Digital Media Design


Portfolio and Showreel

Portfolio and Showreel

Portfolio and Showreel

I’ve been researching showreels on YouTube and in Google search results. The conclusion I have come to is that like a CV you really need to put together a selection of showreels to showcase your skills and target a specific role or company – very much like a CV and covering letter.

Showreel Guidelines (Obtained from a variety of online sources)

  1. showreel-clapper

    Make the first 10 seconds of the showreel count – unlike other films don’t build up to a climax you need to make an impact in the opening of the showreel.

  2. Keep it short under 2 minutes
  3. Only show your best work
  4. Don’t put your contact details in the credits – put these on the DVD sleeve (Not sure why but this is what my research recommends)
  5. A showreel should include supporting work – Personal Statement, links to websites, storyboard sketches, it’s best to put this all on the disk as documents can  get separated/lost at the receiving end.
  6. Think about presentation (eye catching)

The showreel I edited together (above) is to showcase my camera work if I was targetting a photography role then I would put forward a showreel of my photographs most probably in a slideshow.

Showreels online Information sources

  • My Portfolio website can be found at click here
  • Computer Arts – Showreels a Dummys Guide click here


Performance Video – The Human Orchestra

Performance Video

Performance Video – The Brief

The musical instrument

For the interface design unit your task is to create a ‘digital’ musical instrument and to use it as part of a performance or to get someone to perform with it. Your instrument can be constructed in numerous ways, it can be software, it can be a physical construction, it could be generative or use environmental factors. The performance, should have an audience and a performance, the place can be a street, the pub, and hilltop or a nightclub.

Performance Video – Idea Development.

The groups idea (from Lee’s Personal Portrait project) for the Performance Video project is to produce a sequence of videos for each of the members of a choir. Each singing to camera a single note. From these video performances we hope to have enough videos/notes to reproduce  up to 3 to 4 Octaves.

Midi Keyboard

Midi Keyboard

To control these videos we will design a custom midi interface to control the sequence of the videos, so that any midi compatible instrument will be able to effectively play the videos, producing a musical score.

Performance Video - Video Wall

Performance Video - Video Wall

To visualise this concept think of a video wall with each individual video featuring a single member of the choir and as you play, for example a midi keyboard – for each note depressed a video runs and you hear that note being sung. Pressing more than one key at a time to make a chord will play the corresponding videos and so you would hear the chord being sung.

We are already considering a number of input devices one of which is a oversized floor positioned piano keyboard an example of which featured in the film ‘Big’


Another example of the Giant Piano


My Responsibilities

For this project my primary responsibility will be to shoot and edit the video footage, almost certainly using my Canon EOS 60D. Due to the technical nature of this project I fully expect to have some involvement in the design and development of the midi interface, which may involve the use of max/msp and jitter or similar technology, which will become apparent after researching appropriate website references and published material.

It may be that the control technology is already in existence in which case we can concentrate on the performance aspect of the project.

As usual I will offer assistance/input to other members of the team as required.

Research Links

What is Max?

Make connections. Make things happen.

Max gives you the parts to create unique sounds, stunning visuals, and engaging interactive media. These parts are called ‘objects’ – visual boxes that contain tiny programs to do something specific. Each object does something different. Some make noises, some make video effects, others just do simple calculations or make decisions.

In Max you add objects to a visual canvas and connect them together with patchcords. You can use as many as you like. By combining objects, you create interactive and unique software without ever writing any code (you can do that too if you really want to). Just connect.
Website Accessed 18/11/2011.


MuSET is a research group dedicated to the exploration of computer applications to music and sound. The research group was established in 2004 and is located in the School of Music at the University of British Columbia. Website Accessed 18/11/2011

Project Blog Entry Links

  1. Performance Video – Conclusion
  2. Performance Video – Wiimote MAC
  3. Performance Video – VJ’ing using Quartz Composer
  4. Performance Video – Kinnect on MAC and PC
  5. Performance Video – MAX MSP Jitter
  6. Performance Video – Modul8
  7. Performance Video – The Human Orchestra

Word Count 592



Video – Ophelia Project, Studio Lighting Setup

Studio Lighting Setup

Assisting MA Student – Samantha Else on her project producing a Gallery Exhibit for the AUCB along with fellow DMP 1st year student Michael Moore. The exhibit will essentially follow on from the live performance detailed in the Blog posting Green Screen – A Midsummer Nights Dream

This part of the project endeavors to immerse the audience in the mind state of Ophelia as she progresses through her madness. Samantha engaged actress Robynne Batley to play the part of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Filming in the Studio – Studio Lighting Setup

Following Samantha’s directions Michael and myself setup the Studio Lighting Setup and positioned the cameras to video the acting sequences from 2 angles, from directly in front and to one side. We used Digital SLR’s for the video recording, my personal Canon EOS 60D and one of the Universities Canon EOS 5D MKII’s.

I was slightly disappointing by the performance of the lighting equipment we used, the studio itself is an amazing space for this type of video work but the relatively low power of the lighting appeared to be absorbed by the white walls of the space. Studio Lighting Setup had to be revised to make the most of the low power lighting. This was resolved in the end by re-positioning the lights closer to the subject but even then I did notice a distinct colour change depending on the distance of the subject from the cameras lens and lighting source. I’m certain this effect could have been reduced by using say a Blond Lighting setup of at least 2KW.

