Gold Squad

For this assignment¬†the task was to create a “find the difference” picture with at least 6 differences by editing things out of a photo.

My inspiration for this was my photography work in which I edit objects and things out of photos all the time to get a polished “perfect photo” look. For example this piece of previous work below comparing a “before and after” of the editing of a photo:

I therefore decided to take a twist on the assignment by editing a photo that I had taken beforehand. I would remove some bigger elements to create differences like the assignment asked and then would go on to do my “perfection” editing where I remove everything I find annoying or distracting within the image to create the best/cleanest photo I can.

I started using Adobe Lightroom¬†to edit the image using Spot Removal Tool which works by specifying a source circle and then a destination circle for the source to be pasted over. You can also speicify “Heal” or “Clone” to determine how the source is pasted over it; whether it is just copied identically or healed/merged into place. The Spot Healing Tool view with my edited circles can be seen in the image below:

lightroom

To perfect the image I also used Adobe Photoshop¬†to finalize some of the editing that I started in Lightroom and to remove some other parts that wasn’t possible with the Spot Removal Tool. I used the Spot Healing Brush Tool to get rid of minor parts since it fills them in automatically and then used the Healing Brush Tool to specify appropriate areas of the photo, position these copied areas over the parts¬†to edit out and then blend them in using the Eraser Tool. My Photoshop Editing screen can be seen below:

photoshop

Here’s the final “Spot the Differences” or “Before and After” photos:

IMG_9196-2.jpg

img_9196-edit

As you can see there are quite a few big differences in the photos as well as the small minor “polishing” changes. The big changes include the guy in front of the door on the right, the guy by the Range Rover on the left, the red car/line in the bottom left and all of the Michael Kors and Dior branding on the shop fronts.

I was very happy with how this photo turned out since I edited it to the point where it is as good as it can be that I actually decided to post it online. For this I re-imported it into Lightroom, square cropped it and re-watermarked it in the new crop before posting it to Instagram as seen below:

I think my finished “before editing” and “after editing” photos shows some of the power of modern computer image editing and manipulation. There has been quite a lot of controversy online over this sort of “extreme editing” with relation to pictures of models/people edited by¬†businesses or the media which set unrealistic standards/goals to society. For example this recent story demonstrates a magazine possibly trying to make a model on the cover look slimmer than she actually is. Another example of Photoshop editing being caught out which I find particularly funny is these North Korean state-published images¬†which most are quite blatantly not real.

Photoshop Gone Rogue

For this assignment the task was to create an animated mosaic about a movie using a single image that then splits up into a grid of 9 different animated GIF images of various scenes in the movie.

My inspiration for this was from the Jaws example on the assignment page and from my last mashup assignment which was Star Wars Rogue One related. Differing to the Jaws example I had thought that the mosaic would be more easily created if it was using a landscape still image for the start as the GIF animations would be landscape orientated shots from the movie. During the thought process for this I also took inspiration from the Jaws example in that the GIF animations would appear momentarily one after another rather than at the same time.

To make this Star Wars Rogue One GIF mosaic I first sourced the starting still image of from this website. I then set about souring the 9  GIF images using the Rogue One Trailer 1 and Trailer 2. I copied this links to these videos and then using GIPHY as seen below specified the start points and duration of the animation which would make the selected part of the video as a GIF image which I could then download.

capture

After I then had all of the images I then set about compiling them together to create the final product. I first attempted to use Adobe Photoshop¬†since this allows the editing of GIFs in Timeline View¬†however this didn’t work out in the end as inserting more than one GIF created ¬†quite a few problems since Photoshop works by making each GIF¬†frame a different layer¬†in the project file. This resulted in hundreds of layers for only a couple of GIFs and meant that to position a GIF each every layer would have to be moved manually since only one layer (frame) is made visible at a time. Another issue was that the background still image layer would have to be manually toggled to visible for every frame in the animation. Some of these Photoshop issues can be seen in screenshot below:

Capture4.PNG

I then decided to move to Sony Vegas¬†instead to compile the animated GIF images with the still image. After importing them into a project file the still image was inserted on the first track on the timeline and then the GIF images inserted on the 9 layers above so they would be overlaid on top of the image. Theses were positioned on the timeline at various points after 1 second of still image to create the simultaneous appearing transitions and the crop tool used to position them in a 9×9 grid. After this white rectangles were created using Photoshop and overlaid to create the outline grid which would mask any gaps in the GIF cropping and be present on the screen at all times like in the assignment example.

Below you can see the Sony Vegas project file with some of the tracks visible on the timeline:

Capture2.PNG

To then make this into a GIF animated image this Sony Vegas project was then rendered as an MP4 video (since Vegas does not allow exporting in GIF file format). This video was uploaded to this website which can be used to convert video files to animated GIF images. Using this online tool the options  as seen in the image below were selected to make sure the animated image plays smoothly in real time and that it is the highest quality possible. I also did re-render and re-convert the video once during the process to cut down on the still image timing at the start of the animation as originally it took too long before the GIF animations appeared.Capture3.PNG

The finished animated GIF mosaic can be seen below:gif-assignment

I think the finished animated mosaic is quite an eye-catching way to view scenes of a movie and definitely takes a couple of¬†loops to view all of the different GIFs that make up the grid. So it could be better if reproduced that the GIF animations were more delayed between each starting or repeated to give the user more time to see what’s going on in them.

