P6 – Gruener Design Studio Interview

For this project, I wanted to do something a little more serious than my past assignments. As much as I love comedy, I wanted to test myself on how well I can make a more informative piece. And so, I decided to make an interview of Donald Gruener, a photographer/graphic designer of Gruener Design Studio. Conveniently, he happens to be my dad! I wanted this project to not just show my editing skills, but to be informative to current and future media art students, especially those who plan to pursue photography/graphic design.

The production and post-production phases went smooth enough, but there still were some hurdles. Initially, I set up two phones to video-record the interview. One was a front angle and the other was a side angle (which I ended up not using). I would have liked to use a better camera, but my iPhone was the best that I had. I also set up a super nice microphone (the same one I used for P4-Audio) to record audio much better than my phone. We did the interview, but It felt unnatural so we redid the entire interview the next day! I also recorded a bunch of extra footage showing my dad doing some of his graphic design. We even staged an entire photo shoot just for me to record!!

For the post-production editing, I had the terrible idea of using my own computer. I found this video software called “DaVinci Resolve,” which has a pretty awesome free version. It is very advanced like Premiere Pro, making this an amazing piece of software that I can get for free! Plus, I wanted to expand my knowledge of tools beyond the Adobe suite. Well, turns out my semi-decent laptop is a total wimp. Playback was so laggy that it became impossible to simply compose the video. Plus, my computer’s hard drive completely filled up, so there wasn’t any way that it could handle video editing! So I was forced to re-do everything at school in the media creation lab. Using Premiere, I managed to complete the entire video in a mere two and a half hours!

All this hassle made me not want to add in the second camera angle. It might have looked cool, but it would have been too much work. Plus having the different angles mixed with the different shots might have made the video too chaotic. Also, as I said earlier, I recorded the audio separately on a nice mic. Well, turns out that audio got cut off. It’s too bad, because it sounds much nicer and crisper than my phone’s mic!!

Overall, I’m glad with the end result, despite all the problems. In fact, I’m kind of glad that it wasn’t smooth! It taught me to adapt to the situation and not let it get in the way of a nice video. Anyway, enjoy the video, and I hope you learn something from it!

Credits:

Filmed and produced by Colin Gruener

Music credit: bensound.com (https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/beyond-the-line)

Special thanks to Donald Gruener of Gruener Design Studio!

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P5: Fivie McFiverton Finds the Fives!

For this project, I wanted to have a little fun. My idea was to go around town and film someone commenting on varoius things that are related to five, but with a sense of humor! I called up my friends Maxfield and Emily to act for me, and we were off! We didn’t really have much of a script, instead just filmed whatever came to mind. I really like how Maxfield’s character ended up turning out. The whole video sort of evolved to be a parody of those YouTube “Vlogs,” complete with a somewhat cringy character, the mandatory “like, comment and subscribe” line and of course a dubstep animated intro! Making that intro animation was pretty fun, but also time-consuming. I ended up with more footage than I needed, but it’s always better to have more rather than less! Editing took approximately six hours (too bad it wasn’t five!), and all went pretty smoothly, especially considering that this was my first time using Adobe Premiere. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed editing. I had lots of fun reviewing all the clips and making them fit together into a fast-paced Vlog-style video! I also really liked making the “error” effect that cuts in whenever Maxfield encounters something that isn’t five-related. One thing that I wish had gone differently was my camera. I was using an iPhone SE, which has a considerably crummy camera. You can especially see that during the low light scenes. Also, the audio recording was pretty poor as well, as it can sometimes be hard to hear the actors. The video angle on the iPhone is also pretty narrow, so that means that my subjects are always too close or cut off. The reason why I used it was because it’s the nicest camera I own, and it has auto-stabilization which removes shakiness. If I could redo this assignment, I would use better equipment. However, I’m still extremely glad with how it turned out.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the video!

Software: Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018

Music:

https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/dubstep

https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/pop-dance

Bleep Sound: https://freesound.org/people/austin1234575/sounds/213795/

Special thanks to my actors!

Fivie McFiverton: Maxfield

Cheese Lady/Movie Shopper/5th Street Market Bystander: Emily

Directed, filmed and edited by me, Colin Gruener

X4 – Professional Practices – Matt Dye, Blunt Graffix

For my Professional Practices, I decided to attend one of the First Friday Art Walk stops. I visited the gallery at Epic Seconds on November 2nd, which was featuring works by Matt Dye. Matt is a silkscreen print artist who works under the name “Blunt Graffix.” He started with designing and printing movie posters, and then he moved on to do more of his own original works. IMG_3609

A lot of the stuff he had up he calls “test prints.” Those are his works where he is just experimenting, and eventually he may reproduce them into an “edition.” Usually, screen printers will produce hundreds or thousands of prints per edition, but he likes to produce no more than fifty. He even said “I like to print less, charge more!” Something cool is that each print is slightly different from the other. Since he’s showcasing his test prints, they are all original and one-of-a-kind!

