PROJECT III Time-Based Instructions

Making a Balloon Dog

Jenny L
Jenny L
Oct 17, 2018 · 27 min read
I will be writing in Medium this time :-) But I’ll still have a cover page ↑

The task I got is “Making a Balloon Dog”. I actually don’t know how to do this task, so I searched for many instructions, followed one of them, made a balloon dog and wrote my own instruction.

My first few balloon dogs (*^▽^*)

My text instruction

  1. Inflate the balloon and leave a 3-inch tail. Just keep blowing until the air has inflated the balloon to about three inches from the end, then stop blowing and tie off the balloon.
  2. Make three basic twists. Starting at the knotted end of the balloon, make three basic twists to create a total of four balloon segments. The first segment, which includes the balloon’s knot, will form the dog’s snout. It is slightly longer than the second two segments, which will form the dog’s ears. The last segment, which will be twisted into the dog’s body, is the longest.
  3. Twist the ear segments together. Use your free hand to grasp the second and third segments, the ear segments, and twist them together three times. This lock twist will keep them from coming untwisted. Do you see the dog’s head?
  4. Make three more basic twists. Make the first twist a few inches below the head to form a neck segment. Make two more twists below the neck to create two segments that are equal in length; these will be the front legs. Hold all the new segments in the same hand to prevent them from coming untwisted. You can make the leg segments long or short, but they should be the same length.
  5. Twist the leg segments together. Fold the balloon at the twist between the two leg segments. Grasp the leg segments with your free hand and twist them together three times at the base of the neck. The legs and neck are now locked in place.
  6. Make three more basic twists. This time divide the remaining length of the balloon into four equal segments. The first segment is the dog’s body, the second two segments will become the back legs of the dog, and the final segment is the tail. Hold them all in one hand to prevent them from becoming untwisted.
  7. Twist the back legs together. Fold the balloon at the twist between the two back leg segments. Grasp the segments and twist them three times at the base of the body segment. Take a look at your finished sculpture: it has a knotted nose, short ears, front legs and back legs and a tail that sticks straight up. Your work is complete.
Useful tips from:

Video is the type of media that I am going to be focusing on for this project, so I look at many instruction videos of making balloon dogs. Some are very interesting and attractive while others are boring and made me want to skip parts of it. Some are easy to follow, and others seem to be very complex. However, all these videos are demonstrating the same task (making the same kind of balloon dog). This means that certain properties of these videos make the work well/ stop the video from working.

Watching Movies

Today in class, Stacie and Steve showed us lots of movies. It is really enjoyable to watch some of them, while not so much for the others. I began to think about what features can make a good instruction video.

Notes taken during Oct.18th class

Here are two main features/ things should be achieved in order to make “good” and “working” instruction videos:

Believable — This instruction video should be able to convince audiences it is dependable, which means audiences will believe the task in the video is done correctly. The person demonstrating the task should be credible and should look like a “professional” in doing the task.
Audiences: “This man in the video knows what he is doing. If I follow this instruction video, I will be able to accomplish the task.”

Desirable — The video shouldn’t make viewers want to click on another instruction video or skip part of the video.
Audiences: “I am going to do this task. And THIS is the instruction video I am going to follow gladly to complete the task.”

Accessible — The video should be easy and clear to follow. One important question to consider is: Is the video too polished? Sometimes tasks are been done in a way that is too neat, where audicans don’t think they can follow the instructions well.
Audiences: “Wow, this task is been done really well, but it might require a high skill level! Am I able to do this too?”

In order to achieve believablility, desirability, and accessibility in my instruction video, I have to consider more practical and specific features of instruction videos. Here are a few things that need special attention:

  1. The pace of the video — some actions are done slowly while others are shown in a very short amount of time.
  2. Point of view — where the camera is placed to shoot the actions? first person? Third Person?
  3. Sound- is the sound clear enough for audiences to understand what is happening? Comfortable to hear?

