Did you know that your iPhone will shut down if it’s out in 8°F for less than 10 minutes? I do… For DS106 Daily Create TDC 780 it was easy for those of my fellow DS106ers to create a video by stringing together 20 clips taken every 20 steps. That it was a little harder for me to complete this vimeo weekend challenge in the middle of winter in Minnesota would be an understatement. (We have 20″ of snow on the ground this year.) While I wasn’t able to do a 20-20 I did end up with 14 clips. Half of which were taken inside the house before I even opened the door to the arctic winter wonderland called Rochelle’s front driveway.
Not only did my phone shut down, my freezing fingers were close to frost bite by the time I made it back into the house. I think it’s time for me to invest in a pair of those cool gloves that let you use your touch screen controls. BRRRR!!!!! Once I safely made it back in, my fingers warmed, and my poor little phone came back to life, I downloaded my video clips with the Phototransfer app. There I imported them into Adobe Premeire 12 for video editing. I had talked about doing this project last night with my daughter Amber who recommended the song I used…
It took some creative problem solving to use all 20 seconds of each of the clips and end up with a completed video sequence that was only 3:20 min verses 4:40 min. The trick was to use the time stretch effect. I kept a few clips inside the house at normal speed. The outside clips were sped up by 150% to 200%. From experience taking panoramic shots by hand, I knew I how to pan relatively smooth and slow. So when the video sequence was sped up you didn’t feel like “hurling” from motion sickness.
And I learned a new technique today. To reverse the video you put in -100%. That allowed me to create a better flow of the camera pan to be in one direction instead of the back and forth way that I had taken the original video. I chose not to talk while shooting the video. Glad I did. I was able to add two sound effects at the right places: Footsteps in Snow and Arctic Wind Blizzard Snow Whistle made available for easy use with the in program audio effects on Premiere Elements.
That’s it. Post completed while I waited for the video to render and upload to YouTube. I apologize to those of you, like Stefanie Jeske in Germany, who won’t be able to see the video because I chose this time around to use a third-party copyrighted song. I rarely go that route, but the song fit so well. It gave me a giggle and having my little dog Abby be my love keeping me warm put me over-the-top.
In 1972 a little 4th grader, named Rochelle, and her mutt dog Charlie won the Top Junior Exhibitor dog obedience title at the Humboldt County dog show. This was an exciting day. I had been diligently training Charlie all year long in our local 4H dog obedience chapter under the tutelage of my best friend’s mother, Mrs. Nichols. I trained for hours and hours, trying to get in at least a little everyday. During the final show performance I felt we had done a great job. They called out honorable mention…. nope… then 3rd place…. not us… then 2nd place runner up…. my heart dropped. I thought we had done at least well enough to get a ribbon. Then they announced the 1st place winner… #23. It was us! We had won 1st place!!! Wow, what a day that was.
Top JR Exhibitor
1972 Humboldt Dog Show
Rochelle and “Pooh Bear” Win 1st Place
The trophy was proudly placed on the mantle in the hallway of my childhood home on Elk River Court, on the outskirts of Eureka, California, until I moved away at 18. It has been on display in my own homes ever since. But the tail was broken off before it came to rest in my sole care. (See larger image on Flickr)
Below are a couple of photos I found of Charlie (who we fondly nicknamed “Pooh Bear”) and I growing up. He was my dog, my friend. He slept with me, shared an occasional Reese’s Peanut Butter cup with me, and loved to run along side the car as we got closer to home. (I now know from direct experience that the chocolate and running next to a car were not good ideas.)
The Rogers’ children in their Easter fineries with Charlie at Rochelle’s side.
Sadly, Charlie only lived to be about 4 years old. On our way home from a trip to town we let him jump out of the car window as usual to run. But this time he didn’t land correctly and rolled under the car. I held his trembling body in my arms as we rushed him to see Mr. Lochtie, the vet. But it was too late. He was dead. I was broken hearted and cried and cried. My dad and I buried him down by the Elk River creek under the tree house you see below.
Treehouse on the banks of the Elk River Creek behind my childhood home.
