With the deadline for our project drawing near, I am happy to say that we are essentially done. The introductory video has been completed, as has the StoryMap, and the main body of the site, the uploaded and organized collection of Murray and Slaughter’s letters, has been complete for some time. We have made progress on preparing for the final presentation, and all in all, the only thing left is review remaining supplementary materials such as our bibliography that we’ve assembled for the project. Despite some delays in our originally intended deadlines, our project, ahead of the final deadline, is essentially complete.
Well, this is it. With the project due Tuesday, we need to look over: the letters (which are all up on the site), the recorded letters (recordings are done, we just need to put them on the site), the StoryMapJS (mostly done, only a couple sites left), the intro video (recordings are done for that, it is currently in the editing stage on Final Cut Pro), and the bibliography (which has grown with the pictures in the intro video but is not too harrowing). The bulk of the project which was simply uploading all the letters is done so we have completed the bare minimum. At this point, we just need to complete all of the supplementary material and the bibliography to give credit where credit is due. It’s been a long semester but it all comes to an end soon. We’ll be ready by then, we just have a bit more to go…
Over the past week, my group members and I edited all of the video interviews with the James Monroe Museum’s curator and director using iMovie. We initially wanted to use freeze-frames to show the details on the objects, but found it too difficult to match the video with the audio. The most time-consuming and difficult part of the video editing was adding the closed captions. Sometimes we would save our work only to later find that our most recent version had not been saved. However, we finally finished the video editing and uploaded the interviews to YouTube. We also embedded them in our website. Our website is almost complete except for the “About” page and the “Musket” page.
Lately our project has been a lot of uploading and tweaking how we present the site. We got our timeline up and running on the site this week and that is running smoothly. We also are soon to make public our other completed summary pages after a final group review. Recently I also went ahead and installed Google Analytics just for fun to see if people actually look at our site after we present it. (For sheer curiosity)
We have also been getting a lot of invaluable help for a lot of people in this last week, especially including Suzanne Chase and Martha Burtis as we have been ironing out some technological processes. We also have been working through the diaries and checking to make sure that all of the transcriptions line up with the pages and there are no discrepancies.
We are in the home stretch for our project now, and will be finished with everything after the weekend so we can give the website one final look through before it is due on Tuesday. There are only a few things we have left to accomplish. Firstly, we must complete the StoryMapJS to trace the movements of Private George Murray during the war. We are about 3/4 of the way done with this, and only three to four more locations need to be added. Secondly, we must finish putting together the introductory video for the front page of the website. Kim and I did a voice-over for it last week, and we are now in the process of adding in pictures and music in appropriate locations to match the narration. We worked on this for about 5 hours on Tuesday, and now that we have the software figured out (we had to switch to using Final Cut Pro, which is more straightforward, from iMovie so our contract will likely need to be tweaked a bit to accommodate this), it should be a much faster process. We completely finished 45 to 50 seconds of the video, have pictures plugged into other places, and have a folder full of more images in our Google drive folder, so it will just be a lot of importing to finish it up on Thursday afternoon. Lastly, Breck and I need to finish the bibliography, which, now that we have accumulated many pictures for the video, has grown considerably. Between the two of us, however, we should be able to work through this quickly.
This will probably be the last project update for the Convergence Center website. The videos are up, the front page is ready, it works well on mobile, so we are just about finished with everything. I believe there are a few transcripts left, but that will be done before the due date next Tuesday. The walk-throughs are around thirty seconds and informs whomever visits the site about the service or room that they decide to look at on the website.
We weren’t able to get in touch with Jerry Slezak about doing a walkthrough for the IT Help desk, so we decided to go with just an image instead and have a small description of the service as a backup.
We were able to get all of the files stored on the ExploreHCC MEGA account, so everything is currently backed up and ready to give over to whomever is going to manage our website in the future.
Now that we are near the end, I have the say that the website has turned out really well. I can’t really find the words to describe how happy I am with it, but I hope people are able to leave the site informed on the history and potential of the building.
I have been working with the 3D objects that we are tasked to work for the James Monroe museum. I have had my ups and downs with it and for those who are wondering whats those are this blog post will explain the issues that I have had with it.
First I would like to talk about the hardware that I was using. When I first saw what tools we had to use in order to scan the objects with I was excited, until I saw how they actually scanned that is. We had the option to pick between a large platformed scanner, a small platformed scanner and a ipad scanner. The small platformed scanner would be unusable because of it didn’t scan in color and only could scan small objects. The big platform scanner had a bugs that needed to be fixed like, the drivers that would make the software that was need on the computer weren’t working so we weren’t able to use that scanner. So the last option we had was the ipad scanner which did indeed scan and capture the colors of the object.
Since the Ipad scanner was the one we ended up using I had to figure out how to use and figure out any flaws that it might have when scanning an object. I didn’t encounter many problems, but one the main problems had to be the amount of space we had. We needed space to move around the object so that the scanner could render a better scanning of it. The other problem that I had was trying to scan outside. The sun would mess up the camera’s ability to capture certain colors and also made it hard to render the 3D image. With this I could conclude that too much lighting is bad for capturing an object. The last problem that I encountered was capturing a thin object or the musket that I was suppose to scan. The scanner had a little trouble rendering the small details and certain parts of the musket, but in the end I at least captured the shape of the weapon and also the primary color of the object.
Overall I think that 3D printing still has a long way in advancing. The one I used is very good and it captures medium to large items with good color and decent detailing. The technology right now is pretty good and I’m sure if want a better rendered image there is technology out there, but its probably expensive to obtain.
Here an example of the 3D I scanned for the James Monroe Mueseum page that I have been working on with my team:
As our project deadline approaches, we are making final tweaks, editing written content, video content, and and graphic content. We are also finalizing the organization of the website. We really just have loose ends to tie up, and then we will be ready to submit the final website. Everything is coming together pretty seamlessly, and looking back, we spread out our work load for the project very effectively. We have our last class presentation on our project update, and by then everything should be finalized. Overall, our website has turned out to be intuitive, user friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.
The website is about 90% complete and I’m absolutely proud of it. It’s quick-loading, easy to navigate, and intuitive. It feels crazy that the early doodle I made in January has come along so well.
Before the weekend is over the website will only lack transcripts (Jon) and videos (Andrew B.), both of which have clearly defined upload destinations.