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5 Examples of Mental Health Representation in Video Games

Video games allow players to experience things that they could never experience on their own.

In recent years, developers have found more and more ways to create realistic depictions of mental health issues and solutions. This has given players a better understanding of what their peers go through on a daily basis, and gives people with mental health issues more support and reinforcement that they matter. As someone who experiences depression and anxiety on a daily basis, these few games created in the past 5 years have made an impact on a large number of people, myself included.

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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. 

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.


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.

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?

illustration design

Incredible Black & White Typography

Adobe Software Photoshop and illustrators are frequently employed by advertising companies, editorials and graphic design firms. Typical duties of an Adobe Photoshop & illustrator include ideas for brainstorming, sketches, creation of draft illustrations, discussion of ideas with co-workers and completion of illustrations.

If you are still learning the basics of design or want some quick and easy text ideas to improve your printed designs, these beginner tutorials will be very useful. In your lessons you will learn how to apply 3D textures and effects, create logos, use masks and other simple techniques to improve your text.

Creating art with words will never die, no matter how advanced our image-taking capabilities bring us. When paper with moving images such as a computer screen becomes common, designers will continue to use text to convey their message and create visual interest. Challenge yourself to design with impressive text and see where your creativity takes you.

The Movie Story page below features a nice layout with only one font, colors and two font sizes. Although only font faces are used, it’s harder to read, and the hierarchy is achieved using size and color.

Incredible Black & White Typography Poster

Research incredible typography posters.

Sketch out my ideas.

Think about the colour and layout. 

Review my files against the requirements.

There is no simple answer to this, but a good rule of thumb to use font selection is to stick to Impossible-500, Ebrima and Palace Script MT, all regular fonts or fonts by design. And the title of the title is used layer with mask, and I created the background within the white flow lines and color used Black and White. When it comes to font restrictions it is a good thing. Earn interest by choosing two contrasting fonts. For example, in my 11×17 paper, the Illustrator file uses a script or a dirty font for its headings and contrasts them with a sans-serif font for body text.

The contrast makes the text interesting and can help you communicate with ideas you want to emphasize. Variable size, typography, weight, color and style can give your designs a great impact and organize your ideas. Next, you can see how contrast helps you give your text an interesting, striking and even more meaningful appearance.

We couldn’t imagine anything better than to perceive what you can consider, so share instances of your best content impacts in the remarks beneath. Furthermore, on the off chance that you know other helpful Photoshop content instructional exercises or have made your very own instructional exercises, presently is your opportunity to impart them to the world.

Working With Audio: Remixing

When working on a project, one of the most important parts of your production is making sure that all of the pieces that you are using work together properly.  This will usually require you to sacrifice some element of your project, whether it be in the visual, audio, or presentation sections. One such method of making your elements fit together just right is the remix tool in Audition.

 

The remix tool is used to alter audio, usually a song, so that the length is longer or shorter than the original composition.  In order to start this process, you need to put the audio into Audition. Once there, you can do the general cleanup (noise reduction, plosives, breaths) directly onto the waveform.  However, you will need to put the piece of audio into a multi-track mixdown in order to remix the track.

 

Once the music track that you want is in the mixdown, you can then go ahead and remix by simply going to the remix tab to the left and pressing “enable remix”.  Once said track is analyzed, you will be free to extend or shorten to your heart’s content.

 

However, there’s one last thing that you should remember about remixes: they will not be the exact length that you specify. Due to how the remixing works, chunks of the song are mixed into and taken out through the song, and since the remix cannot cut into these chunks, the song cannot be the exact time that you want.

 

While this might not be a problem for most projects, if the remix is paired with a visual portion as well, you may need to either cut down or expand the video in order to better fit the music.  Most of the time you’ll be able to cut down parts of shots in order to fit the time, so it won’t be a major issue.

Dive Technology

Dive technology, a newer and very untested but promising piece of tech which if it pays off can lead to immense developments in the fields of design and all parts of life, but since we’re focusing to the design element here i’ll keep it to this industry.

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