Tips for web-quality video and some You Tube

•May 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Good tips from Creative Pro for producing web-optimised video:

In summary:

  • Think small: much online video is around 320 x 240 pixels (small!)
  • Remember video will need to be highly compressed in order to stream/download from the web
  • general things to avoid: small or fine stripes/detail, too much camera or subject movement, wide shots, too low or too high contrast images
  • Plan your shots: in-camera composition, use storyboards
  • Use the best equipment possible and use a tripod!
  • Once you understand the basic rules, experiment. Try and break these rules and see what you can create.

Some You Tube-based split screen tools:

Check out SplitScreen blog for an introduction to some interesting You Tube-based tools for working with multiple layers/sources of video:


Week 8: audio + image / embedding audio + video

•May 10, 2010 • 1 Comment

As we reach the end of semester, many of you will want to know more about custom embedding audio and video into your sites. HTML guru Sean will take you through tips and tricks for integrating audio and video into your HTML sites.

For the rest of the class, let’s delve deeper into sound and image:

– in live performance
– in video/film

The Illusion of Sound in Film/Moving Image

Let’s refer to that veritable bible of Film Sound. Here, let’s look at this succinct diagram and explanation of ‘sound illusion’ by Sven E. Carlsson. Carlsson tells us that:

  • In real life, sound and image are perceived as one
  • In media production, sound and image are separated
  • thus, new possibilities for ‘reassociating’ images and sounds
  • back in the movie theatre, TV screen or laptop, image and sound are made ‘one’ again  – an illusion because sound and image sources are actually separate

Case Study: Mary Poppins versus Scary Mary

The Original 1964 Disney Trailer for Mary Poppins
Soundtrack by Irwin Kostal

‘Scary Mary’ edit by Chris Rule (2006)
Over 10 millions views on You Tube

What can we notice about the impact emotionally, psychologically of the updated edit? How can we apply these ideas to your audio remixes or the way in which you visually represent your music?

Thriller Acapella

An homage to MJ’s Thriller by the seriously dedicated Francois Macre:

Creative Approaches to Audio and Image:

Case Study #1:
Benjamin Ducroz (MELB)

Benjamin is a local Melbourne artist and motion graphics designer whose kinetic work is a good example of a considered and sophisticated approach to sound and image across many forms: in video, motion graphics, installation and live performances. Let’s look at his website
and discuss his Showreel and installation work 1:1.


  • Creative approaches to videos or imagery for your band/production/label. Thinking beyond the traditional video clip of the band.
  • Installation: considering space and audience in a gallery context
  • Collaboration: working with friends or seeking out visual artists. Some sites to check out:
  • Noise online: Australian-based international community of artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, writers under the age of 30
  • Australian InFront: Similar to above but not age restrictive

Case Study #2:
The Light Surgeons

Formed in 1995 and based in the UK, The Light Surgeons work across film, TV, motion graphics, live performance and installation. They are specialists in creating multi-layered and immersive audio-visual works and have exhibited and performed internationally.

Let’s look at a recent live AV performance the Z-axis. Z-axis draws from King Vidor’s 1949 film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s seminal book ‘The Fountainhead



  • Creative approach to live performance: how to think beyond ‘the laptop’ or ‘the band’ or bland visuals
  • Narrative: creating a story across time and space, thinking about a performance as a ‘whole’ and giving it a beginning/middle/end
  • Reinterpretation: of audio and of image – possibilities for adding new meaning/context to your music through visuals

Tasks to do before Week 8

•May 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Expanded Possibilities – Sound and the Moving Image:

1. Read film critic/theorist David Bordwell’s article ‘The Boy in the Black Hole’ in which he talks with Hong Kong sound designer Mark Chappell. Write a blog post about your thoughts on Chappell’s ideas and comment on a film soundtrack which you think is a strong example of an audio-visual relationship.

2. Watch Good Copy Bad Copy, a documentary about ‘copyright and culture’: Write a blog post about your thoughts and the two-sides of copyright: the corporation versus the creator. Where do you fit in?

