Categories
Assignments

i’m also an exercise instructor

so one of my news resolutions this year was to exercise more! that did not work out (shocking, right?). So as scary and upsetting as this corona situation is, I figured maybe its a good time to start exercising. I knew it was fate when I saw the assignment in the bank, and even more so when I realized this assignment was created by fellow umw ds106-er emily! (in which you should totally check out her post & video, its AMAZING). So, heres my take on an exercise video!

So you may have noticed from the video… i am in now way qualified to be giving exercise advice. I know precious little! I definitely took this a more comedic route, and I think it was my favorite assignment that I created this week (although low key, thats not saying much). I had a lot of fun recording this and coming up with my fake exercises, but I ran into trouble when it came time to add audio to it. I was kind of unsure how to fill the blank time between me being done explaining and the exercise being done viewing, and i ended up just, not doing that. Redo me would love to plan this out better, and would probably include more segments so that I could speed everything up and then have a more appropriate timing for words, and also make it more interesting to watch (although I know a 40 second shot of my staircase is positively THRILLING).

Like I said earlier, i did have a lot of fun doing this one, and i really like the concept i had developed, i just think it could have used better execution. my favorite was walking my dogs and calling them out for being so slow and stopping every 10 seconds, but that bit was harder to record because i was holding two leashes and also my phone camera and it was just kind of a lot. Additionally, I liked my fridge scene and I think I’m hilarious, but the execution wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to be.

Overall, a really fun assignment and certainly would do again, just preferably in a less rushed and generally higher quality manner.

drop n gimme 20! -liz

Categories
Assignments

im a gamer!

and being a gamer, I have collected quite a few Super Cool moments. As such, I decided to do a video gaming highlights video with all of the cool bits from my most recent gaming session. I’ll give you a warning, its Super Cool ™

webkinz baybee! similar to my previous assignment, except this time is gaming WINS! so this one was definitely harder to make than my gaming flops video, mostly because this one required (of my own volition) audio attached. However, I did not record the audio while I was playing, so I had to record it after the fact. It ended up a whole mess that took ages to try and get everything lined up. My original plan for the audio was to just watch the video on silent while simultaneously narrating, and then just layer the audio on top of the video and bing bang boom done!

It was not bing bang boom done.

The issue started when I was both watching and recording on my phone, so I started the voice recorder, stayed silent until the farm game & then began speaking. This made it really difficult to figure out which silence was pre-me starting the video, and which silence was me post starting the video. And i was not able to figure that out, so i then had to problem solve by chopping the audio into little bits and lining it up (quite painstakingly, i might add) to its video counterpart. You may notice a certain lack of an outro… that is because i could not get the outro to fit, i think because i continued talking after the video ending without realizing it. terribly unfortunate πŸ™

Another thing i’m kind of unhappy with is how chaotic the audio sounds. I was going for “a little bit too hype for webkinz” for the comedic value, but ended up more on the side of “holy cow she’s talking so quickly and everything is super jumpy”. Which is unfortunate. I think the best way to correct this would be to just, record myself audio-ly while gaming, that way i don’t have to line anything up and it will flow better and more naturally without as much painstaking alignment.

I chose to play webkinz because i think having an epic Webkinz compilation is really funny, and I like the juxtaposition. Also I’ve been playing a lot of webkinz recently so its on my mind. Along those same lines, its fun and mindless, which is really nice in a game. Overall, I don’t hate how this turned out, but I would love to redo this assignment now that i’ve learned a little bit more about video editing.

keep it cool, -liz

Categories
Assignments

meet terry

woo! video week! in which i remembered my laptop has a screen recording function & decided to show off my gamer side! (i am in fact a gamer, i play sims fallout & minecraft dont @ me) This assignment had me show off my gaming lowlights, so I decided to do so in my newest gaming endeavor: webkinz. A couple friends and i all bought pandas at the beginning of quarantine so we could play together, and i bought a gray boy named terry. Terry is delightful and a fashion i c o n, but we are not immune to certain gaming flops, which i’ve compiled here for your convenience!

the upside down thumbnail is an artistic choice, made to symbolize just how ~cringe and embarassing~ these video game fails are, definitely not bc no matter which way the uploaded thumbnail file was oriented youtube put it in upside down & i couldn’t figure out how to fix it. It was definitely an artistic choice.

