Rich Media: Student Survival Guide
HELP! Where do I start?
So you've been assigned a rich media project like making a video and don't know where to start? This guide will walk you through the process of working with rich media. Check the end of this guide for some helpful video tutorials.
Before you begin working on your assignment, make sure you do the following:
- Understand your assignment
- Talk to your instructor if you are unclear about:
- Subject matter
- Accessibility need (closed captions, etc)
Once you understand what is expected from you, follow the stages below to complete your project.
Before you start shooting video and taking pictures, you should stop and plan! The specifics of your assignment will determine a lot about what kinds of media you will work with and in what ways. Start there. Make sure you understand the assignment and are clear on the expectations. Think about these key areas:
- Production values
- Required forms of media
Once you have a vision in mind, you may want to (or be required to!) make a storyboard. A storyboard is a set of notes and/or drawings that outline key scenes, images, or subjects in your project. It is the graphic equivalent of an outline for writing a paper. For recording interviews, you should have questions prepared to ask. If you are narrating or have actors, write a script. Once you are ready, you can proceed to the next stage and start recording.
2. Record & Capture
There are two basic ways to get digital audio, video, or images to work:
- record directly into a digital format
- capture an analog source, converting it into a digital file.
In most cases, if you are making a project for class, you are going to be creating new recordings using a digital video camera or digital audio recorder, possibly along with using a digital still camera to take pictures.
If your assignment is to record a presentation or tutorial on a computer, you can use the Kaltura Capture tool to do much of the recording and submission automatically.
You can borrow equipment from the Parker Media Lab in Dimond Library 237. If your instructor has let us know your course is doing a media project, you can actually reserve equipment in advance. Call the lab at 603-862-1747 to request a reservation.
If you have never used the equipment before and need help, the staff in the Parker Media Lab can walk you through how to use the items. Just stop by with the gear during our normal hours. You can also get information and manuals about the equipment through the Equipment section of the Parker Media Lab website.
When you are recording audio or video, keep in mind a few basic principles:
- Always do a test recording and play it back before recording the real thing. That way, you can check out how things look and sound, and it will help avoid silly mistakes like leaving the lens cap on or not plugging in a microphone!
- Get the highest quality you can. Think about lighting, background noise, camera angles, and other factors that affect how your video looks and sounds. It can be difficult (or even impossible) to fix a poor quality recording during the editing process. Read up on how to make a good recording using the links at the end of this guide.
- Shoot everything you need, and then some. When in doubt, do another take or record again from a different angle. It is easy to delete content you do not want later. It would be much harder, especially if you are recording a one-time event, to go back and record more if you find you are missing something.
- Sound can be more important than images. Generally, people respond more positively to something where they can hear the audio, even if the image quality is poor than they do to a nice looking video with inaudible sound.
If you have some of your content in analog format such as on VHS tape or you have prints, film, or slides you want to use, you can bring those materials into the Parker Media Lab to digitize them.
Once you have created your content and imported it onto a computer, you will most likely have to edit it in some way. Different forms of media require different software for editing. The computers at the Parker Media Lab are loaded with various media editing tools on both Mac and Windows operating systems.
- For simple video editing, you will most likely use iMovie. This program provides an easy way to import, edit, and export your own videos.
- If you used Kaltura Capture or are submitting your assignment electronically and only need to cut out a few parts, you can use the Kaltura online editing tools after uploading your recording to My Media.
- Audacity is available for simple audio editing. You can precisely edit your sound files and add effects too.
- The full Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop and Illustrator is available for use at the Parker Media Lab.
Always be sure to watch your final edit from start to finish to check for anything that doesn't look right, missing titles or audio tracks, or anything else that needs fixing!
4. Finalize & Submit
It is important to know how your instructor would like your media to be exported and submitted and if there are any other requirements like closed captions for accessibility that are needed. We generally recommend instructors have students submit video assignments electronically through myCourses, but be sure to double check. Possibilities include:
- Submit to an assignment or Media Gallery in myCourses. This is a must if the project has to have closed captions added. Specific steps are given below.
- Bring to class on a USB-based flash drive.
- Burn a DVD to turn in. (You will need to bring your own blank DVD to the Parker Media Lab. The closest location to purchase one is the bookstore at the MUB.)
To upload video to your course, your professor must have setup the assignment first or asked you to submit the video to the Media Gallery in that course. Then, you can submit that assignment with these steps:
- Upload the final project to your My Media collection with UNH's Kaltura tools.
- Review requirements for closed captions for accessibility. Your video will be automatically machine captioned within a few hours. Check the captions. If they need to be cleaned up, you can use the online captions editor to fix them. Your scripts from back in the Plan stage can be a big help here!
- The final step depends on whether you are turning into an assignment or submitting to the course Media Gallery:
- For assignment submission, use the Text Entry field on the assignment to enter your project title and other information your instructor requested and then embed the media project within that field.
- For Media Gallery submission, open the Media Gallery within the course and use the Add Media button there to select and Publish the media project.
The staff at the Parker Media Lab have produced several video tutorials to assist you with your project: