Transducer Producer

Hello everybody! This week has meant a lot of learning and new experiences.

To start of the week, I decided to do a Daily Create even though I didn’t need to. The prompt was to illustrate a Winston Churchill quote. I decided to make a short gif instead of illustrating a photo. I found this Churchill quote about forest. I then went to YouTube and found some forest footage. I exported it and put it into Final Cut Pro. In Final Cut Pro, I added some titles and made the canvas the size of Twitter instream media. This turned out to be a bad idea since the quality loss was really bad. If I could improve anything this week, I would resize the canvas to be larger so that the quality wouldn’t drop as much.

As I mentioned before, this week was a lot of first experiences for me. This week I produced my first digital song. It was a crazy fun experience. I am genuinely now interested in music production because this experience was such a good one for me. You can read my post about my song making process here

Another first this week for me was making a game. I made an “Oryx and Crake” Choose Your Adventure game. It was really hard, yet very fun. You can read my game making process and play my game here

For my last assignment of the week I made a postcard for “Oryx and Crake”. I love working with Canva, so this assignment was really enjoyable for me. You can see my postcard and read about my process here

I also had a huge evidence breakthrough this week. Essentially, I couldn’t sleep this week, so I became a sleuth and revisited some evidence about the E.N.D. virus that I found two months. To read my theories (/crazy rants) go here

This week I was also able to view some of my classmates’ work. I cannot express how proud I am of my classmates as they are all making such cool work that it impresses me every week.

The first post I want to shout out is Joshua’s World War Z Gif Book Cover. He has an amazing book cover gif that honestly shooketh me. He has two different forms of motion through his background and then the text animation. This activity really captures your attention and draws you in. I absolutely love this and love how creative he was with it.

The second post I want to shout out is Elizabeth’s ID post. The ID she created looked so realistic. I love when people are able to create realistic products because then they easy to relate to. So, I loved this ID card she made and the attention to detail she clearly put into it.

I’m really proud of the work I made this week, especially my song and game. I basically taught myself two new pieces of complex software and somehow made a good product on my first go. So *pats self on back*

I am looking forward to the next few weeks. It has really shook me that we are almost done with this semester. I have done a lot of amazing work and hopefully these next few weeks will continue to produce work at this standard. Really, I am going to cherish these next few weeks because I don’t want this class to end yet.


Question of the Week

This week Martha asked:

“Look to your right. The thing you see is the only weapon you’ll have during the End. How will you use it to survive?”

To my right is my chapstick which IS NOT A WEAPON. I use Vaseline Lip Therapy which pre-apocalypse has already saved my life. Regarding the apocalypse/weapon thing though, I will use the Vaseline to combat dryness and moisturize my skin to keep it from bleeding. I can also put it on my cheeks to keep wind burn from attacking me too much. I can also use the Vaseline to slick up a floor and hurt some CDE agents (or Professor James) if they decide to come after me again. That’s the real weapon part I guess.

Well, that is it for now folks. I’ll catch you on the flipside.

Featured Image

Evidence Restlessness

Hey guys, I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think I cracked part of the E.N.D. mystery. Remember how two months ago I was leaving the HCC really late and found this weird identification card for a Dr. Rausch? Well, I was looking at it recently and something struck me that hadn’t before. That Reclaim DNA Hosting logo looks really familiar. Like realllllyyyy familiar. I decided to dig deeper and try and find where I have seen it before.

I then found a company in Fredericksburg called “Reclaim Hosting” and on their website they describe themselves as a company that provides “flexible web space and domain names” to students. This was really weird to me. Like why was a web company dealing with DNA as well? I was genuinely confused. I went to bed that night and tossed and turned forever.

It was at 4 AM when it finally struck me.

What if Reclaim Hosting was just a front to hide their real intentions? What if they were trying to hide that they work with DNA? Also, what does DNA hosting mean?

I had no answers. It frustrated me beyond belief.

It wasn’t until I was scrolling through Twitter and I read this article about scientists coding an animated gif into DNA. I was gobsmacked. I think that this is what DNA hosting is. DNA hosting…information?

