Final Exam Review Guide

Our final exam will cover a variety of topics, including those listed in this post. To prepare for the exam you should review assigned course readings, assignments as well as the terms and concepts outlined below.

  • Digital Color Basics
    • Pixels
    • RGB color
    • RGB hex color codes (i.e. FFCC00, 00FF00, etc)
    • CMYK color
    • Primary use for each color space
    • Resolution
    • Image families (Bitmaps vs Vectors)
    • Image formats (GIF, PNG, JPEG, PSD)
      • under what circumstances to use them
      • general properties (i.e. JPEGs are used for photographs)
      • which formats support transparency (GIF, PSD, PNG)
      • which format is often used for animation (GIF)
      • encoding system (lossy vs lossless)
    • Megapixels
  • Photoshop
    • Be able to explain what it is, how it is used, and how to get started with the core features of the package
    • Basics (layers, history, selecting content, compositing)
  • Typography
    • Be able to explain InDesign, how it is used, and how to get started with the core features of the package, including frames, selections, paths, working with type and placing graphics
    • Units of measurement for print (Picas & Points)
    • Basic typography vocabulary (kerning, monospacing, ligatures, leading, etc)
  • Principals
    • Processor / CPU
    • Memory / RAM
    • Long term storage devices
    • Bits vs Bytes
    • Groupings of bytes (kilobytes, megabytes, etc)
    • Operating systems & their functions
    • User interfaces
    • Working with external devices
  • Unix / Internet
    • IP addresses
    • Packet switching
    • Functions of a browser
    • Clients vs. Servers
    • Connecting to the i6 server via an FTP program
  • HTML
    • What is HTML? What does it stand for?
    • HTML Syntax (tag structure, head tag, body tag, etc.)
    • Know the basic tags we studied
      • html
      • head
      • title
      • link (for external stylesheets)
      • meta
      • body
      • p
      • strong
      • ol / ul / li
      • table / tr / td
      • div
      • img
      • a
    • Debugging a HTML document
  • CSS Basics
    • What is CSS? What does it stand for?
    • Syntax of a CSS “rule”
    • Placement of CSS rules in a document
    • Using CSS rules on multiple pages throughout a site
    • The CSS box model
      (content, margin, padding & border)
    • Internal vs. Eternal styles
    • Know some of the basic CSS attributes we studied in class
      • background
      • color
      • margin
      • padding
      • border
      • display (inline, block)
      • font-family
      • font-size
      • float
      • clear
    • Be able to debug a CSS document
  • DreamWeaver
    • What is it?
    • Code view vs. WYSIWYG view – when to use each
    • Setting up a site in Dreamweaver
    • Hyperlinks (text based, image based, image map, absolute vs. relative, etc.)
    • Table basics
    • HTML basics (tag pairings, basic structure, etc.)
  • Audacity
    • What is it?
    • Working with sound files
    • Producing sounds
    • What is a podcast?
  • Animated GIFs
    • What are they?
    • How do they work?
    • Limitations of animated GIFs
    • GIFs vs. SWFs
  • Flash
    • What is it?
    • What can you create with Flash?
    • Support for different types of media (bitmapped images, vector art, audio, etc)
    • Working with Flash assets (building shapes, organizing layers, etc)
    • Types of tweens (motion, shape, armature / poses)
    • The Flash library
    • Types of symbols (MovieClips, Buttons, Graphics)
    • Working with the timeline (keyframes, frames, empty keyframes, etc.)
    • naming symbol instances
    • (no ActionScript will be on the final)

Day 25 Wrap-Up

Download Animation Day 02 Examples ]

