Documenting my progress

I have been having some difficulty documenting my progress of late; in fact I have wasted an entire week trying to find a solution to this problem.  Like the plot of a time travel adventure, this is where this blog may get confusing but I will do my best to try and explain.

My method of documenting my progress involves writing an account of the work that I have been doing in a word document, usually within a short space of time after completion of a particular section or some significant progress and if I am in the flow (to use games technology) or I am on a roll for those of you who are non-gamers I move straight on to further work, which then means at a later point in time I need to go back and combine imagery or video with the text I had wrote previously, in order to upload it all collectively to my blog and sometimes it can mean me uploading several blogs for differing pieces of work relating to different dates in one go, at one time.

This is a process that works well for me but I have recently being struggling with a new method of documenting my process and depending on when you are reading this post, the blogs I have been struggling with may or may not actually be online at an earlier chronological date to this post, depending on whether or not I have been able to find a solution to my problems.

As I have been progressing With my project I have incorporated more animations and interactive elements that are harder to document effectively with text and static imagery, so the obvious answer would be video in the form of screen recordings and I have used this method effectively in earlier posts but unfortunately there have been some issues.  The best screen recorder I have found so far is the screen recording utility in real player, on the iMacs at HSAD, this worked particularly well as it recorded in good quality with relatively small file sizes on the output and due the large screen ratio on the iMac you can see the application in both orientations.  But there is a problem with this method, the software at Hull school of art and design is adobe cs5 and my application has been created using Adobe CS5.5, which means I need to save my application in the older file format in order to run it on the uni machines, this was not a problem in the earlier stages of my applications development but now it is a major problem.

in a previous blog (see here) I explained that I had been experiencing some issues with my application lagging or running slowly and I resolved this issue by optimising my application, one of the biggest methods of optimisation I used, involved the use of a feature called Export as Bitmap, a feature that did not exist and thus is incompatible with the software at uni, so I no longer have that method of documentation available to me.  This means that all screen recordings will have to be done on my laptop, which mean my application can only be seen in horizontal orientation due to the laptop screen aspect ratio but luckily due to the way I have designed the application all of the content is still viewable, so this is only a minor problem.

Although it brings me to a further problem of screen recording on my laptop, the software utility I used on the iMac at uni is not available on windows, so I must use different software, I have been trying different software and after a week of recording the same piece of video with many different pieces of software, with varying results in terms of quality and file size, I thought I had found the solution with a piece of software called Jing, it recorded in good quality with a small file size, all was good until I attempted to edit the video, it seems that importing the type of file Jing exports into Adobe Premier (my editing software) results in the file corrupting and the video been lost, so ultimately another dead end.

I was left to return to a piece of software I have used previously called Cam Studio, which records with reasonable quality but the file size it outputs is massive which means that in no time my hard drive will be full, the uploading of files to Youtube will take hours and this is a big problem but at the moment I seem to have no other choice.  I then encountered a further problem in the editing process, after I had compiled the piece of video I wanted it exported into an un-viewable jumpy mess of a state.  I am not sure what I am doing wrong and as of this date it is significantly affecting my ability to record my progress effectively.


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