Animation: 2D Vs. 3D

Animation has changed a lot during the evolution of entertainment from drawing all the frames by hand frame by frame to the technical 3D Disney marvels we see today it’s amazing how far we’ve come in the world of animated entertainment.

What’s the difference?

We all know the classic Disney smooth rotoscoped animation but what’s the difference between the two?

Well generally 2D animation is;

  • Hand drawn
  • Appears flat
  • Simple coloring and shading

2D animation is usually pretty simple in its design and shape to bring across, 2D is what I would refer to as the “fast food” of the animation industry with things like anime and cartoons with weekly animated episodes that needed to be pumped out at a reasonably quick pace

Compared to 3D animation which is;

  • 3D models rigged like dolls
  • A slightly quicker animation process
  • Fancier effects and camera angles

Since the 3D models and environments are actual objects in the program you can get much better and cleaner shots for cinema which is why 3D is a better fit for the movie industry, not only is 3D faster and simpler than drawing each frame it’s easier to add effects and quickly change scenes. This means that continuity is rarely a problem.

Then there’s the best of both worlds.

As amazing as each animation style is they both have their downfalls, 2D animation is known to be way too time-consuming and complicated, while with 3D it’s a lot harder to be expressive because the models are set in stone and can’t be exaggerated to add some more expression. However, this is solved by combining the two! Movies like Claus and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse show that adding the raw exaggerated energy of 2D with the clean quick 3D animation can be a real treat!

The Future of Virtual (VR) and Augmented (AR) Reality

Apple is rumored have a secret team of hundreds of employees working on virtual and augmented reality projects.

https://www.macrumors.com

Apple’s AR Smart Glasses

Apple has reportedly been dabbling in virtual and augmented reality for over a decade, but with both on the rise in recent years, Apple has become much more serious about having VR and AR products of their own released. Allegedly, “Apple has been making plans to create a product using cutting edge OLED microdisplays provided by Sony that will feature;

  • an ultra-fast response rate
  • ultra-high contrast
  • a wide color gamut
  • high luminance
  • low reflectance
  • integrated drivers for a thin and light design

according to www.macrumors.com

The AR glasses are predicted to look strikingly similar to normal glasses, with prescription lenses being available at an additional cost. Without prescription lenses, the glasses could possibly start at $499.00 USD. The glasses are said to feature an “0.5-inch display with a 1280×960 resolution.” according to www.macrumors.com

Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the AR glasses to be marketed as an iPhone accessory and will primarily take a display role offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone.

https://www.macrumors.com

Apple’s AR Headset

The Information and Bloomberg have both said that Apple is working on smart glasses AND an AR headset, with the headset to come out in 2021 followed by the glasses in 2022.

https://www.macrumors.com

The details of the work Apple is currently putting into the headset were surfaced and “It was said that the headset will feature;

  • high-resolution display and cameras that will let users “read small type”
  • see other people standing in front of and behind virtual objects
  • map surfaces, edges, and dimensions of rooms with “greater accuracy than existing devices on the market.”
  • an app store for the headset, with a focus on gaming, streaming video content, and video conferencing.
  • be controlled via Siri, though Apple is also testing a physical remote.”

according to www.macrumors.com

Internal disagreements have changed the overall goals in regards to their AR headset overtime. The original goal was aimed towards a system that came with a hub to house processor. However Jony Ive, who is the former chief design officer of Apple, decided that he did not want to sell a product that would require “a separate, stationary device for full functionality,” according to www.macrumors.com

Apple’s VR/AR Headset

Apple isn’t only planning to release AR glasses and an AR only headset, there is also talk of a very powerful VR/AR headset that “Is not quite like anything on the market,” according to www.macrumors.com. For the user to set up the headset, they will need to install special cameras in a room of their choice that will be able to map their exact location within the room. These cameras come with various VR headsets that are currently available. This headset is rumoured to feature, not just a 1080p or 4K display, but an 8K display for each eye. According to www.macrumors.com; “The headset would connect to a “dedicated box” using a high-speed short-range wireless technology called 60GHz WiGig. The box would be powered by a custom 5-nanometer Apple processor that’s “more powerful than anything currently available.” 

Apple partnership with Valve

Apple is partnering with game developer Valve for its rumored AR headset. 

www.DigiTimes.com

Valve has been in the VR industry since April 2019 when the Washington based company released their first VR headset, The Valve Index. Valve is very well known as they are the creators of the PC gaming store called “Steam.” The Index headset struggled to meet demand at first but to this day it is used by “roughly 1 in 7 VR users on Steam,” according to uploadvr.com. According to www.macrumors.com; “Valve previously worked with Apple to bring native VR headset support to macOS High Sierra, leveraging the eGPU support with a Mac version of the SteamVR software.” meaning it’s no doubt Valve would gladly partner with Apple again to make this groundbreaking product a reality.

