Shaky Hands? No Problem!

If you’re like me and have trouble keeping your hands steady while recording footage, then this is the tutorial for you! There is nothing more disappointing than working hard on a video, only to realize all your footage is too shaky to use. Shaky footage can be difficult to watch and almost always looks unprofessional.

But fear not, the Warp Stabilization tool is here!

The Warp Stabilizer tool basically removes any camera motion from a clip. The result is smooth moving footage.

This simple tool is the answer to all your prayers and seriously, it could not be simpler.

To start, make sure the footage you want to use is uploaded into premiere. Be sure your clip dimensions match your sequence settings, otherwise the tool will not work.

Once you have the footage you need to edit, open up the effects panel.

Find Video effects > Distort > Warp Stabilizer.

Once you have the stabilizer selected, drag it onto the clip you want to stabilize. It should either tell you it is currently analyzing or stabilizing.

You will then see more specific options in how you want to stabilize your clip. 

Smooth Motion (default) – this option will make the footage smoother but will keep the original camera movement. For example if you are panning, this option would allow it to still show the pan but it would not be as shaky.

Stabilization, crop and Autoscale (default) – this will crop any movement around the borders and then resize the footage.

Subspace Warp (default) – This effect will warp parts of each frame differently in order to create the smoothest result.

(For basic editing, you will generally be fine with the default settings. The other options get very specific to the type of footage you are using and the camera motion you are trying to get rid of.)

And there you go, now you’ve made a smooth, professional looking video!

 

 

Photoshop: The Masking Tool

Adobe Photoshop is a very powerful tool. As my high school digital media teacher would say, “You can create anything and do everything in Photoshop.” This statement is one that has struck me as true. If someone understands Photoshop and the application of its many features, the creative possibilities are endless. One important tool in Photoshop is the masking tool, or the layer mask, and unlike the Billboard Top 100 song, we will be leaving the mask on.

The masking tool or layer mask is a feature that allows you to cover up all of or parts of a layer without fully erasing certain aspects of it. By using this tool, you would not have to go through the hassle of undoing any erasing, and to save time and effort, you can directly re-add parts of the layer that you’ve previously masked!

If everything I just said sounded like complete gibberish to you, don’t worry, I have a mini-tutorial for you. Here’s what you do:

a. Select the layer mask. It should appear on the layer that you have selected. b. Click on one of the selection tools (the rectangular marquee is used here).

c. Drag your mouse over the part of the layer that you want to select.

a. Click the two-headed arrow by the foreground color and background color boxes to invert the colors (here, the foreground color has been switched from white to black, and the background color has been switched from black to white). b. Select one of the painting tools (the brush tool has been selected here). c. Paint over the part of the layer you selected to “mask” it.

a. To remove a layer mask, or part of a layer mask, choose one of the selection tools (here, the polygonal lasso is selected). b. If you are not removing the whole mask, select the parts of the layer you wish to make visible. Otherwise, just go ahead and select the whole masked portion of the layer. c. Select one of the painting tools (the brush tool is selected here). d. Click the two-headed arrow by the foreground color and background color boxes to switch back the colors (here, the foreground color has been switched from black to white, and the background color has been switched from white to black). e. Paint over the part of the layer you selected to “unmask” it.

To learn more about the masking tool, you can visit Adobe’s online Photoshop User Guide here. Even better, you can come down to the Student Multimedia Design Center and check it out on Photoshop itself, which is installed on every computer in the center!

 

Resources/Bibliography:

Adobe Photoshop Logo

“Friends” Image

iPhone X? The Future?

Apple announced the edition of the new iPhone X a few days ago on September 12th, but if you’re like me, technology just keeps rapidly advancing and new devices get produced and put out so fast, I can’t keep up.

It’s seems like the iPhone 7 just came out yesterday. Anyways, for potential buyers and Apple users, what’s new and/or different about this phone?  Apple has a lot up their sleeve, that’s for sure, because some of these features are just so fancy, I don’t know how to react.

  •  All-Screen Display- For the first time the screen is all-display (5.8″, OLED powered) There is no home button, a simple swipe takes you home. Stainless steel front to back, water and dust resistant.
  • True Depth Camera- 
    • An exciting feature about this phone is the camera allows FaceID! FaceID allows you to unlock your phone using face recognition (using 30,000+ sensors to create a map of your face) You can even pay with face recognition. Is that crazy or what?
    • The 12 MP camera allows for a new portrait mode with several lighting effects for the best selfies
    • Animoji? This one I am a bit baffled by, but supposedly the FaceID can create 3D versions of emojis based on a recording of your facial expressions. It scans 50 of your facial muscles and you can edit the emoji in real time and even add audio to it!
  • Wireless Charging-  The AirPower mat that the iPhone X (and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) use to charge will not be available until 2018, but it allows you to charge all your Apple devices at the same times AND it is wireless (Goodbye charging cords!). Coffee shops such as Starbucks are already starting to implement these charging stations.
  • iOS 11-  What can you do with iOS 11, you ask? Well, a few of the things include paying friends/contacts in Messages, and AR (augmented reality) games!

