Technological Twins (Media)

5 pictures + Waldo (3 stars)

Technologies
Devices that Larry owns

The media captures several instances of technology that Larry possesses. The media was found online and the images were strung together into a Flickr album. Waldo was put into the image of the TV, as per required by the Remix aspect of the challenge.

WantedWithMustache
Larry is in need of the latest & greatest devices

Video Game Sound Effects + Make it Pink (6.5 stars)

The sound effects were all obtained from Sound Bible. I combined the sound effects by using Audacity. I changed the times that the sounds played so that it sounded like a scene from a video game, having a character load a shotgun, then firing at some demon. Laser beams then followed suite, potentially killing the demon. The SoundCloud widget was colored pink to honor the Make it Pink remix assignment.

Wanted Poster + Mustache (5 stars)

The poster was created using this wanted poster generator. The poster features high-end devices as being ‘WANTED’. The reward is ‘unlimited’,  as it seems to Larry, but in reality, the devices will become obsolete at some future point. A mustache was added to one of the devices to honor the Mustache remix assignment.

Motivational Poster + The Opposer (5 stars)

The poster was created using this demotivational poster generator. The poster features an image of laptop together with the standard demotivational aesthetic, including a black background and the standard font in all capital letters. The showing of a simple laptop, combined with the text of ‘simplicity’, establishes the notion of the caption. Could someone live with just one device?

19495611
Sam’s only device, his trusted laptop

Technological Twins

Once upon a time, there were two twins named Larry and Sam. Larry loves all sorts of technologies, including computers, TVs, phones and smartwatches! Sam, on the other hand, appreciates technologies, but is not madly in love with them.

Technologies
Devices that Larry owns

Larry lives his life on the bleeding-edge. Whenever a new device releases, he is the first person in line to receive it. His friends call him The Tech Whisperer, as he has an ability to operate all kinds of technologies.

WantedWithMustache
Larry is in need of the latest & greatest devices

Sam, on the other hand, does not live on the bleeding-edge. He lives more simply, having only one device at his disposal. This device is cherished by Sam, as he uses it to actualize his ideas. It is the device of his dreams, and he could never give it away.

19495611
Sam’s only device, his trusted laptop

Along with collecting devices, Larry also enjoys collecting software, most notably video games! He goes through several a week, as there are always new ones available to consume. He especially loves the horror variety, as they keep him on his edge of his seat.

Sam does not play games as religiously as Larry; rather, he spends his time thinking of how to solve the world’s problems with the help of his precious laptop. He shares what he learns with his friends on the internet, and constantly seeks to improve his working knowledge of technologies.

The life of Larry and Sam are similar, yet different. They both are in love with technologies; however, both interact with them in vastly different ways. Larry is always in need of ‘the next big thing’, while Sam is happy with the devices he currently has. It’s hard to say which brother is living a more fulfilling life, as they are both having incredible fun.

In the end, Larry and Sam both lived rewarding lives. Larry became a bit more like Sam, while Sam became a bit more like Larry. It turns out that both brothers worked to help each other improve in areas they were weak in. They both agreed that it did not matter what there current circumstances were, so long as they would make the effort to improve themselves in the long run.

Fast Food of Death

Here is the original assignment.

Step 1 – Acquiring Two Images

To combine two images together, you first must have two images. Find two images that would overlay well together from an online source or from your personal media collection. Below are the two images I acquired.

Windows_9X_BSOD
Blue Screen of Death in Windows 9x
fast-food
Two less-than-healthy burgers with fries!

Step 2 – Acquiring / Opening GIMP

Download GIMP here. Follow the instructions of the site and/or the accompanying installer to install GIMP.

Open GIMP. The interface should appear similar to the image below.

Initial
The initial GIMP interface, composed of toolbox (left), console (middle), and layers (right) sub-windows.

Step 3 – Opening As Layers

In the console, go to File -> Open As Layers. Then, multi-select the images you want to combine (CTRL + left click to multi-select). Select Open.

