3 Bears, A Blonde, and a Fabulous Creative Group

Final version of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears – A group effort! Putting it at the top of the post – details follow.

Within thpuffintransbloge #burgeron106 summer retreat participants, Mama Boo put a call out to recreate Goldilocks and the 3 Bears as an audio recording. Cousin Ron, Nanalou and Dr. M, and myself  – Bernie Burgeron, jumped in to work on it together.

Mama Boo created a Google Doc with some points she needed to put the audio together. The group quickly stepped up and volunteered to do the reading of lines. Rochelle Lockwood even enlisted the help of her grandson – DJ!

Things came together and the group helped me in stretching and taking the steps to recording as Goldilocks. I sort of got over the hearing my voice – but also realize I have to figure out how to get a better sound input. Either mic or environment. I do know to stand when recording – it was great to see Rochelle post about her grandson DJ knowing to stand to record!

I did some listening of files and offered some sound effects as a starting base to add as well. RonaldL added some more sounds to round out the choice.

An awesome product came out of it – Stone Soup of life and shows that a village working together is greater than its people alone.

The audio was SO inspiring – I just had the desire to put it with visuals after listening to it over and over.

I checked to see if anyone else was already on that path and asked for help. I began by gathering visuals that Bugeron106 has created. I then filled in with using photos painted ornaments that I made a few years ago. I also needed to get my mind around characters, Burgerons, ds106 participants and everyone else in between.

With the high sign from the group I began to put the audio story together with visuals. I scanned old pictures of Bernie – all black and white and put them in Photoshop. It was kinda like making paper dolls. I found pictures that looked like they would work.

Collaboration Fantastic!

The thrill of working on this project was the collaboration. From the start with audio – Dr. M was involved by supporting, cheering, asking questions and throwing out ideas. Mama Boo started it all with her audio idea. Cousin Ron seemed to wake up each morning and have something to add or an idea – he even created some music and when he saw the visuals started, went back into the audio and added more sound effects. Dr. M mentioned maybe the Headless Inkspots would enjoy creating some music – so I put out a call to see if creating an intro and exit for this video and to be used for any others in a series that may develop. Everyone jumped right in and the best of everyone pulled it together.

Adding Visuals to  Audio and Video Editing

In photoshop I had to get rid of the backgrounds, clean up the edges and add color. I used the color replacement brush to add color. The picture for the kitchen table was mad by cutting and pasting the fabric design of the coat she was wearing to make it look like a robe, and then adding a foot with a shoe on the end.

I especially like the one on the cover of her peeking around the tree. This one worked perfectly!

I then took pictures of some bear ornaments I had painted some years back. These too went into photo shop and were cut, blended and made with transparent backgrounds.

I needed backgrounds so went to Flickr Creative Commons and found some for the path, the cabin inside and outside, the chairs, the beds, and the bowls of porridge. All were CC=O licenses – so that made it easier.

On several I used Transform commands of scale, skew, perspective, distort. I found holding Control while in the section I could easily move from one to the other. With the repetition of the story it was basic in determining the scenes.

I knew I didn’t want just a slide show and would need to use different editing features to give more movement and direction. For the chair of Baby Bear getting broken I created a GIF of breaking up the chair and exported it as a video clip to include.

I used IMovie as the video editor. I wanted to use Final Cut Pro and I did start in FCP – but for some reason I switched it must have been a good reason when I started, but I don’t remember what I ran into any more that made me switch.

IMovie I find is great for quick and great looking video, but it really does a lot of deciding for you and to override those effects, there are hoops to go through. I choose NO THEME so I could have as much control as possible.

The Ken Burns effect is simple, but easier than adding key frames and adjusting so that was a plus. I figured out after I started that my photos should be made in 1920×1080 pixels in Photoshop so that I wouldn’t end up with the black bars on the side of the video. So back to Photoshop and readjusting most of the stills I created.

All things continued to snowball. IMovie doesn’t have more than a one step backward feature or a save as feature – at least that I have discovered yet. This works against me as I like to try things and go back. If I changed something and didn’t like it – I had to remember what I had and recreate it again and hope it was what I wanted.

The other fun part of doing a fairytale was ignoring all the film rules of transitions and other things! No Hitchcock effect here or worrying about if the characters were strong or weak etc. They were bears and a fairytale! All rules out the window. I think I used more than 50% of the available transitions – but they all seemed to fit and make the story move. Door transitions – opening circles, swaps when changing from one bed to another. Each one has a purpose not just whimsy. Hopefully they are not noticed as transitions and more as the story being told.

Features I used:

To add more interest to the video I used the FlipClip feature in video effects to turn the rooms around. This was I could use the same still, but zoom and pan differently as well as give it a different point of view and not seem like the same. It also helped in hiding a little of the photoshop that wasn’t as clean in the first photos I created. I almost wanted to go back and do them over – but there comes a point when you need to decide improved skills will be great for the next project or you won’t ever finish or move on!

