Without an instructor how would we know when to stop? When would we see “The End”? Thanks to Mariana Funes for realizing that the UMW Fall semester ended on Friday, December 13th, 2013, the DS106 Headless ’13 course was given an end date. #DS106 is #4Life, but the Fall 2013 DS106 “headless” experience came to as close to an official close as a headless course can on 12/13/13.
The final project specs asked Headless ’13 DS106 participants to produce a story around a character that explores at least three of the media forms we’ve investigated this semester: visual/design, audio, video, web, remix/mashup, with the idea of creating a narrative arc for a character that is played out in the products of ds106 Assignments, and woven together with context and writing as a standalone blog post.
As per the DS106 culture (The ‘DS’ stands for Digital Subversives, right?), we went rogue and our final project turned out to be a collaborative creation of a GIFaChrome Camera which included a website, blog posts , “employee” profiles that included links to DS106 projects they created during the semester, prototype images, and a live product launch on DS106 Radio. For me it provided an opportunity to showcase the work done by all of us. Mariana captured what she could in her Storify Collection. And this whirlwind adventure culminated my own intense 6 month learning curve in digital storytelling on the web. In less than two weeks my part in our final project had me practicing and honing my skills with everything I’d learned – and then some. Fortunately, I had a week’s vacation that I needed to use or lose. I used it!
A few examples:
- Creating a new website subdomain (Gifachrome.com) that is still technically hosted within my rockylouproductions.com domain
- x-ray goggles – mocking up a Wikipedia and Amazon product page
- The differences between embedding a Storify Collection or a Storify Slideshow
- Adding audio to a GIF (Thx to John Johnston)
- Layer masking with Photoshop
- Effectively using TweetDeck
- appear.in (video conversations for up to 8 people for free, no log-in , no installs)
- How to modify a php file to create a page of the last 100 posts & pages to my website. (Thx to Alan Levine.)
I’ve been trying to finish and post my wrap-up comments for the course for over two months now, without success. If it ever gets done it’s entitled ‘GIFaChrome – A DS106 Practicum’. This “abstract” of that post is really being written so that I can publish my fun little animated GIF at the top of this post, DS106 Headless ’13 – The End.
Making the GIF:
Using Photoshop CS5 I used the selection tool to copy and cut out the DS106 foam letters, which were individually placed into seperate layers. I then used the clone, band-aid, and blur tools to cover up the holes left behind and make the back one continuous layer. The additional text, Headless ’13 and The End, used the Stencil font which I’ve found is pretty close to the font used on the DS106 site. With the animation feature in the full version of Photoshop it was easy to add the letters and text without the need to merge layers. This allowed me to play around with a couple of different scenarios before I settled on the version posted above. The final touch was to add drop shadow layering effects to the letters and text. Increasing the distance for the text lines made them stand out even more- giving the GIF a bit of a 3D look.