Shape Tweens

  • A shape tween is used to move simple shapes around the stage
  • Shape tweens can “morph” a shape from one form to another
  • Shape tweens must begin and end with a keyframe
  • Here’s how to construct a new shape tween:
    • Create a new Flash ActionScript 3.0 file (FLA)
    • Add a new layer to your timeline (Insert -> Timeline -> Layer)
    • Click on this layer inside the first frame
    • Draw a simple shape (rectangle, oval, etc)
    • Click somewhere further on in the timeline (i.e. frame 50)
    • Insert a keyframe (Insert -> Timeline -> Keyframe)
    • Modify the shape in some way in this frame (move it somewhere else, replace it with a new shape, recolor it, etc)
    • Click somewhere in-between these two keyframes on your timeline and click on Insert -> Shape Tween
    • Play your moving using Control -> Play
    • You can adjust either of the keyframes to change how the animation unfolds — you can also add new keyframes anywhere within the shape tween to “break up” the animation into another segment

Motion Tweens

  • A motion tween is used to move “complex” objects around the screen
  • In order to be moved using a motion tween the object in question MUST be in the Library of your FLA
  • Motion tweens must begin with a keyframe — you will be able to add in additional keyframes to your animation after you have set things up
  • Here’s how to get started with creating a motion tween:
    • Create a new Flash ActionScript 3.0 file (FLA)
    • Add a new layer to your timeline (Insert -> Timeline -> Layer)
    • Click on this layer inside the first frame
    • Next we need to import an image into the library of your movie. You can do this by clicking on File -> Import -> Import to Library
    • Open up your library panel – you will see that two symbols will show up. One will be called the name of your file (i.e. myimage.jpg) and the other will be called ‘Symbol 1′ or something simliar. Right-click on the Symbol 1 item and rename it something more meaningful.
    • Drag a copy of this new symbol onto the stage
    • Next, you need to define how long your animation should last. Click somewhere on the timeline (i.e. frame 50) and insert a frame (Insert -> Timeline -> Frame)
    • Click somewhere in the newly extended frame bar for this layer and click on Insert -> Motion Tween — the frame bar should turn blue
    • You can now move your object anywhere you’d like at any frame within this blue bar — Flash will automatically “tween” your item to that position. You can also change other properties on your item, such as its rotation, size and opacity / transparency.

Library Symbols

In the previous example (Motion Tweens) we imported graphics directly into your Library. You can also create new library symbols that incorporate both imported and hand-drawn objects. Here’s how to get started:

  • Click Insert -> New Symbol
  • Type in a name for your symbol, select ‘MovieClip’ as the symbol type and then click OK
  • You will notice that you are in “edit” mode for this symbol because the name of the symbol appears next to the ‘Scene 1′ hyperlink at the top left side of the screen.
  • You can now draw your own objects and add in shape tweens on the timeline for this symbol. This timeline is separate from the “main” timeline and allows you to create “movies inside of movies” in Flash.
  • You can also import graphics from outside Flash by clicking on File -> Import -> Import to Stage
  • When you are finished you can click on the ‘Scene 1′ hyperlink to return to your main movie. You can then drag copies of your newly created symbol onto the stage and animate it using a Motion Tween.

The Bone Tool

  • The Bone tool lets you set up “bones” and “joints” within your shapes and movie clips. Once established, these structures let you “bend” your objects in ways that can’t easily be done using a simple shape or motion tween
  • Here’s a great video tutorial to get you started!

 

Day 24 Wrap-Up

Download Animation Day 01 Examples ]

The current state of the web imposes a stringent set of limitations on potential applications, none the least of which is bandwidth. It takes time to transmit information across the Internet, so the larger the amount of information, the longer it will take to transmit.

Flash came into being to attempt to fill the long vacant niche of web based animation. Traditional computer generated animation came along with the price tag of huge file sizes, mainly due to the fact that they stored graphical information as a series of bitmaps. For every individual pixel, one or more bits had to be allocated to store a color value. Flash stores information as a set of vectors, or mathematical equations. This allows a significant reduction in the amount of space needed to store a graphical object. Consider the following example:

The graphic above is a bitmapped circle. The computer must store a set color values for each discrete point on, around, and inside the circle. When the circle expands in size, so do the points, and thus quality is lost.

The computer must allocate a 15×15 grid of pixels to store the circle. That’s 225 individual pixels. If we were using 8 bit color (256 colors), we need exactly 1,800 bytes to store the image above.

