List of Sketches for Project 3

Sketch ideas for Project 3


  1. Experiment with quality, what kind of qualities would be suitable for different types of online video sharing sites, e.g. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  -Steven
  2. Select a highlight and upload it to Vine or another online service, does it work better as a microvideo than a short facebook/youtube video?.-Apple
  3. Try making a ‘highlights reel’ using the Vine app, how does the 6 second constraint effect the creative process? -Apple
  4. Experiment with how music and sound can be used to compliment and enhance a montage suitable for YouTube which allows for a more elaborate and properly edited video. -Steven
  5. Convert a short highlight to a .gif file and upload it to a website such as 9gag that supports .gif files – how does this change the way the video feels? are .gifs more suitable for showcasing this online video example?-Apple
  6. Try to create a ‘highlights reel’ on youtube, rather than selecting only a single moment within the session, place them together and see how that affects the video. Experiment with a couple of styles when making a ‘highlight reel’ -Steven
  7. Using twitter, take screenshots of the game and place them together in a sequence, see if you can create a highlights reel out of nothing but images? -Apple
  8. Select a highlight from one of the gaming sessions recorded and upload it to YouTube, get an understanding of what could work better? Experiment with various techniques that may help to make a stronger impact. -Steven
  9. How does changing the context of a highlight effect it? Select a highlight and see if you can add music or change anything about it that could potentially make it something completely different – if you can, explain what the video has become if not a highlight? -Apple

Project 3 Sketch 8 – ‘Highlights Reel’

For this sketch I decided to further expand on this concept of a gaming ‘highlight’ to create something possibly longer. It turns out it worked quite well, what I attempted to create is in a sense a ‘highlight reel*’ which is essentially a compilation of highlights from a game that has progressed for a period of time. What makes this different from say a gaming montage in my opinion is that it’s much more linear as the highlights come sequentially within a time frame.

Compared to a montage, a montage is just a variety of short clips placed together with no real aim to achieve a sense of linearity, more like a showcase of a particular aspect such as skill, comedy, etc. This kind of video can be see in Project 1 where I analyzed a montage made by sparkles, it’s purpose being a homage and showcase towards the Counter-Strike MLG player – KennyS. To me this feel like something different, not something that’s completely new but something that steers away from the typical ‘gaming montage’ format.

As for where this kind of video may be suited for, I’d most likely say YouTube again because these kind of videos are targeted towards a much larger audience and without constraints on the duration, you’re able to really make the most of such a format and style whereas with something like Vine, something like a highlight reel wouldn’t be as effective in making an impact to the community.

In terms of technicality, I used Shadowplay to record the footage and Sony Vegas 13 to edit it. In earlier of my Project 2 sketches I looked briefly at the usage of text within a game, so I tried to incorporate the same technique with dialogue this time as well as the cuts in order to make it seem more linear.

Project 3 Sketch 7 – Gaming Highlights on YouTube

For this sketch I uploaded 2 of the same videos. One is a simple focus on what a highlight essentially is on a site like YouTube. Although I’m exploring how YouTube effects the creative process of a gaming highlight in this sketch, what I’m mainly focusing on is how I can expand on this concept through YouTube.

YouTube offers me the freedom to edit and change the video as much as I like, the only constraint is within copyright laws and classification issues. However, I’ve already addressed this issue here in an earlier blog post so for now I’ll only be focusing on the form and style I’ve tried to create in this sketch.

So for these two sketches, I’ve decided to work within the constraints of YouTube which there aren’t many really – seeing how far I can take this concept of a ‘gaming highlight’ and experiment around with it.

The original unedited version is down below:

So as you can see it’s pretty straight forward, it doesn’t really feel ‘YouTube worthy’ in a sense it’s too ‘vanilla’ – meaning its too plain. Sure this video may work as a short Facebook video or better off shared on Twitter, but within the YouTube gaming community, people tend to expect more when it comes to videos such as this. In order to make it ‘stand out’ among the other countless videos, it need personality – hence I’ve taken the same video and simply added extra effects to it – a simple effect but I reckon it works better than having it plain.

Post edited with Sony Vegas again, formatted into an .mp4 file because like .wmv’s they’re not too large and make uploading easier whilst still remaining quality.

What is a ‘gaming highlight’?

