Archive for the ‘VisualAssignments347’ Category


Start with a Bang . . .

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Assignment (Visual): Photo It Life Peanut Butter . . . three star icons

I confess that I’ve never before seen the appeal of animated GIFs. Weren’t those the goofy little hyper cartoon characters that ran rampant in PowerPoints in an early era?

So I’ve had a bit of a change of heart, though I still think you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to animated GIFs and that the animation needs to contribute to the visual story’s compellingness (that should be a word) substantially. Animation for cuteness’s sake just doesn’t cut it for me.

To date, these are the most compelling animated GIFs I’ve seen — CogDog’s Animated Water. I get a real sense of being there. I can hear the splashing. Feel the mist. Yes! The animation makes the story richer. I also love the subtlety of this water-enhanced image “Animated GIFs from Your Own Photos.”

So you may laugh when you see my first animated GIF. I realize you may feel that I’ve resorted to cuteness, but I’d like to think that the fireworks shooting around me (my avatar) conveys a bit of the sense of the wonder I feel every time I pop into this virtual world. I am there. And when I watch this GIF I hear sizzle, pop, and bang.

I thought of sharing the experience of flying among the fireworks over the Bookhenge on Star Island because one of my students, Jennifer, emailed recently to say that she still often returns to the Bookhenge just to fly among the fireworks. And I thought I was the only one who loved to do that.

So do come visit the Bookhenge some time and fly up among the fireworks. If there’s no display going off, just let me know — 2B Writer — and we’ll create a fireworks celebration just for you.

Avatar floating in fireworks

GIMP is new to me but I’ve had some excellent tutoring from a PhotoShop pro. Still, there’s nothing like tying yourself to a Herman Miller Aeron until you come up with a decent product. The most valuable lesson I learned is that you need to make sure that the dimensions of your image fit your theme. I’d remembered that 640 filled the blog column so I went with that. Thank goodness I did. I later, when trying to troubleshoot the lack of animation on my blog, found a chart with the max dimensions per blog theme. 640 it was for my Twenty-Ten.

I think beginning with the GIF was actually a good intro to GIMP because it helped me begin to grasp the layers concept without actually having to do any real editing yet.

I’ll look forward to making more GIFs when I see that the animation serves my story.