A vector based rendition of this circle would contain the following:

4 = x2 + y2 , 0000FF

All we need to do is to store the mathematical equation for a circle and the color value of the object. This equates to a significant reduction in the amount of space needed to store the circle. And, as an added bonus, vector based images are fully scalable. As you increase their size, their edges do not get “pixilated” due to the enlarging on individual pixels. The mathematical equation simply gets recalculated using higher values to generate the same smooth curve.

The other feature that makes Flash so suitable for web delivery is that it also has a built in ability to create “streaming” animations. A Flash movie will begin playing before the entire file has downloaded. The remaining portion of the movie will download in the background automatically, thus freeing the end user from a lengthy download.

Anatomy of Flash

Go ahead and open up Flash. The Flash application interface is similar to that of Photo Shop. Along the left side of the screen you’ll see a series of drawing tools, and to the right you will see an a white box which is called the ’stage.’ At the bottom of the screen you will see the ‘Properties’ panel for editing specific aspects of a selected object and at the right you will see a space for docking specialized editing panels. So far, so good. The main difference between the Flash interface and that of a 2D image editing program is the ‘Timeline’ that runs along the top of the screen. The timeline allows you to define changes in your images over time and thus gives you the ability to create scenes that animate.

The Timeline

The timeline is arguably one of the most important areas of the Flash interface. All visible graphics, animations, sound and video objects must appear on the timeline in order for the end user to see and / or interact with them (with the exception of graphics generated via ActionScript, but we’ll get to that in a bit!) The small rectangular boxes that extend out from the left side of the interface are called “frame” markers. Frame markers are numbered along the top of the screen for reference purposes – you will be referring to them quite often when designing animation sequences. These numbers represent time – the larger the number, the farther away the frame marker is from the beginning of the movie.

In general Flash movies run at 24 frames per second (FPS.) You can change this value by clicking on the stage and setting a new number in the ‘Frame rate’ box in the Properties panel. Under this system you can divide the total number of frames you are using by 12 to determine how long in seconds your animation will last. For example, a 36 frame animation will last 3 seconds.

We need to create some content on the timeline before we can start animating in Flash. Content can be drawn from within Flash or can be brought in from another source, such as an image, video or sound file. Content must be put into a “keyframe” on the timeline. Keyframes denote that something “new” is happening on the timeline. For example, If you wanted a ball to appear in your animation at frame 5 you could place a keyframe on frame 5 and draw a ball. If you wanted to have the ball exist for 5 frames and then disappear you would create a blank keyframe on frame 10. That way Flash would know that there was a “change” on frame 10 and that the ball was no longer to be displayed. Keyframes become very important in animation as they allow you define the “start” and “end” point of an animation sequence. Keyframes appear as little circles within a frame. If the circle is white it means that the keyframe is blank. If it is shaded it means that there is something in that frame.

You will need to create multiple layers on the timeline if you’d like to have more than one thing happen at the same time. Flash can only support one animation per layer. You can add new layers by using the ‘Insert layer’ icon in the timeline panel. Layers can be renamed and can be organized into folders for easier access.

Animation Techniques

There are two basic animation techniques in Flash – Shape Tweening and Motion Tweening. Shape Tweening should be used in the following circumstances:

  1. To move simple shapes across the screen
  2. To “morph” simple shapes into other simple shapes

Keep in mind that all animation in Flash requires that the animation take place on its own Layer, which is similar to a PhotoShop layer. If you have Flash open you should already have a layer to work with in the Timeline area named ‘Layer 1′. If you need to make more you can always click on INSERT->TIMELINE->LAYER.

Click on the small white box on layer 1 that has a small circle in it. This is Flash’s symbol for a keyframe and it tells Flash that something new exists in this frame of animation. After you’ve clicked here go ahead and use the drawing tools to draw a blue ball on the stage. You can do this by looking for the Rectangle Tool (the 8th icon down in the drawing toolbar), positioning your mouse over tool and holding down the left mouse button. After a second or two a sub-menu will appear – select the oval tool and draw a ball similar to the one below. Selecting a color using the swatches at the bottom of the drawing toolbar will cause the ball to be drawn with the fill color of your choice.

