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Evaluation K:
Technologies
Ryan Tarran AS Media
Introduction
During the time of making my music magazine in media I have used a
large variety of technologies. Some of these technologies are more
efficient at jobs than others and although I have used some of them
many have their disadvantages. In this part of the evaluation I will be
presenting the different technologies I used, how I used them and how
they helped enhance my final music magazine. I will then be comparing
them to other potential software I could have used and the advantages
and disadvantages of using that particular technology.
Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop has probably been the most useful technology I have used during my time
doing this production. This is because it is unparalleled in terms of photo and design
software and has a variety of tools and techniques that make it applicable to almost any
situation in terms of design. During my time doing this production I have not learnt
anything new about Photoshop because I had prior knowledge of techniques and tools
before I started the media production. However, I have used a large variety of tools and
techniques that to make my magazine front cover, contents page and feature article that I
will show a few examples of.
One tool I used extensively during the production was the ‘text’ tool. This allows you to
type basic text that can then be changed and edited later on. This was the basis for my
cover lines and masthead and I even used it to type my feature article.
The Polygonal Lasso tool was used in various places during my production. It is a tool
that allows you to almost ‘cut’ around a piece of an object and manipulate it, remove it or
edit it in a particular way. The main place I used this tool was when creating a
superimposition on my masthead with my cover photos head covering the ‘vermin’ text. I
used the tool to cut a shape over the head, remove it and then overlay it onto the vermin
text, giving it a 3D / superimposition effect.
Adobe Acrobat
• During my project there were many scenarios in which I needed to upload a
single Microsoft word document to my blog. Usually with more than one side
I would have used flipsnack as it has a great user interface that can be easily
viewed and allows the user to zoom into the posts in greater detail. However,
with one page on Microsoft word this would be very pointless and waste too
much time for a single page. One way I got around this was by converting
the Microsoft Word documents into a PDF. Once a PDF file, they could then
be opened with Adobe acrobat and saved as a Jpeg. This then meant that
the word document was saved as an image and could be uploaded to
blogger. This saved lots of time and allowed me to upload single pages more
efficiently.
• The advantages to adobe acrobat is that there is little to no software similar
to it which means that it is unique in terms of getting the job that I needed
done. However, aside from reading files and transferring documents in a
smaller, more compact format (PDF) Adobe acrobat has very little other uses
to me aside from converting PDF files into Jpeg’s and therefore was not
further used for anything else in my task
Microsoft Office (Word & PowerPoint)
• During my media project and like any modern project now a days I used Microsoft
office, mainly word and PowerPoint extensively. This is because using word for word
processing is almost an essential and when writing long paragraphs about
representation or magazines it was efficient to keep all my text in one place.
However, I also used Microsoft word to make rough copies of blogger posts. I done
this by typing up a post in a word document and then copying and pasting it onto
blogger. I found this method much easier and more efficient than typing into blogger
directly as I found the Microsoft word user interface much more useful. During the
construction of my feature article I also used Microsoft word for the pre-type up of my
script and then copied and pasted over the lines into the design I wanted for
Photoshop. This was much quicker as it allowed me to have my feature article
interview done before I started it and I then finished it in quicker time. This was far
more easier than thinking of interview questions and typing an answer as I went.
Another Microsoft office product I found incredibly useful was PowerPoint. Although
we were encouraged during this project to use as much ICT as possible and
convergence, I always came back to PowerPoint as it was so much easier to use
and when combined with a 3rd party online company like slide share it looked
professional and could not be beaten in terms of visual appeal and efficiency in
comparison to online websites like Prezi.
Slideshare
• Slide share is a free online software that allows you to upload
PowerPoint presentations to the website and In which I then
embedded in my blog. This is very useful because it has allowed me to
convert a form of media to be embedded in my blog in an interactive
format which I usually would not be able to do. For example, this
PowerPoint will be uploaded with slide share and embedded onto my
blog afterwards. The disadvantage to using free software like slide
share is that you do not have control over the site and how it manages
your embedded links. This means that if the site closed or decided that
it was going to stop doing free links then my work would no longer be
shown on my blog and it can become an inconvenience trying to find
alternative software or having to pay to then use the service.