This reminded me of “28 Days Later”, which I watched for class and wrote about here, because in this movie the scientists inserted pure rage into the chimpanzees’ DNA. Maybe Reclaim DNA did something similar. Like what if they were experimenting with inserting things into DNA and they messed up? Maybe something mutated a way they didn’t expect and it resulted into the E.N.D. virus?

Honestly, this wasn’t as big of a breakthrough as I thought. However, I do feel like there is some merit to these theories.

Well, that is it folks. I’ll catch you on the flipside (knocks on wood sporadically so I don’t die from E.N.D before then)

From RejoovenEsence With Love

Hello everybody! For my last assignment of the week I decided to make a Destination Postcard for “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood. I liked the premise of this project because I love postcards. Growing up, my family would send me postcards from around the world. I guess this is where my passion for postcards comes from. Below is my finished product.


Behind the Process

I started with a Canva Postcard template and found one that ironically said “From Paris With Love”. I had already decided to name my post “From RejoovenEsence With Love”, so this was very funny to me (maybe I’m just not that unique). I chose a font for the RejoovenEsence section and adjusted the boldness of the other two boxes. I then went to Photoshop and worked on the background image for my postcard. I found an apocalyptic city background that I liked and inserted it into my Photoshop project. I then created Neon text that said RejoovenEsence to make it look like the compound from Oryx and Crake. Afterwards I found a man from behind to put into the postcard. I had to cut him out and decrease the saturation to make him look like a shadow. I also decided that I wanted to put a pigoon in the postcard because that is a huge plot point in “Oryx and Crake”. I also had to cut the pigoon out and erase some of the non-essential parts. Cutting out the objects was somewhat difficult for me. Because I was taking them from photos, it was hard to get a clean line. So, I had to go back and clean up the lines with the eraser tool in Photoshop. If I could go back, I would spend more time making sure that the lines were better and not as sloppy.

I decided that the front of the card didn’t really tell a story and that it needed another element to it to round it out. Thus, I decided to write a backside that was Snowman/Jimmy writing to Oryx. I wrote up what I thought Jimmy would write to Oryx while he was in the RejoovenEsence compound. I then went into Canva and duplicated my previous template. I then added lines and a paper background. I adjust the font and sizing. I decided to be very extra and make the sticker a pigoon sticker. This little detail is something I think I did well. Whenever I look at any work, whether digital or physical, I love the little details that when you notice them add a little je ne sais quoi to the work. After I finished the postcards, I put them into Juxtapose to give it almost a feeling of flipping over the postcard and reading it. Juxtapose is one of my favorite pieces of software because it is really easy to use and heightens the experience of your work.

I really enjoyed making my postcards and writing the blurb on the back. I always find it fun to enter into a characters head and try and see things from their perspective. Therefore, this assignment was really enjoyable for me and I would do it again if given a choice.

That is it for now folks, I’ll catch you on the flipside.

Risky Adventure

Hello everyone! I AM EXHAUSTED. I decided to do the Create Your Own Adventure assignment. I saw it and went “that will be fun” and it was, but bro, shits hard. Essentially, I made my own game (which I’ve never done before) in a Choose Your Own Adventure style.

You can view my game here.


Behind the Process

The assignment bank suggested a tool Inform 7, but I decided to use this website called Twinery. The two tools essentially do the same thing, but the Twinery interface was easier for me to understand. They also had very easy to understand documentation, which as a nerd, I really appreciate. So, before I went to Twinery I had a few ideas for events. I mainly focused on the first few chapter events as I really like the mystery in that section. After I wrote my events and connected all of them, I began my hunt for photos. I looked for black and white photos to maintain aesthetic and consistency. I decided to add some CSS code to my stylesheet to make it more unique. I specifically changed the font, background color, and line spacing. Despite my constant profession that “I AM NOT A CODER”, I really easily added this code to Twinery. Once I was finished, I had to figure out how to put my game on my website. I started by creating a subdomain and uploading the HTML file of my game. Initially, I forgot to name the file index.html so it wasn’t working. I eventually figured it out and honestly screamed with joy.

