Winter Break Programs for kids in Westchester

School Break and Winter Programs for kids in Westchester

Interdisciplinary Classes for Kids In Westchester at The Digital Arts Experience

Interdisciplinary Classes for Kids In Westchester at The Digital Arts Experience

The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains is pleased to announce that they will be hosting a 4-day long Winter Break Boot Camp for the kids and teens of Westchester County.

Experience the Digital Arts: Interdisciplinary Program (Ages 9-12)

This customized program is designed to provide the students with the opportunity to experience and experiment with various fields in the digital arts, including: 2D Animation & Visual Effects, Video Production, Graphic Design, Audio & Sound Effects. Each student will work hands-on with and gain foundational knowledge in the professional level hardware and software used in each area of  study.

The students will work at The Digital Arts Experience from 9:00AM – 4:00PM on:

Thursday, Dec. 26th
Friday, Dec. 27th
Monday, Dec. 30th
Tuesday, Dec. 31st

There will be 2 90 minute breaks throughout the day, and a lunch break as well. (Lunch will not be included)

They will create, plan and produce a multi-media project. The project will include planning/storyboarding, shooting, and editing video, creating animated titles and adding visual effects, adding sound effects and an original score, and designing a movie poster.

The tuition for this customized program is $550 per student. Each student will spend a total of 35 hours in our facility throughout the 4 days, resulting in cost of approximately $137.50 per day per student or approximately $19.60 per hour per student. Nothing else will be required to bring in besides a USB flash drive so each student can save their work.

To register, please follow this link: http://fs21.formsite.com/TheDAE/form2/index.html.

Feel free to e-mail Cristina at Cristina@thedae.com, or give a call to (914) 644-8100 if you have any questions or comments.

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Rob’s Tech Tip: How to Cap Your Data Usage on Your Android

Rob's Tech Tip

This week, I’ve got a quick tip for all of you Android users! An issue we all face in our digital lives is the data limits on our smartphones. I am constantly streaming music while I’m out and about, and it seems that, in no time, I’ve maxed out my data plan!

Luckily, with an Android device, it is easy to set a cap on your data usage to ensure that you don’t exceed your limit. Simply go to “Settings”, and then select “Data Usage”. Here you can set a mobile data limit, as well as a warning that will alert you when you are getting close to your limit.

That’s all for now, have a great weekend!

SILVERBACK SOCIAL SAYS: Instagram Ads: 3 questions + A Fatal Flaw

This article was shared by our good friend Cristin Grogan, Chief Responsibility Officer at Silverback Social, an amazing social media marketing company.  Please visit them at SilverbackSocial.com.

After Instagram’s initial announcement that ads were coming to it’s social platform a few weeks ago, we didn’t hear anything more.  Just that they were happening “soon”.  Last week, we got our first glimpse into what they would look like.

Instagram Ad

Beyond the initial announcement and the first mockup of the ad, the whole event has been shrouded in secrecy.  There’s been no word on algorithms or how Instagram ads work.  And while I understand the hesitation of over-promising and under-delivering on Instagram’s part, I can’t help but have the following concerns when it comes to what we don’t know about sponsored posts coming to one of our most beloved social media platforms:

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE…

Coworking At Its Best: Prepping for the Westchester Digital Summit 2014

By Christina Collins, Account Manager for counterspace

How counterspace Joined the Coworking Community:

We were actively seeking a creative community to engage with last spring. We were looking for anything from a meet-up group to a networking organization- we didn’t really know exactly what, but we wanted to tap into or create ‘something’ where “creatives” could share, learn, network and grow. I had found The Digital Arts Experience online while on my quest for this so-called creative community we were looking for, but, to be completely honest, we didn’t really “get it.” Then, Brett [Yancy Collins, Owner and Creative Director of counterspace] created a meet-up for professional creatives in the Westchester/Fairfield area and Emily, on behalf of The DAE, saw the meet-up and sent Brett a note. When he told me that he got a note from a place called The Digital Arts Experience, I remembered that we had talked about it before and I was like “That’s the place I told you about in White Plains!” We decided we should meet with Emily and check the place out.