I was been introduced the concept of “Channels of information” and I feel this concept is also essential in differentiating good videos from bad. “Channels of information” are transmission mediums that can pass information to viewers. For videos, three main channels are visual, sound and time. For good videos, the relationship between the three can still vary. They can work together harmoniously to tell viewers one story, or they can tell different stories, each sending more information to audiences.

Analyzing Bread Making Videos

In all the videos we watched yesterday, there are two instruction videos of making bread. It is interesting how they each gave me so different sensations of the task they are performing. I looked at them again ow my own and analyzed them (With these questions in mind: what is whoring and what is not? why? Pace? Point of view? Sound?… )

1st Video- How to make bread. Super easy

Good points

  • Initially, the camera is placed at an angle that the whole desk and all ingredients on it are visible. The makes the relatively complicated tools/ingredients involved in making bread clear to viewers.


  • How the instructor pour flour seems to be “careless”. (flour been accidentally poured on the table, knocked one of the jars over). The instructor seems to be careless of what he is doing. This lowered the believability of the video.
  • How she explained the amount of each ingredient is very “uncertain”. She seems to be estimating the amount of each ingredient that needs to be put into the bread.
  • The background is distracting.
  • The process of mixing ingredients is boring to look at. As a viewer, I already know how to mix ingredients after 5 seconds into the mixing process.
  • Some steps are not done neatly in the first attempt. For instance, when the instructor is removing the dough from the bowl, she repeated the same move for 4 times to complete this step. As a viewer, I might think: Oh I can do better than her.
  • Some sounds are unpleasant to listen to. Ambient sounds such as put baking tray into the stove, putting glass on a hard surface almost lead to a stridence.
  • The instructor left the scene two times, leaving a static graphic for audiences, which is confusing and boring.
  • The final product was presented in a very messy way. This made audiences no longer want to follow the instructions since it is likely the final product won’t be nice anyway.

2nd Video- Easy Bread

Good points

  • The instructor played guitar and sang a song for audiences. The voice quality is quite bad, but it is fun to watch.
  • The instructor showed his ability(mastery) in making bread by clearly stating the ingredients.
  • The instructor made the video more accessible by writing the ingredients on a sheet of paper.
  • The final outcome looks nice. The bread looks somehow tasty. And the instructor tasted the bread himself, which makes the video more believable.


  • Ambient sounds such as put baking tray into the stove, putting glass on a hard surface almost lead to a stridence.
  • The surrounding and tools he used to seem to be messy. Firstly, the messiness decreased the visual quality. Secondly, made users pay less attention to what the instructor is doing.
  • The baking process is repetitive and boring to look at.
  • The video switched from 3rd person to 1st person point of view when the instructor is showing the baking process. This makes the visual inconsistent.
  • The video is shaking too much when the instructor is showing the baking process.

Concluding my observations, I found these are points should be avoided in instruction videos:
1. Shaking camera
2. Switching method of shooting
3. Shoot from a strange angle
4. Harsh sound
5. Repetitive steps
6. Make mistakes when performing tasks
7. Messy surrounding/ broken tools/ dirty hands
8. Unclear/ uncertain measurements
9. Messy final product
10.Stationary scenes

Reading Understanding Comics Chapter III

I read Chapter 3 of Understanding Comics by McCloud. Although it is about comics, but I found part of it can be linked to making instructions videos. This chapter is mainly about how the “gutters”, the blank space in between blocks have aid communication of the story, how readers are able to figure the story out with the aid of the blank spaces. Here are some more details I want to stress/ make notes about.

People see fragments of the world and can piece a story with fragments of information

People fill in black spaces on their own based on fragments of information that they have. Everyone is used to do this since “closure” happens too often in our lives. Even if we can’t see something is happening, we know what has happened.

We all know what have happened to the man, although we can’t directly see the scene

There is no need to show every detail in a story. For instance, even readers haven’t seen how hard the man was hit by the villain, but readers will assume the man was murdered (readers can figure out information hidden in the blank space between the two boxes). One hint is the text of sound written in the next box. If the whole murdering process is been drawn, the story will be less interesting due to the obviousness.

