Final Summary

This semester was a jam packed with with different forms of media and the final project gave me an opportunity to showcase what I had learned.

One thing I improved on greatly throughout these last five weeks was my ability to manipulate audio and video.  I had a lot of fun learning how to use Audacity and iMovie.  By doing the different audio and video assignments, I also learned how to convert forms of media into different types of files.  This is a skill that I am going to keep with me and definitely use in the future.

Another thing I feel that I have improve on is my ability to write out the processes that I went through to do each assignment.  I struggled with this near the beginning, but was soon able to come up with an easy to follow writing style.

All in all, I am really glad that I took DS106 this summer.  Even though the work load was quite heavy and there was a learning curve when it came to figuring out certain softwares, I can use all of the skills I acquired in this class out in the working world.

How I Made: Audio

For the audio aspect of my final, I decided to take inspiration from one of my favorite audio assignments from this semester.  The assignment called for creating a scene using only sound effects.  I took this project a step further by including audio from the original Toy Story movie.

First, I looked up various sound effects from FreeSound.  I then looked up a scene from YouTube that included an audio clip of Woody yelling for Buzz.  I converted the video into an MP3 file using a converter I found online.  I downloaded the sounds to my computer and then uploaded them to Audacity.

After I had the sounds in Audacity, I cut and moved them around to make the scene sound cohesive and downloaded the whole project as an MP3.  I then uploaded the audio to my SoundCloud account and embedded it into my final project.

How I made: Poster

In my final project, I included a “MISSING” poster of Buzz Lightyear.  The idea is to illustrate the Buzz is nowhere to be found.  This element of the project includes both design and visual elements.

The first thing I did was find a picture of Buzz on the internet that was easy to crop.  I then uploaded the picture into the app Photoshop Mix on my iPad and cropped around Buzz to get rid of the background.

I then uploaded the cropped image onto Pixelmator App on my iPad and used the paint function to create the background and add the words.

I wanted to make the words look as is Woody wrote them, so they’re a bit scraggly and imperfect.  Once I was satisfied with the poster I saved it to my camera role and uploaded it to my final project post

How I made: Video

The video element of my final project was one of my favorites.  I decided to make a video of the scene between the squirrel and the toys.  This was a really fun process for me.

The first thing I did was go on to YouTube and look for a video of a squirrel.  I found one that, funny enough, was to entertain dogs and cats.  It’s simply a close up of a squirrel on the forest floor.  I used SaveFrom.net to convert download the video onto my computer.  I then looked up scenes form the original Toy Story film to try and find one of Woody and Buzz sounding panicked.  Once I found one that I liked, I downloaded it to my computer, but this time as an MP3 using this converter.

Once I had my clips downloaded, I placed the video of the squirrel into iMovie and cut it to a shorter size (it started as 10 minutes long).  I then put the MP3 of the Toy Story scene into Audacity and cut out the audio clip of Woody and inserted it into iMovie.  I then found a sound effect from FreeSound that sounded like a roar and placed that where I thought would be fitting in the clip in iMovie.

Once I was happy with the finished product, I downloaded the file onto my computer and uploaded it to my YoutTube page.  Once it was uploaded I embedded it into my final project.

How I made: Buzz and the Squirrel

I used visual and design elements to create the image fo buzz being faced by the squirrel.

The first thing I did was look for a picture of the woods to use.  I found a picture that was already in the camera roll on my phone from a hiking trip I had gone on.  I also went online and found a picture of Buzz and a picture of a squirrel to use that had a transparent background.  This made it much easier to crop and cut out the background.

Once I had all of my images, I uploaded them to the app Bazaart on my iPhone.  I then used the image of the woods as my background, and got to work cropping buzz and the squirrel.  This took quite some time, considering all of the nooks and crannies of the squirrels tail.

After I had cropped out the backgrounds from Buzz and the Squirrel, I resized them and moved them over the woods in a way that made sense.  Once I was done, I saved the image to my camera roll.

Final Project Story

It was a vey exciting day for Buzz and Woody.  Today was the day that Andy went on a nature hike with his Adventure Scout Troop!  After the two of them were all packed snuggly  in Andy’s backpack with just enough room for their heads to poke out the top, they were whisked away onto the troop’s bus and were soon at a beautiful state park.

Once on the trail, Andy and his friends decided to have a competition to see who could find the coolest treasures and bring them home.  As the hike went on, Andy accumulated rocks, pine cones, leaves, and even some odd sticks in his little backpack.  Buzz and Woody became more and more squished until they could barely move.

As the two of them jostled for space, Buzz thought it a good idea to unzip the bag just a little so they had room to breathe.  Just as he got his hand on the zipper, Andy decided to jump over a log, causing the pack to surge up and consequently flinging Buzz up and out of the backpack.  Mid air his wings deployed and he was soon long out of sight.

Seeing his friend vanish into the distance, Woody quickly hopped out of the bag without anyone noticing and went in search of him.

He plodded through the forest, surrounded by giant trees and piles of dry and crisp leaves.  After what felt like hours, he spotted Buzz’s white paint job up against a moss covered tree.  In front of him was the biggest creature Woody had ever seen.


Woody ran up to Buzz to give him a hand.

Slowly approaching them was a beady eyed, fluffy squirrel.  Woody screamed as the squirrel stared straight through them.  It began to approach them but before it could do anything, buzz leapt into the air and  jumped on its back, the squirrel reared up before the squirrel flew off, Buzz scooped up Woody and off they went.

