The “Ultra Wide Screen” Effect (Final Project Sneak Peek)

This is a small sneak peek at my final project. I recently learned how to make my video clips have sort of an ultra widescreen appearance. This means that the edges look as if they’re so wide that they extend toward the audience. It sort of gives it a panoramic, almost 3D effect, like you can watch the scenes from 3 different angles.

Ultra Wide Screen

How I did this in Final Cut Pro was that I used a distortion filter called “Droplet” which is normally used to provide a ripple effect. Then I went to the Droplet settings and turned up the Radius scroller to the max and the Thickness scroller to 0. I stumbled upon this trick completely by accident as I was ironically working on another My Little Pony music video. I ended up clicking the wrong filter and I ended up making my  video clip look like it had just gotten rained on. So I decided to toy with the scrollers to see if this filter had any other use, and sure enough it did. Although I still have no idea what the terms “Radius” and “Thickness” mean in this effect, I still find the system useful!

Don’t worry everyone! “Living the Dream” will be out by the end of this week! It’s the minor details like these that are making production take a while, but I promise it’ll be epic!

Time to Mix it UP! (Weeks 13 & 14 Remix and Mashup)

Can’t….feel my fingers anymore…been remixing and mashing SO much these past 2 weeks! On top of studying for final exams and doing final projects for other classes, I think these have been the busiest 2 weeks of the entire semester. But I got through them with all of the assignments done in time, and I even had some extra leeway time to put effort into them! I bet Youtube is sick of my uploads and having to give me all these copyright notices by now, but all these uploads were for a good purpose; EDUCATION! Since I pretty much summed up everything I did in the blog posts for these assignments, I think I’ll just list them here to spare anymore excessive finger injury.

Remix the Vacation (Alan’s Trip to Mars) Blog Post
This assignment was hilarious because I got to send the professor to another planet. I hope my ticket to Mars comes in the mail soon. I need a vacation!

Recycle the Media Assignment Blog Post

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! This was where I took everyone’s unneeded junk media and turned it into a work of art. It’s a media party and everyone’s invited!

“Post-Photographic Portrait” Challenge Blog Post

This assignment was one of the funnest ones since I got to turn a man into a machine. I was so happy when Jonathan Worth himself liked it! :)

Countrify Yourself! (Remix Generator Assignment)

I had to take an a capella song and somehow countrify it according to the remix generator. I had this song stuck in my head all night even though I came up with the horrible lyrics in like 2 minutes!

Remixed Album Cover (3 stars)

This was the first remix assignment I did. I created a parody of the Gorillaz album cover “Demon Days” by using characters from the show “Death Note.” I think the Death Note crew would make an awesome metal band.

Vocal Instrumental Mashup (3 stars)

For this remix assignment I took the vocals of one song and mashed them up with the instrumental of another song to create a totally new song. Couldn’t even tell it was a mashup really since both songs sound extremely similar!

Final Project Idea Blog Post
This is my final project idea to create a 4 minute tribute to my favorite pony, Rainbow Dash. It’s gonna have alot of awesome effects, transitions, and clips of her being spectacular.  I’m sure she’d be proud if she saw it.

Remix vs. Mashup

According to Webster’s dictionary, a “remix” is defined as “a variant of an original recording (as of a song) made by rearranging or adding to the original.” I discovered the meaning of the word this week, without looking up the definition, and how it slightly differs from a mashup. My definition of remixing is altering preexisting content and transforming it into a new piece of media with a different message. This could be done with any sort of content; such as photos, music, and videos. The image below is a remix of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. This is only one of MANY remixes since the painting is so well known. Although the characters in the picture change throughout each of the remixes, the message of the famous portrait still remains the same in a sense that the individual in the center is meant to be the most important and is the main focus.

http://img.izismile.com/img/img6/20130130/640/pop_culture_spoofs_of_the_last_supper_640_31.jpg

A mashup is very similar in the sense that it still an alteration of some form of media. However, what makes a mashup different from a remix is that it needs at least one other piece of media to create something new. This could be done without changing the content itself and just adding something else to it. An example of this one of my favorite videos called “Cant Touch Mormon Jesus” where the author mashed up an animated video about Mormonism and the MC Hammer song “Can’t Touch This.” What makes this a legendary mashup is the fact that not only is the video clip matched to music, but the voices in the clip also sync with the music, as if the narrator was rapping to the beat. “Stop! Mormon time!”

