A Transmedia Strategy… what’s that?

transmedia model

How does social media change the way we communicate?  It seems to me that our filter for ‘appropriateness’ has becoming increasingly more lax.   What is appropriate to post on Twitter or Facebook is not necessarily the same thing you would post on your website or blog (though a lot of people still don’t quite get this yet).  So how do you decide what information to share and where?

Again looking at the book Convergence Culture, specifically the chapter “Searching for the Oragami Unicorn – The Matrix and Transmedia Storytelling”, our class discussed the idea that certain media forms are better at telling different parts of the story.  By recognizing which methods of communication are the best for your needs, we can implement that practice into fully – and properly! – representing ourselves, our story and our brand across several platforms.

Video : First Draft Edit

This is the first draft of my short film. I have never worked with film before, so this is very rough, but I am happy with some of the transitions. I used Adobe Premier to edit the raw footage together, it was actually much easier for me to use than other programs like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. I think sometimes over simplifying programs makes them difficult to understand, and having more tools makes it easier because there is a button (though it might be buried somewhere) for exactly what you want to do.

The one thing I did not play with was the sound. I will have to add that back in for my second round of edits, so feel free to keep your music playing, because this is a silent film.

Interpreting ZoomScape Through a 3D Model

Building on the Field/Database model I created a few weeks ago, this week’s assignment was to introduce new elements based on concepts from Mitchell Schwarzer’s book, ZoomScape.  In the introduction to his book, Schwarzer describes our interactions with architecture as often fleeting and changing, as we witness buildings as we pass by them in cars, or fly over them in planes.  Our perception of the buildings change as we change our approach or speed of motion.

To create this model, I added some additional forms and flowed them along an undulating surface.  The long tail was an unexpected effect, but I felt was a good way to communicate the concept of distance, as from different viewpoints, the main cluster of the model seems either far away or on the verge of engulfing the viewer.   The same can be said for our experience of architecture, or a city.  What we understand of a city’s scale from a postcard really has no bearing on our experience in actually visiting the city and walking around it.

Creating a Style Guide

Style Guide

The birds are back – this time as placeholder material in a magazine style guide.  Using Adobe InDesign, I created a complete spread layout for an 8.5 x 8.5 magazine, choosing fonts, color palette, and visual organization or graphics and text.  I used this awesome tool for creating color palettes based on any photo of your choice .  I used this scene from the movie Vertigo and simplified the generated palette.  After reading some articles on grid layouts, I created a base grid for my material.

My goal with this style guide was to create a simple design that could showcase the different examples of work in my portfolio without clashing or distracting from the content.  I also wanted to create a layout that could  be easily flipped to show the title and text on the right, and sub text on the left.   I may change the body text to a different font, as it reads at the same weight as the title font, though I do like the structured roundness, so maybe just a lighter font within the family.

Curious about the body text?  I use Cupcake Ipsum as placeholder text in nearly all my mock up projects as a cuter and sweeter alternative to boring Lorum Ipsum, though in searching for a link I see their domain has expired!   Well, then I may have to switch to using Hipster Ipsum until the folks at Cupcake Ipsum renew their website!  Hopefully it’s soon.


Storyboard V. 2

Storyboard 2

This storyboard includes new still frames from additional footage that I took in preparation for my short video.  I chose stills that were either directly related to the imagery of birds, or that would create an interesting juxtaposition with the field of birds imposed on top.  Though this was an abstract exercise, I still want my imagery to be understandable to anyone, not just students in my class.  I am happy with the surreal effect that the birds lend to some of the images – particularly the last image where they take on a purple hue and blend into the sunset sky.

Creating a Field Database

Field Database - Astorga


A field is a collection of parts that can also be identified as a whole.  A field database is a collection of parts from which we can extract different types of information.

In this example, I chose to represent this concept by creating a flock of birds.  When we watch birds move across the sky, usually it is not the individual birds that we see, but rather the collective movement of the group.  The way their form swells and tapers as they respond to shifts in wind or direction takes on a life of its own.    From the different forms the flock takes on, one can infer what the field (the group of birds) is doing.

In order to create these models in Rhino, I first created the flock of birds, and then changed the path that they flew on.  By changing the flight path, I was able to create different scenarios: birds flying up, flying straight, swelling and dipping down with the wind.   Bird Field 5


Bird Field 6



Bird Field 1



Bird Field 4






Experiment with Computer Aided Design Techniques

Computer Aided Design - Astorga

In response to Birger Sevalson’s 2001 article, “Computer Aided Design Techniques”, our assignment was to generate a 3-D model using the modeling program Rhino.   Using the technique “Anatomy of Movement”, I chose to conceptualize the shape of sound waves and their movement through space.   I created the model by first creating a series of radio tower-like structures, and then flowed them along an undulating surface.

Raw Film Footage

What do things mean to us when we see only small snippets with no context? Do our opinions change when these clips are followed by unrelated imagery? As a writer, I find it is a natural instinct to try to piece things together and assign narrative even when there is none, similar to how we try to tell our dreams as a story rather than a string of instances conjured up from the depths of our subconscious. Again, the film is not intended to have a narrative, but instead follow the theme of communication, meaning, and context.

Storyboard v. 1

Storyboard v. 1

Prepared for my Media and Communications class, this storyboard is the first step towards making a short 3 minute film. The film is to have no story line, and therefore only focuses on the representation of a concept: Communication and Meaning.  The top row features collages of photographs, each square representing a separate theme.  From left to right, the themes touch on street art and visual communication, digital media and film, gifts and their associated meanings, words and context (how meanings change based on context), and lastly, reaching out to an unknown audience.   The second row is a translation of these collages into a more abstract visual – the images are still readable, but broken out into swaths of color that begin to blend into each other.  To create the bottom row, I made paper collages, layering blocks of color on top of each other to recreate the images in a simplified manner.  From top to bottom, each abstraction causes the original meanings to lose value.

Without my explanation, what would the above images signify to you?