Last weekly summary!

  1. Links to tutorials and final story
    1. Visual, 4 1/2 stars
    2. Video, 4 1/2 stars
    3. Video 4 stars
    4. Design 4 stars
    5. Audio 4 stars
    6. FINAL STORY
  2. What I’ve learned because of this class:
    • So my mental image of this class was that it was going to be either some easy blog where you post stuff and get an easy A OR it was going to involve a ton of technological stuff and artistic stuff, both of which I struggle with immensely. But it turns out DS106 fell right in between. In it I learned so so much. It was a fun blog experience but it was harder than just a website. First it was setting up a website. Who knew how much effort would be put into that? Then it was learning how to capture interesting photos and how to create a story for the media instead of just “here’s a photo”. I learned to think of a story first and then create my media. Then it was learning how to use all these different apps: Photoshop, Audacity, Movie Maker, Vine. I even learned how to download a new app onto my laptop! Then I learned about design and why big businesses make the designs they do involving text and color and spacing. After that I learned about how effective audio stories are and why they are better than television and reading: you don’t have to make an effort like reading but get to create your own image unlike TV. I learned about Foley sounds and got to study movie techniques that I didn’t even knew were a thing. I’ll probably never be able to watch Kubrick or that Joker scene the same again! I learned how to take pictures and make audio stories and use sound effects and make my own movie. These are things I wouldn’t have known how to do without this class. And an even more basic thing: I learned how to use a laptop. Before this class all I used my laptop for were research, papers, Netflix and sometimes social media. That’s it. Now I know how to save files and Photoshop and I have all these apps to fuel my creative side. And even more than this, I learned that I can still be creative. I used to be in the creative writing club and have a journal full of half made stories. I thought I lost that. I thought I was all logical and no creative. But this class gave me a vessel that I could write through. This class grabbed that little piece of creative story telling in the back of my brain and yanked on it so hard that now all I want to do is write.
    • So yes I learned a few things. I have learned things about visual, audio, design and video. I have also learned more than that. I have learned more about computers and technology. I have learned more about myself. And honestly I am going to miss this class. Honestly I wish I took it for a whole semester so I had more time with it, more time to develop my skills and more time to prove myself to not only the professor who helped me so much but to the whole class and ultimately the whole world. So I’m not sure if I did this reflection right because it is so much different than the last four, but this is me laying everything out on the table.
    • Final project reflection:
      • So thinking of the character is what took up the most time. I knew I had to think of a story first and a fitting character so I looked at the story first. A lot of people liked my dog stories but my dog was at the groomers all week. A lot of people liked my creepy stories but I wanted to change it up. I did a few and even though they all got compliments more than any other story, I was tired of feeling like I was telling the same story over and over. So I thought, “I need a twist and a new style”. Poof I got it. Of course I got a few ideas that I used even though thinking back I am sure I have seen or read some of them before and subconsciously used them. But I got a human girl. That’s relate-able. What is the twist? Ah yes, I saw a Missing Person poster in the assignments. Oh and Spooky Sounds? Perfect. I looked through the assignments to see what would fit my story. Then I tried to think of a story that wasn’t written like all the others but still pulled people in. So I made it in the style of a letter and tried to use the five senses to appeal to the audience. I need a twist. So I thought, she’s missing but let her find herself. Ah yes very deep. Now onto doing the actual assignments. The gifs took FOREVER. I had to have my sister film me and that slowed me down. I tried to keep my face out as to add to the mystery of the story. Then I made my missing poster which was super fun. Then the audio, which was similar to my past audio but this one was progressive in threatening sounds. And longer. The key wasn’t as I imagined but I don’t own a skeleton key. Sorry. I also tried so so so hard to memorize sign language so I could do my own video but that was just impossible to do in a few days.
      • Overall: I was surprised at how easy it was to do these four star assignments and at how little time it took! The weeks before were such a struggle that they had to have prepared me for this. Honestly most of the time spent was on brainstorming and picking out the assignment ideas. Not the actual assignments themselves. Which made me super proud. When I would get stuck I would think about if I was ever in that position the past four weeks and figure out a way through it.