Survey Monkey
• Survey monkey is a free online service tool which with a free subscription
allows you to make a survey that can be filled out by other people who have
the link to the survey. I’ve added this to my list because I used survey
monkey at the very beginning of the production to help me research my
target audience and what they would expect and want from my magazine. I
did this by signing up to survey monkey, creating a survey and then once I
was done, literally send my link to people who I wanted to fill it out or post it
on a social media site. I then left it for a week and came back for the results
and had my data. One major downside to using a free online service like
survey monkey is that say for example the website got taken down or they
didn’t keep your survey saved after a particular number of days it can affect
your production or be disheartening when this happens. This means that
although it was effective and efficient for what I wanted from it, answers from
my target audience, it can be difficult relying on a free online service as you
have no control over what they do with your survey, how they use it or if they
decide to keep it up or not. This means that if I were to do the production
again I would perhaps look into other methods that would be more reliable
but overall survey monkey provided a great user interface that was easy to
use and allowed to ask questions and receive answer for my production.
Prezi
• I used Prezi to represent my target audience and then uploaded it to my
blog. Prezi is a free online software which is essentially the same as
PowerPoint. I personally don’t enjoy using it and believe it is quite finicky but
I wanted to use as many different technologies as possible to broaden and
expand the range of media and platforms I have used to present my work.
The advantages to Prezi is that it is very interactive and has little animations
in-between ‘slides’ which can keep the use interested and is an
unconventional way of presenting information. However, it is quite fiddly and
the layout is very complicated. It is also a free online software which like
explained before, means that if they decided that they no longer wanted to
offer a free service or decide to withdraw particular links then my work would
not display on my blog. This means that it would not only be inconvenient for
me and the potential to lose work, but also may have to pay for a service I
initially thought was free. Overall Prezi is another way to present information
and is free compared to Microsoft PowerPoint which is a substantial
alternative if you can’t afford it. It took a big learning curve to learn how to
use it and even now I’m not perfect at it but if I could go back and do
something again it would definitely be to learn how to use Prezi better and
make the presentation look better overall.
Flipsnack
• Flip snack is probably my favourite free online software I have used
during the course of this production. This is because it is very easy to
use and does it’s job effectively. Flip snack allowed me to convert
Microsoft word documents to PDF documents and then upload the
PDF documents in a format that made then interactive and possible to
‘embed’ into my blog. This was useful when I done my initial magazine
deconstructions on Microsoft word. Instead of just saving it as an
image and uploading that, I could convert them to a PDF and then
when uploaded to flip snack, turns it into an interactive ‘magazine’
style link in which you can read the contents. Like I said, the main
advantage to flip snack is it is very useful, easy to use and doesn’t
have much competition. Disadvantages however include that while on
the free version they enforce a watermark and like with all free
software, if they decide to withdraw your link or that to use their
services you have to pay, you are very likely to lose the work you have
done and in my case, I would be missing a lot of my production
material.
Blogger
• Blogger is the blank canvas that we have used for our AS media production.
Blogger is a free online software that allows people to upload posts and
embed links. It can be customised and accustomed to how you want it to
look and the layout can be altered to suit your needs. The clue is in the name
blogger, it is a free blog software that is very popular. Due to using blogger
as the centre media platform for all of my work to converge, I have used it a
lot and at first, it took a steep learning curve to learn how to use the interface
and software. Some of these included how to properly embed links so that
certain software, like flip snack and slide share can become interactive, using
labels correctly and changing the design and layout of the blog to properly
suit my posts. Advantages to blogger is that there really isn’t another type of
media platform that is free and as flexible and useful as blogger to stockpile
production work like we have used it for. The only disadvantage I can think of
is that once again it is a free online software, and although it is a very big
website, making it less likely to just shut down overnight, if it did. Many
people would lose years of work and material that have been uploaded to the
website and like myself, would lose an entire AS level worth of media
production work, which in itself is a massive downside.
