Category Archives: Activities


Solo Editing – Visual Story Assignment

As part of our Visual Story course at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center we were given a solo editing assignment which required us create a video given professionally shot editing software. The following is my video. The music used is Denial Revisited by The Offspring.


Our task entailed selecting footage from a number of videos, namely:

  • TN Parkour: First experience with editing & storytelling.
  • Stranger at the Door: Easy but more storytelling elements.
  • Anesthesia: More story(scary) with effects.
  • Unleashed: More challenging with Green Screen, VFX.

I chose to edit TN Parkour. With this video I attempted to create a music video of with cuts at beats, and attempted to tell a story of friends meeting up to do Parkour and ultimately feeling some sense of accomplishment at the end.

Improvisational Acting – Improvised Portraits

During our first session of Improvisational Acting at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center one of our tasks was to work together with a partner. The task was to create improvised portraits, and name them.

The rules to create these portraits was simple. Each person was given a different colored pen, and was allowed to make single strokes one after another. Any hesitation resulted in having to stop drawing, and choose a name. The name was created by taking turns writing a single letter.

The following is what Charlie and I created.

Improvised Portraits

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We very much enjoyed making these memorable characters! Try out this exercise yourself sometime, its loads of fun!

Visual Story – Space

After completing our first assignment our next involved exploring a different aspect of Visual Story. Space.

Space in visual story can be broken down into four categories:

  • Ambiguous
  • Flat
  • Limited
  • Deep

Ambiguous Space

Ambiguous space creates a feeling of confusion in the viewer. It can be created with the following elements:

  • Lack of movement.
  • Unfamiliar shapes.
  • Confusing tonal and textural patterns (camouflage)
  • Mirrors and reflections.
  • Objects of unknown size
  • Disorienting camera angles.

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Marshmallow Challenge

As part of Building Virtual Worlds we were tasked to complete the marshmallow challenge.

The marshmallow challenge has teams build a tower out of a number of materials:

  • 20 sticks of spaghetti.
  • One yard of tape.
  • One yard of string.
  • One marshmallow.

We completed the challenge with a height of 29 inches, and though our tower may not have been the tallest when measured. At the end of the day it certainly was the tallest left standing.


Visual Story – Composition

In our Visual Story course we were tasked to take pictures demonstrating various visual concepts. Our first assignment involved composition, namely working with the following concepts in photography:

  • Balance
  • Filling the Frame
  • Frame Withing a Frame.
  • Lines.
  • Patterns.
  • Rule of Thirds.
  • Shapes.

Below are the pictures I took for each category with a little why for each.

Some of the following photos did not successfully capture the category, but I included them anyways because I enjoyed taking them.


Balance is a tricky concept well explained at Essentially when I took my photos I focused on creating photos with two points of focus and symmetry.

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White Water Rafting – Pittsburgh

Have you ever gone white water rafting? With a lottery, a little yellow ticket, and the efforts of Carnegie Mellon Universities Graduate Student Assembly, I have.


So on a dreary Sunday morning we set off for the main university campus, got on a bus, and traveled to the lower Youghiogheny River.


When we finally arrived, we were dropped off at the outdoor office of our guides, The Laurel Highlands River Tours (imagine the following picture but grey and rainy).


On confirming our reservation we promptly collected our gear, ran through various vitally important safety measures, then began rafting. The experience required working together with ones raft cohabitants, and though we ‘frequently’ faced trials and tribulations, we always pulled through in the end.


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