The trophy photo was taken with the Camera+ app on my iPhone for DS106 Daily Create TDC 751: “Take a photo of something that is sentimental. Explain your choice.” I apologize for the poor quality of the childhood photos. They were scanned many years ago by my sister when the technology wasn’t so great.
Another fun aspect of DS106 being an open online course that attracts global participation is that you can go to bed at night (usually way past a healthy bedtime because you just “had” to finish one more thing on that project) and wake up in the morning to find a comment on your posted work, or better yet that someone(s) have delightfully riffed on your creation. DS106 Never Sleeps! Such was the case with my DJ at Stonehenge photo I originally created for ds106 daily create tdc669.
From Wikipedia: A flash mob (or flashmob) is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression. Flash mobs are organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.
Here’s what the ds106 flash mob created between 11/11/13 to 12/06/13:
You can witness the evolution of the composite image right here as it unfolds. I plan on updating this blog entry if it morphs further. And links are provided to the posts so you can follow the comments and story line as it develops. (Suggestion: By subscribing to comments on this post you can get the latest updates directly.)
Some little blonde girl gave DJ a mushroom while visiting Stonehenge. He took a bite of the lefthand side before we had a chance to stop him. This is the result. No need to worry though. He took another bite on the right hand side and was back to normal by the time we returned to the tour bus.
Let The Riffing Begin!
Nov 11, 2013 @12:14pm (6:14pm Scotland, 8:14am Hawaii )
Super Hero Alan Levine assuring us DS106 helps build creativity that soars.
I did a quick search of Google Images for ‘got milk?’ posters and had a plethora of great images pop up. I was immediately drawn to the Superman poster. Employing the Google once again I located the Phoenix American font used for the original campaign. The link will take you to a free downloadable non-licensed version.
I deleted the original text, then copied a section of the remaining blue sky to paste and stretch to fill the empty space. Using the newly downloaded Phoenix American font I changed a few words to customize it for our ‘got ds106?’ campaign.
That’s how milk DS106 makes you feel.
The calcium fun helps bones creativity grow strong,
so even if you’re not from Krypton Strawberry, AZ
you can have bones of steel creativity that soars.
got milk DS106?
I could’ve just replaced the text , but what would be the fun and challenge in that?
Photoshopping Alan (a ds106 instructor at Cogdog Blog) Levine’s head onto Superman’s body was a must, and turned out to be much simpler than I thought it would be. (These techniques are “simple” now, but it’s taken lots of practice and perseverance to learn them.) Choosing a good picture with the right composition was important. I wanted him to be facing to the left and tilted similarly to Superman’s. It didn’t take me but a few minutes to find a nice photo with another Google Image search, this time for Alan Levine. Amazingly, the lighting was even a close match. How lucky was that?
Using the quick selection tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 for the Mac, I selected and deleted everything but Alan’s head, neck and hat. (I thought the hat added another layer of giggle-able absurdity to the mashed image.) Another bit of serendipity was that Alan’s brown jacket blended well with Superman’s cape. Yippeee! But I needed to do a little rebuilding of the top of his hat since it was cropped in the photo. This required copying a piece of it from the top, duplicating it a couple of times, reducing the size to align these little ridges on his hat, and then erasing the outside edges of each layer to produce a rounded head effect. I merged all of the layers and used the clone tool to blend them. His neck was a little trickier. I started with the Spot Healing Brush, then found two new tools today, Smudge and Blur. I was quite pleased with the results. As a finishing touch I used the blur tool again around the edges of his hat and face to give a more blended effect against the sky.
The DS chest plate was pretty simple too. I used the clone tool to erase the “S”, and produce a blank yellow background in the process. Then cut out a “DS” from the DS106 logo. By adjusting the hue and saturation of the DS layer I was able to approximate the red color of the original “S”. Resizing and transforming the layer with the skew and distortion effects was employed. And the final adjustment was to reduce the opacity just a tad.
After I uploaded the new poster to flickr I noticed that Superman’s belt also has an “S” on it. Ooops….. Oh well… it’s not about being perfect here in DS106. It’s about the creating, trying, learning, and giving it your best…. wherever you’re at.
UPDATE November 24, 2013
Superhero Alan Levine has been GIFfed!
