Tag Archives: 1840s GIF Party

Flex Your Creative Muscles with the Daily Create Summer 2017 T-Shirt

“The new Daily Create Summer 2017 T-Shirt,” design and GIF by @aforgrave

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since The Daily Create – Summer 2014 T-Shirt, but time flies when you’re having fun!

In response to Alan Levine’s (@cogdog, on Twitter) DS106 June 2017 30-Day Daily Create Challenge, I’m getting my creativity tools all splayed out on my desk in preparation for June, and the summer months beyond.

The Daily Create for today, June 1st, 2017 is #tdc1970, which revisit’s the skinny-kid-on-the-beach comic book ad and provides the prompt, “Charles Atlas, Charles Schmatlas. My Creativity is bigger than your muscles.”  The description continues with “Make this uncreative skinny kid a blossoming portrait of creative prowess! Show us your creative muscle, your photographic bicep, your video burpee (for the love of our eyes, do not take this literally, think metaphorically!)

Rather than re-visiting the old comic directly, I decided to get things in place with a newly updated T-Shirt that community members could wear while flexing their creative muscles (whether on a beach, or simple thinking about one).

The original 2014 shirt was a fun project because it gave me a challenge of selecting some appropriate icons from The Noun Project to use in representing the 5 create types — drawing, audio, photography, writing, and video.  I liked the clean design then, but was conscious that some new create types had emerged over the past three years, and relished the opportunity to source some additional icons for design, remix, and GIF.

The updated set of icons, representing eight different types of Daily Create categories, are presented on the back of the T-shirt, along with the newish URL which changed from to on September 3rd, 2015.

T-Shirt BACK graphic, with 8 icons representing 8 Create types, by @aforgrave

I also decided to update the front of the shirt, changing the message from “Keep Calm and Create On” to “Keep Calm and Make Art.”

T-Shirt FRONT graphic, with updated “Keep Calm and Make Art” text, by @aforgrave

I’ve posted the shirt design to The DS106 Zone store on Zazzle, where you can select a shirt fit and colour to suit your own tastes. The white-text is designed to reverse out of a darker coloured shirt, so you can’t have this on white, I’m afraid. Colour is more fun anyway!  There’s a GIF in the sidebar that shows some shirt styles in different colours, with links to guys and gal shirts to get you started. You can swap the shirt style to many different cuts and fits. Go wild! But Make Art!


Picard’s Heart of Oak GIF Variation of Rehearsing the Service

1870 Rehearsing the Service: Picard Variation" animated GIF by aforgrave

1870 Rehearsing the Service: Picard Variation” animated GIF by aforgrave

The more I worked on the Tate Gallery 1840 GIF Party submission  “No dona eis requiem” GIF, the more I kept seeing the piano-playing priest as Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation — the likeness is pretty much dead on — and the red and black in the robes made it easy to see the uniforms. The second priest, minus the beard, was clearly meant to be reinterpreted as Riker. (This is my second take on the original image “Rehearsing the Service” from 1870 by Alphonse Legros.)

Once the hard work was done while creating my previous GIF, it was a simple matter to add in images of a TNG communicator badge and the dedication plaque from the Enterprise – E. The Okuda-style touch controls were inserted in place of the piano keyboard using a number of the transformations — resize and skew being the two most important. The star field was a little trickier — I wanted the stars moving from left to right and so I did a movie screen capture of an HTML mouse-influenced star field and then snagged some frames using MPEG Streamclip. The original bible was switched for an image of a TNG tricorder. I used the font Okuda (named after the graphic designer and ST:TNG scenic artist Micheal Okuda), found on and created by Neale Davidson (Pixel Sagas) — free for personal use!

I was originally going to have Picard spouting some technobabble, but then I recalled the episode where Picard is replaced by an alien duplicate (ST: TNG “Allegiance”) who breaks into an old English sailing shanty in Ten Forward, arousing Riker’s suspicions that something is not quite right with the captain. In this instance, I believe it has provided sufficient grounds for Riker to give Picard a tap on the head with the tricorder. The lyrics for “Heart of Oak” were sourced at the fan site, Memory Alpha.

• LINK to the full-size (1536 pixels wide) version of the GIF (3.5 MB)


Here, courtesy of YouTube, is the alien Picard-imposter, trying to impress everyone in Ten Forward that he is, indeed, their captain:

The Tate Gallery 1840 GIF Party submission deadline is today, February 2nd. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do another entry before the day ends in England — but this has been enjoyable! I’m looking forward to seeing the sharing of the submissions following the February 7th adjudication.