Open As Layers

Step 4 – Adjusting The Opacity

In the Layers sub-window, select the image you would like to act as an overlay by left clicking the item. Above, you will see an opacity slider. Modify the value from 100 be a value around 50. This has the effect of blending the two images together.

Layers

Step 5 – Moving The Overlay

Adjust the location of the overlay by changing to the Move Tool. Select the Move Tool by clicking on the image of two intersected lines, highlighted in the image below. Once selected, you may drag and drop the overlay to change its location respective to the background image.

Toolbox
GIMP Toolbox

Step 6 – Exporting The Image

Once you are satisfied with the combined image, go to File -> Export As. Give the new image a name, and click Export. A followup menu will appear asking details about the requested quality of the new image. Select Export to save the image.

Export

Conclusion

Here is the image I created during this tutorial. It features the blue-screen of death overlaid on top of an image of fast food. This image depicts human-death as a result of eating fast food. This is parallels when a computer crashes as a result of poor maintenance. 
Overlay

Thanks for reading! Good luck on creating a combined image using GIMP!

How To Be Demotivational

Here is the original assignment.

I used a Demotivational Poster Generator to create my own demotivational poster.

Step 1 – Visit The Site

You will see the following interface. This is the default template for a demotivational poster. The tools on the right side of the screen allow for the toggling and customization of various settings.

Initial
The default interface

Step 2 – Acquire An Image

This will be the centerpiece of the demotivational poster. Download an image online, or acquire an image you have on your personal media.

background

Step 3 – Upload The Image

Do this by clicking Upload Image, located at the top right of the interface. You then select the image from the file explorer of your computer, and click Open.

Upload Image
Uploading an image on Windows

Step 4 – Modify Title & Caption

Do this by entering text into the corresponding fields in the interface titled Title of Poster and Caption.

To see the changes you’ve made, click Update Text, located at the bottom of the interface.

After Upload
Title and caption have been modified

Step 5 – Alter Orientation (optional)

Do this by clicking on the Orientation buttons, located near the top right of the interface.

The option P (Portrait) rearranges the poster to be narrower, while the option L (Landscape) rearranges the poster to be wider.

Portrait
The poster in portrait mode

Step 6 – Modify Font & Colors (optional)

Do this by clicking on the corresponding buttons on the interface. For example, you may turn the standard white font & border colors to red, as pictured below.

The font may be changed by selecting a new font on the Font drop-down. For example, you may change the font from Standard to Army, as pictured below.

Adjusting Settings
Poster with modified font & border colors

Step 7 – Download & Sharing

You are finished editing your poster! Click Share or Download Parody to initiate the download sequence. You must then click Download immediately afterward. You also have the option to share the poster on Twitter.

Download Parody

Conclusion

Here is the final image:

53566932

Thanks for reading! Good luck on creating your own demotivational poster!

Emo Bucket List

Here is the original assignment.

If I were emo, I would do emo things. If I were anyone, I would have a bucket list. Combining the fact that I am emo, and am anyone, I will have a bucket list to complete emo tasks.

  • Convince the President to get an Emover hairstyle.

This task is a must. How cool would it be to see your nation’s leader rocking this sick hair due? Further ideas are to introduce him to black-leather, piercings, and black nail polish.

  • Jump off of a cliff using a black parachute

Parachuting is cool, but if you’re not properly using a black parachute, then there is little chance you will be deemed an A-class emo. Just make sure to bring a black parachute with you next time you go sky diving!

  • Join a band with other emo members

Face it, you’re not a true emo until you have joined an emo band. Play whatever music you like, so long as you pack in a ton of emotion! You will attract many, and receive lots of questions about how you had styled your hair.

  • Write an emo song

There are no limits. Include lyrics about a troubled childhood and inner rage. Be sure to interleave a love story, and don’t forget to talk about self-righteousness.

  • Stop being emo

At some point, leave your emo-ness behind you and enter the world of adulthood. You will have to change your hairstyle, wear brighter clothes, and remove some piercings. There is a whole new life ahead, waiting to be enjoyed.

