Story cubed

The other week on Twitter, constant source of ds106 inspiration Amy Burvall shared this video:

I had blogged about Guernica before, in an attempt to analyze it as a story. This video brings more depth to the painting, by analyzing the imagery and telling the backstory. The poetry in the lyrics does a lot of work to make the story concise yet detailed. In a way, we have a story cubed: the painting is a story, and there is a story behind that story, and the song presents a story that brings those together and extends it.

I love the way the video literally dissects the painting, separating out elements and applying a Ken Burns effect to it. I’ve played a little with this kind of technique in the past but never to this extent. It’s a great example of using art to make more art.

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Digital patches

Today’s Daily Create said to “Make some digital sashiko.” Sashiko is explained as a way to repair clothing and in the process make it more beautiful. If we were to interpret this metaphorically, as something digital, what could it be? The possibilities are endless. I thought about repairing something digitally, then I thought about digital patches…

Patches is a classic Clarence Carter song:

So I wondered how to make that digital in some way. I know there’s this thing called “chiptune” but I don’t really know what it is. Could I convert Patches? Various tutorials looked a bit convoluted, but it looked like the first step was to convert to midi. I did that online with BearAudio which turned it into noise. Then I looked for a way to convert midi to chip tune and went with Online Sequencer. What came out was pretty bad, but I can kinda hear the song in there, sounding like a cheap knockoff R2-D2 at karaoke night:

Oh, I can still hear Papa’s voice sayin’
Patches, I’m dependin’ on you, son
I’ve tried to do my best
It’s up to you to do the rest

Was it worth it? I doubt my Online Sequencer output will ever be of any use, but now I know a way to convert to midi, and I know there’s an online sequencer. I tried to do my best. It’s up to you to do the rest.

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What Would Bob Do?

I have loved the Godzilla Haiku since I first found it way back when, so I was overjoyed when I saw someone had made it a Daily Create. My contribution is completely lame of course, because I always end up counting syllables more than making poetry. And it’s the poetry that makes the haiku.

I also remembered that there was an artist who took landscape paintings and added pop culture characters to them who had some Godzilla pictures. I’ve thought about buying one of his prints and using it to replace the painting that came with my house. The sizes aren’t quite right so I’d have to cut a new mat though.

In looking for Godzilla landscape paintings I also found a nice Thomas Kinkade/Godzilla mashup. I wonder what Bob would make of these.

Even better was this brief Joy of Godzilla Painting video:

It really could use a Bob Ross style voice over. I can just hear him saying “Everyone needs a friend” as the second monster gets sketched in.

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The deadly hands of ds106

Today’s Daily Create prompt was to wear your flag on your hand. My flag is ds106, so:

If I was smart I would have clicked through the link on the TDC page to @cogdog’s write-up, because he had some great tips, as usual. When we play with images in week 4, understanding layer masks may come in handy.

But instead of being smart I had it in my mind to make an animated GIF. I made a video of my hand with my phone. I used the Import Video Frames as Layers function in Photoshop. This gave me 20 frames/layers, so I deleted every other one. I took a screenshot of the logo on, and pasted that in on a new layer. I went through some different layer blending modes and settled on Multiply, I think. I had to move it and scale it to fit, and then it was good enough.

I like Cogdog’s mask & opacity strategy, and wonder if that might have made it look better. I think I would have had to do it for each frame though, which would have been tedious.

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Ross the Boss

Our friend @billgx shared a quote on Discord:

“There is never a penalty for doing more than what was expected.” -Bob Ross

with a subtitle: (if he did not say it, he should have.)

That made me think there could be a Bob Ross quote assignment. But since I’m supposed to be doing something else right now, I’ll skip making the assignment and instead do yet another triple troll quote. My first thought was to use a Rick Ross quote. There are many that would work so well. And then maybe credit it to Rick James. But that felt stupid. Then I wondered if Wilbur Ross had any good quotes. Most of his would only work in an ironic sense, if at all, but this one seemed to fit. “It’s important to have a sound idea, but the really important thing is the implementation.” could work though. Then I thought of Ross the Boss from The Dictators and borrowed some lyrics to make this thing.

I found a Bob Ross meme generator in imgflip to make the image. I captured it with Snagit and added the Rick Ross attribution. I think it would have been better if I did something with the canvas, like maybe put a Bob Ross TV Guide cover in there. I can always give it a second shot.

As I was writing this up, I found that the Troll Quote assignment had disappeared. There is a derivation that’s still there, but I may need to resurrect the original.

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“till my ghastly tale is told”

The Daily Create today asked for a haiku about our favorite book. If we’re talking works of literature, I wouldn’t know what to pick as a favorite, but as physical objects, this copy of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is an easy pick. It belonged to my grandfather, and had been in my house since I was a child. I was fascinated with because it was the largest book we had, and also because of the illustrations. As far as haikus go, this is completely lame. The Godzilla Haiku is the gold standard. Everybody else is trying for second place.

