Are you listening? Well, ARE you listening? You better be!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DS106RADIO !!!! YOU ROCK !!!
#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.
Ack. A top doesn’t reverse direction. Nuts. Might need a bit of an edit. I’ll get right on that.
Well, that, in itself, was and interesting exercise, AND a little bonus in possible learning via the re-post to Flickr.
1) I had thought the “reversal of the reversing” issue in my first final GIF would be more complicated to resolve than it actually turned out to be. Originally, I imagined having to re-drag all the reversed frames into their proper non-reversing orders, and then deal with all of the overlaid and fading texts that would be out of order. The text had been added AFTER the animation sequence was done, recall. As it turned out, by mentally refocussing on the text flow as the constant, and simply changing the image peeking through the mask to the proper one in a repeating 1-15 order, it was dead simple. (Once I renamed those layers 1-15 in order and deleted all the other unused layers in the file, that is.)
2) When it came to re-uploading the GIF to Flickr, I again got a miserable abomination of a resized/converted to JPEG image — but, as it would turn out, the previously comment-embedded original GIF remained accessible. The new re-uploading of the new GIF had created a newly numbered image, and while the older, converted-to-JPEG images were no longer accessible, apparently the .GIF (at least) was still hanging around on the flickr server farm. Re-uploading a now-static JPEG of the image with all of the text gave something nice in the thumbnail, but still allows the embedding (and in-blog embedding) of the newly uploaded GIF. Perhaps access will vanish at some point, if it gets deleted. But for now, the GIF is still there.
Just for the record, Ed Radio – inspired by ds106 radio (which I basically copied) and launched during the first edition of ds106 – is still up and running, has taught me a ton, and has one person who tunes in reasonably regularly (otherwise average listenership is zero). Why do I do it? Because it’s punk.
Stephen, I was on your Ed Radio site maybe three weeks ago, and found the flash-based web player you are using there most helpful. When I originally set up the streaming player for 105theHive.org, I wanted to ensure that it would work in the Safari browser on iOS devices, which was what we were looking to use as our first-level listening device and client. As additional classrooms , listeners, and participating broadcasters came on board, it became apparent that the code that worked so well on iOS and Safari was not working on other browsers or on on most of the Windows netbooks we had. After poking around for a while, I saw the solution you were using (Flash-based) and tested it out for our non iOS listeners. Between the two different methods, we now have increased yet again the various options folks have for tuning in.
Audiences grow with time. We have about a month before the official one-year anniversary of 105theHive.org — time enough for some celebratory planning and an animated GIF for our station, too.