French

French from Meaghan Gallagher on Vimeo.

For my project, I wanted to talk about my passion for the French language. For the narrative portion, I am choosing to read a French poem by Charles Baudelaire entitled “Le Chat,” or “The Cat.” I am a French major here at Roger Williams University and I absolutely love studying French. Although I may not always have the time to truly dedicate my life to it, I do love the language. Charles Baudelaire wrote amazing poetry during the Romantic Era and I wanted to share it with you so that you too can hear it. Instead of just simply stating how much I love French, I have decided to show you the language. My accent is pretty bad now, but hopefully by the end of my years at this school, I will be somewhat fluent in the language.

The images are mostly of cats. Although it may look like my passion is “cats,” this is because the poem is entitled “Le Chat,” or “The Cat.” I found most of my images on Flickr and Tumblr. I searched “black cat,” because that is of what the poem reminded me. We read this poem in one of my French classes this semester and I placed the images in order of what each line means in the poem. For example, for one line I would say, “Retiens les griffes de tes pattes,” which means “Take back the claws from your feet,” and there would be a picture of a cat’s claws. “Laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux” has a picture of cat’s eyes (yeux = eyes). I really enjoyed making the narration line up with what the pictures displayed. The beginning images just show French things, such as the Eiffel Tower, French toast, or the stereotypical French man (in finger form). These images just put the viewer into a “French mood.”

Other than my narration of the poem, I have underlying classical music (Camille Saint-Saens “Aquarium” from the Carnival of Animals). At the end of the music and narration, I also have several cat meow sounds. All of these sounds I got from www.freeplaymusic.com. I used the program Audacity to insert, record, and edit all of my sound. I find that this program is easiest to use when it comes to editing audio.

I found iMovie typically easy to drag media into the program and fit in with the appropriate image. I did not really get stuck many times throughout the project. At first when I dragged a sound file into the movie, it would override the background music that I wanted to play. I was getting frustrated as this kept happening each time I tried. Eventually I figured out that the sound file had to touch the picture for it to work properly.

Although I truly hate the sound of my voice, I really like how this project turned out. If I had to pick of what I am most proud, I guess I would have to say how the music and narration follow almost exactly as the pictures move. The overall project came out better than I anticipated and I am quite pleased with it.

Bind-in Blow-in Card

For the bind-in blow-in card, I actually used the program Illustrator. I found it was much easier to use than InDesign or Quark. I also incorporated the use of Photoshop to help with the images. the pink side of the card, I actually used an image from online, since it was very difficult to find the exact font for the “People” logo. For the information fill in part of the card, I used the generic Arial font. The colored fonts were Garamond, including the “Your Ultimate Celebrity Style Shopping Guide” slogan. The “BEST DEAL” with the arrow is in Bradley Hand ITC. This best matched the font on the card. I could not, however, get the font to be in the same exact position as it is on the card. The stylist of the card has it strangely angled and I could not figure out how to do it. I used most kerning on the front, mailing side of the card. I had to space out the random lines all over the front so they were not too far away from each other or too close.

The most challenging was trying to figure out how to make the tick marks on the bottom. It was very tedious going back and forth and getting the spacing right. I tried using vertical text boxes at first and making dash marks, but that did not work out so well. It took a while to figure this out and get the spacing just right, but it looks good to me.

I could not figure out how to make the “only $1.79 per issue” circle with Illustrator or Photoshop. I could not seem to find a circle shape to make this part of the card. After much frustration on that, I ended up using a simple Paint program to make a circle and the outline. I don’t know why I could not figure this out, but eventually it got done. If I had more time, I probably could have figured it out with a better program than this one.

Of the whole card, I really love the pink bordered side. It looks so much like the actual card. I don’t necessarily have a particular part that I like better than the rest. I just like that I could make it look like the actual thing.

Brochure: Le Paradis Perdu

For my portion of the project, I created the inside panels of the brochure for “Le Paradis Perdu.” For the project, Jen and I created a new traveling agency type business where customers would be taken on a guided tour through the hidden parts of different cities in France. We wanted to create this “lost paradise” (paradis perdu) feeling of escaping to a relaxing, yet adventurous getaway to southern France.

In our design, Jen and I made most of the decisions together on both sets of panels for the brochure. Since we created a new business rather than just using a pre-existing one, we kind of had to create everything together. First came deciding on the various places that the travelers would like to see on their vacations. After a long dispute, we finally settled on five places in southern France. The pictures we chose for the brochure, I think, create a sense of mystery and intrigue on the front panels. On the inside panels, the photos show more of the vacation and getaway aspects of the voyage. I also decided to put the headlines in French to give it that foreign and exotic atmosphere without losing the American tourist aspect of vacation.