When we came in, The DAE was very quiet and there wasn’t much going on, but Brett knew right away that The DAE was a powerhouse waiting to explode and could be the place that he could tap into to host and grow a creative network. What we hadn’t thought about was working from here. After all, we had just moved into a loft space in downtown Port Chester not two months earlier! We left our meeting and Brett and I looked at each other and knew we wanted to try and figure out a way to make The DAE our home. But first, Brett wanted to meet with the founder, so I set up another meeting just to ensure personalities ‘jived.’ Brett, having been a part of creating a place similar to The DAE in Ohio called ‘The Works‘ many years ago and had much to chat about with founder Rob Kissner. We were excited to continue our ‘courtship’ with The DAE!

How counterspace Met Silverback Social:

It was that day that Rob and Emily introduced us to Silverback Social founder, Chris Dessi. Chris had tremendous energy and was gearing up for the first Westchester Digital Summit. Chris and Brett were after the same thing: creating a digital community in our backyards – Westchester, NY. Brett was doing it from a digital design perspective and Chris from a social media perspective, but they clearly were after that same sense of “Do it here. Do it now. And do it digitally.” And Chris was doing it so we were excited to see what the WDS was all about. We attended the [Westchester Digital] Summit the following week and soon after, told Rob we’d be moving in.

How counterspace Felt about Coworking:

We moved in right in the middle of producing a website for International Carseat maker, Diono. The pressure was on to produce the U.S. version of their site; we had crucial deadlines to meet. We were heads down and had no time to make friends! (Not sure what kind of first impression we made!) Meanwhile, all around us, The DAE was full of life. Since we last visited, The New York Institute for Social Media was in ‘the pink room’ (which I was relieved about because that was the absolute, one colored room I did not want!) and Harquin Creative Group was in the ‘blue room.’ There were interns all about, classes in session and freelancers coming and going. And during it all, there was Chris Dessi walking up and down the hall on the phone with clients all day long- also heads down on churring out work all day and night.

counterspace and Silverback Social’s WDS14 Work:

One day out of the blue, Brett and Chris started chatting in the hallway about this and that and Chris mentioned he had some design needs. A few days later, Brett went and sat down with Chris and they talked about creating logos for the Westchester Digital Summit and for Chris’s personal website. They talked about the future goals of each project and what kind of feeling the identity marks should evoke, what style Chris responds to, and what he doesn’t, and other bits of information.

Brett returned to his desk and within a few days time generated a series of logo marks for Chris Dessi and for The Westchester Digital Summit. Chris was very excited about the logos and was eager to continue working together. Together, they began to churn out really high quality work starting with a brochure for the Westchester Digital Summit, which included photography that Brett took specifically for it.  From there, they moved onto a large format poster to be used at Westchester Airport and they are currently finishing up the website for WDS.

In addition, we began to execute a new website for Chris’s personal blog featuring all the many things about Chris such as hiring him for speaking engagements, advertising his published book, featuring him as a founder of the digital summit, linking him as the CEO and founder of Silverback and more- he’s a busy guy! counterspace came up with a innovative design for ChristopherDessi.com that will accomplish the goals of featuring “all that is Chris” in a classy way. That site will be launching soon and we are all excited to see it go live! What’s next? Well… we’ll all have to wait and see.

We (counterspace) were very eager to start working on the Westchester Digital Summit, partially because we attended last year and were energized about the concept then, and now this is one just way we get to be a part of it for year 2. The more successful we are at branding it, the more successful it becomes and that is good not only for counterspace, but for all of corporate Westchester, specifically digital agencies.

Best Part of Coworking at The DAE:

The advantage Silverback and counterspace have in the coworking environment at The DAE is proximity. By being in adjacent offices, feedback is delivered in person and instantaneously, questions and answers can be tackled at each other’s desks, gut reactions can be gaged and responded to when sharing deliverables and, most of all, ideas get shared and goals get discussed. Becoming an extension of each other’s teams results in successful projects, positive moral and a sharing of each other’s expertise in a noncompetitive environment. Coworking is truly about working alongside each other, learning and growing by leveraging each other’s areas of expertise, experiences and sharing in each others successes.

We have been at The DAE for 3 months now and we are confident we made the right move for counterspace. We’ve met fabulous people, we like coming to work, talking about projects we are working on, hearing about other people’s projects and even sharing weekend stories. Silverback, Harquin, counterspace and The DAE are currently collaborating on how to work with interns collectively rather than having a “counterspace intern” and a “DAE intern.” We are stronger as one and although we are all still learning the ins and outs of all the agencies and people who call The DAE home, there is an energy happening that assures me we are all moving in the right direction.

