Week Twelve: Mashed Up

This week, we revisited concepts covered in the past, but whatever direction we took was up to us. The mashup/remix assignments were interesting because anything was fair game.

I started with editing the Dunkin’ Donuts logo to better represent the only thing I actually buy from there… iced coffee. This was entertaining, and while I like the result, I wish I had picked a more interesting way to manipulate the logo. The 7-Eleven and Pokemon mashup image featured on the assignment page was really cool, and I wish I had done something as drastic as that.

I filmed my blue belongings in motion for my second assignment, and ended up creating a monochromatic video layered with a blue song. I took a slightly different direction than what the original assignment instructed, but I enjoyed experimenting and creating something unique.

I managed to write a tutorial on the Photoshop tools I typically use to create a digital collage, the quick selection tool and SmartObject feature. Writing a tutorial is hard because you have to include plenty of detail, but also make it easy enough for anyone to understand. I tried to make my explanation simple but it still turned out pretty wordy. I made sure to include images to make it less confusing. Hopefully it helps someone in the future.

Here’s my daily create.

Make a Digital Collage Using Photoshop

This is a really simple tutorial that will cover two features of Photoshop, the Quick Selection tool and SmartObject manipulation, which will be useful for creating You In (Digital) Collage Form! There are many ways to approach this task, and this tutorial uses a method I’ve found useful.

Obviously, with this specific assignment, you’ll need to do some brainstorming. What are your hobbies and interests? Anything significant about your childhood? Your favorite place to be? What makes you, you? Take a minute to think about this and write a list, then search for relevant images that convey whatever you come up with. The more images to choose from, the better. Once you’ve saved all of your images in one folder, open an image you’d like to use as your background into Photoshop. This will serve as your working project.

For my example, I chose to incorporate my family, pet and hobby. Ideally, you’d have more images, but for the sake of this tutorial I kept it simple.

Open an image you’d like to incorporate into your collage. Select the Quick Selection tool on the left menu bar and adjust your brush as needed using the settings at the top of the page. The + sign will highlight your selection, while the sign will reverse the selection. Select a specific piece of your image by dragging the brush on it while the + sign is active. If you go past a border, you can reverse it by switching your brush to the sign and cleaning the parts you don’t want selected.

Once your desired section is selected, right-click it and select “Layer via cut” or “Layer via copy”. Your isolated selection should then appear in the Layer list on the bottom right. To place it in the image you chose as your background, simply drag that new layer over to the tab that contains the background image and release over the canvas. This transfers the layer to your working project.

The images you collected will probably vary in size, so you’ll want to manipulate this by converting the layer into a SmartObject. I like to resize images/layers this way because it’s easy to use and you don’t lose quality in the process. In your working project, select the image you’d like to resize from the Layer list, right-click, and select “Convert to Smart Object”. Resize and move your image however you’d like against the background image.

These tools make it easy to build a unique digital collage. You can play with scale, placement, and incorporate as many images as you want. I hope this tutorial was helpful!

My World is Baby Blue

I loved editing videos last week, so I decided to do a video mashup. The What Color is Your World?  assignment instructed me to photograph a single color throughout a typical day and layer it with a song about that color. I decided to film blue things around my room in motion as opposed to just compiling still photos. Some things I recorded included blankets, robes, a bottle of perfume, the sky, and my colored contacts.

Once I had enough footage to edit, I imported the clips into Windows Movie Maker, trimmed, rearranged, and slowed them down to match the vibe of the song I chose, which was Baby Blue by King Krule. Although I filmed blue objects in my video, once I started playing with video effects, I found a blue filter and decided to use it on several clips to enhance the color. It’s very amateur but I think I did a nice job of editing the footage to compliment the song.

America Runs on Ice

I love coffee, but I really love iced coffee.  Every morning, regardless of the temperature, I grab an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s why my mind immediately went to Dunkin’ when I stumbled upon the Consumer Mashup assignment. This assignment required me to redesign a company’s logo by incorporating my favorite product. Using Photoshop, I removed the hot coffee image from the Dunkin’ Donuts logo and replaced it with an iced coffee. Then I edited the text to read, “America runs on ice”. I think I should get this made into a bumper sticker for my car because this actually sums up who I am as a person.