DS106 Superhero Alan Levine has creativity that soars!
Yesterday’s ds106 daily create tdc644 was all about capturing an image of a dog. Although the suggestion was to either take a picture or to draw one and take a picture of that, I figured since I have the digital media already hanging out on my computer, why not go a step further and share my little doggie Abby on video and throw in a new GIF for good measure.
She’s such a media diva. Or is it that I’m the digital media diva and she’s just an unwilling subject of my creative endeavors? But then how would you explain how she’s annoyingly tried to insert herself into a couple of my projects? [The making of the Obruni podcasts on the Scott Lo LoDown summer of 2013 and the Headless ’13 week 4 audio reviews.] Which subsequently required the editing out of her attempts to “audio bomb” my projects. I’ll think I’ll leave those bits and pieces for an audio out-take reel if I ever decide to make one.
Once again I’m employing my DS106 time saver maxim to Reduce – Reuse – Recycle by creating a video that takes a close look at the food we eat (for DS106 daily create TDC 633) with photos and footage I had already taken. This time it’s with my favorite birthday cake which has made several appearances in daily creates and other digital storytelling projects.
This beauty had to make another repeat appearance since fellow DS106er Stephanie Jeske was unable to view the time lapse video of me frosting my cake a few weeks back. I use a small section of ZZ Top’s Cherry Red as the sound track and YouTube in Germany has blocked it because of copyrighted content. I’m using an even longer section this time, but I’ve uploaded the video directly to my website, so no autobot is going to block it.
UPDATE 11/2/13: Just discovered there’s a video assignment for this type of project VideoAssignments1024. Yay! Yet another Reduce-Reuse-Recycle for this one.
How it was made.
There are a number of sections to this video that was assembled in Adobe Premiere Elements 12: Intro GIF, Time Lapse, Still Photos, Outro GIF.
The GIF at the beginning of DJ licking the frosting off of the number 2 that was on his cake was made with two photos taken fairly close together. They weren’t close enough to make a smooth GIF right away. I ended up doing some work in photoshop to adjust the size and skew of the photos so that they blended more when flashed from one to the other.
Using the Lapse It Pro app I photographed myself frosting the cake. In reality it took about 20 minutes (551 frames) that was reduced to 46 sec when all was said and done. The app did all the work. I just set my iPhone up on a tripod and went to work using the default settings since this was my first time out using this app.
2 yr old’s beauty
The cake really did look beautiful when I had finished, just like the one I made for DJ’s second birthday. But I made a fatal error by frosting the cake while it was still warm. I was in a hurry to get to my birthday massage and for some reason was driven to take the time lapse photography right then and there. Why I couldn’t wait is a mystery to me now that a little over a month has past since I made it.
Aaahhh! It melted!
When I returned from my massage, I removed the cake from the refrigerator and this is what it looked like. To my horror my beautiful cake had melted. I briefly thought about throwing it out and starting all over again. But I didn’t want to do all that work again. It was my birthday and I wanted to play, enjoy myself, go get my hair done….. While I was running around having fun I came up with a brilliant idea on how I could pass off this monstrosity as something creative- if nothing else.
At 51 you’re showing your age.
My guests are accustomed to this gluten-free birthday cake and had just a few weeks earlier joined in the celebration of DJ’s second birthday. Of course a 2 year old’s cake would look fresh and new, no wrinkles or bags, or cracks showing through. But a 51 year old’s cake? Now that’s a different story. They all laughed and dug in. It still tasted just as good and moist as it always does. And really…. by the time I get it on their plates it’s a mess anyway.
51 in all her glory. No shame required.
The final GIF segment of the video clip was made with a series of still photos as I turned the cake slowly around in a circle. For a first time effort, it’s not too bad. (Note to self… Next time have a marker of some sort on the counter top so I can line up the placement of the object from shot to shot.) The photos were uploaded to Photoshop, assembled as separate layers into one file and turned into an animated GIF.
I certainly will give credit where credit is due though, and wish to express my appreciation to ZZ Top for making such good music. You can buy “Cherry Red” on
What is a story? What is storytelling? What is digital storytelling? Wanting to understand and become a better digital storyteller is what attracted me to DS106 in the first place, so I’ve been doing some serious pondering all week.
