For the final week of DS106, I collaborated with Cole (“The Accountant”) to determine whether an agent, such as Agent Fawn, was working with The Directorate to gather intelligence on our agents behind our backs… as well as any possible ties The Directorate or Professor Bond had to Russia. I found the collaborative effort highly successful, with a large variety of multimedia products being used in a final 3-part video analysis series. I created two initial visuals, which Cole then manipulated before being used in our video series (Shown below).
I additionally created some HTTP Google X-Ray edits, used to support our analysis of evidence.
I then created the audio files for the first two parts of our analysis, and their corresponding image/video compilations (Including some video and photo content I got from the Digital Knowledge Center this week), before putting the Audacity files and MS Paint edits into cohesive Windows Movie Maker projects. I’m especially fond of how the first part turned out. Check out our videos below!
It turns out, Professor Bond was onto The Directorate the entire time… at used their naive sense of security in Russia against them! I’m highly content with the conceptual project Cole and I created, our teamwork/communication/work distribution, and our resulting project parts. It’s been a great semester!
I have seemingly disjointed pieces of advice that was nonetheless useful to me during my Spring 2017 semester: plan and outline your assignment ideas early on each week, and try to only allocate reasonable amounts of time to complete each of your weekly tasks before giving yourself an initial ‘cut-off’ (Unless you really get into a particular project)! As Parkinson’s Law states, work expands within the time you allocate to get it done… while it’s a great idea to not wait until the last night to complete projects, I also found it to be a learning experience when I had to eventually decide to be satisfied with any assignments I spend over 2 hours on (Not including pre-planning or resource/materials gathering). The class is a marathon, and not a sprint, so don’t burn yourself out like I did on a few of the weeks!
Some additional advice… if you recognize someone from your online DS106 class you interact with in some of your university classes, go have a chat with them! I ended up bonding with future DS106 project group members by doing this, and got an actual friend out of a DS106 classmate I regularly interacted with during the various Twitter activities we engaged in during the semester. The class can be stressful at times, but also enjoyable and therapeutic in at least an equal share. Don’t limit yourself by high expectations, or low levels of motivation, and interact with other classmates! I promise, it can make a world of a difference. Best wishes, William (And his secret agent alias, Wren Wilder…AKA Agent 003).
As shown in the Google Doc for my group of two, which includes myself and Cole Hodges, we’re planning on using 2-3 of the item ideas for our project. This week, we heavily annotated the Items Agenda provided to the class within the doc, and I additionally made an initial “Wanted” poster for the Secret Agent of one of our classmates who is a part of the DKCenter at UMW, as we’ll be suspecting their involvement with the Directorate. We’ve generated a to-do list within the document, which includes ideas for web, video, audio, written, and visual content we can make next week in our analysis of who is likely behind our class’s betrayal. They should easily add up to around 30 points of assignments when completed.
I feel confident in our understanding of this open-ended project after this week, likely because we spent 3 hours editing our document with questions, solutions, and ideas. Any feedback is appreciated! I’m excited for next week, where polls will also be analyzed for our investigation. Below are my Twitter polls from this week. Picking poll answers for other people’s polls was also a fun part of this week for me!
Agent Soap, what's your sure-fire getaway by sea when a coastal operation deteriorates?#Soap#ds106poll#ds106
I additionally completed a photo mashup tutorial and two visual assignment remixes, all of which were fun. ‘Go Emo Rainbow’ made me get creative to emphasize a non-colored rainbow, but it was an interesting remix assignment in retrospect.
Using the design software Paint, commonly found on the Windows OS, I’ll show one how to complete the Photo Mashup assignment. First, select two photos you want to mash together.
Second, open the photos in two separate Paint programs. Use the zoom feature at the bottom of the screen to zoom in and erase around a character you want to copy into the other photo background.
Once you’ve erased around the character, use the transparent free-form selection options to only copy your character. Then paste them into your second image, and position them for a completed assignment! You could also play with photo filtering if you wanted to.
For this remix assignment, I had to inject a military bootcamp spirit into a visual assignment which required I pair a cat photo with a Shakespeare quote. I chose a military-cat themed photo, and selected a quote referencing ambition from Shakespeare’s Richard play. I found the remix easy to complete, once I generated a feasible idea for how to incorporate all three required motifs of the remix.
For this 4 point mashup assignment, I needed to take a dramatic closeup photo and place it in an unrelated background that changes the story drastically! I took a tragic character moment from Les Miserables, and placed the scene within an upscale salon – shifting the story to possibly be a salon mishap instead of the sad reality of the character’s final days in the original film. I found the assignment relatively easy to complete, after removing the background from the character in Paint.
For this 4.5 point mashup assignment, I was supposed to mash together two actor photos in a believable image. I used Paint to remove excessive pixels from a scene of The Great Gatsby, taking my edited image of Jay Gatsby and placing him with Vesper in a scene from the Bond film Casino Royal! I found the assignment medium in difficulty, as finding similarly-lit photos to lessen the visual juxtaposition between the two actors and removing the background around one actor took a bit of time to accomplish. Here is my result!
For this 3.5 point mashup assignment, I needed to take 4 songs and remix them over a 10 second time frame. Below is my result! I took the lyrics from the songs “Obsessions”, “One Week”, “Work That”, and “Froot” to create a love song snippet of a couple who haven’t spoken but are trying to reconnect! Thus the lyrics, ‘Sunday, wake up… it’s been one week since you looked at me… follow me, follow me, follow me… I’m in love’. I found this mashup easy to accomplish using Audacity.
This remix assignment asked me to remix a visual assignment which originally wanted me to note the use of rainbow-colors in some media form, with a theme of darkness and black colors. Since this idea was broad, I decided to take the short animated film “Paperman”, and create a black color gradient using frames emphasized in the short. As shown below, the color gradient goes from dark to light grey, representing the hopefulness of each animation frame. The paper airplane is seemingly unsuccessful at first, and the man sees his last hope of getting the mysterious girl’s attention again in the second frame. The third frame shows their first interaction, and the fourth frame shows their final, successful first interaction. The colors are chosen specifically to fit the mood of each scene, and create an “emo” rainbow gradient of sorts based on the emotional low and high beats created throughout the film by its story progression. I found this remix interesting and relatively easy to accomplish!