Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Digital Storytelling Degree at Missouri University

This is very cool news!  I hope they're successful and that we can look at their program as a working model.
Digital storytelling could be offered as an interdisciplinary degree at the University of Missouri if some cross-campus faculty members get their way.

Leaders from several MU schools, colleges and departments — including English, communications, film and journalism — are hashing out details of a digital storytelling degree. Pat Okker, an English professor, expects the group to submit a proposal soon.

“The key idea is preparing students to communicate in multimedia environments,” she said in an email, “and the major requires students to develop skills in writing, visual communication and design, and production.”

Read the full article.

Cameras and color bit depth

This is really just a long winded introduction serving as a link to an article on color bit depth and Premiere Pro.  The Sony XDCAM EX-3 cameras we use in our 3D rig are capable of generating 10-bit 4:2:2 color out the HD-SDI tap.  If, however, you're using the onboard SxS cards for recording you get 8-bit 4:2:0 color.  It seems that more and more cameras in the pro-sumer range are now offering 10-bit 4:2:2 recording to onboard media, so folks are going to run into this more and more.

Most people have 8-bit monitors and displays at their disposal, so even viewing their 10-bit content is problematic.  We want to be 10-bit (and 12-bit) aware since most digital cinema projectors are 10-bit capable.  If you've been to a d-cinema screening, you've seen 10-bit color.  Interestingly enough, the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format supports up to 12-bit color, so it's a little future-proof at the moment.

Now, on to the article about 10-bit color in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Getting ready to teach 3D in the spring

Indiana University allows me to teach a 400 level production course with stereoscopic technology and concepts.  this will be the third semester that the 3D course is taught at Indiana University and we have a great cadre of incoming students.

We're still planning on having the class complete six short productions over the course of the semester with the goal of screening them in the IU Cinema in late April or early May.  We're also working on refining some of the assignments to better assess each students' understanding of stereoscopy.

Best of luck to the dozen proto-stereographers at IU!

Preparing for my graduate degree exam

Grad school, what an adventure!  I just showed my thesis project, "3d Storytelling" to my committee a few days ago.  My project consisted of three stereoscopic 3D short movies:

  • An Ancient Pond (2010)
    • An adventure in ancient Japan full of intrigue and assassination
  • Project Z-6463 (2011)
    • This thriller with a twist will leave you wanting more and looking at mimes in a whole new light.
  • The Golden Book (2011)
    • This documentary about the Golden Book at Indiana University takes you on a journey back to conflict and duty from the War of 1812 through World War II.

These shorts serve to show my committee what I have been able to learn while in grad school as well as what I can create with the great casts and crews to be found here in town.  Overall the shorts were well received and the critiques were all spot-on and workable.

The committee is now formulating the exam questions that will occupy eight full hours of my life in the near future.  I started this journey back in the fall of 2007 and while it has been a long journey (most M.S. degrees are completed in two years), it has been a great experience.

I'll probably have more to post on the subject after taking the exam.