How to do a screencast

Introduce a blog-like website

The website I introduced: Dole Get Up and Grow

I must admit that it is really easy to do a screencast when you have the right tool. I used to do the screencast of drawing tutorials for my friend on my PC. However, the software I used on PC is not user-friendly in a way that it would slow down the computer whenever I run it. It is extremely annoying because the software for drawing tutorials (PhotoShop CS6) has already dragged down the processor speed. Since the screencast I created is only about two minutes long, I would say Jing is the best tool to quickly create short screencasts especially when you have no intention of refining the screencasts and doing video-editing afterwords.

As a screencaster, my problem is narrating while screen casting. In the case of this specific assignment, I found it is somehow hard to control the balance between narrating and solely screen casting. It is awkward that I have few things to say when taking a relatively long time to present the whole website. Similarly, sometimes, I have a lot of things to say about one particular page on the website, which, as far as I concerned, would probably make the audience bored due to a large amount of narration while the screen remains still. To be honest, I also felt quite lost when it was time to end the screencast. I won’t deny that I did a terrible finish, which, in my opinion, the word “awkward” is no longer enough to describe how poor it is.

I think screen casting can be associated with live streaming. That is to say, they are basically the same thing except that live streaming is recorded in real-time. While live streaming provides real-time interaction with the audience and, to some extent, requires the ability of improvising, screen casting needs a rough plan but also allows to make changes. There is no certain way to tell which one is better. It depends on the situation whether to choose screen casting or live streaming.

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How to create your commercial

My final product: Personal Blog

Despite my previous experience with Adobe Audition, it is quite troublesome for me when I used GarageBand at the beginning. I spent almost two hours on figuring out how to input a song and get off with the default software instrument track. The normal audio track is what I really needed nevertheless another Classic Electric Piano track would show up when I clicked New Track. However, everything went smoothly when I got it right. It did not take me long to find several alternative songs for my commercial because all the available songs and BGM were already categorized on the website (http://maoudamashii.jokersounds.com/). I had tried a number of combinations of two pieces of music before I finally made up my mind which two I would use for my commercial. I did not know what came over me at that moment, but I did the most stupid thing which was to edit the two songs first. I adjusted the volume and did some fading effects, which turned into a big problem when I blended them with my recording because the volume was still too loud. I had to redo all the fading effects in order to set the proper volume. Other than this, my experience with editing is relatively enjoyable. It is worth noting that it was hard to arrange many notes only with touchpad when I wanted to create a smooth curve for the fading effects.

I knew what I was going to say in my commercial. What I did not know is that it was difficult for me to record what’s in my mind fluently once and for all. Sometimes I would lose track of what I was saying, sometimes I would pronounce the words wrong. The fact that I am not good at speaking English makes me ended up breaking the whole recording into various parts. Also, for the name of my blog, I overlapped the word “not” at the the complete sentence “It is all about me” by lowering the volume between the world “is” and “all”.

How to decorate your header

To begin with, event though it is asked to complete an advanced Google search for images, it does not occur to me that I should use others’ images. Since this is a personal blog which is mostly about myself, I eventually decide to use the photos I took for my header and background image. The recommended dimensions that WordPress allocates fro my header are 1088 x 300, but I end up with 1088 x 441. This is because the recommended dimensions are too small to wholly present one point perspective that things appear to get smaller as they get further aways.

According to my previous knowledge, the special features provided by Pixlr are all achievable in Photoshop. However, Pixlr is much easier to use compared to Photoshop. A few clicks will do the work rather than adjusting each parameter precisely. To be honest, I have had a hard time to choose which effect and what kind of style I truly wanted for my header. I do not want the picture overlaps with too many effects and styles because the theme color of my blog is white which is relatively simple and clean. It comes naturally that the opacity of both the style and effects is low after I chose one style and two effects. The photo for my background image originally has a dark tone, which could be easily messed up with my header. Therefore, I raise the brightness level and decrease the contrast in order to give the original photo a brighter tone.

I think there are many places that I can apply my newfound skills with Pixlr to my everyday life. The most common one would be refining photos as what I have already done for my header and background image. It not only has the basic adjustment options that a smartphone has but also more customization options.

All hail AP mid laner

*FYI, the game I am talking about is a Chinese mobile game which is similar to LOL.

First of all, I swear to gods that I will never not ever choose an AP tank again! If you are thinking “Hey, what about AD tanks?”, then I can tell you that I have no idea how to play as an AD tank from the very beginning.

Here is a piece of evidence of last night massacre.

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One word to describe it: PATHETIC. Our ADC can not keep up, and despite we have two AP champions, one of them certainly do not know how to play it. I guess fortune is never on my side when I play as an AP tank in solo queue.

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Originally posted by gameraboy on Tumblr

Well, that is enough complaints. I am gradually starting to play AP champions now  (usually I would prefer support champions but…). Nevertheless, I really want to become good at it!

Oh, one more thing! Guess who just hits a 6 games winning streak?

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My heart is dedicated to APC.

How to build your website

It is not that I have never built a blog or personal website. However, I would say that my experience with WordPress makes me feel as if I have never built a blog or personal website before. There are mainly two tricky things during my construction I want to talk about.

The first one is Menus-Pages. To begin with, when I wanted to start with “Meet the Editor” after I have finished “About”, it turned out to be the same page as “About”. If I made some change to “Meet the Editor”, then the content of “About” would also change, which is quite frustrating. Nevertheless, I was eventually able to figure it out that I needed to create a new page for “Meet the Editor” menu link first. Yet my “suffering” was not over. I expected the title of “Meet the Editor” page would be “Who I Am”, but, as you might have guessed, the name of “Meet the Editor” menu link changed with the edition of the title “Who I Am”. The problem here is that I matched “Meet the Editor” menu link with the page named “Meet the Editor”. I solved this problem by changing the name the page and rematching it with “Meet the Editor” menu link.

The second one is how to delete a category. I accidentally created a wrong category under the category of “Uncategorized”, and I could not delete it. I initially tried to remove the “Categories” widget and re-add it, but it did not work. Fortunately, thanks to the help of web self-service, I found out that I needed to add “/wp-admin” after my website link, and then it would go to the page where I could manage the categories.