A remix and a mashup follow similar concepts in that they are a transformation of preexisting material, but what makes them different is the fact that one of them is a transformation of itself without the aid of any other media element.
Whew…I thought I would never get through these 2 weeks, but I made it through with one extra paddle to sail with. I learned now that the videos I’d been making since I was younger were really mashups, and I’d actually been crafting stories by creating them; stories about ghosts were turned into music videos, stories about serious topics were lipsynced with funny audio ect. Remixes and mashups can be used to convey messages that are different than what was intended in the original media clip. This can have the power to change a person’s feelings about a situation; just as I discussed in a previous post about political mashups being able to make an individual see a candidate differently. I feel there are endless possibilities to give meaning to a lifeless work.

Helpful Tutorials

Everyone in DS106 is not a technical pro when it comes to different assignment types, and sometimes we just need a helping hand to get us on track. This is why I’ve created 2 tutorials this semester.

How to Color Splash Your Photos with Gimp

Picture 1

This tutorial I made during design week for those who were having trouble adding splashes of color to their images. Wow, it seemed like just yesterday we were learning how to edit photos, but it was over 2 months ago! Actually I’m glad I made this tutorial because I sort of forgot how to do it myself; it’s been so long!

A Capella With Yourself Using Garageband

Create Track photo Picture5_zps765f4acc.png

This one I just recently made since I’d chosen the “A Capella With Yourself”  assignment to also create a countrified remix this week. Figured I’d show anyone who was struggling with Garageband some of the basics such as how to create tracks and add effects to them. Oh right, and how to be a legendary POP STAR!

Hope the people in future DS106 courses will find these tutorials helpful!

A Capella With Yourself Tutorial

Here’s a bit of a Garageband tutorial for the “A Capella With Yourself” audio assignment (if you’re still interested in audio that is!)

Step 1: Write a song, OR pick a song that you like.
Tip: When you’re picking your song, make sure it’s within your vocal range so you dont sound like a shrieking cat or a deep throated whale.

Step 2. Listen to the song over and over again
Each time you listen to the song, you should be listening for the beat, the lead singer, the background singer(s), and if possible, the music key. This can be very tricky if you don’t have a musical ear….but here’s a page that could possibly help you called Song Key Finder which tells you what key the song is in and what scale it is (you might find your song on this site under “Popular Songs”.) Once you have the song key, you can sing ANY note within that scale in your a capella and it would sound good.

Step 3. Open Garageband and Create Tracks

When you open Garageband, create 3 tracks (or however many “people” you’re singing with) by going to Track–>New Track. What this does is give you the chance to overlay each voice’s part.

Create Track photo Picture5_zps765f4acc.png

Step 4. Start Recording in Parts

On one of the tracks, click the red circle button at the bottom of the screen to start recording. The first track should be the lead singer’s part, singing the main theme of the song (this is the part of the song you’re used to and probably sing in the shower.) When you’re done, press the spacebar to stop recording. It should now look like this:

Vocal Track photo Picture6_zpsc724749e.png

The next track should either be the backup vocals or the beat. In the image, I started with the backup vocals since I wanted to get all of the vocals out of the way. I dont really know how to explain singing a backup chorus other than taking a guess with the notes and hoping they sound good. After a few recordings, they’ll eventually sound nice. (or that’s just my luck.)

Background Vocal photo Picture7_zps43421baf.png

Lastly you should make the beat of the song. This can be done by snapping, clapping, or beatboxing (making “tss-tss-tss-tss” sounds). The point is to sound like some sort of percussion instrument to keep the song on track. If you cant find the beat of the song, try counting 1-2-3-4 OR 1-2-3 and see which one fits. (Most songs are in 4/4 so its 1-2-3-4)

Beats photo Picture8_zpsb3fe83d3.png

Step 4.5: Put some attitude and emotion into it!
No one likes a flat sounding song! Add some color to it to keep it interesting!

Step 5: Make Sure all the Sounds Align

Now that the hard part is over, all you have to do is make sure all of the beats and vocals line up to form the song. You can move each recording to fix it up if something sounds off.

Step 6 (optional): Add Effects

How would you like your singing group to be on stage in a concert hall? To make this sound effect, look to the right side of the screen and look under vocals to find the “Epic Diva” effect. This effect produces an echo and something called a reverb (not the repitition of an echo, but an open sound.)