Conclusion

In conclusion with the information I’ve gathered courtesy of www.macrumors.com I can pretty safely say we should hear from either Apple or Valve on an Apple AR glasses/headset that will hopefully be released when predicted. Whether it will have all of these groundbreaking technological features will remain unknown but I can absolutely say, from the amazing technology we’ve been seeing in regards to VR headsets and AR apps on phones, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to say Apple can find a way to combine the two realities into one product that has potential to be their best selling product ever.

The Birth of a Logo

What do the companies Coke, Chanel, Disney, and Heineken (as displayed here) have in common? The logo designs that they have are recognizable aesthetic and recognizable in a variety of forms. Having that design tied to your product is an important part of the business and I want to help you in the process of making a good design.

Learn the brand

At the very beginning you want to learn about the brand you are designing for and the environment the brand is going into. first is to figure out what the client is selling, is it sunglasses, phones, insurance, etc, get to know what they are doing, and begin brainstorming ideas and connections to that product.

Get a feeling for what the brand is in terms of what they are putting out there. Are they looking for a professional, sleek look or some kind of graffiti type style? Are they looking for a colourful rainbow for a palate or a more monochrome vibe? Find out what they want to be and use that to direct your focus in creating your concepts.

Getting out some Sketches

Once you have a general idea of what your client wants, you need to get some ideas out of your head and onto paper. With this in mind, you only ever want to draw and not stop. Get every little idea, no matter what it is, onto your page and keep it there. Depending on the brand you may want to set a point of how many drawings you need to move on, set yourself a minimum to reach for sketches. It is alright for sketches to be sloppy as it is only a creative dump.

The point of this exercise is to take every idea you have and visualize it for the refining process. Basically, everything you put down can be used later in some way, even if it is a single shape of a pencil stroke, you may find something in that drawing to be useful. Setting a minimum will run you dry of ideas eventually, but it gives you a goal to shoot for while you sketch.

Creation of Concepts

When you finally reach your sketch mark or have run dry for ideas then it is time to take those doodles and use them to create concepts for a final design. As this is not the creative dump that the sketch process was the designs produced here should be of higher quality but not the final project quality. Try to come up with a base few designs that you will take to the client for a final pick. These designs should be slightly polished and include the colour palate the client was looking for to give a good image of what the final piece should look like. This is also a good time to see what scales nicely, as shown in the first image. The client should only choose one image or a combination of images to use for the final design

Refine the Design

The client has chosen what they want for the final product to be, it is now time to take to editing software like Adobe Illustrator to ensure the best quality images in the end. For logos, the best option is to make the image a vector image so you can resize the logo without any distortion. Like the image at the beginning, take your final design into multiple stages using both with and without the company name as well as using a colour variety like black, white, and the chosen colour palate. This is the final stretch for the logo so make sure to keep in constant contact with the client for any changes needed before the final export.

The End Result

Once the design is ready and the final export is finished the last step is to hand it over to the client for their brand. Always make sure they have your contact information for future projects and credits, who knows maybe someone will see that logo and want you to do the next big Disney.

Inspired by: Ellis, M. (“last year”). The logo design process: a guide to professional logo development. Retrieved from: https://99designs.ca/blog/tips/logo-design-process-how-professionals-do-it/

Augmented Reality is Changing Major League Sports

By Silas Koop

To start this off what is Augmented Reality? Augmented Reality is the rendering of digital images or data onto real world objects. More and more sports leagues are using this to enhance the consumer’s experience. We are in such an advanced technological era that it is changing the way we watch sports. Already with the NFL they have implemented this technology, displaying virtual 1st and Ten lines over the broadcast. It lets the consumer know what down it is and overall improving the experience. It also gives coaches and players a look into the advanced statistics about the game and overall improving the leagues. 

A small example of Augmented Reality is the scoreboard display, every game that is being broadcasted across all the major sports leagues has some form of a digital scoreboard.

Marketing

The main income for most sports teams comes through advertising and sponsorships. Every sports fan dreads the TV timeout during the game and with Augmented Reality more and more ads are being run even during the game. This is bringing in more sponsors and overall more money to the sports industry. With this technology teams can charge more money for ads to run while the game is being played. 

Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Sports is booming in popularity. If you are joining a league with your friends for fun or if there is money on the line the industry is growing. There are a lot of apps and websites for Fantasy sports and they are all using Augmented Reality. Fantasy sports is meant for the more hardcore fan and not the average casual fan. Being able to look into advanced statistics and trends on what player is being picked or dropped gives you the best fantasy experience. Marketing also comes into effect with fantasy sports. Apps and websites are able to run ads and some of the apps have direct sponsorships with the major leagues. 

Broadcasting

In 2021 the sports broadcasting market is expected to earn about 78 billion dollars in revenue in North America alone. Obviously that is a lot of money and a lot of consumers. Augmented Reality is displaying more information to the viewer and overall turing their consumers into more hardcore fans. When watching any given game you are exposed to a whole new world of advanced statistics and with more and more being shown in the broadcast it is leaving the viewer with new information that they might have not known before. It is making the broadcast more interactive with the viewer.  