I chose this movie for this assignment because I have loved the Star Wars movies ever since I was a kid and particularly like this latest addition to the story-line¬†because of the stunning cinematic shots and use of CGI. For example the top right GIF animated image shows the amazing CGI establishing shot of the movie which rolls just after the titles which I like as it seamlessly drops you into the plot. Through the still image and some of the animated GIFs I have shown some of various troopers within the movie which are of particular interest to me since they are the coolest looking “characters” within the universe and also because I am actually part way through building my own Shock Trooper armour from the third Star Wars movie. On the mosaic there is also some key storyline scenes in some of the GIFs alongside the scenes I liked/am interested in; although there wasn’t much video content online to turn into these animated GIFs because the movie is still very new so the choice was limited. One of my particular favourites is the middle animated GIF scene with the AT-ACT¬†brushing off a rocket fired from one of the main characters Baze¬†as this adds a hint of comedy in the middle of the main battle scene. As of writing this I’ve seen the movie twice already and will probably see it quite a few more times. During the second time of watching I was keeping an eye out for the scene shot in Canary Wharf Underground Station but still missed it!

The Dark Side

For this assignment the task was to create a mashup of two iconic movie scenes. It was said that we should aim to be as subtle as possible with the mashup image.

When viewing the assignment page¬†I thought that the main¬†given example¬†simply puts the “Wilson” ball from the movie Cast Away¬†as a second moon onto a minor scene from the 5th¬†Star wars¬†movie. So this main example isn’t exactly meeting the assignment brief with using iconic scenes. So on viewing another example of what someone had previously done for the assignment which also wasn’t fully meeting the brief I was given inspiration from their work to create a mashup which also had a different take on the assignment.

Their assignment work which inspired me can be seen here on their blog and as the image below simply took a Range Rover and placed it onto the moon.

moon
Image created by Emily Atkins as seen here.

When I read the description of their finished mashup on the assignment page before I saw it I had pictured something different in my mind to what they had actually made. This inspired me to use their idea as a starting point to create a better mashup like I’d first imagined upon reading this example where I would place a Range Rover or other 4×4 vehicle into a Moon scene and then possibly add in a couple of other elements around it.

I started by gathering the first two images for the mashup which were a photo of a Brabus 700 Mercedes 6×6 ¬†from here and a photo of the Moon’s surface from here. These can be seen below:

I opened both of these images within Adobe Photoshop¬†and began to blend them together using the Magic Wand tool, Quick selection tool and Eraser to remove the background of the 6×6 image. I then used the black and white adjustment layer to remove the sand colour from the shadow and window since the moon is monotone.

I then gathered some more images to put into the background of the mashup image to give it some movie relation for the assignment and to make it more interesting to viewers. I felt that the space theme and menacing looking Brabus 6×6 lent themselves to relation to the evil characters (dark side) in Star Wars. I gathered an image of a star background from here, an image of the Death Star from from here, and image of an ATAT from here and an image of a Death Trooper from here. These can be seen below:

I then inserted these into the Photoshop file to blend into the mashup. The star background was placed over the moon scene and was erased until it just covered the black “sky”. The death star was scaled down, placed in the top left corner and the opacity was reduced to make it blend in with the “sky” more. The background of the ATAT image was then removed using the quick selection tool and then scaled down to be positioned near the horizon.

The death trooper image was then positioned next to the 6×6 and scaled to be appropriately size in comparison to it. To make it look realistic I then created a shadow¬†by selecting the area of the trooper and on a new layer filling in this area with the paint brush tool to get a silhouette. This was then positioned, scale, angled¬†to the same degree as the 6×6 shadow with the perspective transform tool ¬†and the opacity reduced which created a realistic shadow effect.

Using the paint brush I then added a white highlight to the right of the trooper and death star to add even more realism by making them fit with the scene lighting and also used dark grey to cover the 6×6 number plate since I wanted the finished image to be as good as possible.

The finished mashup can be seen below:

mashup-assignment

I’m quite happy with the result of the mashup and while the image is obviously not real or subtle I think that the cleanliness of the Photoshop adds to the effect that it “could be real” as you can’t see where I’ve cut out the images and that they have been blended¬†well. Looking at the finished image it also reminds me of a car advert¬†with the perfectly lit and central car¬†and the other elements engaging viewers into looking at it. (Also slightly somewhat related to the Nissan Star Wars Advert)

I also tweeted the finished assignment to the DS106 participant that inspired me to create this!

 

Exploring London 28/01/17

For this assignment I had to create a video of the a “day in my life” which meant filming what I did or what happened during a particular day and editing it together into a video.

