Giffing it….

The GIFitUP2015 event has started and many in #4life and #ds106 folks are working on GIFs for submission.

WOW! the submissions are fantastic and very intimidating. But at the same time, it does promote creations. I am not even in the farm league in this thing. I started to work on some things but gave up. But true to the ds106 world others were having ups and downs and the connections allowed for feeling good and being inspired – to sweat through the frustrations and finish something. The power of community and peer pressure to try your best. Shows what being connected can do for someone – keeps you going when the going gets tough.

@mdvfunes shared her ups and downs – but also support. By responding to her trials – she found a way to suggest to me – a true give and take and give. Mariana finished a wonderful GIF. RonaldL and JohnJohnston have been active and by sharing their work they opened the doors and windows to continue. The power of just a short comment is so powerful. It really shows the wonderfulness of simple courtesy and good will can move mountains.

By sharing my drafts suggestions made that took away the heavy frustration of not being able to make my visions reality. But the cool part is sharing the visions -others got it and saw it too and then offered some tangents to follow.

The result was I got to a point of finishing a submission  – although very rudimentary – and a good baseline for improving over the year and doing better next year.

My attempts were to create the hats in a ferris wheel motion – have not accomplished yet. This one is just in the files as practice.

The second was to have the icons play with a balloon. First attempt ….

and the result after being introduced to Puppet Warp and attempting FireWorks…. the submission:

I also did a couple of birthday GIFS on the fly this week….short and not polished – but to celebrate.

So a GIFFY week of practice!

and I still have a vision of a Toulouse Lautrec poster floating in glitter….it may happen. :-


Did not do well at tracking development. Lots of erasing, cutting merging layers at first. Then Puppet warp to make the hands move in the balloon gif –  I used this tutorial.

I used the grid lines in the Hats to keep the images in the same place in each frame.

For the most part – the standard steps that suggested tutorials cover until I got to puppet warp.

Fireworks – all by the seat of my pants. States are a math problem for me and the preview frames seemed to go slower than they really came out when exported. But I did like how FW smooths things out. Too bad it is a historical app now.

An additional attempt with a Toulouse LaTrec poster….

Organizing for Video and Good Sound

Well creations are happening which means I usually find needs, desires, or ways to use stuff to make content creation and assembly at a next step.

I  watched a video cast – Audio Master Class by Leon Cych on organizing your equipment for video shoots and how to get the best sound etc. with minimal and inexpensive equipment recommended by @johnjohnston. Many of the tips are things I have done before – but like everyone I forget my organization and just dump stuff together. Which then means I go into org-mode.  (BTW – I can’t wait to go to the new Container Store in town – but waiting as long as I can- could be huge budget damage!)

Also looking at how an educator or student is ready for digital capture and creations to practice and apply learning. As I create my own stories, there is always a part of me that thinks thru how students can use as well as how educators could apply in their own learning and in the learning environments of their students. Organization can save a lot of time and headaches. It also lets one focus on the activity. I am one for learning by futzing – but good futzing means you do learn to manage as much as you can so that you can futz on higher level things. Organize to futz at higher order skills seems like a good goal.

Getting the stuff manageable:

Video Set Up Pack

I have each piece in a ziploc bag-wouldn’t cool nylon bags be snazzy! – but hey zip bags are easy, see thru and replaceable) I have 10 bags now. Each has labeled what is in it and a number. I know I have 10 bags. Why? because when you are out somewhere the last thing you want to lose is that one little do-hickey thing-a-ma-bob. This way I find my stuff, but when packing up I know I don’t leave anything behind. If you are fortunate enough to have more than one set up for class us – label with a letter and a number. Bag A – Bag B etc. With a quick glance you can make sure and remind students to match all their items for an equipment check. When you really want to get fancy – metal rings work great for attaching cheat sheets and directions. Remember to include photos for clarity in directions and fewer words. No one reads when they are in an active situation, but they will look at pictures.

Video Set Up Pack

Repurposed a former laptop tote. Has a place to put my iPad as well. Backpacks work great for class set ups – everyone has old ones somewhere.

The only thing missing is the tri-pod. Right now I use a great tripod – it is actually an antique. Way cool – but heavy and not as portable as I would like. So for my Christmas list – a flexible, lightweight and hopefully colorful tripod. 🙂

Can’t wait to go out and begin a shoot. Watch out family – the story interviews are about to begin.

Contents of my Video Pack:

  1. iPad Mount with lens adapter and boom mic mount capacity
  2. wide-angle and zoom lens for iPad – attaches to mount
  3. boom mic – with stand, cables, filter
  4. Lapel Mic
  5. Green Screen hanging clips (shower hooks and command strips)
  6. Green Screen cloth
  7. phone and iPad mounts
  8. 2 grips/table clamp tripod
  9. misc. audio cable, mount instructions, micro fiber cloth for cleaning
  10. extra batteries for boom mic

Still need to add a tripod…..