Overall the whole industry of sports broadcasting is changing and growing. Who knows what kind of viewing experience will be available in the next 5-10 years. The amount of advanced analytics and data that will be available to the consumer is unthinkable. Maybe they will add small cameras to the players and it adds another replay angle. Could you imagine if there was a replay angle that was a first person view of an NFL receiver catching a touchdown pass to win the SuperBowl? That would add a whole nother dimension to the viewers experience. Technology is always advancing and I can’t wait to see how major league sports use it to their advantage. 


Resources:

https://www.belden.com/blog/broadcast/5-trends-in-broadcasting-technology

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/10/26/revolutionizing-sports-with-augmented-reality/?sh=612921c81416

How Streaming Services are changing the game

Written by Ryan Lukey

When you go to watch a new movie coming out, it may not always be easy. The top blockbusters like the Avengers movies and Star Wars will sell tickets fast, and opening nights are crowded, loud and full of people. Most of these fans aren’t very social people, and being able to watch these premieres from the comfort of your own home gets rid of dealing with crowds, and will help you avoid spoilers. The idea sounds great, especially in the middle of a world wide pandemic. But there’s something about the theater experience that is getting missed out on. Standard television sets go to 1080p now, while some have 4K, and even higher resolutions. Theaters don’t need 4k, with a giant screen, the whole room built with the sole purpose to have the perfect audio and visual structure for watching films. With that, theaters are made with IMAX screens now, and look amazing. Not only that, but as a kid nothing beat getting a giant bag of popcorn, too much soda and getting to watch a movie with friends, family, and significant others. The experience was how movies were originally meant to be shown. Over time, TV’s became commonplace in households across the globe. Now you carry a portable computer/home movie device in your pocket 24/7.

The continuing dilemma of multiple streaming platforms

Streaming movies at home is nice, who wouldn’t want to be lazy and sit back in the place you’re most comfortable at and re watching the classics? With services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, watching your favorite movies and shows was easier than ever. Then Disney Plus rolled out the red carpet. The other services were great, because you were never limited to a specific genre, or brand. Now that Disney owns their own service, with Disney exclusives, companies and studios have been removing their products from these larger services, and begun creating their own exclusive channels. NBC, HBO, Apple TV, CBS, The CW, PBS, CNN Go, DC Universe, even YouTube! Now with all of these, each costing anywhere from $6 to $50 a month, you easily lose out on money. If I wanted to watch one specific show, I would now have to pay how much more extra for one show. With services like Netflix, you only get half the series. When Futurama was on, it would only be season 7 and up. They only have Back to the Future 1 and 2, and the last 3 Harry Potter movies. You’re not even paying for all the content now, just fragments of it. The situation gets worse, when you’re done with just movies and television shows. Music apps, such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube Premium. It’s a new era, no more cassette tapes, CDs, Vinyls, and if you’re not getting services, you might be paying for individual songs on iTunes.

https://www.businessinsider.com/best-music-streaming-service-subscription

It’s already expensive enough to own a few of these, but compare these to regular payments, on top of the cost of online memberships. Things like phones, Xbox Gold, PlayStation Network, or other services that you might pay for. One I personally enjoy is Rooster Teeth for their series Red vs Blue and RWBY, but for $6 a month, on top of Prime, Netflix, and Disney Plus… I can’t seem to want to spend that money, if I’m not going to constantly use it. Streaming Services are great for making things more accessible but the cost of each individual one is too high. It’s amazing that some companies can seem to stay afloat, especially when we’ve seen how many have tried and failed. Take a show I love, Community. The series was purchased and renewed on Yahoo Screen. That’s right, Yahoo had a streaming service. The reason you probably haven’t heard about it is because after Community stopped airing, nobody would pay for Yahoo Screen, so they shut down shortly there after. Shaomi is another failed service, and the fact is that they weren’t able to keep it going. However some services like Crunchy Roll some how stay afloat despite making me lose the will to live every time I sit through 6 advertisements before the next episode even begins, and then 3 more after the intro, then 3 more before the recap… and on, and on.

The Use of Iphones in Filmmaking

By Kyler J. Minshull

Steven Soderbergh behind the scenes of “High Flying Bird”
Obtained from https://www.indiewire.com/2019/02/high-flying-bird-steven-soderbergh-apple-iphone-netflix-1202043102/

In the last five years the use of Iphones has started to become more common in the film industry to make cheap professional looking movies. It started with 2015’s Tangerine, directed by Sean Baker, which gained acclaim at that years Sundance film festival and was noticeable for being shot entirely on three Iphones 5’s on a budget of only $100,000. The director used other DIY techniques to make his movie as cheap as possible. For example taping the Iphone to a painters pole so they could use it for high angle. The other technology in the film was kept cheap as well, they used the Filmic Pro app to control the focus of their scene and used a Moondog Lenses iphone lense for their wide angle scenes. The controversial story about two transgendered sex workers showed the world just how effective a simple Iphone can be in telling an award worthy story.

