Author: samwolfme

New perspective….for life

What I appreciated most about this class was that there was a constantly stressed theme of not just creating something because it’s cool, but creating with a purpose.  I started off the semester rather annoyed by this motif.  I thought it was silly that I had to think of a subject for my projects that required some sort of meaning.  However as the semester progressed, I realized that this had nothing at all to do with the subject and everything to do with the perspective.  This will ultimately be a tool that will help me beyond my academic career.

Ultimately I have aspirations of being able to make documentaries.  There is a lot of cool stuff in the world, and I wouldn’t mind telling other people about this cool stuff through cool videos.  This class, however, made me realize that that only people that will want to see the cool videos about the cool stuff are those that are already interested in that cool stuff.  Creating an interesting perspective is both more effective and enjoyable.  An interesting perspective provides for those that are not familiar with the material a means of understanding.  For those who are familiar with the material, it provides a potentially new set of information or organization of information they have perhaps never seen before.  Most importantly to me, creating a perspective allows me to form and voice my opinion on a subject matter for which I likely (hopefully) have a passion.

Overlay two pieces of video on top of each other so they are both visible

Overlaying two pieces of video on top of one another is simply a matter of opacity.  First put your two pieces of video footage you would like to have overlaid on one another in your timeline.


Screenshot 2014-04-02 05.24.06


Then select the footage that is in Video 2.  In the effect controls, select the Opacity effect.


Screenshot 2014-04-02 05.24.20

To have the most even transparency, make the opacity of Video 2 be 50%

Screenshot 2014-04-02 05.24.40

This will create an even blend of each video footage.  For an even cooler effect, you can create key frames that will could favor which video is more visible back and forth.


Baldessari makes his own irony

Having watched A Brief History of John Baldessari, I am able to take away to major traits about him.  He enjoys being humorous and he is a much accomplished artist.  The humor was captured by the video in multiple ways.  What I noticed first was the use of quick cuts.  They were so quick, it almost did not allow the viewer to completely see and notice everything that was in the entire frame.  A similar technique was used to literally spell out each word the narrator would say for a sentence or two at a time.  This over exaggerates what it is that is being said to a point of over dramatization.  The audience is fully aware of what is being said, whether the words are written or not.  However, having them appear physically and through audio makes it seem funny as though one of those forms is unnecessary.

Not only does he prefer to use humor, he specifically enjoys dry humor.  For example, the narrator states that Baldessari burned all of his art made up until 1970.   Immediately following, there is a shot of Baldessari stating that since it was done in a crematorium, the proper word is ‘cremated’.  There are also a lot of sentences in the narration that begin with “This is John Baldessari’s….”.  This very basic technique is so basic that it is laughable.  It is done for such simple objects such as his desk, chair, wifi password, coffe maker and others that it is almost ironic that these objects need an introduction.   However, what this technique also does is show how simple of a person this obscure artist truly is, which could also be considered ironic.

The irony continues to build when Baldessari’s world renowned art form of putting dots over peoples’ faces is introduced.  The narrator even introduces it as basic, but Baldessari now decides that he would like to speak slightly complexly about something.  Claiming things such as “it is his take on the world” and “it levels the playing field” are the first real pieces of evidence of his artistic thoughts, yet they are about something so simple.  This contrast of a simple though and detailed explanation really is made possible by the technique of allowing Baldessari to do so.  In the video about Amar, there are no parts that allow him to talk or elaborate on what is happening.  This video allowing Baldessari to speak on the topics being discussed is what sets up all of these different scenarios for dry humor and irony.

Make your project sound like aliens

There is an interesting effect in Audacity called “Wahwah”.  It over exaggerates the vibrations of the sound and, at least in my mind, makes a sound reminiscent of a flying space ship or aliense beaming down to earth.  First, you must import your audio.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 20.50.41


Next, highlight the audio to which you would like to apply the effect.  In this case, I applied the effect to the entire audio.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 20.51.16

Under the “Effects” tab, choose “Wahwah”.


Screenshot 2014-03-18 20.51.23


The control window manages the settings for the effect.  The main component is the LFO Frequency.  The Depth percentage and Resonance effect the pitch of the vibrations

Screenshot 2014-03-18 20.52.21

Blog 8: Tones and Layering

                The most obvious and apparent component to be heard in the Joe Hall piece is the voice that represents Joe.  This pre-pubescent person has a lot of very traumatic experiences to share with the listener, yet he manages to remain incredibly calm while doing so.  This affects the way the listener perceives Joe.  It gives off the impression that none of this phases him, which to any “normal” person sounds crazy.  It makes us think Joe is crazy.