I am using TouchCast app on my iPad for capture as well as the standard Camera/Video app.

Another app I us is Fuse by TechSmith when working with others who use a video server such as Eduvision by JDL Horizons.. This equation allows for immediate upload to a server – great for student assignments or professional development, coaching and mentoring of educators who want to capture their practice.

Next will be doing a similar clean up of my DSLR camera bag for lenses and external flash with remote.

What do you do to organize or make sure you get the best when out capturing content?

#4life Skills applied

Direct Link to Flip Book creation.bookcover

Seems  I have been absent in some ways in posting and updating. But I have been busy creating and #4Life. My intent was to create along #ds106tales this fall but seems they are now in week 7 already!

I look back at the last 8 months and how much the DS106 community has accelerated my skill building and made a difference in my creations. Adopting the “Make Art Damn it!” frame of mind has been awesome. Learning from others, expanding possibilities. I started this journey to learn things so I could use the stacks of family content now in my possession and under my care due to the loss of parents and parents-in-law over the last years. The loss along with my own children now adults and starting their own life paths of careers, love, and family, I wanted to be able to start creating in ways that would be special for them and the future through digital storytelling of family.

My brother-in-law by alignment of the stars has a milestone birthday of 70 years in October. My husband and sister-in-law wanted to do something to remember and celebrate their big brother’s milestone. Deadlines and specific targets always seem to keep me focused and this seemed a good kick-start to now applying some of my learned ds106 skills to something personal.

I have created GIFs of family and events. Scanning photos, capturing audio and whatever I can. Rochelle Lockridge introduced me to Flipbuilder via the Noir106 radio programs in spring 2015. The many assignments of the ds106 assignment bank in audio, design, video,  have given me lots of practice of which most is posted in this blog. The daily create has been a great source as well! Sandy Brown-Jensen has been a muse and inspiration as she shares her family storytelling creations. Thanks Sandy!

And thanks to all my #DS106 friends for your support and sharing (Twitter): @mdvfunes, @johnjohnston, @ronald_2008, and so many others – too many to list, but so important! Follow the #ds106 tag in Twitter and you will see them.

DESIGN: Created some designs to use as chapter start pages and book cover

I used Canava for these design posters. A handy tool for good graphic plates when you need several instead of one intense grand creation.

Book cover


Chapter cover for Flip Book

I practiced my audio and video skills and learned lots! So much it is hard to share. I used Wondershare Filmora and iMovie as video editors and expanded on tools within each. I used the iMovie map animation in a video about the places he has lived over the years – so cool! The feature was there right in front of me all the time, but I discovered it thru this tutorial.

7 videos created for the Flip book: the YouTube Playlist starts with this video.


Each one improved IMHO. I used Audacity for audio and created audio scripts and clips first. Then imported into the video editors. For some of the videos I used features in one and then imported into the other video editor to gain the best features of each. I also used some of the iMovie templates, but to escape from the constraints, built a foundation and then changed the movie to a new project. This kept the theme transitions in place and available, but then allowed me to add and change to meet my needs.

I also was able to use family video from years past. Boy – a lot of footage and not much captured! LOL. I used a downloader to convert the DVD footage to usable digital pieces and edited in the video editors. A few I used FinalCut Pro for editing, to create content pieces much as I did with Audacity for sound. Without all the fancy interface it was powerful, but less cluttered and assisted in sticking to creating content pieces instead of production.

I also used my JibJab account and captured some video card creations to manipulate and build upon.

The Flip Book Creation:

The Flip book itself was a learning experience. Creating the WP plugin version and getting it to be accessible via a web page on a sub-domain I created for family stories.

The sub domain will give the opportunity to create something more static and approaches content differently than a straight up blog. I am going to try different versions of the theme with the sub domain over the next few months.

Flip Book Builder worked well. Things I know I will do differently are in customizing presentation and making sure the table of content links actually become links. I included the thumbnails open in the link to help family see the navigation. In the future, I would present with the option closed as the default.

The biggest AHA was that I now want to improve an develop more skill in using a page layout tool. I have access to inDesign – but will also look for some other open source options. The first flip book is okay-  but being able to make the pages look more art like and not document layout will be more pleasing for reading. It is not just about the content. Content is first and critical – but presentation makes the content shine.

As I move on to the next family project – I will reflect and try to post some process and development posts.

To see the Flip book check out my Family Stories site (still working on a better title for the site – suggestions welcomed!)

Direct Link to Flip Book.

 YouTube Playlist