Lady typing on a laptop.

Standout Layouts by Using In-Design

InDesign is Adobe’s software which is used for creating Magazines or designing pages for print and web. Attractive typography and graphics can be created in InDesign. 

Ever since I beginning school, I was very fascinated by Magazine Layouts and wanted to know how these designs are created. But in my IMA program at ACC, I get to know about the techniques which are used to create attractive layouts. As well as some software which is used to make designs and one of the good software is InDesign which I liked the most.

After Photoshop and Illustrator, we learn InDesign which was part of our Digital Design program in IMA. I did some work on In-design such as magazine layouts, Facebook and Instagram covers. Not only in Digital Design but it is also used in the Visual Communication program. Nowadays, I am working and learning the InDesign software in Digital Imaging and Graphics Program.

With this software, users can learn about layers and how to work with layers, create and edit text frames, move, scale and crop graphics. Additionally, users can also learn how they can adjust the space between frames. InDesign is also useful for adding captions to graphics frames or shapes such as circle, square and others. Users can add not only text but also images into frames, adjust the text around the object. After that, they can resize the shape of the frame and content to fit as their choice.  

With the help of different tools in InDesign, users can create simple or basic shapes and convert the shapes into complex graphics. In-design allows the user to import, PNG, JPEG, PICT, PDF, PSD, TIFF, and EPS, and the user can set the transparency setting of images or other graphics.

InDesign works on spreads and master pages, which is helpful for creating Magazine layouts. InDesign also provides templates for different layouts like books, magazines, web pages as well. Users can select any of them because most are free provided and they just need to put their own text and images in those, which is very easy to use, and tutorials are also available.

Users can also make a margin and bleeds when printing at the end or beginning of the design. InDesign works on both either RGB or CMYK. Which are very useful for any format for web or printing. InDesign is very similar to Illustrator, but it may not be widely used as Illustrator used, while it is also an excellent software for creating Magazine layouts.

I love to work on InDesign. In many documents, it is very flexible and easy to use. I am just using the theory of ACC “Learn by doing” and getting experience.

AE

How to Place Video in Text or Shape in After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a creation of digital visual effects and motion graphics such as titles and animation or visual effects such as compositing, explosions, lightning, etc. In a video editor, you can cut things, rearrange things, adjust the audio, adjust the panning, etc.

In addition to using complex camera movements and unconventional angles, having stellar visual effects and eye-catching can also be very useful for capturing the attention of your audience. An interesting graphic technique commonly used by filmmakers is to play video within a form or block of text. As complicated as this trick may seem initially, it is actually very simple to do it within Adobe After Effects.

So, if you are someone who is looking to try this technique in one of your next projects, do not miss this video, which will guide us through the process of composing a video in the framework of a way or text.

To begin, you must create a new composition within After Effects according to your own project/video specifications. Then, continue adding a new solid layer while choosing a suitable color for the background.

Next, you’ll create a shape or text layer of your choice, just make sure that the item you created is on a separate track (that is, do not create a masked shape in your background layer). As a side note, if you want to align your newly created graphic to the center, go to the alignment panel on the right side where you can adjust the desired position accordingly. Once you’re done with your graphical element, import your video clip into After Effects and place it into the composition, positioned below your shape/text layer.

In the timeline, navigate to the Track Matte settings and click the drop-down menu on your video layer’s Track Matte Properties. Of the available options there, you’ll want to select the Alpha Matte (form layer name here). As a result, your footage will automatically take on the form of your shape & text layer. 

If you want to go further with this effect, you can experiment with other Track Matte options. 

Optionally, you can link all your layers using the Parent & Link function, which can be quite useful when you want to animate the graphics and make your video more visually appealing by adding movement to your entire composition. Just be patient, take your time, be creative and see what else you can bring to the table using this simple but extremely effective composition technique.


IMA’s Tools

The Interactive Media Arts program is a course at Assiniboine Community College. It covers a wide variety of material in many different applications that can achieve all kinds of results.

The majority of applications we use in the IMA program are all a part of Adobe Creative Cloud. So far the only exception is in Web Design. For creating images we use Photoshop and Illustrator, for creating videos/animations we use Premiere Pro and After Effects, for audio we use Audition, and for layouts we use InDesign.

Photoshop, in the most simple of terms, is a much more refined and complex version of Paint, but it has much more than just brush and eraser tools. There are dozens of tools and dozens more complicated features.

In Illustrator you can make images in a much different way than Photoshop. As you zoom in on an image, you will eventually zoom in far enough to see that the image is made up of squares. But images created in Illustrator are made of vectors and no matter how far you zoom in, they won’t blur until you export them. Illustrator does have less complicated filters and editing tools than Photoshop since working in vectors works a computer much harder than if it was using pixels.

Premiere Pro is meant for lengthier and more professional productions such as movies, shows, and documentaries. It has many tools, some in common with Adobe Audition but only the most basic. Since they are all a part of Adobe though, they all work well together and you can easily edit a sound in Premiere using Audition.

After Effects is meant for smaller animations or productions such as simple commercials and animations. It is simpler and easier to use than Premier Pro since in After Effects you are usually making the footage yourself where as in Premiere Pro you are primarily editing already acquired existing footage.

