Monthly Archives: October 2013

OCt 31 Title Sequence Workday

Dexter Imitation

Create File Structure

Create a new file on your desktop called “Premiere Practice 10.31”.

Within this folder create four separate folders called “Graphics”, “Moving”, “Stills”, “Music”.

Go to Dropbox and download (copy and paste, NOT drag and drop) the folder called “Premiere Practice 10.31”.  Within this file you’ll find some media you can use to practice in Premiere.  Transfer the files from your ‘downloaded’ folder to the appropriate places in the folder on your desktop.  Copy the 1920×1080 PNG file you created on Tuesday into the Graphics folder.  If you have other media already gathered for your object documentary, put it in the appropriate folder.

Open Premiere Pro.  Create a NEW PROJECT.

IMPORTANT!!!  In the new project menu, make sure to change the location of your project by selecting “Browse” and then choosing your folder on the desktop.  Title your project “(your surname)_Premiere Practice 10.31”.

Click the tab called “Scratch Disks” and make sure they are indicate “same as project”.  For more information about scratch disks, check here.

Click OK.

(Take a moment at this point and go back to your folder on the desktop and notice the new files that have been created.  You need to remember to keep all these files in one place to maintain the integrity of the editing you do.)

Back in Premiere, take a moment to look over the layout and familiarize yourself with it.  HERE is a good overview in a single image.

The next step is to import the media from the folders you’ve created.  HERE is a comprehensive overview on importing media into Premiere.  When you are ready to import your files, RIGHT CLICK in the top left window and choose “IMPORT”.  You can then navigate to your folder on the desktop and choose to import the four folders within (as a group or individually).


First you need to create a NEW SEQUENCE.  Right click in the top left panel and choose “New Item”>”Sequence”.   There are hundreds of presets, this is something you will need to figure out later.  For now, choose the default, name your sequence “(your surname)_Premiere Practice 10.31”. Click OK.  Arrange the media you imported on this sequence.  Save your work EARLY AND OFTEN.

You will need to important and cut at least one movie clip.  Several ways to do this are covered in this FORUM.

You will need to create several title screens (at least 2).  TITLES and TEXT

You will need to import several photos (at least 2) and the design you created on Tuesday.  For detailed instructions on how to manipulate still photos/design go HERE.

You will need to add and cut some audio.  Here is some help with that.

Create a track that is under 30 seconds in length and export it.


After saving your project (do this early and often), go to ‘File’>’Export’>’Media’.  Choose H.264 as your format.  Use “Youtube HD 1080p 23.976” as your preset.  Click on the Yellow ‘Output Name’ and make sure the title matches your sequence title and is being saved in the appropriate folder on your desktop.    Here is a reasonably clear explanation of the process.

The export will take a few minutes, so spend this time composing a BLOG ENTRY discussing your first reactions to Premiere Pro and how it differs from iMovie.  Go over the process (movie clip, title, sequences etc) and reflect on it.  How does it work?  What kinds of connections did you notice as you worked?  Were you surprised?  Were you frustrated (try to map out the cause of the frustration)?  What good is this knowledge?  What good is this ability to arrange media?  Did you utilize any of the CRAP design techniques? Did you notice “gut feelings” coming into play as you arranged this media?  You should consider this post as a rough draft of your final reflection on your project.

Once the export finishes, you can upload your file to the class Dropbox in “Premiere Practice 10.31>Student Films”.

Have a Happy Halloween!

For Next Time


Read the Introduction to “From Snapshots to Social Media-The Changing Picture of Domestic Photography” (page 1-21 on Dropbox in “Reading>Still Photos”).  Be ready for a short quiz to begin class on Tuesday.

Also remember, your second response is due Tuesday.  Here are some more details.


Oct 29 Title Sequences

A last note on design:  I hope you each had an experience during your work in Illustrator in which you felt a gut feeling about some component of your digital composition.  Did something just ‘feel right’? How can you explain, logically, how that works?  Remember, part of your final grade will be based on a reflection of your work.  Part of what I’m hoping to instill with this pedagogy is a careful attendance to the process…to what happens when designers, artists, photographers, filmmakers compose digitally.  How are choices made?  What drives you to a certain color, a certain angle or a certain tune?  In design (as you will remember from Helvetica) there is a controversy between strict form and expressive feelings.  One way to discuss design is to use the terms of the discipline.  These are CRAP.





As you think about the design aesthetic for your project, as you navigate the gut feelings, take some notes about how you feel…how you came to these decisions.  I hope that this CRAP terminology (or other design concepts with which you may be familiar) can help you translate the ‘feels right’ logic of design into something I can grade.


