Archive for July, 2011

ds106: Final Thoughts

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Well, there it is. My last project of the course. Pretty obvious that I’m camera-shy, huh? I had to stop the video a few times to re-gather my thoughts before starting again – I did this for the radio show too, but it was much easier to cover up with just audio.

For once, I don’t think I need a lengthy write-up explaining everything; I said pretty much everything I need to in the video. Bye, ds106. It’s been a blast.

Link’s Busy Day

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

That’s right: I found a way to play video games and do classwork at the same time! (Well, that was my thinking when I started this project. Reality was much harsher; finding the Triforce Chart and killing the Big Octo turned out to be the easy part.)

The description of this project is to “speed up your work day,” but the problem was, I don’t have a work day. The only equivalent I have is school work, and the only school work I had to do was this video. I’d have to make a video of myself making said video, which would create a paradox that could destroy the universe. Clearly, playing video games was the only solution. After all, 1. this is what I do on a typical work day anyway, given that I have spare time; and 2. nobody said it had to be my work day. So I recorded Link’s typical workday/night instead.

What you see is 42 minutes of me playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, sped up x8. Yeah, I know I’ve already done a Zelda-themed project before, but you can never have enough Zelda! Playing with the camera on was kind of a different experience, in that I felt like I had to actually get stuff done. Sure, I go on plenty of side-quests even in this video, to make it more like just your average 42 minutes in the game (which is full of side-quests). But were there no camera, I’d probably have spent 40 of those minutes just screwing around, and 2 minutes actually advancing through the game. Anyways, this is the kind of crap Link has to put up with on a daily basis, from killing sea monsters, to giving jewelry to strangers, to chasing around kids. Really, he’s the legendary hero trying to save the world, and he has to go around chasing kids?

Even after switching to a laptop that – unlike mine – didn’t crash at the slightest provocation, I still had some issues making this. Thankfully, my mother’s laptop has Roxio, so that’s what I ended up using… only to despair when I realized it could only speed up videos x4. I found a work-around, though: I edited a video that was 4x the original, and then edited that video x2. I also added the song Everyday by Carly Comando, because, as I said, this is just a typical day for Link, however un-typical it may seem to the rest of us. I think the song does a good job of portraying that. It’s also just an awesome song. The quality of the video is imperfect in more ways than one; for one thing, I really wish I hadn’t worn a white shirt that day, since it keeps reflecting in the screen. But I’m so glad that it finally exists that I don’t really care all that much.

Also, I wish sailing was really that fast in the actual game.

Video troubles

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I don’t have a video done yet, but I think this deserves its own post. Especially since it’s possible that the video won’t be done ever. Turns out, my laptop’s strange problem that I mentioned earlier was the least of my worries in this case.

So I shot a 42-minute video on my iPhone, the idea being that I would speed it up. I copied it to my laptop, opened Windows Live Movie Maker, and imported it there… and then my laptop crashed. Like, turned itself off. Apparently it had overheated.

Trying it again yielded the same results. Seeing that Windows Live Movie Maker wasn’t working, I went with Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s an incredibly complicated program, and I couldn’t figure out any of it. I actually attempted Windows Live Movie Maker two or three more times before admitting I’d have to figure it out, resulting in two or three more crashes. So after a few hours, I’ve finally figured Adobe Premiere Pro out, and have completed my project on it. I click on “export”, wait for the file to save…

And my laptop crashes. Again.

My laptop has never acted like this before, so I feel like it isn’t what’s wrong here. After talking with Jim Groom about it, I realized the file takes up a whopping 3 GB; he told me to get it compressed to a smaller file size. I go to MPEG Streamclip in order to do just that, and while the file is converting… yup, my computer crashes yet again.

I have a desktop, yes, and that’s much less likely to overheat. It’s also slow as hell; though it’s been updated many times, the fact remains that it was built way back in 1995. Attempting to import my video to it just plain didn’t work. Additionally, no other computer in my house besides my laptop has all of the programs I need to work on this. So I try MPEG Streamclip again, messing around with the settings as much as I can. I also try Adobe Premiere Pro – again, with different settings each time. No matter what I do, it makes my laptop crash. I even downloaded Camtasia, but it doesn’t have the tools I need. Odds are high that it would probably make my laptop crash, too.

Basically, what I thought would be a quick, simple video project has become hell. I don’t think any other ds106 assignment has been this frustrating for me. Fortunately, I got an extension for this, so hopefully I’ll have it up later today. I’m going to see what I can do on my mother’s laptop, which hopefully will not overheat. When/if I post the final project, I’ll mention how I made it – this is a post about how I didn’t make it, after a couple days of trying.

A trip down ds106 memory lane

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Simply put, Windows Live Movie Maker sucks. I don’t want to use stronger language than that, but I would have to if I wanted to describe just how much it sucks. According to the info I found searching the web, it actually has less features than the earlier versions. The hell? It’s completely lacking in features, and the features it does have are totally unintuitive.

I tried downloading the trial version of Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas, but as usual, technology is not on my side – after hours of trying, I couldn’t access either one. So I used Windows Live Movie Maker for the above project, which in part explains why it has so many problems. The timing is poor, and the text is awkward and doesn’t move. The thing is, whenever I tried to fix these problems it ended up creating even more problems. The computer problems I mentioned in the last post are still around, and they’re definitely no help, either. In the end, I just said to hell with it and submitted this.