Audition is meant for all sorts of audio editing or creations. You can lengthen or shrink, cut or add, simplify or complicate any sounds you want. Programs like this are how movies create incredible roars for non-existent creatures by layering over and prioritizing aspects of similar real life creatures. You can also use Audition to turn certain sounds into something completely different than the original.

InDesign isn’t particularly meant for anything specific. You can use it to quickly put together a general layout for a website or brochure, or use it to make every page in a book look similar with the same formatting quickly.

The variety of applications we use is amazing and each of them are so incredibly complex with endless ways to utilize them.

Wait, that’s NOT me?!

A look at ‘Deepfakes’

“What even is a ‘Deepfake’?” people probably ask whenever one is mentioned, or “Did you see what *insert name here* said on this video?”. Chances are, you have a vague idea of what a Deepfake is, and if you do, likely it’s met with thoughts of disdain or bad intentions, however, as I hope to explore in this post, that is not always the case. This post will explore what a deepfake is, as well as try to combine facts and opinions into why its not as unethical as people may think, after all if it’s on the internet, it has to be true.

What IS a Deepfake?

A simplified definition of deepfakes is to superimpose a face onto another body, using A.I systems to gather information and compose several images of all angles to form a fluid movement and appearance. These can be almost photo-realistic if the right captures and movements are used.

The Controversy of Deepfakes

The first well known usage of a deepfake was surrounding a celebrity scandal, using a celebrities face imposed on a compromising body. It was proven to be fake but at the time it caught a lot of controversial opinion. They have since garnered a rough reputation and recently, Facebook has even banned most videos pertaining them, however a few exceptions are allowed.

The Exceptions:

While anything that would tarnish negative light on a persons image or reputation is banned from Facebook, hopefully soon other media platforms will follow suit. There are few cases that are deemed acceptable by the terms. These include anything made for satire or entertainment purposes, as long as it is pointed out that the face being used is a deepfake. It should also be noted that political reasons are still under question, and considering that other political ads are allowed to follow rules of parody, as well as lie during their ads, it should be assumed that political deepfaking would not count under this rule.

The Good of Deepfakes

Not all the controversy of deepfakes should be believed however, and they have even done some good for the entertainment industry. This could include probably the most popularized example of Carrie Fishers ‘Princess Leia’ in Disney’s ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’. This case includes the recreation of Carrie Fishers face from her younger years to be including in the telling of the story. Many other companies are moving into the Deepfaking scene, some have been using it for a while now, including Marvel (which has pretty much got it down by now), and other entertainment personalities such as YouTubers. As long as the use is ethical, and it is used in a meaningful context, I personally see little to no issue in the use of deepfakes.

a person sketching

Design Process For The Win

I know for a fact that whenever you are assigned a project that requires 10 sketches, you make them after. That doesn’t help you. In fact, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage, the other routes you could have explored likely would have resulted in a more refined final product. I am sharing with you my go to design process that will work for more than just assignments, but first of all, a story to emphasize the importance of having a design process. Enjoy!

There was an occasion in which I did not follow the design process, it was a mess. Once I heard the description of the assignment I had a semi-clear picture of what I wanted to do from the start. I didn’t sketch the idea or anything. Fast forward a couple days to where I’m about to start working, I try to make something, anything,  but nothing is working. The layout is wrong, some of the elements look off. It was a disaster, and I realized that so I tried to switch ideas a.k.a. disaster part 2. I eventually went back to my original idea, sketched some things out and got feedback. I never was pleased with the end result but long story short, follow your version of the design process described below.

My Process

Once I’ve heard the outline of the assignment I make a list of what I already know and start drawing, quick sketches to make sure none of my ideas get lost. You don’t need to draw the whole thing, elements that you plan to include are a great place to start. If you’re having trouble finding somewhere to get started check out my other blog post: How To Find Inspiration.

The more feedback the better. Photo Credit: StockSnap on Pixabay

Get some feedback on your sketches. When conducting surveys, the more replies you get the more accurate your results will be, something I’ve also found to be true with feedback.  I usually show one of my friends or a family members my sketches because I like to get a range of perspectives.

Take note of the feedback you were given and apply it in the next set of sketches you make. It’s good to get feedback but you have to use it effectively for it to be worth your time.

I combine all my sketches and feedback to make a final sketch so there’s no guesswork on my computer. It’s only once I’ve completed that final sketch that I will even open my computer. While I’m working, I keep my original inspiration close by and a mood-board if I have one.

Stay inspired. Photo Credits: Cottonbro from Pexels

You can use the design process for more than just school projects, it’s applicable to almost any situation that comes your way. It’s a form of problem solving.

I’ve included a link to interaction-design.org that includes a step by step design process and a worksheet you can follow.

I hope you found this helpful, thanks for reading!

Picture of Desktop space

My Design Process

Most designers have some sort of moral code that they use so they know where and when to start their work and how to create it productively. This is considered the ‘Design Process’ and it’s never really the same for everyone. So I’m going to tell you a little bit about mine, and how I am able to produce results in a relatively low time.

The Starting Phase

At the beginning of any sort of project that I’ve begin working on, I always try to ask as many questions as I possibly can. Not only does this provide me more information than what was originally given, but it helps support my ideas that I might have because I know the things I can and cannot do.