With InDesign, I found it challenging at first, obviously to learn the program. I found it was much easier and more useful than Quark. This program can do so much more. I had some issues with the background gradient for some time. I was trying to create a background in InDesign, but that did not turn out so well. So I then decided to create a gradient on the background of a PowerPoint slide, since I know that program very well. I then took a screen shot of the slide and put the background into InDesign as an image.

For the entire brochure, I really like the custom bullets that Jen and I made as the Fleur de Lys. I also really like the contrast between the background color and the photos. The color is nice and bright, which compliments nicely with the dark colors of the photos. I really like the photos that we chose for the brochure as well. The cover picture displays a street alleyway that makes people want to explore further into the “lost paradise.” I feel like it perfectly exemplifies our business.

Concert Poster

My concert poster for Billy Joel is in somewhat of a backwards “Z” patterned layout.  I chose this format because it seems to be the best way to catch people’s eyes. It flows nicely from his name at the top left hand corner and his face diagonally across at the bottom. This poster, I feel, really emphasizes the “piano man” perfectly. The piano in the background blends in nicely with the red and the blue colors. The layout just sort of happened as I laid out the words on the poster.

Quark is not something that I would probably use in the future. I cannot manipulate photos in Quark. I had to do most of my work in Photoshop. I filtered the background in Photoshop. To cut out Billy Joel’s head from the background, I had to create the background with his head already attached in Photoshop. There was no way to get his head on the poster without the white background so I used Photoshop for most of my work.

I am proud of this whole poster. I really like how the background is filtered through the art pencil in Photoshop. It gives a great emphasis to the “piano man.” I also really like how “Billy Joel” the words look at the top of the poster. I found the lettering online and just used Photoshop to color them in and make them contrast nicely with the black and white piano keys in the background.

Music Powerpoint

Billy Joel PowerPoint

When I heard that we were going to be using PowerPoint, I thought that I knew a lot about the program. How quickly I was found to be wrong. Audacity is a great program to mix music and create medleys of all sorts. I fell into difficulties when the music was not coming out exactly the way that I wanted. I tried over and over again to change different parts, and I found it hard to transition properly between songs. It was very difficult to just choose exactly which parts of each song that I wanted for the presentation. Most of the difficulties were from my being somewhat of a “perfectionist” and wanting everything to come out perfectly.

I did not encounter many problems with the PowerPoint aspect of the project. There was however something wrong with the animation in slide #2 of the presentation. I tried over and over again to make the bullets come out one right after the other, but for some reason they would all come out at once. Finally, I deleted the entire slide and created a new one. This worked perfectly. The bullets come out one by one now.

I am most proud of the collage at the end. I am a HUGE Billy Joel fan and love seeing how all the different pictures come in at the end. The link part that says “Piano Man” also looks pretty cool. I also like the fact that I somewhat learned how to use Audacity. I will probably be using this program in the future for my own music. This whole project was very interesting, although it took a lot of time to finish.

If I had more time, I would have done several things differently. I probably would have made the table on slide #4 more interesting. It has the little pictures at the top and the animations of the different cells are cool, but I liked the idea of having each separate cell come in. I would have also taken more time out to mix the music better. I feel as though the transitions could be better and I think there is something wrong with the playback sound on the computer (or with my music).

Animated Font Poem Collage

I chose the images for my collage solely based on the significance of my font poem. I searched all over MorgueFile and Flickr to find pictures for my collage. I found the background of the night sky. It seemed to fit with the idea of the “middle of the night.” The second and third layers involved a sleeping baby and a slumbering young guy. I changed the opacity of these images to 60% and used the smudge tool to smudge the edges into the background to make them seem almost transparent, like a dream. To bring these images onto the “night sky” backdrop, I had to use the Select menu, click All, then copy and paste the image. This happens with all the images in order to edit them before pasting them onto the background. With the river picture, I used the magic eraser tool to delete part of the background and show only the river in the collage. I decreased the opacity of the river to 70% and also smudged the edges, to create another dreamy sense. I also added a picture of a closed eye and an open eye. I first cropped both images so just the eyes. I changed the closed eye with the multiply tool, which made it appear in the moonlight of the background. For the open eye image, I smudged the eyes into the background and changed the opacity to 60%.

The animation was a bit more complicated. You had to make sure to turn on and off those layers that you want to be shown in each frame of animation with the “eye”. In the beginning, I was only using the eyes to show different layers and hide others. Soon, after much experimentation, I found out how to use other tools. I did not change much, but as the words come up, I slowly removed their effects and then made the words disappear altogether. The sleeping baby and guy, slowly fade into the background. I used the Tween tool to add multiple slides at a time and create this effect. This tool makes it easier to make the images seem to fade it, instead of doing it all one by one. I used this on the river as well to have it “lighten” into the background. I also experimented with the “Puppet Warp” tool from the YouTube video, but it proved too complicated to complete what I wanted to do in the time that we had. I also had some trouble when clicking and un-clicking the eye icon in order to show or hide various layers. I made mistakes by not selecting the layer that I wanted or accidentally deleting layers instead of animation frames. That is to say, I used the history box a lot during the animation process. I also made sure to time the animation effects so that they were not too fast or too slow.