Iphone filmmakings most prominent spokesperson is currently noted director Steven Soderbergh. He has directed films such as “Oceans 11”, “Erin Brockovich” and “Magic Mike”. In 2018 he directed the feature length film “Unsane” starring Claire Foy, using just an Iphone 7 Plus. Steven Soderbergh enjoyed the experience so much that he stated from here on out he would direct with an Iphone any chance he could. He followed up this movie with the 2019 sports movie “High Flying Bird” starring Andre Holland, shot on an Iphone 8. Both these films were critically acclaimed and starred high profile actors further pushing Iphone filmmaking into the mainstream.

Of course there are some that have criticized the use of Iphones for filmmaking. Director Christopher Nolan once challenged Steven Soderbergh to go back to shooting on film. He responded that, that would be like going back to “writing scripts in pencil.” The main drawback in shooting on an Iphone is the inability to control depth of field. This has been said to create an almost “artificial” looking image. There has also been criticisms of overheating when in constant use and fast battery drain when shooting outdoors.

Time will tell if this emerging trend will stand the test of time and enter the mainstream. Though it is doubtless that if the popularity of Iphones among young people continues and if apple continues to improve their video and photo technology there will much more of these types of projects in the future.

The new Iphone 12s camera
Obtained from https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/14/21515158/iphone-12-pro-max-best-camera-biggest-phone

Resources:

Matsumoto, Neil (2016). “Down The Street”, HD Video Pro, Retrieved from https://www.hdvideopro.com/film-and-tv/feature-films/down-the-street/

Trenholm, Richard (2019). “iPhone fan Steven Soderbergh: Shooting on film is like ‘writing in pencil”, Cnet, Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/iphone-loving-steven-soderbergh-shooting-on-film-is-like-writing-in-pencil/

O’falt, Chris (2019). ‘High Flying Bird’: What Soderbergh Begged Apple to Change About the iPhone, Indiewire, Retrieved from https://www.indiewire.com/2019/02/high-flying-bird-steven-soderbergh-apple-iphone-netflix-1202043102/

Indie Music Has Changed.

“Intimate folk and aggressive punk. Squalls of avant-garde noise and sleek electronic pop. Indie has always been about artists and listeners who are independent, determined to go their way and find their voice.” according to apple music. The artists have always been difficult for me to label because they are ever-changing. They are still doing something completely different they are always doing something by themselves, and any music is always separated. Back in the ’70s, some bands experimented with rock and alternative. They were “Wire” and “Joy Division.” “Indie as a defined musical genre descriptor emerged from post-punk, new wave and “alternative” music released on late-1970s U.K. independent labels. Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, Daniel Miller’s Mute, Chris Parry’s Fiction and, perhaps most famously, Geoff Travis’s Rough Trade were all founded in 1978.” The ’80s were a lot more melodic, producing a bubbly kind of rock, similar to the ’60s but way more adventurous.
For example, Apple Music said, “By the ’80s, bands like the Smiths, The Replacements and R.E.M. were making adventurous and often surprisingly melodic music that was still infused with punk’s do-it-yourself attitude. Another Apple Music quote said, “Indie didn’t just flourish in the ’90s; it evolved at a prodigious clip.” here is a list of Indie Artist from the ’90s: Beck, The Breeders, The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pavement, Belle and Sebastian, Elliott Smith, Bikini Kill, Guided by Voices. “By the 10’s, large swaths of the indie-verse had become guitar-free zones altogether, with new wave revivalists Future Islands, D.I.Y. electro queen Grimes, and cinematic maximalist M83 putting their singular, modernist spins on shiny, 80’s-style synth-pop.” According to Apple music. Indie is adding electronics to the Band, but that happens with every genre in the present day.
“Ayush Jalan, Writer, Indie music enthusiast, Coffee lover
Answered November 5, 2019
I love Indie music for how true to the soul it is. Just listen to any indie music lover talk about indie music, and you’ll see how deeply they love their favourite artists and the people. They enjoy the same kind of music. Indie artists, generally speaking, are much less bothered about the money. They chose the theme because they genuinely wanted to share themselves with the world. Indie artists are storytellers. Try listening to a couple of indie songs, and you’ll see how beautifully, yet subtly, they describe their deepest desires, regrets, and stories. While pop music is 90% just blaming the other person on why they broke their heart. It has no real meaning. There’s no real connection between the artist and the listener. Indie artists are the exact opposite. They care about their fans, not fame or money. There’s this compelling vibe in their music; it feels like the artist is talking to us, something which pop artists can never replicate.”
Indie music is about enjoying the simple things in life; everyone indie artist is down to earth. In the song “Dead Weight” by Jack Stauber, he said, “Got everything I need, close on my back the wind on my teeth.”In the song Rolled Up by Benny Sings (feat. Mac DeMarco), They said, “Don’t be afraid to leave it all behind, Tomorrow is a new day, Pack up and get out of here, We’re driving tonight, Until you’re back, Rolled up. Not to mention, I have seen Mac Demarco Appear on Hot Ones, “I thought I was Mr. cool up until now look at me now.” You get the picture. Thank you for Reading.

Person wearing two different shoes
Person wearing two different shoes / Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras from Pexels

New Mac’s expected at Apple November Event “One More Thing”.