 

The Key

Dear New York Times,

Hey there, my name is Paige and for a long time I believed I was just another ordinary woman that nothing interesting ever happened to. I lived a normal life up until my mother died when I was just starting college. We weren’t very close after my father left us so it wasn’t as traumatizing as it should have been. I am a psychology-major-turned-RN and I take care of this elderly woman named Mary. She lives in this huge creaky house by herself since her husband died in his favorite rocking chair upstairs. She refuses to leave the house and go to an elderly home because apparently she “feels him there” or something like that. I’m still working on my sign language. Oh yeah, Mary is deaf and mute but can read lips perfectly. Thank goodness. I took up sign language just for this job but all I can really do right now is somewhat read sign language and carry around a dry erase board. It’s okay though because we don’t really need to communicate much. We understand each other pretty well for strangers. Maybe our personalities are just similar?

So this is my job: I make the bed, do laundry, prepare meals, run a bath, and dole out medication as needed. Not in that order. There are some fun things we do, like pick flowers or watch something in black and white or bake sweets. But mostly I am just a house nurse. And because we don’t talk, the house is always quiet. Well… not exactly.

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Okay so this house is terrifying. The husband’s office upstairs makes endless noises throughout the day and Mary doesn’t own a cat. It goes from creaking to stomping to it almost sounds like… a rocking?

Now I’m a woman of science so to me these noises are just an old house settling. But the house settling almost sounds… unsettling. It doesn’t matter anyways, I NEED this job. So, out of curiosity, one day I decide to take a peek into the office while Mary is downstairs watching her shows. I swear my heart was pounding so loud I thought she could feel it through the floorboards! As soon as I touch the knob, any and all sounds go completely silent. Like the knob is some off switch. I scurry away because I find that the door is locked and there isn’t much I can do. As soon as I reach the end of the hallway the noises continue. I book it downstairs.

The very next day the craziest thing happens! I had to rub my eyes to make sure I saw it correctly. I was preparing breakfast for Mary and a freaking key slides right up to me! Right there! At the table!

I reach out to grab this phantom key and feel a shock go up my arm. It’s freezing. The key must have been from inside a freezer or something because it didn’t have an ounce of warmth to it. Looking at this key I knew exactly which lock it belongs to. So I wait until Mary is in the living room eating her toast and eggs and then I creep up the long winding staircase. With every step my heart beats faster and faster and my blood runs cold. By the top of the stairs the amount of sweat on me must have seemed like I ran a marathon. I reach the office and the room goes quiet.

I walk in cautiously, glancing around so much my eyes blur. Straight ahead of me is a wall covered end to end with missing person flyers and baby photos. I am so confused because they all pretty much look the same. I walk up to the wall slowly and hit my foot on the rocking chair. The impact gives me goosebumps and I freeze. The creaking it makes sounds just like the creaking I hear downstairs! I look back up to stand face to face with the biggest non-ordinary shock of my entire life. My eyes go wide and mouth goes dry as I read:

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This baby… is me. How do I know this, when most babies look like hairless aliens? The birthmark. It had to be the same exact birthmark between my eyes. Had to be. The amount of thoughts racing through my head were absolutely countless. Is it me? Why is this here? I knew I always looked different than my mom but… could I have been… stolen?

I rip the flyer off the wall and run downstairs to Mary. With tears in my eyes I hold up the flyer right next to my face. She looks extremely confused at first and slowly her face changes to joy. The older lady’s eyes water as she starts to silently cry. “You are beautiful,” she signs. A tear slips down my cheek as I reach to embrace my mother.

Upstairs my father’s old rocking chair rocks to a stop. His signs have been understood for the office never made another noise again.

-Paige Penelope Peters

A haunting key appears. But what is it for?

I did the Moving Object assignment again just because I wanted another reason to use Vine and because I like the spooky effect it makes. Here is a key that appears to Paige to unlock a lot of secrets. Next up: the final project! So tune in!

So this tutorial will be similar to the one I did before, since this is my second time doing the Vine assignment.

First, of course, bring up Vine. Click the little camera next to the three dots in the top right corner.

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Next, just hold your finger down to record whatever you want.

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Save and upload it to Vine! Then on your laptop you can go to Vine and save your creation there.

Spoiler Alert

I knew what I wanted my plot twist to be for my final project and I thought I was going to have to make my own assignment for this, but luckily I found Missing Person. We have all seen a missing persons ad, as sad as that is. So this assignment was pretty simple to do.

First break out the Photoshop. Add a HUGE “Missing” title to grab the attention of many.

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Add a layer then add the characteristics of the missing person.

