The 30 Day TDC Challenge

30DayTDC completed

My June 2017 30-Day The Daily Create Challenge Art

Final Requirement – In progress: Submit Formal Application for @iamTalkyTina Certification in CREATORIST

Special thanks to Talky Tina for the creating the template for this list, and for honchoing the Creatorist Certification program!


A PANO-Sabotaged Cloned Double Selfie

Summer Morning


The challenge for The Daily Create tdc1983 was to make a panoramic selfie with myself appearing twice. The “traditional” method involves having another person take the panoramic picture, pausing in the middle while you (me, the subject) moves around behind the photographer and reenters the image as the photographer continues to pan.

However, liking to work alone, and liking to try different methods, I chose the PANO-sabotage method. Generally, this involves various waving, flipping, snapping, and other hand gestures and movements while in the panoramic mode. With some thought and control, one can achieve very interesting results. There will often be artifacts of the process, such as slicing of the image, unusual repetitions, and occasionally vertical lines dividing the image into a surprising diptych.

For this one, I went into my back yard on a bright almost-summer morning. Holding the iPhone at arms length, with the front camera aimed at me, I started the panoramic photo. As I carefully rotated the phone, I also slowly moved myself in the opposite direction. This did two things deliberately (maybe more accidentally): put a different background for me so I am “cloned” in tow different spots; and actually got me into the picture the second time. It is pretty difficult to make a panorama greater than 180, and especially to go a full 360. By moving, and some care in the speed of rotation, I was able to pan somewhere between 180 and 360 degrees.

You can check out many other examples of the PANO-Sabotage technique at the excellent PANO-Vision  group on Flickr.

Two for Breakfast

PANO-Sabotage for the fun of it

Feet on ground head in sky

One day months and months ago, I saw an image on Flicker that led me to a group called PANO-Vision. This group is dedicated to creating an art form from what they term PANO-sabotage, the deliberate use of odd motions, flips, and waves while taking a panoramic photo. It turns out that not all brands and models of phones and cameras are suitable for this technique, and the focus is on the use of iPhones.

To make the image I call Feet on the Ground Head in the Sky, I stood in my backyard on sunny morning shortly after sunrise, put my iPhone camera in panoramic mode, and started by aiming at my feet. Once I opened the shutter, I slowly rotated the phone (held horizontal) upward to capture the bushes and sky. As I reached the top of the arc, the length of the panorama was about at its end. I had to quickly snap my hand around to point the front camera toward my face.

It actually took several attempts to get this to work. Sometimes I waved the phone in an arc to come around to my face. What I experienced was the difficulty of extending a panorama past 180°. Yet, with a combination of slow and rapid hand motions, it was attainable.

Insider secret: my original image had cut off the top of my head. A bug/feature of this technique is that there are often rapid transitions made in the image that cut out or distort a section of the image. Part of the art of PANO-Vision is to take advantage of these artifacts. In this case, however, I preferred to keep my head, so I pasted in the top half from one of the unused attempts from this morning’s photo-adventure.

If you are interested in learning more, I recommend you study the work and read the commentary in the PANO-Vision group. To see more of my efforts, check out my album on Flickr called Pano and other distortions. Most effectively, try it yourself!

By the way, I made this particular image today in response the ds106 Daily Create prompt. This month is a 30-day challenge, but it’s not too late to join in. Even one day with an art project will boost your creative spirit!



A New Glitch GIF

I recently bought a VCR/DVD combo in order to preserve family recordings from a couple of decades ago. Initially, I am importing them into my laptop using the Power Director 9.0 program that came with the component video/USB adapter I bought. That works fine, but produces a MPEG-2 file, which doesn’t play well with many video players. So, I am using MPEGStreamClip to convert to MPEG-4. (I had to remove QuikTime and install a QuikTime substitute to be able to work with the MPEG-2 files.)

One of the old tapes was made by my then seven-year-old son. Using a camcorder as we were driving around looking at Christmas lights, he was learning to narrate his journey. As I started the conversion process, I noticed the first frame in MPEG StreamClip had a nice glitchy look to it. In fact, most of the video is black background with lights moving around in and out of focus. Before I continued the conversion, I used the Snipping Tool that Microsoft so kindly provided in my operating system to copy that first frame.


Now the fun began. Since the conversion takes many minutes, I decided to work with that frame snip and see what I could do. I use GIMP as my photo editing tool since it is free, open source, and reasonably powerful. Most of what I did for this image had to do with altering the colors. Playing around with Auto Color Enhance, White Balance, and adjusting contrast, and also inverting the colors, making changes, and inverting back, I was able to produce a range of interesting effects.

VCR Frames

The animated GIF is easy to make in GIMP. Once you have the frames you want to use, export the file as GIF, select animation, and the frame-time you desire. I used 330 milliseconds.