DSLR & Camera Equipment
• During this media production I have taken many photos. These can all be seen on my
contact photos sheet on blogger. However, these were all taken with a DSLR camera
and I used a variety of equipment to help me capture these images with clarity and
quality. Firstly, I decided to use a DSLR over a conventional camera as it offers a crisp
and sharp finish to an image and leaves plenty of natural lighting. This might not be good
for natural photographers but worked well for me as I was later on going to edit the light
levels in Photoshop to make the image look more contrasted and saturated to cater to
my needs. As well as a DSLR, I also used a three-leg tripod that allowed sturdy, still
images to be taken from a variety of heights (adjustable) this was especially useful when
taking photos for my feature article when we need the camera angle to be higher without
making image quality a constraint. Last but not least I used an SD card and cable that
allowed me to store a considerable amount of camera data on it at one time and the
cable to allow me to transfer it to the PC. Like is said, for what I needed images for the
camera I used was plenty good enough and the equipment was suitable for my needs.
Say for example I wanted a moving shot or an image in which the actors were moving I
would need to perhaps invest in looking into a steady mount or a handheld gyro that
would keep the camera steady. Below is an example of the crisp photos the DSLR would
take.
Workstation & Equipment
• During the production of my music magazine I constantly had to use a
PC workstation. Luckily, the computers we were using were fairly
powerful. This means they could process and carry out tasks relatively
quickly meaning that using demanding programmes such as
Photoshop and having multiple tabs and programmes open at once
could be carried out quickly and efficiently. As well as the standard
computers that were used to edit and bring everything together, I also
used other equipment like a keyboard and a mouse. I chose during my
photoshoot to use natural lighting but if I had decided to use an
artificial light source like a spotlight or an LED macro ring light then I
would be able to add that to the list of additional equipment I had used.
Although I myself did not use this lighting equipment, it was at my
disposable had I wanted to.
Online Resources
• Wikipedia
• During my time doing the production I used Wikipedia very frequently to
search for definitions and researching companies such as Bauer. I also used
Wikipedia to get company logos and images.
• Google
• I used google as my main search engine but also some of its features to help
with my production. I used google maps to look for area locally that would be
good for a photoshoot and idyllic scenic spots for scouting locations. I also
used google images frequently to get magazine front covers from other
brands, also brand logos and images for my written work.
• Dafont
• Dafont is the best free website in which fonts can be downloaded from. I
used this to download multiple fonts to my computer in which I used for my
production on my magazine.

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Evaluation K - technologies

  • 2. Introduction During the time of making my music magazine in media I have used a large variety of technologies. Some of these technologies are more efficient at jobs than others and although I have used some of them many have their disadvantages. In this part of the evaluation I will be presenting the different technologies I used, how I used them and how they helped enhance my final music magazine. I will then be comparing them to other potential software I could have used and the advantages and disadvantages of using that particular technology.
  • 3. Adobe Photoshop Photoshop has probably been the most useful technology I have used during my time doing this production. This is because it is unparalleled in terms of photo and design software and has a variety of tools and techniques that make it applicable to almost any situation in terms of design. During my time doing this production I have not learnt anything new about Photoshop because I had prior knowledge of techniques and tools before I started the media production. However, I have used a large variety of tools and techniques that to make my magazine front cover, contents page and feature article that I will show a few examples of. One tool I used extensively during the production was the ‘text’ tool. This allows you to type basic text that can then be changed and edited later on. This was the basis for my cover lines and masthead and I even used it to type my feature article. The Polygonal Lasso tool was used in various places during my production. It is a tool that allows you to almost ‘cut’ around a piece of an object and manipulate it, remove it or edit it in a particular way. The main place I used this tool was when creating a superimposition on my masthead with my cover photos head covering the ‘vermin’ text. I used the tool to cut a shape over the head, remove it and then overlay it onto the vermin text, giving it a 3D / superimposition effect.
