Devise, shoot/source and create a digital video sequence for use in an interactive media project

 

Planning and idea creation

At the begin my project, I sat down with the two other members of my team. We discussed possible Ideas for the media product, bouncing back between 3 ideas, which I wrote down on a mood board.

mood board

I decided to pick the reviews that would be to be used as advertisements to be my project. I then devised how I wanted my idea to work like creating a brief description on how we would create the reviews which is shown below.

Review/ show Idea two – Heros of the storm review/overview/Advertisement

Gameplay shown throughout the review, mixed with a voice over of the review. The equipment needed would be a camera, boom and mic. The show would show brief clips of people before fading into the game play that is relevant to what they are saying.

Audio would detail game’s facts and people’s opinion on the game features and game play elements. I won’t be shown on camera instead opting for a voice over with more game play being shown.

There would be multiple perspectives of game play shown and mixed into the trailer. Each perceptive would show one of the 4 classes. Each one will explain in depth on how to play the said class.

Small graphics would appear on to the screen, showing the rating, numbers (Cost of game, release date). Effects would initially be designed on with mood boards

 

Graphics would be added in post using Adobe after effects

 

Research

Style, look and theme

For my project I decided to research similar reviews and gaming news sources on the market currently. I searched some of the major gaming news sites like IGN to see how they executed their review as well to see how they presented their graphics in there videos.  The Video I found for IGN was presented in a more minimal style

grahpic

I highlighted the graphic from the IGN Review. I quite liked the ideas of small graphic appearing on the screen showing information about the game like key dates, prices and the interviewee’s name. Instead of being a classic box shape would have designed my more rounded with curved edges. I would also reposition the graphics so that they do not block any of the Ui like in the IGN review.

Additionally, I looked at the review and critique Angry Joe who is a Youtuber who reviews games that he chooses to rather than every game that comes out. His reviews tend to be longer and are a blend of visual and game play that has been voiced over. My original Idea joewas inspired by this Youtuber himself however there are some things I would change about the visuals. In the Angry Joe video graphics appear in over the gameplay as bold text. While this allows more information to be conveyed to the audience I do feel like it is too distracting for the game play by covering it nearly completely. The other style I liked from the video was the person who was reviewing in front of the green screen with game play in the background playing behind him as shown below.

joe 2

Target audience?

The gender of my primary target audience would vary per game, with certain games like e.g puzzle games being more tailored to women due to woman typically being more casual gamers so a FPS for example would not appeal to them as much. Depending on the age group I would need to tailor the advertisement for certain people, this would be one of my main constraints. I would need to make sure to follow the PEGI rating system given to the game, making sure to not show inappropriate content to the younger audiences that the game is given for example games that were given a PEGI 7 should not have anything such as blood, gore, sexual content and other offensive material.

Story boards

IMG_1095

 

Script

This is the script my group created for our video.

INTRODUCTION

Aimee: It’s been one year since the launch of Heroes of the Storm the widely popular MOBA developed by Blizzard Entertainment for PC. The game currently has an ever growing fan base that has grown over the past year. With a whole year to improve the game what has been added?

 

GAMEPLAY

Dan: “Hereoes of the Storm gameplay is highly similar to that of other MOBA/s such as League of Legends but with a few differences. It revo,ves around online 5v5 matches with the option of three different game modes including Versus Ai, Quick Match and Ranked. There are currently 10 maps released for HOTS these are: Towers of Doom, Infernal Shrines, Battlefield for Eternity, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Sky Temple, Garden of Terror, Blackheart’s Bay, Dragon Shire and Cursed Hollow. Towers of Doom, Infernal Shrines, and Battlefield of Eternity being added in the Eternal Conflict Update. Towers of Doom is the newest map to be added since launch offering a unique style to that map alone. On Towers of Doom, players can’t attack the core and instead must capture alters to fire shots at the core. Each core has 40 health and each tower equalling to a shot.

Players are given the option of 6-10 free to play heroes (dependant on their level) which rotate on a weekly basis or may “purchase” the heroes either with in-game currency or through micro transactions. As of June 2016, there are 53 heroes currently within the Nexus which can be defined by 4 roles such as Warrior, Assassin, Support and Specialist.”