The Westchester Digital Summit 2014 will be held on May 15th, 2014 at the White Plains Ritz Carlton. For more information, please contact JohnZanzarella@SilverbackSocial.com or ChrisDessi@SilverbackSocial.com.

Rob’s Tech Tip: Fotor, A Free Easy-to-Use Photo Editor!

Rob's Tech Tip

Editing photos is something that the average person has not time for. Most people take pictures and dump them into iPhoto, Picasa or some other photo organizer and just leave them there. Photo editing can be tedious, complicated, and frustrating. Fotor makes that process a bit easier!

Fotor has a desktop and mobile version that allows for organization and tons of cool editing features, including a tilt shift that allows you to keep one part of a photo in focus while shifting the rest of it out of focus, creating a really artistic effect. What’s best of all is Fotor has a web based version of the editor. Simply select a photo to edit, edit it right in your browser, and then choose what online photo gallery to share to (Picasa, Flickr, etc.). And it’s FREE!

Check it out at http://www.fotor.com/

Blogging on Blogging

by Megan Johnson, intern

The views expressed in this blog are solely my own and do not reflect the views of The Digital Arts Experience in any way. 

As a marketing intern at The DAE, I manage all of our social media channels, which includes this WordPress blog. Before coming to The DAE, however, I’d gotten my feet wet in all different types of blogging sites throughout the years: Xanga (embarrassing), MySpace’s blogging feature (hyperemotional), Blogspot (nothing of relevance to say), Tumblr (also hyperemotional, but with photos and GIFs!), and finally WordPress. Using these blogging mediums for the past eleven years (am I that old?), I’ve clearly found purpose in writing in an online journal of sorts. So, if you’ll bear with me for one of my less emotional posts, here are a few reasons I’ve stuck with blogging my entire Internet life:

1. Community

The people you connect with on blogs are different from those you meet in your everyday life. If you’re anything like me, you’re unlikely to walk into the nearest grocery store, for example, and form a deep connection with the next person you meet. Chances are they’re from the same town, have the same routines as you, and that their life story is not that different from yours. But online, you surround yourself with people with whom you share similar interests. You can connect over things that perhaps your friends don’t have an interest in. You find people who have been down all different walks of life and they expose you to a wider world.

As a Irish-Catholic girl growing up in a very small Irish and Italian-American town, I didn’t know too much about what other people were experiencing beyond the typical Eastchester situations. Having a blog and following others’ blogs helped me to see what was going on beyond the four walls of my room and see things in a different light.

2. Expression

As I mentioned earlier, sometimes my blogs would get a little hyperemotional. But, for the most part, they acted as a healthy outlet for the stressful feelings that come with adolescence and growing up. I identify as a writer: of stories, poems, songs and, well, blogs. So, to have a place I could turn to just by turning on my computer did a world of good for me. I wrote to express everything that I was feeling: stress, sadness, excitement, fear, anxiety, happiness, all of that. It helped to clear my head and keep up my spirits in times of change.

3. Education

I support certain causes very passionately, specifically those involved with mental illness, and while I wasn’t being thoroughly educated about these issues in school or on the news, I was able to stay up to date through blogs. I learned about the different laws, movements, attempts to raise awareness, spokespeople and what was being done overall to reach out to those who struggled with mental illness. It was an education that I couldn’t obtain beyond maybe a day of Health class in school or on the evening news aside from the tragic stories. Following sites like TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms), an anti-suicide nonprofit, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health), and individual bloggers kept me informed and intelligent on the causes I cared about. On a lighter note, I also follow blogs that provide a certain type of education that I can’t get in school: sports! As a huge Mets fan, I need to stay up-to-date on my boys in orange and blue to be as true of a fan as I can be. So, Mets blogs are a huge part of my blogging experience as well.