When thinking about this task I took inspiration from the YouTubers Casey Neistat and Sam “SeenThroughGlass” (who I ended up seeing while filming). When Casey used to create daily vlog¬†videos I would find that his cinematic shots, especially the use of timelapses along with his general fast-paced editing style would make the videos engaging and fun to watch. I also wanted to take inspiration from his “intro sequence” to his daily vlogs where he would simply write the video location and date over the a particular shot. With Sam’s videos I take inspiration from the cinematic shots he uses to break up his vlog style shots since he always uses interesting camera angles and shots.

casey
Screenshot example of Casey Neistat’s opening sequence from¬†this video.

When thinking about the video I wanted to create I had a few ideas of what I wanted to include: Firstly I didn’t particularly want to include myself talking to the camera since I don’t like doing it but instead use point-of-view shots to add a personal feel that it is of my day. This meant I would have to edit the cinematic shots to music as the assignment suggested to engage viewers while using interesting camera shots/angles to get the viewers attention.

To film the video I would be using my Samsung S4 phone, a GoPro Hero 4 and a Canon 700D camera which would potentially pose some issues with differing video looks and video quality. However I felt that this differing quality wouldn’t matter since the video was about making the video to show the content/story and not necessarily to make a polished flawless product. For example on many social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram & Snapchat it’s more important to users to make a bad quality post rather than not to post at all. For example how Casey Neistat keeps filming and uploads it when his external microphone breaks even though the sound quality is worse like in this video or adds in phone shots like in this¬†vlog since it’s better to have the worse shot to make up the story rather than leave parts out because it’s not as high quality. Alongside this something about creating the video which would be difficult for me to do would be making the video solely out of video footage filmed over that one day (since I was doing other things rather than just focus on filming) and also to edit using the footage in roughly the same order it was filmed to create a logical story throughout the video which is not something that I usually do.

During the day while filming it was slightly tricky remembering to try and film every single thing; especially in front of other people in the street when “aimlessly filming” my surroundings. I think I managed this to an extent as I took quite a bit of footage however it would have been useful to have recorded more so that there was better choice during the editing.

For the edit of the video I mainly used Sony Vegas Pro 12 but however used Adobe Premiere CS6 for the editing of some of the timelapse sections. I¬†started out by importing all of the video clips into Vegas and began putting the first few onto the timeline. After the first few I placed the intro scene using a timelapse clip that I sped up using the rate stretch tool¬†in Premiere, added text over it and then went in search of a piece of music which could be faded in here for the rest of the video to be edited to. This chosen song was “Seinabo Sey – Pistols At Dawn (Lucian x Mickey Valen Remix)” which I’d heard before in this video¬†and was good since it has quite regular beat/vocal changes which can be edited to. After this was inserted then I dragged the other video clips on the timeline and set about editing them together using a variety of tools such as the orange markers for positioning important cuts, trim tool for resizing clips and fade tool to fade between clips. Some of the video audio was then muted while some was isolated and increased in volume to make it audible above the music.

To create the best video possible I then set about stabilising (where possible) and colour correcting some of the video footage to make sure it looked as good as possible. Some of this colour correction was done using the standard “Sony Colour Corrector” plugin while some like the example below was done with the more advanced Magic Bullet Looks plugin.

 

colour-correction-exampleScreenshot of the video before (left) and after (right) the colour correction process.

Visible below is the finished Sony Vegas project file for the video which shows all of the used clips and editing within the timeline:

Timeline.PNG

 

Embedded below is the finished video assignment:

Shapes of Stories

Using Kurt¬†Vonnegut‚Äôs ideas about outlining the shape of stories through visuals and after taking inspiration from Maya Eilam’s work I created the following image:

 

Jurassic-Park.png

 

This image represents the basic plot of the movie  Jurassic Park  and was created in Adobe Photoshop using images sourced online (and linked below:)

Image References:

 

Also an example of a “Social Media Story” is the recent video by YouTuber PewDiePie¬†after he released a video saying he would delete his YouTube channel if he reached 50 Million Subscribers. Since publishing this video the “story” of his potential quitting has gone somewhat viral online with various news companies covering the story (as can be seen in the image below) and much conversation about it over social media platforms. I would call this a¬†“Social Media Story” since it is about the social media platform YouTube and also since the story is unfolding online and being talked about solely online and mainly through other social media.

Pewds.PNG

5 Card Flickr Story – The Journey

For Unit 3 we had to create a 5 Card Flickr story which is a story based upon 5 randomly picked images from the Flickr tag. The images for my story were picked using this website and can be seen below:

5-card-flickr

 

The story I have created for them is:

“Life is all about the journey; going places; seeing things. Most of my journeys consist of the long drive to work made painfully slow and uninteresting by traffic queues. Everyone else in the same boat as me getting to their destination metre by metre; longing for open road in front of them to complete their drive. Instead all they have is the open blue skies above them in the stationary traffic gazing up and not wanting to look ahead; the other cars around fencing me in. No way out but forward.”

You can view my story on the website here!

You can view my tweet about my story here!

*I’m not very good at creative writing so the story probably sucks*