I also learned five different ways to “connect” disconnected boxes to make them a cohesive story. This is totally applicable to video making. With these five different transition methods, viewers can “fill in the gaps” and know what am I demonstrating in my instruction video (viewers can get a cohesive story ) even if the clips are actually not continuous.

  1. Movement to movement: very little closure; actions go on as time goes on
  2. Action to action: the same subject makes a move
  3. Subject to subject: take viewers from one thing to the other, but still within the same story/idea
  4. Scene to scene: Deductive reasoning required. Bring readers to a faraway time and space (ideas are somehow related, but require readers’ effort to figure things out
  5. Aspect to aspect: can’t tell a story, but can show a different aspect of the same idea (e.g.mood)
  6. Non-sequitur: no logical reasons why they are placed together! but readers will try to figure out how they are related.
Telling the same story in 54, 10, 4 and 2 boxes!

“Length” of a story can be made longer or shorter. For instance, McCloud demonstrated how a story can be showed in 54, 10, 4 and 2 boxes. They are basically telling the same story (in fact they all have the same first block and last block). All four versions are understandable and good in their own ways (for instance, the first one is very detailed- what happen to the character is very clear. On the other hand, the shortest one is fun to read since there are so many possibilities between the two blocks). However, linking back to making an instruction video, I feel some length are more appropriate than others. A suitable length should provide the level of detail that is easy to understand, but not too clear that some information seems to be useless.

Steven Spielberg On Story boarding (1978)

I also watched this video about story boarding. One thing I got from his talk is: although storyboard is an essential part of a good film, good films are not fully based on storyboards. Shoot more than what the storyboard has allowed filmmakers to be more creative with their films.

Generating Storyboards

The next step forward, I have to create something very similar to comic, which is a storyboard for my instruction video. I asked one of my classmates to shoot videos of me making balloon dogs. I then took screenshots of the video to show the key steps.

Exploring Different Points of Views

Videos were taken from three different angles (viewpoints) above and far from my hands, at the same level and far from my hands, slightly higher but very close to my hands. Thus, I am able to show the “how to make” from three angles collaboratively. These three angles are each good at demonstrating different aspects of the balloon-dog-making process.

Point of view #1: Video taken from side
  • Same level and away: This is the angle of view where people usually have while observing someone making a balloon dog. This angle ‘make sense’ for audiences. But sometimes my hands will block the balloon dog I am making completely, hindering viewers too see what am I doing, how my hands are moving.
Point of view #2: Video taken from above
  • Above and away: This view is very clear since the whole scene is shown to viewers without any blocking what my hands are doing.
Point of view #3: Video taken up-close
  • Above and close: This point of view is suitable for very detailed but critical movements (eg. tie up the balloon, twisting the balloon) that the former two angles can’t show clearly.

Storyboard — Draft #1

Draft #1

Evaluations: Problems With This Story Board

  1. Since I have combined three videos shoot from different angles, the colors of the balloons I used are different. This is a bit confusing.
    The background is messy, which can hinder views from focusing on what my hands are doing.
  2. Twisting motion is hard to represent by static graphics.
  3. KEY ISSUE: It is super unclear what part of the balloon dog am I making, how many sections need to be divided and which of these sections need to be twisted together.

I feel some of the problems will be solved when I am actually making videos (For instance, the twisting motion will be much easier to demonstrate in videos than in static images). The third issue is what I need to focus on. These problems will only be more serious when I turn the storyboard into videos.

Storyboard - Draft #2

Draft #2.1

Changes That I Made

To improve, I decided to solve the problems one by one. To clarify what part of the balloon dog am I making, I added a broad after I made a section of the balloon dog. For instance, After I am finished with section A (step10), I will show what the whole balloon look like now (step 11) to audiences so viewers can identify which part of the dog have they made.

Sections of a balloon dog
Draft #2.2

The next problem I am trying to solve is: how many sections need to be divided. Addressing this issue, I plan to show the parts that are going to be divided into the steps that I added to the storyboard in Draft #2.1. The red lines in step 6.5, 11.5 and 14.5 represent the path of my hand. In the actual video, I will be placing my hand vertically (palm facing sideways), and move my hand across the untwisted section of the balloon vertically (imitating a cutting motion) to show how many sections need to be divided for the next part of the dog to be made.