By the way, after submitting that video – but before finishing this post – I both upgraded Windows Live Move Maker to the superior 2011 version, and might have figured out how to get to my Adobe Premiere trial. So maybe the next video will be a little better. For now, here’s a non-comprehensive compilation of the stuff I’ve made in the past four weeks.

ds106 Recap from David Gurri on Vimeo.

Procrastination and stuff

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Above is the picture for my DailyShoot entry on the first thing to come to my mind when I see the word “deadline”. It’s a blank Word document. If I’m in the middle of working on something, I’m probably pretty confident that I can get it done; the hard part is getting started. Usually I spend far more time thinking about what I’m going to do than I spend actually doing it.

I never turned in a third audio assignment, and at this point it looks like I never will. I kept waiting for a good idea to pop into my head, and it just never happened. It doesn’t help that this is an online class where all work is done on the computer, where there’s plenty of distractions.

At this point, I don’t have time for the last audio assignment, because I’m running up into another deadline: the video assignments. This one is going to really consume my time, especially considering how little I know about making videos. I’ve downloaded all the programs, and I’ve watched (and re-watched) Andy Rush’s tutorial, but it still all confuses me. But that isn’t even the main obstacle in my way at the moment.

Several months ago, my computer started messing up in weird, indescribable ways. After a week or so of this, I took it to Best Buy for help… only as soon as I tried to show them the problem, it started working fine. I took it back home, and it worked fine for a few days. Then it started messing up again. I knew I had an online class soon, so I was really worried about what to do. Then, almost the moment my ds106 class began, the problem went away again. And it didn’t come back; presumably, it was gone for good.

Four weeks later, it’s finally back. And it’s really crippling. Even writing this is difficult – my computer keeps stopping me in order to tab forward infinite times. You’d think my tab key is stuck, except that 1. the problem keeps coming and going sporadically, and 2. the tab key doesn’t even work. Not most of the time. There’s definitely something wrong with it, and it’s probably related to the problem, but it’s not as simple as a stuck key. If only it were.

So I have no idea if I’ll actually be able to make two videos on time, since not only do I have to wait for my computer to stop being a jerk, I have to learn the software from scratch as well. And it doesn’t help that I’ve been procrastinating like crazy on that second part, due in part to letting the confusion basically paralyze me. For now, I guess you could call this a progress report of some kind.

Web Story: Breaking News

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

This worked out slightly better than I thought it would. It’s still not as good as Teddy Broosevelt’s, though; I didn’t realize until I was just about done that he had already done pretty much the exact same thing. Oh well. Great minds think alike.

This was mostly the result of trial-and-error, with emphasis on the error. I messed around a lot with the code for that article before I managed to get the CNN logo up there, and I’m still not entirely sure how I managed to do it. The CNN logo isn’t the only change, though – if you look around, you’ll notice that I changed every single mention of “The Onion” to “CNN”. This is legitimate news now! It’s always funny when people mistake Onion articles for fact; this kind of thing could make said mistake that much more common.


Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I wanted to do this with the Beatles, but alas, most of my music is in a format that Audacity can’t accept. Instead, here’s 6 one-second clips from 6 songs of another band. Try and guess which! It’s even easier than I thought it would be. And I thought it would be pretty dang easy. Maybe I should have made the clips shorter.

I detest hearing the sound of my voice, so that kind of limited my options for audio projects. Maybe it’s something I’ll have to get over, but I draw the line at acting. But anyways, that’s basically why I chose to do this.

Mashup by Nowhereman91

Link Earns Another Item

Monday, July 4th, 2011

<a Zelda sound effect story by Nowhereman91

A Legend of Zelda-inspired sound effects story. Link fights an enemy, kills it, and gets an item for his troubles. I don’t know why killing an enemy (in this case, a Stalfos) makes treasure chests magically appear, but it’s best not to think about such things too hard. All sound effects are from here, except the two musical tracks, which I got from here. It’s really amazing how much effort people put into making sure that absolutely everything in existence can be found somewhere on the Internet. There are sound effects for pretty much every single sound in every single Zelda game out there just in case someone happens to need them.

Learning new image-editing tools was one thing – I was already used to Photoshop, so it was a matter of time before I got the hang of other things like it. Sound editing is a different matter. I have absolutely no experience in this, and basically had to learn everything from scratch. It was a big problem, then, when all of the tutorials were about editing sound created from the microphone, when I was trying to figure out how to put together sounds found on the Internet. I did it, eventually… but it took a while.

Founding Father Troll Quotes

Friday, July 1st, 2011

I feel kind of guilty for doing the same (easy) assignment twice, but I needed to get my last thing done and I needed it done quickly. Not really much to say about this one – it was really simple to make – except that I’m amazed I actually got all 8 of the design/visual projects done. When I got behind I started to think it wouldn’t ever happen. Anyway, enjoy this Patrick Henry quote, attributed to Thomas Jefferson, alongside a picture of George Washington.

I Can Read Forrest Gump

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know when you’ll find a shrimp inside. Wait, huh?

Forrest Gump was actually a book to begin with, but the movie was so much more popular that it basically faded into obscurity. Anyways, I hope it’s clear that a box of chocolates is what’s being portrayed there. For the most part, it’s just a bunch of colored shapes; chocolates aren’t easy to portray in a minimalist style. Most of this was made from scratch, the exception being that shrimp, which I got from Google images.