Anywho! this was really fun to make because a) webkinz and b) full stop thats about it. It was really fun to pick out the stupid bits of my gameplay and organize them together in a somewhat cohesive fashion. since webkinz is a game for kids, there weren’t really a ton of ways to fail, so i spent a lot of time in the arcade playing games, because those have to have an ability to lose! my favorite part of this video is probably the last like, 20 seconds, with the wacky zingos batting. Its certainly cursed, but that’s kind of what the appeal is for me. Additionally, it was the most fun to make & i think it really conveys the ~fails~ element of the video. Just miss after miss [after miss after miss].

Overall, this was a pretty straightforward video to make. The editing was a little time consuming, because i had an hour of footage to sort through, and the editing software i used was a little bit basic, but it got the job done & i figured out how to make it work. One of the issues i encountered was that there wasnt really any way to make transitions? I could have uploaded basic photos to put in between each clip, and if i were to redo this assignment, i probably would do that, because its definitely a little bit jump cut heavy. If i continue video making in the future, ill probably look into better editing software, because even though this is Quite User Friendly its a little bit basic for the things i want to do/the quality of video i want to make. The hardest part of this was definitely figuring out where to cut, and how much to leave in so that people know whats going on, but don’t get bored waiting for the ~epic fail~.

the moral of the story is i think i’m a gaming channel now and if you have a webkinz pls comment and we can send each other webkinz mail. but the actual moral of the story is video game flop compilations are really fun to make in all sense, both the playing and even the editing.

add me on webkinz, -liz

ps: cringe culture is dead dont shame ppl for their interests i was just dying to embrace my inner exaggerating to get views youtuber πŸ™‚

Categories
Assignments

hold on to the memories they will hold on to you

A redo of the assignment I was probably the MOST unhappy with. I had Big Rushed this assignment, and I kind of hated it from the moment I began, but was too committed & proud to try something else. So Here we are, one month later. A little bit more skilled in photo editing. Ready to take it on. For comparison, as much as I would LOVE to bury that assignment within the depths of my blog, here she is

& you can check out the post for my in-the-moment thoughts about her! So. A few specific things that I don’t like about the assignment. I love this quote, and it does heavy resonate with me, but to me its applicable to Large Scale groups of people, banding together and not alienating one another. Building bridges, often even re-building bridges, and that’s not what this photo is. The photo I paired it with is me and my closest high school friends, who have always been an us. So there’s cognitive dissonance there that just really really rubs at me. Also. I dont like how the “paint smear behind the letters” look I was going for looks. I think in my head, it looked more like crayon, less of an even layer of color, because thats the vibe of the quote & also more my aesthetic. Also, my friends and I are beautiful, but it just didn’t sit right with me as a background (probably mostly because of the aforementioned cognitive dissonance). Also likely because its kind of A Lot Going On & thats just not the moves. So, my goals going in: choose a better photo, fix the lettering, nix the cognitive dissonance, and make it so that I Like the vibe.

I ended up changing both the photo and quote, oops. I realised while scanning through my photos to look for one that better suits the quote that I wouldn’t find one, and I was really committed to the Friendship Vibe. So, I scanned through my quotes note & found a more recent quote from the Taylor Swift song New Year’s Day “Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere”. In context, its definitely Very Romantic Love Centric, but I think it applies to my homies too, I love them & can’t imagine life without themβ€” but yall dont need my sentimental braindump. The important part is that this quote is really cute and sweet and really encompasses a lot of my friendship hopes and fears and etc. So with that in mind, I re-scrolled through my photos. From there I found this one, of my friends and I at an outdoor movie night with glowsticks.

What I like about this photo is that its a much simpler background for the quote, but the glowsticks still provide an element of interest. It also doesn’t have A Ton of colors that I have to worry about text clashing with or making it hard to read. Additionally, its with the same group of people, so it nixes the dissonance that bothered me so much! The next step was to put it into gimp & add the text! I decided on a cute script-y font, because its a) pretty and b) on brand. I added words mostly one by one to mimic the slow, halting way she sings the song (which is part of the appeal of the quote), and colored it white for maximum contrast with the Very Dark background. Once the words were added, individually and in groups, I spent more time than I’d like to admit moving them around to find The Ideal Configuration ™. And here she is! In all her glory!

So I’m super duper happy with how this turned out. I think it might the tiniest bit imagine how is touch the sky” but not to the extent that people can’t understand what its saying. Its kind of weird how we’re all just Dim Figures in the background, but i don’t mind it too terribly much. Overall I’m super happy I had the chance to redo this assignment and create a product that I’m Actually Happy With.

woo! -liz

Categories
Assignments

ft a 1984 pun

the point of this assignment is to explain an important event or memory you have, and then describe how it changed you. I decided to take just the tiniest bit of creative license, and explain a memory of the principal character in George Orwell’s 1984, Winston.