Balloons in step 6, 6.5 , 11 , 11.5, 14 and 14.5 will be in a different color since I have integrated two separate stories together. Trying not to confuse my audiences, I will make the balloon dog in a separate color. Using a key term I learn from Understating Comics , I used Subject to subject transition to take viewers from one balloon dog to the other, but the two dogs still remain in the same stage in terms of making.

I feel the storyboard is working better now, Next step, I will re shot photos: cleanup the background, fix the balloon color problem.

Storyboard — Draft #3

Here is the new version of my Storyboard. The red balloon dog and the blue balloon dog are two separate ones, but they are at the same stage of making. The blue one is all about the movements involved in making the dog (twist/ tie parts together), while the red one is about the current status of the balloon dog and how to further divide the rest of the balloon in the next few steps.

Draft #3

so the whole story should flow like this:

To be clearer, I put them into two stripes like this:

LEFTRed Balloon dog (current status + place for twisting)

RIGHTBlue Balloon dog (the movements)

ISSUE( MY CONCERN )- Is it too long? Too detailed?

When I talk to my classmates and asked how many steps do they have, most of them responded that they have 15-18 slides. Comparing theirs to mine, I wondered did I included too much detail. However, each person's task is different. Some are harder, while some are really simple. Given this, the length of everyone's storyboards could be very different.
However, thinking mindfully of the length of my current, it is a bit too long for a 60-second video. Currently, I have 34 slides (steps). Turing this storyboard into a video, each step would only have less than 2 seconds to show, which might be too short. However, thinking from another perspective, I would like the "pace" of some moments to be really fast. For instance, the seemingly complicated twisting movement will only take less than 1 second to do. Plus, for me, the current storyboard is very clear And be clear is the criteria I prioritize in making this instruction video.

Not sure whether the current length is suitable or not, I made another version of my storyboard, where I remove all steps showing the motion of my hands. I end up with only having 5 steps in total.

A short version of my storyboard

These five images have too much information in the "gutters (the blank spaces)" between them. Viewers' minds have to work really hard to figure out what had happened that can guide the previous scene to the next. If they can't figure out what had happened (which is very possible in this case), this instructional video will be useless (not functioning at all) for them in guiding them to make a balloon dog.

Recording peers following my storyboard

I asked my peers to follow my storyboard. Observing their facial expressions, hand movements, listing to what they are asking me, I can know if there are any parts of my storyboard that is confusing. I recorded the process so I can review them later and identify problems with my storyboard.

Screen-shots from my recording- Left (don’t know how to twist segments together) Right (don’t know how to hold segments together )

Here are some issues I found out: Viewers don’t know …
- How much to pump the balloon
- They should leave some space for the knot
- How to control proportions of each twist accurately.
- How many times they should twist the balloon together to make it tight.
- How many segments do they need in order to make the next part of the balloon dog
- why are there two balloon dogs in the storyboard (red and blue)
- what happens in some frames (hands have covered too much portion of the balloon)
- How hands should move when twisting segments together


Problems: It turns out that the changes I made were not working very well, the idea of using two colors and twist two stories together increases the complicatedness of my storyboard. (I added another layer of complicatedness to the story) Plus, although the lighting does allow audiences to see the balloon-dog-making process, it is not pleasant to watch. Since viewers take nicely lighted video for granted, bad lighting decreased the desirability and accessibility of the video. Also, at some stages,my hands blocked the balloon, thus, prohibited my audiences to see what actions are my hands taking.

Good points that can be taken to the next stage: The storyboard has used hands as different tools (twisting, measuring).