I also used the video effects for the beginning and end clips to give the photo of Nanalou and the Treehouse more of a dreamy effect and to allow the text to show more.

oh….I to make sure viewers knew who was reading the lines – I imposed the readers photos with green screen features. This helped I thought add more to the visual to personalize it. The drawback is the green screen doesn’t accept transitions – so placing so the pop in and pop out seems more intended has to be futzed with to place them.

Exporting from iMovie seemed easy enough and cut out the step exporting to desktop or coverting to QuickTime and then uploading. However, it then does not allow you to upload a thumbnail of choice. :-(. Good to know for the future.

I also had started recording what I was doing step by step – but lost that discipline early on. If there is something you see and want to discuss – I will be happy to do so with as much clarity and detail as I can remember.

I probably have a good four days in on this. The part I always forget is how long rendering and uploading takes! I don’t count that in as my work time.

Another plus of the collaboration – I have intro and exit clips for others to use now!

Thanks to the group! We did great in my opinion!!

Soft Puppy (enough singing already!!!)

Working on audio and video as the #noir106 cohort is working on video as/for their characters. Watching the interviews coming up and they are absolutely on target and so fun to watch! I can’t wait to see the videos from the groups as well as cruise through some of the assignments created. There is a part of me that watches and the waterfall of awe in thinking “how can I learn to do that!”.

The strength I see is in the character alignment. I am on board with the comments of the instructors that this might be the best cohort so far in creating. I have to believe it is because they “own” their character and create the stories and that started on day one. Many of the assignments are the same as they have been for other cohorts – the difference it seems is in starting with character and developing them thru the use of learning techniques, tools, and effective digital communication. It isn’t left to chance that a certain direction of an assignment clicked. In busy schedules and life, there is a constant and frame that is owned by each person to develop.

I didn’t start with a character – I can see the difference. Especially when getting to the more complex tools of video. Video also requires content and story to be strong to be good. The format of noir106 has really enabled having some heavy lifting done to add to new challenges.

So – I am struggling trying to own an idea or direction to create within the assignments. The open course seems to be practice exercises – which are well designed – but without others doing them at the same time for some connection I haven’t found myself wanting to attempt. I am seeing my family content and things I want to do. There is a lot of prep and building to go on to be able to create. I opted for the Soft Puppy (Soft Kitty) Parody instead of the Charlie Chaplin Foley assignment. It started as an audio of trying to merge 3 layers of me singing and then put it to video. My husband decided to join in and then it took another turn. It needed music – so I used an iPad keyboard and played soft kitty. Audacity was the tool for the audio. I couldn’t get it to be the same tempos and line up – so I went with it being a little off – especially since we were both off key anyways. A few effects and then imported into iMovie.

I used iMovie bulletin board template. FinalCut Pro was going to be too much for this experience. I did move some of the key frames, changed transitions and tried to get under the hood of iMovie to see how it can be maxed out. I wasn’t going for an academy award – just some outcome for working with the applications.

Hope you at least get a chuckle out of it – we had fun and it stars our favorite boys!

 

Jerry: Video Tribute Assignment Tweaked

Here is the updated video of Eastside: Jerry.

It is an exercise in my learning about video editing software. Not the plug and play stuff that has templates and you just upload and find out what it became – but the stuff that makes you have to decide keyframes, audio, titles, voiceovers, transitions!!!

This is my baseline video. I hope to improve with each new attempt. I will still use some of the consumer type programs because they are really cool and have a short turn around. Videos are worse than new cars – they are outdated before they finish playing, usually have a great initial surge and then become history. Once seen – everyone wants something new and different.

The more complex tools allow for more voice and direction. I will use them for learning and also for stretching my own story telling and documentation skills.

It has clearly identified that organization and quality of content is foremost. Then story. The editing pulls it all together and can go much smoother, deeper, and more meaningful if the rest is done well. That said, you can edit some bad stuff into to reasonable outcomes- but it is definitely work!

In my first draft – transitions were clumsy. I thought it was because I used too many and should have gone with just cuts. That was not it at all. I had linked clips and transitions like dominos when they should be layers. Going back in and smoothing that out helped a lot.

Having more forms of media will make it interesting as well. So many stills makes it seem more like a slideshow. Another way to change the slide show feel would be to do narration – which means story writing. That will be a must on the future creations.

All in all – because the subject is my Dad – I like the outcome. But it also makes me want to do it better!

For comparison – you can take a look at the draft if you are curious…..

Music in Video:

The Ventures:

  • Peter Gunn Theme
  • Guitar Shuffle Boogie
  • Let’s Go
  • Walk Don’t Run

Eastide: Jerry = i”m a Transition Junkie in need of rehab!

