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 ds106.us 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.


Getting ready for some DS106 smack talk

One the worrying things about ds106 is the smack talk component, you need to have steady nerves and facial muscles of steel. Many of us are not use to this mode of discourse and need a bit of preparatory exercise. There is now no need to fear the smack talk, with just a minute or two of time each day you can have a chance of keeping up with Jim Groom, order your TOTAL SMACK TALK MUSCLLIZER today!

Appalling Facial Flex Infomercial 001

This informercial was created for the August 2013 GIF Challenge #4: Where Did the Soda Go? (Tina Link), ds106 Assignments: Where did the Soda Go?.

Youtube video downloaded with Fastesttube, still ripped by MPEG Streamclip and stitched back together with Fireworks.

I am not too sure of the spelling of MUSCLLIZER corrections welcome.

The DS106 wheels keep turning

In my day job today I was running a wee holiday course for teachers in digital storytelling. We use the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life rather than our usual base for this. It is nice to get folk out and about taking photos and video. (we use ipad 2s as cameras and 3 flavours of the course, editing with mac, ipad and pc).

So I was taking some video which I then though would make a reasonable Cinemagram I didn’t think it turned out very well, it is hard to get the looping smooth so I decide to try and make it a wee bit smoother. I think these, done with quicktime pro 7 (which still works in os x10.8) and fireworks are a lot better.



these tick the ds106 Assignments: Photo It Like Peanut Butter boxes. I am going to make a quick screencast tutorial on this as I think fireworks is under appreciated in ds1o6.

Dancing Jim Over the World

Last night a old gif of mine got tweeted:

and I replied:

As I love recycling, I dug out the old gif, which I also use for my Jim Groom Internet glasses and giffed it up a bit:


I think there are already assignments that this sort of fits into. ds106 Assignments: Noiseprofessor’s Jim Groom Art perhaps, but perhaps giffing Jim around the world could be one in its own right?
In case you want to join in here is a Dancing Jim Template An animated 9 frame gif with transparent background. The back ground is pretty big to make it easy to edit. Here is how I do it with Fireworks.

  1. Open the gif
  2. Make a new background layer that is Shared across frames
  3. Add an image to this background layer
  4. Move background around to get Jim in the right place
  5. Optionally cut out part of background and past into new foreground layer, so that the figure is partially behind, EG the shoulder of the office guy above.

The original gif is getting a wee bit tatty now, having been through the gif wringer and at some point it may be worth revisiting the original film and extracting another.

All backgrounds from Morguefile.com free stock photos, no attribution needed.

Update: I made this an assignment: ds106 Assignments: Dancing Jim all over the world

Monkeying Around in Time

Last week I saw Who’s That Cute Kid on The Beach? – CogDogBlog, started in on it. This that and a MechanicalMooc got in the way of finishing and I am glad they did.
Today I came home from work to find my #DS106 t-shirt had arrived. A no brainer:

I grabbed the original photo from flickr scanned from my mum’s shoe box and got my daughter to take a quick pic.

On the iPad I used Superimpose to take out the background from the now picture. Then in Photoshop touch I made a triple layer images with me sandwiched between two layers of the old one. A bit of rubbing out, export to camera+ for cropping, Snapseed for a bit of grunge and finally Diptc for a while border.

By no means a great job, but quick and fun. I could have done a bit of a better job with the cropping and rubbing out and there is an obvious disparity in the tone (or grain or something) between the photos, perhaps more grunge would help.

Update 3 Nov 2012

Alan called me out ds106 stype in the comments and on twitter to tell the story behind this photo. I must say I didn’t really think of the story. I’ve very few photos of myself at a young age and just grabbed one I though would work visually from twitter. I am not sure if I can actually remember the event or just the photo. Anyway:

The photo was taken, I’d guess, at the end of the 60s or perhaps at the start of the 70s. I was born in 1958 my brother 3 years later and I am guessing on appearance.

This would have been a Saturday when we went to Helensburgh for the weekly shopping. I do remember feeling aggrieved that my brother got to hold the monkey. I was the one with the interest in wildlife.

I wish I could recall my feelings about the monkey, other than fascination and delight at getting close to one. I’ve had a life long interest in animals and the way we treat them and have gone back and forth on many issues: I spent my teenage years with wildlife as a main interest that veered into shooting rabbits and duck, before stopping eating meat at 21 (still don’t). I disapproved of animals in captivity but worked as a zookeeper for most of my 20s. nicely conflicted.

So I wonder how I felt about the monkey did I feel sorry for it, disapprove of it being dressed up. I can imagine being quite angry about this at certain periods of my life.

That is the story, but the ds106 story will continue in the next post…