Week Eleven: Real Life Reflection

I absolutely love video editing so this week has been fantastic. The only challenge has been with time management. I’m a bit of a perfectionist… if I have to create something, I want to at least feel proud of it, and so it takes time getting my videos to a place where I genuinely like them.

I started with Advice to my Teen Self. This assignment led me to reflect on how I remember feeling about life when I was sixteen. I wrote a script that addressed some of the things I realize in hindsight, and compiled photos of me from 2010-2011. It was a really unique and meaningful activity, even though the pictures are extremely embarrassing.

My next video assignment was My Thursday in 40 Seconds. This one required my full attention for an entire day since I wasn’t used to recording every part of my routine. I was afraid of missing something to include. I also felt weird having my camera out in public places. This video is easily my favorite creation of the week. I’m inspired to continue making videos in this style, but to hopefully switch up the scenery and music.

Finally, I created a Bellydance Snapshot. This assignment required me to compile photos and videos of a club that I’ve been a part of for a few semesters. I arranged them in chronological order and used the songs we performed each semester. It’s interesting to watch and see the different phases of the club, and I’m excited to see what’s next for UMW Middle Eastern Dance Club.

This week encouraged me to reflect on and appreciate my past and current experiences, all through the challenge of translating them to video for an audience. I made sure to include a title and credits section in each video I made, and the shots are arranged in chronological order to help form a cohesive story. I think I was pretty successful in conveying my perception of life through the clips and audio I used in my videos, and I look forward to creating more.

Finally, here’s my daily create.

Bellydance Snapshot

I decided to use my experiences as a bellydancer for the College Snapshot assignment. I’ve been lucky enough to have been a part of UMW MEDC since its foundation in Spring 2016. This club has led me to establish some amazing friendships, and has ultimately helped me become more comfortable with myself. I felt that this assignment was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my experiences throughout the years.

I searched through my phone, Facebook, and YouTube to find several pictures, performance videos and music clips from over the semesters to a brief, unique video. Using glitchy ol’ Windows Movie Maker, I ordered all media chronologically and even synced the audio clips to the performance videos I included. Movie Maker almost failed me several times, but I was eventually able to pull it off and created a wonderful MEDC montage.

My Thursday in 40 Seconds

The goal was to film one day in 60 seconds, but I didn’t realize how challenging it would be! Maybe it’s because my day was pretty relaxed, and maybe it was because I forgot to whip my camera out for some moments, but I only got about 35-40 clips.

To present events as a narrative, I started with my daily routine and ended with my nightly. At the start of the video, I made sure to include a shot of me opening the curtains in the morning, and I made the final shot one of me turning the light off. Everything in between consisted of me driving to places, buying food, going to class and practice, etc. Each time I took a video on my iPhone, I trimmed it down to 1 second and saved that as a new clip. At the end of the day, I imported all of my 1 second clips into Windows Movie Maker and added credits and music. Despite not making it to 60 seconds, I really love how it turned out and I’d like to continue making these kinds of videos.

Advice to my Teen Self

I decided to do the Sixteen Year Old Me video assignment. This assignment allowed me to reflect on/deal with some of the things I was experiencing when I was younger. Teen Ashleigh was generally shy, extremely anxious, and she missed out on a lot of opportunities simply because she had very low self-esteem. Since I don’t usually take the time to think about how far I’ve come, making this video definitely got me in my feelings.

I wrote all my thoughts down and formed a brief yet meaningful letter. I went through tons of old pictures and collected a handful, which I imported into Windows Movie Maker. I tried to arrange them in chronological order to tell more of a story, beginning the video with images from my 16th birthday and ending with one that was taken only a month before my 17th birthday. I also tried to arrange the photos in a way that somewhat corresponded with the topics I covered in my letter.

screenshot editing

I recorded my script in Audacity so I could adjust the quality and volume of the audio. When I was finished, I imported my narration into movie maker. I added background music that suited the introspective tone of my video, I adjusted the duration of clips to match the script, and then added the title and credits. When I was finished, I saved my project and uploaded it to YouTube.