As some of you may know, whenever Apple is about to release a new device, they hold an event inviting people to watch the unveiling live at the Steve Jobs Theatre on campus. This year however due to COVID Apple has pre-recorded the events, then live streams it for everyone to watch, and for the 3rd month in a row, Apple is holding yet another event named One More Thing to bring us even more products.

Many devices are expected to be released during this event, however, according to Chance Miller from 9to5mac, the major device expected to be released by Apple to release would be new Macs, that come ARM-based, with the help of Apple’s highly new anticipated Apple Silicon (Processors) instead of using Intel processors, which were announced back in July. So what does this mean?

Apple has been making processors for numerous years now, which have all been widely used in many different products, such as their iPhone. However, Apple was still using 64-bit Intel processors within their Mac. But as mentioned by Chance Miller from 9to5Mac.com Back in June, during WWDC, As mentioned 9to5mac, Apple announced that they were slowly going to switch all the Macs they produce to use the new highly anticipated Apple Silicon, with the first big batch of these computers coming out at the end of the year. Since they have yet to be released, this November event leaves us with a really high chance to expect these devices, especially with Apple naming the event, One More Thing.

Image compares Apple Silicon Macs to other desktops and Notebooks.
This image, provided by MacWorld, compares the newly anticipated Apple Silicon Macs, to other Notebooks and Desktops.

With these new Macs, there will be a whole new window of opportunity to what we can do with these Macs. Apple noted that by using their own chipset, they will be able to not only have their Macs have better performance, but they will also be able to use up less power consumption, according to Jason Cross MacWorld.  This is going to be really good news if any of us were to go buy a new MacBook with Apple Silicon, as it would stay cooler longer, and not use as much battery life.

Also, as stated by Jason Cross at MacWorld, with Apple using their own chips, and with the help of macOS 11.00 Big Sur, the apps that you will be able to use with the Mac will grow significantly. Not only will you be able to use the programs we have come to love on macOS, but you will also be able to natively use apps for the iPad on the Mac. With no changes required by the app developer, you will be able to now use iPad specific apps on the Mac, and as you could imagine, this would open a whole new window of opportunity on what we would be able to so as content creators.

However, some of you may now be asking the question, “With this chipset change, some of my day to day programs may not work, does that mean I am out of luck when I upgrade?” But not to fear, Apple has plans up their sleeves. Jason Cross from MacWorld mentioned that Apple has already made sure programs such as the Adobe Suite and Microsoft Office work, showing it off at WWDC. But then they also brought up another statement. If we look back to the days in 2005 when Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel, they knew that there would be many programs that would be become unsupported, so they released a piece of software called Rosetta, which would let the user run PowerPC specific programs on Intel Macs. 2020 will be no different. Apple is bringing back Rosetta with Rosetta2, which will let you run your Intel specific programs on the new Apple Silicon.

One thing we need to keep in mind, however, is that the chances of the new Mac lineup coming out on Tuesday are not 100%, as it’s all speculation right now. However, going off the information we have gathered, the chances of Apple releasing these Macs are pretty high. We can also expect to possibly see Apple’s highly rumored AirTags, the Tile Killer, and new over-ear AirPods Studio headphones.

Clipart image in relation to Apple AirTags
A visual representation, provided by 9to5mac, of the highly rumored Apple AirTags.

Be sure to tune into the Apple Event One More Thing on Tuesday, November 10th, at 12 pm.

Four New Microphones Available Online

There a many options when you are picking out a microphone. Here are four new microphones that are available online.

Blue Yeti X (photo from bluemic.com)

There are a lot of microphone options available today, and it can sometimes be hard for you to choose which one will be best for your needs. In this post we will go through four new microphones that are available and explain what they are best used for. The microphones we will look at are:

  • Mackie Condenser Microphone, USB (EM-CHROMIUM)
  • AmazonBasics Desktop Mini Condenser Mic Microphone
  • MXL Condenser Microphone, XLR (Revelation Mini FET)
  • Blue Yeti X

Mackie Condenser Microphone, USB (EM-CHROMIUM)

Mackie Condenser Microphone (photo from: mackie.com)

This new microphone from Mackie will be available on amazon.com starting December 28th, 2020 and will cost around $199.99. According to Amazon.com this microphone is perfect for recording at home, streaming, and for content creation. Mackie’s website also adds that the condenser microphone is a “true beast” for your home studio. The microphone also gives you the ability to choose between four polar pickup patterns including stereo, cardioid, figure 8, and omnidirectional. The Chromium also gives you the ability to plug in a 1/4″ instrumental input which makes it great for creating music. The microphone can be connected to your computer easily through a USB-C cable. You also have the ability to monitor, and control audio levels through the knobs, which makes this microphone perfect not only for creating music but also for recording podcasts.