The interesting thing to me is that the initial image, mostly black with a bit of color and light, actually has much pixel differentiation. By changing contrast, enhancing color and white balance, and other options, I was able to bring out sections of colors that weren’t apparent. Those colors weren’t necessarily there, but the original image contains the seeds for change.

The original frames (and more) can be found at my Flickr glitch and databending album.



Reboot GIFs

Andrew Forgrave has given a wonderful introduction to the 1990s Reboot series, and how fun it is to create GIFs from the Number 7 episode (available on the Prisoner106 Archive page). Today I watched the episode, and once again realize that so much has been created in niches of popular culture that I have not visited. We all have gaps, and it is often fun and worthwhile to fill them.

Of the three GIFs I made and present here, the first one turned out to be one of the scenes Andrew chose. If you would like, view them both in separate windows so you can compare our interpretations. It is the scene where Rover once again traps a prisoner.

Help Me!

Help Me!

The other scene I chose is a bit more abstract, and required a slight bit of work. Since the point of view was slightly panning, and the face of the character Megabyte was also moving, I chose to crop the image to just the masks.

We're Watching You!

We Know Who You Are!

Attribution: frames for these GIFs taken from the You Tube video of Reboot, copyright 1997 by ReBoot III Productions. Used under fair use for educational and parody purposes.

Who’s Two? GIF

There are two people who have done a lot of work to make the Prisoner106 summer Village vacation special. I have made a special GIF to honor the hidden committee that (I think) put it all together. Maybe I’m wrong, but these two are special anyway.

2 is more than a number

2 is more than a number

I know that everyone else is special, too. Don’t feel left out! You all have your number, and that number is 106.

Attribution and method: Original images came from the ds106 ~club for each, and Once imported into GIMP, resized as needed to make them the same, I found “blend” under Animation in the Filters menu. This calculated and added a few extra frames that were meant to provide a smoother transition from start to end. However, it turned out a bit glitchy, which I like. I added a few hundred milliseconds to the original portraits to allow them to stand out better in the animation.

Week Six INFORMATION – Advanced Audio and Radio Show

Is Number 2 waiting for INFORMATION?

Is Number 2 waiting for INFORMATION?

So it looks like the administration of The Village is in some sort of disarray. For those going on with the weekly agenda during your vacation, may I suggest:

Follow the guidelines found at Open ds106 Unit 7. This includes guidance on audio work and information about the radio project.

Find more episodes to view. I got them from Daily Motion, but they may be available elsewhere. Save episodes 16 and 17 for last, to be watched sequentially.

Start on your final project, anticipated for Vacation Week Seven, next week. More details at Open ds106 Unit 12.

Personally, I am not doing a radio show, but hope to squeeze in a project. August is not a vacation month.

Also, make GIFs!

Keep on Chopping

Keep on Chopping

Home by Curfew & Week Five Summary

Well, it’s been video week, and I finally made a quick little video at the end of it.

This was made by clipping some frames from The Prisoner episode 9 “Checkmate” using MPEGStreamclip, exporting them to a folder. I first tried them as a GIF, but didn’t like a GIF that stopped. But I recalled that we’re supposed to make movies this week, so I opened Windows Movie Maker and imported all the frames. I had to adjust the time for each frame, as they were set by default to seven seconds; I chose a .3 second for each frame. Then I had to find suitable audio. Since I already had Big Ben’s chimes, I took a section of that into Audacity and applied the Paulstretch effect by a factor of two, which slowed it down a bit and made it sound interesting.

Overall, the effect is kind of like Cinderella needing to leave the ball before the stroke of midnight. I did not add title or credits because this is more of an experiment than anything. But, by way of credits, the video did come from The Prisoner, and the audio came from the UK Government.

Early in the week, when Number Two failed to post the assignments in a timely manner, I went ahead and made three GIFs, repeated here but you can see more of a write-up in the previous post.

Artist and His Art

Artist and His Art

Laughing at Number Six

Laughing at Number Six

Dem bones

Dem bones

Other than that, I guess I did a couple of Daily Creates and some other minor photographs for We’re Here! on Flickr. I was a bit busy with an extra consulting gig on top of regular teaching this week, but it all worked out.

And I'm Still Looking for INFORMATION!

And I’m Still Looking for INFORMATION!

Just fun between assignments

There seems to be a disruption in the ether. The new new new new Number 2 hasn’t posted any Week Five assignments yet, so I just relaxed in the bungalow with an Independent Study student and a contract consulting gig I’ve got this week.

But, GIFs!

Artist and His Art

Artist and His Art

This first one shows the creative spirit at work in The Village. Our Number Six had sat for a portrait, and when the work was revealed, it really was quite an abstraction of INFORMATION. I’ve desaturated the artwork to remove color, and allowed it to cycle through the options of lightness, luminosity, and average. I’m doing better on file size by selecting just the painting so I don’t have all the frames showing all the image.