Gaming highlights are snippets of found footage in game that showcase certain events or moments within that session that viewers may find amusing, entertaining, amazing etc. In short, they’re short videos showcasing certain aspects of interest to the viewers lasting typically up to a minute depending on what’s being showcased.

An example of a gaming highlight is shown below:

So as you can see, a highlight is a pretty simple concept, but what we’re exploring is how we can take it further in terms of mixing it with different online services. What can a highlight become when it’s introduced through different formats? What can make it work better?

Highlights also tend to pave the way for other different video forms such as a ‘gaming montage’ or a ‘machinima’ – a highlight becomes the basis for creating something much more advanced and essentially more ‘entertaining’. But overall it depends on what online service you watch these kinds of videos on, e.g. youtube targets more

Project 3 Sketch 6 – Style

For this sketch I made a relatively quick montage highlighting ‘amusing’ moments that I encountered whilst playing GTA V. Here I’m simply exploring what kind of styles are suitable for certain online services. This sketch in particular is short, ranging from 1-2 minutes. This short montage is accompanied by music to help enhance the concept explored through the video (amusement).

In my opinion something like this would be suitable for services such as YouTube and Facebook where it’s easily shared and distributed. As stated in the earlier sketch, a montage tends to be targeted to as many people who find it interesting. Personally however, I think that something like this is more suited for a Facebook video because of several reasons:

1. It’s simplicity, not a lot of work has been put into this and the music has simply been placed over the game sound and commentary. Compared to YouTube, this video works better amongst friends and peers as opposed to a wider community more inclined to ‘dislike’ the video.

2. It’s duration. It’s only a minute long video which means it’s more comfortable watching on a social media network where people tend to scroll through and move through the news feed quickly. On the other hand however, people tend to go to YouTube for more in-depth and higher quality work when it comes to things like gaming montages or any gaming video in general really.

Of course this kind of video wouldn’t really work in other sites like Vimeo as the audience tends to be smaller and when people make these kind of videos, they expect them to get as many views as possible.

Note: Tried to upload it to facebook embed it to this post, but it wasn’t really working out.


Project 3 Sketch 5 – Quality

For these couple of sketches I decided to see which quality format would best suit our concept and the basis of this sketch was to get an understanding of what kind of quality would be best suited for certain online services  and tools.

The one below is a standard .wmv file set at 1080-30p. A lot of people tend to use this particular format because it retains good hi definition quality, not the best, but it’s good enough. The main reason people use this format however is due to it’s file size, only about 6 seconds accumulates to only about 8mb, and that’s set at 1080p. This file type is the most suitable compared to most others when it comes to uploading onto various online services. Facebook for example, videos tend to be short ranging from a few seconds to a minute so it’s only logical to waste as little time uploading something that’ll probably be watched and moved on. Certain sites however alter the quality of the video as well.

For example – Vimeo tends to lower the quality of the final product, probably only allowing HD uploads to those willing to upgrade their account, but through countless times uploading to Vimeo, i always found that the quality went down compared to uploading it to youtube.

Here’s an example:

And then the same video uploaded to Vimeo:

Overall I think that using YouTube as a means of uploading content is a better alternative compared to other sites, this of course is within the context of the genre and concept we’re exploring – a gaming montage. This is because a montage in particular tends to revolve around the idea that something specific wishes to be showcased to as many people as possible who find it interesting.

Although sites such as facebook and twitter can be used as services towards this concept, in order for a montage to really make an impact it needs to have a wide audience and the duration to really bring it out. Something that I will explore in my future sketches.

Note: I’ve also tried rendering in HD .avi format at 1080-30p, however, the file size was massive where 8 seconds accumulated to around 900mb. However, the quality was superb but overall that format felt impractical unless you had an upload speed fast enough to upload gigabytes of videos.

Project 3 Sketch 4 – Manipulating the atmosphere with music.

As done with earlier in project 2, I’ve added music in the background of a clip to see how it can effect the atmosphere and context.

Essentially the clip by itself is made to be dark, serious, a relentless deathmatch. However, it becomes so easy to manipulate the mood and context just by adding a song under it. Of course it depends on the genre but in the end it becomes interesting how you can manipulate found footage so much just through the simplest things.

