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.

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

Wearing down to becoming Village Resident

A rather odd week it seems. Several independent things all together just making it odd. Or maybe it is settling into balance #4life by remembering to look up and see what else is going on and other creation possibilities not necessarily tied to No. 6 or tales of fairies.

Video  Рa time for definite skill building.

I am starting to enjoy watching the Prisoner episodes – but in no way am I putting it together or carrying story lines from one episode to another. I was not diligent in watching them in order or making sure I finished one before the next either. I did find some episodes uploaded that are in 15 min segments. That has helped in watching. Don’t ask me why – maybe the shrink on the couch can tell me – but watching 4 – 15 minute episodes seems doable when I can’t commit to one 50 min clip. Same amount of time – but different. But it did seem that I am wearing down and becoming okay with being a resident. I think finding the tele-porter and getting back to Bovine might be necessary to stay free.

Which leads to trying to do a video without an idea. I did look through the assignment bank and probably should have stuck to a more direct route. I ended up combing several different strands of assignments and it became one project instead of several smaller ones.

What did inspire me was the music by Iron Maiden. I really like the song and the guitar sequences. It lead me to listening to more of the band’s music this week. During their height of fame I was a country girl listening to Steve Earle, Alan Jackson, the Judds and others. I seemed to miss the heavy metal era.

  • The project started with the song. I wanted to expand past the assignment of just creating a music video. So I used Mac Downloader and captured the song from YouTube.
  • I imported into Audacity
  • Found dialog clips from the Prisoner series at Http:// and imported them into layers in Audacity
  • I loved @iamTalkyTina ‘s interpretive reading of the opening dialog of the series and downloaded it from the prisoner106 archive.
  • I then worked on the sound file to blend with the music and somewhat tell a story (of a story I can’t figure out)
  • Sound complete

Then it was time to move to video. I want to get back to FinalCutPro because of the ability to really put your own stamp on it. As discussed in the visual week in creating book covers Рwanting to start from scratch not edit.

I assembled my “bins” and imported into sequences – all the first organizing for FCP was set. As I started finding the razor blade for cutting etc came back quickly. THEN IT HIT ME! UGH! Rendering is necessary when working in FCP Every time something is added or moved. So using several different clips turned into a 40 minute rendering wait with the first clip. I had no patience for it on that day.

I kept it in the background, but opened iMovie.

  • Choose NO theme
  • imported into library clips, GIFS, stills and audio.

The next wall РiMoive accepted the GIFS, but creates them as a still image of one. To use the GIFs  as video or animated, I would need to covert them all from GIF to video in another program and then re-import. If someone knows the secret to making GIFs run in iMovie please let me know!

I wasn’t really sure which GIFs would actually fit where I might be going with the audio (remember – I said writing and storyboarding first is a lesson learned!) so spending a good chunk of time on converting hit the floor real fast.

I focused on using the clips I found, some stills I had Рand now realize I had more that I could have/should have used. It was becoming the project that just needed to get done. Too much invested to leave it unfinished, but not quite compelling enough to turn into losing track of time into wee hours of the night without realizing.

iMovie was working for the most part. As with making art – lots of futzing. moving things and lining things up that most viewers will never even realize. I went back in and added Ken Burns effects to change some focus in hopes it wouldn’t be as noticiable that the video was not the dialog you were hearing. Towards the end I did clip the video and No. 6 seems to have a little tic or jerk as he says he is still himself – I actually liked that and had it repeated a few times as part of the story – so yes it was intended.

Towards the completion it still needed more since I didn’t have much original art included- ¬†so I added title segments in some portions to focus on the dialog. It was like an aha – titles don’t just have to be at the beginning- and I didn’t have to go into a photo editor and make stills with text. The one slip was not having the Village font available in iMovie- and by this time I just could not think of figuring out how to get it installed and available to the program. Not for fear of doing a font install – but the uncertainty of iMovie in the way it saves automatically. After so many hours to get to this point I didn’t want it all to be lost of messed up and have to re-establish it all again. So yes – took the easy way out on this one.

So – still need to work on video skills and more practice to get comfortable and to use features that make sense. I will take this for the units this week.

I am glad I finished it and am okay with the result. I did learn while working on it. I am ready to do video again – but with a story that I may have more internalized.



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

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.