Portfolio Essay – OVE

How has my practice changed over the duration of the semester in this studio? What have I learnt?

Our aim for Online Video Experiments was to explore how tutorial videos are constructed and see if we can create a non-linear tutorial video that would both entertain but can still be used by the end user to complete a particular task. Secondary to this we also tried to make our final project light and fun with an emphasis on the humour similar to our case study on The Katering Show (The Katering Show dissects trends in the food industry in a humorous way as well as teaching the viewer how to make certain types of foods).

We also looked at the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Jerry Seinfeld takes a fellow comedian for a cup of coffee in a classic car and records their conversations) specifically how mundane things can be made into an event when viewed on video. In the end however our focus switched towards The Katering Show as we felt there was a greater need for further exploration in regards to tutorial video and out of the sketches we had completed throughout project two the stronger ones seemed to have originated from elements from The Katering Show.

The sketching process we adopted over the course of the semester was split into two key aspects:

  • Project Two: We explored the comedic aspects of tutorial videos and with an emphasis placed on making a spectacle out of everyday mundane activities.
  • Project Three: Having explored most of the content side of things we focused on the way in which a tutorial could be presented and what online services are available to do so as well as their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Once we got to Project Four/Prototype our focus was on presenting the information and how we could tie the knowledge gained in the previous three sections into a non-linear way of presenting information to the user in a dynamic way.

In the end we created the interactive mind map which consisted of a central hub video with linking videos coming off this main video explaining how to complete a particular task using the online service/presentation medium that is the most appropriate. We used YouTube to achieve this as we felt it was a moderately well-known service, has good user interaction, and allowed us to link the videos together in a quick and easy manner using annotations. By using multiple videos in various styles, this seemed to keep the viewer visually stimulated but at the same time kept the videos simple enough for the viewer to follow the process. Our use of light-hearted humour and upbeat music prevents the videos from becoming too confronting and serious and allows the viewer to focus more on the process being presented and how they might emulate that process.

From completing this project the two main things I have learnt over the duration of the semester are

  • To be flexible not just in letting the idea to evolve but open to criticism even if it does not follow my image of what is right or wrong
  • The idea of Satisficing which relies on creating as many ideas as possible to work out a possible solution rather than creating one idea and constantly refining it

I feel like these two concepts would be beneficial in future projects as many times people would suggest things to change aspects of my project and I would tend to dismiss them saying that it required too much work/effort rather than exploring that avenue. Also satisficing helped me to think of the project from a different angle so instead of exploring the same concept in many different ways, it allowed me to explore many different concepts without fear that they would not be correct or necessarily be perfect.

One of the areas I have found I was a bit lacking in was in the creation of blog posts.  My main issue was trying to find time to post on the blog every week. I tended to keep putting it off rather than just posting in the moment. Also I feel like more of our group process should have been put into the blog rather than just stored on my laptop and written on pieces of paper such as small notes and other possible ideas that we did not implement.

Another area that I feel we needed improvement on was our organisation in regards to presentations. Although we got our concept and ideas across, I felt we could have prepared more in the way of notes as many times we improvised dialogue, relying more on memory rather than cue cards. Also our PowerPoints could have been more informative, containing additional information and imagery rather than just links to videos and slabs of text.

On reflection I feel if I were to do this project again, I would put more emphasis on creating sketches rather than constantly refining the same idea. Throughout the sketching process many times my aim was to reach the required number of sketches rather than just trying out new ideas/concepts to find out what works/does not work. I also feel I could have explored more online services other than the well-known ones and tried to use these services in a more un-conventional manner making our project more unique.

Overall I feel like I managed my time fairly well, reaching nearly all of the deadlines by their respective due dates.  The final concept that we created, I feel, could be useful to others in the future, as it allows for a more open ended tutorial process and acts as a mind map on how to achieve a desired outcome.  Linda and I also worked well as a group throughout the project both in distributing the work as well as bouncing ideas off each other. We also tried to incorporate our respective skills into the videos with Linda’s videos having more of an artistic element and my videos having more of an emphasis on comedy and camera techniques.

Project 4 – Making the Cake

This video was one of the more difficult to shoot but also was the most fun. The ingredients were the paper ones from the previous ingredients video. There was a loose script for this video outlining the process involved and most of my dialogue in between was improvised.

The only issue I had for this video was trying to decide how it should be film; should it be serious or more humorous. In the end I went in between the two to ensure the video worked as being entertaining and educational.

Project 4 – Cake Assembly

Since many people liked the use of animation in one of the previous sketches we decided to use an animation for the final video of assembling the cake.

This video was not so much difficult as it was time consuming since the cake had to be drawn by hand and then annotations had to be added on YouTube for each step as it was being completed. The annotations were a bit tedious as they had to appear when the step was completed and disappear as the next step started.

Project 4 – What is going on?/The Prompt

Our aim is to create something similar to this previous project I had created (Lawbook). Also building upon the advice of the panel we decided to explore the non-linear aspect of instructional videos but in such a way that the content could actually be used to make the final product. We took an idea that a member of the panel suggested which was the do-it-yourself cooking adventure.



We are interested in the way a tutorial video is communicated in regards to linear step-by-step processes. In our sketches we discovered that it could be useful to produce a linear video in a non-linear structure.

We plan to develop a prototype that explores a tutorial video in a non-linear form.

How can a non-linear structure be used to present a linear tutorial in an interesting way?

Project IV – A new Prompt

We presented what we had done for project three to the panel today and the feedback given was mostly positive. They had liked the sketches feeling we had explored the linear and nonlinear aspects of instructional videos and how different technologies can manipulate the content shown successfully.


We also pitched our prompt for project 4 which was:

To focus on the non-linear aspect of our videos and how the information can be presented in non-traditional ways and how this can be combined with other mediums.

They offered a few suggestions mainly in regards to why explore this area and threw us the question of should it even be explored.


In my opinion I feel the prompt for project 4 is worth exploring however from their advice feel that the emphasis should not be necessarily on using non-linear storytelling for visual effect but rather how non-linear storytelling/narrative can be used to enhance existing instructional practices to create an interesting hybrid form.

OVE – Project 3 – Video 7 – How to bake a cake? (Live Drawing)

How to bake a cake from Troy on Vimeo.

This video was an attempt to try and introduce a live element into instructional videos. The video involved live illustrations explaining visually to the viewer how to bake a cake. I feel the video is successful as it is simple and easy to follow and goes straight to the point. The video also forces your eye movement to be drawn into one area, keeping the viewer interested. I tried to keep the video as simple as possible by including only minimal sound and no voice-over to distract the viewer from the essence of the video. If I was to do this again I would probably speed up the video. Although the video is  visually appealing and easy to follow, the pacing can be a bit slow between drawings causing the viewer to lose interest.