Additionally, while I’m first starting to work on my project, I tend to also create expectations and deadlines for myself so I know I won’t fall behind at all. If for whatever reason I do happen to, I have a back-up plan in place to help cushion that fall.

The Brainstorming Phase

Once when everything is set in stone, I begin the brainstorming phase. At this time, I usually have my sketch book and pencil with me so I can doodle and get the ideas I have out onto a piece of paper so I don’t loose track of them. To gather these ideas, I usually try finding inspiration on the subject and go from there.

In this field, a lot of work can either be completed independently or through group work. With that in mind, my methods may shift a little bit depending on how/ who I am working along side.

The Creation Phase

The creating phase is where most designers go crazy. This is where all your ideas become fully formed and all you need to do is create them. This could minutes, hours or even days, but it doesn’t matter because we enjoy the time to create things and like doing the best that we can. At least for me, that’s how it feels.

Revisions

Lastly, when everything is set in stone, most designers like to end quickly so they can move on to the next project. That’s not me. I push through that urge and look for the fine details that I may have missed because that’s what the client, instructor, etc… will be looking for.

To end, this is my design process. Most of the components of it can be used universally by other designers, but everybody does their work differently and that’s what allows us to have a wide range of creative freedom, and that’s what this world needs.

Adobe Creative Cloud Programs

Throughout my high school career, I never once considered going to design school. I never took any classes in school that had anything remotely related to this program so coming into this was a big change in gears for me. Sure I would attempt to draw doodles on the side and paint sunsets for paint night but other than that, my skills were very limited. Unless the KidPix program I played on in Elementary school counts?

Learning Adobe Illustrator has been one of my favourite tools that we have learned how to use, along with After Effects, and Photoshop. I often find myself in my spare time going into some of these programs and playing around with them. Finding new buttons to play with, since there’s so many. Testing out different secret brushes I find or new tools I discover. Adobe Illustrator is like your digital pencil and paper, though actual pencil and paper are always quicker to get your ideas out. It’s so fun to experiment with the different drawing techniques and effects to achieve the perfect look that you couldn’t do on paper. Adobe also has a neat feature where you can import your physical drawings as graphics to draw with digitally. 

After Effects is a designers key to start learning animation. While you probably can’t create Disney/Pixar level animation with it, it’s fun to try and it’s a great tool to start understanding how animation works. Creating title sequences for popular movies and tv shows can be recreated with After Effects and enough patience. It’s neat to see a finished product that you’ve made that people recognize, or a concept that you’ve originated yourself.

Photoshop being used on a Mac. Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexel

Photoshop is basically the definition of image manipulation. A cat head on a shark? Photoshopped. Unrealistic celebrity pictures? Probably photoshopped. It’s a great tool for photo editing, collage making, and image manipulation. Postcards, posters, birthday cards, just about anything can be made with the help of Photoshop. While I don’t think Photoshop is the most exciting of the programs, it is the most versatile out of the three I think that can be used for more things. 

Illustrator and Photoshop combined are a power house for graphic design. While Illustrator and After Effects are best for animation and titles. The skills I’ve learnt this far into the program are skills I never thought I’d learn to do. The old days of iMovie slideshows and iPod drawing apps are long gone with these programs and tools they all provide to create the best work.

Person wearing two different shoes

Hybrid Designers – why you CAN have it all

The usual order of a web design process goes like that: designers take care of the looks of a website and developers put those plans into reality. But then there are those professionals who can’t just do one thing for the rest of their lives. Deciding between the two sides comes hard to some people. And if you’re into both of these fields, then what even are you?

“You’re a hybrid designer, Harry…”

OK, maybe that’s not exactly how it goes in the movie, but you get the point. One article by Ashley Gainer sums it up nicely: “Very few designers will actually design a site and then code it from scratch. And those designers who do aren’t really designers at all. They’re hybrids.” Because designing and coding often seem like two different worlds, it’s not easy to find people who have both of these approaches packed into one brain. That’s also why they earned the special name “unicorns.” “Many believe they exist, some know someone who hired one, few claim they saw one in the past, always in strange circumstances” – says Katherine Martinez, a UX designer and developer.

Not an actual unicorn / Photo by mark glancy from Pexels

Why are hybrids so special?

Let’s dig deeper. There must be something great about them besides the fact that they’re hard to find, and there is. Hybrids see the web design process from a very different perspective. They can, at the same time, think about the looks and the mechanics of what they’re creating, which allows them to reach that sweet spot, that perfect balance between what’s possible and what they want to be possible. This is the kind of thinking that has the potential to save a company lots of time and money, which is why hybrids are so in-demand.

Reasons to become a hybrid

Well, as mentioned, one reason to become such a curious creature is for those big companies to fight over you. “One-stop shops and hot commodities” (again said by Martinez) – that is what the startup world sees when they think of hybrids. Job prospects are pretty sweet in this case. But money shouldn’t be your biggest influence here. Besides a decent income, being a hybrid designer seems to be the perfect option for people who would die of boredom doing just one thing all the time. Also, it’s kind of cool to be able to create the whole deal from top to bottom on your own. There’s something really satisfying in being knows as the “digital Swiss army knife professional” (Martinez yet again).