The most common subject he had seemed to be pop-culture references and mash-ups. He likes to incorporate different celebrities and other pop-culture icons. For example, his art has many Star Wars characters such as Han Solo or Darth Vader, but superimposes different celebrities over the heads to create new ideas and visions. It’s these mash-ups that make his art so fun to see. You have to get up close to the prints and look carefully to catch all the references. Some are large and obvious, while others are very small and hidden! He also said that he tries to balance working with subjects that not only he is interested in, but also what his clients are interested in. I think this is important and can be applied to anybody working in the arts. You have to make art that others will appreciate and want to own, while also enjoying it yourself. If you don’t make stuff others like, then you will have a harder time selling it, yet if you don’t make stuff that that you enjoy, you will have a harder time making it.IMG_3607

One thing that is cool about some of his work is that he uses this shiny “holographic” cardboard material as his base. That is the same stuff that is used in trading cards like Pokémon cards. Apparently, he is one of the first people to make large scale screen prints on on that shiny material, making him even more unique! I think this choice not only reinforces the colorful, vibrant, and “popping” effect of his art, but also by using the same material that makes trading cards it fits in with his whole pop-culture mash-up theme!

Another cool thing about him is that he is hired globally to make screen prints for clients and collectors, or even comic conventions! It always amazes me whenever I hear about a local artist or other company that is based locally in Eugene but has some global fame as well!

Also, silkscreen print media looks really cool. There is lots of working with layers, which results in a sense of depth that is added to an otherwise two-dimensional paper. Also, each color has to be applied with a different layer, so there’s a lot of work and planning to be done. It’s a very different kind of art than painting or drawing.

Overall, I really enjoyed Matt Dye’s exhibit at Epic Seconds. Silkscreen printing is one of those art forms that I have never really understood or paid attention to until now. So not only was this exhibit cool to visit, but it also unlocked a whole other art form that I’m exited to check out in the future! One thing that I wish Matt had done during his show was give a little longer speech, or even just elaborate on his artistic method, since I don’t know much about the screen printing process.

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By the way, the gallery will be up for the next two months, so any of you can go check it out if you wish!

-Colin Gruener

Audio Project: Audacity Advertisement!

After taking a while to decide on a topic, I randomly chose out of the blue to make an audio advertisement for none other than the very software I was working with! Making a script was kind of fun, since I wanted to make it funny. I really enjoyed making a script that was a stereotypical radio advertisement, complete with some weird announcer, some call-and-response with an uneducated person (the guy who says “wow, really?”), customer interviews and of course the super-fast “fine print” reader! I especially loved writing the fine print, creating ridiculous warnings and side-effects!

Recording actually when better than I expected. I am very shy at speaking out and recording myself, but thankfully the house was semi-empty when I was recording. Plus, I had noise-cancelling headphones so I felt isolated. I also used my dad’s super nice microphone and digital recorder. It captured my voice exceptionally well and crisp! Thanks, dad!!! I also never realized my potential for creating different voices. I don’t really like my own everyday voice, but I was surprised at how awesome and funny my other voices are. Listening to it even I forget that it is the same person!

There are only two tracks that don’t use my voice, and those are the “I can talk like a robot” and the “I am now an awesome singer.” For the former, I used a simple text-to-speech program that let me download my spoken text. For the latter, I used a vocaloid called “Kasane Teto,” which is a virtual singer for the singing synthesizing software “UTAU.” Basically it’s like text-to-speech with more control over pitch, length, etc. The one problem is that it is originally Japanese (which I am not familiar with). There are translations and plug-ins to convert English lyrics into Japanese sounds that the virtual singer can read. That was one of the hardest parts of the assignment, in fact.

Using Audacity to edit was actually not too bad. It was a little finicky, but that is to be expected of free open-source software. It took about a total of three hours to get my raw recorded audio, split it up (because I recorded it all in one file), adjust the timings and levels, apply some sound effects and apply some generic music!

Overall, I really had fun, and hope you have fun listening to it yourself!!