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After that, add another layer and find a free picture of some random baby on Google that fits your description. Make sure to resize it so it fits the canvas properly.

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Then you can add a fancy “Have you seen me?” that is often under the photo to switch up the text.

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If you have problems with the layers, just lock the layers you are done editing! Save and upload!

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Paige the psych student life in 5 gifs

(Heads up: apparently I have ugly hands and can’t make a bed.)

Anyways, this isn’t about me, this is about Paige the psych-major-turned-RN. She is my main character for my final project and as a RN these are her duties: laundry, making bed, doling out medication, making meals, and bathing her patient. Not in that order.

So first you need to record on your phone (or other camera) whatever you want to capture.

Then you need to upload your recording onto Youtube.

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Once it is on Youtube, you can get the link and paste in into the Browse box on GIPHY.

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Once you put the link into the Browse, it will automatically load the video.

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After it loads, you can make the loop as long or as short as you want, as well as change the start time.

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Then when you are finished editing, you can create your Gif!

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When it is finished loading, you can right click and save as!

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A sneak peek into Paige’s life!

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My sign is a Cancer. Oh you meant sign as in language? OK.

Signing Words was a pretty straightforward assignment. I myself tried so desperately to learn how to sign these words but when it took me 45 minutes just to remember the first two (and shortest) words I reached out to my sister. My sister likes to learn languages for fun, and sign language just so happens to be one of the few languages she is learning on Duolingo (something like that). And since the assignment said “take a video of yourself or someone else” to finger spell some words, I figured why not ask for help? Even if it involves swallowing my pride to let my 11 year old sister help me.

So another main character of my final project story is the old lady, Mary. Mary is deaf so she knows sign language and signs out what my sister here signed. Can you guess what it is? If not, stay tuned to my final final project! The story will reveal all!

First I simply opened up my Movie Maker app that came with my laptop.

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Then I had my sister take my place, showed her how to record and stop, and left the room so she wasn’t nervous.

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She signed out the words and then I saved and uploaded the video to here!

Spooky sounds Part Two

So I decided to make my final project creepy so I did Spooky Sounds which is similar to the Sound Effects Story I did before, but this one is specifically spooky! Only thing I really did differently this time was I remembered how to actually do this assignment, I made it over a minute long, and I made this one go with the story: the sounds match the story itself instead of just random creepy noises.

So first I went to Freesound

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Then I opened up Audacity

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Next I looked up all the spooky noises I wanted for my audio and downloaded them

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Lastly I copy and paste all of the sounds into one track and save it

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All together, I got this for my final project (creaking, stomping, and a rocking chair).

 

What better way to tell a story than through movies? #VideoWeekRules

So I thought this week was going to be a little nerve wracking because I hate being videotaped even more than audio recorded and then realized I had options. I even had fun with the background/practice assignments: to read Ebert and then analyze movie scenes. How fun is that? Even the column was about movies and I could easily relate it to psychology. I did have some problems with reflecting on the Ebert column but I’ll get to that later.

Tuesday I did a whole lot of work because I was going on vacation that upcoming weekend and knew I wouldn’t have much time to focus on my assignments. I did my first Daily Create for the week. It was super easy and fun and I even had to show my sister how to do it so she could go make her own C64s. The only challenge here was finding a picture that was the size I needed.

I then did that difficult-to-reflect-on Ebert assignment. I just didn’t know enough about the video techniques he was talking about prior to the assignment, which lead to some researching. Now usually researching is pretty simple, however, this time I kept finding different answers for every video technique! Eventually I just went with the things I understood and reflected on them. I also loved to connect them to psychology because how educationally funtastic is that? I get to use my psychology knowledge in a computer science class! I did get a compliment on my reflection and that always boosts my confidence in my work. The feedback was about how I should connect more assignments to psychology in the future because it makes the post more interesting. Shout out to the commenters! I also chose the first three movie scenes/techniques to watch because I love Kubrick and Tarantino but they were so cool to watch I watched them all!

Notes I took after writing my first reflection for the week:

“I feel like I was all over the place for this reflection. I had so many things I wanted to say at once and it was hard to organize my thoughts on the post while conveying what I was thinking properly/effectively. I tried to be honest in my opinion and when I read over it, it felt like I came out short. I also tried to tie this into my major because I feel like it is a psychological experience to have your mind tricked/frightened or to be pulled into a movie for a realistic experience. Personally that is what makes a good movie. To be pulled into a movie and invest in characters and cry when a character cries, feel the whole range of emotions. Scream at the movie, laugh at something, even mentally connect with a character.”

