Weekly Summary, The Final Week!

For this week, our big thing was our FINAL PROJECT!  This was a lot of fun seeing the military holds a dear place in my heart.  Making a story provided entertainment and allowed me to imagine different scenarios.  I also did a write up to talk about how I created the media that went along with this project.

There is also now a new assignment up, by yours truly!

Two tutorials are up as well!  One for legalization, and one for a GIF list.

This class was in all a big challenge, but also very rewarding, and one that provided much growth.  Part of me wishes I had taken it during the school year to allow for more time, but I am thankful for the knowledge gained.  One of my favorite things about this week was I struggled with an audio assignment after I thought I had done a good job of avoiding background noise, but received that as constructive criticism.  This week when I did my audio assignment, I really paid attention to the background noise and learned how to take it out of the clip!

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Legalization Tutorial

For this assignment, you are asked to make a poster or an ad for a law to be legalized.  Some suggested are the common ones like gay marriage and marijuana.  For fun, challenge yourself to think outside of the box and look for laws that are not as well known and or ones that are funny.  Once you figure out a law, there are (at least) two ways to go about creating your poster/ad.  One is to find or take a photograph that goes with the law and use that to make your ad, or create an ad from scratch.  If you find a photo, which is the method I followed, one way I recommend to go about creating the final product is to use a photo editing site or software such as Photoshop, or as I did, pixlr.com/editor.  If you use pixlr, the main screen you will get at first will be:



From here you can choose whether you want to start from scratch, or edit a photo you found or took.  I edited one I found, and you can see along the left there are editing options.  The main one I used to add the writing to make the ad more noticeable and clear is the button with the A, commonly used to add text.  Once it is to your liking, you can save and post it from there!  Good luck and have fun!

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GIF list Tutorial

For this Assignment, there is a simple way to approach it.  To make this GIF, there is a wonderful website.  You get a sight similar to this:

make a gif

For this assignment you will want to take pictures of each step, or each item being marked out, and upload them onto the computer to an easy place to access.  You will then click on the first bubble that when hovered over reads Photo to GIF.  You will then get to a screen such as this:

gif 2


From here, you will want to upload the photos, and you will be given an option to rearrange.  Put the photos in the order you want them to appear.  You will also be given options for timings, resizing options, choose a category, write out details, and choose a rating and sharing preferences.  You will then click “create a GIF”, and the website will work its magic!  From there you can download it so you are capable of uploading it to other places.  They also give you sharing options.  Good luck and have fun!

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Behind the Final Project

So for the final project we got to create a story and tell it through multiple means of media, being design, audio, GIFs, and video.  With the military close to my heart, I decided to write a slight love story of a military man, Max, and a single gal, Sally.

flag-salute-silhouette with caption

The first piece of media used was a design piece, made to be a propaganda type poster for those to be interested in the military.  I found the image, and then using pixlr added the caption.


Next, there was another “design” piece, or visual media that was used to fit in the story where they exchanged numbers.  The scene was set at the bar, so I figured it was appropriate to write a (fake) number on a napkin and take a picture of it.  It was then simply cropped and added to flickr.


I then made a GIF waving goodbye.  I did this by doing a burst shot on my phone, so it took 10 pictures rapidly in a row.  I then uploaded them onto the makeagif.com website and arranged them how desired.  It is then easy to save and upload them onto the blog as media.

Then, I uploaded a sound recording onto Sound Cloud.  I recorded this into audacity and then used noise reduction techniques to reduce the background noise.  I was proud that I finally learned how to do this seeing I could not figure it out easily during audio week!  You use the noise reduction tool to select an area with the background noise only, then apply it to the whole audio clip to remove the background noise.

Lastly, I used a video to show homecoming videos that Sally might have watched in anxious await for Max to return.  I did this by finding longer videos on YouTube of compilations and then taking sections I wanted to use and splitting it to cut out the chunks I did not want.  I then added a few homecoming pictures at the end, and an engagement picture at the end to wrap it all together.