White balance also became problematic in the space with lighting a mix of natural light, fluorescent and incandescent, in the end I went for fluorescent setting which was in retrospect the wrong choice but this can be corrected in post.

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(Pictures corrected for white balance)

Michael plans to combine the video footage taken from the 2 camera viewpoints in post production in order to endeavor to create a 3D image which he plans to project onto a number of blocks using video mapping and Modul8 application.

Filming on the Beach

The 2nd part to the days video filming took place on location at Bournemouth seafront where we filmed Ophelia looking out to sea and running madly between the Pier supports.

The Video sequence above was taken by Samantha using my Flip Ultra HD camera hand held, which I then imported and edited in Adobe Premiere. In keeping with the projects theme of Ophelia’s madness I decided to reverse the video clips so that the waves appear to roll away from Ophelia. I then added a musical soundtrack mixed with the sound of the waves and the voices of people on the beach. (this is for my Blog entry only and will not form part of the exhibit)

The next step in the project is to finalise the sound recording, film any additional footage that maybe required and then to actually experiment with the projection and setup of the exhibition space.

Ophelia – The SHIFT Exhibition


A short video of the projection used for the SHIFT Exhibition.




Photography Cloning – Bring on the Clones

Photography Cloning

A simple 30 minute project.

Photography Cloning

Photography Cloning, cloning yourself or indeed anyone/anything is easy as long as you have access to some form of image editing software such as Photoshop or any other Image manipulation App. I suspect even Paint would work. You just need to plan your shots and be able to cut and paste sections from the individual photographs into another photograph. An App that uses Layers works best though.

Picasa Slideshow

The Free App Picasa which runs on a PC and MAC can create a good quality slideshow/video from your photographs and also lets you upload to YouTube quickly and easily, it even allows you to add a soundtrack and titles with no fuss whatsoever.

Photography Cloning - Final Picture

Photography Cloning – Final Picture

So how is this done?

Like all these types of Photographs you need to do some planning first, for my photographic effort I simply split the scene down the middle. The first shot would be the picture of on the left side and therefore closest to the camera, call this the 1st Picture. The second shot was on the right side and furthest from the camera. So that’s all you need to do from a photography aspect, just take these 2 photographs, but the key is that you must not move the camera and ideally the lighting should be controlled to keep the exposure the same for both photos.

Photography Cloning - 1st Picture

Photography Cloning – 1st Picture

I set the camera Canon EOS 60D to AV mode that is Aperture priority, I set the exposure to f4. I then used the self timer for the shots, a 10 second delay was more than enough time to be seated in time for the camera to take the shot.

Photoshop – Photography Cloning

Post Production – This part was relatively simple, first open both photographs and then using the square marquee tool I just selected one half of one of the images, copied this and then pasted this as a new layer into the 2nd image – call this the background. A small amount of adjustment was needed to make sure the 2 half’s lined up correctly.

Photography Cloning - 2nd Picture

Photography Cloning – 2nd Picture

As I’d shot using the available light coming through a window the brightness did vary between the 2 half’s so I manually adjusted the brightness of 1 half to match the other. Flatten the image and then the final job was to use the healing brush tool to remove the line you will always get at the join of the two photographs. That’s it job done, now you have the technique you can go wild and add more images in the same way, it just takes a little more planning. The order that you cut and paste has some effect but you can clone yourself, or anything as many times as you want just by using this method.

Photography Cloning - Using Photoshop to paste the clone

Photography Cloning – Using Photoshop to paste the clone

Finally for the final image I used HDR Darkroom to add an HDR effect to the completed image.

The Clone Movie

To make the movie I used Picasa. This is just so easy to use. I’d already uploaded the photographs into a folder called clones and all I then had to do was select from Picasa menu create movie and the App does the rest, it even selected the images and then it automatically generated the titles from the folders name.

All I then had to do was set the size of the movie and then add a soundtrack, for which I chose an 11 second track and selected the option to make the movie length fit to the audio track length. The final option is to share this onto the internet by clicking the YouTube option and the App does the rest, it even prompts you to add titles, tags, a category and a description to your movie.

Photography Cloning - Using HDR Darkroom for the HDR Effect

Photography Cloning – Using HDR Darkroom for the HDR Effect


VJing – Modul8 Getting Started


I’ve downloaded the demo version of the VJing App Modul8 that we use at University, they have some MacBook Pro’s with this software installed for student use for live Video performance and so I’ve installed the demo on my Mac so that I can practice using the application before using it in any projects.

Modul8 - VJing App

Modul8 - VJing App

Initially I thought it was difficult to get started with Modul8 but after reading the manual – that’s right I actually read the manual I’ve since found it an easy App to use. It has drawbacks but these can be adapted to or worked around. But what it really needs is an input device which the App supports via a midi interface.

This device would make it easier to control the sequence of videos easier than using a computers keyboard or mouse. Alternatively I notice it is possible to design Modules and maybe I’ll look into putting one of these together or maybe modifying an existing one such as the slide-show module.

Interestingly I notice it also supports DMX which means it should be possible to integrate lighting control, making it easier to control the whole performance from one laptop.

I’ll update this article with some more posts once I’ve had time to really get to grips with the App and see what it can do as it is currently being used in a MA students live performance of Midsummers Night’s Dream that I’m assisting with so hopefully I can pass on some insights later.


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