Next I chose the Joker movie scene and analyzed the video. I liked this part even more than the Ebert column because I just had to focus on one movie scene. I chose the Joker scene because I knew he was a complex character and that his character was phenomenally portrayed. Heath Ledger was brilliant. This assignment made me realize what all I understood from the Ebert assignment: colors, foreground vs. background, dominance, and angles. (Probably more but these ones were my favorite.) I was also confused on how a person standing/moving in a certain direction is supposed to subconsciously convey if they are favorable or not. And I was confused on the difference between tilting and moving in a diagonal so I had to research those as well, to little avail. I was also extremely proud of myself for remembering the techniques I did because I can promise you that I didn’t even refer back to the original column.

Then I tried out my first assignment and for as simple as it looks, it gave me hell. Yes it was my fault for trying too hard to make the slideshow a story instead of just random pictures, but boy what research. If I ever actually go to Italy or Japan I am officially ready with ideas on activities and food. That’s how much research I put into this one assignment. Youtube also decided to shut down on me twice and therefore had to redo my movie twice. Then I couldn’t get the movie on my website for the life of me so I just put the full movie back onto Youtube and uploaded it onto here. Overall took me almost 3 hours to do.

Notes I took after the first assignment: “I tried a different story style this time. I liked last weeks italics but this post felt different, like my story was to sell my movie. So there’s a story for the movie but because this assignment is about a place I want to go I made the story future tense. I also say “we” as to include the reader. I feel like I did this in a weak way because it wasn’t my usual present tense style but I worked really hard on order and the activities/food. I also realized afterwards I should have put the food in with the activities themselves but my OCD got the better of me and wanted to keep the 5 activities and 5 food ideas separate in the movie, possibly for a comic effect. (Ooo pretty scenery. Oh and food?)”

I also made my first two comments on other blogs:

Wednesday I did my second Daily Create and I actually learned something from this one; what my face looks like when I get annoyed or whatever, and that it isn’t a pretty sight! Geez!

Then I did my second assignment, which I had a lot of fun with! I learned how to use Vine and that I don’t always have to use Youtube to upload assignments. I also learned that if I want to embed something onto my website I need to “Share” a piece of work instead of copy the embed link. I also got some leg workout from running up and down the stairs haha. I also enjoyed making the stop motion movie because some of my favorite movies as a kid were stop motion clay-animation! (Nightmare Before Christmas is a big one) So it was pretty cool to try that for myself. And increasingly annoying because of the need to move the object just a little, record and repeat 10 times. (I never said I was patient).

Thursday I did my third Daily Create and had a lot of fun with it! I had to find and explore my new fancy Paint app and that was surprisingly easy. It also took me a few tries to make my continuous line art but ended up pretty happy with it! I couldn’t figure out a way to make the ground area so I just stuck with the sky. I was also pretty proud of myself for coming up with an idea so fast!

Friday I did my last Daily Create. This was cool because I have never looked up a map on my laptop before, only my phone. I also got the chance to use paint again and it wasn’t as fun as my continuous line drawing… but still pretty fun. Except I couldn’t figure out how to crop it… Oops! I also did it in the morning so the only place I really was was my home and breakfast with my friend! But I wasn’t about to put my address on the internet haha.

Looking back I am really disappointed in myself this week. I feel like my work and reflections weren’t as strong and weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. This idea in my head was challenged by Ira Glass when he told his audience to not give up on our audio stories just because they aren’t what we imagined in our heads. I took this into consideration and figured, hey, I am still learning here. This is week one of video and I have all the time in the world to perfect my video skills. Thank you Ira Glass.

I also feel as if I have learned a ton about how to use a computer in general (plug-ins, downloads, saving things, files). I have also learned how to edit photos, audio and movie scenes on a plethora of different apps/websites (Vine and Paint this week).

I also gave feedback on other blogs basically asking them why they chose to do what they did. I guess I could blame this on my love for psychology! Again.

You can call me Picasso

So I decided to draw this because I was in the car when I read the assignment and looked outside and the first thing I saw were the storm clouds. Of course this wouldn’t be much better if it wasn’t a continuous line buuuut I never claimed to be an artist! If anyone would like my autograph please hand over 100 bucks.