Sometimes you go back to things…Fairytale to Video

Sometimes you go back to things you started but never finished.

I had left this just sitting on my hard drive from a few weeks ago. It seems this summer I am doing assignments, but ones I create myself instead of straight from the assignment bank. This started as Writing during the Bugeron106 Fairy Tale Festival. After going through writing – I pushed and did an audio reading of it so that I used my voice – something I was hesitant in doing. I moved on somewhat and created a PDF file of the writing with some pics to include in a FlipBook tool exploration. I still was trying to figure out how to used it in video and not just a slide show and had started playing around in iMovie with it. The drawback was not enough created art pieces to go with the story to hold it together so it was mostly an audio book. I left it and went on to new things.

Then I get mentioned in a tweet by @mdvfunes to @cogdog if my soundcloud version would help him in his K12 Keynote information collection. I had pondered how to help him out – but haven’t been able to condense my thoughts into something understandable and video.

The fairy tale is 11 minutes – longer than the 3 minutes that was requested, being another reason. I still have to think about if I can pull it off and if it would be helpful. Still pondering.

So as I was having my morning caffeine – I pulled up the video I started on the fairy tale. I am not sure if it is just time passing or because it is too dang hot outside today to want to do anything but sit still and keep cool – but I started to watch it and it didn’t seem as awful as I remembered leaving it.

So I looked at  a few options, added some titles and cleaned up some bumps. I used some Bitmoji avatar pics to stay with the storybook feel. I was surprised at how many can fit.

It is still 11 minutes plus and I don’t have all my attributions added yet. There are only a few – but they need to be added. Not sure it is anything Alan can use either, but will pass it on. It did feel good to take something that was left in the dust and at least polish it up a bit and have it in a form to share whether it is as something to learn from. The previous state was just a mess of files ¬†– at least now it is connected.

I am getting to like iMovie a bit more. I can use it on my laptop or desktop so it allows me to be near family or in different rooms which is a perk. FinalCutPro means I am held in the office room. With this I found I could use some of the trailer templates and convert to a movie. The trailer templates are more polished and featured than the movie themes and it is nice to start with a base to edit from and not totally from scratch.

One thing which would be really nice is if iMovie Storyboard was somehow usable and a tool in iMoive for any movie. How great to improve planning and writing skills if it was possible to lay it out in a storyboard that converted it to the video like the trailer templates – but allowed you to be the director and decide what features and how long and what order. Is there such an option? Still looking – let me know if there is!

and here it is – A Story of Connections: DS106 and the Ed Administrator. Thanks to the Fairy Godfather – Alan Levine and the ds106 Guardian Angel – Mariana Funes, along with all the people and characters who are #4Life and continue to support and create.

Open sharing and connections are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They are the everyday simple acts of kindness and reaching out that together make wealth in life. Sometimes they become the awesome out of this world-never thought it could happen events, but mostly it is the true enrichment of the small touches that together add up. 

Give one – get many.
Open and share – you will never regret that you did.
ūüôā

and how appropriate – with auto upload from iMovie you can’t define your thumbnail cover – it automatically chose @NanaLou- ¬†perfect!

Gnomes, The Moon and The Porch

Iceland FairyTale Week

It is visual assignment week in #burgeron106 and it is Icelandic week as well. That means, gnomes, elves, fairies and more.

The poster could be “design” because it is a poster- but I used my own photos to create it. (well – except for NanaLou’s porch)

I used a shot of the moon off my deck. I have tried for moon shots for a long time and this one is a step up in starting to understand the settings on my camera.  It is from the fall Рbut it also forced me to get my camera out again and actually use it over my phone.

Moonin' - almost there! Spooky!

From there I decided to learn how to use the external flash and remote I got for Christmas this last year.  I used it once and could never get it to work again Рpacked it away.

remotes flash

I spent about an hour trying to get the flash to fire when I took a picture¬†–¬†nothing worked and I have about 200 pictures of only black to prove it! Searched the Internet and everything said “not a problem – works easily – not difficult”…….hmnnn……..after a few more tries I finally figured it out! I had put the receiver on backwards!

Problem solved.

I use the external flash in one hand and hold it at different angles as I shoot to get different effects. I have some Tom Clark Gnomes that I collected years ago and have since moved to the basement with the former collections of things and thought they would make good subjects. More on how I shot the pics as the next products are completed.

Once I had the picture and lighting I liked – I cropped it and added it to the poster.

So while it looks like a design assignment – I am focusing on the visual and photography – and pictures telling a story. ūüôā

 

 

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  РBernie 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 РDJ!

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!!

Fail of Webbing Fairy Tale News

puffintransblogWeb Assignments – Week 1 Summer 2015

Nanalou has a newsletter…….and she wanted it embedded into the family story blog. She used an email service that gave her a good choice of templates and ease, but still very basic. NanaLou went through a lot of hoops to present her information to the rest of the family at the level she is known for – but way too much work on detail things when she could be spending the time on sharing her other talents.

This prompted me to identify this as my web assignment. While it is not telling a story of Holland Fairy Tales – it is a #ds106 tangent of which to pursue. More on the Holland fairy tales later – I did dive into them and enjoyed the tales!

