Words of Wisdom

Reflecting back on my own trials in this class I will leave you with three parting suggestions that might have made things go a little smoother for me.

  1. I wish I had made myself a cheat sheet for the simple things I kept forgetting.  It would include the following:
    • Post the weekly work into Canvas.  I would finish the weekly blog with a sigh of relief that it was done, close my computer and walk away.  Only to realize later that I never posted the blog link into Canvas.  Ugh!
    • Post video from Flickr not directly from your own computer.  I would spend hours trying to upload video from my computer into the blog with no success and plenty of frustration.  Then I would finally have an ah ha moment and upload it to Flickr then post it into the blog from there and success was mine.
  2. For the Group Project, share all of your work with all of the group members. This will allow group members to step in and help in the end if someone can’t do their part.  Otherwise you are scrambling around in a panic trying to get all the data from everyone.
  3. Beware of Downloads.  If you aren’t a strong computer person get someone to download software applications for you.  Otherwise if you blindly click, like I did, you may get a virus that wipes your computer out!  Ugh!

Well that’s it.  Good Luck!

TDC Idea

Find or take a picture of someone who can be recognized even when showing only one body part (that is not their face).  Such as Santa’s hand reaching for cookies, Ronald McDonald’s feet, Big Birds tail . . . you get the idea.  Tweet and share your image.


Merry Christmas!

Second Tutorial Idea

Making a comic strip using an online software can be fun, but challenging.  I made one using bitstrips.com.  Here’s how I did it:

Choose create strip, select the number of panels layout, then using the tabs across the top of the screen to chose a scene first.  I selected a three panel strip and inserted a bedroom scene, a campground scene, and a swimming pool scene.  Then select a character.  I just used a stickman figure for this strip.  Place him in each scene one at a time and use the options to position his arms, make him sit, etc.  Then at the bottom of the strip there are options you can use.  My favorite is the “layer up and down” options.  With this option I can “layer down” my stick figure character in the swimming pool scene so that it appears like he is in the water.  Half of his body will be under the water and half above the water.  This was a very basic strip but you can add text, insert additional props, and explore other features.  Have fun!

Comic Assignment Idea

First Tutorial

This is my tutorial for editing a magazine cover in a fun and interesting way and posting a before and after image.  Go online and find a magazine cover and right click on it and select “save picture as” using a JPEG document type.  Then go to your picture and right click on it and select “open with” [an editing software]. . . I used Microsoft Paint.  For my cover I used one with a lot of black background because it was easy to edit.  In Microsoft Paint I selected an area, cut, and then filled the area in with black.  This allowed me to remove some of the data on the cover.  I removed the last line of the title on the lower left side and the text paragraph on the lower right side.  Then I added data by inserting a text box and using white ink so it would show on the black background.  I didn’t need to add anything to the title so I simply added a paragraph on the lower right side of the page.  Then I circled it in white to draw attention to it using the shapes option.

Here’s the before and after snap shots:

Magazine Cover Edits

Assignment Idea

Final Project Idea

I spent all day yesterday trying to find some software that would allow me to create an awesome comic strip for the final project.  It was a big waste of time.  I spent all day signing up to use software that I could not figure out how to navigate only to have my mailbox fill up with marketing mail from the sites.  Ugh!

My host character was originally thought of in the form of a comic cartoon character, but I have also used another image for her so I don’t have to stick with the comic idea.  So then at the end of my rope I took the advise of Gabi and looked back at what I have already done.  I was inspired . . . so here’s the story idea. My host character, Esmerelda is a fortune teller . . . so it hits the news that Steven Spielberg visits a fortune teller and an undercover camera catches the crystal ball images that are revealed to him.  Below is a news magazine cover that I found and edited as my first element for the project.

Magazine Cover Edit

Once I Googled Steven Spielberg and found this image the story unfolded in my thoughts and I was able to write the story I would tell for the assignment.  The hook is he is seeking a crystal ball reading because he is afraid of his TV and he wants the fortune teller to help him understand why.  The irony is that Steven Spielberg, as most of you know, is a writer and director of many films and is well known for his horror stories.  For him to be afraid of the TV would be big news.  As Steven and Esmerelda (the fortune teller) look into the crystal ball the first images they see are horrifying sights and each time they look again it gets better until they are seeing cartoon characters dancing and singing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  These are all images from Steven Spielberg movies . . . the images that fill his thoughts, of course.

Here’s the run down of the movie images they see each time they look:

The Ring – a movie about how watching TV can kill you.

Poltergeist – a family haunted by super natural demons who use the TV to communicate with the small child in the house.

No wonder he is afraid of his TV!

JAWS – a man eating shark attacks people enjoying a sunny day at the beach.

Indiana Jones – no where near the beach and sharks but a man is being chased down by a giant boulder.

Fievel Goes West – a cartoon movie of a mouse traveling.  Better but he is still met with turmoil along his journey.

We’re Back – a cartoon movie with dinosaurs dancing and singing in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

Success!  Steven Spielberg is now seeing only non-threatening, happy cartoon characters.  But wait, does that mean Steven Spielberg will never create another horror story?  Is this the end of a legend as we know him?  Esmerelda, what have you done!

I do like this idea.  Picking a fortune teller for my host character has proven to be a good idea.  I did give some real thought to how I would use a host character to introduce stories.  The concept of looking into the crystal ball and seeing the story unfold there seemed like something that would work.

Once I had the story idea it came together quickly because it was building on things I had already done.  We had already used horror films as a review for our radio project.  Luckily I kept good notes on the sources used for that in our shared Googledoc; so I just went back to that data and got links to the movie clips which were Steven Spielberg films.  That is where it all began to fall into place.   I am hoping to spend time with my family next weekend so the more I can accomplish this weekend the better.

Have a great Thanksgiving Day everyone!

Project Ideas

I should leave this a blank page . . . because that would sum up my project ideas.  I hope it will all come together this weekend.

My host character Esmerelda the fortune teller was made in the image of a comic character.  I take a class at the UMW Stafford campus on Thursday nights where I saw a sign for a software available in their library for making comics.  Great I thought . . . so I went in yesterday and took a look.  Nope not gonna help.  This software is simply for colorful posters or something.  Oh well onward I go; wandering around in the dark!