Week 1

A video recording of the synchronous sessions for the week will be uploaded after each class to this folder (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s8lpbwnw768exvp/AAD_wCFERsLKwgi2EAHeBdGya?dl=0) (the password can be found on the “Welcome” page of this course’s Blackboard site – email me if you can’t find it)

Introduction to the course

MMP 460 -Multimedia Project Lab is the capstone course for Multimedia Programming majors. It’s an opportunity to show off everything you’ve learned through your course of studies, to enhance your portfolio and to expand on the skills you’ve already acquired. This is done through the production of an ambitious semester-long group campaign project.

In the next few weeks you will create teams, brainstorm ideas, create a proposal, iterate ideas, create prototypes, and present this project. The syllabus has a detailed weekly breakdown as well as information on grading, software that will be used etc.

Based on the class’ interests and ideas, we will conduct three to five workshops early in the semester to make sure you have all the tools you need to bring your campaign projects to life. A list of possible workshops are listed on this page (but other topics can be added if necessary).

Portfolio review

The capstone course is also an opportunity to review and edit your portfolio. A strong portfolio is  indispensable in pursuing a career in Media Arts. It should be hosted on the web (for easy sharing and editing) and feature your strongest work in a clear and organized fashion.

Working on your portfolio this week will also be useful for forming groups with complimentary interests and skill sets, and to plan workshops.

Portfolio checklist

Here’s a list of steps and important features you should take into account when creating/revising your portfolio:

  • Gathering: Gather all the pieces you want to feature on your portfolio in a folder. Quality should trump quantity. Four to eight really strong pieces that showcase a variety of skills is enough at this point of your career. It’s likely that the person looking at your portfolio (wether it be for an internship, job or college application) has limited time and is looking at many other candidates’ work. Make sure you put your best foot forward! Your documentation (images, videos , audio etc. ) should be visually engaging and clear. Do not include anything that’s pixelated/poorly photographed or exported. For images, use JPEGs/PNGs that are at least 1200px wide. If your work includes animation/video I recommend creating a free Vimeo account to upload and embed them. Including a projects’ initial sketches/wireframes/storyboards can be a nice touch too – giving the viewer some insight into your process.
  • Organizing: Depending on the number of works you are presenting, you may want to create subfolders/categories (i.e: Digital Imaging / Animation / Print / Digital / Typography).
  • Describing: Each piece should have a title, year of production, and medium/a used. You should also include 1-2 paragraphs explaining the project’s subject matter, goals, and visual approach. Don’t be afraid to mention artistic influences. Talking about challenges you encountered, how you solved them and things you learned in the process can also be insightful. Consider writing a case study for at least one of the works in your portfolio. Be mindful of spelling and grammar!!!!!!!  Careless writing will set back even the most beautiful visual piece.
  • About: A paragraph introducing yourself and summarizing your professional goals. You should also provide contact information (email and social media accounts) or a contact a form. Consider also including your resume.
  • Formatting: You can present your portfolio in several different ways. Different schools/jobs may ask for specific types of files/URLs. Here are a few common options:
    • CMS templates: There are several templates available online that will require very little coding on your part. A lot of these are free (or have free versions that can be upgraded later):
    • Custom website: if you are interested in a career in web development, creating your own website with custom HTML/CSS/JS) is a nice way of showing of your front-end development skills. You can start coding from scratch or use a library such as Bootstrap. You can also use Github to host it for free.
    • Social Media: While Instagram, Deviant Art, Dribble, and Behance can’t fully replace a full portfolio with an about page, categories, resume etc. it’s a good idea to create an account and feature your work on at least a few of these platforms as well.

Here are a few links for further tips and inspiration:

Open Lab

Open Lab  is an online platform where the College’s students, faculty and staff can come together to learn, work, play and share ideas. The platform was first started at CUNY’s City Tech and was launched at BMCC in Spring 2019. This site was created on Open Lab and will be your main resource throughout the semester. You will post your work on this site once you’ve created an account. You can also browse the BMCC OpenLab to look up other courses, to connect with faculty and students, and to create a portfolio.

