I have started over on this project so many times. My original plan was to do all of the states in America and make all clickable buttons. Then, a classmate told me that there is a State limit of 20 when using Flash Catalyst. I was frustrated because I had been going in the states’ alphabetical order and I did not want to just do the first 15 because that would be boring. Before I gave up on my plan to do the entire map, I tried researching a way to get around this limit. Turns out you can create components within states so I measured it out to assign 3 different states of America to each “state” in Flash Catalyst. As I began again with a new map, I thought it was pretty simple and repetitive. When I reached the 12th state of America, I got an “error in the code” message. After researching this further, it basically meant that I had too many graphics to work properly without being extremely slow. So that meant I had to start over AGAIN since I had started the project in rows and I didn’t want that. I decided to just cut my losses and deal with only being able to have 12 states. I picked the 12 that I liked the best or had the coolest pictures. By this point, I was a pro at making the scroll bars and scroll boxes. Everything after that was very simple. I made a basic title and legend and added an ocean behind my map. Since all of the pictures were in polaroid form, I decided to stick with that theme and make my sound effect a real polaroid developing a picture. I added a fade-in to make it look like the pictures developing and I was finished.
The Poster Project was a tedious one to say the least. I chose to do a poster of the first 42 presidents of the United States. It was so stressful organizing that many images! I had 44 layers in Illustrator that I had in order and color coded. The toughest part, by far, was lining the images up. I used Illustrator’s built in intersect tool that displayed a straight line when two pictures were even both horizontally and vertically. To get even spacing I had to use my brain and count how many spaces I could fit in between each picture. I felt like I used so much math! To make sure they were even I had to use Shift+the arrows in whatever direction I needed to go. This was very time consuming and frustrating when I would miscount and have to start the row or column over. Luckily, I only had to do this for the top row and the first column so I didn’t go completely insane. Cropping and sharpening all 42 pictures took quite a while as well. What I like about this project was the intervals I could take breaks within. Unlike the Intro Visual, this project had points that I could stop at and not forget what I was doing the next day when I continued. Once all the pictures were in place, I did the text. I made one text box that I thought looked good, then used the same Shift+the arrows strategy to paste all 42 text boxes to their respective layers. Next was the task of recreating an American flag. I found a basic one with all 50 stars and opened it up in a new Illustrator document with 2 artboards. I used the pen tool to trace the entire thing and used the eyedropper to recreate the same colors. I then used an application on my iPhone that gave the picture a vintage and distressed feel. I opened the edited image up in Photoshop and reduced the opacity to 50%. The title was definitely the easiest part. Using the eyedropper on the unedited flag, I used the same blue in the stars background for the title.
Beginning with the audio, I felt that it would be a much easier task than the Intro Visual project (I was right). I’ve used audacity, but just to record myself for a Spanish class. I thought the program was pretty basic and not a lot of options for additional effects. The whisper booth we used was a little slow, which was expected. Once I got the computer booted up, I recorded my friend reading the text probably a lot more than he wanted to. I had 3-4 recordings for each effect that I wanted to use in Garage Band. My favorite was the basic female one because it sounded most like a speech would. I used the different effects in Audacity such as the bass boost and equalizer. Clipping it together was simple, but I had trouble trying to make the speech sound smooth since I used pieces of different recordings and some had either higher or lower pitches.
I had never used Illustrator and was a little apprehensive about how my final results would turn out. I was able to finally understand exactly what I was doing then it was all about putting my newfound skills to use. This project was not very difficult once I learned the software, but it was very tedious. I started with the WWF logo to learn the tools I would need to master for the Firefox logo. After completing the WWF logo for the first draft, I started the Firefox logo. Picking up several techniques along the way, I finally completed the intimidating logo. I decided to go back and redo the WWF logo because I knew I could do better. All in all, I am very happy with the way both logos turned out.