Dogs, Grams, and Games

For my fourth assignment this week I was tasked with creating a video that tells fellow ds106 classmates about me. The assignment was worth two stars and is located here: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/i-am-me/

I start the video off with my dog. She is a major part of my life and I love her to death. I then move on to my grandmother who again is a major part of my life and has always been there for me. I placed them at the beginning of my video for two reasons. The first reason is that they both come first in my life. The second reason is that at this point in the clip the music is still calm and peaceful.

The clips after them are some pictures from my favorite games. While there are other activities I like such as swimming and reading gaming is what I by far enjoy the most. For that reason just as the music picks up the clip goes to a picture from the Witcher 3. The other three games Included in the show are from Dragon Age, Skyrim, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Finally as the slide show ends the music likewise slows down. The music is one of my favorite tracks from the Witcher.

I do wish I could have found a way to incorporate my other interests however I felt that with the music and with the nature of the other pictures that those pictures would have been too out of place, risking the overall cohesion of the clip. For that reason I instead choose to focus on gaming. I also had a decent amount of fun creating this clip and it was among my top assignments this week.

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Sir Humpty Dumpty and my Irish vacation.

For my third video assignment this week I was tasked with creating a video of some place I would like to visit. While there are several places in Europe I would like to visit by far I would like to visit Ireland the most. The assignment was worth four stars and is located here: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/where-do-you-want-to-go/

My first step for creating the video was to find various pictures of Ireland. The main reason why I’d want to go to Ireland is for some of the amazing castles they have there. Additionally my Irish heritage also plays in to me wanting to go. I did however want to make the castles the star of my piece. I made sure to include of large number of castle pictures and mix them in with the Irish country side and a couple government buildings.

With the slides inserted in to my movie maker next came the task of implementing transitions and effects. I wanted to make this clip different from the prior one. On that note I implemented different transitions as well as different picture effects, for instance the edge detector effect that I start the clip off with. Finally I added music to the picture, this time I found an Irish band and it works really well with the clip.

Finally I ended the clip with a picture of Humpty Dumpty. For the midweek assignment I had altered the classic Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. I had done some research on Humpty and found that in the original publishing Humpty had fallen of a castle wall. For this reason I included him in the end of my clip. Given all the castles that where in my clip there is a high likelihood that Humpty feel off of one of those castle walls.

I am very happy with my work on this assignment. My only regret was that I had to opt for a lower quality image as the higher quality file was to large to upload on to here. Despite that I am really happy with my various transitions, effects and music. I believe I captured why I would want to visit Ireland very well with the pictures.

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Game of Ebert

Earlier in the week I reflected on an essay by Roger Ebert. My next assignment plays off of what was discussed in the paper. We had to choose a picture of clip from a film and analyze the scene and the placement of the characters. This assingment was worth four stars and is located here: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/eberts-analysis/

My picture that I will be analyzing is from game of thrones

In this scene Tyrion Lannister, who is in the foreground, is under trial for regicide of his nephew, a crime that he is innocent of. His case is being presided over by his father, who is on the throne, as well as his sister who is on the left corner. Neither one are particularly fond of Tyrion and both would like to see him dead.

Tyrion’s sister Cersei follows Ebert’s rule well in this scenario. In the show she is portrayed as cruel, harsh, and heartless, a spiting image of her father. Ebert states in the essay that “A person to the right of that position will seem more positive; to the left, more negative”. This scene seems to follow his ruling well with it placing Cersei in the back left corner. Cersei also works well with Ebert’s statement that “The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left”. Cersei represents the old regime currently in the show. She is desperate to maintain her power with cruelty and fear. Seeking to above all prevent change.

Mace Tyrell, who is situated on the right, is a kind gentleman who incompetence despite his good heart. He much like cersei follows the alignment rule. Being a positive character on the show and being portrayed at the right of center shows that character placement was a major thought for the directors. While Mace does not represent the future well his house does. The real heads of house Tyrell are women who prefer to rule with kindness and love. This could be seen to contrast Cersei’s placement in the scene as well as her leadership style.

Tywin Lannister who is sitting on the Iron throne just like the prior two actors also follows Ebert’s rules. Ebert states that “A person located somewhat to the right of center will seem ideally placed”. Ideally placed is an excellent description of Tywin’s position at the moment. He is on the cusp of having his son that he always hated and never wanted out of his life permanently. Further being on the right it makes sense that he is “dominant”, as Ebert puts it,  over his son, daughter, and Oberyn Martell who only just arrived at the capital.

Finally there is Tyrion Lannister his is being displayed in the foreground slightly left of center. His placement has several purposes. First he can be seen to be portrayed below and to the left of his father. Ebert describes this position as submissive. Further, while Tyrion is not in the center of the shot he can be seen to be in the center of the room. This could match with Ebert’s statement that being in the center means that the person is objectified. Tyrion was often used as a pawn in his fathers political games and it would make sense for him to be portrayed in this manner.