 

Contact Sheet

Resolution (dpi)

For the first row of the contact sheet, I began with a 1200 dpi image. I had to change the image size from the Image menu. After clicking this, a window popped up that shows the height, width and dpi of the image. For this row, I changed the dpi from 1200 to 600. The next image, I changed it from 600 to 300, and the same with the last image from 300 to 72 dpi. Sometimes the image did not fit properly into the contact sheet so we had to right click the image and format the height and width.

Format/Mode

The second row of the contact sheet changes the colors in the image. I began with a very colorful picture of a pinwheel and dragged that image into Photoshop. The first image was in Color RGB mode. To change the image for the next section, click Mode from the Image dropdown menu. I changed the next image to CMYK. The third image I changed to Grayscale mode. For DuoTone, it was much different. I had to first save the image as a PDF because it would not work as a regular JPEG. To be able to change it to DuoTone mode, I had to first change it to Grayscale.

Orientation

In this row, I used the cropping tool in various ways to alter an image from portrait to landscape, and to square. To crop the image, I had to use the cropping tool and drag it all the way from the top of the image, to the bottom. I had to type in the height and width ratios, which helps prevent distortion. We had to make sure that when we changed the height or width of an image, we unselected the “resample size” option.

Framing

In the framing row of the contact sheet, I took an image and zoomed into faraway objects. I also used the crop tool in this row. The difference in this row is that we use the crop tool starting in the middle of the image and we do not drag it all the way to the bottom. This helps to zoom in on a specific object, perhaps in the background of an image.

Content

In this row of the contact sheet, I also zoomed in on the scene so that it became unrecognizable. I began with a pyramid. As you moved down the row, you can see the building blocks of the pyramid. By the end of the row, all you can see is the abstract version of a square.

Filter

In this section, we began with an image of ourselves, or another person, and used different filters. When a filter is applied to the image, it adds a certain effect. The Journalistic effect looked like a photograph from newspaper. The Mosaic tiles turned my face into many pieces. Pointillism turned the image into hundreds of tiny dots. The charcoal effect makes it look as though the photo was drawn with a piece of charcoal.

Font Poem

I chose this specific quote because it comes from my favorite Billy Joel song called the “River of Dreams.” I am somewhat of a “daddy’s girl” at heart, and ever since I was little, I always loved listening to Billy Joel’s music with my father. Not only do I love listening to his music, but Billy Joel has also helped strengthen the bond between me and my dad.

I chose different fonts for each of the words in my font poem based on the meanings of the words themselves. For example, the first word we’re is not completely significant, in my opinion, to the entire quote. Thus, I kept it in a generic, regular font of Goudy Heavyface. I did warp the word a bit with a lower arch and gave it the stroke effect for slight emphasis over the less significant words. The next word all was more important. I used the font Zipedy Do and made the letters all capital. This helped emphasize the effect of the word that Billy Joel is talking about ALL of us. For the word carried, in the font Organica, I used a drop shadow, an inner glow, and a stroke effect. I also warped the text with the flag effect; this gives it the effect of “being carried.” Along was used in the Motter Corpus font, with the letters spaced out to give the “moving along” effect. The word river is also very important to the lyrics. I put this specific word in the font Flood with the bevel and emboss effects with a wave warp to further give it a water-like emphasis.  For the word middle, I used the font Neuland LT and used a gradient overlay with a drop shadow, an outer glow, and stroke. I made it very large, in all capital letters, and emphasized the word to convey its meaning “in the MIDDLE of the night.” The word night is typed vertically down, in the middle of the page. The font Moonglow, in black with an outer glow shows nighttime: The dark night sky with a glow of the stars. The word middle is somewhat the center of attention, which is why the words are somewhat centered in the middle of the page.

The background was somewhat tricky. It took me a while to figure out how to use the paint bucket to fill in the background with a blue-ish color. This was to simulate a river. I also figured out how to use the sponge tool to create the swirl in the background.

The only issues I found while doing this project were trying to figure out exactly how to position the layers without making it look too cluttered. The colors of the word were also tricky as the font poem looks different on the computer screen than on the big screen.

If I had more time, I would have manipulated every single word to help convey their meanings. For example, although I explained above that I did not find the word we’re to be particularly significant, it would have been fun to figure out another way to represent it.

Of the whole font poem, I am most proud of the way the phrase “river of dreams” looks. I warped the words to make the phrase flow like a river.