Archive for the ‘VisualAssignments2’ Category


Animated Giff’n

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Finally.  I got around to making a few animated Gifs.  I chose Ghost World.  I love Thora Birch’s interpretation of Enid.  Birch’s expressions are priceless, and kind of capture what I feel at least a few times a week.  Is it healthy to possess so much teenage angst at 36?  I’m not so sure.

I decided to use the first day of summer school since the expressions in this scene sum up how Enid feels about a lot of the bullsh**ery that exists in the adult world.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the comic, Enid has just graduated from high school with the provision that she take and pass a summer art class since she failed the class during the school year.  Enid happens to be a talented artist.  I wonder how Enid would have done if she were in a class structured more like an independent study…

Here are those Gifs…

There’s too much dead time at the beginning of this first clip, but it was the first attempt.

Thora Birch in Ghost World


This one didn’t turn out quite as I had imagined either.  I also screwed up on the resizing.  But these things happen.

More Enid in art class


This one is my favorite:

Yup. Enid in art class


I followed Jim Groom’s tutorial.  Very helpful stuff there.






Shark GIFing for ds106

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

jim groom posted a GIF of Henry Winkler’s infamous/iconic shark jump this morning.



I can’t imagine a world where media-saturated Bava had missed the origins of this trope.  And if that’s really the case, then maybe he missed the Arrested Development sequel as well.


I'm off to Burger King


I’ve really been enjoying this process.  Alan suggested that I detail the Photoshop steps for GIFing (simple, but often hard to find), so I tried to live record a tutorial video as I made this one.



The other voice Annika.  She waved at the computer a lot.



I Believe So Strongly in #ds106

Monday, June 18th, 2012

For a few years, I’ve watched the explosion of amazing film-clip GIFs take over the web. Even as the #ds106 crew churned out fantastic artifacts in class after class, I consistently viewed that as a consumer.  Clearly it involves a lot of aestetic judgment and technical skill.  It belongs in the “complicated with Photoshop” bucket, aka the “Not for me!” pile.

WRONG!  Make art!

So while I know that my craftsmanship is weak, at least I can step it up on a curatorial level.  These are all from one of my favorite films, Soderbergh’s cinematic throat clearing excercise Schizopolis!

I believe so strongly in mayonaise

“I believe so strongly in mayonaise.”

That last GIF is cut from an amazing sequence where Soderbergy runs through a dozen hideous faces in a bathroom mirror, and then snaps back into normalcy in a split second when someone else walks into the restroom.

The other cult gem of my DVD/VHS collection is John Greyson’s Zero Patience.  Sadly, most of my immediate thoughts for GIFs involve incidental or pupet nudity.  I’m living with a holistic public identity, but I recognize the benefits of keeping the bathouse barbershop trio out of my google results.

Oh, and while I’m at it, have a little Fred Rogers.

“Turn to the right.” Behold, my first animated gif! …

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

“Turn to the right.”

Behold, my first animated gif!  This is from the opening scene of Raising Arizona when H.I. is getting booked by Ed.  I love the Cohen brothers’ films, and this is one of their best.  This is my entry in the DS106 visual assignment “Say It Like Peanut Butter.”  Click the image to see a slightly larger version.

I followed various tutorials to get to this done.  Jim Groom wrote a good one that gave me the overall process:

The first steps were to capture the video from a DVD – I used Handbrake version 0.9.6 to grab the section of the movie I wanted.  Then I followed Jim’s instructions for using MPEG Streamclip to trim and export the image sequence that you then import into GIMP.

Since I have version 2.8 of the GIMP for the Mac I needed to look at another tutorial to get some of the finer details down – mainly, that when exporting the file to create the gif, you need to manually enter the .gif extension for the file name to get to the animated gif settings boxes to open.  This tutorial on YouTube helped:

TIP! – I found that if I optimize for .gif before I export, the file size shrunk by about half.  It is good practice to conserve the bandwidth necessary for others to download or view your images if you can.  To do this yourself in GIMP, once you are done and ready to export, click the Filters menu, then Animation/Optimize for GIF.  Then go through the regular export process with the optimized images that open in a new window.

Maybe I need to create another now that I know how – just to reinforce the process.  Or, a hundred more, to really reinforce the process?

Wäscälly Wäbbits Weception

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Big virtual party as we (sorta) gather all the pictures of the Wäbbits for our big group photo.

Listening to the wisdom of my RSS feeds, Ben reminds us that camp counselors should lead by example. Fellow Wäbbit, John saysKeep Calm and Make a GIF. Not sure how to take Bava’s below the belt advice, but since he was inspired by our other Wäbbit Chanda it must be good.

In honor of herding Wäbbits, I have made a special group photo and included a couple of the animated gifs I made this week. Do not adjust your set. This is the technical difficulties assignment!

Special appearance of @dlnorman‘s bathroom shark (from the storybox)

Too much Coke for Bava

Too much Coke for Bava

and the Gladiator

Please Stand By. Wäscälly Wäbbits are just warming up.

Kung Fu Hustle

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

I am fond of animated gifs, but haven’t had time to make any. After seeing Jim Groom’s Master of the Flying Guillotine Animated GIFs I went over to YouTube to see if I could find any kung fu. Kung Fu Hustle – YouTube which I had watched in the cinema. Very much a comedy. I downloaded the movie and grabbed a few gifs:

I didn’t spend much time on these, but there is something fascinating about animated gifs.

