $30.00 per blog, per year. With the Custom Design upgrade, you can make 
your blog look exactly the way you want. The Font Editor lets you customize the fonts in 
 your theme in a just few clicks — no coding knowledge required! The CSS Editor lets you 
customize the stylesheets of any available theme. Register for a custom domain.

  • No ads: $30.00 per blog, per year. We sometimes run discreet advertisements on your blog to users who aren’t logged in and aren’t regular visitors. Purchasing the No-Ads upgrade 
 will eliminate any ads on your blog so no one sees them at all.
  • Premium themes: Priced per blog, for the lifetime of that blog. Add more options for site 
customization, exclusive designs, and support direct from theme authors with a Premium 
Theme upgrade.
  • Space upgrade: All WordPress.com blogs come with 3000 megabytes of space for storing uploaded files and images. For even more storage space, the following prices are per blog, 
per year:
    -10GB= $20.00; 25GB= $50.00; 50GB= $90.00; 100GB= $160.00; 200GB= $290.00

-Support/Introduction: http://en.support.wordpress.com/introduction/
-Support/Using WordPress.com to Create a Website: http://en.support.wordpress.com/using-wordpress-to-create-a-website/
-Examples: https://brittanyspencer.wordpress.com/ (treated strictly as a blog)

 

2. http://www.squarespace.com/
-Online review: http://blog-services-review.toptenreviews.com/squarespace-review.html
-More features: http://www.squarespace.com/feature-index/
-Watch demo: http://www.squarespace.com/tour/overview/
-Cost: Free 14-day trial. You have 3 packages to choose from…

  • Personal= $10.00 per month / $96 per year
  • Professional= $20.00 per month / $192 per year *MOST POPULAR
    -Unlimited pages, galleries, and blogs, with unlimited storage, bandwidth, and 
 contributors
    -Fully integrated E-commerce
    -Sell up to 20 products
    -Developer platform
    -Mobile website and store
    -Custom domain
    -24/7 customer support
  • Business= $30.00 per month / $288 per year
  • More pricing info: http://www.squarespace.com/pricing/

-Galleries:

  • Gallery Blocks– Squarespace Gallery Blocks can be added anywhere on your website and 
offer hundreds of presentation variations, including slideshows, sliders, grid layouts, and 
more. Integrated lightbox functionality allows for full-browser-sized imagery.
  • Display Effects– Each gallery offers multiple lightweight hover and transition effects.
  • Video in Galleries– All gallery collections allow for mixed media presentations, including video and audio content in addition to images in the same gallery.

-Examples: http://www.judelandry.com, http://www.jakedugard.com/, http://jennafincher.com/

 

3. http://www.weebly.com
-Online review: http://web-content-management-review.toptenreviews.com/weebly-pro-review.html
-Features: http://www.weebly.com/features/#
-Cost: Free. Everything you need to create your own high-quality site including free hosting. As a professional, you will want to upgrade….
-Upgrades:

  • Starter= $4.00 per month. Connect your own domain, get expanded site stats, and premium 
support.
  • Pro= $8.00 per month. Professional multimedia features, powerful site search, and password protection. *MOST POPULAR
  • Business= $25.00 per month. Fully integrated eCommerce. All available features. The
 complete package.

-Themes: http://www.weebly.com/themes/
-Photo galleries: http://www.weebly.com/features/#!/photos-and-slideshows Create a dynamic photo gallery in just a few clicks with Weebly’s robust gallery builder. Simply select and upload photos to take advantage of Weebly’s advanced transition effects, automatic resizing, and library of unique gallery layouts. Also includes a slideshow maker, free image upload and photo editing, and Weebly Photo Library. Choose from a range of slideshow layouts.
-Examples: http://www.jaimejphotography.com/

 

4. http://www.wix.com/
-Online review: http://web-content-management-review.toptenreviews.com/wix-premium-review.html
-Features: http://www.wix.com/about/features
-Watch demo: wix.com > Click “Check out our quick tour”