 

HERO TYPE BREAKDOWNS

WARRIOR

Warriors in Heroes of the Storm are the front line soldiers focusing on either disrupting or pure interference, heroes like Johanna and Sonya, focus on getting neck deep in the fight cutting swathes through their enemies with abilities that are based around being able to hit multiple enemies and keeping as close as possible using slows and jumps. Whilst heroes like Chen and Dehaka focus on getting in the fight to draw attention and being able to somewhat sustain themselves against enemy attacks using self-heals and stasis moves.

There is one unique hero however that works effectively at both being a warrior and an assassin, Cho’Gall is a 2 player hero where one half, Cho, is controlled by one player focusing on the warrior abilities and movement whilst the other half, Gall, focuses on the main damage from his assassin build. This helps when the players are organised as it takes 2 or 3 people alone to take the hero down whilst it also means that the team has less heroes in less places.

 

ASSASSIN

Assassins are the hit and run heroes with a mix of both melee and ranged heroes either relying on diving from the shadows to slit their opponent’s throats or snipe them from a range. Heroes like Valla focus heavily on peppering her foes full of arrows with basic attacks and area of effect abilities. Li Ming, focusing on skill shot abilities and being able to get cooldowns instantly on killing a hero whilst other assassins such as Thrall and Butcher, focus on getting in the fight and somewhat sustaining themselves, butcher being a very tanky melee assassin with some personal heals.

The most unique assassin however, is Greymane, a hybrid of range and melee being able to shift between human and werewolf form gaining different ability sets whilst changing between them being a much more reserved careful fighter in ranged form and being a much more aggressive close contact fighter in melee form.

 

SUPPORT

Support heroes are in general, the backline fighters focusing on keeping their allies in the fight rather than joining it themselves, some that stick to this trend are Lt. Morales and Li Li, focusing on abilities that sustain their team and keep threats away from themselves. Hereoes that veer from this path, however, ports such as Kharazim and Rehgar focusing on keeping themselves and allies up but being able to dive in and deal a large amount of damage to the other team.

 

SPECIALIST

Specialists are the heroes that ver from the path of basic damagae dealers, supports or tanks, typically having something about them that is special or having abilities that focus on changing the battlefield. One type of specialist are the siege specialists, those primarily being Azmodan and Sgt Hammer, who sit out of range of the towers and keep dealing large amounts of damage to structures and minions whilst specialists such as Abathur and the Lost Vikings are all about Micro Management and to a certain extent being able to play the game like a small RTS instead of a MOBA.

 

INTERVIEWS

Questions:

  • From Heroes of the Storm year one, which is your favourite hero?
  • Would you say this is your favourite class?
  • What class/hero would you recommend for beginners?
  • Which is your favourite map and why?

 

GRAPHICS

Over a course of the year Blizzard made several improvements to the UI and menus. The UI received a minor improvement compared to all the graphic features with damage numbers made bolder and an increased colour border. The improvement to this made it clearer to players how much they were damaging or taking damage in fights. Additionally, when players die, the game displays who killed the said player. The screen is added to the death rather than the score screen, showing the portrait of the hero that the player was using, what ability they used and the amount of damage which killed you.

Several of the heroes that were before the release and were part of the base game received an over haul in the graphics of their abilities to match their character’s theme, Heroes past the launch had already included their own custom graphics such as Illidan and ETC.

 

The biggest change from launch is the complete over hauk of the games main menu. The menu screen has changed to be more streamlined for new players with added features such as a clock to tell you the time. Small menus such as the mount and skin tabs have become larger with all mounts at the same angle rather than all different directions.

 

Legal and ethical constraints

When making the review of the game Heroes of the storm the main is issue present would be copyright. When taking this into consideration, I researched the legal FAQ (frequently asked questions) and their Policy on video. From my research I was able to find that I was able to create the video as long as I comply to the fact that “Blizzard Entertainment requires that the use of Blizzard Content must be limited to non-commercial purposes.”  (us.blizzard.com, n.d.). This basically means (as described on their website) I have full rights to make a video with their content as long as it does not cost to watch it, this is only liable to the video itself, as long as the website of hosting has a free version for people to watch I am able to charge for a paid version (Without ads e.g). Further the video must be rated for T (Teen) PEGI rating.

