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Imma MOOC it up!

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I’ve joined a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) before but didn’t get too far into it. Imma try it again with Digital Storytelling 106. The content is compelling, as are the people. Jim Groom, who I follow pretty regularly lately, is leading it, and Stephen Downes, who I follow regularly, is participating. It’s also nice to see people from other blogs I hit sometimes participating – these are cool people.

First step – getting in there. This is my response to an exercise people are trying there –

Make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. Make sure the movement is minimal but essential.

Here was the process (I’m on Windows XP):

  1. Downloaded Square 5. Used it to grab a couple of clips from YouTube.
  2. Downloaded MPlayer and opened the downloaded clips from YouTube.
  3. Used the screenshot tool to grab images. It was easier than the Square 5 export, which I couldn’t get to work.
    mplayer screenshot
  4. Figured out how to make the .gif in Fireworks. Then, remembering this course and a lot of the ethics around free/open tools, downloaded GIMP and figured out how.
  5. The result. Now as someone who takes lists and rankings of movies seriously I have to disclaim that Evil Dead 2 is not my VERY FAVORITE EVAR movie. But this is kind of an iconic scene – if you’re a horror geek at all you know what he’s saying. There’s a piece on this on This American Life (Act II) where the writer tries to get Bruce Campbell to repeat the line for him for the show and he won’t do it.
    groovy animation made with GIMP

I don’t LOVE how it turned out, because he looks like he has a tick, but I didn’t want to splice in another frame to reduce the action because it garbles the words.

The cool thing I like about GIMP’s (backwards) animation is that you can code in the time you want each frame to show up, apparently. I haven’t tried it but it seems like a helpful tool if you were going for a little delay. Nice.

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