A possible view into your future / Photo by OVAN from Pexels

But after all…

However exciting being a hybrid designer seems, it’s not the only right, universal option to choose. We don’t all have to be well-versed in every possible direction – that would be insane! Focusing on what feels right for you should be the goal. You can be a die-hard HTML fanatic who’s having a hard time choosing colour palettes. You can be a design master, severely disturbed by any type of computer code. And maybe it’s better that way. Otherwise, instead of unicorns, we would just have a ton of people hating their jobs, and that would make keeping up the “nice Canadian” stereotype really, really hard.

A VR Experience

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a frigid January when I found my friend Eddie knocking on my door at my home in Roblin about 3 years ago.  Welcoming my friend in the door I noticed he had this huge mysterious box. He was ecstatic and speaking so fast I was having trouble catching anything he had to say. 

Setting the box on the kitchen table he finally slowed himself down and began setting on the table the components of the box of mystery:  

  • A hardcore laptop
  • A big high-tech headset
  • Some stick hand controllers
  • Lots of wires
  • Package padding
Fig 1 Photo credit BestBuy

It’s Finally Happening & I’m Excited

I was growing in excitement as he laid things out.  I had heard so much about VR (virtual reality) but hadn’t actually any real first hand experience.  This was going to be my first time and thankfully I had the rest of the evening free to do whatever I desired.

Fig 2 Picture credit Playstation VR

Hooking everything up and powering up the experience was the easy part.  The hard part was clearing out enough space so nothing could get broken or anyone hurt.  Then it began… a sensation comes about as the immersive experience takes hold. I felt like I was almost in another world and it was pretty neat to say the least.  

But How Are The Controls?

The controls were very responsive and I had little trouble quickly adapting to the way of things.  Transitioning from traditional hand-eye control using controllers and a screen, I saw the appeal that VR would have to anyone but knew instantly that it would not replace the old ways at all.  VR games can really wear on the user’s stamina and alot more energy is exerted in order to play. Although there are a lot of advantages and benefits to this playstyle, I believe most people will burn out quickly and resort back to their old systems in the long run.  

A Relaxing Simulation Experience

The VR experience does not just encapsulate gaming though.  I used it as a simulation and just laid back and listened to the music while staring into the sea in my headset, it truly was a relaxing and amazing experience.  Next I tried floating in space. It became apparent to me that this technology goes beyond gaming and could be used educationally or as an outlet to destress or reflect.

Fig 3 Photo credit PCGamer

The Conclusive Results Are In…

Truly this new technology can help us carve a new path in how to educate ourselves better in a lot of fields.  At the same time it serves a purpose as a form of entertainment and gaming. Lastly, after my own experience, I see how this technology can be applied to treating people who are stressed out and/or depressed.  An escape, a way to educate, and a gaming platform, I look forward to the evolution of VR.

Experiencing Virtual Reality for the first time

Virtual reality is a very exciting piece of technology that is improving and getting better since it’s introduction.

Image from Pexels

Virtual Reality or for short, “VR”, is a headset that sits on your head or depending on which piece VR you own, you might hold it to your face. Trying VR for the first time can be scary because it’s a piece of technology you have never tried. But rest assured it’s perfectly safe for those who don’t suffer from motion sickness. Once you get past these hurdles it can be an amazing and exciting experience.


Once you start to get the hang of VR and start to understand it, it can become one of your favorite things to do on your free time. There are plenty of games that you can buy for the VR, From puzzle games, adventure games, and of course horror games; though I recommend to people who can handle horror games and movies because getting jump scared and throwing your controller at the TV isn’t the best thing to happen.

What is Virtual Reality?

For those who might be confused or simply don’t know what Virtual Reality is, VR is a technology that creates a simulated environment or world. It tracks your head movements and displays it within the simulated world, Creating the feeling that you are present within it. It’s really exciting stuff especially when you see for yourself and if you’re are thinking of buying a VR for yourself, there is the Oculus Rift and PSVR. The PSVR requires that you own a PS4, but other then that once you have it you are ready to set up you own VR.


My first time experiencing VR

My first time trying VR was when I purchased my own VR set which was the PlayStation VR. The game I played was “Deracine”, which was one of the best VR game experiences. The story was well written and game-play was fun. Once I got into the game I was captivated by the buildings and characters. It was so interesting to see the characters talk and move, and at times felt funny because they felt so real when they weren’t.

The second game I tried was a horror game called “The Persistence”. It involves you drifting through space on a space station that is getting swallowed by a black hole, and you have to escape but the ship is surrounded by crazy zombies. It was a very fun and scary game, especially in VR. if you think you can tackle this VR game I recommend it.

Desktop view

6 New and Emerging Tech Highlights Pt. 2.

Continuing our discussion from my last blog post, we will finish the list of new and emerging technology out there in the world at this very moment.

Machine Learning

Image courtesy of Alex Knight from Pexels

You may have heard the term machine learning before, and are likely unfamiliar with what machine learning actually is. As defined by expertsystem.com, machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that aims to give a program/system the ability to learn and improve from experience without actually being programmed by an individual. It involves programming the the original software to be able to recognize patterns and therefore make better decisions in the future. This is achieved by giving the system example information, and instructions in its coding.

