DMST 3230

Multimedia Authoring Tools

Catalog Description

Various approaches to multimedia authoring, including animation, interactive scripting, application integration, platform compatibility and Internet delivery. Prerequisites: DMST 3211 or instructor's permission.   4.000 Credit Hours

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Course Overview

Interfacing Good Information

Working off of the theme of "interfacing Good information" we will explore ways to engage people with the massive amounts of information being produced by researchers around the world. Data visualization and intuitive manipulation are quickly developing fields as digital tools enable easier ways to gather information. But as the information becomes more and more overwhelming, even for computer analysis, researchers are discovering that when put into the right format, a powerful parallel visioning system (the human brain) can quickly decipher patterns and derive useful conclusions.

The focus of the course will be on developing new physical and visual interfaces. Each student will work with an Arduino board, allowing easy connection of buttons and sensors with the software running on the computer. After years of fitful starts and stops, we are finally seeing innovative interfaces begin to be accepted in the mainstream populace; the Nintendo Wii, the iphone, and the Microsoft Surface to name a few. We will lay the groundwork for understanding and creating such things, while looking at the practicality and history of interfaces that have since died or gone into hibernation.

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Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will:

  • Think critically about interaction and interactivity
  • Have knowledge of the history and future of interaction
  • Consider all facets of HCI in developing your work
  • Have working knowledge of cutting edge tools for interactive media creation
  • Understand the process of planning and executing interactive work
  • Develop new ways to provide input for a computer
  • Understand how the computer can have output beyond sound and video
  • Create meaningful content laden interactive experiences
  • Be able to understand how and when to work interactively without a computer

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  • The required text for this course is "Processing: A handbook for Visual Designers and Artists" By Casey Reas and Ben Fry. It is available in the University Bookstore
  • You will need at least 1GB of portable storage (flash or thumb drives, ipod, portable hard drive, etc.)
  • You must have or purchase a sketchbook approx. 8.5"x11"
  • Email address and web space through the school or other server
  • As the quarter passes, keep any broken devices, gadgets or toys that might have motors, lights, or other interesting parts you might reuse

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    This class will combine individual work in the lab with individual and group instruction. Students must come to class prepared to work. Showing up without necessary files or equipment is the same as not attending. Although students may also use their home computers to work on projects, this is not a valid reason to not attend. It will be necessary to work outside of class to complete all projects and assignments. A minimum of eight hours per week of work outside of class is suggested to get an average grade of a C. Computer failure, equipment malfunction, and file corruption are not accepted as excuses for late or unfinished work so BACK UP YOUR WORK. The computer labs are used by many students, so the labs are in high demand. Budget time accordingly as "unavailable computer time" will also not be accepted as an excuse. Participation in all class discussions and critiques as well as constructive use of lab time is considered in the final grade for each project. At any time in the creation process students should be able to produce notes, drawings,charts etc from their sketchbooks, as well as discuss and articulate the nature of their work to their peers as well as to the instructor.

    Attendance is mandatory. Attending class is the responsibility of the student. Lectures and demonstrations may be given or changed without notice and every class will start with professional examples of relevant work so punctuality is essential. An individual who is absent, late or sleeps during class will be responsible for getting the information missed. Students will be allowed two (2) absences without penalty. Any absence in excess of two will result in a 10% grade reduction of the final grade for the course per absence. All absences will be counted. A student who misses 15 minutes or more of a class (late or leave early) is considered absent. A student who sleeps will be considered absent. A student who will acquire absences due to a University sponsored activities must provide necessary documentation from the appropriate office prior to the absence to make any special arrangements for missed work.

    For any absence due to religious beliefs, written notification should be provided in the first two weeks of the quarter; the student is responsible for any missed work. Any special medical or personal problems that occur, where absenteeism will exceed the allowed two, will require verification by a physician or emergency medical association (a letter from Student Affairs merely explains an absence, and will not qualify as an excuse). These situations may require course withdrawal or "Incomplete" status on the final grade. Six absences mandate an automatic grade of "F." Three late arrivals (less than 15 min.) will equal one absence.

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    Grades will consist of the following:

  • Assignments @ 30%
  • Reading Responses @ 10%
  • Project 1 @ 25%
  • Project 2 @ 25%
  • Participation @ 10%
  • Projects and assignments will be graded on the following basis, listed in order of importance.