\]I plan to modify my storyboard this way:

  1. Just use one balloon for the whole instruction video.
    Adjust lighting to eliminate the heavy shadows.
  2. Re-arrange some steps
  3. Add a few steps to clarify some confusing parts
  4. Switch to a 3rd person point of view (since I feel this can help to show the making process clearer)
My new story board
Class notes Oct.23th

Looking at more storyboards

Today in class, we separated into small groups that have the same task to look at our storyboards. We laid our long strips of storyboards on tables to look at them. I noticed how different they are from mines. Some of these differences make the storyboards clearer, while others seem to be problematic.

- Point of view
- Lighting
- Visual complexity
- Story complexity

The size of this storyboard is hindering viewers from clearly seen what is happening.

The story happening in this storyboard is not simply an instruction on how to make balloon dogs. The complexity of the story is higher comparing to pure instructional-purpose-videos. Viewers will start to focus more on the “story” (what happened to the two characters) than steps of making a balloon dog. As a result, the video is no longer clear. Also, the visual complexities of the frames are too high. It is hard to see how the instructors’ hands are moving and twisting the balloon.

For me, this storyboard is very well done. The lighting is bright enough to light up everything. The visual complexity isn’t high (the only things present in the frame is ①the instructor’ hands and ②the balloon). The 1st person point of view made the video more engaging. Also, the balloon been used is translucent. So it made the hand movements explicit.

This storyboard adopted a different point of view — 3rd person point of view. Due to the special way the camera has been set, this one looks like someone is demonstrating how to make a balloon dog (1st person and 3rd person point of view can both be effective in instruction videos ). The visual complexity is hindering the communication. There are so many things going on in the background that viewers can’t focus on the “making process”.

Visual elements that can distract viewers: (AVOID THESE!)
- Bad nails/ Dirty hands
- Dressing of instructor
- The face of the instructor
- Backgrounds
- Heavy shadows
- Low color contrast (between the balloon and the environment)

Recording Videos 1

I decide to keep all the movements that I have in my storyboard(the measuring and twisting), but change the point of view when I shoot video. I feel making a balloon dog can be shown clearer in a 3rd person point of view. I won’t be redoing my storyboard again since I already know the sequence of movements and way to show the movements. Comparing to 1st person point of view, shooting in 3rd person point of view make audiences see more of the background and the instructor (clothing). These elements shouldn’t be too chaotic that they stop viewers to concentrate on “doing of the task”.

STUDIO PROJECT III — Making a Balloon Dog — Test 1

Here is my first attempt of shooting the video. I noticed quite a few problems:

  1. Lighting: The whole scene isn’t well lighted. The dim light and the quite heavy shadow prohibit viewers from clearly see what my hand are doing.
    Background: Although I blocked most chaotic objects in the background, the ladder a little section on the left that is not blocked is made my video less believable.
  2. Color contrast: White T-shirt on a white background → not enough contrast,
  3. Dressing: Viewers might wonder what The text on my T-shirt is saying.
  4. Cropping (frame): The current way of cropping the video showed my chin and sometimes my mouth. This cropping is uncomfortable to look at. Thus, this perspective hindered the video’s desirability.

I plan to address these problems these ways:

Recording Videos 2

Here are the three angles of my new video


Camera placed close to my hands (Left) , camera placed slightly away from me (Middle) and camers further away (Left)

Editing The Clips 1

Here is my fist attempt of putting the clips I shot together.

STUDIO PROJECT III Making a Balloon Dog Edited I

In class, I showed this video to peers and they gave me comments on the video. I also recorded comments the gave on other video during the critique. I feel some the comments can also be applied to mine.

Oct.25 Class Notes

After class, I looked at the comments I recorded again and gave the ones that are most reverent to me (things I feel I like I should change in my next draft) a deeper thought. I figured out ways to solve some of them. While for others I still have to explore.

My thoughts on issues of the current version and future modification

Solving Problems of the 1st Edited Version

Issue 1: Using hands as measurement tool

Addressed in my notes above. I’ll be use the airspace at the end of the pumped balloon as a measuring unit instead of using hands.

