Finger Tutting

Finger tutting is a type of dance that’s a bit different from others. Instead of using the flow of the entire body, as you might expect from traditional styles such as the waltz or the cha-cha, all movement tends to remain in the fingers and hands. Some ”variants” (I use this term loosely as finger tutting isn’t a codified art form with its own genres and sub-genres, so to speak) also involve the arms and even the head, but the mesmerising motion of the fingers is always the star of the show, what with their incredibly flexible bends and apparent adherence to some kind of invisible grid.

Here’s a video of somebody practicing this fascinating street art (plenty of other practitioners and even tutorials can be found on YouTube as well):

 

Digital Media Learning Outcome 6 – Security and Copyright

Computer Security

We learned that computer viruses are one of the main threats against users these days, as they can be quite malicious. The best way to protect against them is by using an anti-virus such as McAfee, Norton or AVG.

Loss of data is also a large problem, and that’s why backing it up to external storage is incredibly important. They can be backed up to physical mediums such as USBs, external hard-drives and even to magnetic tape. One can also upload files to cloud services such as Google Drive, DropBox and OneDrive.

Another important point was that the easiest way to protect data is by using a complex password with both alphabetic and numerical characters that don’t have any relevance to your life, which is the problem with passwords based on anniversaries or birthdays.

Finally, it’s paramount for anybody using the Internet to know that all online activity can eventually be traced back to a certain machine.

Copyright

Copyright is a legal concept that is enforced by governments to protect the authors of original work, whether that be books (the original target of this legislation), music or movies. Copyright gives the author (and nobody else, unless authorised by the author) the right to copy their work. This is to ensure that nobody can unjustly profit from somebody else’s work. Patents and trademarks are similar to copyright, except they are used for inventions and ideas, respectively.

There’s a lot of debate over copyright, as the law can often be overbearing and end up with people being sued or even arrested over, for example, using somebody else’s music in an educational video or performance (which would fall under Fair Use, and theoretically be legal).

This video goes into great detail about copyright and the issues surrounding it:

For the specifics of Irish copyright law, you can visit the Copyright Association of Ireland website.

Creative Commons is a similar concept to copyright, except it is a lot more lax as to what is considered Fair Use, and generally a person is allowed to use this kind of work freely as long as they aren’t profiting off of it and include a credit to the original author. More info can be found here.

Digital Media Learning Outcome 1 – Mobiles and Smartphones

In this learning outcome, we went over some basics of mobile phones, smartphones in particular. Firstly, we went through a short history of mobile phones, from when they were large, brick-like objects to the present day, as well as the various area codes of Ireland.

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My current phone, the iPhone 6. It features a 120mm display, weighs 129 grams, and has 16GB of storage.

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We also did some exercises which involved taking pictures and videos of equipment in use around the room. We uploaded the pictures to our Google Drive accounts, and we put up the videos on YouTube.

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The 40 Year Anniversary Of The Community Training Centre Project

On the 6th of March, 2017, the Community Training Centre project celebrated their 40th anniversary of offering early school leavers a chance to continue their education. To commemorate this milestone, all 35 CTCs from across Ireland met at the Printworks Room in Dublin Castle on the aforementioned day, starting at 10:30AM. It was a momentous occasion, with many people who were involved in the project speaking in front of the massive crowd that had gathered, including the Chairperson of IACTO ( the organisation that presides over the CTCs), Guss O’Connell, and even the Minister of Education himself, Richard Bruton.

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Guss O’Connell giving a rousing speech on his experiences pertaining to the CTC project.

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Richard Bruton congratulating the other orators on the successes of community training centres in Ireland.

After an hour of speeches, all of the centres that had set up stalls could finally show off their achievements over the years. Each stall was staffed by the manager, a few teachers, and hand-picked students.

A few pictures of what the centres had to offer us.

All in all, it showed everyone present that education, even when done outside of the mainstream system, is still vital to giving people an excellent foundation to build on in life. Here’s to another 40 years!

Digital Media Learning Outcome 4 – Audio

The Science

Sound is created by pretty much anything that vibrates quickly, whether that be guitar strings or a drumskin, to the very vibrations of the earth that we call earthquakes. A sound’s loudness, its intensity as one could call it, is measured in decibels. How often the source of the sound vibrates is called its frequency, and the higher this is, the more high-pitched we perceive the sound to be. It’s measured in hertz. The human range of hearing is between 20Hz and 22kHz. Anything below is called infrasound, and anything above is called ultrasound. Sounds come in the form of waves, and the more compressed it is, the higher the frequency, and vice versa. This diagram summarises it quite nicely:

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The Doppler Effect

The Doppler Effect is an interesting consequence of sound coming in this form that you can experience in your day-to-day life. When you’ve heard an ambulance go by with its sirens blaring, you might have noticed that as it gets closer, the pitch of the siren rises. Conversely, as it moves away from you, it gets lower until it moves out of earshot. This is due to the waves becoming more compressed relative to you as the ambulance approaches, and then uncompressing when the opposite happens.

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In TV And Film

Audio is sound that is that comes from things such as transmissions, recordings and electronic devices. It is a very important aspect of shows and movies, being just as important as the visuals. There are different kinds of audio used in this area, such as foley sound, which is separately recorded to be synchronised with the video, and location sound, which is ambient background noise recorded at the shoot, but these are just two very broad categories. There is also a bunch of equipment that’s necessary for recording high quality audio, including, but not limited to, a dead cat, which is placed on a microphone to muffle unwanted background noise, and boom poles, which allow you to extend said microphone above shots where you can get a better recording without having it be visible.

 

 

Digital Media Learning Outcome 3 – Video

In this learning outcome I learned the basics of digital video. To take video, a camcorder is used, which captures many still images, usually around 25 to 30 frames per second. When somebody watches the video, it is played back at the same rate in order to give the illusion of movement. A higher frame rate can be used for smoother motion, but the above value is the industry standard.

Before filming, it is important to ensure some form of decent lighting is present on set, whether that be from artificial (spotlights, lamps, candles etc.) or natural (sunlight, moonlight) sources. Ensuring a stable platform for your camera is essential, whether that be a simple tripod, or in more expensive productions, a dolly. Also, double-check that the recording is being made in landscape mode, as portrait looks terrible in most video players.

There are a few different types of shots when you take videos:

The full shot shows the subjects in their entirety and whatever is surrounding them. These are often used as establishing shots, which show us the setting the story takes place in.

medium shot shows us about half of the subject, from the waist up. Generally this is the most commonly used shot, allowing us to focus on the action after context for events has been given.

close shot zooms in on a character’s face, with a bit of the neck and shoulders visible too. This lets the viewer see subtle emotional cues that give the entire story more emotional bearing.

Apart from framing, another aspect to pay attention to is the rule of thirds, an important aesthetic rule when filming; it has applications in many other fields as well. Below you’ll find an informative video describing it in detail.

In big budget productions, there are three main roles in the production:

Producer: Essentially they are the wallet of the production, so they have the final say in pretty much everything.

Director: Directs the actors and crew during actual filming. They have some creative freedom and don’t have to stick to the script perfectly.

Editor: Arranges best footage in sequential order as per the storyboard. Adds music, titles, credits, subtitles, music/soundtrack, SFX, CGI etc.