Vertical Response – great free tool, but limited in features – doesn’t print to PDF, doesn’t archive. The work around is to use the View Online link and post it as a text link where ever you want others to access it. Not a bad solution -but I also found that NanaLou did that and¬†the page that comes up is a registration page. This might explain the 50% open rate (which in marketing circles is pretty darn good – usually success is marked at 30%). Vertical Response support tickets had a similar request in its logs and this was the answer:

Jaime (VerticalResponse) 

Hi there Laura,

While we do not generate a link so that you can archive older newsletters on your website, we do have a workaround. In order to generate the link,¬† you will have to insert the “View Online” link into your email. It is normally added by default. If it is not there, you can add it to a text box by using the “Insert” drop down menu on the right hand side and selecting “Hosted Version Link”. Once you’ve launched the email to your recipients, click on the View Online link and copy the URL in your browser’s address bar. This is the link that you can put onto your website. Please ensure that you are only doing this with launched emails as it will not work with test emails. Feel free to let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!

Regards,

Jaime W.

Verticalresponse Support

The first thing I did was try and find a URL that would go back to the newsletter without having to login. I found one, but also wanted to make sure it did work and just was not accessing because of cache or other things on my machine. I found it was working by using another computer in the house and someone elses profile. I then created a shorter url for the link because it was way too long!! I am not sure if Vertical response stays consistent with its URLs – we will see. Nanalou – I did update the links in your post so that others did not hit dead ends.

The Burgeron site is also using WordPress.org and not a self hosted version so plugins are at the mercy of WP. This made finding solutions more difficult as the subscription is set up to help maintain security and is not as open to plugins.

Tried iFrames – but WP.org scrubs those out and makes it irrelevant. I searched the available widgets and no luck – nothing that would allow embedding another site or html. Suggestions were to create a new page. I tried that and came up with nothing usable.

PDF conversion didn’t work either and is not supported by VerticalResponse.

I have been working around with my Google account for this site so thought I would try for the Burgerons. Using Google Drive and docs is coming along nicely and was worth a shot.

Trying to get the newsletter as formatted with active links proved difficult. I could import and put things in a Google Doc but¬†Copy and paste loses formatting from the template for the newsletter. It also smashed columns together. If it was a little different that would have beennewsembed2en okay – but it was more like a cut and paste that was like spaghetti on a barn – some stuck and some didn’t. It didn’t meet quality criteria.

Even though it didn’t look quite right – I wanted to find out if it would embed and actually work if it was a GDoc. I titled it and then went to File>Publish to Web and chose embed. I copied the code and pasted it into WP – it worked! Great scroll bar and you can also resize the window of the embed in the code for different purposes. Filing that one for sure!

 

It still did not solve Nanalou’s issue. I tried Google slides, and draw – neither accepted the template features where they looked good enough to consider a solution.

I also tried taking the source code from the newsletter and pasting it in as text to see if it would replicate. It added a whole load of text and the newsletter. Might work – but to putzy for a solution.

newsembed  Copying and pasting the newsletter itself added extra lines and table features that would be a bear to go through and delete.

So at this point – I have spent a good amount of screen time and futzing. I have come up with a better handle on using Google for embed into WP and if info is created in Google first to look good, that will be a solution.

Also did come up with the ability to use the links for accessing the Vertical Response newsletter. Creating a standard Newsletter header or graphic to hold the newest link and another going back to an archive of links might be a good solution and still add some visual.

 

Nanalou created a Pinterest page to give a visual for the newsletter. On that path I found this in the support logs. I don’t think it would have saved anytime or hoops – but it is what is available¬†by the tool support.

Hi there Mel.

To better assist you, may I ask what format your poster is in? i.e JPG, GIF, PNG. If you do not know, you can right click on the image and select properties. A window should pop up displaying the file type. As long as it is in one of the image formats I listed above, you should be able to use our Social tool to create a social post. Here are step by step instructions, along with a video tutorial, to walk you through the process: http://helpcenter.verticalresponse.com/articles/VR2/Create-a-Social-Post/

I don’t have a product that came out of this web assignment, but it was time to spend on solution finding and trying new things out within tools and systems so that I can apply.

Holland Week:

Thanks to NanaLou, Cousin Ron, and Sappho with work on Holland fairy tale history and creating. I am at this point on the consumable end of fairy tales over creating them. The resource links of stories has been great to use. I find I read and enjoy them and then remember I was supposed to be looking at how they are constructed, the style and flow etc. Instead – I have been purely enjoying them as a good story.

Reading the stories and seeing what others are creating is also helping in my support work on the Bovine PR Department team. Sappho had mentioned in a post that if Prisoner106 had a badge shouldn’t the Burgeron’s and the Fairy Tale Festival. This took me on the path of creating an animated GIF badge and with the support of the family a usable outcome came out of the efforts. It is great to have others give that gentle push to reach a little farther. Thanks Family!

And while not directly a Holland fairy tale – I did work on walking out of my comfort zone and recording audio for Mama Boo and Christina Hendricks for a remix of the 3 Bears and Goldilocks. It was actually fun and may make the next audio of self be a little easier to add in a product. I also spent some time looking for first sound effects for consideration by the group.

A few daily creates thrown in for some exercising some creative muscles.
TDC1271

One week into the festival summer and it seems everyone is giving one and gaining many. Totally cool!

 

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