Overall this scene seems to follow Ebert’s rules very well regarding character placement and what that represents. While I am still skeptical if the directors meant for the characters to be portrayed this way, I can see the reasoning behind Ebert’s arquement.

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Dogs, a natural wonder

For my first video assignment I made a video of some of my favorite pictures of my dog. This assingmnet was worth two stars and is located here:  http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/pupper-appreciation/

To create the video I used Window Movie Maker. My first step was to import photos from my phone on to my computer and in to the movie maker. This was definitely the easiest step. After uploading the picture I wanted to add some effects and transitions to the slides. I did this as it would make the film more interesting and less plain.

With the transitions in I wanted to add music, for the music I used “Heil dir Im Siegerkranz” by an unknown artist. I made this choice for two reasons. The first reason is that the song is upbeat and happy. I felt that this matched the movie well, since my dog provides me with a lot of happiness. Additionally the song is one of my favorite German songs and it is not copyrighted.

I am very happy with my video of my favorite dog pictures. If I could change one thing about it I would have changed the background music. While I do like my music choice I would have preferred an Irish themed song in its place, due to my dog being of Irish heritage. However I was struggling to find a good, non-copyrighted, Irish song and as such am happy with my choice.

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Cinematography basics

This week in Ds106 was all about films. For this week we had to watch several clips and read an essay all about film making techniques. One technique I was reminded about this week was how the center of the screen is an important position. When tackling my first daily create below I tried to use this technique and and placed the tree in the center of the photo.

My next daily create asked us to shows what beauty is. For this I choose my dog. With her unconditional love and her habit of giving kisses when you are sad I could not think of anything more beautiful than her.

My First reflection of the week was on a essay by Roger Ebert. I found the essay pretty interesting and while I did disagree with certain things that he said I drew some similarities between his writing and the Ted videos from the prior week. Specifically the idea that you can express certain emotions or messages with more than just words. As I mentioned I was going to do I examined Ebert’s theory that screen placement can signal whether someone is good or bad. From what I’ve seen this week I continue to doubt the theory, however I was not watching movies rather tv series.

Shots

This idea is repeated in one of the four clips I watched where Hitchcock is talking about films. I choose the four clips that I did because I had hear the various names in there before Such as “The Shining” and Hitchcock. I was not disappointed in the clips either. I did however enjoy the Kubrick video the most, partly due to the action music in the background. Further the action music again shows that visual images is not the only way to tell a story.

Week Four, Four Clips

For the nursery Rhyme I would change Humpty Dumpty. Poor Humpty feel of a wall and was all broken. In my change rhyme he stays whole and further acts as a good Samaritan.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty saw someone fall

He called the kings horses he called the kings men

To pick the man up and start him walking again.

This week I responded to four blogs and made the following comments:

 

 

 

 

Week Four, Four Clips

Another assignment this week was to watch four clips and write a reflection piece for them.

The first clip was “2001 A Space Odyssey- match cut”. The main thing that I noticed in the film is that they appeared to be comparing the bone moving around in the sky to what appears to be a satellite in space. What can be learned from this is that there are ways to get your message across without words. This reminds me of the assignment last week to tell a story with just sound effects.

The next piece I viewed was a short clip where Hitchcock discusses “pure film”. In the film he shows two clips of himself reacting first to a woman with a child, and second to a woman in a bikini. He smiles with both women. He then explains how from this a watchers perspective of him as a character would differ greatly depending on the clip they saw. This seems to me like co-authorship but with pictures. You are letting the audience tell their own story about the man based off of their perspective.

The third clipped I watched focused on zooms in the flim “The Shining”. From this I could see that zooming in and out can help significantly to increase tension and suspense that something big is going to happen. Zooming in however seems to make things more suspenseful then zooming out.

The final video that I watched also happened to be the one I understood the best. While the video did not provide much explanation for what was happening I remember learning about how the center of the screen is often used as a focal point. It is used to portray a sense of power, control, or importance. With this I quickly realized what the clip was trying to point out.

From these clips I learned that you can communicate in films with more than just words, you can use pictures as well as cuts to different scenes to get across a message. Further zooming in and out of a scene is an important technique that can help increase suspense. Finally the center of the screen is often used to portray someone or something as important. I enjoyed watching the clips and found them really informative and interesting, and these techniques will be useful when we have to make movies.

 

Shots

One reflection that we had to write about was reflection on Roger Ebert’s article on how to read a movie. https://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/how-to-read-a-movie

The idea of co-authorship that was discussed in one of the audio videos is also present in Ebert’s piece. He discusses how an audience is very helpful when breaking down each shot of a film. This is almost like co-authorship, working together to give or find meaning in something. This idea is further echoed with Ebert say “I wasn’t the teacher and my students weren’t the audience, we were all in this together.”.

