Architecture/Landscape Then And Now

I created the Architecture/Landscape Then And Now Visual Assignment. I wanted to do this because I enjoyed blending then and now pictures of UMW last year for my senior history seminar called Adventures in Digital History.

Here’s the description of the assignment:

“Much like other then and now assignments, this assignment requires an old photo and a current photo. The difference is that the blended photo must be a landscape or include architecture, so a building, house, etc. People aren’t the only things that change over time! If you don’t have old photos, find one through Creative Commons! ”




The Party Don’t Start ‘Till I Walk In (GIF Tutorial)

Darcy Arrives GIF

Created in Adobe Photoshop


Darcy Arrives2

Created with GIMP

These GIFs were made for the Say it Like Peanut Butter Assignment from the DS106 Assignments site.

Using Photoshop

The first version here was made using Adobe Photoshop. Here are the steps I took to make this GIF from the movie Pride and Prejudice:

1. I imported my video clip into Photoshop using the import video frames to layers option.

2. Next, I opened up the timeline at the bottom of the screen and selected New layers Visible in All Frames in the small Timeline drop down in the upper right corner of the timeline.

3. After that, I cropped all of my frames by clicking on the first frame, holding down Shift and scrolling to my last frame and clicking on it to select all of my frames, and then using the Crop Tool (5th tool on the side tool bar).

4. Then, I resized all of my frames by clicking on the first frame, holding down Shift and scrolling to my last frame and clicking on it to select all of my frames, and then resizing my image under the Image tab and selecting Image Size.

5. I then deleted a bunch of unnecessary frames by selecting several of the frames on the timeline and clicking the trash button at the bottom of the timeline in order to make my final GIF file size smaller.

6. Lastly, under the File tab I clicked on Save for Web… and selected the Optimized version as well as made sure it was saving as a GIF (drop-down under the Preset drop-down). I did not play around with any of the other settings.

Using GIMP

The Second Version of the GIF was made using GIMP.

Here’s how I made it:

I imported my video clip into MPEG Streamclip (you can also edit your video in this instead of editing it in another video editor).  Then, I exported the file  as Export to Other Formats and choose Image Sequence in the drop down at the top of the pop-out window. This converted my video clip into a bunch of still images.

Next, I opened GIMP and imported all of my still images from the video clip by clicking on Open as Layers and selecting all of my still images at the same time by holding down the Command/Control key and clicking on all of them.

After that, I linked all of my layers by clicking on the blank square next to the eye icon, which is next to layer thumbnails in the layers sidebar in order to edit them all once. I cropped my images, using the Crop tool.

Then I unlinked my layers by once again clicking on the chainlink icon next to all of my layers.

Lastly, I exported my layers by clicking on Export As and selecting GIF as my file type. I checked the boxes labeled Interlacing, and As Animation, as well as Loop Forever and I unchecked the box labeled GIF comment in the pop-out window for exporting GIF options.


Minimalistic Ice Cream


Minimalistic ice cream

I started the assignment 4 Lines, 5 Dots, 1 Curve (worth 4 stars), thinking it would be really difficult to think of something to make with those limitations, but then it came to me…ice cream! I’ll admit I could have been a little more creative with this assignment, but I did want to make something recognizable. The cone uses three lines, the ice cream uses the one curve, and the last line, and then the chocolate chips are the five dots. Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite ice, especially from Baskin Robbins and so I decided to make the background pink as an homage to Baskin Robbins. I used Pixlr to create this drawing and simply used the shape tool to make my lines and my dots and my one curve. Then I put a vignette filter over the cone to show that it had been baked more in certain areas, and I added noise to the ice cream to give it that frozen kind of texture.



Brewing Passion Ice Tea

Brewing Passion Ice Tea

I did the visual assignment “Photo It Like Peanut Butter,” which is worth 3 stars. To do this assignment, I checked out a DSLR camera from DTLT (just to experiment with) and I set it to “continuous shot” mode that way I would be able to kind of recreate the process the process of getting video frames. I held it down after I poured the hot water in the glass, and captured 16 images of the tea brewing. Next, I imported those images into Photoshop as a “stack,” meaning they imported in as layers. Then I clicked the drop down menu above the Timeline in Photoshop to make all of my layers frames in the Timeline. Next, I selected all of my 16 frames and cropped down the image of the glass to focus in on the tea bag and on the brewing tea swirls. After that, I resized the image width from around 3,000 pixels to 800 pixels. Then, I adjusted the delay speed of all of the frames to 0.1 seconds. Finally, I “saved to web” and saved my project as a GIF.

I really need to get a tripod to put cameras on…that would have definitely made the photo shoot easier and it would have made the gif sequence smoother. It’s also weird to make a GIF from pictures only instead of a video, mostly because in my limited GIFfing experience I’ve only used videos to convert into GIFs. Nevertheless, I am happy with the way it turned out. I really wanted to depict the subtle movement within tea brewing and I think I accomplished that.