The difficult part of this assignment was teaching myself a new software. I have never worked with Twinery before, so I was learning as I created. I do have to say that this is the best way to work because the questions come up naturally and you have to seek out answers. In the end, I learned an entire new program and I learned it well. Again, to toot my horn, I think that I did this assignment pretty well seeing as it was my first on this software. The only thing that I could really do to elevate this work, would be to create a color theme for my game. I think that this little detail could make my game just a little bit better.

I really liked the whole process of this game. I would have loved to keep adding more to this game, but I decided to call it. I found this assignment really fun and I definitely would make another game on Twinery.

Well, that is it for now folks. I’ll catch you on the flipside.

Featured Image

Ode to Oryx

Hello everyone! Today I had a breakthrough (breakdown?) and decided to use GarageBand to make a theme song for my novel. I chose this assignment because I wanted to learn how to make music (finally).

Below is my final product.


Behind the Process

Before I entered GarageBand, I decided what themes my music should have. I decided to focus on Snowman’s love for Oryx. I wanted to make this theme very obvious so I went to Looperman and found this loop with someone saying “Love.  I also wanted the song to be more intense because I imagine Snowman listening to this and trekking through the woods.

So I created a new project in GarageBand and imported the loop. I then added a drum backing called “New Soul Curtis”. I made the drum Loud and adjusted some of the kick and snare. I decided that the song needed to be filled out more. Thus, I added to some sound effects namely Electro Clap Topper, Lockstep Beat, and Formidable Future Bass. I then made all these effects match pitch and tempo to the original loop. I then easily added a fade out.

After I uploaded my track to SoundCloud, I needed to create a image for the track. I decided to use an image of my friend West Virginia. He looked somewhat “Snowmany” to me. I adjusted the exposure and added a grainy filter to give it a vibe. I did this on Snapseed on my phone, because I had already suffered and did not want to mess with Photoshop.

There really was not a difficult thing as the entire process was difficult. I have never used GarageBand so I was constantly Googling “how to change tempo?” or “how to use GarageBand.” However, I am an independent learner so the struggle taught me how to use GarageBand. I think that teaching myself software is something I do well. I am proud of this song as it sounds pretty good (at least to me). I want to improve the beat matching. I feel like it’s just a little off, but because I’m not a music producer or as experienced in GarageBand, I couldn’t figure out the issue. If I could do this assignment again, I would learn more about beat matching and fix this in GarageBand.

I really did like this assignment and would do it again. It was fun to create music as I haven’t really done it digitally before. Hopefully, you guys liked the first song I’ve ever produced.

That’s it folks, I’ll catch you on the flipside.

Video Snob

Hello everybody! This week has been fun and a lot of work.

To start off this week I made a pretty rockin’ Daily Create. I was tasked with taking a sequence from a film and setting it to a song. Instead of film, I decided to use Vines (bc rip Vine).

Once again, I decided to submit another Daily Create. My idea was for people to use videos from their phone to make an aesthetic video. They can set the video to music or leave it as raw audio. Here is an example. 

yes you can

A post shared by Jennifer Hill (@confusedaccentvids) on

I also submitted a media assignment this week. My idea is called “Played From Another Room. Essentially, the person has to edit a song to sound like it is playing from another room. The audio should sound muffled and the bass should be prominent. The second part of this assignment is to write a weirdly specific description of your song. Here is an example of a description and here is an example of a Played From Another Room song.

This week I also was able to watch “28 Days Later” and complete a pretty rad assignment for it. You can see my reflection on movie and assignment alternate ending here.

In other news, I also completed my group video with Chris. You can read my video reflection post on my assignment here.

This week meant a lot of creativity and flexibility. Creating our video was no joke exhausting, so this week meant a lot of work. Despite this workload, I am really proud of the video we made. We worked really hard on it. The script, footage and editing we’re all on point. However, we did accidentally leave out part of our video. So, if I could go back and change anything I would fix that lil mistake.