Now we want to move the ball across the stage. To do that we need to first tell Flash how long this animation should take. We measure how long animations last in Flash in terms of how many frames they take to execute. As stated above, the default speed of a Flash movie is 12 frames per second, so let’s have this ball take 2 seconds to move across the stage. Click your mouse inside Frame 24 on Layer 1 and choose INSERT->TIMELINE->KEYFRAME. Your screen will look as follows:

Now we’ve told Flash that there’s something going on in Frame 1 (a ball at the top of the screen) – we’ve also told it that nothing is happening from frame 1 to Frame 24 (as can be seen by the standard gray frames that exist on the timeline). Frame 24 has a keyframe in it, which means that something can change in the animation here. Let’s move the ball now. Make sure that you’ve got Frame 24 selected and move your ball to the bottom right of the screen. Try playing your movie now and see how it works (CONTROL->PLAY MOVIE)

See how choppy this is? In order to make it smoother we have to tell Flash to animation the frames in between the two keyframes. To do that click anywhere in-between those frames on the timeline and choose SHAPE from the TWEEN menu at the bottom of the screen. Playing your movie now will result in the following:

Note that you can change any aspect of the animation by modifying what’s going on in the keyframes. If you wanted to move the ball to the top right instead of the bottom right just move the ball in Frame 24. Playing your movie again will show the change in your animation. If you’d like the animation to take longer you can click and then click-drag the keyframe in frame 24 to a higher frame, thus adding more time in between the two keyfames. Likewise if you’d like to make it shorter you can drag the keyframes closer together.

Shape tweens also allow you to take advantage of Flash’s ability to work with vector based objects and perform what is called a ’shape morphing’ – to see this in action let’s modify your movie a bit. Click into your first frame and select your ball using the black arrow tool. Then delete the ball and replace it with a red square. Running your animation again will result in the following:

Symbols & Motion Tweening

Flash also allows you to move more complex objects across the stage, though if you were to try and move a complex object (one with many shapes, colors, etc) using the Shape Tweening technique you would be presented with a weird image morph effect going on all the time. To allow objects to ’stick together’ we have to group them in some way.

To start, open up a new Flash movie. Then click on INSERT->NEW SYMBOL. We’re going to create a ‘Movie Clip’ symbol of a Snowman, so type ‘Snowman’ into the Name blank. Then click the OK button. You’ll notice that your screen changes slightly to indicate that you are editing a symbol (see below):

The “breadcrumbs” above the timeline indicate that you are currently inside Scene 1 of your movie, editing the ‘Snowman’ symbol. You can get back to Scene 1 by clicking on its name (it acts similarly to a hyperlink.) You can also use the ‘Library’ on the right side of the screen to edit symbols – just double click on symbol to go into “editing” mode.

Okay, so we’re in editing mode for our little Snowman. Go ahead and draw a snowman similar to the one below on the stage:

Click on the ‘Scene 1′ hyperlink to get back to scene 1 of your movie. Click on the keyframe on layer 1 and drag a copy of your Snowman out of the library and onto the stage. Go to frame 24 and create a frame — then right click in the range and select CREATE MOTION Tween. Move the Snowman across the screen on the last frame — this will automatically add in a keyframe to the layer. Your movie should look something like this:

You have some additional options at your disposal for motion tweens that can be defined using the properties panel. For example, if you want the snowman to rotate while moving you can use the ‘Rotate’ drop down to define which direction and number of rotations to apply to the tween. You can also modify the symbol at either keyframe to change how the animation takes place – for example, a popular effect is to “scale” the snowman down to a smaller (or larger) size to simulate the object getting bigger (or smaller) over time. You can also click on the symbol and use the ‘Color’ dropdown to change color aspects – the most popular effect here is to change the Alpha (opacity) of the image to simulate it fading in or out as can be seen below:

Using Sound and Music

Flash makes it easy to include sound and music in your projects. The first step to using audio is to obtain a music file. Flash works best with MP3 files, but you can use other files in a pinch. Keep in mind that adding lots of music to your movies will cause the final file size to increase dramatically. A good place to find audio files is at the Flash Kit Loops Library. This library of audio files are designed to be “looped” over and over to provide a seamless background track for your movie.