In my professional life as a strategic business/technology analyst at 3M I am often presented with a great deal of data and information that needs to be communicated to a variety of audiences with different levels of interest and familiarity with the subject matter. Sharing the raw data, as it were, would almost certainly be a waste of time for everyone. It’s my job to “COMMUNICATE” that information, not just gather it and spit it back out again.
I am paid to be a curator of information AND a storyteller. It is the story I create and tell that is based upon that data and information that is the key. Even the media I use to tell the story has an impact on the effectiveness of communicating the information. With a global asynchronous audience I can’t rely on personally sharing the story in real-time with a live person in attendance who is engaged in the moment, that can ask questions, get clarification, etc. Mastering the art of DIGITAL storytelling is a must for me. Read my complete blog entry Whatsa’ Story!for more. And here’s a cute tappable digital story from Nathalie using the Tapestry app I learned about in our DS106 Google+ Community. (If you see a great big blank space below, refresh your screen and try again. Embedding the Tapestry stories is buggy.)
And from one of my 3M-DS106 Salon Members: “Storytelling Used in Poaching Talent (3M-DS106 Repost)” shares how storytelling can be used in a number of ways, from sharing experiences, showing a vision, an escape from the real world or even poach top talent from another company.
“Did you ever think when a hearse went by, that you might be the next to die. They wrap you up in a big white sheet. They bury you down about six feet deep. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out. The ants play pinochle on your snout. Your liver turns to a slimy green. And puss comes out like whipping cream. Your eyes pop out your teeth decay. And this is the end of a perfect day.”
Vonnegut’s video was entertaining as well as informative, and I could easily understand how to apply his theory of common graph-able shapes to stories. But mine didn’t quite fit until I had looked at the infographic created by Maya Eilam and discovered the “From Bad to Worse” story shape.
Here’s the video I made for a past daily create TDC577 singing through this sorrowful story shape.
As a bonus daily create from week two, tdc607 – the movie trailer for my website, was finally completed with A Trailer for Two.
Telling a Story in Photos:
Creating my Five Card Flickr Story ,”Five Card Poetry – My Story” wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. I was way too literal at first. I started by reading the directions and figured this was going to be a piece of cake- just pick out 5 photos and tell a story ‘about’ them. (ALERT: “about”) I tried a few hands, picked some images that seemed to follow a theme, but none of them told a story…..
Oh… that was different than what I was thinking. They were continuing to flesh out their stories in a poetic rather than a prose format. The photos were telling the story, not me telling a story ABOUT the photos. Back to the drawing board. This time I got out of my literal mind and engaged my heart and soul to sense what was here. Then the story revealed itself.
I crave community. Do I need to be flashy and bright to be seen? Do I need my words set in stone to be valid? Is it okay to have fun and learn along the way? With heart, body, and soul my story can be shared.
Participating in DS106- It’s not just ME!
Participating in DS106 continues to be a rich learning experience. As I am facilitating a concurrent version, the 3M-DS106 Salon at my professional workplace, it permeates all areas of my life. I have found my direct interactions through blogging, commenting, reading, and sharing with other DS106 participants to be more valuable than the lectures or texts shared with us. This was unexpected. I had wanted to learn about digital storytelling and thought I just needed to get access to the “professionals” out there who could define it for me. I was mistaken. Don’t get me wrong. The videos, graphics, texts, etc are helpful, but I learned the most simply reading other DS106ers explain and illustrate their definitions for what a digital story is. Here’s a list of those I could link back to.
Continue to debug my comments interface. I’ve really appreciated people letting me know they are having problems when trying to leave a comment. I need to know about stuff like that so I can fix it. Thanks!
Surfer Dudette Riding the DS106 Dopamine Wave for TDC613
Alan Levine has been updated and tweaking the DS106 site quite a bit the last few weeks. He’s been asking for people to test things out, trying some new formats. You know… things like that. Well yesterday’s DS106 Daily Create, TDC613, asked us to take a photo that represents the TDC idea of regular exercises of creativity. It seems the current photo the site is using at the moment is getting stale.
