Week 15 – Media Final

This has been a really good class. My only regret is that we didn’t dive deep enough into media manipulation. I would have liked to spend more time doing sound manipulation, and learning to mixers work. But I realize this is a short class, and we had too many topics to cover. Demystifying images and filters, and creating our own was very interesting, and it puts in perspective why and how applications like Snapchat are so successful. It also means we have the tools to start our work into something similar to this.

This last lab was also very interesting. I do love parsing strings, and putting a small page together was very interesting. It’s clear this was just to touch on how HTML works, because python already has very robust HTML frameworks that can make a lot of this work trivial. But as an experiment on delivering a simple webpage, it was pretty interesting. I think for me, more than the HTML, I really enjoyed finding a creative way to show the word count. I did research into the heatmap algorithm, and then curving the count so there is a better color distribution was the most fun.

The final project was a bit more rough. We spent a lot of time working on it, and trying to deliver the best user experience as well as a complete product. The biggest raw improvement was using smaller images, which translates to a lot less work copying pixels from one picture to another. Then optimizing so we only draw items we care about and not rendering maps on every action. Those small tweaks made a huge difference in performance, and overall, helped us deliver a better product.

Below is the demo video for our game:

 

What I would most recommend students taking this class is to come with some basic knowledge of python. Even a light pass on basic syntax and data structures can be incredibly helpful. It’s also very valuable to brush up on all your array, and dictionary knowledge. Those are very important data structures that will be used constantly through your labs and knowing how they work will make your life much easier. Finally, be very curious and be willing to experiment with the knowledge. Some of the most fun I had in this class was when I took the assignments off the rails and just tried to see what happened when I changed images, or sounds to do other things.

Being curious in this class has big payoffs in the way of knowledge and understanding.

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