One of the most common examples of machine learning technology that is being used in the world is Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop uses machine learning to find faces in images, analyze the faces and find “landmarks” such as eyebrows, lips, and eyes to determine the position of the face and alter the facial expression of the person, all while not making the image an absolute mess to look at.

Chatbots

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Chatbots have been around for quite a while, and are essentially an AI system developed to talk with the user as if it were another human being. These programs started quite a long time ago with sites called jabberwacky, and cleverbot letting you have a conversation with this bot. The early iterations of chatbots were not very good at making it seem like you were having an actual conversation. They would often spout nonsense and seem to just babble. As they’ve developed chatbots have started to be used by businesses to interact with their customers who are visiting their websites and need assistance. They are generally used to help guide the customer through the website and start email exchanges for support tickets for products. Starbucks has its own chatbot that syncs with it’s mobile app and lets you place your order, and customize it through a text chat with their bot. The aim of chatbots for the future is for them to act as a concierge, guiding the user to where they need, as well as reminding them when they need to restock on certain products, and answering their questions.

Facial Recognition

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Facial recognition is known to be used predominantly in the security industry, but it is being used more and more in other industries. One industry being hospitality. Expedia has partnered with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and with the viewer’s permission, is using facial recognition software to see which images and videos (showing various different activities on the Hawaii Islands) on their site evoke the best reactions by detecting by analyzing the movements in their face to determine the emotions of the viewer.

All in all, technology is making great strides forward and we should all be excited with the potential and possibilities that lie ahead for technology.

Graphic Design Tools

Essential Gadgets for every IMA Student

Whether you’re new to the Interactive Media Arts program, or an esteemed second year student well on your way to escaping, there are a few neat gadgets and products that can help you with designing, editing and content creating. My eventual goal with this list is to help new and old IMA students know what tools are helpful for the program, and what they can be used for.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

1, A Drawing Tablet

Drawing tablets are helpful for more than just what the name suggests. Tablets are useful as they allow you to streamline your movements in applications in the Creative Cloud, and are also extremely useful for creating unique shapes and designs for various different results. What adds to the appeal of using a tablet over a mouse and keyboard, is that tablets allow for much more natural movements, and can make jobs like drawing assets and animating much easier than it would be with a keyboard and mouse.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

2. A Laptop

Laptops make college work a lot easier, as it allows for students to take their work on the move with them. Having a laptop means you can work with all of your files in multiple different locations without having to worry about cloud storage or external drives, and the transferring, uploading and downloading that comes with it. Having a laptop allows you to keep everything in one place, helping you be much more organized then if your files were spread out across multiple different storage’s, making files harder to find.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

3. A Sketchbook

While this one isn’t really a “gadget” by conventional standards, it’s an extremely useful tool when it comes to the design process. Having a sketchbook allows for students to make their ideas have a tangible, rough draft before heading onto the computer, where creative decisions can be a little hard to implement and change then when you’re working with traditional means. Being able to make drafts of designs before the actual design is implemented is extremely important for the design process as well, as an individual can come up with more ideas quicker than they could working on a computer.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

4. Headphones

Headphones are incredibly useful for being an IMA student for a variety of reasons. The most obvious being that they come in hand when dealing specifically with the audio courses, like Digital Audio or Digital Video. A good set of headphones will allow you to fine-tune your audio choices so much more and really deliver a clear, high-quality final result that you can be proud of. Another reason why headphones can be considered to be important to the IMA program is they allow you to listen to music, which can be a huge inspiration and motivator for the creative process. Music can help inspire designers in so many ways, from the overall feel of a product, or something smaller like the colour palette of a piece.

design on the computer

Affinity V.S. Adobe

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign… These are our Industry Standard programs for design illustration, and layouts… but why? There are so many alternatives out there for cheaper, and that have better features. There are several companies that are constantly developing and improving their programs. So the question is: will Adobe be able to keep up and keep their users invested even with the high monthly or yearly fee? Or will they get ran over by competitors in the next ten years?

Adobe programs are taught in design and art schools for good reason. A very large portion of the creative media industry makes use of these programs everyday. There is a major discount for students and teachers which influences the continued use of it in schools. Adobe is professional, and has many good related services for licensing fonts, choosing the right color palette, and stock images. They’re all at the fingertips of anyone with a Creative Cloud subscription. But there are many downsides to Adobe.

Issues with Adobe:

If you’re using older versions of Photoshop, Adobe can sue according to an email many users with older versions received. I highly doubt they will sue every person, but nevertheless the intent is there. Let people use their ancient CD’s man.

Subscriptions partially make sense. They prevent piracy, makes getting updates for programs much easier, and lowers the price overall compared to their old box set says Adi Agashe. But what will they do when a competitor offers a one time purchase for every update? Affinity is around the corner, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Here’s why Affinity is charging in like a ox:

Within five years, Affinity has been catching up to Adobe’s tail, and excelling in some ways. The price point is a huge deal. All of Affinity’s programs are a one time cost of $69.99 for each. They only have 3 programs out at the moment; Affinity Photo, Designer, and the newest one, Publisher. These three are all comparable with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

Affinity Designer Interface

Most of the IMA students are aware of the great capabilities of the Adobe programs, but there are many great things in Affinity’s software as well.