Effect photo Picture9_zpsb85352d6.png

After clicking this for each track, under the Epic Diva options turn off the Chorus and Track echo buttons by clicking the blue light. Also go to the bottom and turn the scroller on the Master Reverb to about 44%. This is the concert hall effect.

Moar effects photo Picture10_zps509b4353.png

Step 7: Save it

To save the project, head up to the Garageband toolbar and select Share–>Export Song to Disk. This turns your glorious song into an mp3 able to be shared with everyone.

Aaaand you’re DONE!! Listen to yourself, yourself, and yourself now! You all are ready to have your own world tours!

Countrify Yourself! (Remix Assignment)

Time to take off the Barber Shop Quartet outfits and slap on some leather boots and a 10 gallon hat! For this assignment, I decided to go back to the previous audio assignment I’d created called “A Capella With Yourself”, and click the Remix button. I ended up choosing the 3rd remix card option, entitled “Countrify It.” The challenge was to take the existing assignment and find a way to make it sound country. In this case, I would have to take 3 vocal tracks to create an A Capella song AND somehow make it country. Here’s what I came up with!

I wrote the lyrics myself for this one; using the most stereotypical country tropes ever, a partner leaving the protagonist and they go to the bar to get a drink and spend the night hungover from the alcohol. Out of the 2 weeks worth of assignments, which are mainly focused on blogging, I figured it’d be nice to take a break and revisit audio. I created this using my main audio weapon, Garageband (long time no see!) I’ll be a well-known country singer in no time!

Created Assignments

Through DS106 I created 3 assignments for the world to complete.

How I See You

http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/how-i-see-you/

First one was a visual assignment called “How I See You”. This was a task in GIMP where people took a picture of somone they know and draw them behind a pair of glasses. Through the glasses they should see how they actually see that person (whether literally or figuratively.) 0 People did this assignment. Guess it was too complicated to figure out. :(

How I See You

 

A Capella With Yourself

http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/a-capella-with-yourself/

This next one was an audio assignment where people had to create at least 3 tracks of them singing with each other for 15-20 seconds. (This one was my personal favorite. I wouldve done more than one if I could.) 7 People did this assignment; I guess people like singing!

Vocal Instrumental Mashup

http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/vocal-instrumental-mashup/

The last one I made was a mashup assignment that was a bit tougher than the previous 2 assignment. It called for 2 songs to be put together, but only the vocals of one song and the instrumental of the other. This was a bit of a challenge for even me to do, and I’M the one who made the assignment! But I got it to work with a Paralyzer/Take Me Out mashup. I’m the only one who’s done this assignment so far, but maybe there will be more next semester since it’s pretty fun.

“Paralyze Me Out” (Vocal Instrumental Mashup ***)

I swear I’m gonna be swimming in copyright strikes by the end of this course. This is a mashup of the 2 songs “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven and “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand. This was made for the Vocal Instrumental Mashup assignment where the task was to take the vocals of 1 song and mash them up with the instrumental of another song. For this, I had the vocals of Paralyzer sync with the background music of Take Me Out.

 

First I downloaded the instrumental of Take Me Out then the vocals of Paralyzer. To make this, I used Garageband to edit the 2 tracks to match one another. The hard part was trying to match up the beats of both songs so they’d sound well together. The reason I specifically picked these songs was because not only did they sound similar, but they had similar beats per minute (bpm.) The bpm of Paralyzer is between 128 and 135 while Take me out was 123. Because of this small difference, I had to chop up the Paralyzer vocals to make them fit within the 2/2 time signature (meaning 2 beats in every measure.) You can sort of hear these gaps in the song.

Picture 5

In the picture, the bottom track has the music part, while the top track is the chopped up vocals.

These 2 songs work so well together that you cant really tell it’s a mashup!

Death Note Album Cover (Remix an Album Cover***)

What do you get when you cross a Japanese cartoon with an English band? You get a remixed album cover!
DeathnoteAlbum

This cover was created for the Remix an Album Cover remix assignment. This image is a parody of the Gorillaz Demon Days album cover which features all four of the Gorillaz members on a white background facing the same direction. Instead of Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel, I replaced them with Light, L, Misa, and Ryuk from the anime called Death Note. I changed the title of the album from “Demon Days” to “The New World” because in the show, Light and Misa are trying their hardest to create a perfect world free of crime by bringing the criminals to a deadly justice. (Seriously, I love this show!)