  • 4. Adobe Acrobat • During my project there were many scenarios in which I needed to upload a single Microsoft word document to my blog. Usually with more than one side I would have used flipsnack as it has a great user interface that can be easily viewed and allows the user to zoom into the posts in greater detail. However, with one page on Microsoft word this would be very pointless and waste too much time for a single page. One way I got around this was by converting the Microsoft Word documents into a PDF. Once a PDF file, they could then be opened with Adobe acrobat and saved as a Jpeg. This then meant that the word document was saved as an image and could be uploaded to blogger. This saved lots of time and allowed me to upload single pages more efficiently. • The advantages to adobe acrobat is that there is little to no software similar to it which means that it is unique in terms of getting the job that I needed done. However, aside from reading files and transferring documents in a smaller, more compact format (PDF) Adobe acrobat has very little other uses to me aside from converting PDF files into Jpeg’s and therefore was not further used for anything else in my task
  • 5. Microsoft Office (Word & PowerPoint) • During my media project and like any modern project now a days I used Microsoft office, mainly word and PowerPoint extensively. This is because using word for word processing is almost an essential and when writing long paragraphs about representation or magazines it was efficient to keep all my text in one place. However, I also used Microsoft word to make rough copies of blogger posts. I done this by typing up a post in a word document and then copying and pasting it onto blogger. I found this method much easier and more efficient than typing into blogger directly as I found the Microsoft word user interface much more useful. During the construction of my feature article I also used Microsoft word for the pre-type up of my script and then copied and pasted over the lines into the design I wanted for Photoshop. This was much quicker as it allowed me to have my feature article interview done before I started it and I then finished it in quicker time. This was far more easier than thinking of interview questions and typing an answer as I went. Another Microsoft office product I found incredibly useful was PowerPoint. Although we were encouraged during this project to use as much ICT as possible and convergence, I always came back to PowerPoint as it was so much easier to use and when combined with a 3rd party online company like slide share it looked professional and could not be beaten in terms of visual appeal and efficiency in comparison to online websites like Prezi.
  • 6. Slideshare • Slide share is a free online software that allows you to upload PowerPoint presentations to the website and In which I then embedded in my blog. This is very useful because it has allowed me to convert a form of media to be embedded in my blog in an interactive format which I usually would not be able to do. For example, this PowerPoint will be uploaded with slide share and embedded onto my blog afterwards. The disadvantage to using free software like slide share is that you do not have control over the site and how it manages your embedded links. This means that if the site closed or decided that it was going to stop doing free links then my work would no longer be shown on my blog and it can become an inconvenience trying to find alternative software or having to pay to then use the service.
  • 7. Survey Monkey • Survey monkey is a free online service tool which with a free subscription allows you to make a survey that can be filled out by other people who have the link to the survey. I’ve added this to my list because I used survey monkey at the very beginning of the production to help me research my target audience and what they would expect and want from my magazine. I did this by signing up to survey monkey, creating a survey and then once I was done, literally send my link to people who I wanted to fill it out or post it on a social media site. I then left it for a week and came back for the results and had my data. One major downside to using a free online service like survey monkey is that say for example the website got taken down or they didn’t keep your survey saved after a particular number of days it can affect your production or be disheartening when this happens. This means that although it was effective and efficient for what I wanted from it, answers from my target audience, it can be difficult relying on a free online service as you have no control over what they do with your survey, how they use it or if they decide to keep it up or not. This means that if I were to do the production again I would perhaps look into other methods that would be more reliable but overall survey monkey provided a great user interface that was easy to use and allowed to ask questions and receive answer for my production.
  • 8. Prezi • I used Prezi to represent my target audience and then uploaded it to my blog. Prezi is a free online software which is essentially the same as PowerPoint. I personally don’t enjoy using it and believe it is quite finicky but I wanted to use as many different technologies as possible to broaden and expand the range of media and platforms I have used to present my work. The advantages to Prezi is that it is very interactive and has little animations in-between ‘slides’ which can keep the use interested and is an unconventional way of presenting information. However, it is quite fiddly and the layout is very complicated. It is also a free online software which like explained before, means that if they decided that they no longer wanted to offer a free service or decide to withdraw particular links then my work would not display on my blog. This means that it would not only be inconvenient for me and the potential to lose work, but also may have to pay for a service I initially thought was free. Overall Prezi is another way to present information and is free compared to Microsoft PowerPoint which is a substantial alternative if you can’t afford it. It took a big learning curve to learn how to use it and even now I’m not perfect at it but if I could go back and do something again it would definitely be to learn how to use Prezi better and make the presentation look better overall.