A few features Affinity has over Adobe from the help of Photography-Raw, and Affinity Revolution:

  • Affinity has the feature that saves your undo history even after the app is closed, so you can go back to a version if need be
  • Live brush preview; so when you hover your brush over something, you can see the changes it will make
  • Live previews for blend modes and gradients
  • More customizable interface
  • Cheaper

Affinity is constantly improving, but Adobe is still a powerhouse. Both are great in their own ways. I think Adobe needed this competition to hopefully push them further, but I hope to see Affinity take the crown some day.

What are your thoughts on emerging programs in our creative field?

Strategies on self-regulated learning at Assiniboine Community College

College can be overwhelming for some students and can be challenging to adapt to. Here is some helpful tips supporting your needs at college to make it a safer environment for you!

Just keep things simple, be yourself and College should be just fine.

10 things on how to start off College right!

  1. Being on time for class/school. – Be reliable and responsible for your classes.
  2. Improve on your work – take good and bad feedback, you can always learn from your mistakes.
  3. Know where your classes are – know the location and room number of your classes.
  4. Don’t plagiarize – cite or reference your work and make sure your work isn’t someone else’s.
  5. Don’t procrastinate – leaving assignments last minute
  6. Stay organized – make sure your file structure is organized
  7. Show interest – be grateful for your education, some people don’t have the opportunity.
  8. Make sure you got the right tools and supplies – binders, usb drives, external hard drives, laptop or PC, notebooks, pens and pencils etc.
  9. Make friends – with fellow students in class or other programs also Instructors.
  10. Be yourself – just don’t impersonate anyone, everyone is unique on their own way. I would suggest being yourself is a better way to present yourself.

How to become more professional while attending College!

  • Be on time or ahead for classes and meetings.
  • Act as a reliable student with time and management – Know your times and days for classes. (Use google calendar)
  • Be respectful for everyone in college: Students, Instructors, Employees, Visitors etc.
  • Pay attention in class – put your cell phone on silent (keep phone on silent or turn it off), make eye contact – show your listening and understanding the information the Instructor is providing you with.
  • Ask for help, It can draw a lot of unwanted attention towards a student while asking for help but just don’t suffer in silence (sos).
  • Come to class prepared – Be on time, have your laptop/computer on you and be ready to take notes – if they are helpful for you.

How Assiniboine Community College can help you improve your learning skills

Assiniboine Community College has a lot of supports such as the learning curve centre. The learning curve supports you with:

Academic Needs: The learning curve supports you with college work! heres how.

  1. Learning strategies – Good note taking, organizing your work, setting goals and also helping with test preparation for test anxiety. They are also helpful with memory techniques and assisting you on finding out your learning style to help you shape yourself into a great student.
  2. Writing Assignments – Researching and Planning, Developing thesis statements and also with editing and proofreading. Learning curve also helps with many math courses and any program studies.
  3. Computer Skills – They help get familiar with a computer and Microsoft applications.
A women looking stuck on an assignment, She should of juts made an appointment at the Learning curve.

The Exciting World of Virtual Reality

(The Oculus Rift S VR Headset – Image retrieved from www.Oculus.com)

The latest craze in technology has been on a steady rise in popularity since it’s conception in recent years. That’s right, I’m talking about virtual reality. Virtual reality (VR) is opening up entire avenues for online interaction that would’ve never been possible even 15 years ago.

Here are some of the ways that VR is impacting the modern world:

  • Medical Procedures – VR is being tested in the context of planning and practicing medical procedures in hopes of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical professionals worldwide. The medical community is looking for ways to be able to preform complex procedures in remote areas using robotics, which would be controlled by a professional using VR equipment.
  • Gaming – VR is making waves in the gaming industry by allowing gamers to take immersion to the next level and feel what it would be like to experience their favourite games as if they were the main character. Not only is it extremely immersive, but it has the most responsive controls ever made because it is as if the players are preforming the in-game actions themselves.
  • Business – Through VR, some businesses are able to conduct entire meetings and collaborate on projects with partners across the world. This allows for lower costs for businesses because they don’t have to fly employees across the world for meetings, which also cuts back on toxic emissions that harm the planet.
  • Entertainment – Since VR headsets have become easily accessible, many new avenues for entertainment have opened up, such as virtual reality podcasts that get streamed live to viewers across multiple platforms. Podcasts in virtual reality are able to be performed completely within the medium, with camera operators and sound engineers being able to create their own workspace within the set and change camera angles and adjust the volume of individual hosts, all without taking off their headsets.

VR is an extremely versatile tool that has expanded past a very niche group of users and hit the mainstream. Many technology experts firmly believe that VR is the future of life as we know it, even allowing users to work from home in a simulated office environment. Some users of VR have even built their own living spaces as 1-1 replicas in the virtual world, allowing them to experiment with different furniture layouts without the heavy lifting, sit on their couch to watch TV, or even live their lives within a virtual space.

VR looks to be the future of everything from work to play, and although it may not facilitate all of our everyday needs quite yet, I suspect that in the near future people could be able to live fully in VR, and never have to leave the comfort of their own homes. I also believe that in the near future, consumers will be able to use virtual reality to buy goods and do their shopping without stepping out of the house.