3. Read about remix and mashups in the journal article from QUT: Also look at other remix resources: and The American University Centre for Social Media and excellent article outlining Lessig’s theories from

Week 7: Copyright, Intellectual Property, Remix, Lessig

•May 3, 2010 • 2 Comments

Hello again.

This week some background and insight into copyright and intellectual property. What does the digital age mean for creativity and copyright? Where does ‘the law’ stand in relation to creativity and the internet? What are the some of the motivations behind ‘the remix’? Whether you are conscious of these concepts already or not, you come into contact with these issues on a daily basis whenever you use/engage with/upload to the web.

Introduction to Copyright

Some copyright basics sourced from the Australian Copyright Council below:

What is copyright? A type of legal protection for people who produce things like writing, images, music and films. It is a legal right to prevent others from doing certain things (such as copying and making available online) without permission.

What is intellectual property? A general term covering a number of areas of law. These include copyright, trade marks and patents.

What can be copyrighted? Writing, visual images, music, computer programs and films.

Expression versus idea: Interestingly, copyright protects the form or way an idea or information is expressed, not the idea or information itself

How do I copyright my work? There is no system of registration for copyright protection in Australia. You do not need to publish your work, to put a copyright notice on it, or to do anything else to be covered by copyright — the protection is free and automatic.

A work is protected automatically from the time it is first written down or recorded in some way, provided it has resulted from its creator’s skill and effort and is not simply copied from another work. For example, as soon as a poem is written, or a song is recorded, it is protected.

Australian copyright works are protected in most other countries, and copyright works from most other countries are protected in Australia.

The © symbol: You do not need to put a “copyright notice” on your work for it to be protected in Australia. You may choose to put a copyright notice on your work to remind people that it is protected by copyright. You can put the notice on your work yourself; there is no formal procedure. The notice is: © (or “Copyright”) + copyright owner’s name + year of first publication —for example: © Gus O’Donnell 1968.

The public domain: In most cases, copyright expires after a period of time, and the material enters the “public domain”. This is currently between 50-70 years.

Copyright infringement: A person infringes copyright by making a “copyright use” (e.g. copying, broadcasting, making available on a website) without the copyright owner’s permission. The person may have a defence to infringement if a special exception applies.

Moral and performers’ rights: There are legal obligations to attribute creators of works, and to refrain from doing anything with a work that damages the designer’s reputation or is offensive to the designer. There are also legal obligations to get the performer’s consent to make certain uses of an audio recording.

Some copyright resources:

Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

From the RMIT Policies and Procedures online guide:

What is plagiarism? Presenting the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. Plagiarism is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.

Case study: Sam Leach’s Australian landscape or ‘double dutch’?

Let’s look at the recent case of Melbourne painter Sam Leach, who won not only the Archibald Prize for his portrait of Tim Minchin but also the Wynne Prize for ‘the best Australian landscape painting’ in 2010. You’ll notice that Leach’s Proposal for Landscaped Cosmos, and the Dutch painter Adam Pynacker’s 17th-century painting, Boatman Moored on the Shore of a Lake are remarkably similar.

  • Pynacker’s painting of an Italian Landscape is over 400 years old, well out of copyright.
  • The Wynne Prize is for ‘the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolour’.

Article on

Introduction to Creative Commons

‘Share, Remix, Reuse – Legally’ – Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons? An international nonprofit that offers flexible copyright management tools for creative work. Creative Commons offers a range of licences that creators can use to manage their copyright in the online environment, each offering its own specific protections and freedoms. CC has built upon the “all rights reserved” of traditional copyright to create a voluntary “some rights reserved” system.

Why use Creative Commons? To keep your own copyright but allow people to remix/copy/distribute your work provided they credit you as the author. Also, to have access to be able to remix/copy/distribute the work from an international pool of creative content legally.