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A Different Bob

Today’s Daily Create had us make a Mystic Symbolic Creature. I played around with it a little randomized a bit, and then “Bob” showed up.

I don’t know much about the Church of the SubGenius, but it sounds like some kind of cult. I just used to see “Bob” in graffiti and flyers back in the 90s, and somehow was curious enough to try to find something out about it. This seems like too much of a coincidence though. I had asked one of my coworkers last week if she was a Bob Ross fan, and she said, “Yes, I am part of the Cult of Bob.” Is Bob really a different Bob, or is he the same “Bob.” I wonder…

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“and I’ll show you how to color it.”

So I watched Bob Ross – Golden Rays of Sunshine (Season 28 Episode 4):

The first thing that caught my eye was actually in the comment section, right at the top: “I feel more supported and capable in less than 25 minutes with Bob Ross than I have in 24 years with my family.” I can’t quite agree with it because my family has always been supportive, but Bob definitely projects an aura of calm encouragement. “You can do it. It’s that easy.” In an early part of the episode he shares a story:

Recently, we had our teacher’s reunion. We had a gentleman with us, Mike Goracke, who had never painted in his whole life, and he works with a paint company. So we got that rascal up in front of all these certified instructors from all over the world, and we had Mike paint his first painting, and he did a beautiful job, and this is the one that he painted. There. So I wanted to share that with you.

It’s a little illustration of what he says throughout his series. Anyone can do it. Anyone can make something beautiful. Making art can also be a lifelong struggle, but that doesn’t fit as neatly into a half-hour show.

The other thing about this episode is that he’s doing a different technique. I don’t think I’ve seen him try this approach before. What he does is make a painting in grayscale, or black and white if you prefer, and then colorizes it, like in ancient times when they hand-tinted B&W photographs. Maybe that’s something we will want to experiment with. I did a little of it a few weeks ago but I kept the colors so faint that they’re a bit too inconspicuous. But it’s interesting how Ross doesn’t take much paint to bring a whole lot of color into the picture.

He also goes low-tech with his tools:

Now, this takes a very complicated tool.
This is called a foam brush.
That’s all it is.

The paper towel was likewise complicated. I think this is a great point. You don’t have to have the high-end expensive tools and equipment to make art. I’ve been learning to use OBS for video and the GIMP for image editing. There may be easier tools out there, but these are free, and I can look up anything I can’t figure out. And that’s another joy of ds106.

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Down in the basement, that’s where it’s at

We made a quick video for This Week in ds106 which while quick to make, did take some planning. Jim masterminded everything through OBS, which ds106ers with video ambitions may want to look into, as it’s powerful, cross-platform and free. I’ve only started playing with it. Jim compared it to the GIMP, an open-source Photoshop replacement I’ve been working with. The comparison is apt because it’s all about layering, and also because I need to Google every other thing I try to do. That’s okay because I get multiple explanations for everything. And it’s the ds106 way.

If the zero-budget production isn’t obvious enough, here’s a behind-the-scenes picture of the setup on my end:

We’re interested in seeing if the class will contribute to the production. Theme music and opening and closing graphics are obvious needs, but we welcome all ideas.

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Art Rock

Our friends at Radio Eugene shared a happy little ditty from Soundcloud the other day:

I had a folder full of Bob Ross quotes that I had been looking to use. My thought was to make some Garageband beats to go with them, but this track made it easier.

To get the quotes, I imported audio from a few Joy of Painting episodes into Audacity and listened for things I might use. Each video has a transcript, so I copied those as well to make it easier. For each episode I applied the Amplify effect and then the Compression effect, using the default settings. Then I copied selected quotes, pasted each into a new file and exported as MP3. For the file names I used whatever he was saying in each one. This ended up being helpful foresight.

Soundcloud user Fused Forces made his track freely downloadable, so I’m assuming they don’t mind if people use it. I imported the track in Audacity, then imported a Bob quote as a second stereo track. I moved it a bit to line up with a beat. I imported another quote, which made a third track. I thought it might get confusing and unwieldy to have separate tracks for each quote, so I copied and pasted the quote audio into the second track and deleted the third. I repeated that process for each quote. I didn’t have a plan for the order of the quotes, but I did put some thought into the selection as I brought each one in, so they’re not in a completely random order.

I kinda like the way it came out. There’s some background noise in the Bob parts, some from his brushes and some tape hiss. I wonder if it might have been better to have a line of that noise running throughout, at a low level, to blend the Bob tracks better. Alternatively I could have tried some noise reduction to take the hiss out.

I set Kim Beom’s Yellow Scream to music a couple years ago:

If I come up with a few similar remix/mashups, maybe I can make a whole album of art rock. Or is it art rot?

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