Sunday, 11 October 2015

Semiotics rap and Photoshop practice exercise


To help you recall your learning on the SAS of Media (Shots, Angles, Semiotics) your first task is to come up with a short rap featuring some of the terms you have been introduced to so far.

Everyone should try to come up with at least one rhyming couplet (simply: two lines that rhyme!) featuring one or more SAS term. You could think of a rhyme for a term (example1 below) or just use the term in a sentence giving an example of how it works (example2 below)

It can be silly but not rude!

In groups of around 4, pick out your best lines (at least two rhyming couplets, or 4 lines); there will be a prize for the best group. You could use your comic book photo-story for inspiration.
The captains cap on her head was used to connote
Authority and power, not just a love of boats!
The camera angle for the victim was high
Connoting he was about to meet his maker in the sky!


You will have at least one full period to work on Task 2 and an optional Task 3.

You will be shown how to use a series of tools in Photoshop to combine multiple images and crop out the background of shots, and your task will be to use these tools to:

  1. in your My Documents, click , name this Media
  2. open Photoshop. Start ticking off the tools you have successfully used.
  3. set up and save into your Media folder a new A4, landscape, 300dpi document as 'Elephant practice' 
  4. add a new background layer
  5. make it fill the document
  6. crop a second image (remove the background entirely)
  7. add this to your saved document
  8. add some text
  9. save this as a png file
  10. submit through Showbie

Those very confident in their Photoshop skills will work through this exercise quite quickly, and can either have a go at Task 3 below or develop a useful transferrable skill by helping out others who are struggling. If you are doing that, always describe only, never take over the mouse! 

Everyone needs to submit their completed 'Elephant' image via Showbie


Create a rough, mock-up of an ad for any brand.
You will have very limited time for this task (just like working in the media industry!), so focus on getting all the components in; if you have time left, you can polish it up!!!

When submitting this through Showbie, provide a single paragraph (OR annotate your ad) explaining:
  1. what Photoshop tools you have used (a simple list)
  2. who your target audience was
  3. what persuasive techniques you used to appeal to this audience
  4. try to use precise Media terminology, especially semiotics
Your 1st report will be based on an assessment of this work.

You need at least 2 images for this task; you cannot simply use an existing ad (we did this for the elephant practice). Use the PowerPoint with screenshots (in this post) to remind yourself of how to find/use photoshop tools.

Your ad should:
  • combine at least 2 images, where you have ...
  • removed the background from one
  • some text, including a campaign slogan
  • it must be clear what product is being advertised and to whom (what audience) it is being aimed at
Think of the basic audience categories: WAG - Wealth (ABC1 v C2DE), Age (younger, older), Gender

 This ad features the bare minimum you need:
  • a model/character
  • removed (cropped) from the background of the original image
  • a 2nd image as a background
  • a product shot (the Diet Pepsi can)
  • a slogan
  • the company logo
It also has:
  • a 2nd slogan
  • company URL (web address)
  • graphics (the bubbles)
To create this image I used the page setup settings to make it A4; duplicate layer to add images to my document; the magic wand and eraser tools to remove the background; the zoom tool to get my eraser work right; the move tool and free transform to move around and resize images; the type tool for the slogan; the layers tool to rearrange the layer order. My product was Diet Pepsi which I wanted to aim at a young adult female audience of about 15-34, so I chose a glamorous model with long luxurious hair and heavy make-up (especially the lipstick) to connote to the audience that this is a glamorous drink! I suspect her arms have been made thinner in Photoshop, but she is not a super-skinny model. The medium long shot helps me to focus on the arm stuck out and hand on her hip, signifying/connoting attitude. The bubbles graphic and having her eyes closed also connote a daydream, while the swirly design also subtly signify energy. My female audience would want (aspire) to be like this glamorous figure and to also escape from their boring jobs or study for a moment by sipping a Pepsi, although the ad could also appeal to some men attracted to the model. This ad could appeal to a wealthy (ABC1) audience who might see themselves as like this model, with her expensive dress, or a less welathy (C2DE) audience who would aspire to be like this.

You could use annotation to show where you've used Photoshop tools, or to incorporate analysis of what you've included and why, if you're less confident at writing paragraphs.

This example is basic, simply highlighting the features you should be including in your practice ad.
To create this image we need: two images (a background + a shot of a model we can crop out); a slogan; a product shot; company logo. You could also use graphics, more text, and a URL (website address) or social media icons/address.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note that ALL comments are vetted prior to publication.