                There is also the very first sound the listener hears in this piece.  It is a high pitched sharp sound that is not pleasant to the ear. Its effect is indicating that something strange or disturbing is to follow, which it does.  We hear this sort of sound multiple times throughout the story. 

                The author does an excellent job of using sound other than speech to describe the boy’s father.  While “Joe” is introducing him, we hear electric guitar playing a heavy metal riff.  This certainly gives off an appropriate vibe for the sort of person his father is.  This sound choice becomes even more appropriate when we later find out that his father would play white supremacist rock music in the house in an effort to “condition” his family. 

                Throughout the piece, the author does an excellent job of layering appropriate sounds behind narration.  Much like depth in a photo giving the viewer a lot to look at, great layering gives the listener a lot more to listen to.  When Joe’s father is first described as a white supremacist, a clip of someone yelling racist statements into a megaphone occurs.  When Joe goes into more detail about his father’s new “hobby”, the volume of the megaphone is decreased but can still be heard faintly.  Joe pauses, and the megaphone volume is turned back up to be the focus. 

                Another great use of layering occurs when he describes the night his father took him out to the border to try to shot illegals.  There are several sounds used to create the setting: a wolf howling, dogs barking, sirens, and a deep lower brass sound; all of which are meant to indicate night time and create a “horror movie” effect.  The author allows these collection of sounds to play before any speaking occurs in this portion in order to allow the scene to be set.  Then he lowers the volume of these sounds as they fade into the background of the boy speaking.  

Give your page a custom cursor

Giving your page a custom cursor can be down with some basic CSS.  For me the most difficult part was finding the correct cursor to download.  There are some things such as cursor sets that were confusing and certain cursor file formats available on websites that offer free cursors for download aren’t compatible with all web browsers.  Therefore I downloaded a free program called RealWorld Cursor Editor.  It allows you to create your own cursor from scratch or make an already existing image into a cursor.  I chose the former. 

Select “cursor from image” and open the desired image.




Save your file to the appropriate folder.  Insert the appropriate CSS for the portion of the page which you’d like to have your new custom cursor appear.  Be sure to include “default;” after the file name, and that is how to create a cool custom cursor.



Unfortunately, the cursor doesn’t appear in screen shots, but believe you me, it’ll be there.

Merchand inspires hope in the streets of Detroit

First and foremost, I would consider this image to be an establishing shot.  Being toward the very beginning of the sequence, it fits the basic criteria as such.  However, with an establishing shot comes a foundation for an idea or story that is being presented.  This is created in the actual context of the image. 

The vantage point of looking out a window onto the city subliminally represents hope.  The old-looking crusty window frame and furnace which frame the photo contribute even more to this motif of hope by establishing that the “main character”, or the person who is looking out of the window, is having a tough time financially. 

The actual window/window frame contributes to the photo in a structural sense as well.  The conscious decision by Marchand to include a little bit of the window frame and furnace in the foreground creates an effect of an actual person sitting inside their home and looking out the window.  The window itself is also a conscious decision to have an interesting aerial vantage point.  The aerial vantage point coupled with this humanizing effect created by Marchand gives me the feeling that this person is looking out onto his/her city and reflecting; thinking about where he/she or the city has come from, and where he/she would like them self and the city to go in the future. 

Lastly, Marchand uses the street to his advantage.  The use of lines can manipulate the human eye and where our sight onto the image begins and ends.  At first, I am drawn to the ground of the photo just beyond the window frame.  I’m curious about the several dozen people I can see immediately.  I also look around the buildings and notice some graffiti.  Then I notice how all the people are walking down the street, so I follow them.  Eventually, I arrive at a slight glimpse of the sky line, some smoke presumably from a factory, and I can’t quite see where the sky line meets the ground.  For me, this even further contributes to the motif of hope.  Much like a story and time will continue to go on, so does the street.  It goes on to a point where I can hardly even decipher what it exactly is, but I know it exists.  

Question:  What would be one single slight change in scenery that could completely change the emotion or feeling of this image.