Well, isn’t that interesting? I don’t know if I’m ready for it, but I’m glad I know what’s coming.

Papercut, UD’s new and improved print system!

If you are a student here at UD you may have come to the library at the beginning of the semester to print off your syllabi and been completely confused by the new printer system. Well for those of you who still may be confused…here’s how to use UD’s new print system, Papercut!

 

We are pretty excited about Papercut and the way it functions. Here are the basics of how it works:

  1. Pull up your document on any library or campus computer and send your job to the print queue.
  2. A dialog box will pop up in which you put your username (UD email) and password.
  3. In that same dialog box there will be a drop down for which you can choose to stay signed in to Papercut for just your one print job or for a full minute. If you are printing multiple documents, staying signed in for a minute is a really helpful tool.
  4. Once you have signed in, and clicked print, you are ready to head to a print station. Once at the print station you swipe your UD ID and all the jobs you sent to Papercut will pop up. Choose the jobs you want printed, click print, and you’re good to go!

 

Super cool thing about Papercut: All print jobs that you send to Papercut are stored in the server for 4 hours. That means that you can send a document to print in the library, then go to class, lunch or take a nap, and go to Trabant later to print that same document.

 

For more information on how to use Papercut, watch this tutorial!

Welcome to a New Reality: Virtual Reality

Studio 1 Introduces the HTC VIVE VR System

If you haven’t heard about Virtual Reality yet I welcome you to the 21st century! The SMDC has now installed a virtual reality system (VR for short) in Studio 1 which was previously only used for one-button recording. VR isn’t just a headset placed on your head that conjures a fictional world, but an interactive system of high-end hardware working seamlessly together to produce a digital reality. In Studio 1 we have a VR Device known as the HTC VIVE which was developed by High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) who also develop smartphone devices. The one-button equipment is still available for use in the studio so don’t worry about that disappearing.

What exactly is Virtual Reality?

In an age where technology constantly outdoes itself, we are continuously creating new and better ways to entertain ourselves. Virtual Reality is a relatively new technology but has been experimented with as early as the 1980’s. Virtual Reality (VR) by definition is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors. This simulation is produced with various hardware critically depending on each other. By using stereoscopic lenses inside of the helmet your mind is fooled into perceiving depth from two of the same images overlapping each other.

What Can You Do With VR?

1. Video Games

The HTC VIVE in Studio 1 is a dual controller based VR system that runs on an Alienware Area 51 Gaming Desktop. When you put on the Vive helmet on your head you can immediately take control with the two wireless controllers (one for either hand). With the helmet on your head will see your self in a very big room and will be able to move around with the wireless controllers as your hands and the Vive helmet as your eyes. It’s hard to explain what you will see since it’s easier to do it yourself in this circumstance. The studio is equipped with a TV display that acts as the computers monitor so you can manually setup a program before you even put on the VR Helmet. Steam happens to have a separate section in their online store that has VR games you can buy and download to play with a VR system. Steam is already set up and ready to go with several VR games to play in Studio 1.

2. 3D Art Design


Most people are familiar with a computer based drawing software from the luxurious Adobe Illustrator to the preliminary Paint. VR takes this digital art to a whole new level with the ability to do anything your mind could fabricate with 3D art. It works exactly how it sounds by drawing in an empty room with a vast variety of brush types and colors that you can change with your controllers. The HTC Vive in Studio 1 has a software called “Tilt Brush” that can be used for 3D art.

 3. Simulations and Much More

VR is a revolutionary technology that hasn’t taken off on the market yet. New technology is generally expensive and often requires many investments to use properly as I previously mentioned. In the next few years, people will eventually catch on when VR systems have a better pricing range and are easier to utilize. More competitors will make their own technology and then the competition starts. This is awesome because competition means more options with better prices! Gaming and drawing with a VR system is an amazing experience, but they are being used for much more too. Medical Realities Platform based in London England are using VR to train new surgeons and offer a 360-degree view of live surgery online. You can register on their website and learn different modules that display various surgeries for $8.99 per module. National Theatre has a VR film development studio allowing you to watch a movie through the eyes of the main character, such as in Fabulous Wonder.land VR where you see through the eyes of Alice. Even militaries across the world use VR for training simulations that are dangerous and expensive to create physically (e.g. parachuting). There are much more uses such as virtual tours, sports entertainment, and various training simulations.

