Philippa Cassidy - Placement Year Blog #2 turn off the lights.

Philippa Cassidy - Placement Year Blog #2

July - November 2016

I have been on placement with Dynamic now for five months and I’ve learnt a lot during that time. I am becoming more settled and comfortable in the role as a Creative Developer having been involved in various projects over the last couple of months. Not only have I been involved with a lot of development work but there have also been many opportunities to be involved in design work.

In my last blog, I talked about the isometric character assets I created for a module in my first couple of weeks at Dynamic. The client really liked the characters, and the assets are featured in quite a lot of frames and illustrate different scenarios for the user. Since then, these isometric assets have been remodelled so that they can be featured in different situations for different clients, which is brilliant as my work has proven to be effective for not just one module but several different ones.
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The isometric assets within the modules.

Since my last blog entry, I have spent a considerable amount of time redeveloping a module for a client who wanted a revised version for 2016 including new text, new images and a few new screens. The client has bases in several countries, so the English module I started with and redeveloped for 2016 was then converted into six different languages. In redeveloping this module, I’ve learnt a lot more about Storyline and it has allowed me to apply my current knowledge of the software and develop it further. My mentors, Elliot and Gary, have really helped a lot during this task, answering any questions I have about Storyline and helping me fix things when I couldn’t get it to interact in the way that I wanted it to. This task also required me to ensure that there was attention to detail, simply because the new content for the module had been translated and I needed to make sure that the right text was in the right places, despite the fact I couldn’t read what the text said myself!
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Final screens from the English and Lithuanian modules.

In October, I was asked to be filmed for a new module about mentoring, where I was going to illustrate a mentee. I was filmed in three videos altogether; two of the videos were autocue clips, which I thought initially would be relatively easy as the text that I needed to say was on a screen for me. However, it was more difficult than I anticipated, as I needed to have a bit more enthusiasm and not look like I wasn’t just reading it from a board. After several takes I got better and better in front of the camera and Dave Pryde, the Project Manager for the module, was happy with how the videos looked. After this, both Dave and I had to portray the mentor and mentee before a big meeting discussing how to approach leading a meeting. This clip took considerably longer, as we both kept laughing, and there were large amounts of text to remember so we forgot our lines a few times. In the end we got it right and there were a few stills of myself taken for the module. Gary has been developing the module and it was very strange to see my face featured in the module - but as a final product, it looks great.
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Final videos placed in the module.

After my initial 6-week review, I joined the social media team where I help to contribute towards the posts that are featured on our social media accounts. This ranges from helping to edit photos and think of captions, posting the content on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, to providing content myself that is posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I recently went to Snowdonia with Leeds Beckett Outdoor Society where we climbed Crib Goch, the most dangerous route up to the summit of Snowdon. When I returned to work the next week, members of the social media team asked me whether I had any good photos, and one from the top of Crib Goch was used for Pic of the Week. The video editing I discussed in my previous blog post is now on all of the social media feeds as well, which showed a behind the scenes view of how we set up and film green screen content for our elearning modules. I took the GoPro time lapse that they had filmed and edited the clips in After Effects to provide clients and our followers on social media a sneak peek of how we create our content.
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My Pic of the Week at the top of Crib Goch, Snowdonia.

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Screenshot of the behind the scenes video.

All round, Dynamic is an exciting and fun place to work! I took part in the Dynamic Bake Off in Round 6 where I baked a Kit Kat Chocolate Cake, but sadly didn’t make it to the next round of baking! On Halloween, we showcased how to do special fx by turning the team into zombies, which certainly got a lot of funny looks from other companies working on the Harewood Estate whilst we were getting our photos taken in character! For Children in Need, as part of our fundraising, we completed the Mannequin challenge where everyone had to stand absolutely still in different scenarios, and Ant went around filming everyone. The end product looks amazing and really showcases how creative a team we are.
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My Dynamic Bake Off Kit Kat cake!

So far, I’ve been involved with lots of brilliant projects for various clients and, over the next few months, I look forward to hopefully being involved in a client film shoot as well as potentially seeing a module from design all the way up to the final development. I would also like to learn more about filming techniques and how to effectively use the DSLR cameras, both for filming and still photography. I love taking photos and would greatly appreciate any tutoring which will allow me to use the camera in different ways to get better shots.

need a break?