The logical next step after a few days spent on design is to make that design a part of your film…to make it move.

The most traditional location (topos) for graphic design in cinema has been the TITLE SEQUENCE.

After we watch a few examples as a class, go to THE ART OF THE TITLE to complete the following blog assignments.

BLOG #1 – Find a text in the archive of The Art of the Title which you appreciate.  Watch the title sequence and read through the commentary and/or interview.  Link this page to your blog and give 2-3 paragraphs about what is striking to you about the sequence and how you might use it as inspiration in your own film.

BLOG #2 – Discuss your title sequence.  Here are a few questions to guide this post.  What is the title of your film?  Is there a song you are considering to introduce the film?  If you had to choose RIGHT NOW, what font(s) would you use?  Colors?  Vector Art?  What will the text be in your sequence? (produced by? directed by? starring? production company name?)  Finally, include an image to the following specifications:

-In Illustrator, open a new document with the dimensions 1920×1080 (this is the standard dimension for HD video…more information here.)

-Create a design with your title.  You can include a subtitle as needed.  Use NO MORE THAN TWO FONTS! Colors, vectors, photographs, etc are all up to you.

-Export as a PNG file and upload in the body of your blog entry.


-Finish up your designs from last week.

-Open Premiere Pro and look around!

-Ask me questions about your object.

-Get started on the work for next time….


In a wild crash course, we will be creating a short title sequence in Adobe’s Premiere Pro.  If you have no experience with this program, PLEASE SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE FOLLOWING TUTORIALS.

All Adobe Premiere Tutorials

Basic Tutorial (and alternative introduction)

Importing Files

Building Titles

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Response #2

A few of you have asked for some more specific detail on RESPONSE #2, so here you go.

Because it wasn’t entirely clear (perhaps another casualty of my negotiating a lack of software), I’ll push the due date back a few days.  Response #2 is now due by class time on November 5th.

As we discussed, there are several options.  You each should have recorded some form of a literacy narrative before fall break.  What I’d most like to see is participation in the DALN.  If you spent some time with your audio text and are happy with it, go ahead and follow the directions in the guides provided (in Dropbox) and upload your narrative to the Archive.  I encourage you to submit the best work possible, so if your piece needs some more work, edit it.  Remember this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your final object documentary.  Once you submit to the archive, you should include a link to your audio (in the archive) in a blog post of your own with a brief (2-3 paragraph) overview of your thoughts on the process of recording a literacy narrative.  Then link YOUR BLOG POST as a comment to THIS page.

If you have no interest in audio or the archives at all, you can submit a more traditional academic response (500-750 words) to one of the readings posted in Dropbox that we haven’t discussed so far in class (Selber, Tagg, Daley, Spinuzzi, Rice).  In addition to a summary, I’d expect several paragraphs devoted to how this theoretical text can impact your documentary.

Pushing the due date back a little bit on this assignment means that your THIRD RESPONSE will come up more quickly, so keep that in mind.  I’m looking for a graphical or video response for this last assignment.  More info to come!

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Oct 24 Illustrator Continued

The assignment for today is simple.  Continue practicing with Illustrator on the assignments from Tuesday.  You can find the specific description here.  Briefly, you are responsible for submitting two blog headers and two imitation exercises.

As of 2:15pm, no one has left the link to their homework (blog post about Helvetica) as a comment to Oct 22 class entry (as assigned).  Please do that.

All proposals that were successfully submitted to me have been graded.  Comments have been sent back.  If you haven’t submitted a proposal or submitted one in an unacceptable format, please see me after class.

For Next Time:

CRAP design and Title Sequences.  As you watch TV/Movies over the weekend, pay careful attention to the title sequences.  What fonts are used? What kind of design elements are used? Is there movement? Is it effective? How does it work within the larger themes of the program? Write a blog entry or some tweets (#harmon460) to record some of your thoughts.

Reminder: Your second response is due NEXT Thursday…Oct 31. CHANGED!!!!!   NOW it is due NOV. 5

Graphic Design Tutorials

We have a diverse collection of disciplinary backgrounds in this class.  Moreover, the temporal allotment for Graphic Design this semester is minimal and was compounded by the delay in getting the software.  What this means is that there isn’t much time for lecture, theory, or practice.  In no way do I intend to minimize the importance of this important art form, but our larger focus on the object documentary requires us to move on quickly.  If you are unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable with Graphic Design you will need to take it on yourself to become familiar and comfortable (see links below).  Remember, part of your final project involves designing some promotional material for your film.  At the very least you will need to design and print a DVD Cover (or some kind of packaging for a flash drive…you might also explore other ways to ‘deliver’ your film).  Fliers and Posters are also encouraged! I am happy to meet out of class if anyone has specific questions.