Additionally, I found out that I would need to credit blizzard legal notices appropriately for the content used in the video. I found these on the website and the one I would be using is the copyright and trade mark notice for heroes of the storm as can be seen just below.

©2014 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Heroes of the Storm is a trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (us.blizzard.com, n.d.).

The other concern with my legal issues would be wary of saying any possible slander to Blizzard entertainment due to incorrect facts, to prevent this we are only saying opinions on the game, will not use any form of insults or and would add a disclaimer to YouTube description.

When considering Ethics such as race, gender, religion and decency I found that my content would not affect any of them. Due to my content being video footage of heroes of the storm game play, there is no content that is discriminate due to the game rating. Additionally, in our live action footage we would not include any negative or discriminant opinions.

Equipment & software

When considering the choice of camera that was most suitable for filming. The camera I chose to use was the Panasonic AG-HMC40 camera, with a shot gun mic attachment. The reason I chose to use the Panasonic AG-HMC40 camera over the other camera choice that were offered to me was for a few reasons. The first reason was due to the Panasonic’s was able to record at 1920 x 1080 resolution at 1080 lines. Additionally, the camera was able to film at 6,13,17 and 21 bit rate. For my video I used the PH bit rate (21 mbit/sec). Finally, we recorded the video at 1080/60i format. Though the Panasonic AG-HMC40 still only records it at 30 fps (which is what we wanted to match up with the frame rate of our gameplay) as well as it then being encoded as progressive rather than interface which means a better quality image. All this meant that the video could be the best quality when uploaded for YouTube with the initial video before it would be lowered when loading on different screens by YouTube conversation.

Another reason for using the Panasonic AG-HMC40 was the equipment attachment. The reason this is beneficial to my video is that it allows for a clear sound to be recorded though there is still some problem with audio as the boom is not right next to the interviews and interviewees mouth. The boom was a feature that all the other camera didn’t have. I also used a tri pod to stop the camera from shaking in my hand. The was another benefit for using this camera over the other camera available (such a Go Pro) was the fact I was able to use a tripod to keep the camera steady to ensure a more professional quality with my shots.

I used adobe premiere and Photoshop to edit my video. For the graphics I used during the video at certain points. (Such as when speaking about warriors the graphics saying warriors would fade in). I used Photoshop over another program such as paint as it is compatible with adobe premiere and the fact that these graphics were able to have a translucence background meaning the video could be played behind it.

To actually edit these graphic in as well as the live action video and gameplay I used adobe premiere. I used adobe premiere due to the advanced effects I could do on the video such as editing the audio in and out gradually. Additionally, I chose adobe premiere due to the pre-sets when rendering this mean I could tailor my video to be suitable for a YouTube pre-set.

Process and time management.

When working on this project to ensure that the deadline would be completed by in time we created a set goal for each week. For example, on the second week we completed the storyboard for our project and set the next goal for week 3 to be for capturing footage. This schedule helped us manage time, making sure that we could spread the work over the weeks. The process can have been seen on my WordPress account (https://dmcgonigleblog.wordpress.com/). To ensure the quality of my video I did two tests. The first way to ensure the quality of the video was to make sure the game play was recorded in 30 fps so that there was no a major difference between the video and the gameplay and an obvious drop in frame rate.

The second way I ensured quality of my video was to have a test audience of my mother and father. They commented the while the rest of the video was fine that the “The speech is too fast to understand, there is not enough pauses”. While the way the audio was edited could be said to be fast, I would argue due to the generation of children that have grown up with the internet, they would be more use to the fast pace of the video as typically video is faster on the internet.