This was my favorite assignment of the week, i had so much fun completing it and then reading it with my Serious Important Things Voice- which i don’t get to use NEARLY as often as i would like to. To start off, i had to decide what memory of Winston’s to choose; and whether i wanted to speak as Winston the free-minded or Winston the Brainwashed. Even though I think Winston the brainwashed would certainly be a really interesting and fun perspective to take, the amount of thinking and reflecting that would take just was Not It this week. I chose to speak on the newspaper incident because it’s something Winston carries with him throughout the book, something he uses to remind himself of his sanity, and something he uses in his fight against big brother. My biggest challenge with this assignment was getting all of the information i wanted included to fit into 2 minutes, but i made it! Overall a really cool assignment and i just really like 1984 by George Orwell.

hope youre doing Or-WELL! -liz

Categories
Assignments

under the chestnut tree

this assignment said to do a dramatic reading of a poem, and then turn that poem into a story. I decided to take a little bit of creative license with it in order to better serve my purposes for the upcoming radio show, but the essence of what i did remains the same. I took a bit of a song from the novel 1984, a song that appears twice in the novel, read it out loud, then analyzed it and its importance.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, partially because i love me some poetry, and partially because i love me some 1984 by George Orwell. As far as technical skill required, this assignment did not require much, but i did record & edit this in audacity. Most of the time for this assignment was spent thinking about the poem and its implications and symbolism within 1984. I am a little bit unhappy with a bit at the very end of the recording, where i say “it juxtaposes quite nicely with…” this was a dive into analysis, and i usually love the word juxtaposition & its offshoots (hence why I used it), but i don’t think it fits quite right with the rest of the recording. Overall, however, i think it went very well.

don’t be shady, -liz

Categories
Assignments

dear diary

so the goal of this assignment was to be Super Open about your past & share a diary entry from when you were an angsty teen. However! in light of our current radio show project! i decided to dramatically read snippets of Winston (from 1984)’s diary! And honestly? the end result is really really good, if i do say so myself!

So what i did was open up a free online pdf of the book (interested?) & use the “find” feature on google to look for whenever the word “wrote” appears. This led me to all of the times in which Winston wrote in his diary. I copied them all into a word document with the intention of reading all of them for the upload. However, upon attempting a dramatic reading of some of the longer entries, I realized that it was a little bit boring and irrelevant. Thus, I decided to pick and choose the entries that i thought showed Winston’s progression through the novel, from a man full of rage with nowhere to put it, to a critically reflecting outcast, then to an ideal member of the party machine. Once I decided on the diary bits i wanted included, I took a couple takes in the vocal recording booth & spliced and edited into a final product that i’m happy with.

Overall I think this turned out really well, and I liked trying to show Winston character development through just tone of voice and words. I did struggle with figuring out what to cut, however. For example, the very first entry in Winston’s diary is a monologue of a war movie he saw, and I think it encapsulates how, at the beginning of the novel, he was A Little Different from everybody else, but still pretty heavily conditioned/under Big Brother’s thumb. I realized I had to cut it, however, because it was a very lengthy entry that just didn’t contribute enough to the progression to be worth keeping.

reflect critically on authority, -liz

Categories
Assignments

this glorious bath

so i’m a big fan of john green’s podcast the anthropocene reviewed. its a brilliant podcast, i HIGHLY recommend giving it a listen. In one of the episodes, he quotes a friend of his (Amy Krouss Rosenthal) “Death may be knocking at my door, but i’m not getting out of this glorious bath to answer it.” That quote has stuck with me for since I listened to that episode, so when I saw this assignment, tasking us with making a minimalist poster of a quote we really like. So I chose that quote! and voila, la produit finale!

So. I realized upon starting my write-up, that the instructions specify minimalist. And I was going for minimalism, I really was, I just forgot approximately halfway through when I noticed that STICKERS existed and went a little bit cuckoo. I think its adorable and really cute, and I do like the presence of the stickers! I started adding them as little reminders of the glorious things present in this bath, fish and flowers and the color yellow and all the rest of the colors too and all of everything else that makes life here worthwhile. Its called creative license! However, since Canva is ridiculously user-friendly, here is the de-stickered poster!

I like it with the stickers more! But nonetheless, onto the process! Step one! Look through your notes app for your list of Good Quotes ™ and decide on the one that starts by talking about death. Then go to Canva and mess around with poster background until you come across this cute starry night one, then add a filter so that its a little more subdued (& minimalistic!). Then go to the noun project and search up bathtub and find a good one. From there is was just inserting the different pieces and formatting so that it looks all cute, the discovering and adding of an abundance of stickers. Then delete the stickers for the sake of ds106 :(. et voila! two lovely cute posters with a lovely little quote!