I am looking forward to next week as we are doing web and mashups. I have no idea what this means, so I’m scared and excited.

This week I was able to read some of my classmates work. Here are two posts I definitely suggest reading.

First up is Joshua Jenkins’ post about his Question and Answer Video.  I loved his authenticity in the video. It really drew me into the story he was telling with his answers. The only thing I suggested to him was to film his answers in landscape to match the video he was cutting into. I really enjoyed his video and his funny answers.

I also got to read Daniel Pan’s post about his video trailer. I am really excited to watch his final product as their concept seems really interesting. Basically, they are going to make a video about their tips/tricks/process for producing videos. Both Daniel and Eric make fantastic videos, so I am really excited to hear their insider tricks!


Question of the Week

This week Martha asked us:

“You hear on the radio that the End has started. What do you do first?”

The first thing I would do was fill up the bathtub with water. Yeah, you read that right. Not only would I fill up the bathtub with water, I would fill up literally every container I had with water. This is because I want clean water to drink for a long time. While everyone will be raiding stores for water, my smartass will be chilling at home hydrated af.

Well, that is it for now. See ya later folks.

Featured Image

Moving Picture Magic

Hello everyone! Chris and I finally finished our video for class. It was a lot of work, but really fun.

Here is our video.


Behind the Process

Since my last post, Chris and I filmed our video in the Advanced Media Production Studio. It took us about three hours to film everything. This is mainly because we would watch every take to make sure we had everything down right. After we shot everything, I took an hour trimming our videos down to make editing easier for us (this is a little trick I use because I hate how long Final Cut Pro takes to import/render). Chris and I then spent about 6 hours editing in Final Cut Pro. Chris had never worked in Final Cut Pro before, so I kinda threw him into it. For me, editing on Final Cut Pro is pretty easy because I have been forcing myself to learn it throughout the semester. Furthermore, we finished our video and published it v. late at night.

The difficult thing about producing this video was directing, shooting and starring in a video. Like I mentioned, it was only Chris and I doing everything for this video. So it was hard to make sure we got the shots we needed. Something I learned from this video was the value of a teleprompter. I don’t know if it was obvious in our video, but Chris and I were mainly reading off of a teleprompter. This little piece of technology really saved us time and *our lives*. I think that using the technology in the studio was something Chris and I did well. We really used the microphones, lights and green screen to their full extent to try and get a high quality product. I really did like messing around with all of the camera angles and the camera positioning.  

Because we edited the video very late at night, we actually forgot to add a clip to our video. My little angry rant was actually supposed to go a little longer. We had already published the video and decided to cut our losses and not re-edit the video. We got lucky because our video still makes sense. So, if I could go back and do this again I would check our video to our script to ensure we didn’t forget anything.

What really resonated with me about this process was seeing how an idea turns into a full project. It was truly amazing to see this process through and have an actual product.

Moreover, I think our story was compelling. We tried to relate back to our radio show so that we already had a base of characters to riff off of. We also tried to create a sense of place through our use of green screening and the director character. We tried to draw in our viewers by giving them tiny details and then building on them later. These little breadcrumbs drew our viewer into the story Chris and I created and is something we did really well.


Trailer

Chris and I also this week produced a trailer for our documentary. We got special permission from Martha to do our trailer a week later. We asked for this because we wanted to use footage from our documentary in our trailer and we didn’t have time the first week to film. Below is our trailer.


Behind the Process

So, after we filmed everything and released our documentary, we made our trailer. I used footage from our documentary and some premade titles from Final Cut Pro. I also used some photos of Chris and I to incorporate into our trailer. I found it easy to create the trailer in Final Cut Pro because I have a lot of experience in it.

The difficult part of this assignment was trying to find music to use. I decided to look at Martha’s resources from audio week and discovered this little gem. On there I found some great tense drum music that fit my vision well. Something I learned from this process is how to use text and videos to create a trailer. I really forced myself to use text and not depend solely on the videos.