  • Development, creativity and originality of concept or problem solution
  • Technical development and demonstration of skills
  • Craftsmanship and presentation of work
  • Participation in classroom discussions and critiques in connection with the work
  • Your grade will be calculated according to the following standards:

  • A = Excellent (100-90%)- work pushes far beyond the project stipulations and shows clear evidence of extreme time, dedication, care and thought about the project as evidenced in effective execution of original/thoughtful ideas.
  • B = Good (80-89%)- work exceeds the basic criteria, provides creative solutions to the problems and shows technical proficiency. Student has made the project "theirs"€ in that they do not need to explain project stipulations before showing the work.
  • C = Average (70-79%)- work fulfills all requirements, does not expand on techniques shown in class, ideas are close derivations of popular culture.
  • D = Unsatisfactory (60-69%)- work might meet basic criteria but in a careless and/or thoughtless way. Technical proficiency is rudimentary and no chances were taken.
  • F = Failure (0-59%)- the work does not meet the basic criteria.
  • Late projects will be penalized a letter grade for every class period they are late. Turning a project in after the beginning of the critique counts as one class day late.

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    Lab Rules

    It is your responsibility to adhere to all rules regarding the use of the DMS labs and equipment. You will be given a sheet stating all rules. Please see Kate Burns in the DMS office before class if you need a form to access the DMS lab.

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    Solutions to assignments you submit will be your own work. A student who is discovered to have plagiarized another's work will immediately receive a grade of F for the course, and a recommendation for disciplinary action will be forwarded to the Dean of Students.

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    While you are not required to purchase the software that we are using, not having the software is no excuse for failing to complete your projects. It is your responsibility to work out times when you can use the DMS labs or to make other arrangements for doing your work. Please do not download and/or install trial versions of this software or any other onto campus computers.

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    Course Outline

    (The following schedule is open to revision at any point in the quarter.)

    01/06 - Introduction

    01/08 - Darwin Grosse Visit, Max/MSP/Jiter intro, intro to electricity

    01/13 - More intro to electricity, intro to arduino

    01/15 - Firmata + Processing

    01/20 - sensors and hacking inputs

    01/22 - Project 1 proposal and discussion

    01/27 - Work Day

    01/29 - Work Day

    01/03 - Servos and motors

    02/05 - Work Day

    02/10 - Project 1 Due

    02/12 - Firmata and Flash

    02/17 - Firmata + Max/MSP/Jitter, Video tracking and analysis as input

    02/19 - dealing with datawireless

    02/24 - intuitive physicality

    02/26 - TBA

    03/03 - TBA

    03/05 - Work Day

    03/10 - Work Day

    03/12 - Project 2 Due

    Project 1 – Interfacing liquid information
    think about the ebb and flow of liquids, the flow of information. How do you untangle chaos, find the patterns, the ebb and flow? Volumes of water data are available online, ranging from the wind speed at coastal buoys to the flow rate of mountain streams. It is projected that fresh water will become a resource more valuable than oil in the next several decades. What are the important/interesting relationships you might speak about between the data you choose to work with and the way you display it and allow interface with it? Do you embed photo resisters in a globe and allow the user to balance global water levels? What will the accelerometer of the Wii nunchuk allow in terms of free motion and gestures? Think about how to bridge the information, the interface and the visualization.

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    - Lecture One

  • Website
  • A Blog that tracks Blogs about Processing
  • Messa di Voce
  • Jhonny Chung Lee's Wii hacks
  • Perceptive Pixel's Multitouch
  • The best beginning electronics book ever!

  • - Lecture Three

  • Reading #1 - When old Technology was New
  • Reading #1 - Missing Page 42-43
  • Site for arduino links and info
  • Arduino homepage
  • Arduino tutorials
  • Processing book files for arduino
  • Podcast about Tesla (working!!)

  • - Lecture Four

  • Processing examples for Arduino
  • Firmata information and downloads

  • - Lecture Five

  • example code for using the Wii Nunchuck as an input
  • Traer Physics Library
  • ControlP5 library
  • a database entry program combined with a particle system
  • Reading #2 - the new ecology of things
  • servo control from processing sketch

  • - Lecture Twelve

  • OpenCV tutorial #1 from Andy Best (this first tutorial is hosted on "Create Digital Motion" a great blog for all things experimental and live video manipulation)
  • OpenCV tutorial #2 from Andy Best
  • Golan Levin provides 3 super simple examples of getting images from a webcam
  • The OpenCV website with reference and examples in addition to the library download
  • simple detection of change from a background image using openCV
  • face detection and tracking using openCV (thats right, its a poop hat)

  • - Lecture Fourteen

  • Wii Nunchuck -> Flash example using socket and tinker proxy
  • Firmata -> Flash examples using AS3 Glue and Firmata
  • AS3 Glue Library for Flash -> Firmata
  • Wiimote -> Flash library

  • - Lecture Fifteen

  • Maxuino for Firmata v2

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