I have to say that while online journalism was challenging, it has to be one of the most most valuable classes I took all semester. If you never built your own website and you want to, this is the class for you. The pace was fair and everything from learning how to use Motion and Adobe Illustrator to coding was frustrating but in the end so addicting you won’t stop trying to fix all the little details.
I found it so valuable to have students in the class critique your work, that helps you improve what you already have and definitely ask for coding help and feedback from your professor. I also found it valuable to check out multimedia/project websites to see if you can get ideas for your stories.
Here are some programs we worked with if you want to get a head start learning:
- Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
(Yea, you will know what this all means by the end of the semester)
I would advise future students to do this alongside your final project because you’re dedicating a lot of your time to your story and learning the skills as you build your infographic or website for that story. Spend some time thinking about the title of your project so that you can get the right domain name early on, I would recommend running the title through your professor or project adviser. Nothing too long and complicated and make sure it’s spelled correctly.
If you have an idea for a story, it’ll be good to check out related websites on your topic to see how they presented it, but try to make yours stand out and own it. Trust me, you will be proud of your work in the end and you’ll be surprised how much you end up knowing by the end of the semester.
Album cover made learning Adobe Illustrator.
For this album cover I decided to use the straight angle of the woman’s arm to display the band’s name “Felis Lunensis,” (otherwise known as the first small cat species). Being that her arm is straight for the most part I though it would grab the readers eye since we read left to right. I put the album title in the right bottom corner to balance out the text, and changed up the color of the text for the same balance.
For the cover art I used a texturizing effect to enhance the dark vs. light in the photo which was black and white to begin with. I wanted to emphasize it further so I also brought down the opacity. I though this effect would play on the album title “all through me” being that the woman is the focus of the cover.
I am not particularly happy with the font selection but wanted something with a bit of a country feel (that wasn’t cheesy). Using italics seemed to be my best bet.
My band’s name is Heteroduplex. And this is our new album cover. I’m not 100 percent on what genre we belong to, but I would say, judging by our unusual cover and band name, it would be experimental rock.
My band name came from a battle during a war in China, and my title came from a Marilyn Monroe quote. It was kind of lucky that my album art is a bride. Seems fitting seeing where the title came from. So, I wanted to make the image a little distorted and shadowy looking to go with the name and title, so I used the shades of gray filter and it gave it that effect. For the font and colors, I wanted to choose a font that was easy to read, because the name of my band was a little complicated, but I also still wanted to make the font interesting to look at. I chose gray and red for the colors. Gray to go with the picture and dark feel, and I thought of red because the word “battle” is in my band name and that made me think of blood. To make the design a little more interesting I chose red for the outline color of the song title and made the letters gray on the inside. For the band name, I inverted the colors so it would look interesting, but uniform.
My first portrait on Illustrator (and last).
Here’s exactly what I did: First, I outlined my hair, head and neck with the pen tool. Then, I filled in those shapes with the right colors. For my eyes I used the ellipse shape then outlined my nose and lips using the the pencil tool. I filled in my eyes using brush strokes and as you could tell that didn’t work well.
I would say the hardest part about this was choosing the right colors and creating the right texture to make it match the actual photo.
But I’m not saying that the rest was easy, in fact, I don’t think it’s a good portrait because I could have cleaned up on my brush strokes and use the pencil tool to streak the hair more softly.
Photo and Illustrator Portrait
I don’t think I’ll be working with Pixar animations anytime soon.
Below is my attempt at creating a self portrait in Adobe Illustrator. For some reason my skin didn’t look as pale on the computers in the Newsroom, but regardless, I tried. I thought this was a good exercise that really helped me practice using various tools in Illustrator.