Since Inception, DS106 Radio Is TOPS! #2years #4life

“Since Inception” by aforgrave, on Flickr

Are you listening? Well, ARE you listening?  You better be!


#ds106radio is celebrating its second birthday this weekend. Of course you’ve listened to the open, online, free-form internet radio offshoot of the University of Mary Washington’s Digital Storytelling course, DS106, RIGHT??

I’m sure that DS106Radio’s stickiness comes directly off of Grant Potter‘s duct tape. The ds106 community embraces, encourages, supports, and requires the striving for creativity and expression.

Happy Birthday, ds106radio!

The image is captured from Christopher Nolan‘s 2010 mind-bending film, Inception, from the scene were Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) confesses as to how he tricked Mal (Marion Cotillard) into understanding that they were, indeed, still in Limbo, and needed to return back up to the “real” world. I’ve made several GIFs of the rotating top from the film. As I was finishing this one, the pun came to mind.

At which point GIF became considerably more involved.

Originally down to 15 frames, with an interval of 0.1 seconds per, the rotation rate of the top seemed and looked right. Longer intervals would have made it move slowly, clunky, and defeated the illusion of the endlessly spinning top. So to get enough frames for the text (rather than just an on/off static text at the end, I wound up using the copy all frames – paste after last – reverse selected frames technique to lengthen the loop.*** That extended it to ~30 frames. Then, as I started adding new layers for the text and checking the timing, I found that things needed considerably more time so as to not look too rushed. And I decided to split the top line of text  into two pieces. And then have ds106radio stick around (yet another layer) to resonate with the #4life once all the other text was gone. In the end, there were 90 frames in the final GIF.  They were still based on those original 15 layers/frames, with 5 additional layers added for the text, plus one more for a mask. And then hand toggled on or off (with gradual adjustments to text transparency) to get the end result.

Originally the text was even closer to the dark colour palette (mostly grey), but it was just a bit too subtle. I settled on web-safe #333333 — it might still be a bit subtle, but I’m good with it.  It lets you focus on the top’s rotation, if you want, without being distracted.  I’m going to stick this one into Animated GIF Assignments 869: GIF the ds106.

It’s been especially fun listening to ds106radio the last few days, as folks drop in and play tunes and celebrate. Although I think the current playlist is on a second repeat since I started listening earlier today. Might need to do something about that.

Is it your time to give Otto a break??

Thanks, DS106radio, for your role in supporting this artistic community.  And now, go make us all some art, dagnabbit!

***It was ONLY after I had finished posting the image to Flickr, and completed writing and posting this entry that I finally took a close enough look at the finalized GIF to realize that using the reversing technique with a top is visually problematic. (Comment 1, below.) But that has now been resolved. (Comment 2, below, with a bonus learning for me regarding Flickr & GIFS.)

Let that be a lesson, everyone.