I further made sure that I was organised by sorting my files into various folders to keep them organised. When considering file size, to transfer the files between the members of my group I used OneDrive as this meant we could transfer large video files in this case some of the gameplay being over 2GB, over the internet. This meant we always had the assets on the cloud so that they were always there and the large file sizes did not fill a hard drive of flash disk. In the end the actual final video was 1.09 GB. This was due to the high quality of the video however for a video of 9 minutes plus run time the file was fairly small.

files

 

files 2

files 3

I also filmed some behind the scenes footage of how we filmed ensured the quality of our shots. This talked about how me and one of the other members of my group were doing test shot before the second attempt at filming the interviews. We were not happy with the first interviews; the shot was angled to the left before panning to the right for a close up of the interviewee. This made a distracting and unprofessional due to the close up.

With our second attempt we opted for a wide angle shot, so that both members of the interview were present. This helped the interviews seem more natural with the conversation rather than the focus just being upon the interviewee. We also got rid of the angel positioning of the camera placing in front of the centre of the desk so that the focus was centred around the interview rather than the background.

We also filmed on a cloudier day unlike the first filming session. This meant that there was less light coming through the blinds onto the scene. When filming our first test interview the week we found out that it would not be possible to film against the white board due to the glossy finish reflecting the light and creating too much exposure.

 

Additional Video assets

To film the gameplay used in our review, we used the program OBS (Open broadcast software) to record our gameplay. OBS is a program used for stream capable of capturing different instances (this case gameplay) however it is able to save a file to the PC in this case I changed the settings so the video was saved as a MP4.  I had to change the buffer size to 0 so that OBS automatically set the bit rate to that of the games.

The video resolution was set to that of my monitor that being at HD resolutions meaning that when it would be uploaded to YouTube It could be shown in 1080p. When taking into consideration my interview footage was in 30 FPS, I had to change the FPS of the video (my pc could have reached 60 with ease) so that there was not an fps drop during the video itself.

video

Encoding

 

Exporting the video

When I was finished with my editing I had to export my Video. I decided to format my video in H.264 encoder, making the present to be the YouTube 1080p format. The reason for this was that the typical encoding format used for digital video online Is H.264, additionally the reason I chose the YouTube present was that when it came time to upload the video the file would have been wrapped in a way which would mean that YouTube would not need to convert it when it was uploaded. It was encoded in the progressive encoding. As can be seen in the screenshot I took of my video was an of the aspect ratio of 16:9, with the resolution being 1920 – 1080, at 60 fps, had a data transfer rate of 12 mbps and the audio was 48 KHZ Stereo.

Rendering

Gallery of screenshots of creation

Audio

 

timeline

 

 

 

Bibliography

There are no sources in the current document.

FAQ Copyright notices

us.blizzard.com. (n.d.). Blizzard FAQ – Copyright notices. [online] Available at: http://http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/copyrightnotices.html [Accessed 23 Jun. 2016].

us.blizzard.com. (n.d.). Blizzard video Policy. [online] Available at: http://http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/videopolicy.html [Accessed 23 Jun. 2016].

Final Video and behind the scenes

This is the final product for my digital video as can be watched below. I exported the video through adobe premiere to the YouTube standard. The video can be viewed in 1080p 60 fps with the quality being able to be lowered to fit smaller screens through You tubes.

Final Video

I also filmed some behind the scenes footage of how we filmed took our shot quality and camera choice into consideration as can be seen below.

Digital video technology in interactive media

 

What applications/uses take advantage of online video material?

In the modern day there are many example of digital video being used in media. Many companies have benefited from the development of digital technology with applications such as film trailers, games and e-learning. There are many advantages with these forms of media being used online. In the case of film trailers with the accessibility of the internet becoming more common and video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, trailers are now easily distributed meaning a larger audience can see it. Previously film trailers could only have been seen at cinemas or through disk meaning the main form of advertisement for these trailers was word of mouth.  This type of distribution is free for companies to use meaning that films do not need to pay for as much advertisements. An example of this would be the Suicide squad trailer. This trailer has had over 66 million views since its first
initial debut on 13th of June 2015.  This has led toojdopi.png a large amount of potential viewers being able to see the trailer. As can be to the right of screenshot there has been several user created content about the suicide trailer further spreading the word about the trailer, without the company having to advertise the trailer. This is useful as it also show film companies there potential audience and the statistic of the like to dislike ratio from the video which is useful for market research. The video quality of these trailers are of a high quality, show in HD to reflect the quality of the final product. If viewed on a mobile device the quality would drop due to the initial screen size being designed for a cinema screen. It is also uploaded in its highest quality as the platform (e.g youtube) would scale down the video for different device and browsers e.g having a poor quality pc or tablet the quality of video streamed would be lower to not use too much bandwidth.