Process

  1. Create a list of 5 or more must-do items. Make sure to pick things that are related to being emo.
  2. Find pictures that enhance the items on the list.
  3. Write a blurb about each item on the list, and how it has to do with being emo.

Screenshot (5)

Thanks for reading!

Shining Gump

Here is the original assignment.

Movies have created lasting impressions of us. Some scenes are iconic, while others are forgettable. Movies sometimes cross paths, such as when the topic is of a war or humanitarian effort; otherwise, each movie is in a world of its own.

Forrest Gump is an adventurous journey of a man with low intelligence who seemed unlikely to become successful. However, he ends up living an enjoyable life as he astounds those around him. Forrest tells the adventures of his life to people who sit on a bench with him, hence the iconic scene below.

The Shining has become a renowned horror film since its release in 1977. It tells of a man driven into insanity who attempts to murder his wife and kid. Below is an iconic image from the movie:

Imagine Forrest Gump telling his great stories to Jack Torrance from The Shining? It may look something like the image below…

mashup-2

It seems pretty scary to me, but Forrest doesn’t seem intimidated!

Process

  1. Download two images from iconic movie scenes that might go well together.
  2. Load the images into an editing program such as Microsoft Paint.
  3. Arrange the images.
  4. Perform editing, such as air brushing the images to meld them together.
  5. Save the final image.

Capture

Thanks for reading! Enjoy!

The Dinosaur Before Time

Here is the original assignment.

Have you ever gone out to see a new movie, but were surprised to find out that it was similar to one you had seen before? Many movies are created in the image of previous ones, as it is supremely difficult to generate novel ideas.

Released this past week was The Good Dinosaur, a film by Disney Pixar. The film had reminded me of movies I had watched when I was a kid, The Land Before Time.

These movies featured the adventures of kid-dinosaurs through scenarios of drought, migration and more. They were really fun to watch because the tones were lighthearted, although serious at times. The characters each had unique personalities, and each had developed to become a stronger character by the end of the movie.

In The Good Dinosaur, the protagonist (Arlo) reminded me a lot of the main character from The Land Before Time (Little Foot). Both characters are feeble brontosauruses who had a lot of developing to do. They are both swept away into adventure, and both end up protecting their loved ones in dramatic fashion.

Below is a mashup image of the two movies.

The Good Dinosaur / The Land Before Time

Process

  1. Find 2 images online that you would like to combine into 1.
  2. Open up an graphics-editor program such as Microsoft Paint.
  3. Paste both images into the editor.
  4. Re-size / align the images.
  5. Save the newly composed image.

Screenshot of Paint

That’s it! Enjoy!

Reading Movies

I read this article about how to ‘read a movie’.

How does one ‘read a movie’? Basically, you introspect the hell out it. You can mute the audio to more closely examine the video-component, and you can also ignore the video to more closely analyze the audio’s impact on the work.

Keeping notes while watching a film can help when later analyzing it.

Ebert points out that there are many aspects of movies that are constant from the eyes of an expert. This includes the positioning of characters, and how that may affect how they are interpreted (good/bad), as well as the height of the camera with respect to the subjects, which can play toward whether a character is strong or weak.

Many films will have characters situated on certain sides of the screen to reflect their goodness.

Personally, I don’t think directors include scenes just because the protagonists are on one side, and antagonists are on the other; rather, directors think on a higher level, and use routines such as those described above to achieve their goals. I’m sure many practicing amateurs may employ the above techniques with marginal success because they will not have focused on the story-at-large, rather they will have included scenes merely because they have been shown to be effective at conveying ideas.

Watching a movie with others allows for multiple opinions to be had, providing a greater chance to discover something new

Ebert also talked about how he had his students watch movies in an environment where they could interject in the middle of a film to point out an observation they had made. This could help in the ‘reading of a movie’, as many ideas that one person had missed, may have been noticed by another person. Ebert discusses how an audience is made up of many different personalities, and that by having an audience of a sufficient size, you will have discovered most meanings from a film.