Creating a BMCC OpenLab Account

View this help doc, which is also embedded below: https://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/blog/help/how-to-sign-up-and-log-in-to-bmcc-openlab-students-staff-faculty/

Joining this Course on the BMCC Open Lab

Now that you have created your BMCC OpenLab account, you must become a member of this course site. This means the course will appear in your “My Courses” tab for easy access. You’ll also be able to publish posts on the course site. To join the course, log in to the OpenLab, then click [Course Profile] in the site menu above, then click Join under the square course avatar.

Creating a Portfolio/Profile

By creating a Portfolio on OpenLab, you will be setting up a Portfolio Site and an associated Portfolio Profile page. You can use this site to share work in progress for this course as well as to formalize your general design portfolio you’ll be sharing in and out of class. The steps below will take you through naming your Portfolio, writing a short description, and uploading an avatar for your Portfolio Profile page.  You will also choose a URL for the Portfolio Site and Privacy Settings for both the Profile and Site.

  1. After logging in, click My OpenLab in the main menu. Then click + Create a Portfolio in the right-hand menu.
  2. On the first Portfolio creation page, you will see a space to enter your Portfolio name.  It will already have a name filled in, based on your first and last name, but you can change that if you wish.  We recommend that you follow this format: FirstName LastName’s Portfolio (for example, Jane Smith’s Portfolio).
  3. Next, enter a description for your Portfolio.  You can always change this later, so if you don’t have a description prepared, just type something in as a placeholder.
  4. Check the appropriate boxes for your school and department.  These are required.
  5. Click Create a new Portfolio site and choose a site URL.  Like your name, this text box will already be filled in, based on your name.  However, you can enter a different site URL if you wish.  Once created, the URL cannot be changed, so consider it carefully.
  6. When you are finished, click Create Portfolio and Continue.
  7. Next, set your privacy settings for your profile and portfolio site. When you are finished, click Next Step.

Adding a Post/Project to your Portfolio

The following steps walk your through how to create a new post:

  1. Go to the OpenLab homepage (https://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu) and log in.
  2. Go to My Profile. Click on the link to your Portfolio site will be on the top right.
  3. Click on the little  + icon on the top of the page. This will create a new post.
  4. Give your post a title (this will be displayed in bold at the top of the page that will be generated
  5. Create your post. It may contain text, images, videos and other types of media.
  6. To finish and submit your post click on Publish.
  7. By default, your new post will automatically appear on your portfolio’s home page.
  8. You can edit and delete a post (or page – such as About Me on the main menu) by going back to its Edit mode (found on the side and bottom of the page/post). The title and content can be edited and Move to Trash (on the right) will delete the post/page.


    Adding a post

    Instructions can be found on this page.

Introductions activity

Let’s get to know each other a little bit. Complete the “Week 1: Personality Lists” activity on this page.


For next week:

  • Create an Open Lab  account and join this course (search for MMP460-1100 fall 2021)
  • Complete the “Week 1: Personality Lists” activity on this page.
  • Email me (at apinkas@bmcc.cuny.edu) with your preferred email address. The subject of your email should be “MMP460  [First Name] [Last Name]”
  • Portfolio – step 1: gather, organize and describe (see Portfolio checklist section above) the projects you want to feature in your portfolio. Make sure each file has a meaningful name (i.e: NOT untitled1.jpg). Create a Word or Google Doc document for the descriptions and “About” section (case study is optional). Everything should be placed in a single folder and shared via URL on the “Week1: Portfolio – Step 1” page.

    If you are already using an online platform for your portfolio, you may submit the URL instead of the folder described above. Make sure each piece has a description. Include any piece that currently isn’t on your site and that you are thinking of adding.

    This is the first step of the portfolio assignment (worth 15% of your total grade – see grading rubric here). In the coming weeks, you will edit and format your work. The final version is due on week 14. You will be asked to show progress on this project throughout the semester.