The Interactive Media Arts Program

The Interactive Media Arts program is a course at Assiniboine Community College. It covers a wide array of material so taking this course gives you a large list of selections for potential career paths to pursue.

There are classes for audio editing, writing skills, coding, art history, video editing, and creating digital images all using the latest software available from Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

In audio, you don’t just learn about editing it. You’ll learn how to professionally record audio and about the many tricks using Adobe Audition, while learning the history and techniques of sounds used in movies, video games, and other entertainment industries. Such as Foley sounds. Foley sounds are when you recreate a sound using easier to manage means. For example, bacon while it’s sizzling sounds incredibly similar to pouring rain.

In writing skills, you learn the proper way to write business emails, emails, and how to conduct yourself during an interview in this industry. As well as how to properly fill in an accident form. The business world is sophisticated and complicated but in writing skills we learn how to decipher all that and how to use it ourselves.

In coding, you learn how to create websites. Everything from just the simple text to the search and form boxes that users will fill out. There are many ways to reach each solution and never just one right path to follow.

In art history, you learn how art became what it is and how vast and varied each form of art can be. And how it tied in with current political drama or important events in each time period. As well as many important artists, their works, and how they impacted artists around them and the art community as a whole.

In video editing we also learned about photography and industry level filming techniques as well as how to put together footage using Premiere Pro. Lighting techniques, how to set up and use a camera, what each setting in a camera means and how to tweak it to reach your desired effect.

In digital design you will create all sorts of projects using all sorts of Adobe programs. Pamphlets in Photoshop, logos and icons in Illustrator, animations in After Effects, and company cards in Indesign. By far, the most creative and artistic class.

The variety of classes is amazing and each class itself gives so many creative outlets in its projects.


Photo Credit: Tech Radar

How AirPods Changed the Game

Remember the days before you would spot your fellow friends and acquaintances walking about their day with their ears stuffed with what looked like cotton balls?

Photo Credit: Digital Trends

Wireless Headphones Are A Thing!?

Or perhaps you’re one of the new additions to the club of wireless headphones falling out of your ears as you meander through life.  Whether you’re in the club or not, you’ve definitely noticed how Airpods have not only dominated the market but also make it a lot harder for you to tell if your friends are actually listening to you when you’re speaking to them. 😉

Photo Credit: Apple

I Feel So Fresh With These In!

Obnoxious looking but perhaps one of the most useful pieces of tech to change in recent years, if you have wireless headphones, you’re most likely never going back to the wired versions.  Airpods in particular by Apple have really taken off with their design and style. Not only did they dominate the market and set the standard, they’ve created a whole new market with their Airpods.  

Photo Credit: Apple Insider

A Market Within Itself

These AirPod cases are basically a whole new market that came out of the wireless headphones craze!  Even if you don’t own a pair of the coveted headphones, there’s a good chance you’ve seen many advertisements for the cases that store them.  From trendy and fashionable cases to the tacky and weird, there is a case out there that suits everyone or a case out there for every situation a person might want one for.  Essentially, you’re not just walking around with your hearing tools plugged in like you’re on a mission, you’re now accessorizing the handbag for your ear plugs to show off your style and give your little ear buddies a place to nestle in and call home.

Image result for airpods
Photo Credit: Marques Brownlee

Hmm.. How Much & Is It Worth It?

Now as cool as the Airpods are, the cost price has them at a place where not everyone can have easy accessibility to owning them.  At a price tag starting at $200, an average Joe may have to budget away a little in order to own a pair. Essentially as much as everyone who has ever tried them would want them, they aren’t a typical $40 pair of headphones that you can just shovel out some cash on and call it a day.  They are costly and there is no guarantee they’re going to last forever or you’re not going to break them (luckily you won’t have to worry about snagging a cord and ruining them anymore) but most owners will tell you they’re well worth the investment.

Image result for looking cool with airpods in
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Wear ‘Em Like A Champion.

Whether it’s going to the gym, participating in some sports event, toiling away at work, lounging around or just walking from one place to the other, you’ll notice just how comfortable the Airpods are.  They give the user a sense of satisfaction within themselves, an elite status feeling to some. So now there is another way to look dialed in to your friends and family while still giving off the sense you’re listening…  multitasking is cool.😎 

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6 New and Emerging Tech Highlights Pt. 1.

When it comes to technology, there’s a lot going on. From new tech that is helping to personalize online business to customer interactions, to tech that helps to make your devices more secure, to the always present virtual reality. We’re going to take a quick look at some relatively new and emerging tech, as well as tech that’s been around for a while and is getting progressively better.

Virtual Reality

virtual reality
Image Courtesy of: https://pexels.com

Let’s start with one that’s been around for some time and has been progressively getting better. We all know what virtual reality is. You put on a funny little headset, swing your arms around wildly trying to hit a monster, slash a block for points, or pick up an object just because you can. All the while you are more than likely going to run into something or someone because, well, you can’t see anything outside the game. That’s all virtual reality is right? Really janky controls that barely work and the possibility of real world hurt. Honestly, you’re not completely wrong. You’ll run the risk of running into things due to your lack of real-world spatial awareness once that headset is on. On the flip side, virtual reality has come a long way in so much as the design of the games is at the point where the team at vrgluv.com have created haptic gloves which use precision hand-tracking to help control your movements in-game, making it all the more realistic of an experience.

