Documentation and Branding are undeniable and deeply important aspects within any large-scale, visually-centered competition. Being able to receive recognition for your team's name and image is a top goal for a lot of teams. This phenomenon became apparent to me as I made my way through the dozens of aisles of 'pits' at Worlds (top championship for FIRST) in 2022. I was immediately drawn to the teams with tall, vibrant signage or those iconic, well-known teams with over-the-top accessories and names slapped onto everything from necklaces to first-aid-kits. It was clear that, aside from winning matches, getting your name out there was top priority.
Seeing how Columbus Space Program has tried to stand apart from other teams by adopting our unique shade of green, we naturally have extended this importance of visibility to Media. Our Media team has been appraised as its own independent segment of the team, with a selective number of CSP members fully devoted to media, representing our image in a refined, yet authentic setting.
The core facets of our Media team begin with pictures and graphic design. Pictures speak for themselves– real-time, raw imagery of how our team operates. Graphic design, however, is more complex, its roots running deep throughout the foundation of CSP. Graphic design, by default, entails the logos for teams, flags, and sub-programs meant to represent the impetus of our team. Signs are another staple to us and border the outskirts of our pit at competitions– aptly deemed Pit Signs. Having created a smooth system of production for these facets, CSP’s media team decided to heavily ramp up its diversification and level of content creation. In the last year, we have unveiled CAD With Connor, a YouTube series by our skilled, remote designer instructing aspiring CAD-ers on how to become proficient with design. Safety Tip of the Week is another video-based product, which appears on our Instagram (@frcteam4188) with the purpose of educating viewers on how to take the best precaution when around machinery. As a result. video-production made its way starkly past the confinements of just reveal or chairman's videos. And, in large part, CSP owes this transition to our two-year FRC veteran, Sidhant D.
Sidhant's transition into Media can be described as a natural, puzzle-piece-like fit to the team. In the 2021-2022 build season, Sidhant recalls that he “was kinda running around mostly doing ‘programming’ amongst other things, but nothing fairly consistent.” However, in late February of 2022, he overheard another member, Jay, storyboarding a robot reveal. Later, Jay asked him for assistance with the video via Discord since Sidhant had previously mentioned having experience with video editing on Premiere Pro. After some shadowing and toying around with different video-editing concepts, Sidhant’s work was recognized by our head Coach at the time, who avidly praised his input on the robot-reveal video, swiftly beginning to include Sidhant in more media-centered conversations. Sidhant recalls how, as a result of this praise, he “committed to working on media from there [on] as some people liked [my work] which was really cool to see.”
Sidhant has made significant contributions to our team in such a short amount of time. For one, CSP’s initiative to rebrand was carried out in large part by him through the redesign of the Columbus Space Program Flag and all FTC logos. In response to his physically issued work, Sidhant said it was surreal “seeing the actual flag in real life...[or] how the graphics I create on my computer can turn out.” Sidhant’s work indisputably reveals his natural draw towards creation.
In gaining more insight from Sidhant on technique, he advised others interested in media to “keep everything organized by making several files for different footage, graphics, and other factors,” as this minimizes unnecessary stress in the future. He describes his personal process of graphic design as being differentiated into clear steps. He mentions that he sketches out his rudimentary ideas “in Photoshop and research[es] reference images for inspiration” but that, as time draws on, “the final product always ends up being something very different.” Nonetheless, amongst the trial and error often comes new understanding. After all, experimentation is essential to breeding systematic steps for more a efficient and progressive output.
Sidhant's contributions amongst the general CSP media team's work divulges that our purpose and personality as a team is not void of a conversation-- we as integrated, yet self-sufficient individuals are recognized through these media efforts. We are more than the robot that races around the field with ‘4188’ on its sides-- that is but our surface.