Film Clips

Kubrick

The scene was about a minute long, and contained constantly changing scenes. However, each scene was taken with a ‘one-point perspective’, which was basically perpendicular to a 90 degree vertical axis. I learned that shots taken from this perspective are not extraordinary; they are simple shots. They seem to provide for scenes are mundane, with little movement or action. I don’t mean this in a bad way, as many movies require open, resolute scenes, especially after or during an exciting scene, to provide contrast.

The Shining

This scene was also short, and featured scenes from The Shining, all which demonstrated ‘zooming’ of the camera lens. I noticed that when the camera zooms in, you are more likely to associate with the subject it is zooming in upon, whereas when the camera zooms out, you are more likely focus more on the expanding image rather than the subject. In this video, between many of the ‘zoom-out’ shots were ‘zoom-in’ shots of subjects who showed malice or fear. The arrangement was therefore creepy because of all the movement, especially the ‘zoom-in’ shots.

Pursuit of Happyness

I watched a clip from Pursuit of Happiness.

Without audio, the first half of the clip had many camera shots, as the man was in a race to get to a job interview. Having the clipped shots amplified the feeling that this man was late for his interview. Once the man had arrived, the scenes were not longer as fast. When the man went to see the interviewers, the camera actually followed him from the guest lounge all the way to the interview table, in one take. This affirmed that the man had already fought the hardships of reaching the building, and was now in a calm state to perform his interview.

Without video, you can tell that there is a sense of urgency from the music. It is of high tempo and is energetic. You then hear a man entering an elevator, and when it reaches a floor, you hear the man say ‘excuse me, excuse me’, as if in a hurry to get somewhere. The next sounds are of an a woman welcoming a man, then sound of an office environment. There is a lot of commotion in this office, but the commotion is muffled, as if the man is intensely focused and can block out the noise. It takes him at least 30 seconds to get from the welcoming room to the interview room. Once the man arrives to the interview room, the commotion of the office is almost inaudible, as the interviewers begin to ask the man why he is dressed up inappropriately for the interview.

With both video and audio, the scene comes together. The combination of energetic, fast tempo music with a man running through the streets with many camera breaks makes total sense. The man walking calmly through the high-commotion office-environment makes sense as he muffles out their sounds, focused on his interview.

Things I noticed related to the reading: the main character is located to the left side of many of his scenes. To me, this makes sense as he is in a losing battle to arrive to his interview on time, and has the odds stacked against him. Also, the man is always in the foreground, as he is the center of attention during this scene of him rushing to arrive to his interview on time.

Don’t Sweat It

Here is the original assignment.

Our lives are full of stress: deadlines are always approaching, and work still needs to be done.  We feel obligated to complete what we’ve committed too, or else we’d feel terrible having broken that commitment.

We’ve all felt stress before. The rationale is usually of the form: if I am feeling stressed because I am working hard, then the stress is excusable because I will have grown in experience through the hardship. This is not bad reasoning; for example, experts have practiced for many years in order to master their skills. However, sometimes, we try to achieve too much, and the benefit of such endeavors is not worth the stress put in.

I feel it is important for people to know that life is not about continually stressing in order to ‘achieve greatness’; rather, greatness should be perceived from within oneself, without any influence from the external world.

The following video is a public service announcement for everyone to relax and not stress.

Process

To make this video, I used Window Movie Maker. This software can be downloaded to a Windows machine for free by downloading Windows Essentials.

I first downloaded images from google after having typed in “stress”. I also downloaded a video from YouTube about stress by using this site.

I opened up Movie Maker, and dragged the images and video onto it. I rearranged the images and video by holding left click while dragging the mouse.

I added a title and credits slide through the Movie Maker interface by first clicking on a scene, and then going to the Home ribbon tab, then clicking “Title” and “Credits”.

I shorted some of the slides, and added transitions so the slides would fade in/out of one another. I also downloaded a musical track online, and credited it in the credits of the video.

Lastly, I exported the video by going to File -> Save Movie.

That’s it!