The Speedy Photographer

Photoblitz! I had 20 minutes to take all of the pictures in the instructions.

My instructions:

FullSizeRender (1)

Let’s go!!


How I Procrastinate

I did the Visual Assignment “Multiply Yourself,” worth 5 stars.

How I did this was I simply put my camera on our dining table, set the timer to ten seconds, and took siz different pictures of myself doing different things in the living room. I did not move the camera at all, and made sure the objects in the room did not move in between shots.

After I took my photos, I imported them into Pixlr, even though Photoshop would have made the process easier. After the were in Pixlr, I picked one of the images to be my base image. The image I picked to be the base was the one where I’m sticking my head through the door. I then used the lasso tool with the feathering set to eight to cut myself out from the whiteboard picture and paste myself into the base picture. In order to make sure I lined everything up between the cut out and the base image, I made the opacity of the cut out layer about 50-70%  until it was in the right position. Once lined up, I raised the opacity of the cut out layer back to 100%. Then, I cleaned up the edges with the circle eraser tool that has feathering. I repeated this process of cutting myself out of the other pictures and pasting myself onto the base image four more times until I had all six of me in the same room. The hardest Jess to clean up was definitely the dancing/jumping Jess because I had to make sure that the Jess laying down on the couch was actually visible, so I really had to basically outline the dancing/jumping Jess with the eraser almost down to the pixel. Once I got all of the Jesses in same image, I double checked to see if there was anywhere the furniture or the wall colors were off and touched up the spots I found with the eraser tool to make sure that the room layout was all from the base image.

If I try to do this kind of image manipulation again, I will definitely go out and buy a tripod for my camera, that way I won’t have AS much erasing to do.


Night Rose

In the Visual assignment category, I chose to do the Colorize It assignment. I took a photo I had previously taken, and adjusted the colors in the picture.

To change the colors of the pictures, I opened my original image into Pixlr and used the Magic Wand tool to select the flower, the leafy background, the middle of the flower, and part of the bee. After I selected each of these parts of the picture, I selected Adjustment and used the Color Balance scales to decrease the red tones and up the blue and green tones. It was a pretty simple process, but it still had a really cool effect on my picture!

Here’s the original image so you can see the difference.


“Now You’re in the Game.”

For the GIF assignment, I summarized Season 1, Episode 10: The Cost of The WireI picked five scenes that had what I felt were either crucial moments, and/or crucial lines. The actual GIF making process was definitely more difficult than I had thought it would be, but that is because I chose to make it more difficult for myself. I was not satisfied with MPEG Streamclip and GIMP after making one GIF, so I decided to head over the library to work some Adobe Creative Suite magic. Turns out I may know how to do the photoshop part of the GIF making, but I didn’t know how to do the video editing. I vaguely remembered how I was taught using Adobe Premiere, so I asked for some help, watched some Youtube tutorials, and of course googled as much as I could. Nevertheless, I finally figured out how to trim the video, add text, export it, and then open it up as layers in Photoshop to save it as a GIF.

However, just when I thought everything would be okay, the software did not cooperate at first. My first GIF ended up saving too slow despite the preview appearing to be at normal speed. My second GIF ended up saving too fast despite the preview appearing to be at normal speed. So as you can imagine, at this point I was very confused, but not completely defeated. I continued on, and just like in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, my third GIF was just right! :D (And the ones after that too.)

So although I spent nearly three hours on the library Mac desktop, I managed to make all of the GIFs that I felt summarized The Cost. Below are my five GIFs. (I didn’t really need 6.) Enjoy!


You wanted to be in the game. Now you're in the game.Stay free.

McNulty is trying to see if Kima is alive.


So Many Feels on The Wire This Week.

The Wire

Episode 10:

The Cost This episode was jammed pack with all kinds of developments!! Wallace and Omar are staying at the top of my list as McNulty continues to annoy me. McNulty just bothers me because although I know he is probably a good cop and will eventually bring down the whole Barksdale gang, when he isn’t working, he just seems so scummy. He was a bad husband, isn’t a great father, and gets wasted so much that he ends up sleeping at the office. Wallace and Omar on the other hand, are actually trying to turn their lives around and do right. We see Omar helping the police by wearing a wire to Avon’s parlay with Stringer and then we see him leaving town to start anew.