You Can Get One Of Your Own Too

There are many different VR systems currently out on the market such as the following (*Prices will vary from various distributors):

  • Sony PlayStation VR – $399.99*
  • Oculus Rift – $399.99*
  • Google Daydream – $74.02*
  • Samsung Gear VR -$99.99*
  • HTC VIVE – $599.99*

For the most part, they all have the same properties but are used on different platforms. For instance, the Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE runs on a PC platform whereas the Samsung Gear VR runs off a mobile phone platform. Also, the Sony PlayStation VR requires you to have a PlayStation 4 console in able to use its VR equipment. There’s also another catch if you plan on using VR with your computer: you need a powerful PC. Two highly recommended graphics cards are the GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 and an Intel i5 processor or better. These are pricey components in a PC especially since you also need a specific motherboard that will support those components. So it is not recommended to try a VR system on your computer unless you were 100% sure you won’t kill it and the VR will actually run.

Reserve Studio 1 Today And Experience VR Yourself!

There’s no need to fear, Adobe is here!

Hey guys, gals, and non-binary pals! If you aren’t used to adobe products, a project that forces you to use them may seem a bit challenging. But the SMDC is here to help with this quick guide for the main programs the average student needs, and how to figure out what program you should use based on the assignment. As you may know, all of our computers come equipped with the full creative suite, but we’ll just be focusing on four programs and what their strengths are; Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

All adobe products first screen will ask you to choose the size (and units), PPI, and sometimes RGB or CMYK. The size is the dimensions of your final project; some standard sizes (in inches) are 8.5×11, 11×17, 18×24, and 24×36, but ask someone at the desk if you are planning to print something larger than 8.5×11 here at the design center. PPI stands for “pixels per inch”, also referred to as a pixel ratio, it determines the quality of the image. A resolution of 300 is a good standard PPI to stick with, much more and it will take forever to load and you’ve got a deadline! Finally, RGB and CMYK refer to the colors that will be used to make up the pixels, you should choose RGB if the project will be presented on a computer, and CMYK if you plan to print it.

Alright, basics over, now onto the fun stuff!

Is your project mostly text-based with fewer images, but you want it to be jazzier than what word can offer? InDesign is for you! Easy to align and customize with tons of fonts to choose from and a ton of freedom to stylize. InDesign is primarily used for layout design, publications, and print media. You can add as many pages as you want and craft a professional, clean series of documents to suit your writing needs. If this sounds up your alley, click on the pink square with the ID in the center.

Perhaps you’re going totally image-based, and you want to make the images yourself. If so, saddle up for Illustrator! Illustrator- the orange square with the Ai inside- is a vector-based software, which means when you draw it makes a lot smoother curves and more perfect shapes and lines than good old MS Paint when you were a kid. Other adobe products are bitmap, which are useful but don’t give you the pristine clean lines a vector can. Illustrator is used as a drawing program, so it’s best used to be totally creative and innovative! If this is the one for you, consider renting out one of our drawing tablets or studio 5 to unleash your inner artist.

Or maybe you have images and/or text, but you are taking photos and pictures from elsewhere instead of creating them yourself. Maybe you’re a photographer looking to make your most recent shoot’s results look extra great, or simply want to make a sign with text and pictures without messing everything up when you move it (looking at you, word). In which case, you’re looking at a one-way ticket to Photoshop! Probably the most commonly used adobe product, Photoshop is the last word in image manipulation, editing, combining, and more. While also being a great program for assignments with text, it combines some of the best qualities of InDesign and Illustrator to let you create a totally unique project.

There are dozens more adobe programs you can branch out to after you master these programs, all of which you can use here at the design center for free! The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, and that step is successfully making your very first one-of-a-kind adobe project.

The Power Within (The Student Multimedia Center)

How often has this happened to you?

Its nine o’clock on a Saturday, and your in the library studin’,
There’s an annoying beep in your earpiece,
Your phone has run out of juice.

You say that’s okay you were prepared today,
As your hand reaches into your bag,
But you grasp at thin air, there’s nothing there,
and your phones proceeds to dim.

While Piano Man slowly fades out, you are struck with a sense of helplessness, whether to go back to your place and grab a chord or to simply study without music because that is a far walk. You sit in silence for several minutes, thinking about how far it is back to your home. About how every sound around you is so loud that you can’t possibly study. The stars move, the clock still ticks, but you’re no closer to making up your mind.

Well friends, fret no longer! We here at the SMDC are here to help! No longer must you face two options of extreme hardship, as the Center here in the basement stocks a tremendous amount of chords and power bricks to make sure you always have access to power.

Consider the following situations:

Unable to find a table with an outlet? No problem! We have several battery packs that we can loan out, pre-charged of course.

Forget that one chord that connects to your dongle adapter for your iPhone? Rest assured we have got you covered on chords.

The power within the SMDC is immense for so many reasons, but don’t forget that no matter what device you are creating, writing or working on, we can offer you the items you need to be successful and have a good time doing it.