-Cost: You have 5 packages to choose from… http://www.wix.com/upgrade/website

  • Connect Domain (Most Basic)= $6.90 per month / $48.96 per year
  • Combo (For Personal Use)= 10.95 per month / $99.00 per year
  • Unlimited (Entrepreneurs & Freelancers)= $15.95 per month / $149.04 per year * MOST 
 POPULAR
  • eCommerce (Best for Small Business)= $19.90 per month / $194.04 per year
  • VIP (First Priority Support)= $29.90 per month / $298.80 per year

-Templates: http://www.wix.com/website/templates
-Example: http://www.marycatherinedavis.com/

 


5. http://cargocollective.com/
-Online review: http://blog.iso50.com/10005/a-weekend-with-cargo-collective/
-If you want to use Cargo Collective, you must first apply for an account: http://cargocollective.com/contact
-Cost: Free (Cloud hosting, 12 Projects, 3 Pages, 100MB Storage, Edit CSS, 5 Membership Invites); $66/year or $9/month (Unlimited projects and pages, unlimited bandwidth, Advanced editing, All templates)
-Templates: http://cargocollective.com/designs/
-Examples: http://christianmdunn.com/

 

6. http://www.smugmug.com/
-Online review: http://digital-photo-printing-review.toptenreviews.com/smugmug-review.html
-Features: http://www.smugmug.com/features
-Cost: Detailed comparisons: http://www.smugmug.com/features

  • Basic= $5 per month / $40 per year
  • Power= $8 per month / $60 per year
  • Portfolio= $20 per month / $150 per year (commerce options)
  • Business= $35 per month / $300 per year (commerce options)

-SmugMug Pro: Every site includes a fully-integrated shopping cart. Pick the photo products you want to sell, price your inventory, and keep 85% of the markup. We cover credit card processing and customer service. http://www.smugmug.com/pro

  • Pro Labs: Wow your clients with gorgeous wall art, prints, and gifts: bayphoto, whcc, Loxley Colour, ezprints

-SmugMug for Everyone: (non-commerce option) Build your portfolio website by choosing your favorite theme and photo gallery. Simply drag-and-drop your photos into SmugMug’s content boxes to create the design you want. Customize your font and color combinations. Upload your 1080p HD videos. http://www.smugmug.com/consumer

 

7. http://www.photoshelter.com
-Online review: http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/reviews/photoshelter/our-review
-Features: A professional and customizable portfolio website specifically for photography. Built-in shopping cart for prints, products, licenses & personal use downloads. Marketing & client management tools to grow your business. http://www.photoshelter.com/mkt/research/
-Watch demo: http://www.photoshelter.com/tour/index
-Cost: 14-day free trial. You have 3 packages to choose from: (Sign up for annual plans and get 8% off.) https://www.photoshelter.com/signup/subscriber

  • Basic= $9.99 per month
  • Standard= $29.99 per month * MOST POPULAR
    -10 classic templates
    -Beam portfolios (http://www.photoshelter.com/beam/)
    -Optimized for iPad
    -Customizable Designs
    -60GB of storage
    -Use your own domain
    -Built-in eCommerce Tools
    -Free telephone & email support
    -Search engine optimization & social sharing tools
    -Partner perks
  • Pro= $49.99 per month

-Templates: https://www.photoshelter.com/website-examples/
-eCommerce: Use our pro labs or your own. Automatically fulfill orders with prints and products from the top labs in the industry, choose a boutique lab from our Print Vendor Network, or use your own. Available lab options: whcc, BWC, Adoramapix, ezprints, Loxley Colour

 

More website builders to check out…
22slides.com
4ormat.com
allyou.net
aphotofolio.com
behance.net/prosite
bigfolio.com
bludomain.com
imcreator.com
intothedarkroom.com
foliolink.com
icompendium.com
livebooks.com
neonsky.com
otherpeoplespixels.com
photobiz.com
photocrati.com/photography-wordpress-themes
photoidentities.com
showitfast.com
sitewelder.com
tafota.com
virb.com
visualserver.com

 

I hope this helps somebody out!