Creative Commons licenses (these are the most common but there are additional licenses):


  • Attribution: Lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.
  • Attribution Share Alike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
  • Attribution No Derivatives: This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.
  • Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives: This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

CC and CC-related resources:

Some sound-related CC sites:

  • collaborative database of CC-licensed sounds
  • CC Mixter: A community music site featuring remixes where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with CC-licensed music
  • Freeloops: CC site for audio loop files

Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is a Harvard University professor and lawyer and one of the leading thinkers and activists in the areas of the law and technology and copyright in the digital age. He is also one of the founding directors and former CEO of Creative Commons.

Let’s watch Lawrence Lessig’s 2007 Ted talk on ‘Laws that strangle creativity’ in which he talks about user-generated content and read-write culture versus read-only culture.

Amateur culture: ‘by this I don’t mean amateurish culture, but a culture where people produce for the love of what they’re doing and not for the love of money’.

‘These tools of creativity have become tools of speech, a literacy for this generation’.

Excellent article on Lessig and his theories of read/write and remix.

Bio from

Sound and CC Creative task

In-class exercise:

  • If you haven’t already, register with
  • Download 5 different samples and create your own song or soundtrack out of these samples. Remember, you need to present your own self-created audio within your Final Project so try and make this track relevant
  • License your track using the Creative Commons license of your choice
  • Finally, upload your CC-licensed track to your blog, post it on soundcloud and/or ccMixter
  • If you don’t complete this today, finish off this task at home
  • Bonus task: contact one of the creators of remix/sound/music from ccMixter or whose work you particularly like. Start a dialogue (blog, email etc) and document this on your class blog.

Introducing Pagespinner: HTML made easy

•April 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After learning to write HTML ourselves, we can now graduate to using the HTML assistant, Pagespinner. Thanks to Sean for the step-by-step guide below introduction to Pagespinner. PageSpinner (available as unlimited trial version, Mac only. PC users can try the free CoffeeCup. Pagespinner support page.

The Opening menu offers suggestions for:
New Empty HTML page – gives you a blank page, with the necessary tags, to start a page from.
New Page Assistant – choose an example template ( eg a page with some tables in it, or a page with a long list of sample links included )

Or, from the menu at the top of the screen, clicking File and ‘New Empty Page’ will also get you started..

A few PageSpinner Tips?
Choose ‘Window’ then ’setup’ then ’select browser’ and choose Firefox. This will allow you to test your page in Firefox by pressing the navy icon in the far top right of the Pagespinner code window.

Generally you will work within PageSpinner using page for writing text and code within, and keep a smaller ‘HTML Assistant’ window open beside it. Find this using Pagespinner – window – html assistant. The HTML Assistant can be used to easily insert necessary code for transforming parts of the page.

When starting a new page, use the pull-down menu in the HTML Assistant window and choose ‘document body’. This will give you options for defining the text colour, background colour or a background image for your page.

Want to quickly change the colour of particular text? Highlight your text, then from the top screen menu choose ‘text’, then ‘text colour’ and ‘other’ if you wish to use a colour other than the ones they suggest.

Want to quickly formatting text or photos to be centred? Highlight the text, then click on the ‘centre text’ icon. Change the code from ‘center’ to ‘left’ or ‘right’ if need be.

To delete any code or text from a page, you need to highlight the text, then press ‘command + delete’

Final Creative Projects so far…

•April 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Interesting array of ideas and projects presented yesterday in class, from drummer-resource heaven, to storybook narratives to sound and architecture and much more. Witness a few sample pages from: Eric’s Accent of Sound, Kat discovers the skate board, Dave’s duo-toned globe. Some other great forays into HTML from other students (which weren’t linked to their blog) – please link to your blog so others can have a look-see.

Recent class posts

•April 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s progress and ideas for their Final Project in today’s presentations. In the meantime, below are a few sample posts/pages of interest from recent frenzied online activity:

  • A couple from Dave: on Dog Meat Records and his excellent Muhammad Ali-inspired HTML photostory. Looking forward to seeing the Dog Meat Records website and history.
  • Awe Present’s equally intriguing trip through music history in his/her HTML photostory
  • Kat muses on videos by Shirin Neshat and Gary Hill.
  • And Sarah Hann explores the principles of film sound.