I do not not personally see what he means by certain areas of the screen have an intrinsic weighting. To me, an area of the screen would stir emotions if it contained very emotional. The idea that this is somehow hard wired in to people is however note worthy.

Another part of the essay that I found interesting is where he discusses how the placement of someone on screen could hint at if they are good or bad. While I do not believe this is accurate for modern movie or television I plan to test the theory and pay attention to character placement.

The piece was definitely interesting. I do object to some of his assertions however most of what he argues makes sense. I especially liked the part where he discusses co-authorship in movie form. This had resonated with me from the Ted videos and continues to do so with film.

 

The Audacity on that one.

To start off I had two interesting daily creates this week. The first daily create was to discuss what you would teach the world. My choice was at the time fired with frustration at soundcloud. They had mistakenly removed one of my tracks thinking that I used music from a K-pop band, despite no music even being in the track. My other daily create was to write your name using a Berber writing system. While it called for writing it I made my name using paint as I was trying to make a more unique creation.

I enjoyed the daily creates a lot more this week. If I would change one thing about them I would change my teaching to the world to instead teach that copyright laws should perhaps be looked at to better allow for new ideas and creations, while decreasing unnecessary legal battles.

For my first audio assignment of the week I talked mixing four sounds together that made me feel relaxed. For this I choose sounds that reminded me of when I am at the beach with my family. For this I add to adjust several effects to make sure no one effect overpowered the others. I am particularly happy with this assignment and enjoyed it greatly.

Sounds of the Sea

My next assignment was to say a rhyme as quickly as I could and layer it with some effects in the background. I found this assignment relatively easy simply because I said the rhyme in five seconds. It did not require extensive editing or cutting and reworking. Instead I recorded the rhyme and place some birds in the background of the audio.

Three Times fast

The following assignment was, in one word, painful, to complete. With this track I uploaded to Soundcloud I experienced the issues of them claiming I violated a copyright. While I was able to get that sorted out I realized afterward that I was missing a fifth sound effect. Having to re-uploaded the new track to Souncloud I experienced the same problems as before but finally got the track reinstated. I was however very happy with the end result of the project and felt that it told a rather sad attention grabbing story that at the same time had a message.

Story Effects

With this final assignment I had a lot of work to do on audacity to complete it. By the end of the project my audacity board looked, frankly, chaotic. despite this I was incredibly happy with the story as it finished. I felt the sound effects I added were appropriate and helped complete the story, further the music in the background helped tie everything in together well.

God Save the Tsar

Overall I am happy with the work I did this week. I enjoyed all the audio assignment, although some were a lot of work, barring Soundcloud issues. Despite my one adjustment to the daily create I would not change anything I did this week. I was pleasantly surprised with audacity and had no trouble using it, despite my fears. I was especially happy with my sound effect story. i felt that it followed through with Jad’s idea of co-imagination really well and I am very happy with my work this week.

This week I posted comments on the following blogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Save the Tsar

Last week I proposed a what if the Bolshevik revolution failed. This week I had to make an audio clip about my alternate history. In the audio clip i detailed the time line that culminated in the end of the first world war with Tsar Nicholas II still on the throne.

This was definitely quite a project to complete. I had at times stopped and started the recording. There were points where I had minor word slips. There was also the issue of incorporating background sounds and music in to the clip. Firstly I recorded the entire audio clip, cutting pieces out here and there and working it together so the story flowed well.

For my next step I wanted to add various sound effects to liven up various areas of the recording so it was more then me just talking. For the clips I used freesound.org which was a very helpful site. I found a variety of useful sound effects that I incorporated in to my track. After I found all the sound effects I wanted I finally wanted to add some music to the background. For this I used the song Heil Dir im Siegerkranz, written by an unknown composer. I made sure to lower the volume of the song to make sure it would not override myself nor the sound effects.

The final step was exporting the file and uploading it to Soundcloud. This went smoothly and I finally embedded the clip in to his post. This was a project that I found very interesting. It was not hard however it did take a lot of working with audacity to get the track to sound the way I wanted. I am proud of the work and feel that I did a good job with it.

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Three Times fast

For this assignment I had to say a tonque twister as quickly as possible. Then I had to add a background sound behind it to give it some layering. This assignment was worth three stars. http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/tongue-twister/

First I started with the above two audio clips. I found birds singing on freesound.org and I had recorded myself with audacity saying a tongue twister. The next step was relatively simple, I had to add both the sounds to audacity and trim back the birds singing so they ended when the twister did.

The resulting sound was me saying the peter piper tongue twister in five seconds with some birds chirping in the background. This assignment was definitely much  more fun compared to the story effects assignment, especially since Soundcloud didn’t try saying this was copyrighted. It was instead a quick and fun assignment.

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