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Military Max

Let us begin with the cliche, once upon a time, there was a group of men who decided one day they want to see the world, and serve their country.  They decided to, can you guess, join the military!  They saw all the glorious propaganda, and multiple posters and ads and decided that it sounded like it would be a good idea.

flag-salute-silhouette with caption

After joining, they went through the typical training; learning to fight, being taught how to lead, and the lovely acronyms.  They thought they had life figured out for a while, but it was just the boys together.  Where are the girls? Do they not flock to the military men like everyone says? Why are the boys still single?  Time passed and they drew near to the time when the dreaded, but sometimes fun, deployment lurked around the corner.  As it continued to approach, the boys decided they would relax some and enjoy time together at the local bar.  Music blasted, and people danced.

The boys sat around drinking until a few lovely ladies decided to make the approach.  Single Sally was the first to connect eyes with Military Max.  Instant connection was formed before the words even began to flow over the drinks.  They had known each other minimal time, but it had felt like they had been friends since birth.  The night ended with smiles and digits were shared.


Over the next few weeks, Military Max continued to keep in touch with Single Sally regardless of how much he had to do to prepare for his deployment.  Single Sally played hard to get until she realized just what he was about to be doing.  He would be gone for several months serving in another country.  He would have a potential lack of communication, and anything could happen.  Single Sally began to realize the importance Military Max had become in her life.  She quickly held him close as he continued preparation for the deployment.  The day came.  He waved goodbye as he left for deployment, and she waved and wept.


She knew he would write and call when he could, but until those days, she had to find her own joy.  She hung out with the girls again and relived the night they met the boys and Single Sally connected with Military Max.  Days passed and eventually her day was made!  She received a hand-written letter.  Later, she also got to finally speak with him again!  It was as if no time had passed anymore.  She had felt lonely while he was gone, but nothing had changed.

After a few months away,  she gets notice that he will be returning home.  In preparation, she watched many many homecomings while looking forward to the homecoming of Military Max.

He decided the military was no longer for him after he returned from the deployment.  Little did she know that when he returned, he had a ring ready for her.  He proposed, she said yes, of course, and now they are simply Max and Sally, no longer Military Max nor Single Sally.

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Weekly Summary – Week Four

Almost there!  I still cannot believe it has already been four weeks!! Definitely some of my favorite weeks, but also some of my most stressful weeks.  This week was lots of fun, but also a challenge (as they all have been in some form).  Learning more about video, and particularly the movie maker program on my computer was a lot of fun.  I had played with iMovie before, but without a Mac, I had to go to what I had, which ended up clearly being a learning experience!

This week, looking at video, we got to listen to what some professionals, and I will say analysts had to say.  One we looked into was Roger Ebert.  We read about what he said about how to read movies.  This was intriguing because seeing “How to Read Movies” is slightly intimidating at first, thinking about reading a script, or staging instructions, but seeing how it was more how to analyze sights in a movie was fun!  You can see more of my thoughts in my blog post here!

We then looked at a particular clip, of our choosing, and analyzed it using our particular senses of sight and sound separately, then back together again.  This allowed for us to really focus on each sense itself, and then see how they help each other when they are used together.  This is also an almost humbling task since some people actually lack a sense that we have, so other than it being a task, it allowed us to hear or see as they might, and see how it can be different, but yet the same in some ways.  I chose a scene from Dumb and Dumber and wrote about it more here!

I then did a 5 star assignment called Sweet Message where I recorded a video for my mom, and posted it to YouTube.  It was a fun assignment to do seeing it can be hard to take time out of your day to sit down and think about everything someone has done for you, and simply thank them.  You can see that video and write up here!

I also did a 3 star assignment called Lip-Sync along where I recorded myself lip syncing to a classic song “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson and posted it to YouTube.  This one I really got to let loose for and show my true self!  I love having fun and doing random things like this, so it allowed me to truly have fun and do something I love!  This can be seen here!

An assignment that I thought would be interesting after this week was to look at a clip or scene as Ebert would have, so I made an assignment for that!

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Since U Been Gone

For this Video Assignment, worth 3 stars, we were asked to film ourselves lip syncing to a song of choice.  I chose Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” as a fun video to do since a friend of mine recently went through a break up and she could laugh at this!  Also, when I was a freshman, a hall mate and I might have recorded a lip syncing video for fun one night to this song just for the heck of it, so I was able to relive those fun memories.  This song also, you cannot help but to belt it out!  It was hard to resist shouting it out while recording, seeing the point was to lip sync.  Also, the reason I am in the shower was because I thought about where is my favorite place to sing and dance, the shower.  90’s clothes are also always acceptable, so there is that!

