2011 integrated media notes: Korsakow Introduction

So, you've downloaded Korsakow. The first thing is to actually put the program in the right place on your computer. This is just good housekeeping. On a Mac this is in the Applications folder, think it is the same place on a PC. You do this so that a) you always know where it is, and b) some programs need to know where they are to work properly, and the applications folder is where they are supposed to live.

Figure One: The Applications folder with the Korsakow Application Inside.

When you open (launch) the application it either opens an existing project (if you've already started one), otherwise I think it will ask you to make a new one, or perhaps it just opens an emptyr project - I don't remember. If it opens an empty project for you remember this is NOT SAVED.

READ THIS: Korsakow is pretty well written software, for something that is an open source, small scale project. It will crash. It will especially crash if you don't follow some basic housekeeping responsibilities. But it will crash. So a) save often (all the time, hitting Command - S should be second nature to you), b) keep ongoing backups of your project, c) if you rush you will make mistakes and this will come back to bite you.

Figure Two: The Korsakow Project Window.

Since this is a program written in Java (so is not OS X or PC native) it largely looks and feels the same on both platforms. The menu items are not up in the usual place (the top of the screen) but are actually across the program window (like on a PC). Have a poke around under the menu items so you get a sense of what is there. This is also a very good way to get an idea of what the program can do, for instance some of the specific things in Korsakow are the Project Settings (under the File menu), where you define the size of your 'stage', you name the project (this appears in the title bar of the browser window) and you can see that a variety of things can be set (background sound, a start screen, and so on). To get more detail you can also check the online manual at the Korsakow site.

Figure Three: Korsakow Project Settings.

So save your project and give it a name. This is the name of your project, and does not have to be the name of your exported movie, nor the name that appears in the browser window as the name of the movie. Also keep saving it and do not use save as. Save as makes a copy of everything and is not how you do ongoing saves of your project.

Now, the simple things. You drag videos and images (jpegs) into the project window. The videos should be H.264 compressed QuickTime (.movs). Keep these videos in a project folder, in the same place, all the time, because each time you export your project the Korsakow software needs to find the original video files to convert them to the format it uses (.flv).

You can create folders in the Project window to help group/catalogue clips and jpegs.

Korsakow is authoring software. You make all your content outside of the program, and you use the program to build with your content, but not to edit, crop, resize.

The project window tells you the name of the file (video), so it sort of makes sense to use names that are descriptive. Type refers to whether the object is a video, jpeg or an interface. SNUified indicates if the thing has keywords attached to it yet. You can find out what the bell, music note, camera and green and red lights mean. Lives refers to how many lives a clip has, and interface which interface the clip uses. Now things like this tell you that, indeed, clips have lives, and that a project can have more than one interface.

Once you have a clip and, ideally, a thumbnail for that clip, you can double click it to open it.

Figure Four: The SNU editor in Korsakow.

So double clicking the clip opens the editor for that clip. Editor here does not mean image or video editor, it means it edits the attributes or values that Korsakow has for that clip (because this is how you author in Korsakow). Again, look at the things that are available, simply spending time to read the interface, clicking on things where there are drop down menu's, can tell you a lot about a) what the software does, b) how it does it, and c) some of the 'thinking' or 'logic' that informs the design of the software and what it is intended to do.

These pages are written by Adrian Miles ('official' and 'real') as part of the course material for Integrated Media One. This is a second year subject within the Bachelor of Communication (Media) program at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. These pages are notes to support students in this course and are best regarded as an informal aside to the lectures and workshops that constitute the subject. Views expressed here are not necessarily those of RMIT University.