Once you have a file downloaded to your machine you can bring it into Flash by clicking on FILE -> IMPORT -> IMPORT TO LIBRARY. The audio file will appear in your library listing and you can use the ‘Play’ button over in the library interface to preview the sound.

Sounds need to go onto the timeline just like everything else in Flash. I like to create an entirely separate layer for sounds. Once you have a layer you can drag the file out onto the stage – it won’t show up as a visual object there, but you’ll know you did it right if the timeline indicates that there is a “waveform” present on the layer. Click on this waveform and look at the properties panel. The ‘Sync’ property allows you to define how the sound will play within your movie. Setting this to ‘Event’ will play the sound as a high quality sound but will not guarantee that the sound will always synchronize with the animation that is happening on other layers. Changing this to ‘Stream’ will force the sound to synchronize with the timeline, though the quality may be slightly less than if you set it to ‘Event.’ For purposes of the Music Video assignment you should use the ‘Stream’ property.

Testing Your Movie

The best way to test your movie is through the CONTROL -> TEST MOVIE command. This command lets you see how your movie will appear once it is “published” (see below). It also removes “housekeeping” items, such as motion guides, and crops the edge of your movie so that you only see objects that are actively on the stage. From this point forward when we will be using this technique in lieu of the CONTROL -> PLAY command.

Publishing Your Movie

When you’re all done you’ll probably want to do something with your movie other than watch it within Flash. Thankfully Flash exports itself into a number of very compatible formats. To export your movie you should first save it and then click on FILE -> PUBLISH SETTINGS. HTML and SWF should be checked – these are the default web compatible formats. You can also export Flash as a Quicktime movie if you’d like to import it into a more comprehensive video editing package, or use the Windows or Mac projector file to create a self executable file that can be played without any special software (SWF files need the free Flash plug in in order to play).

Once you’ve published your file you can link it to your web site fairly easily depending on your preferred web publishing package. In Dreamweaver you can open up an HTML page and click on Insert -> Media -> SWF and then browse to find your SWF file. The file will be copied to your site directory and will be embedded onto the current page.

If you’re not using Dreamweaver you can still easily import a Flash SWF onto your page. For example, popular web-based content management systems (such as WordPress) contain a ‘Insert Embedded Media’ button in their authoring interface. If you selected HTML in the Publish Settings menu you will also be given a “wrapper” document that contains all the HTML code necessary to to put your Flash creation on a website. You can copy and paste this code onto your own site (don’t forget to upload the SWF file as well!) – you could also just upload the HTML file and SWF files to your site and create a link to the HTML file.

Day 23 Wrap-Up

[ Download Animated GIF source files ]

Today we discussed the concept of digital animation and explored how a computer can be instructed to render animated content.  Here’s a detailed overview of what we covered:

  1. The Animated GIF is one of the most basic forms of digital animation.  It can be thought of as an old-school “flip-book” animation — In order to simulate the illusion of motion it is necessary to construct a file that contains individual images for each “frame” of animation.  For example, if you wanted to create an animation of a ball bouncing up and down you would have to prepare version of the ball in many different positions.  To get a very smooth animation you would probably need 20 or 30 different images.  After this has been accomplished, the images need to be assembled together into a self-contained package that can easily be inserted into a web page.
  2. The most common type of basic animation is the animated GIF file. Some examples can be seen below:



    The advantage to using animated graphics like the ones above is easily seen – they have the ability to display motion graphics and are easily inserted into existing web sites in the form of an image file. However, animated graphics by nature are much larger than their “static” cousins. This occurs because you are effectively adding an additional graphic (or frame) for each bit of motion you wish to simulate. Animated graphics do not allow for any interactivity, nor do they allow you to incorporate any additional media capabilities, including an audio track.  Animated GIFs may or may not loop (i.e. replay at the end) but they do support image transparency like a PNG file, which means you aren’t stuck with a white background behind your images if you don’t want one.