AmazonBasics Desktop Mini Condenser Mic Microphone

AmazonBasics Mini Condenser Microphone (image from: amazon.com)

The AmazonBasics Mini Condenser Microphone will be interesting to you if you’re looking for a cheap microphone that will still record clean sounding audio. This microphone will be available on amazon.com starting December 2nd, 2020 and will cost about $52.92. According to Amazon, the microphone has an omnidirectional polar pattern that will pick audio up from all around the microphone, and can be switched to a cardioid pattern that will pick more audio up from the front of the device. The buttons on the side allow you to control the audio gain, and it also includes a mute button. The “headphone amplifier” gives you the ability to monitor the latency. These feature make this microphone ideal for people recording podcasts, vocals, and instrumentals. Keep in mind with this microphone that you may not get as great of quality of audio as the price is low, and there are less features than the other microphones on this list.

MXL Condenser Microphone, XLR (Revelation Mini FET)

MXL Condenser Microphone (photo from: mxlmics.com)

Unlike the other microphones on this list, the MXL Revelation Mini FET is made more for recording music. The product has been on amazon.com since October 27th but is not available until November 9th, 2020 and costs around $251.93. According to the MXL website, this microphone is great for recording many different sources including “hard-hitting kick drums” and “blasting trumpets”. MXL says that the microphones “FET” based design will provide a better sounding recording with a lot less hum and more focus on the music. FET stands for Field Electronic Transistor which controls the flow of current according to electronics-tutorials.ws. If you are someone who records and produces music, this will definitely be the microphone for you!

Blue Yeti X

Blue Yeti X (photo from: bluemic.com)

In my opinion, the best microphone on the list is the Blue Yeti X. The product is available through bluemic.com and has a price around $169.99. Similar to the Mackie Condenser Microphone above, the Blue Yeti X has four options of polar patterns including cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo (used if you have multiple sources around the microphone). The knob and lights on the front allow you to monitor and control the audio levels while recording. Once connected to the computer you can also change the colour of the LED lights on the device to help give the look you want, according to bluemic.com. This microphone is perfect for podcasting, gaming, streaming, and YouTube which is great, especially for students that do work across multiple platforms.

How LED Walls Are Changing TV and Film Production

Ayden Lambert Nov, 9th, 2020

Updated: The Mandalorian Season Two Announced | StarWars.com

Image from StarWars.com, depicting “The Mandalorian”.

For years Hollywood has tried to fully master the use of Green Screen technology. The end goal being a fully realized, seamless blending of real actors/props with digitally created backgrounds and CGI creations. A new technology may have entirely circumvented the need for this and it’s been popularized by “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus. Let’s take a look into this new technology, how “The Mandalorian” uses it and how it has the potential to reach into all corners of popular media production.

Art of LED Wall Virtual Production, Part One: 'Lessons from the Mandalorian'  – fxguide

Image from FXguide.com, depicting the LED wall technology in action.

“LED walls make the lighting better, filming smoother, and in certain cases, cost a lot less than using green screens., “How Emmy-award-winning ‘The Mandalorian’ uses virtual sets over green screens”, Blake. C, Insider, https://www.insider.com/green-screen-virtual-sets-mandalorian-2020-4)

As Insider says, LED walls have created an incredible amount of advantages for new production projects but what are LED walls? Utilizing a form of advanced projection to cast complex backgrounds, this technology serves as a virtual set and this services all sides of a production. For an actor it is far more beneficial to a performance, allowing cast members to engage with an environment they can actually see and feel themselves acting in. For crew members it reduces time spent fiddling with green screen contraptions and simplifies VFX in pre and post production workloads.

This has a positive effect on how the stories are told. With a simplified work setting and fully realized environments to work in, directors can guide their actors in new and more thorough ways that were not possible with green screen. No matter how good your VFX artist, nothing compares to a real set and LED walls just replicate that far better than green screen projects. As the above referenced article says, in many ways LED technology takes far less of a toll on a production budget to boot.

How 'The Mandalorian' and ILM invisibly reinvented film and TV production |  TechCrunch

Image from TechCrunch.com, a wider look at an LED Wall set.

“Removing the green screen is never as quick as VFX artists would hope, and it also casts green light over the set and the actors. Even green-screen substitutes, like projecting an image onto a screen behind the actor, fail to dynamically respond to camera movements the way they would in the real world., Edwards. P, Vox, “The technology that’s replacing the green screen”, https://www.vox.com/21529002/green-screen-mandalorian)

This article highlights how green screen technology has failed big budget productions in several ways. This was something Disney hoped to avoid with “The Mandalorian”. For their big exclusive show to launch with their big streaming service, Disney Plus, they embraced the LED Wall technology. “The Mandalorian” utilizes it in order to give a streaming series the look of a blockbuster film.

As the titular character traverses many visually different planets and spacecrafts, lead actor Pedro Pascal is able to see each of them as though he was really there. It’s no understatement to say how much of a leap this is from distracting green screen backdrops on a set. For a show like “The Mandalorian” I imagine it is especially helpful as Disney has claimed that all of their Disney Plus exclusives will have a big budget look. Actors in modern blockbusters often joke in interviews about laughable VFX stand-ins on set but it seems this is something “The Mandalorian” will not have to deal with as often.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian' Season 1 Episode 4: Proud display of what  could end use of green screens forever | MEAWW

Image from Meaww.com, crew members of “The Mandalorian” at work.