Issue 2: Color contrast

Overall, there are three main colors I need to control in the video: The background, the clothing and the balloons. I explored different color contrasts by taking these photos:

Hard to see color contrast

The contrast I should be having should make the balloon pop-out the most and all other elements merge together. To see which color combination can work to produce the ideal result, I turned them in to black and white.

Lower Row Last frame allow the balloon to be seen in the most clear way (the red balloon)

Based on the black and white photos, I know white background+ white clothing + orange balloon can make the balloon pop-out most. When I shoot clips for my next draft, I will be using these three colored objects.

Issue 3: How to make the last part is unclear

One of my peered raised this question: “I didn’t get how to make the last twist!” The problem here is: the process for making the last section of the dog is different from the previous twos sections.

I pan to slow down the pace of the last part (devote more time of the video to demonstrate how to make the last part). I could also apply a technique I learned today in class: Pause the video/ insert a static image. This way, viewers can see the steps in a slower pace and can think+ react on my motion. As a result, the process can be demonstrated clearer.

Issue 4: Inconsistent lighting

I’ll use same light source for all angles/ clips to keep the lighting consistent.

Editing The Clips 2

I feel I have fixed all the problems been addressed. Here is my second attempt in editing the video.

TIP: Naming the clips

Since I have to test/adjust different lighting, movements, angles and etc, I shoot too many clips that it becomes hard to tell which ones are the useful ones when editing. I feel naming the files properly is helping me a lot in differentiating the useful ones from others.

Peer Reviews

In class today, we did a peer review activity. All students making balloon dogs looked at another groups’ videos and gave comments to the videos. My current version of the video also got reviewed. Here is the comment sheet I got.

Here is the list of the issues I want to stress:
1. Balloon dogs’ color
2. Beginning and Closing
3. “Video is boring.”
4. Seeing the “Entirety“ of the balloon

Issues and my thoughts on how to solve them

Balloon dogs’ color
Although red color balloon + white T-shirt+ white wall allows strong contrast, some peers describe the color red as “too harsh”. I will switch to use orange color balloons, which still allow relatively high contrast, but gives a softer impression for audiences. Orange is also an “animal-related” color.

When it comes to closing, the current way the video closes is a bit too “flat”, meaning that viewers don’t feel the ending is exciting. And the balloon dog has moved away from the frame at the end, which is quite odd and strange. This also cause viewers to question: “Oh, where did it go?” Which shift the focus of the video away. I plan to test different closing methods. I don’t have ideas right now. I think I have to shoot some videos to know the answer.

Here are some of my experiments. I didn’t set up the lights, backgrounds etc. since I can still test different kinds of closings as long as I can see my hands and the balloon dog.

Three types of alternating closings I could think of right now

“Video is boring.” →Change the PACE of the video
I am actually glad the other group gave me this comment — At least I know the video is clear (make sense for them). One way I could think of to solve the problem is to divide motions in the video into “Fast Motion” and “Slow Motion”. The pace for fast mostions (e.g. twisting the balloons) will be much quicker than the slow motions (such as measuring, folding). The contrast in the pace of fast movement and slow movement clips will make the whole video less “flat” and more exciting to look at.

Fast motion (Left) V.S Slow motion (Right)

Seeing the “Entirety“ of the balloon

A problem Stacie had with my current video is that she can’t tell whether I have two balloons or do I have one long balloon. Showing the “Entirety“ of the balloon might help to resolve the problem. But the balloon will be too long to fit in the frame. Here are the possible ways to show viewers the entire balloon:

Tilt+Rotate the balloon so viewers can the head and the tail at the same time

Although viewers can now see the whole balloon now, they will feel dizzy looking at this clip since the movement is so drastic for the frame.



Shift the balloon horizontally until viewers see the whole balloon.

This is clear, and not at dizzy as the previous one. Bur the arm movements are quite stage. And the motions do take a while (if I want to show the balloon shifting in a stable way).


Fold the balloon so that it can fit in the frame and then shift.

Clear. Now the length need to be shifted is shorter. This means that the motion will take less time. I would use this one.



Editing The Clips 3

I used the issues I discovered and the explorations and generated this new version of my balloon dog instruction video.