I made this album cover in GIMP by taking the original Gorillaz cover and erasing the text and characters. After that I went through a bunch of Death Note clips to find the 4 main characters with a side view, to make it match the original album as much as possible. This was what took me so long because they were always facing the camera straight on in the shot. I fuzzy erased the backgrounds they were in and pasted them in their respective white squares. Hm, I would love to see these 4 in a band, too bad they couldn’t work together since they’d be fighting all the time.

Artificial Intelligence

In an age where artificial intelligence is becoming more and more prominent, we must become weary of those who walk among us. Who is real, and who is a machine? As the decades go by, it will become more difficult to answer this question. Your best friend could be a cyborg and you would never know.

(My blog makes the image seem like it’s squished together. Right click it and choose “View Image” to see the right proportions.)

Artificial Intelligence

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This activity was done for the “For the Remix” assignment. I made this image using a portrait from Jonathan Worth’s website, Creative Commons images of a metal skull and bar code, and GIMP. First I turned the whole image’s color to a silvery-blue to try to mimic the dramatic lighting found in a Terminator movie or something. Then I selected half of his face, cut it away, and pasted it as a new layer. Making it a new layer allowed me to freely rotate the piece without messing up the rest of the face. When I rotated it, I wanted it to look like half of his face was breaking open like a pinata to reveal his metal skull.

The skull was another layer in itself and it was was moved to fit directly under the face layer. The problem I had with this was that the skull was an image that faced directly forward while the face was turned at an angle. I tried to fix this by slightly warping the skull to turn it a bit. The red eye inside the skull was done with a series of fuzzy brushes and Gaussian blurs (to add the glow) Meanwhile the other eye was red to show that there was also a red light behind that part of the face too.  Finally, I added the bar code to his forehead to show that he is just a product; an android that could be bought at an AI industry. (this layer’s opacity had to be turned down to make it look like it was naturally printed into is forehead.)

I had ALOT of fun making this and I was impressed with how it turned out. My first idea was to open his head and inside there was going to be the inside of an apple, symbolizing knowledge. But that would’ve been too easy and I went with something much cooler. I mean, would you rather have a fruit for a brain or an advanced piece of technology that could grant you the power to do unimaginable things? Yeah, I thought so.

Living the Dream (Final Project Idea)

After 3 days of thinking this week, I’ve finally discovered what I wanted to do for the final project! Throughout my 13 weeks of being apart of this class, I believe I’ve mentioned something My Little Pony related a good number of times. I’ve decided that this final project will be no different! Ladies and gentlemen take your seats and prepare to admire the crazy adventures of the fastest, toughest, and most energetic pony in all of Equestria, Rainbow Dash!

Living the DreamPoster

Pretty nice poster huh!

Okay so here’s the plan! I want to make a mashup of Rainbow Dash’s best scenes and have them explain how her determination and spirit brought her to the top of her class. Sort of a zero to hero kind of tribute.

The forms of media I plan to use are audio, design, and mashup. For the design portion, which I already got a jump on, I created a movie poster to advertise the “movie.” I made it in GIMP and used a vectored image of RD looking tough (this image was over 7000 pixels tall so naturally it crashed my weak browser when I opened it,) a picture of her cutie mark to go in her pupil, and a black border to wrap it all up. I also used one of her most known quotes that pretty much sums up her personality. The white background may not seem elaborate, but the video will be the complete opposite.

In the video, there will be multiple clips of RD demonstrating her agility, quickness, determination, and overall awesomness. Along with these clips will be an immense amount of flashy effects to lead her flashy flying moves. Actually there’s this image distortion effect that I’ve been dying to try that makes the video seem “ultra wide screen,” like the screen encases itself by extending farther on both sides (don’t know how else to explain it, but when you see it you’re gonna LOVE it!) There will also be clips of her ultimate idols, The Wonderbolts, the greatest team of flyers in the land and whom she’d do anything to meet and be apart of. The inclusion of the Wonderbolts in the video will remind us what RD is working toward.

For the video’s audio, I wanted to use a fanmade song called “The Wonderbolts Take Flight” by Kristen Cooper. I’m using this song because I personally know Kristen and can get permission to use it without getting sued for copyright or something. Plus this song has just the amount of energy I need without having words. Also, to overlay the music I’m going to have a handful of audio clips from some of the MLP episodes. Since the background music wont have words, you’ll be able to hear them.

As you can probably tell by now, I envy Dash’s courage and wish I could be like her, which is why she’s my absolute favorite pony and deserves an awesome tribute!. It’d also be the perfect way to top off the Ds106 experience.