They trotted through the forest until they found the troop.  The two toys found Andy right as he was about to board the bus.  Checking his backpack, he realized Buzz and Woody weren’t there and looked around on the ground.  Just as he looked down, he saw the two laying by his feet.  He scooped them up, gave them a hug, and piled back on the bus.  The two were then shoved in his backpack, save and sound.

Action!

This week was all about video.  I was able to manipulate and create my own video clips as well as learn about the techniques used in cinematography and video editing.

I really enjoyed learning about different ways to manipulate scenes to fit how you wanted the narrative of whatever story you are telling.

My favorite assignment was definitely when I was able to change the audio of National Treasure, partly because I really like playing with the audio aspect of media and partly because it turned out so funny.

Overall, this week has really opened up my eyes to how tedious video editing can be and how a project may seem simple but can end up having many aspects to it that are hard.

Look Listen and Analyze

This week, we took a scene from a classic movie and analyzed the visuals, audio, and overall work separately.  I decided to analyze one of the Joker’s most notorious scenes from the Batman movie, The Dark Night.  Directed by Chris Nolan, this is arguably one of the best films ever made.  This is due to Nolan’s dynamic and creative directing style.

At first, I watched the entire scene without any audio.  Something that stood out to me from the start was how active the camera was, specifically the use of the panning and cuts.  Panning is when the camera pans across a frame to follow a specific character or movement and a cut is when the camera moves to from one character to another with no transition.  Panning the camera is used in the scene to follow the characters movements and make the scene feel more active.  Even though the scene is set in one room, the use of wiping and a camera panning around the room evokes action from an otherwise boring (action-wise) scene.  The cuts being used are fast and are used to set pace in the scene.  There are a number of characters (three stand alone and one group) and by roughly and quickly focusing on each speed up the scene at points.

After watching the clip without the audio, I only listened to it.  The scene opens with the Joker’s very distinct laugh in the distance.  As the Joker interact with the room, you can sense the tension between every character.  The volume of the characters varies and there is no score behind the scene, which makes you listen.  The lack of score highlights the conversation as well as the the rest of the noises in the scene, you can hear the movement of chairs and the footsteps.  It also makes the scene more realistic, as unrealistic as it is.

I put the entire scene together and watched it one more time through, with the audio and the video.  After watching it altogether, the audio and the visuals come together in perfect harmony.  The hardness and scariness of the audio is intensified by the Jokers mannerisms and fast pace fo the video.

Down here I have embedded the clip, so you can analyze it for yourself!

Jinkies!

For my last video assignment, I chose to do a Supercut of one of my favorite cartoons, Scooby Doo.  A supercut is when a creator will take short clips of reoccurring themes, styles, or lines from different movies or television shows, and put them altogether with no transitions.  The idea is to showcase whatever theme or line you choose in a very quick way.  I decided to take multiple scenes from Scooby Doo where the villain is unmasked and out them altogether.

This process took a LOT of time.  First I had to find the clips of old Scooby Doo episodes.  I found a channel on YouTube that made this process very easy, since they had a playlist that contained shortened clips of the show that were labeled as a “reveal”.  After finding the clips I liked, I used the video downloading website SaveFrom.net to download them onto my computer.  Because the cartoon is so old, it made downloading them very fast due to the fact that the resolution is already so low.

Once I had all of the scenes I wanted to use, I put them into iMovie and began cutting them down.  This was the most tedious task out of the whole process.  I had to make sure that the clips were long enough to get the point of the scene but short enough to make sure my video was still considered a Supercut.  After I had all of my scenes cut down to size, I added a title and an ending and uploaded my video to my YouTube channel.

This process was fun, and I think I would enjoy making another supercut if I took a long time to do it.  When I say a long time, I mean months.  It would be a really fun project to pick a line in a movie or a camera technique just casually come by them and add them to a supercut.

Overall I am pretty happy with how the final product turned out, but I do wish it was a bit longer.

I’m gonna steal it

Today, I decided to give everyone yet another reason to laugh at Nicholas Cage by doing the Chipmunk Style assignment.  I took one of the most pivotal scenes in National Treasure, where Benjamin Gates is talking about stealing the Declaration of Independence, and I tweaked it a little by making Ben and Riley sound like chipmunks.  The process was significantly simpler than I thought it would be.

The first thing I did was download the scene from YouTube onto my computer using a free downloading website called SaveFromNet.  I then opened iMovie and imported the clip.  Once the clip was opened in iMovie, I exported the clip as a file and saved only the audio.  I took the audio from the scene and imported it into Audacity.

There, I was able to manipulate the pitch of the audio.  I chose to increase it by about 40%.  The scene’s score is quite loud and there is a good amount of background noise (others talking and walking) which meant that if I went any higher in the pitch, it would have sounded extremely distorted, and not in a fun, chipmunk kind of way.

Changing Pitch

When I was satisfied with how the audio turned out, I exported it as an MP3 and inserted it in my original clip in iMovie.  To ensure there was no overlap, I just turned the volume of the original clip all the way down.  Lastly, I added a title and uploaded the video to my YouTube channel.

I am really happy with the final product.  For some reason, having such a high pitch in the dialogue of the characters makes their mannerisms 10x funnier, especially Nick Cage.

Hope you enjoy!