As someone in the Interactive Media Arts program, it is very exciting to be entering the production world at the same time as this technology becomes more widely used. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down either as director Matt Reeves “The Batman” has claimed to be using LED Walls as well. I’m very intrigued to watch where this goes, both seeing the work behind the scenes and the final results. If anything, it’s a good time to be in training for media production.

How Cutting-Edge ILM Technology Brought 'The Mandalorian' to Life

Image from NoFilmSchool.com, set photo from “The Mandalorian”.

Newest microphone trends in tech

The newest trends in microphones are some of the most fascinating to come out in the most recent years. The different ideas used to revolutionize the way we recorded and pick up sound to hear and listen. The main ones are the newest memes mic (micro-electro mechanical systems) and a way that we are using spiderwebs are picking up sound vibration can also be used to pick up sound and disguise foreground and background noise. And how researchers use small mics  to record animal noise 

Smaller mics are being made more durable

The first advancement in microphone technology is the way that we are changing the size and durability of microphones for a more on the go recordings. According to Jonathan Shieber of Tech Crunch in the article Vesper’s new microphone technology attracts millions from the biggest names in sound technology the the memes mic allow for more durable microphones to be used for more durability the article says ‘’ mics themselves typically don’t withstand the wear and tear of harsh environments all that well.’’ the way these mics  are being created  by Vespa hoping they can change mic durability to combat harsh climates and electric shocks. The article also states that ‘’Traditionally, manufacturers have used arrays of MEMS microphones to pick up sound, but as systems become more complex, they’re more susceptible to breaking down’’ this idea could lead to more durable mics. In my opinion i believe this i great idea for microphone usage more often people are using their phones to record and having more durability for recording  

Microphones change that people are hearing

The second way that microphone is being used and Tec is being advanced is to be used for medical equipment and for the hard of hearing. In the article Spider silk could offer breakthrough in hearing aid microphones by Debbie Clason the article goes into how by creating a similar way that spiders use vibration on their webs that  the same can be used to have those that are hard of hearing distinguish between the  noise in a loud or densely packed area. The article states ‘’One of the biggest complaints among hearing aid wearers is trouble understanding speech in background noise’’  goal is to have a way to hear people without microphones in the hearing aid which is standard at this point. The goal according to the article is ‘’ eliminating microphone separation requirements and results in a hearing experience that sounds good at all frequencies,’’ .  how ever the technology for this new type is still very much in early planning the the man behind the idea Dr. Ron Miller ‘’Other folks have tried to make flow sensors that work like hairs on small animals, but they don’t move very well,” their is still much to learn and how to properly implement the technology the proper way

A new way that hearing aids are being created
A new way that hearing aids are being created
Photo by Mark Paton

Animal recordings become more clear

The third way that microphones are being used is the ability to get more clear recordings of wildlife out in the open with smaller microphones. In the scientific journal Spying on small wildlife sounds using affordable collar-mounted miniature microphones: an innovative method to record individual daylong vocalizations in chipmunks by Charline Couchoux Explains how with the power of a small spy microphone she is able to get more clear an usable audio. The way the microphone is used also allows the research team to view heart beats to be picked up and recorded. The article mentioned that with the help of small microphones are used on smaller animals such as squirrels ‘’With spy microphones, the recording is captured on the throat of the animal, which produces clear signals that sound like those recorded in lab conditions’’ this article shows that microphones have gotten to a point that even the smallest mics can be used for many great things to record with very high quality.

Microphones have changed many different ways looking to the future we can see as smaller mikes are becoming more durable to withstand more extreme weather. Mics used to help those who are losing hearing with more advanced technology by copying those of spiderwebs.  And how the smallest microphones are becoming some of the most advanced that can be used to record outside to record that of animals

The negative impact of “Cancel Culture” and how it affects our society

Should we cancel the “Cancel Culture”?

The term “Cancel Culture” isn’t new to us, but believe it or not, it only became universal after 2016, and all because of Twitter. When the singer Kanye West released a song that had a sex reference about Taylor Swift that she did not approve, his wife, Kim Kardashian, posted a video claiming the opposite, giving birth to the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsCancelled, which would soon initiate the canceling wave.

That was the first of many similar cases, where someone, usually famous, says or does something that people do not agree with and the internet community decides that they should be “culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform” (Vox).

But how far is the “Cancel Culture” going and what is it doing to our society?

Can the “Cancel Culture” be beneficial?

First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that the “cancel culture” is valid a lot of times and it is used as an important tool for political and cultural changes in our society. People that have committed irreparable mistakes should be punished and accountable for the consequences of their actions, and it is extremely important for us to be able to point out those errors and claim justice.

The problem begins when we start putting those people in the same category as people who have said or done something with no intention of harming anyone at all but innocently did. There should be a difference between the “call-out culture” and the “cancel culture”, and the lack of division between those groups of people can be very problematic and irresponsible. 

What are we doing wrong?