What a week! I should have stuck to some of the building block assignments. #noir106 was doing character assignments, so I decided maybe I should use Jerry and learn some Final Cut Pro and video editing. Early in the week it sounded sensible to do an overview video for future expansion of his story.

First – when you can start from scratch on a story and have all the artistic license I think it is easier. I struggled with using the facts, but not trying to over sell. I also found out how much isn’t collected or saved like you thought. It really makes me appreciate those who take a photo a day for 10 years or document over time effectively. So how does one apply those thoughts to new projects? Story telling needs planning, thought, direction, and collecting and creating. Or – making do with what you have and filling in or in some ways leaving parts of the story out.

The next challenge was in trying to condense 76 years into a short time period. As I worked – I realized there needs to be chapters and this would be more of an overview and have gaps. I was dependent on photos that were already scanned (not all in good quality) and many years of gaps. Jerry was not one who was friends with the camera and the little video there was has him in the background or non-existent aside from the pieces I used. I was very pleased that I did have the video – it actually is a very insightful piece of footage and genuine to who he was.

Uploading was another issue. The Share feature clocked at 4+ hours and timed out and failed. It was using something called the compression app. Second time I exported as a Quicktime movie – but quality dropped and frames dropped as well. It only took 10 minutes to export and 20 minutes to upload to YouTube. It looks great on my iMac, so-so on my laptop. Now I have to read about configuration settings on exports.

Here is my draft video. It is not a finished product at this point. IGNORE THE TIME stamp– it has 8 minutes of black space when it is finished for some reason – another tweak to be done! It is long in internet terms- but comes in at about 6 minutes with credits.

PROCESS:

I skipped the template based software to learn more about manipulating the content. I used Final Cut Pro 7. While my project was large for my skill level it was not huge. But the sheer quantity of photos and pieces got overwhelming. And just when you think you are about done – you hit a key and all goes out of whack or something disappears!

I set up 3 folders: Photos; Audio;Video; and imported them to the tool. I chose songs by the Ventures for the music from YouTube – it was one of his favorites. I had done some voiceover, but it seemed like too much and did not help the story – so that time was practice. I separated the video audio and had to make sure it stayed in sync so linked the video and audio for that part only so that it would not move or alter. I had to extract some photos from other sources and they became of lesser quality. Photos were organized and named for easier placement and moving around. As chapters go on, one solution may be to make the older ones have an older theme overall to look intentional.

From there it was learning to use the viewer and canvas. I watched some tutorials from Lynda.com on the software which helped see the built ins and how to maximize time with keys – really a timesaver!

A key lesson was understanding that going forward the more organized and prepped the content is earlier to creating and editing the better. The feeling of wanting to get to the video and create has to be delayed. Making sure all the content is fixed, edited, logged and named correctly prior will make this easier and probably result in better outcomes.

I ended up creating a monster – 13 video tracks and 9 audio tracks in layers. They probably could have been condensed – but after losing some work, I began to lock layers so I didn’t alter them as I worked on other portions.

With so many still photos and looking at them for so long, it seemed necessary for transitions and not abrupt cuts. I WENT TRANSITION CRAZY! DON”T MAKE THAT SAME MISTAKE! In hindsight – this is one of the tweaks on the next iteration. Getting rid of transitions and equalizing the length of shots overall. The readings for the week were good – and transitions discussed – but once it was uploaded and watched outside of the tool – I don’t like so many of them. I had initially thought consistency would be better than too many ones – but again – that is not how it turned out.

Because of the content – the time was fun and meaningful. I will be remiss if I don’t go back and do this right or better. This being the first story of the family should not mean it is the roughest. I will continue to polish and improve in his detailed chapters.

While I was in the midst of all this – I did a short project in iMovie putting my audio assignment into visual format. The details are here. The video is below.

All in all – it is learning and video has a short shelf life in most cases – so on to the next one and making it better.

Out of the Cocoon….Sound to Video

As I have struggled with taking on a larger video project than intended I thought I would take a break and try a shorter creation. I decided to take one of my commercials from audio week and visualize it.

I have been working in FinalCut Pro and really swimming in key points and adjustments! So I decided to try iMovie and see how I could manipulate or use the presets. I chose NO Theme and loaded my sound and video clips I downloaded from YouTube, plus some stills.

Since the sound was complete it was truly how to add the visuals. I was able to drop in, add some transitions and within 90 minutes start to finish I had my commercial done. I was happy with the sound and the visual iteration seems to work as well.

This was a good exercise to do at this point. It got me an outcome that I was happy with and went quickly. This helps in understanding all video does not need to be laborious and take forever. Good to remember there are different ranges and reasons that all can satisfy a time and place.

Here is the original Audio creation:

This assignment was submitted to the #ds106 Assignment Bank as VideoAssignments, VideoAssignments1638. I initially gave it 3 stars for the time to find video and time needed to understand how to download and extract only needed sections. Plus the possibility of using key frames and motion with video and stills.

 

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