The jump in the cinegram loop, together with the seemingly prehistoric colour palette of the desert came together to remind me of the visible looping in the old Hanna Barbera cartoons. The looping became obvious as we got older as kids, and was most hilarious whenever a character like Fred Flintstone or Snagglepuss or Wally Gator or Yogi Bear happened to be running and running and running.
I intentionally added the forward-and-backward movement to Fred’s running within the loop, as it seems to be what I remember from those good ol’ days. That, and the sound of bongo drums.
Another ds106 assignment for Design Week is the ds106 Propaganda Poster: Create a propaganda poster for ds106. Use your photo editing software of choice and write a message to inspire your fellow ds106ers.
If you don’t know Alan Levine (and many of you must, if you are reading this via the ds106 stream), then you should. Alan, currently teaching the Spring session of University of Mary Washington‘s for-credit course in Digital Storytelling, is also one of the prime forces in the ds106 community — be it for-credit or #4life.
Alan’s passion for creativity, photography, openness, mash-ups and remixes, learning, friends, and general #4life-edness are becoming legend.
I first met Alan in person during the summer of 2011. I had been invited to Windsor by our mutual Flickr friend Diane Bedard (WindsorDi, on Flickr), who was hosting a get-together for Alan during his 2011 CogDog Odyssey. Between the time I had been invited earlier in the year and the time we got together in August, I had heard Alan interviewing folks on ds106radio about the first Unplug’d event that they had attended as he traversed Canada. I had been at Unplug’d, and found Alan’s interviews to be a marvellous way to hear how friends at the event had been reflecting on things, as I had certainly been, since the get-together. Alan followed suit with another such interview at Diane’s, where I tried to verbalize that Unplug’d “was more than a bunch of Canadian hippies camping out in the woods.” Following the visit and some marvellous photowalks with Diane, the Big Red Dog followed my Jetta to Hamilton, where we met up with some other Unplug’d folks, and a couple weeks later, Alan stopped by in Belleville for dinner and then, unexpectedly, a very important ds106radio broadcast, before he headed south to Baltimore.
Alan has been an important friend ever since. And he is an integral part of ds106 and ds106radio. So he gets his face on this poster. And he will like what it said before substituted the text which now reads GIFFER.
When I came across this original propaganda poster (I had searched for Canadian WW2 Propaganada posters), this was one of the first images I saw. At first, I was going to stick the bava‘s face on there, but (sorry, Jim), a flash second later, I decided to honour Alan.
Much to my chagrin (counter-balanced by my decision moments ago to formalize my use of TinEye before starting in on any future found-on-the-internet image re-mix projects) I worked on a small 421×587 image before finding a cleaner and less discoloured 2,164 × 3,000 tiff moments ago. It was a struggle to my developing photoshop skills to get the colour from Alan’s image face (Giulia Forsythe’s photo, DS106 Panel – Alan, D’arcy, GNA) to match, but in the end, I am happy with it.
After experimenting with the What the Font font finder and discovering that it was a useful tool to guide you to $40-a-pop font licences on MyFonts.com, I dug around on Dafont.com and FontSpace.com. I played around with a few, and had settled on Headliner No. 45 — that is until I did a last minute switch to Billy Argel‘s font, Masterplan, which I had already used for the GIFFER text. Headliner No.45 had a couple of little almost serifs that didn’t match the original.
I found a lot of other Canadian Propaganda posters (Canadians and propaganda, who knew?) in a forum post on Canadaatwar.ca, and may just do another, if the time and mood coincide.
Thanks for leading a great charge on the Battle for Creativity, Alan! You rock teh ds106 #4life. Truth.
Thursday evening I undertook my first official, as-defined-by-ds106 photoblitz. With a time constraint of twenty minutes, only the immediately available surroundings as subject, and a randomly generated set of seven prompts for focus, I took 38 photos, and from those, selected seven to share (plus the two bracketing start/stop time photos).
The images were photographed at the ice rink during a 17 minute interval. I used the list generated using John Johnston‘s Photoblitzer web app. John’s web app uses a randomly generated list derived from Alan’s list, the ds106 The Daily Create, and the discontinued DailyShoot website.
While I have, on occasion gone out and shot a couple hundred photos over the course of an afternoon (and in a few instances taken dozens and dozens of images of the same subject over a similar period of time) I’ve not incorporated the photoblitz technique per se as a time-limited practice. The closest might be when I took my camera and a list of overdue dailyshoot topics out for a Sunday afternoon drive.