I tried with all three different endings and finally decided to use this one. The gesture (palm facing up) made viewers aware this (the object I am holding in the video at the very end) is a presentable final product. And this realization can make the ending of the video expected and natural.

Problems with this version + Why they are problems + How to solve?

Class notes Nov.1st

I showed this version to Stacie and she told me what to observe. Here are the notes I took during the conversation with her. She didn’t bring up the problems that she talked about when she was watching the last version (pacing, showing the entirety of the balloon etc. ). These problems have been resolved.

I am quite satisfied with most parts of my video, but I still have some minor things that I could improve on. One of them is: I can in more pauses between big jumps. Currently, although the movements are clear, viewers might need more time (maybe only a fraction of a second) to take in what they just saw. It is crucial to keep in mind the purpose of the video is to instruct, rather than simply showing the making process. So it is important that viewers can TAKE IN what my actions are. I reviewed my video once again, this time pay close attention to where the big jumps are (since these are the parts of the video view might need more time to see+ understand +remember ). I find most measuring can be paused. The times I’ll be pausing are marked on my notes.

Final version!

My final Video

What have I changed?

  1. adjusted lighting again>making the white background clean but not blinding white color.
  2. Add several pauses when measuring and when big jumps happen> make sure viewers can taken in the information.
  3. Slightly extend the time for ending > make the end not too abrupt for viewers.

My takeaways from the project

The meaning of VALUE, and EVALUATE

The experiments I do, the processes I recorded should all have “Values” in them. Meaning they have to contribute to the project or me growing as a designer in some way. If certain things are done just to imitate what peers have done, attempt to get good grades, etc., the value within them is minimal. Evaluate can be defined as place a value on; judge the worth of something. In other words, in the context of this project, evaluate is to decide the value of performing specific tasks, is about questioning myself: what did I do in an experiment? Why did I do it this way? What have I learned? And how can I apply them to make the next stage of my project’s outcome better? What does it teach me to make me more like a designer? If I keep asking myself these question, I will be able to justify why I did certain things and will be able to improve eventually.

Making decisions: what comments should I act on?

In this project, I have shown my video to many people, some are , and some are none-design major friends. They all gave me various comments. While learned a lot from these comments, sometimes these comments disagree with each other, or they discourage me from doing certain things that I really liked about my video.
What I have learned from the project is: it is definitely essential to gather others’ opinions, but whether to act upon the feedback is our, designers’ choices. I should be able to justify why or why not I make the changes. Linking back to the previous question, comments have a different amount of “value” inside them too and I have learned to extract the value, to “evaluate.” Over all, we have to make our own choices and be responsible for them.

Planning: working backward

For me, setting up for a shooting takes as long as (or even longer than) the actual shooting process. And editing is equally time-consuming. Also, when shooting, to record the ambient sound of twisting balloon, I have to find a time slot where there are only a few people in the studio. Considering all these situations, time management becomes extremely important. I found thinking backward (submission date> the day before tasks> today’s tasks) will have to keep on track. Also, I further breakdown time into smaller segments and write all the tasks I will try to complete in that time period (usually an hour or two).
When writing down plans, I find writing down the tasks (actions) that I am going to do is much more practical and helpful than writing down the goal. For instance, have ‘pause the video at X, X and X time’ in my plan is much better than having ‘make viewers understand the actions clearer ‘ in the plan. In short, write the actions rather than the results.

A question I am still thinking: My purpose of being here?

Steve and Stacie asked me this in an individual meeting, and I am still actively thinking about it, yet still not able to figure out a clear answer. But I know I am improving in some way since, at the very beginning of the term, my main drive for working hard is to get good grades and be complemented by others. Now my primary drive is to learn something, either craft wise or thinking wise. The notes I took, processes I recorded, the way I recorded them have changed dramatically. But why am I learning these? How and where can I apply this knowledge and what effects can it make on what? This is to confusing question yet quite interesting for me to think about while working on the project.

The end. Thanks for reading :-) Onward to the next project !

Jenny L

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Jenny L

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