Narrative Short Film

The title of the short film I will be analyzing is “You Are Loved.

This five minute video tells the story of a young man with a big heart who wants to make everyone feel loved on Valentine’s Day. The film starts off with the man on the floor, counting money, and then taking a trip to the florist to buy 100 roses.  When he gets to the store, he realizes he doesn’t have enough money and sadly walks away.  In the next scene, he is on the floor again creating origami flowers out of paper.  The camera cuts to a calendar displaying February 14th and follows the smiling young man as he gets dressed up and brings the paper flowers to orphans and elderly women on Valentine’s Day.  He is smiling the whole time and so is everyone else around him.  The film ends with the camera panning out on one of the paper flowers, attached to it is a note that says “You are loved.”

Even though this video is short, it is incredibly moving.  The actor playing the young man brings such emotion to his facial expressions that no dialogue is needed to interpret his mood.  The only song that plays throughout the film is “How He Loves Me,” by The Glorious Unseen, which features simple percussion, guitar, and vocals.  Like the film, the song is simple but full of emotion.

 

Most of the scenes in the film are less than ten seconds long, which keeps the action moving. But the way they fade in and out, and occasionally blur together gives the narrative a slow, gentle rhythm.


An easy way to embed your photos from Flickr

Looking for a quick way to embed photos from a flickr group or set into a webpage that also has a nice user interface? flickrSLiDR may be the solution for you. It shows your pictures in a slideshow format. The configuration page is simple and will give you a block of copy and paste-able code that should just work.


This Photoshop trick may save you a lot of headache…

In the midst of finishing my Phase 3 Photo Essay composite, blending my photos and such, I ran into a dilemma.  I had selected an image in one of my photos that was being moved to another photo but I had forgotten to resize the image first.  In my laziness I went searching for a way I could save the selection without having to go through the hassle of completely re-selecting it.  Lucky for me there is a way to do just that!

After your image is selected, making sure you are on the background layer, simply right click the selection and save it!

Click Save Selection

Resize your image, and then right click and click Load Selection.

Click on Load Selection to load your saved selection

Its a super simple trick but it will save a lot of time down the line!


Inserting animated .GIFs into your website!

If you’re like me, seeing small animated pictures embedded into different websites causes glee and delight. I can never get enough dancing bananas, smileys or embarrassing celebrity moments put to an endless loop.

With the knowledge that our websites must have an animated feature, this quick and easy guide should come in handy when the time comes for you to add such a feature.

First, you should find the animated gif of your choice. There are a ton of great websites out there that have many unique and free gifs, but there are also many more sites that will spam you with messages of congratulations and promises of erectile dysfunction correction. I’ll try to stray you away from such sites.

Gifs.net is one such site and has over 13,000 animated pictures to choose from.

Image

There are handy-dandy categories on the left side, so choose from one that interests you. I’m going to go with something charming, like Beavis portraying the Great Cornholio.

Image

From here, you can either right click and save the image to a location (i.e., your flash drive) or you can choose to upload the image source into your HTML code directly. Go to your open page in DreamWeaver and select insert, and then image.

After that, you can select the animated gif. Make sure the gif is saved to your root directory along with your main page, or you will get an error image on your website.

Now hit enter, and your image should automatically be added to your HTML file. Save your work, then hit the “Put File” arrow to upload the image to your website. If everything worked correctly, you should have an animated gif in your webpage. It’s that easy!


Fun Flash Animation

One way to add some dynamic objects to your web site is by using Flash animation. Essentially, Flash is just a digital version of a flip book, all compiled into one stream of continuous motion. Originally, the majority of animation on the web was created using Adobe Flash. Web sites like HomeStarRunner used vector graphics and Flash to animate entire web shows, which accounted for the majority of their online content.

To begin creating your own animation, the first step is to sketch an overall motion plan for the scene. For the animation to look smooth, you’ll have to create a frame for every small change your object makes. I’ve decided to animate a stick figure man. In my scene, he will kick once, crouch and then leap up and fly away. Start by selecting the brush tool from the tools menu bar on the right and draw your object. This tool is most useful for free form drawing, as it auto smoothes your stroke to make it look more natural (no jagged edges from unsteady hands).

Selecting the Brush Tool

Next, we’ll create a new frame by pressing F6. The newly selected frame contains an exact copy of your first frame, allowing for easy editing and assuring that your object is stationary. One useful tool for building a scene frame by frame is the onion skin tool. It creates a darkened area that corresponds to the previous frame. The rest is fairly straight forward. Continue appending frames until you have a full scene, bearing in mind that the swf file will loop upon completion.

Onion Skin for Preceding Frames

To preview the entire scene (as it will appear in your browser), use the shortcut Ctrl+Enter. This will render the scene and save a copy as an swf file, which can be embedded directly into your HTML code. You can see the entire scene on my personal website.


A Good Reason to Use Box Shadows

I thought it would be cool to have some sweet shadows in my website. So I was looking for ways to add shadows in CSS.  I happened to find this blog experimenting with some ridiculous box shadows.  The post shows 39 different box shadows, everything from a light source shadow to a batman shadow.  You can check them out here… http://www.viget.com/uploads/file/boxshadows/

 

 

The post also explains the basic properties of box shadows in CSS.  All of the box shadows can be made by editing only six different properties: inset, left, top, blur, size, and color.  I thought it was interesting that you could create so many different shadows by using different combinations of the six properties.  If you want to read the post you can find it here… http://www.viget.com/inspire/39-ridiculous-things-to-do-with-css3-box-shadows/.

 

 

Supposedly, you can only view these box shadow effects in Google Chrome, but I was able to view them in Safari.  Unfortunately the post didn’t include a tutorial on how to actually add these box shadow effects to an object in CSS.  So now I will probably be spending my time trying to figure out exactly how to apply some of these effects to my website.


Soundscape

The idea of composing a “soundscape” intrigues me.  More often than not, I find it hard to slow down and appreciate the environment around me, so I cannot wait to take a stab at this podcast. At first I had a hard time picking a location, but after looking up soundscape examples on Youtube I was able to narrow it down. I decided it needed to be a place that you can truly identify with just sound. (To see what I chose, check out the post on my webpage!)

Or if you still need inspiration check out the videos I found:

This first is called “Industrial Landscape.”  In this clip, factory sounds have been recorded and edited to create an industrial percussion.  Occasionally you hear the drawn out horn of a steam boat.  It’s a very ominous but interesting composition.

The second video is called “Pencils.” This clip features amplified noises of writing utensils. It reminds me of that anxious moment when you’re in the middle of an exam but you can’t focus because the person next to you won’t stop tapping their pen/pencil/foot.

The sounds recorded in these videos paint such a vivid picture that you don’t even need to watch the video to know exactly what sound is being recorded.