  3. You can use Photoshop to create simple Animated GIF files.  Here’s how to get started:
    1. Simple frame based animation
      1. Create a new Document in Photoshop
      2. Add in assets on different layers (in our example we added in text layers that contained the text “three …”, “two …”, “one …” and “blast off!”
      3. Next, open up the Timeline panel (Window -> Timeline)
      4. Use the drop down menu and select “Create Frame Based Animation” – click this button to continue
      5. Now you have a single frame that is visible in the Timeline panel.  Make all of your layers invisible except for your layer that contains the text “three …”
      6. Click the Add Frame button in the Timeline panel.  With this frame selected, make the layers that contain the text “three … ” and “two …” visible.
      7. Continue the process so that you are making one new layer visible for each frame of animation.
      8. Click the play button in the Timeline panel to see your project – it should run very quickly!  You can set the timing for each frame by using the timing drop down menu below each frame in the Timeline panel.
      9. You can save your project by clicking File -> Save for Web and Devices.  Make sure that you are saving your file as a GIF file.
    2. Tweening Animation
      1. With Tweening we can have Photoshop prepare certain kinds of animated transitions for us.
      2. In our example we created a new file that contained three layers – a rocketship, a background and a planet.
      3. We then created a new animation by clicking on the Create Frame Based Animation button in the Timeline panel
      4. Next, we added a new frame and moved the rocketship to a different spot on the screen.
      5. We then clicked the “Tweens Animation Frames” button on the Timeline panel – this tells Photoshop to create a number of “intermediate” frames that will “bridge” your two “keyframes” of animation.  Photoshop can tween object locations, opacity and layer effects.
      6. The more frames you add in this way the smoother your animation, but the larger the resulting file.
    3. You can easily place an animated GIF on your website by inserting a standard <img> tag to point to your newly created image file.

QR Codes

What is a QR Code?

QR, or “Quick Response”, codes are 2-dimensional “barcodes” that are used to store information.  Originally used as a way to keep track of inventory in the automotive industry, QR codes have evolved into a technology that lets you easily “tag” physical objects to virtual content.

Reading a QR Code

It’s easy to read a QR code using a mobile device (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc).  All you need to get started is a device that has a camera and a free QR code reader application.  Here’s a quick list of apps that you can use to get started:

iPhone / iPad

  1. Scan
  2. ScanLife
  3. QR Reader for iPhone
  4. QR Scanner
  5. TapReader

Android

  1. Google Goggles
  2. Scan Life
  3. QR Droid
  4. BeeTagg
  5. codeREADr

Mac / PC (with an attached webcam)

  1. http://miniqr.com/reader.php

Once you have a QR reader app installed all you need to do launch it and point it at a QR code.  The app will take a moment to decode the pattern, and once the code is recognized you will be able to view the content that it contains.  For example, if you scan the code below your mobile device will be redirected to the Statue of Liberty homepage.

Creating your own QR Codes

It’s surprisingly easy to create your own QR codes – here’s how!

  1. Decide what you want to encode.  QR codes can store text, links to websites, and shortcut commands (such as “text this number” or “call this number”).  Most people use QR codes to create links to websites and store small text based messages.
  2. Next, visit a QR code creator – here are my two favorites:
    1. http://goqr.me/ – Easily build QR codes for any URL or Text String
    2. http://goo.gl/ – Log in with your Google Account and create “shortened” versions of any absolute hyperlink. Each shortened version comes with its own QR code which can be “tracked” via Google’s built in analytics engine.  This lets you see when and where your code has been scanned.
  3. Once you’ve generated a code you can copy and paste it into another document document, print it out on a standard laser printer, or place a copy of it on your class website or blog.