Something I want to improve is trying to tell a story in my trailer. I found it hard to create a trailer and not reveal too much. I used the “Icarus” trailer (amazing documentary by the way) as an inspiration for my trailer. The way they establish the characters and context really guided how I made ours. I tried to establish some sense of characters through the flashes of our footage. Doing this also interested my viewers. I still think I could do better with the storytelling aspect of my trailer. If I could do this assignment again, I would try and focus on creating a sense of place as that was lacking in our trailer. However, I think I did the best I could with what I have.

I did like making a trailer as I have never done it before. I enjoyed creatively using my footage so I could capture my viewers attention.

Well, making this video has truly been a labor of love. I’ll catch you on the flipside folks.

Don’t You Forget About Me

Hello everybody! This week I was able to watch the movie “28 Days Later”.

To be completely honest, I absolutely hate zombie movies. Like really hard. So this movie, with its pseudo infected/zombie, was not my jam. However, I did like the story behind it and the premise of the infected having “pure rage”.

One random scene that really stuck in my head was the Grocery Store Scene. Firstly, it reminded me of Supermarket Sweep. I told my two coworkers/friends who were watching it with me (S/O Chris and Katie) about this and they HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT. Honestly, Supermarket Sweep is life.

Moreover, this scene resonated with me as it was the happiest moment in the movie. This scene almost feels misplaced in the movie because of its happy, go-lucky vibe. However, it’s almost erie because the laughs and music feel just out of place. This topsy-turvy scene foreshadows the drama that will happen. Almost like the calm before the storm.

I think that the aspects of the story that worked well was the relatable characters. I felt myself relating to the characters, specifically Selena. Selena is a badass and she really holds her own in this apocalyptic world. On the other hand, at some points the story felt slow. When the survivor gang goes to the soldier base, it felt very slow and I lost interest. I think this disconnect was from the change of place. In the base, I felt that sense of place differ extremely. The base seemed too real/normal so I felt that the apocalyptic vibe was almost gone.

Despite this slowness, the story did have very interesting points. Specifically, I found the fact that Major Henry West kept one of his infected soldiers to track how long it will take for the infected to starve. I honestly would have never thought of that, so I found that story aspect very interesting.

I did really enjoy it, despite some slow parts in this story.

An amazing part of watching “28 Days Later” was the assignment that followed. Because Chris, Katie and I watched it together we decided to do this Alternate Ending assignment. We mainly chose to do this because there are three alternate endings of “28 Days Later”. So we thought, why not create our own alternate ending?

The original ending was okay, but I think that I enjoyed the alternate ending more. The alternate ending was more tragic and fit more into the darkness of the movie.  

Here is our product.


Behind the Process

So we decided to be really weird in this video. We made this video literally *right after* we watched the movie.

We had a rough idea of what we wanted in this alternate ending, namely Jim living and then all of us being eaten by zombies. It’s like a real high followed by an extreme low. We used the Advanced Media Production Studio. The green screen and lighting in there is easy to use (once you learn) so we used that. After shooting the video, we edited it real quick on Final Cut Pro. I decided that the video should feel surreal and really random. I tried to achieve this vibe through my use of effects and sounds. Editing the video to be weird was something I found easy and something I felt I did well.

The difficult thing about this assignment was that Chris is a tall boi and Katie and I are shorter. So using the cameras was difficult because we had to account for all of our heights. I also learned that Chris is tall enough that when he jumps he scrapes the ceiling in the studio.

Something I want to improve is the green screening. I think because there was a lot of us and we were casting shadows everywhere, the green screening didn’t work too well. When you use a green screen, you want to have nice even lighting which we really didn’t have in this video. So, if I could do this assignment again I would improve this.

I really liked this assignment. I think our dopey acting and strange comedy made this video fun and interesting.

Well, that its for now. I’ll catch you on the flipside folks.

Pivotal Visual

Hello everybody! This week has been a lot of scattered work here and there. Mainly, this week has meant suffering and using my brain a lot.

This week I decided to submit more Daily Create ideas because I’m a masochist and a horrible human.