Here are some credits for sounds I used:

Music and SFX:
Computer Error: freesound.org/people/RicardoFM/sounds/334964/
Music: www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/dance
Door Slam: freesound.org/people/bennstir/sounds/80928/
Meow: freesound.org/people/blimp66/sounds/397661/
Record Scratch: freesound.org/people/luffy/sounds/3536/

Vocal Credits:
Me
Text-to-speech: www.text2speech.org/
UTAU Vocaloid Kasane Teto: kasaneteto.jp/en/voicebank.html

Blog Search: Art of VFX

art of vfxThe blog I decided to write about is called Art of VFX.

This blog is all about the special video effects (VFX) implemented in movies and tv shows. I think this is really cool because VFX combines computer animation with live-action recording to fabricate truly unique and lifelike experiences for the audience to watch! Some of the coolest stuff this blog has to offer are interviews with VFX artists, as well as behind-the-scenes VFX breakdowns to show how these effects were created. For example, there’s a neat video showing all the layers of filters and animations that were used to create the effects in the latest Jurassic World movie. The end result looks nothing like the initial raw camera footage! Having behind-the-scenes breakdowns can be useful for getting inspiration to create one’s one VFX! As far as presentation, the blog site is pretty good. There’s a home page with the latest posts, and it’s easy to find the different categories. The content, however, is okay. The VFX breakdowns are usually brief videos that only skim the surface of the work done, but it still is nice to have them all compiled into one website for casual browsing. The interviews, on the other hand, are very in-depth, and sometimes they complement the videos. For example, one of the interviews is on José Manuel Weil who was the VFX Supervisor for the same Jurassic World movie mentioned earlier. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in this kind of thing to check out this blog and get some inspiration!

Scavenger Hunt!

There I was, looking like a fool snapping a close-up picture of the Equipment Checkout sign…

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Need some equipment? Come to the Checkout Counter!

It’s kind of hard to take pictures of the Studios when they locked! I had to ask someone to let me in…

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Blue Cyc Wall…I get the feeling that I should not enter it…

Man, that’s a lot of resources! Thank you Student Engagement Center!!

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This where I can get popcorn, right?

I am always amazed by the art in the campus’s own Art Gallery!

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I can feel the artistic inspiration!!!

Can’t get enough art by just visiting the Art Gallery? Thankfully, the nearby Art-o-Mat can get you some art for five bucks apiece!

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Whew! As a minor, I’m not forbidden by law to buy some art!

Hush!!! It’s the Library!

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Looks like a nice, quiet spot to do some reading!

It may not look silver, but this in fact is the Silver Sculpture by the Health and Wellness Building!

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You may not notice it at first, but the translucent green tiles are a nice touch!

There I was awkwardly taking pictures of someone’s door. In this case my victim is Ingram!!

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Woah! Arts Division Specialist?! That sounds important!!

If the media creation resources of Building 18 just aren’t enough, I’m pleased to announce that there are even more resources located in the library!!

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That’s a lot of fancy computers!

Yet again, I was making myself look like a fool by taking pictures of Judy Gates’s meeting sign-up sheet next to her office!

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Judy Gates has become my camera’s victim!!

Next victim: Teresa Hughes’s office!

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ROOM 222!!! Now that’s easy to remember…

Need help with figuring out where to start? Come to the Students First Building!

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If you are wondering why I didn’t take a picture of the flags inside the building, the reason is because I didn’t feel like it! 😛

I wanted to have find a turkey to victimize with my camera, but I decided to victimize half of the campus instead!

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The Center Building has some nice views, doesn’t it?

 

Who am I?!

Me
Yes, I am balancing a snowball my head!

By Colin Gruener.

Who am I? That is a very good question to ask, not just for people who don’t know me, but also for myself! A simple answer would be: I am Colin Gruener. A more detailed one would be: an 18-year-old guy who’s fresh out of high school and on a quest to find and choose a career that he will love.

Let’s find out more about me!

I love being creative, but I am also passionate for working with technology. I have worked a lot with my high school theater working backstage on productions by constructing sets and designing lighting and sounds. I also dabbled a little bit in web design and game design. As a result, I find myself in Intro to Media Arts to help me pick a route out of the many possible careers in media arts!

One of my favorite things to do is to go biking. Of course, that’s not surprise considering that I was born and raised in Eugene, OR! I love to enjoy the outdoors, and my favorite way to do so is to go on a bike ride. Whether that means biking to meet friends, exploring Eugene’s beautiful paths, running errands or biking up the Old McKenzie Highway, I will always be out there pedaling away!

If I’m not biking, I am probably comfortably stationed in my home, watching Hulu, browsing Reddit, playing games on my 3DS or binge-reading Harry Potter or manga!!