August 2013 GIF Challenge #10: Monster Chiller Horror Theatre 3D Style GIF on I am Talky Tina.

look for a part of a scene in a 3D type movie where the thing comes right out of the screen at you and then makes a GIF out of it.

This could be quite a time consuming challenge, unless you were a 3d fan.
I just went to youtube and put 3d movie in the search. Halfway down the results was Ramayana – The Epic I clicked through and skimmed through the movie. I usually use Fastesttube to grab youtube videos but this one was over an hour and a half long, so I used quicktime to record the screen to a movie file for a short section. This section I opened with MPEG Stramclip and trimed to a shorter section. This was exported to an image sequence, setting file type to jpeg, quality to 80% and 12 frames per second.
I got 60 images in a folder. I had exported at full size 1280 pixels wide so I used the sips program in the terminal to resize them (I could have done this in MPEG streamclip, in the export settings or later in Fireworks, but sips is a handy thing).


To use sips you open a terminal window and type:
sips –resampleWidth 640
Then drag all the images from the finder into the terminal window. This lists the paths to these files after the command you just typed. It looks a bit of a mess but just hit return and all of the images are resized.


I open the first image in Fireworks to create a new document, then drag all of the other images onto that document window. This gave me a 60 layer doc. I clicked on one layer in the layers window and then cmd-A (Select all) .

Next I open the frames window and from the popup menu at the top choose Distribute to Frames this gives me a 60 frame animation. It is also about 3mb.

In the frames window I cmd-click on all the even frames and drag them to the bin. I select all the remaining frames and double click on the Frame Delay column, I double the delay to 14/100 and preview. Still a bit big.

I delete some of the initial frames as not a lot happens there. I repeat the removal of every second frame, but don’t delete the one (5) in the middle of the big move. This time I set the delay to 21/100, it looks ok so I set the delay to frame 5 and 6 (now out of 11) back to 14. I set the delay to frame 1 and 11 to 50/100 to get a bit of a pause.

A preview shows this looks not to bad so I have a look at the Optimise window. Mostly adjusting the number of colours. Exporting a gif each time to see what it looks like. (I really like the feature in fireworks that in a file save the warning dialog that you are going to replace a file has its default to OK to replace rather than cancel). I finally settle on 128 colours which give a 750k gif:

snake 012

A couple of weeks ago I did a screencast of using fireworks for giffing, but missed a couple of important points. I will redo and publish in case other ds106ers would find Fireworks a useful giff tool.

Unicorn #9

Today’s August 2013 GIF Challenge is August 2013 GIF Challenge #9: Empower the Unicorn. My friend Tina is thinking of the ds106 servers which seem to be having a wee bit of bother.

Perhaps you can help the unicorns and the rainbows? Make an animated GIF celebrating the behind the scenes work that keeps the server happy.

I imagine that an animated gif is a good representation of the work involved in keeping a server up, it never stops.

Here is a unicorn speeding through the centre of the rainbow:

And here is one bringing reinforcements:

Using the public domain File:The Horse in Motion-anim.gif – Wikimedia Commons.

Made with Fireworks.

  1. Open the gif
  2. Through the frames deleting background.
  3. Through again adding a horn (copy paste, rotate & move)
  4. New gradient layer behind horse on first frame.
  5. Copy
  6. Paste onto each frame changing the gradient.

The second the gradient is twice the width of the gif and is pasted and moved on each frame.


GIF Challenge #6

Two different ideas fighting to get out of the gif for the August 2013 GIF Challenge #6: Sophisticate Your Own, Personal “Under Construction” GIF from I am Talky Tina.
Not really an under construction, but a 404.

I’ve already got a tenuous ds106 linked 404 page. Ironically the mashup I made for that is broken as one of the flickr phots it relied on is MIA. 404 page. I think I’ll leave it in place.

Hat Tip to Andrew for the font (Ringbearer Font |

Face is an old gif I had from a twilight zone exercise. Rainbow and unicorn from open clip art, hopefully the opposite of sophisticated.

Here is the ds106 Assignments: Sophisticate Your Own, Personal “Under Construction” GIF.

Come Back Comrade Tom

The August 2013 GIF Challenge #5: Re-invoke a Missing DS106 Friend

Tom Woodward is not really my friend, but he is someone I’ve followed and admired for a few years. His DS106 rate of production has been dropping off a bit so I though of this.

Tom’s work first came to my notice, as far as I recall and from my blog, in 2008 when I published a post about The Peoples Republic of Non-Programistan a movement that He and Jim Groom dreamed up. They did a presentation, of which the recording still exists. This is quite wonderful, Tom and Jim maintaining cod russian accents throughout, the points they make, about open, and keeping out of silos are probably even more important today. The presentation stuck with me. I paid attention to Tom and Jim’s RSS feed from then on.

Tom kindly commented on that post, so I guess you could say I know him.

This would probably be better un-animated and with a deal more time spent on it, but I went for a walk today, it riffs off the non-programistan artwork…

Update 9 Aug, I just looked at the original on another monitor. I think I need a new mac at home. Here is a slightly cleaned up version (it looks like what I saw when I made the original!