These trailers are typically cut to be quick, trying to add lots of short clips of the film trying to give as much information. This is more designed for use on the web as the audience that have grown up with the internet have become more accustom to faster paced videos.

 

Another form of media that has grown in popularity is E-learning, a form of self-teaching through video tutorials. These videos are typically video tutorials, though they can be sometimes interactive for example website that try to teach the learner about driving typically show a video of a situation where the viewer will need to answer a question or preform a task. A famous example of this would be Lynda.com a video learning site that charges for its video tutorials. The benefit to these website are that rather than having to print a series of book all the information can be stored digitally online cutting the cost of what would previously been manufacturing costs and distribution costs. Additionally this digital version allows for the video to be played on different devices such as smart phones and other mobile devices.

Lynda.com optimises there video for online use by formatting the video in H.264 with mp3, the quality of the video itself is in HD. This is although on smaller screens and devices like mobile the quality is lowered to acclimate to the smaller screen and bandwidth speed (Lynda requires a minimum of 2-3 mbps bandwidth speed (Lynda.com 2016)

 

How could the video examples be viewed?

There are now plenty of devices capable of playing video on it, stationary devices such as desktops or smart tvs or common in the modern household. The majority of these will be capable of showing videos either through online streaming/ downloading of digital video or dvd players installed into the hardware of the device. The limitations to a device such as a pc would be the fact due to the size of a pc they are not easily portable as well as the fact they require a constantly supply of electricity. Unlike pc mobile device have the advantage of being mobile, with a portable battery meaning that it doesn’t always have to be connected to a power supply however this does turn to also be a limitation being that there is a limited battery life with mobiles meaning digital video can’t be used as much.  Pc also require a connection to a router either through wired Ethernet connection or wireless unlike mobile devices that are able to connect to routers wireless or use 4g on the move.

The benefit of 4g and wireless is a limitation of a mobile device, while being able to be portable and have data on the move is one of the main benefits for a mobile it also limits the amount of data that can be transferred compared to a desktop. A wired connection will have a much faster download speed to a wireless connection as data is lost over the wireless transfer.

One of the main limitations with mobile devices is the fact that mobile data is very expensive, an example of this is on my own phone contract if I go over my 1 GB limit Vodafone charges £6.50 for 250mb extra. This can quickly run up, with one example would be of the case of Chris Wilson who ran up £6,875 phone bill in a month in a month, according to Mr Wilson the only difference he made that month was he “downloaded a TV programme which was 43 minutes long.”  (“Mobile Phone £6,875 Bill For Decorator Chris Wilson – BBC News”)

The pc is also limited is that pc requires plugins to be able to play digital video through browsers. Another limitation for desktops is that the monitor that the pc uses can affect the quality of the video. This is not the case on devices such as smart phones and tablets where most modern smart phones are made with HD quality video capabilities, though most service bottleneck the amount of bandwidth that can be used for stream, a famous case is the scandal with Netflix were they had been found to be bottle necking their streaming on mobiles.

Browser plugins

 

In the early period of the internet browser plugins were developed in competition with each other. Plugin were created to allow browser to have further capabilities such as flash which was used for playback and animations. Now plugins are being pushed out of use with browsers like e.g Firefox wanting to remove the use of the completely. In the recent year with the development of HTML5, these plug in have been replaced due to the fact that HTML5 can work with digital video and can also do most of the features that were required for flash. WEBgl is another

 

Codecs

Codes are a program on a pc which is used for the compression and decompression of videos. Codecs are usually contained in a container format such as Mp.4. Currently the standard for codecs that are used for online streaming are H.264. It is used in the encoding for players such as .Mov. Streaming sites such as Netflix employ this codec to give the best possible video to through the means of using sets of bit rate resolution pairs otherwise known as a bitrate ladder. This ladder show the sufficient bitrate needed to encode the stream at certain resolution such as 4300 Kbps being the bitrate needed to encode a stream at the resolution 1920x 1080.