To download youtube videos I use youtube-dl a command line tool. It seems to work better than some GUI tools I’ve used.
To grab gifs from the movie once downloaded I use Movie2Gif this is just a GUI front end for the Gifsicle command line application. It works on a Mac and you can download it from a link on the Movie2Gif post if you want to give it a try.

More after the jump:

You’re All Right

Friday, June 8th, 2012

I didn’t know about the Say It Like the Peanut Butter assignment until I noticed kag0715′s awesomely frightening first animated GIF come through the ds106 stream.

The assignment requires us to create an animated GIF from our favorite or least favorite film – the clip should be one which captures the essence of the scene with a minimal amount of movement. I chose to go with a moment in my favorite scene from my favorite movie: The You’re All Right scene from Repoman.

The brilliant YouTube Downloader plugin for the Chrome browser was used to grab the clip. With this plugin installed, videos on YouTube can be downloaded with a single click of a button that automagically appears below the player.

The next step was to trim the segment of the clip I wanted to use in MPEG StreamClip – I chose 8 frames per second for the 1.2 second clip. This produced a half dozen or so png files which were opened in GIMP as layers.

Using the Filters > Animation menu choice, which I just learned about today from Alan, I was able to narrow my choice down to three frames. As there was a bit of distracting camera movement causing Otto to jitter back and forth, I decided to use Jim’s layer masking technique to animate just the beer pouring out of the can. Everything but the beer has been removed from the two topmost layers except for the bear stream. This allows the still frame from the bottom layer to show for the entire loop.

After cropping and resizing (scaling) the image, I saved it as a GIF and set the delay rate to 160 ms.

I’m pleased and surprised that the entire file weighs in at 70 kb. My next step will be to turn it into a tga texture file and take into Second Life to sell at Scottlo’s Animated GIF Emporium. The price, as with all other items, will be 106 Linden dollars – or two for twice the price.

Look Ma’, First GIF!

Friday, June 8th, 2012

I did my first GIF today as part of an Visual Assignment for this week. This assignment was worth three stars and it was pretty fun. It was called Say It Like the Peanut Butter and you can find it here.

This is a clip from the movie Contagion, which I saw for the first time last night. Though Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t in the majority of the movie, I thought the time she was in it was hilarious because I got to see some of the best “sick” faces I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t get over the above clip, where she’s sick and the doctors are trying to examine her and she can’t stop making the most unattractive face ever.

I made this clip by taking three screen shots from the actual DVD, saving them as JPEGs and converting them into a GIF in Photoshop. I’ll add more detail to a GIF I add later once I figure out how I actually did it. Mostly I clicked around and I would have you greyscaling it a few times, inverting, accidentally deleting the file, etc.

GIFfing with Jules

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Ok, Jim asked me to up the game, so I am going to get more particular about frame selection for my animated GIFs. We are working on the ds106 kickstarter awards for people who requested an animated GIF in their honor. I’ve got the task to do the one for Boone Gorges, who requested something “bad ass”.

My first neuron went to maybe something from Mad Max, which I might still do, or maybe Tyler Durden who was the baddest because he wasn’t…. never mind. I went to Samuel J as Jules Winfield, those mutton chop sideburns quoting Ezekiel…

I’m really happy with this one! Jules just keeps ranting, but the little hand/head motion of the scared kid in the foreground make it complete (IMHO). Plus, by doing these by hand, working with your fingers in the mud and not just using some fricking iPhone app, it comes in at 526k, almost svelte, lean, mean…

Jules: [Jules shoots the man on the couch] I’m sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What’s the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort. What does Marsellus Wallace look like?
Brett: What?
Jules: What country are you from?
Brett: What? What? Wh – ?
Jules: “What” ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of. They speak English in What?
Brett: What?
Jules: English, motherfucker, do you speak it?
Brett: Yes! Yes!
Jules: Then you know what I’m sayin’!
Brett: Yes!
Jules: Describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like!
Brett: What?
Jules: Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!

This was the scene I plucked from

And I tried to zero in on a part where the camer had no movement, of which there were a lot fo short cuts, but of course, waving the gun and mouthing off fit. I grabbed the clip as mp4 (I use PwnYouTube learned it from Tim Owens), and opened it in MPEG Streal Clip. I use the selectors for the in and out point of the small scene I want, clip it, and then slowly move the slider to different scenes and saved them as frames.

In GIMP I use the Open as Layers option, and under the Filters-Animation menu is Playback so you can see how it flips. This one worked well as I saw nothing I needed to nudge. I did convert the image to Indexed (Image-Mode-Indexed) before the saving as a GIF and enabled the dithering option).

The one thing you have to play with as an animation is the time between frames- I first did 190 milliseconds but it was too slow, so I dropped it to 120.

This one worked well as full frames; the next one I want to see if I can isolate things like eye movement. I am not sure how this goes down in GIMP- I imagine I will have to make a regular background layer, and then select just the parts I want to move and merge to copies of this layer.

Yes, but just making the GIF does that Gaiman “Just Make Art” feeling flow.

Now I am hankering for a Royale With Cheese.

Master of the Flying Guillotine Animated GIFs

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

And that puts me at about 24 stars for visual assignments. NOBODY!