4. Inspiration

As a writer and as a frequently stressed college student, I often need a pick-me-up. Early on, there were Xanga sites (does anyone even remember these?) that posted song lyrics and cheesy GIFs to try and make the angsty middle schoolers of that day and age feel a little less mopey and a little more glittery, I guess. Then, with Tumblr, we gained the ability to reblog these images and lyrics, but with the added sophistication of the format, GIFs, and the quality of the quotes. As silly as it may sound to those who never used Xanga/Tumblr, that action of reblogging to save that inspiration for later did a lot. I had a little tag going on my Tumblr called “inspiration” so that if I ever needed a pick-me-up, well, there it was:

“Allow yourself to be a beginner; no one starts off excellent.”

Except for me, of course. But that’s an entirely different story.

5. Growth

What have I learned from blogging? How have I grown? I have been exposed to people from all over the world who are eerily similar to me (sometimes making me think, do I have a clone?). I’ve been a resource to others and they’ve helped me in turn. I learn about the causes I care about and ones I didn’t know existed. My eyes are opened to different opinions and I’m supported by those whose opinions I share. Many times, in today’s day and age, we are told that our connections are so fake because we’re friends with people we don’t really know that well on Facebook or we feel more comfortable talking to certain people online, that we’re not engaged in the “real world.”

But I’d like to argue the opposite opinion: I think we are more engaged in the real world than ever. Instead of limiting ourselves, I feel as though we’ve grown by expanding our interests, knowledge, experiences, and, in general, our reality through the Internet. My reality was once the comfortable life in a New York City suburb, and though I won’t say that I know everything about everything (chances are I’m close), I’ve learned a lot more about the world from being immersed in the blogosphere. I’ve encountered people who have really struggled in their lifetime, stories that aren’t mainstream newsworthy enough, movements that connect people across the world, and it has been a beautiful experience.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn in the years to come. Because even as I finish up my formal education this year, I know I will still have so much more to learn from the wider blogging community.

Learning About Vine and Stop-Motion Animation in Westchester

Image representing Vine as depicted in CrunchBase

Image by None via CrunchBase

by Megan Johnson, intern

Ever since Vine, the app that lets you record looping 6-second videos, debuted in January of this year, it has been a hit amongst stop-motion animators. All a Vine recording requires is that you press your thumb down on the screen to record and lift it to stop. So, for stop-motion aficionados, that easily translates to creating your own stop-motion animations.
For those of you who are interested in exploring the stop-motion world, check out these tips, provided by the pro Viners themselves: 

1. Come up with an idea!

No (successful) stop-motion clip can be spontaneous. Plan out what you’re going to do in your 6 seconds and figure out what your goal is for this Vine. Pro Viner, Frank Danna, recommends asking yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” if you have “Viner’s Block.”

2. Plan. Rome wasn’t Vined in a day!

Much like longer-length productions, you’ll need to organize your Vine by breaking down your shots and figuring out what you’ll have to do – for more complex Vines, this may involve storyboarding! This helps you stay on track and constant throughout the filming process. “I typically begin with rough sketches or written walkthroughs that help me keep the story of my Vine intact and insure consistency from start to finish,” says Danna.

From here, you can figure out not only where your Vine will end up, but also what props and camera angles you may need. If you want to ensure steady shots, get a tripod or a makeshift tripod to keep your stop-motion animation looking flawless.

3. Cut frequently!

You’ve got way more time than you think you have. 6 seconds seems long to us, but in the realm of stop-motion animation, it’s a long time. You have so many possibilities!

Just look at Ben Wyatt (on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) as his hard work of three weeks led to 3 seconds of stop-motion:

Don’t worry, yours won’t be as bad.

4. Use the ghost feature!

Some of you may not even realize this exists, but pro Viner and video producer Ian Padgham recommends using Vine’s ghost feature. It allows you to have a ghost layer while you’re filming, so that if you bump the shot at all, you can view the last scene with ease by tapping the ghost in the bottom right corner

5. Take a screenshot for looping!

Padgham also recommends that, if you want to have a great, smoothly looping Vine, you should take a screenshot of your first shot so that you know exactly how to end your video to look just like the beginning.

Maybe you can even aspire to be as great as these guys (but don’t be ashamed if your first attempt isn’t quite as awe-inducing!)

Happy Vining and hope you have as much fun with it as we do! Check out our Vines by following @thedaexperience.


Love Vine? Check out these great Vine articles that have more tips and more awesome animations!

Interested in having your kids learn stop-motion animation?
Our next Stop-Motion with Legos class at The Digital Arts Experience for ages 9-12 will begin December 4th!
Click here for more information.