Sunday, April 15, 2012

Playing with Digital Storytelling

So I've been watching Ben Rimes' posts for DS106 go by and I keep thinking I should give that a try. I was inspired by the Return to the Silent Era assignment, so after watching a couple other people's submissions I figured I'd jump in. One of the things keeping from trying any ds106 assignment before was a lack of expensive software. Ben always uses high end programs like Adobe Premier and Photoshop that I don't have. How could I possibly do any of the cool stuff he does.

Well, I decided to see if I could do the whole thing using only my iPad. It also gave me an excuse to buy Avid Studio, an app I've been looking at since it came out. Apps I used:

The only real problem I encountered while doing this entirely on my iPad was the audio track. There seems to be no way to share audio files between most apps. So in the end I had to download music and then sync it to the iPad using iTunes.

My Workflow:
  • I sat in front of my TV and recorded the screen using the Hitchcock filter in Blux Movie on my iPad. Seemed like the best way to get the clip I wanted, plus the potential for bad camera work added to the effect. Blux is pretty cool. It applies the filters while recording, no rendering time!
  • I found a silent movie placard online and saved it to my camera roll. Note, I probably broke copyright here.
  • I took a picture of the DVD menu (everyone has this on DVD, right?) into SketchBook Express and then traced the Skull. Not my best work, but I wanted to finish the whole project before the end of the movie.
  • I took the traced skull into PhotoShop Elements and cropped it down.
  • Then back into SketchBook Express to put it on the placard (I downloaded earlier) and saved the resulting image to the camera roll.
  • Then into Avid Studio to edit the movie. I used screen credits to put text on the placards, but this limited me a bit. It would have been better to create each placard in SketchBook and then bring them in, but I was being lazy and I still hoped to get it done before the Prok-Chop Express rolled on.
  • Downloaded some royalty free music from Incompetech by Kevin MacLeod on my computer and plugged my iPad in to sync it over.
  • Added the music into my movie in Avid and then saved the movie to my camera roll.
  • Brought the movie into iSuper8 to dirty it up a bit and voila I was done. It made my black and white go sepia. I could have bought another filter to keep it black and white, but I think it looks fine this way.
Unfortunately I didn't finish by the end of the movie. I spent too much time trying to figure out how to get music from an app into my music library on my iPad. As near as I could discover, you can't. Which is really stupid. I mean you can't even create a song in Garage Band and then save it to your music library on your iPad without plugging into a computer first. 

The other issue I ran into was the need to save all pictures in progress to the camera roll. If I'd used a computer it would have been far easier. I could just have copied and pasted parts of pictures between documents and/or applications.

This was the first really creative process I've done using only my iPad. Overall I think it turned out well. It could have been better, after going through iSuper8 the edges of my wide screen video were cropped off making the framing a bit off on a couple of shots. I almost decided to try and redo it all on my computer when I remembered, I have grading to do.

But I think I may have just fallen down a rabbit hole. I may end up spending more time looking at ds106 and maybe I'll even try to join a class.


Alan said...

I have to say this is freakishly brilliant on all levels of design and execution- and being able to pull it all together given what limits there are on the iPad is a testimonial to perseverance.

Come back for more ds106

Michael Branson Smith said...

Wow I can't believe you did this whole thing on the iPad. Really impressive, and a great scene selection for the 'silent era,' as once b&w it really harkens back to an older time with the costume and the old beatup table.

And yes please join in the big fun!

Ben said...

You've earned about 5,000 bonus points for putting this altogether on an iPad, documenting the entire thing, and getting the footage by "bootlegging" from video of your TV!

Not only have you put together a really nice "drive by" #ds106 assignment (you can really see how addictive it can be), but I love that you're shown a lot of limitations that the iPad still exhibits when it comes to being a tool for creation. I would have given up after all the jumping around with the camera roll and multiple syncs to the computer to get media from one app into another. Kudos to your ability to marshall on through adversity. It's a heck of a lot more fun to learn the tools you have at your disposal when creating something like this rather than just a few tutorials.

Can't wait to see more!

Steve said...

Thanks for all the comments! I will probably float in and out of ds106. One of these days I'll carve out enough time to participate fully.

It really is a lot of fun to spend time playing.

2009 DREAM said...

I absolutely feel ecstatic when I find articles relevant to my work and my subject.

Unknown said...

Also, I have some creative ideas for iPad to share regarding a couple of those App Store entries. They are available through the Apple VPP as well via this short URL →

But you can let me know if you have an interest in creative exercises again, only using the iPad to write or do video more about science history, chemistry, math and physics there in Mich.

FYI, Cymbol and Clapboard are the more popular iPad App's for education. Clapboard is for in part classroom video projects to get students on task and Cymbol is the writer's tool for quickly entering or even tweeting equations or chemical formulae.

2O₂ → CO₂ + 2H₂O is entered into Cymbol very rapidly.

Thanks in advance for your quick ideas posted into this thread of yours here.


Unknown said...

Oops I left out the hydrocarbon source.

Get your students to solve that one, as it is a gas!

Unknown said...

CH₄ + 2O₂ → CO₂ + 2H₂O