Day 22 Wrap-Up

Today we discussed how to get started with digital audio as well as an overview of Augmented Reality.  Note that that Augmented Reality is an “extra” topic and won’t be included on the final exam.  Here’s an overview of what we covered:

  1. Digital Audio
    1. Remember that – at the lowest level – everything is zeros and ones to a computer.  With images we group out the zeros and ones into distinct color values which can be used to instruct a grid of pixels to glow in a certain way
    2. With sound, we can “sample” an analog waveform and capture the properties of the sound at specific instances in time.  The process of converting analog to digital is called “digitization”
    3. Because the computer needs to break up the sound into finite “chunks” we will “sample” the sound at specific intervals to determine its current state.  If we take these samples frequently enough we can approximate the analog sound in a digital form.
  2. Working with Digital Audio
    1. Often you will be working with audio that has already been produced (like a track from iTunes or one that’s ripped from a CD)
    2. Sometimes you will want to create your own sounds for a particular project. For example, you might want to record a sound effect for a game or animation. Or you may want to record a podcast episode to be distributed over the web.
    3. There are many tools available for working with sound, just like with images. However, for the purposes of this class we will be exploring an Open Source tool called Audacity.  You can download a copy here:  http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
  3. Working with Audacity
    1. Audacity organizes sounds using “tracks” – think of these like layers in Photoshop, but for sound
    2. An Audacity project can store any number of “tracks”, and each track can contain its own audio components
    3. Imaging software works with two dimensional data (i.e. images that have width and height) – audacity also works with two dimensional data (i.e. sound has both an audio component and a time value)
    4. The audio component of a sound is represented via a waveform (the graphics that appear on the screen as you record)
    5. Time extends to the right – the longer your sound, the longer your waveform will be
  4. Recording & editing audio – see this tutorial for a full overview:  http://cims.nyu.edu/~kapp/xml_assignment/audacity_quickstart.html
  5. Saving Your Work
    1. Audacity saves in its own native format (.AUP) – this preserves tracks and settings just like how a PSD preserves layers and filter effects.
    2. In order to product your file you will need to mix all of your tracks down into a single file. Once you do this you will “flatten” the sound in the same way in which you flatten a pixel image into a single grid.
    3. You can do this by clicking on File -> Export
    4. The two major digital audio formats we work with are:
      1. WAV – high quality, big size
      2. MP3 – decent quality, small size
      3. WAV is (generally) lossless, MP3 is always lossy
    5. Audacity can’t produce MP3 files natively. You have to install an extra library to do this.  Here’s an overview of how you can do this:  http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq_i18n?s=install&i=lame-mp3
  6. Putting sound on your website
    1. Now that we have an MP3 file we can put it onto our website via Dreamweaver. We have two different ways to do this – using HTML5 or a Plugin
    2. In the future, HTML5 will be the way to go. For now you might run into issues with older browsers
      1. Insert -> Media -> HTML5 Audio
      2. Insert -> Media -> Plugin
    3. LIke images, audio files must be copied into your site and published on the web in order to function
  7. Podcasts
    1. Playing a single audio file on your site can be useful, but if you are planning on adding lots of content you will probably want people to be able to “subscribe” to your work rather than have to make them continually visit your site and search for updates
    2. You can do this by creating a “podcast”
    3. A podcast is simply a “table of contents” file that points to a series of MP3 files
    4. A podcast player (like iTunes) reads the table of contents file and downloads the linked MP3 files accordingly
    5. Podcasts don’t need to be listened to on Apple devices (even though their name suggests it) – podcasts are an open format that are supported by many devices, including phones, tables and desktop computers.
    6. Podcasts are constructed by writing an XML File
      1. XML = Extensible Markup Language
      2. Same structure as HTML! In fact, HTML is written in XML ….
      3. Often used for data interchange on the web – provides a generic structure that is device independent
      4. XML lets one application “talk” to another one
    7. Building a podcast – see items #3 & 4 on this tutorial:  http://cims.nyu.edu/~kapp/xml_assignment/