Discuss the pros and cons of services such as YouTube, Vimeo & Vine

 

There are many benefits to using sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Vines as a platform for video sharing. These sites allow the user to upload their content either for user generated content or business; this can be promotional videos such as adverts or reviews of game for example. When comparing the two video sharing sites YouTube and Vimeo there are some key difference. The main benefit of YouTube being that there is a bigger audience watching YouTube videos rather than Vimeo. This is beneficial to companies like Warner brothers who use YouTube as a means to show their trailers, the larger audience’s means that more people are likely to see the trailer. Further the fact the video are uploaded to YouTube for free. This is appealing to companies as it lowers the cost for marketing their products/services to audiences and the fact that google now owns YouTube companies can embed their YouTube video into their website.

In comparison with YouTube, Vimeo has a much smaller audience then YouTube, with Vimeo being much less widely known. While this is a con for Vimeo, one of the major benefits to the site is that there is much less oversaturation of content being uploaded due to the paid service. This is a benefit as there is much less low quality content being uploaded to Vimeo unlike YouTube where anyone can upload their videos for free.

The major issue with YouTube is that it can be oversaturated with certain videos, with popular trends such as the AlS bucket challenge can lead to many trying to reap off the original video’s popularity. Another problem with YouTube is the fact that there are adverts on videos either through video advertisements or banners. These advertisements can be a problem With Vimeo there are no advertisements due to the paid service. One other benefit YouTube over Vimeo is that YouTube allows for unlimited uploads a day, unlike Vimeo that only allow a certain amount per plan.

Streaming vs download

When viewing digital videos, the choice between Streaming said video and downloading it arises. The two are both viable for use, with the own benefits and cons. Streaming has the benefit of being able to accessed on multiple devices with website either charging month (E.g Netflix) or showing shows for free (E.g YouTube and BBC Iplayer). You can watch these streaming on multiple devices and multiple devices at once for example using a family plan on Netflix watching a show on your phone and on a PC. Streaming does have a major issue however, as the higher the quality of the video the more bandwidth it requires to stream the video. This can be a problem as lesser broadband plans and smaller data’s may not be able to cope with the amount need leading to stuttering.

Download also has this issue as on lower speeds the longer the download takes however in the long run download is more data efficient in the long run due to the fact that the file is saved to the hard drive of the pc compared to streaming where there is no filed save so the video would have to be streamed again for multiple viewings. One of the issues with downloads is that with the majority of downloads you cannot watch the video till the download is complete however programs such as iTunes allow you to watch as it downloads. Once you have downloaded files it is always available and it can be transferred to other devices. Once it downloaded you do not have to conform to a time limit which streaming sites such as Netflix use (On Netflix you effectively rent the shows).

Streaming does no fill any space on device which is beneficial on devices such as mobiles which storage is much lower. Majority of media that is streamed is free, with sites such as YouTube.

Explain the role of DRM

DRM or Digital rights management is a form of piracy protection put into place to stop the unauthorized distribution of media such as digital video. DRM restricts how the user can distribute the content, and in general prevents any redistribution. With much more online piracy arising DRM was developed to combat this. Companies such as Apple implement DRM for the distribution of their music, in the case of apple to prevent people from downloading songs to the just cancel Apples music streaming service Apple music. For apple’s QuickTime player the DRM know as Fair play is used. Most of the content bought on ITunes contains the encoded Fairplay.

Filming of the interviews behind the scenes

This week we began filming with the Panasonic AG-HMC40 camera, with the shotgun attachment to improve the Audio recorded. We initially did some testing shots with the camera testing the lighting and the sound.We first tested film against the white board but found it was to bright with the lighting in the room as well as due to the bulbs in the room also being two different colour. We ended up using the plain white wall, with all of the lights off as this did not give any over exposure from the out side light. Below is the the video recorded for the behind the scenes of my production it roughly show us testing the camera and the audio.