Virtual reality… coming to a studio near you

In order to keep current with new trends in multimedia, and to address student requests, the Student Multimedia Design Center is purchasing virtual reality (VR) hardware and software. The VR gear, which includes a HTC Vive headset, a powerful PC, and 65″ 4K display, will be available in Studio 1.  Any UD student, faculty, or staff will be able to reserve time in the studio to use the virtual reality setup.  Here are some ideas for for how this VR gear could be used:

  • Students who want to design their own VR experiences will now have a place (room-scale) to test what they make.
  • Artists interested in exploring new methods, will be interested in VR apps geared towards creation like Tilt Brush which allows you to make 3D sculptures by painting in the air (check out this video to see it in action).
  • UD faculty and staff may want to introduce a VR experience in to their curriculum or program

Here is a short video trailer I made as I was trying out an online video tool called RenderForest.

Thank you to Roman (roman@renderforest.com) for the free HD download coupon. If you are interested in trying the RenderForest tool, Roman let me know that if you email him from a UD email address, he will send one free HD download code.

 

You know it’s Finals Week when…

The Student Multimedia Design Center is one of the most eventful and fun jobs I’ve had in a while. The energy of each shift can vary during the semester. But there’s nothing more interesting than getting through finals week and seeing how empty these shelves get! As it is my final undergrad year, this post will give a brief insider’s look to the magical world of SMDC (@ least during finals week). If this has produced a slight chuckle, I know my job is definitely done.

You know it’s finals week when…

1. All of the 4-hour items are checked out.

2. You’re saying “Sorry they’re all checked out” like a mantra.

3. You feel sheer relief when you’ve got an item a user requested. SWEET RELIEF!

4. If an opportunity for an item/space is there, you take it by WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY.

5. A bunch of posters from the same class/presentation/finals/events/etc. are printing out at the same time.

6. Every single printer but yours is making bank and that backlog is longer than the dining hall line and Main Street traffic combined!

7. You mix up checking out with checking in (and vice-versa).

8. You mix up due date receipts with overdue notices (and trust me, it’s a common one.)

9. You’re running from one end of campus to the other just to get papers, creations & items in and out on time.

10. Finals Week is that one time in a year where you break your WPM goal.

11.The recharging station’s lit up like a Christmas tree.

12. You forget basic computing skills for a few seconds.

13. What would take 10 minutes to get done turns into 1 hour with breaks in between.

14. There’s not much to talk about except (not limited to) grades, equipment, a film you saw last week, the weather and vacation plans.

15. You can’t escape equipment wear & tear.

16. Google Drive, Dropbox, and USB 3.0 are your best friends.

17. You’ve got a go-to person at the desk.

18. You recognize the user/staff member by stride or sight alone.

19. Whether you’re studying another year, graduating, or just checking out items, you’re gonna miss them come vacation time.

20. Even if you’re not a regular in the area, we still love you anyway.

Hang in there everyone. You got this. 😉

It’s been an honor posting for two years and best of luck to my fellow students and SMDC peeps!

 

Finals Life Hacks

  1. Reserve a Studio over the phone

Waited until the absolute last minute to finish your video project? Don’t worry about coming to the library to reserve a studio! Just do it over the phone and save yourself the extra trip and extra sweat.

  1. Quiet Study Spaces

Reserve a study room at the library through this link so you can study uninterrupted with your friends and to avoid distractions: http://udel.libcal.com/booking/groupstudy

Not about the library because it’s too crowded and you don’t want to see anyone you know to avoid those super awkward longish conversations that you both don’t want to be in? (Pause and take a breath after reading that sentence.) I feel you. There are study spaces in Brown Laboratory, upstairs in Trabant, and in the Career Services Center. You can also try ISE, and get some Einstein’s while you’re at it. Treat yo self.

^when people are having a full blown conversation in the quiet section of library

  1. Crisis Mode: When your *Insert important electronic device you need to survive* breaks down.

There is definitely no need to enter crazy, I-hate-my-life-and-the-world-is-out-to-get-me mode. Guess what? The world LOVES you because it created the SMDC where you can borrow laptops, hard drives, laptop chargers, phone charges and flash drives. You have absolutely no excuse to cry in a corner and hide from finals week. Come visit us, we’ll give you the power you need to conquer that 7pm final you have on the last day after all your friends have left you. We can’t make your friends stay to keep you company, but we can be your friend in the meantime.

  1. Breathe

Take a step back. Will that one final you didn’t study for enough really matter in one year? Got a B in a class instead of an A? It will not make or break your GPA or your life. Perspective. Think about it before you make your life miserable for the next few days. YOU GOT THIS.

Good luck peeps, one more week!

^ you after finals

or if you’re into dramatic celebrations this will be you vv

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