Posts Tagged ‘Visual Assignments’

Our Top 5 Sidekicks

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The goal of this assignment was to identify a type of archetype in TV shows/movie and represent it in a quick video. I believe that sidekicks are poorly represented. They are neglected, forgotten, and taken advantage of, yet, without them the story would not be as rich. What’s Batman without Robin? Simon without Garfunkel? So, I wanted to pay tribute to the sidekick.

The Process:

I downloaded the video clips from da Youtube. I did not want just smash a bunch of clips together and call it done. Rather, I wanted to create a dialogue. Next, I added a music clip to add a bit of drama. Overall, once I had my vision and the clips I wanted to use, it was a snap!


Don’t Try Too Hard

Sunday, February 12th, 2012


I have never heard of the demotivational poster meme before I saw this assignment. This assignment was easy once you found the right site like this one. My goal was to take a traditionally valued quality and turn it on its head.  

Despair, Inc. is a nifty site and is super user friendly. This site enables you to upload images straight from your computer and type into a prefab template.

I selected a photo that I took over the summer. My favorite part of ‘old school’ motivational posters were the National Geographic quality photos. They always featured a stunning shot of some type of wildlife juxtaposed with some insipid catchphrase. So instead of cliche I made it real.

Cat Nap

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Like the rest of ds106, I participated in the Fat Cats Make Better Art Assignment.  However, to be fair, I did start this assignment last Tuesday when fellow ds106 pioneer Annie posted it. And to be fair I never touched any photo editing software before, ever. And to be fair, just telling someone to alter layers is not actually helpful (darn you Photoshop tutorials from hell!).

Thanks to Alan, and his GIMPing Layers tutorial I was able to figure out a few of the techniques I had been struggling with, like copying and pasting the cat straight onto the original art work. It was so easy and yet soooo difficult.

The Process:

I did cheat and uploaded the image to Picnik first. I needed to resize the image smaller so it would not look like Cat Godzilla napping on some girl’s poor back. Next, I added the ‘Dots and Dots’ filter in order to make the cat look more like an oil painting and less like a digital photo (which it is). I am sure Gimp has these tools too, but I already sent days playing with the program and I just needed to admit defeat.

On Gimp, I used the magical lasso to cut out just the cat’s head, front paws, and a portion of its back. Next, I click on Select -> INvert -> and then Cut. Then like magic the background and the rest of cat disappeared!

Since I already manipulated the image of the cat in Picnik I only needed to move him into the perfect spot. Then Bam! Fat cat takes a nap on art.

Overall, this is not one of the more successful conceptualization of this assignment. Some example of really cool fat cat art can be found here, here and here. And I cheated too. However, completing this assignment marks my triumph over a long struggle with Gimp. So there.


Tuesday, February 7th, 2012



The goal of this assignment is to take a photo that can be chopped up, rearranged, and formatted to tell a story. I wanted to tell the story of two lovers (re)encountering each other.

The Process:

I took this photo while hiking on a very bright afternoon. First, I used a black and white filter to suggest a dream-like narrative. I altered the exposure on the image of the trees to create the ‘tension’ of a nightmarish state. Last, I used the cropping tool to focus on different aspects of the photo. All of this was accomplished with simple editing tools featured on iphoto.

I used the tool Chogger to achieve the comic book feel. However, finding Chogger was my biggest challenge. When I first approached this assignment I knew I want to use PikiStrips but I soon discovered that site is down. Boo PikiStrips. However, I persevered aka used the Google till I stumbled upon Chogger. This site requires you to register for an account but it is freeeeee.

After I register I clicked the green ‘Build A Comic Now’ Button.

 This brought me to its main set up page.


To add images you can either draw one into the white boxes, take a photo from your webcam, or upload a photo from you computer. I already had my altered images to use so I clicked on the ‘upload’ button. I did not like the size of the default boxes but thankfully Chogger enables you move, add, and delete boxes, so did not have to distort my images.


This is where it gets tricky. After you publish your comic its filed away into Chogger’s database of doom (think of a less organized Flikr). To find your photo again you will have to search its title. In addition, there is no explicit embed feature but you can just grab the image straight from the site.

Let me know what you think! For those of you who are curious about the original assignment, check out the ds106 site under visual assignments!