So for this video, I simply used my webcam and had YouTube pulled up with “Since U Been Gone” playing in the background.  I then used Windows Movie Maker to do the opening and credits and add the video in.  I played around with adding the sound clip in to make it more audible, but for some reason I could not figure out how to get them to stay synced, so I stuck with the sound from the video.  So here it is, originally posted on YouTube!

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My Mom

So, for this Video Assignment, worth 5 stars, we were asked to record a sweet message to someone, so I clearly chose my mom.  She means the world to me.  As she likes to joke around, she brought me into this world and can take me out of it!  The important part of that being she brought me into this world, therefore how could I not be thankful to her for my life?  The smallest thing I could do for her is say a few simple words, and I always enjoy reminiscing with photos, so I had to add a few in!  I will say that I ended earlier than I expected because I can be slightly sappy and caught myself at a loss for words even though I had written some, and I get teary eyed when I tried to speak some of them.  She has been with me through my roller coaster of life.  I chose the song “How Great Thou Art” sung by Carrie Underwood as the background music because our faith has brought us closer, and it is one of my favorite songs to sing with her while she plays the piano.

To do this, I used Window Movie Maker and put a title slide in, then used my webcam to record the video.  Once I added the video in, I added photos before and after to both add length and more sentiment for me to reminisce on some of my favorite memories from my sister’s wedding, to a mission trip to the Dominican Republic my mom and I went on, to graduation.  I then found the song on YouTube and used a website to download the audio and import it on Movie Maker.  I cut it before and after the video so I could allow for the volume to be louder while the photos were being shown and softer while I was talking.  I then put the end credits, and here is my final result originally posted on YouTube!

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Today’s Daily Create was another that I enjoy since it is a simple random act of kindness.  I enjoy making other people’s days, so I love hearing what others did and sharing what I sometimes do.  I chose to leave it slightly vague seeing I do not like to “toot my own horn” and I normally do not like credit at all for what I have done, so I will tell you of someone my mom and I enjoy making smile.  Here it is:

One place that my mom and I enjoy going to on a regular basis is our local drive in “restaurant” sonic. One of our favorite car hops recently was pregnant. She has since had the baby and is back at work. Some days my mom and I hope that we get her as our car hop just to talk and speak with her for a bit. Many people at sonics do not tip, but we now find enjoyment out of tipping them (particularly her) extra just to try to make her day!! By making her day, we make our days better. Today, all she could do was smile and say thank you.

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Reading Movies

From Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie”, several interesting things can be seen.  First off, just looking at the title, you can learn that movies obviously are not what they may appear to be to a bare eye.  Movies have much more depth that can be learned, and more analysis that can be put in.  One thing that Ebert talks about is the axes in the visuals.  He mentions the golden ratio and the thirds and such, but talks about the different axes and how they are portrayed.  There is said to be a positive axis, that is the one to the right, and the negative axis to the left.  If someone is supposed to be a more positive character they are normally placed more on the right.  There is also positive and negative movement in which way a character walks and how he or she is portrayed.

I then watched a few videos from the selection and chose the three videos: One-Point Perspective, Camera Angles and Techniques, and Top Cinematic Techniques.  The first one, One-Point Perspective, was pretty wild to watch.  It was a video with different film clips all having scenes that have a perspective focused on one point, particularly in the middle.  In the comments, people brought out the fact that it can actually mess with one’s mind some.  To me it seems like a way to add intensity and to bring all attention to that one particular point, with the outside still significant, but almost being able to focus on it all while looking at the focal point.

In the second clip, Camera Angles and Techniques, they talk about different techniques that are used.  One they focus on and show examples of is the Zolly.  a technique in which one camera moves in while another is moved out.  It disorients the viewer and makes it seem as though the subject is floating.  They also discus the general topic of camera placement and how the differences matter.  They focus on being creative to get the idea you want across.  Lastly, I watched Top Cinematic Techniques which was practically a general wrap up of the the different sorts of camera angles and techniques.  It showed clips from movies of different techniques and how they were used to serve a function.  They most definitely came off successful and as though they were productive techniques.

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