No dona eis requiem: Another 1840 Tate Gallery GIF Party Submission

"1870 Rehearsing the Service: No dona eis Requiem" animated GIF by aforgrave

“1870 Rehearsing the Service: No dona eis Requiem” animated GIF by aforgrave

The original image is “Rehearsing the Service” from 1870 by Alphonse Legros, and is one of the images open for interpretation in the Tate Britain1840s GIF Party: Call for Submissions.

I had to wrap my brain around taking some kind of a different approach to get a GIF out of this image. I knew that something was in there, and it was by viewing the original image through the irreverent lense of Terry Gilliam and Monty Python that resulted in this little endeavour.

For those not familiar with the antecedent, we need look no further than the venerable You Tube: The following clip was kind enough to provide me with a subtitled transcription, which helped a lot.

Rather than going with a simple text bubble as I originally envisioned, I sourced an image via the Google (“illustrated manuscript images”) of a page from a $40,000 manuscript on the Christie’s Auction site (BOOK OF HOURS AND PRAYERBOOK, in Dutch, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM AND PAPER) and replaced the existing text with the monk’s speech using a font called GregorianFLF by Casady & Greene on

The final .psd file has on the order of 20 layers — the background (hands of both removed), a three layers for each of the left and right hands for the singer, the singers mouth, two layers for the eyes, three layers for the hands & book, a layer for the extended arms (I took a clipping from the cloak and extended it using the clone tool), a layer for the manuscript, 2 for the text, and a couple utility layers to mask out things that weren’t needed at various points.

At 256 colours, 35 final frames, and a 600 pixel width, the GIF weighs in at 568 KB — which I can live with for an enhanced Piece of Art.

Saved out at the original image width of 1536 pixels, the larger GIF is a bit more massive:

• LINK to the full-size (1536 pixels wide) version of the GIF (2.9 MB).


The Tate Gallery 1840 GIF Party submission deadline is fast approaching, February 2nd.  I’m looking forward to seeing the sharing of the submissions following the February 7th adjudication.

Forever Changed: The 1840’s Tate GIF Party Submission

"1858 Past and Present: Forever Changed" animated GIF by aforgrave

“1858 Past and Present: Forever Changed” animated GIF by aforgrave

I’ve been intrigued by the Tate Gallery’s 1840s GIF Party and have been looking to find the time to dive in and see what I might come up with. Any invitation to create a GIF is worthy of a response — but the opportunity to work with some old school art presents a specially unique challenge.

My first step was to browse the gallery of available pieces (69 in total) with the task of selecting the images that seemed most GIF-able. Not all of the images suggested some kind of effectible motion to my eye (my GIF-eye-tis tends toward the concrete and not the abstract/psychedelic that some folks arrive at) and in the end I selected 10 paintings for potential animation. With a couple of them potentially set aside and promised to another GIF artist, I was down to eight possible choices.

Moving forward from there was a bit more difficult. I’d already seen some examples completed by ds106 colleagues, as Alan Levine (“Giffing It Like It was 1872”), Tom Woodward (“Museum Remixes”), and John Johnston (“But Is GIF Art?”) lead the way with some artful renderings. Ryan Seslow set is up as a GIFfight challenge and it was added to the ds106 Assignment Bank. Perhaps I was a bit intimidated with the subject material. After all, this is an art gallery asking us to GIF with Art. I took another look at some of the examples provided on the project site, and decided that taking a Terry Gilliam approach might work — as James Kerr aka Scorpion Dagger had done as one of the commissioned participants —  the same time, I’ve rarely attempted the Gilliam animation style.

In then end, I found my attention captured by “Past and Present, No. 1,” painted in 1858 by Augustus Leopold Egg — and was pleased with the process which unfolded as I started to work with the image. Without saying too much, I think that in the end the GIF accentuates details present in the painting so as to emphasize a particular narrative. Whether this was the original narrative of the artist, I do not know — I’ve not yet read the text accompanying the image on the Tate website — (later, having read it, yup, it works!). Perhaps this might help a few more folks to see the hidden potential for GIF-as-Art?  The classic ds106 assignment Say It Like The Peanut Butter and the If We Don’t Remember Me collection are two superior places for you to go if you need some convincing of the power of the GIF as art form.

• LINK to the full-size (1088 pixels wide) version of the GIF (817 KB).


The Tate Gallery 1840’s GIF Party is accepting submissions for a couple more days — they close their inboxes on February 2nd before the adjudication process leading up to the February 7th opening in London.  Hopefully I’ll have time to attempt a couple more submissions before then. Maybe I’ll try an abstract or a Gilliam next time?

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