My first Daily Create idea was to create a playlist to play in the car while you’re escaping the apocalypse. The playlist can have music, audio clips or sound bites. Here is my example

My second Daily Create idea was to create a stop motion of yourself or of an item you own. Ironically, I forgot to put my example I did for this Daily Create. You can see my example on the domainosaur account as a Highlight called “to Europe”. Obviously, if I could go back and redo something I would make sure to include my example.

This week I was able to do a lot of readings and watchings. These really helped me write my script for my video and come up with ideas for the visual concept. I am really proud of my video essay that I did for my reflection as well. I thought hard about the cinematography techniques used in my scene from “Dr. Strangelove” and tried to express what I thought they meant. You can read my thoughts on my readings/watchings here and watch my video essay above.

This week I submitted another self evaluation. It was nice to reflect on my efforts in this class, specifically the radio show and how I have contributed to our DS106 community. I always enjoy self grading as I have to analyze the quality of my work and assign myself the grade I believe I should get.

As I alluded to earlier, I am making a group video (really just Chris and I) this next week. You can read about our idea and process here. I am really looking forward to the rest of this video assignment. We have a really good concept and I cannot wait to make it into a reality.

This week I was able to comment on some of my fellow classmates work.

The first post I want to shout out is Elizabeth Finto’s college snapshot video (above). I really liked the photos she chose as we were able to see her progression through college. I was really interested in the tools she used (SmileBox and the audio library on YouTube). Obviously through those tools and her creativity, she made an amazing video so I am curious at how easy they are to use.

Another post I want to shout out is Katie’s “How My Shoes Saw the Dawn of the Apocalypse” post. Her video was really fantastic. You can definitely tell that she consciously chose her shooting locations so that she could connect them into a story. I also really liked her shoes because as someone who owns a million pairs of chucks, this was up my alley. Watch Katie’s video above!   


Question of the Week

This week Martha asked

What question would you like to ask the class?

I would like to ask the class, what’s been your favorite assignment you have done thus far?

My favorite assignment has definitely been the radio show. It was really fun to work with a group who meshed and created a great show.

Well, that is it for now folks. I’ll catch you on the flipside.  

Featured Image

Inter-Plan-It Janet

Hello everybody! So this week I decided to torture myself and choose the Video Assignments: Path Two. This means that I get to make a video in a group! Yeah!

Jokes. Chris and I asked/begged Martha to let us do a video together. Martha graciously allowed a two person group exception with one stipulation that our video must be 9 minutes long.

The night Martha gave us the exception I went to bed and dreamt up our video idea. Essentially, our video is going to be a “Where Are They Now?” documentary based off of our Alt-F4 Radio Show. The video is basically a follow up to all the shit that happened. So cypherpunk106 (my character) and Professor James (Chris’ character) will be interviewed on their life after the virus/CDE/arrest incident. I do have to say that there is going to be a nice, juicy climax and even some delicious discoveries.

I then texted this idea to Chris at a god awful hour (sleep is for the weak) and requested a meeting.

Chris and I got together the next day and brainstormed further. We basically talked through my idea and wrote down what we felt our characters would be doing at this point in their lives. We also started a rough outline of our video and filled in some minor details.

Then Chris and I got together yesterday to write the script. I started by writing a more formal outline of our video so that Chris and I could go back and write it up. We basically split the script into two sections; rising action and climax to falling action. Chris is an excellent writer who really has an amazing grasp on his character. He also has really good ideas on how to connect these two different characters in a unified story. During this meeting we also read our script to nail down the conversational tone and timing. I do have to say that Chris is also a great little actor.

We finished up our meeting and set a date for our recording session. In between now and then I will write down the camera angles and other techniques I want to use while recording. Doing this will ensure I get the footage I want and hopefully prevent me from doing any reshoots.

I really can’t wait to get into the Advanced Media Production studio and make this video. Hopefully it turns out as good as I hope.

Well, that is it for now folks. I’ll catch you on the flipside.

Featured Image