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GifDub is a sort of sound and gif mashup using the Giphy Api and Freesound API. The idea is to play several random gifs and audio files at the same time. You can toggle sounds on and off, replace gifs and sounds.

It is fairly silly but has been a lot of fun to put together. I suspect it will not work in Internet Explorer.

A work in progress, I’d like to add some more features and get it working in Internet Explorer.

This is not part of any ds106 assignment but it feels like DS106 to me, and it has gifs #wejamecono.

Slow Subterranean Blues


Think that I might need some credits this week as I need some digging tools from the store. So I had a look through the assignment bank and found this:
ds106 Assignments: Sound to Visual with 3 credits.

Using creations you have already completed in #ds106 – select an audio project you were happy with and build upon it to create a video. Do not change or add any audio. Challenge yourself to create the images your sound story conveys. Use the sound effects story assignment or an audio commercial from your radio work. Use found or created video and stills that tell your story. Push it a step further and show how sound may not always convey the images you think it represents (extra stars).

The challenge is to use some audio already created to make a video. I decided to up the anti/or make it easier by using images I’d already made from The Prisoner too.

I’ve been weirdly captivated by both the stretched sounds and strange images I’ve found in The Prisoner. To an fevered imagination they might hint at the dark side of the shiny sixties exterior. Unless I am miss-remembering the TV of my youth The Prisoner explored some deeper territory than, say, The Man from Uncle. Perhaps this video hints at that.

I’d already got the audio and had generated a lot of images layering and mixing stills from some episodes. I decided on using Hammer into Anvil – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as the psychological battle seemed fitting.

Creating the ‘movie’ was simply a matter of previewing the images and choosing some (from thousands). Dragging them into iMovie along with the MP3 and doing some editing.

I am not wholly convinced about the improvements in recent versions of iMovie. I like the move at around version 7 or 8 away from the original style but think my favourite was 9.

Anyway to edit I really only did a little rearranging, sped up the slowed down sound at some points changed the images order and Ken Burns panning and inserted some transitions. I’d say the end effect is reasonably disturbing is a slow sort of way. The effect I was hoping to make.


Colour of the Wire

After the last post I’ve watched a few more episodes and have arrived in Season 3 of the wire. I though it might be interesting to see the overall colours of different episodes or seasons and compare them.

Following the same path1 as in the previous post I created a montage of screenshots from Episode 1 of season 3. I sort of expected it to be a bit brighter but:


A bit of googling took me to Image Color Summarizer – RGB and HSV Image Statistics and:

Image Color Summarizer – RGB and HSV Image Statistics Season 1 Episode 1

Image Color Summarizer – RGB and HSV Image Statistics Season 3 Episode 1

Both described as dark faded red.


I wonder if it would be interesting to expand this to other episodes and series or if everything looks dark.


1. I had a few problems with Storyboard this time as the .srt file I downloaded didn’t work, a quick google found one that did. I also noticed that the montage code I posted last time was missing a parameter --geometry +0+0 to remove padding

Chain of Command

(the above gif has nothing to do with the rest of the post, other than it is to do with the wire.)
A while back I posted about gifboard and it’s bigger brother storyboard. I’ve played a bit with storyboard and the wire this week.

Storyboard is a command line application which creates pdfs from movies with subtitles, one page per subtitle.

I just started with a bit of playing round with no particular destination in mind. The first thing I did was rip a pdf of subtitled frames from Episode 1 using storyboard. This gave me a 30mb file with >1400 ‘pages’.

I then thought that it might be an idea to get all of these pages out as images, a quick google suggested pdfseparate. This is another commandline app. I generally have no idea what commandline options are available, so I typed: man pdfseparate in the terminal and got back the man page, so it was installed.1

For once I though ahead and moved the pdf into its own folder, I then, in the terminal, cd into the folder and:

pdfseparate The\ Wire\ Episode\ 01\ -\ The\ Target.pdf  wire-ep-1-%d.pdf

The %d bit just gave me a numbered set of jpegs. I ended up with a folder full of 1497 pdfs. I really wanted images rather than pdfs so:

mkdir jpgs; sips -s format jpeg *.* --out jpgs

This command first makes a new folder called jpgs and then uses sips (built into OSX) to convert each pdf into a jpg and put it in the folder. These jpgs were quite big so I cd into the folder and:

sips --resampleWidth 300 *.jpg

Which resizes them nicely. I also duplicated the folder and made a set of smaller jpgs and some gifs with sips too.

My first thought was to make some animated gifs2, but a gif with 1497 frames turns out to be pretty big, even if you reduce it to 8bit. There are probably a few interesting gifs in this project which I might return to.

My next idea was to make one of those infinite scrolling web page with the jpg, and this turned out ok: The Wire Scrolls On, S1E1.


This gives quite an interesting view of the episode, it is pretty dark and there are a lot of closeups and expressive faces (this might be skewed by the fact we grab bits of dialog). I was quite surprised that the page loaded quite well.

After seeing that page I thought a montage would be the next obvious step. Again a quick google suggested the ImageMagick set of command line tools. Again I’d already installed these at some time in the past so it only took another google to suggest that the montage tool was the way to go. So inside the folder of smaller jpgs:

montage wire-ep-1-[1-1497].jpg out.jpg

I can’t imagine how long it would take to do something like this with a gui application. I can imagine that quite a few folk would not be all that interested in this process or the results, am thinking that it is somewhat analogous to looking at large sets of data. These image manipulating commandline tools allow different views of video to be created quickly. They also give an overview of a whole section that can be analysed and mused over.

I am not really much of a command line user although I’ve dabbled over the years and installed a fair number of applications along the way. I would recommend that dipping toes in, with say gifsicle before jumping in to install and try a pile of stuff. Google is your friend here and you can often find a command line way to do something by adding ‘command line’ to the search. In addition to the tools above, or even before, ffmpeg for example.

Update: The Wire EP 1 Mashup.


1. I little digging around reminded me I had installed this as part of poppler. Poppler I’d installed using homebrew (the chain is tangling already). If you want to install various command line apps I’d recommend homebrew as a good option.

2. gifsicle is a wonderful command line application for creating animated gifs.