On the talk show “The View”, the actress and activist Jameela Jamil, who is known for criticizing the approaches of the “cancel culture” on the internet, said that “[…] we now just cancel everyone and what that’s going to do is, it’s going to devalue progress and stop people from wanting to change because they think they will forever be cast aside because of their one sin from the past that they want to improve from, and if we want people to change we have to show them that there is hope to be reaccepted into our society”.

What I think she means by that is that we end up making people afraid of asking questions, questions that might help them learn in the future and become a better person, because of our attitude towards people that have shared a similar behaviour, consequently slowing down our society’s development and scaring possible allies, which is almost the reverse effect that this culture is trying to achieve.

I believe all criticism is valid and necessary, but it’s essential that it comes with an opening for a dialogue or a discussion, not to justify the mistake, but to educate the person who has committed it. We all make mistakes, but there is always room for improvement and if someone demonstrates that they are actively trying to change, they should be given that option instead of getting shutted down.

How can we change it?

It’s safe to say that we are all more educated today than we were five years ago, and that’s completely normal, we’re constantly learning and evolving, and that’s what makes us human. As the progressive Aaron Rose pointed out to Vox, by rejecting the urge of canceling people, we’re not giving up on accountability, we’re just simply defending the idea that people are not incapable of compassion and change.

The way I see it, the issue is when someone is constantly unaccountable and has the privilege and opportunity to change but refuses to do so. With that, I do realize it’s easier to condemn people than ideas, especially ideas that are embedded in structures that we still have today, but I’m much more interested in the root causes as opposed to the symptoms. 

In the words of the television host Trevor Noah, for the Breakfast Club Power radio station, “as a society, what do we hope to do with people who have wronged us? Do we wish to banish them of civilization or do we wish to educate them, inform them, punish them when necessary, and then rehabilitate them and have them come back into our society?”

We often don’t realize the power that the internet has and how platforms like Twitter have given voice to many marginalized people around the world. The “cancel culture”, for a lot of those people, it’s a way of using the only power we have, the one of ignoring the other, to force the people who are in actual positions of power to do something, but we have to be very careful not to undermine it.

The Power of Twitter in the News World

(Picture by Roberto Baldwin / Engadget)

It’s no surprise that Twitter is one of the most powerful social media nowadays when it comes to sharing information with one another. But how did a website that wasn’t originally designed for the purpose of news become so reliable when it comes to verifying information?

First of all, due to its wide accessibility, Twitter has a much more practical way to consume news when compared to newspapers, for example. So, is that enough to make people use it as their main source of information? Let’s break it down a little.

Real or fake?

One of the biggest issues with getting your information from online platforms is that we are often not sure if the source we are using is trustworthy or not.  With Twitter, there are some tools that can help us manage that better, such as verified accounts, headlines, trends and hashtags.

Verified Accounts

Almost every single company will have an official Twitter account, especially big news organizations. Why? Well, it’s a fast and easy way to post any kind of content, and the ability of knowing if an account is verified or not allows you to identify the accuracy of that information.

Now, that’s easier illustrated with business once they don’t usually post fake content about their own brand, but with news that can be a little tricky. Thankfully, Twitter has around 25% of verified journalists, which can guide you through searching what information is real or fake.

In fact, 75% of Twitter users get their news from the platform, being the majority Millenials and Gen Z, who represent around 65% of all users. Being able to select the kind of content directed to you is something that the newer generations have found very suiting. 

On top of that, Twitter users are able to interact and to see other people’s interactions with a post when they click on it. Those interactions can be helpful for the public to collect more information about a determined subject and for the companies to analyse their response to it.

Headlines

Twitter is also well known for allowing a limited number of characters on a post. Some of you might be familiar with the term “clickbait”, which is used to define headlines that immediately catch the reader’s attention and make them want to click on the link to know more about it. 

On Twitter, headlines considered “clickbaits” end up being the most effective ones, due to the flow of engagement of the users when on the platform. But then again, if the clickbait is fake, that could ruin a company’s reputation, so you might want to be careful with that.

Trends and Hashtags

Another useful tool on Twitter is the tab located right beside your timeline, called “trends”. Trends are purposefully directed to your location, interests, and the accounts you follow, so that the user can easily find or search for anything at any given time.

When it comes to promoting news content, just like any other social media platform, Twitter takes advantage of the famous “hashtags”. Hashtags are probably the easiest way to get some extra attention to a certain post or subject people have been talking about lately.

According to the website Oberlo, Twitter users spend an average of 3.39 minutes per session on the platform, so the expectations are high when it comes to quickly finding what they are looking for. That’s why hashtags are so important for both the public and the companies in the business.

Other News Features

As pointed out by the website My GSC, Twitter “is now known for its up-to-the-minute communication from reputable “breaking news” accounts” due to features such as live news broadcasts and placing breaking news tweets at the top of user timelines (Forbes).

The Future of News

It is still early to say if Twitter will eventually overcome the traditional massive media communication platforms, such as Television and Radio, but its influence in the news world leaves no doubt that the competition will only get tougher with time.