Thanks for your feedback on the mid-semester evaluation. I really appreciate it, and will be taking your thoughts and suggestions to heart. A few of you asked about story pitches for the final. Looking at the syllabus, they are due by next class. They should be in same form as the pitches for your final.
Week 11 Notes [PDF]
As before, they do not need to be completely fleshed out, but you should have a good idea of where you’re headed. Be sure to be thinking about how your Soundslide will play into the piece, as well as additional infographics, maps, videos or whatever else you come up with.
We will be going over the requirements for the final in detail next class. My J309 colleagues and I are still finalizing the rubric we’ll be using to grade the final, but as soon as that’s available, I will be sharing that with you as will.
Without further ado: here’s a brief review on how to create title and credit slides in Soundslides.
First, make sure all of your images are the same size and orientation. That means, for example, if one is horizontal and 1280px by 853 px, all of then should be. If they’re square and 720px by 720px, they all should be, and so on.
I prefer the 1280 pixel size, as it’s large enough to give you options in terms of the final size. (Remember, you can’t make a small picture bigger w/o loss of quality, but you can make a large picture smaller w/o problems.)
To do this, go into iPhoto, chose your images and click Export under the File menu. In the dialogue box, choose “custom” for the file size. In that field, chose your size. Again, I’m recommending 1280. Make sure you’re exporting JPGs.
When you hit Export, it will ask you were you want everything saved. Make a folder on your desktop, or somewhere you can find it easily.
With that done, it’s time to make the title and credit slides. Open up Photoshop and click “New” under the File menu. You will want to set your blank file to the exact dimensions as your exported photos. If you’re not sure what those exact dimensions are, open one of your iPhoto-exported images and click on “Image Size” under the Image menu.
In our example, my image size was 1280px by 853px, so that’s the file size I created as a blank file in Photoshop. In addition to the size, you also want to pay attention to the “Background Contents” dropdown. I suggest making your background either white or black, as other colors tend to be distracting. But feel free to play around.
Within this blank canvas, create your title. The title can be as fancy or plain as you like. Essentially, all you need for the title is the headline, so to speak, of your piece. However, you may want to add an image, an infographic or any number of things.
Once you’re satisfied with how the title looks, save it. Note when you save it, Photoshop defaults to a .psd file. This is a file you will want to keep, as it allows you to easily make changes without loss of quality. However, it is not a file type that Soundslides understands. As a result, you will need to save this file again, using the “Save As” command in the File menu. When you save it a second time, make sure to save it as a JPG.
Again, to repeat: Save again, and save it as a JPG.
To make the credit slide, repeat the process as with the title slide. The title slide, however, should include a bit more text. In particular, a summary of what we just saw and heard. For example: Photos and sound taken during at the Glendale Special Olympics during the final day of competition. You should also include your name.
Save the credit slide as a .psd file, and then save again as a JPG.
All of these files (your images, the title/credit JPGs and PSDs) should be in the same folder. Add your sound file (the MP3) in the folder as well.
Open up Soundslides, and put it all together. Boom. Done.
A few additional notes: In Soundslides, remember that there is a headline and credit field under the “Project Info” tab. The title slide generally makes the Soundslides headline unnecessary, and you should delete that field if it makes things look strange. You will, however, want to fill out the credit field, as that shows up in a more useful place.
Also, remember to fill out the captions in the Soundslides program as well. Be as brief as possible, however. Remember, your reader is listening to the audio, taking in the image, and trying to read the caption. It’s a lot to do at once.
Finally, if you find yourself working with a non-MP3 file (AIFF, MPa4, etc.) put the file into Audition and export it as an MP3. Remember that the only file types that Soundslides recognizes is JPGs and MP3s.