So for this sketch I’m looking mainly at the manipulation – the idea we’ve come to agree to base our future sketches on. Although it’s short I reckon this idea of adding music that may or may not belong can be mixed with other techniques in the post production edit.

To explore this further we’ve decided to see how different types of genres of music can be used to ultimately change the context of a gaming video. This is to give us a better understanding of how far music will take us in terms of manipulation.

Project 3 Sketch 3 – Cross fading between 2 different times.

Here I tried to see how I could manipulate time within a game. I found that it’s much more harder to work around time within the gaming genre because it’s a bit harder to get footage that really brings out this idea of ‘time’. Essentially in most games it’s structured to give you only 1 set of time, i.e. playing a match in Counter Strike in a map that’s always set during the day. For me, the only real way to manipulate and emphasize time in a video game is through progress. So for example, in an RPG (Role Playing Game), it’s structured in a way that provides you ‘levels’ as you progress, making you stronger the more you play. I reckon time could easily be manipulated in a video when using content such as that where you simply shot various clips start at say level 1 and progressing until level 50 or something.

Now for this sketch however, I was luckily enough to stumble across a game that uses time within its structure (Grand Theft Auto). This made it easy for me to simply do a cross fade between two moments, one when I’m driving in the day and one when I’m driving at night – a simple visualization of time.

Although it works, I don’t think this kind of concept within the gaming genre works as well as something like a montage using found footage. Plus, it’s heavily restricting because as said earlier, progress is probably the only real effective way of working with this concept and we simply don’t have the time to spend recording every little moment of progress.

So we’ve decided to abandon this notion of ‘time’ within the video game genre as it works better with live action recordings.

Note: Throughout these newer sketches I’ve decided to stop using Fraps to record in-game and I’ve switched to a program called ‘Shadowplay’ which is a free program provided by the Nvidia GPU group. This is because Fraps places a massive strain on computer processes which could effect how well it’s recorded and the file sizes can as large as 50gb for 2 minutes depending on the quality. Shadowplay however, places less strain on the processes and still records at high definition as well as compresses the video files so they’re much smaller than Fraps videos.

Project 3 Sketch 2 – Selective Observation

In these two sketches I’ve come to explore what kind of moments really stand out against the rest. Here I’m still working within the confines of what makes an ‘observatory’ video in relation to the gaming genre. As stated in the earlier blog post on sketch 1, it’s much more easier to simply play and record, only to pick out certain moments during the post production editing process.

What make’s a good observatory video in my opinion is spontaneity, the unpredictable nature of human reaction, action and the game itself, all combined.  There’s an huge variety of things to do with such footage as this as well compared to something that’s planned. Something planned tends to take on a linear structure whereas having a ton of found footage at your disposal gives you the ability to create something like:

A short Vine video

A montage

A compilation


Of course some formats work better than most but it’s choosing how you use the footage that’s really enjoying.

To me, a video such as this, a video working within the confines of an observatory format is still enjoyable to watch depending on the content, but I feel that in order to make this work better, it would need to be placed within a montage or compilation of some sort – enhanced with music and video editing.

Note: an example of how we can change this from a simple observation to manipulation is if I were to simply cut these to videos together to create even a ‘mini-montage’ which would still feel better than it being just a standalone.

Project 3 Sketch 1 – Interacting with the gaming environment

In this sketch I was looking at the concept of ‘observation’. In most games we’re limited by the amount and type of content we observe, hence I’ve decided to move from the linearity of Counter Strike and onto a much more diverse, open world game – Grand Theft Auto V. This sketch is a rather simple one, I’ve decided to see how I can interact with the environment more. This also falls into an idea we look at consisting of ‘planning’ within a gaming video, how we can utilize the way the game is made to be played and see if we can create something given the restrictions placed upon us rather than being forced to do things as they come – this notion of unpredictability.

It felt much more difficult to do things ‘entertaining’ on purpose in a game however because games are meant to be unpredictable, that’s what makes it enjoyable to play and the same applies when making a video within a game – some events can’t be planned and things would work much better if things were simply observed where afterwards it’d be only a matter of picking out certain moments to showcase, moments of spontaneity and randomness.

Taken from this sketch, I’ve decided to steer away from the whole ‘planning’ idea in a gaming video and have decided to let things play out, seeing what kind of events and moments may take place.