After the visit to the ice rink, I had a chance to Hangout with Alan (@cogdog) and Nancy (@bellekid) in the ds106 online lab and say hi, learn a bit about ducks (and some other things), and have a chat. During the conversation, I heard a brief mention of an awesome Flickr plug-in, which Alan had helped Nancy get set up on her blog, but I missed the details.
Having decided that the plain vanilla Flickr slideshow wasn’t giving the control I was looking for (slide order, specifically), I searched for “awesome Flickr” in the WordPress plug-ins directory, and installed the Awesome Flicker Gallery plug-in (easy to find, right? I gather it was listed on the ds106 site somewhere, but such is my process).
I had already organized and numbered my selected images by the sequence provided by the Photoblitzer web app, posting them to a set entitled Photoblitz, and tagged with Photoblizt130214. (My intent is to post other Photoblitz pics to the same set, but tag them with the new dates.) After a bit of experimentation (documentation? we don’t need no documentation) I determined that the best way to manage the display sequence is to control that by the posting sequence to Flickr (either forward, or backwards — still not sure which I prefer) and then select the option to display the given show by order as posted to Flickr. This method preserves the date/time stamp information (something which I had been prepared to adjust, in a last ditch effort to force the sequence) but allows for a sequencing to match a chronology or story. Depending on the application, that could be quite important.
The font aesthetic for the descriptions seems a bit small for my liking, but the plug-in has an option to let you tweak the output via CSS. If it bothers me too much as time moves forward, I’ll look into that. I’d also like to sort out a way to display just one image (rather than a page) and have the plug-in gallery slideshow provide access to the other photos without the pagination that currently results. Again, likely doable, should the need arise. Having the plug-in installed and configured adds just another option to the methods available for sharing images. Nice.
More photoblitzen to follow, more use of the gallery plug-in to come, and continued ds106ing … #4life.
flickr photo by Serenae
flickr photo by bionicteaching
flickr photo by Serenae
flickr photo by bionicteaching
flickr photo by bionicteaching
Misty memories of childhood,
Early morning fog in Lucerne, on lake and trees,
No lion around all day, rather
Especially selected with pegboard tests,
Hidden away, in Room 43 below the chapel,
Now guard the interest, at Apple Store Vatican.
Sometimes, less is more.
Sometimes, the first photo of the day is the best.
As animated GIFs go, this one had the potential to be the easiest, it-fell-right-into-my-lap-and-it-was-done GIF.
I remembered Alan Levine‘s Animated GIF Assignment 857 “All Aboard the GIF Train” earlier this week, and made a quick attempt to grab a video of the train while it was getting ready to leave the local station. By the time I got in position and ready to shoot, I realized that my camera battery was almost dead. Following the rush to swap out the battery, I managed to grab a somewhat shaky hand-held capture as the train was accelerating away from the station.
When I returned to the video , I eyeballed a segment of the video that seemed pretty stable, imported 50 frames, deleted every other one, and then took a look.
This is the GIF that resulted:
I should have stopped there. Can you tell the difference between this one, and the one at the top of the page? Look closely, and you probably can. What you don’t see are all the various attempts between the two of them.
You can likely perceive where the jump is, despite my efforts to conceal it. I was very lucky in that the eye-balled selection gave me an almost perfect loop. Almost perfectly matching, beginning and end. The gap between the two cars just happened to almost magically align. At some point, I went back and imported perhaps three additional frames in an attempt to smooth out the jump. But in the end, I wound up deleting a frame instead.
As it turns out, the challenge to smoothing the loop wasn’t any one of these:
No, as it turned out, the challenge comes from something that was kind of hidden in the image, masked by the fact that the boundaries of the train cars lined up and moved in sync so well. The visual jump that I worked so hard to remove came, in fact, from an almost imperceptible difference between the two train cars. Check out this GIF, using just frames 28 and 1.
With just two frames to look at, the subconsciously perceived difference is a lot easier to see. (Hint: count!) And trying to resolve that with a simple adjustment to frame intervals just wasn’t going to work. When I looked back at the earlier image, with the smoke, it somehow looked good enough. And so I just set the intervals back to a constant, and exported, uploaded, and pressed the POST button. At 23:58, the Midday VIA became the Midnight GIF.