Biometrics

Image Courtesy of: https://stock.adobe.com

Biometrics (think sensors that are able to read what’s happening in your body, fingerprint scanners, etc.) is an interesting branch of technology. It has been around for some time, but is getting to the point where it’s usable for more than just scanning your fingerprint to unlock your phone. There are iris scanners for more secure protection on your devices, as well as special sensors that can measure your heart rate, blood glucose levels, body temperature, and more. This technology is making it easier for individuals to help regulate and track their “stats” if you will. It can be used by fitness buffs looking to stay healthy, people who don’t like inputting passwords to unlock their devices, and most importantly, can be used in the healthcare field, helping doctors and nurses regulate and track their patients’ vitals.

Voice Activation

Image Courtesy of: https://stock.adobe.com

Voice activation is a technology that we’ve had access to for some time as well. From the ability to text using your voice, to virtual assistants on your devices (Google Assistant & Siri), to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home for activating things around the house easier. This technology has progressed to the point where you can more confidently ask your phone to call your best friend by name and not have it dial a random number. This tech keeps getting more precise and accurate.

This post will carry on next week with the continuation of this interesting and emerging tech list.

A logo for the Blog

The Top Five Things A Graphic Designer Needs!

Whether you are at the start of your career, or you are designing for fun, it can be hard to find a starting point to get into the proper work flow to excel and impress the people that you are doing it for. Below are the ‘Top 5 Things’ you should consider using if you are interested in becoming a Graphic Designer.

1. Sketchbook and Pencil

Image of a sketch book.
Credit to: Google Images

If you are considering doing any sort of design work, you should have a sketchbook with you. If you’re anything like me, and can’t draw for the life of you, don’t panic. A sketch book lets jot down those ideas that would take too long for you to do on a computer. This is important because if you are working with clients or are limited on time, you shouldn’t waste time waiting too long to come up with a concept that will work.

2. A Computer and Mouse

Having a device that is strong enough to handle your working tasks is always nice to have. Whether you are creating catalogues for your client or drawing new designs for a clothing brand, having a computer to be able to create these media files will be well worth it. The mouse controls your movement through the designs so that you can do them precisely.

3. System Software

Image of Adobe Creative Cloud Logo's
Image Courtesy to: Adobe Creative Cloud

As simple as it may seem, having software that enables you to create your designs. In terms of software that is out there, I personally suggest using Adobe Creative Cloud. The reasoning for this, is due to its simplicity but the functionality of what it provides for the user is incomparable to other software that are available. Some programs that may sound familiar are Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro.

4. A Thinking Space

With life as it is, being creative can have its hardships if it isn’t always practiced or is interrupted by others. So at number 4, having a thinking space allows for you to have time and pull 100% of your thoughts to achieving what you are wanting. The space doesn’t have to be large either, whether it’s your bedroom, in your living room, or if you do your best thinking in the shower, it’s all up to you, and that’s the best part of it. Once you do happen to find this space, make sure to use it. Actively practicing creative skills will help you in the long run!

5. Headphones

Having headphones allows you to focus on your work, and can have your own headspace in a busy environment. This is fantastic for designers because a lot of our work happens in our head and having that clear space to think about it allows for better efficiency when you work, which could eventually allow you to get more jobs.

Experiencing Interactive Media Arts

When it started for me, I wasn’t sure if this course was something I was going to be interested in for the rest of my two year student life.

I was out of the province and a days drive away when I received the text, followed by what felt like hundreds of emails confirming I had been enrolled in the Interactive Media Arts course at Assiniboine Community College. But once I had found a place to live, I realized it was too late to go into hiding and pretend post-secondary education didn’t exist.

A Packed Suitcase
Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

The Start

Despite my doubt and anxiety I still decided to show up on the first day of classes (the orientation the week before didn’t really count). While getting to know my teachers was pretty simple, the people considered classmates took a bit longer to break the ice with.

The days quickly became weeks, and then evolved further more into months. As it stands I have now spent around 6 months in this program. While the coding work is a bit of a drag and struggle, the other courses have interested me enough to keep me invested and trying to succeed.

Code – From Pexels

The Work

Aside from some minor classes such as video editing and audio recording/manipulation, the main attraction of this course for anyone with an interest in design, would be the Adobe classes. Several classes are dedicated to teaching and experimenting with the Adobe suite of design tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and InDesign.

As stated above, this courses work load can be a bit of a struggle. Due to my lack of research into the materials and the workload, I had no idea this would involve as heavy work as coding. Coding is what I would describe as the bane of my courses workload. However, if it’s something that someone would want to pursue then I would recommend it, I personally know successful graduates of this program who excelled at it.

Photoshop Illustrator After Effects InDesign

Photo by Matan Segev from Pexels

The Outcome

Still enrolled, 6 months later, the doubts completely absent from the thoughts in my head, actually thinking I fit in for once in the education aspects of my life.

As someone who never sought out post-secondary I will wholeheartedly say it’s worth the experience, and you may end up enjoying yourself and the work given.

And best of all, you might get lucky like me and meet the friends you finally feel are worth keeping.

A Story from an IMA student