I thought about this challenge throughout the day, but nothing was presenting itself to excite my creativity. Then last night, at 10:30 pm, inspiration struck. Man… I was planning on going to bed early…. but no…. my brain chemistry had now shifted into creative mode.
The chemistry of creativity – Dopamine on the brain
“Our brain chemistry is without doubt an unpredictable force and influence on our mood and, therefore, how creative we feel….Dopamine is the chemical that allows our brain to wonder and think-up new ideas (Flaherty, A.W* )…. It is known that dopamine gets trapped in tense muscles. Regular (and even gentle) exercise can help release this dopamine back in our body and brain.” [Chemistry and Creativity]
The image I chose to create for tdc613 has quite a few layers, figuratively and literally. Figuratively, you can tease out:
Creativity can be like riding a wave. You are focused, relaxed, alive, not really sure what’s coming next.
The DS106s could be seen as that wave of creativity that she is riding on.
She is sitting atop my old Nordic Track. Real exercise helps to release dopamine trapped in your muscles back into your body.
The plant? Not sure… I placed it there as background to hide the fact I was taking the picture in my basement and wasn’t keen on having the furnace, ironing board, and dryer in the background. Any suggestions on what it could represent?
As for the literal layers… I made the composite image in Photoshop Elements 11 for the Mac. I keep on-hand a PNG image (They maintain transparency unlike a JPEG) of the DS106 logo downloaded from the website. I made 3 copies and rotated them slightly so they would align with the bar of the Nordic Track. By dialing down their opacity to 80% they looked more natural. At one point I became disturbed that I hadn’t dusted and cleaned everything before taking the photo, but it actually looks quite appropriate with the cracked overlays of the DS106 images. Everything looks a bit worn and not used in awhile. Maybe I should add another layer of interpretation – that it’s time to dust ourselves off and get our creativity moving again.
Deleted sections of image in white
To make the DS106s appear as if they were stickers attached to the bar, I used the magnetic select tool to select various parts of the exercise equipment. I copied and pasted each into a new layer. Leaving me with a base image that had blank spots.
The three new layers were then placed on top of the DS106s. For some unknown reason the new image layers turned out to be slightly smaller than the space where they were selected and copied from. This has never happened before. So I had to slightly increase their size. Weird….
I’m almost “quite pleased” with my final product. It seems a bit off center to me. That golden ratio thing not optimized or something. I tried to crop it, but couldn’t get it to look right and keep the exercise equipment in the frame enough that you knew that’s what it was. I’m hoping design week will help me work on things like that.
During week 2 the DS106 Daily Create TDC607 challenged us to create an exciting movie trailer for our DS106 website and use “the voice”. Wanting to make the most efficient use of my creative time, I decided to modify the project so that I could use the art I created in real life. So I made a more professional looking trailer to highlight Rockylou Productions as a whole and how it is actualizing our vision of cultivating creativity and raising visions.
I had started out contemplating how I could make the trailer with iMovie. But the only semi-workable option was to use the version I had on my iPad. I skipped upgrading my desktop version to iMovie 11, which was supposed to have that functionality (I still have ’09) after reading the absolutely horrible reviews given by current users. So I did a trusty Google search on creating movie trailers and found a YouTube video tutorial on “How to Create a Movie Trailer For Free“
That led me to a site called Flixpress.Com. There you could choose from a number of trailer templates. I checked out the free ones and chose the Icy Spin T9 template which allowed me to have 8 images, and title text at the beginning and end of my trailer. In theory this should have been a no-brainer. Just pop the pictures in and away you go. But no…. that’s hardly ever the case.
Choosing my eight images was pretty easy. I wanted to highlight the my Rockylou Productions projects that exemplified “Cultivating Creativity” and “Raising Visions”. Once found I needed to format them to the requested 600 X 400 px within Photoshop CS5. But upon preview I found out the Icy Spin T9 template actually crops the images to 600 X 349 px. Fortunately most of the images could be cropped without a problem. Only one, Obruni, had to be modified significantly to make it fit correctly. I ended up creating quite a few draft versions before things clicked for me. Maybe if I’d paid for the pro version I would have had more editing capabilities with my project, but for free I had to start over again from the beginning every time. PAIN!!!