  • 9. Flipsnack • Flip snack is probably my favourite free online software I have used during the course of this production. This is because it is very easy to use and does it’s job effectively. Flip snack allowed me to convert Microsoft word documents to PDF documents and then upload the PDF documents in a format that made then interactive and possible to ‘embed’ into my blog. This was useful when I done my initial magazine deconstructions on Microsoft word. Instead of just saving it as an image and uploading that, I could convert them to a PDF and then when uploaded to flip snack, turns it into an interactive ‘magazine’ style link in which you can read the contents. Like I said, the main advantage to flip snack is it is very useful, easy to use and doesn’t have much competition. Disadvantages however include that while on the free version they enforce a watermark and like with all free software, if they decide to withdraw your link or that to use their services you have to pay, you are very likely to lose the work you have done and in my case, I would be missing a lot of my production material.
  • 10. Blogger • Blogger is the blank canvas that we have used for our AS media production. Blogger is a free online software that allows people to upload posts and embed links. It can be customised and accustomed to how you want it to look and the layout can be altered to suit your needs. The clue is in the name blogger, it is a free blog software that is very popular. Due to using blogger as the centre media platform for all of my work to converge, I have used it a lot and at first, it took a steep learning curve to learn how to use the interface and software. Some of these included how to properly embed links so that certain software, like flip snack and slide share can become interactive, using labels correctly and changing the design and layout of the blog to properly suit my posts. Advantages to blogger is that there really isn’t another type of media platform that is free and as flexible and useful as blogger to stockpile production work like we have used it for. The only disadvantage I can think of is that once again it is a free online software, and although it is a very big website, making it less likely to just shut down overnight, if it did. Many people would lose years of work and material that have been uploaded to the website and like myself, would lose an entire AS level worth of media production work, which in itself is a massive downside.
  • 11. DSLR & Camera Equipment • During this media production I have taken many photos. These can all be seen on my contact photos sheet on blogger. However, these were all taken with a DSLR camera and I used a variety of equipment to help me capture these images with clarity and quality. Firstly, I decided to use a DSLR over a conventional camera as it offers a crisp and sharp finish to an image and leaves plenty of natural lighting. This might not be good for natural photographers but worked well for me as I was later on going to edit the light levels in Photoshop to make the image look more contrasted and saturated to cater to my needs. As well as a DSLR, I also used a three-leg tripod that allowed sturdy, still images to be taken from a variety of heights (adjustable) this was especially useful when taking photos for my feature article when we need the camera angle to be higher without making image quality a constraint. Last but not least I used an SD card and cable that allowed me to store a considerable amount of camera data on it at one time and the cable to allow me to transfer it to the PC. Like is said, for what I needed images for the camera I used was plenty good enough and the equipment was suitable for my needs. Say for example I wanted a moving shot or an image in which the actors were moving I would need to perhaps invest in looking into a steady mount or a handheld gyro that would keep the camera steady. Below is an example of the crisp photos the DSLR would take.
  • 12. Workstation & Equipment • During the production of my music magazine I constantly had to use a PC workstation. Luckily, the computers we were using were fairly powerful. This means they could process and carry out tasks relatively quickly meaning that using demanding programmes such as Photoshop and having multiple tabs and programmes open at once could be carried out quickly and efficiently. As well as the standard computers that were used to edit and bring everything together, I also used other equipment like a keyboard and a mouse. I chose during my photoshoot to use natural lighting but if I had decided to use an artificial light source like a spotlight or an LED macro ring light then I would be able to add that to the list of additional equipment I had used. Although I myself did not use this lighting equipment, it was at my disposable had I wanted to.
  • 13. Online Resources • Wikipedia • During my time doing the production I used Wikipedia very frequently to search for definitions and researching companies such as Bauer. I also used Wikipedia to get company logos and images. • Google • I used google as my main search engine but also some of its features to help with my production. I used google maps to look for area locally that would be good for a photoshoot and idyllic scenic spots for scouting locations. I also used google images frequently to get magazine front covers from other brands, also brand logos and images for my written work. • Dafont • Dafont is the best free website in which fonts can be downloaded from. I used this to download multiple fonts to my computer in which I used for my production on my magazine.