Basic Introductory Lecture with Slides

35 Brilliant Design Portfolios for Inspiration

Examples of Lettering in Graphic Design

The Ultimate Guide to Logo Design

Ten Captivating Uses of Typography in the Movies

50 Free Lessons in Graphic Design

40 Breathtaking Graphic Design Examples

There are more links on the RESOURCES page!

Imitation Exercises

Please reply to this page with your imitation exercises.

Oct 22 Illustrator

illustrate (v.)
1520s, “light up, shed light on;” 1610s, “educate by means of examples,” back-formation from illustration, and in some cases from Latin illustratus, past participle of illustrare (see illustration). Sense of “provide pictures to explain or decorate” is 1630s. Related: Illustrated; illustrating.
illustration (n.)
c.1400, “a shining;” early 15c., “a manifestation;” mid-15c., “a spiritual illumination,” from Old French illustration “apparition, appearance,” and directly from Latin illustrationem (nominative illustratio) “vivid representation” (in writing), literally “an enlightening,” from past participle stem of illustrare “light up, make light, illuminate;” figuratively “make clear, disclose, explain; adorn, render distinguished,” from assimilated form of in- “in” (see in- (2)) + lustrare “make bright, illuminate,” related to lucere “shine,” lux “light” (see light (n.)). Mental sense of “act of making clear in the mind” is from 1580s. Meaning “an illustrative picture” is from 1816.
vector (n.)
“quantity having magnitude and direction,” 1704, from Latin vector “one who carries or conveys, carrier,” from past participle stem of vehere “carry, convey” (see vehicle).

In Class:

We finally have the Adobe Creative Suite installed in HUM416. I’d like to spend today messing around a bit with Illustrator.  If you are completely new to this software and didn’t have a chance to look at any tutorials, HERE is a collection of comprehensive introductions.  HERE is a list of the tools and what they do.

After we watch a later segment of Helvetica, I will demonstrate getting a project started in Illustrator and then set you loose to explore.  By the end of class on Thursday, you need to have completed the following:

2 x Class Blog Headers  One of these should use Helvetica, the other should use something else.  At the very least, your header designs should include (most of) the following words: “ENGL 460, Writing, Digital, Composition”.  Over the two designs, you should include at least 3 colors, one shape, and one vector image.  These should be emailed to harmoncb (at) as a PNG file.

The sky is the limit, but follow these directions:

Open Illustrator…Create a New Document….Name the document: “(your surname)_class header”….indicate the correct dimensions (Suggested width is 800 pixels. Suggested height is 140 pixels)….Click OK.

2 x Imitation Exercises  Using Illustrator, imitate two of the three designs you brought in for homework.  While not required, you might consider using this opportunity to think through some designs for your final object documentary.  You could also just be ironic or sarcastic in your imitations.  Once you have completed each design, you should arrange it alongside the original in a separate file (8.5×11 inches) in Illustrator.  In other words, what you turn in will be two PNG files, with both the original design AND your design on a white background (try to achieve a balance between the original and the imitation with 1″ boarders all around).  These should be inserted into a comment to the class blog on the Imitation Exercises page.  Also, please email the files to harmoncb (at) and post your favorite to your own blog with a few lines about why you chose it.

We will talk more about the details of this assignment on Thursday.

For Next Time:

Write a blog entry with a response to the following question:

The film Helvetica, to which you have had (hopefully) significant exposure within the last week, deftly explicates the history of and controversy over this seemingly innocuous little object.  The director Gary Hustwit interviews a range of characters from hard-core modernists who invented this font, to counter-culture hippies who deplored it, to reasonably contemporary designers who have appropriated Helvetica in different ways.  The film was released in 2007.  As we near the end of 2013, where is Helvetica’s reputation now?  You are (mostly) all from a generation AFTER the youngest designers portrayed in this film.  What is YOUR opinion of this ubiquitous font?  Why or why wouldn’t you consider Helvetica for your final object documentary?

Note: While housed in the same format (blog) as some of your shorter, more adventurous assignments, this assignment demands a carefully considered and justified response.  Take 2-4 paragraphs, use both statistics and quotes from the film, and include images and/or links to illustrate your argument.  Please, proofread your work.  Please link your blog (artfully) as a comment to THIS page.