Laughing at Number Six

Laughing at Number Six

Here’s another easy one. All I had to do was import episode 15 into MPEGStreamclip, select the in and out points, clip, export, and import into GIMP. Then trim a few frames and export as a GIF. This episode has so many GIFfable scenes, especially at the carnival.

Dem bones

Dem bones

And, finally for tonight, a snippet from the final episode. I won’t comment in case you haven’t seen it yet. Make sure you have seen all the others first!

Be Seeing You

Be Seeing You

Week four summary

What's the buzz? Tell me what's happenin'

What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s happenin’

First, the summary of what I did this week:

Four Daily Creates
An “I Can Read” Prisoner-themed book
A few animated GIFs
An animated comic book cover
An investigation into how The Tally Ho is made
Plus, comments on the work of others. Tweets and Twitter interactions.
And dredged up a little html knowledge to repost a Patrick McGoohan interview whose original page was broken.

During this week, we were considering Design with a capital D. I read the assignments. Nothing really new for me, but good reminder to go beyond the basics. Little known personal fact: I started college as an art major. I did well in the first two design courses, but not-so-well in drawing. I dropped out and joined the Navy to learn electronics. I later considered leaving the Navy and to study design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but reenlisted instead. I am no expert, so it was good to revisit the principles.

Some details:
In creating the animated cover of Jack Kirby’s The Prisoner, I was brought into the world of comics and sequential storytelling. I’ve been here before. I grew up on comic books, still enjoy the daily comic strips, and have dug a bit into the literary theory of comics. My next step is to acquire Nick Sousanis’ Unflattening, a book of his doctoral thesis in comic-book format. I expect it will give me insight into new ways to investigate other literary and artistic forms, and even life itself.

Comics are Literature

Comics are Literature

Speaking of investigating, I enjoyed my pseudo-scientific but real-learning looks at The Tally Ho and the design of Number 2’s Seal of Office. This brings up an underlying theme of the show and of art in general: what we see is a representation. It was created, and there may be artifacts of the creative process to observe. At a minimum, this could be bad art (such as microphones showing up in a movie); but, at a higher level, it points to a reality behind what we perceive.

Making an animated maze was almost trivial with an online generator. But there was a comment about having never seen an animated puzzle before. I thought about it, and wonder how an animated maze could be a challenge but actually workable, if it was slow enough, and the paths were clearly seen. Pursue this if you dare!

Prisoner106 in a Maze

Prisoner106 in a Maze

I was glad to see the book creations of our prisoner106 colleagues. I’ve been a book-lover since childhood, and have been known to buy a book for its cover. Designing and creating one is a different task. One must think of the design elements, but also marketing and legal items. Will this cover design attract a buyer? Do we have proper identification and pricing information? How about copyright notices and permissions? There is more to it that we might think.

The Village Story Book

The Village Story Book as seen on The Prisoner

For the Daily Creates, I completed two written creations and two images. The writing is something I approach light-heartedly, letting the words flow (if they start). Keeping it themed to The Prisoner made it interesting. The two images this time turned out to be collages made with public domain sources found at the Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr.

Seven Tone Pump Organ

Seven Tone Pump Organ

Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

One additional experiment I performed this week was to try to merge the creative worlds of prisoner106 and the We’re Here! Flickr group. This had mixed results, with some confusion about what was going on. However, I think that it was useful as an experience to stretch the minds of those who participated.

A philosophical aside:
Today’s sermon was presented by a guest speaker, a Navy Chaplain whose D.Min. thesis is related to serving the needs of a pluralistic society. A major theme of today’s talk was related to a major theme of The Prisoner: how valid are our experiences as representing objective reality? The one statement he made that stands in my mind (paraphrased) is: “Experience is important, but experience needs to be linked to the content, the INFORMATION, the truth.”

When we see Number 6 experience hallucinations, even living out a full life under the delusion of drugs (think of episode 14 Living in Harmony), he usually doesn’t recognize the truth of his experience until he wakes up back in the Village. One exception is episode 3 A. B. and C., where he learns the truth, then is able to maintain his identity and control the next hallucinatory sequence.

How should we think about and apply these concepts to ourselves, to our everyday life? Maybe one way is to realize that (in any sphere of life) our experiences are our own, and may be similar to the experiences of others, but we shouldn’t equate them with others. We should seek to understand the underlying reality, the objective truth, that caused or mediated the experience, rather than thinking of the experience as the truth itself. I know that there is a tendency to shy away from thoughts of objective truth, of objective reality. Yet, if we make our own experience and perception the only “truth”, then we must admit to billions of “truths” all in some degree of conflict.

Be Seeing You

Be Seeing You