Saving your file puts it into the system for processes and in a minute or two they send you an e-mail that lets you know your video is ready for preview and downloading. For free you get 640 X 480 SD resolution. NOT IN MY WORLD! I ended up paying $2 to have an HD version made, since I wanted to import it into Adobe Premiere Elements 11 to add a music track and the Rockylou Productions animated Logo/ bumper at the end. (I actually spent $4 because the photo order mysteriously shifted with the first purchase.) I made a conscious decision to not add “the voice” as I felt it would have been a distraction. It reminds me of an anecdote I heard recently from a DS106 talk (sorry I can’t remember which one, either Gardner Campbell or Jim Groom) about a kindergarten teacher whose students always had the best art projects in school. When asked how she did it, she said she knew when to take it away.
If you’re interested I’ve included below an overview from previous post on how the animated logo was made.
Music: “Find Your Style”, Newline variation, by John Defaria
Smart Sound Personal Use License purchased from the Vimeo Music Store for $1.99
=>Rockylou Productions Animated Logo
The Rockylou Productions animated logo at the very end of the video was created by incorporating a dissolve transition between two logo images designed by Amber Lockridge. Transitioning from b&w to color with a slight increase in the size of the color graphic by 1% is meant to give the illusion of growth and expansion, an important value statement for Rockylou Productions.
The audio logo for Rockylou Productions was made with GarageBand and a simple “D” chord that I played on my 12-string guitar. I took the original recording and added a Bright Guitar effect to the basic track. I then duplicated the original track four times, and added dimensionality to the chord by adding a Lunar Bounce to two (panning each slightly left and right) and a Swirling Echo effect to the two remaining tracks, also panning them slightly left and right. With the addition of the Ambient – Wide Spaces effect to the master track the memorable audio logo for Rockylou Productions was born.
For my week 2 DS106 Headless 13 summary I created a separate summary post for all of my daily creates from that week. It’s not only highly recommended, but I find it helpful to my own learning to write-up my process while producing my projects and share those learnings with others. The bulk of the daily create projects were very straight forward or I was recycling a previous project that already had a process post. But one of them, (actually two combined into one.) really should’ve had a full write-up completed and here it is.
I was quite pleased with my brilliant use of the reuse principle by combining two daily creates into one photoshoot. tdc601 asked us to draw something DS106ish backwards in recognition of 601 being the reverse of 106. Here I’ve drawn DS106 backward again on my iPad with the Paper53 app.
In combination with my submission for tdc602 capturing the elegance of Apple products that are designed with elegance in mind from the device to the packaging right down to the details of the insert materials. It is an experience just to open the box for an iPad or an iPhone.
The photos were taken with my iPhone and the Camera+ app. I used two photos. One with the iPad turned off while positioning myself so that the overhead lighting would cast my reflection in the screen.
The second photo was taken with the iPad on and the image of the backwards DS106 I’d drawn in the Paper53 app visible. There was a problem though. I didn’t know how to set and lock the white balance, so the second image with the DS106 had a very yellow tone that did not look elegant at all.
To make the GIF work I used the magnetic select tool in Photoshop CS5 to select, copy and paste into new layers, and then remove the screen from both images leaving me with a blank transparent screen. The screens were placed into new layers and I used only the nicely white balanced photo as the base for the GIF.
But another issue now cropped up. Look closely at the iPhone box on the left-hand side of the two original photos. It overlaps the screen a little. In the blank screen image it has been cut off. To remedy this visual anomaly I used the select tool to select the overlapping corner of the box then copy and paste it into a new layer. That corner layer was placed atop everything else.
Next I created screen layers of the with varied opacity in 10% increments. The animation duration for each frame was set to 0.2 seconds except for the full on and full off images which were increased to 1 second to allow the viewer to experience those images more completely. The GIF was reduced to 500px width to keep the file size down but I kept it at 256 colors to preserve the elegant look of the images.
One final note…. My WordPress theme wouldn’t embed a Tumblr post by just inserting the URL. A search on the internet found a site, Embeddlr, that will generate the embed code that I used above. Handy little tidbit to have on hand.