Wallace who is unfortunately still using drugs, is apprehended by the cops and when he is brought in, he tells the cops almost everything they need to know, especially more information about Stringer. I thought it was nice of him to protect D’Angelo from the blame and I think it showed that he is still loyal to him even though he does not work for him anymore. By not turning D’Angelo over, it also shows that he really did appreciate D’Angelo letting him out of the game. The whole idea of Wallace being able to be let free and go live with some relatives outside of the projects really brought some positive light to such a dark show. I like how the writers made sure that we didn’t forget how much this kid needs a new start though, and so when he asks the Lieutenant what “that sound” was (they were crickets chirping) it just reinforces the point that the kids growing up surrounded by the game don’t know anything else.

Bubbles is also at the top of my list,  because he another troubled character that is trying to turn their life around. I like how Whalen and he show the other side of the game, which is all the addicts who are buying from these dealers. Bubbles and Whalen also show that it IS POSSIBLE to get out of the game without ending up dead or in jail. I particularly like Whalen’s quote to Bubble, “gettin’ clean’s the easy part. And then comes life.” That also reinforces that people who are caught up in the game don’t know any other life. In thinking about the title of the episode, which is “The Cost,” we see many different instances of what it costs to be in the game this episode. We see how it’s cost Bubbles his family, we can recall it’s cost Wallace his education, it’s cost Omar his boyfriend, it’s cost Orlando his life, and then at the very end, we see it even costs the cops. It potentially costed them Kima’s life. There was just so much to this episode, that I chose to summarize this one for the GIF assignment.

GIFs from my GIF assignment depicting Episode 10 of The Wire.

(See actual GIF assignment post for the process and a brief reflection.)

Avon slides his pager to Stringer Gettin' clean's the easy part. Now comes life. You wanted to be in the game. Now you're in the game. Stay free. McNulty is trying to see if Kima is alive.

Episode 11: The Hunt

It was refreshing to see some of the higher up cops doing work out in the field instead of just giving orders from their office. Nevertheless, two key moments in the episode really stood out to me. The first is the very short scene of Kima’s girlfriend sitting on their couch in their apartment. You can tell she’s trying to calm down and process Kima’s condition, but then she sees the blue mark from Kima’s highlighter on the cushion. I loved how the scene zoomed into her fingers reaching out to feel the blue mark, as if she were reaching out to Kima herself. Although the scene was very short, I thought it was very poignant since it allows the audience to realize that there are also more minor characters in the show, and just because they aren’t focused on right now, it doesn’t mean their plot line has stopped.

The other scene that really stood out to me in this episode was the seen where Bay takes D to his house. D is absolutely terrified because he has no idea where he is or what Bay is doing. When D nearly breaks down in the dark room of Bay’s place, I thought that signified how terrified of the game D really is, and how much he doesn’t trust the higher ups like Stringer Bell and his uncle to not just “off” him someday. Right as Bay turns on the lights, however, the tone of the scene dramatically changes. Instead of finding himself in some creepy abandoned place, D finds himself surrounded by beautiful and well kept fish tanks. Bay doesn’t seem to understand how much he freaked out D and continues on to tell D about how he needs to look after his fish while he is away in Philly. It was wonderful to see another side of another one of the gang members besides the side we see in the drug game. Bay’s concern for his many fish, that he knows by breed and name gave him a much more personable element, especially since we know he was one of the shooters who shot Kima and Orlando.

Episode 12: Cleaning Up

This episode definitely stayed true to its title. “Cleaning Up” meant many different things depending on who was cleaning up and how they were cleaning up. Avon and Stringer not only literally cleaned up and packed up Orlando’s club but they also cleaned up their men and flushed out anyone they felt they couldn’t trust. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see them order Bodie to kill Wallace and then to see him get shot and die. The deputy was trying to clean up the Barksdale case and told Lieutenant Cedric’s team to bring in Avon on anything, even if it isn’t all about being the leader of a drug ring.

At the very end of the episode, there are two important camera shots that tie together everything that happened in the episode with the title. The first is the police’s bulletin board where they have been tying together all of Barksdale people and his locations. The board does not appear to have any loose ends left, has an “arrested” index card under Avon and it all nice and tidy, or “cleaned up.” The second shot is back at the courtyard where D’Angelo and his crew usually hang out. In this shot, all we see is the empty orange couch out in the middle of the courtyard where it usually is. There is nobody near it or on it, it is just the couch. Avon and Stringer have successfully “cleaned up” the courtyard and got rid of anyone they can’t trust. The biggest question I have now since this wasn’t the season finale, is “now what?” I know the McNulty and the rest of the team he has been working with cannot be happy with only bringing in Avon without Stringer. Furthermore, what is Stringer going to be up to now that Avon has been arrested and a good portion of his crew on the West side has either been sent away, killed, or arrested?

Daily Creates

9/2/14 If great scientists had logos….create your own logo

9/3/14 Represent a Well-Known Story as a Transit Map

9/4/14 Draw Your Own Map of the Internet, Show Your Home

9/5/14 Mashup the pieces of 2 unrelated games into a new game.