I chose this quote because it serves as a reminder to myself that even though things heavy suck sometimes, and even though it seems like everything bad is knocking down my door, there’s still a glorious bath full of lovely amazing things and people that make it all worth it and that outweigh the knocking. I like the sense of control it gives me; I am not going out of my way to get out of this glorious bath to help the bad come in. Inevitably some of it will make its way in; thats a part of being human bby, but that doesn’t mean i have to help it. Also I just really like saying i’m not getting out of this glorious bath, the syllables are Nice.

treat yourself soon, -liz

the bathtub: bathtub by fix project from the Noun Project

Categories
Assignments

girls just wanna have fun!

this assignment was pretty straight-forward, and i didn’t have to edit any photos! giphy? much more user-friendly than gimp! the goal of this assignment was to make a gif out of something pop culture. I decided to do this one because what better way to incorporate our theme of 80s pop culture than with a gif! I decided to gif a music video, so I did some basic research and came across this article, which detailed some of the best 80s music videos. Although I wasn’t born in the 80s, the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was a huge part of my childhood, so I watched that one (because I had never actually seen the music video).

I immediately decided I wanted to gif Cyndi bopping along the street dancing, because mood. And its just really iconic, and seems like something that would be meme-d if it came out in today. So as well as being an iconic 80s song, its also now an iconic reaction/personality gif! ur welcome.

Animated GIF

The process for this assignment was pretty straightforward. Research some iconic 80’s music videos, watch some iconic 80’s music videos (I also considered Thriller, Walk this Way, and Take on Me). Once I decided on my video and gif segment, I logged onto Giphy & put in the link to the music video for Giphy to find. Once they found the video, I used two different sliders to format the gif, one to determine the length (2.7 seconds) and one to determine the start time.

Like I said earlier, I chose Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” because it is an iconic 80’s song, and a Little Bit nostalgic for me. Additionally, the segment of her walking along is just big vibes and I love it! Also, her style as she going along feels like an accurate, not Extreme-ized representation of 80’s fashion, which is Cool.

have fun out there! -liz

Categories
Assignments

heathers again? shocker!

In a completely unforeseen turn of events, I’ve decided to theme another assignment around the 1985 move Heathers! The goal of this assignment was to make a minimalist movie poster! I decided to go with the KILLER (in all senses of the word) movie Heathers because it both fits the 80s theme of our class and gives me permission to think about the MUSICAL which is a brilliant work of art. Much like my minimalist poster!

the tag below the gun reads “Created by Dama Adhikara from Noun Project”

so i feel like a more apt label for the style of this poster is “minimal-ish”, because I am not, and have never been, prone to simplicity. So although I did my best, and I believe I was mostly successful, i would call it true minimalilsm. However! I used gimp again and it wasn’t a four hour painful process (like this one was). I actually started out my creation in Microsoft Paint, where I created the color block for the background (red, green, and yellow, because each of the three Heathers wears one of those colors throughout the film). Once my color block was finished

I opened it in gimp, where I made a few changes. First, I cropped the image so it was just colors. Then, I rotated it to be vertical stripes, because I feel like that emphasizes the poster aspect more, as well as nixing any sense of hierarchy that comes with the colors being on top of each other. Additionally, I decreased the saturation and contrast of the block to make it more subdued like the Heathers’s clothes in the film. After that, I went to the noun project, where I downloaded a few files to complete the poster. I used a headstone, a couple embracing, and a gun to try and embody the main essence of the film, and then scaled and moved them around as need be. After all my icons were settled in place, I realized I wanted to add in another color, blue, because that Veronica’s color in the musical, and I figured having a really bright blue in there could make for some nice contrast. So I chose a nice blue, and then used the paintbrush to go for a kind of airbrushed vibe behind the embracing couple (JD and Veronica). My initial thought was to put the blue under the headstone, but the implications of doing so are Not in line with the plot of the film. Finally, I searched around gimp for a nice font to put the movie title in, and stuck in vertically down the side. I did this because I think it evens the poster out nicely, and I’m a sucker for vertical words.

Overall, I really really like how this came out. Its a little reminiscent of this creation that was literally the first thing I ever made for this class! My gimp skills are coming along slowly but surely, and I like the minimalish approach that I took; it helped me remember that I don’t have to throw ten thousand things at a piece to make something fun to look at.

gimp on, -liz

bibliography & attributes!

kissing image: Love by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

gun image: Gun by Dama Adhikara from the Noun Project

headstone image: gravestone by Andrejs Kirma from the Noun Project