The art of animated gifs

So I have two original gifs to my name. Now what? As I’m fast discovering, there’s a method to the madness of DS106. Unit 1 had kicked off a discourse on ‘What is Art’ and the concept of A Personal CyberInfrastructure (my thoughts on this to follow) to create art and express oneself through; the simple task of creating the gif gets at exactly the same question – are gifs, as a form of expression, be considered art?

I loved the perspective shared in the video “Are Animated GIFs Art?”

The science of animated gifs – Part 2

My 2nd attempt was a far less ambitious one than the first yet was very much more focused. I wanted to achieve 2 things, to capture my nephew in some characteristic action and to yield some laughs from the family.

Attempt 2: Nephew’s Flying Kiss
I coaxed the little bugger to do a flying kiss and video-ed him on my phone. He protested for all of 10 seconds then gave in. With that precious resource I sat down to work trying to create the gif with what I remembered about the process. Took me only 20 min this time. At the very least, his mum, my sis-in-law, seemed pleased with the result.

Nephew gif

The science of animated gifs – Part 1

DS106 Task: Create an animated GIF

I hadn’t before given much thought to the animated gifs that have passed through my mailbox, chat groups, or favourite sites. The most recent ones that stand out in my memory is perhaps the recounting of Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance – each offensive twerk, tongue twitch, dry hump – told through animated gifs.

I approached this task with mixed feelings – could I possibly dedicate a couple of hours to creating something I considered a simple (and frivolous) tool for humour and not much else? Would I have the patience to see it through? How difficult would it be? How easy could it be??!?

The fact that the DS106 task didn’t provide the answers but simply asked that students be resourceful in discovering the how-tos themselves was challenge enough for me. I’ve always counted resourcefulness as one of my better traits, and if no one was handing out answers, you bet I’d find them out for myself.

Attempt 1: David mind-fucks Ricky
I was more excited about getting it done, than what the gif should express or what response it should illicit. I was of course at some level looking at it to scare and shock a little; I wanted animated gif show the metal rod go in one side of Blaine’s arm and poke out of the other. It certainly looked better in my mind. Why I even settled on that video to create a gif out of I’m not sure. I am a big fan of Ricky Gervais.

Whatever the case, 2 hours of downloads and dabbling on a youtube convertor, mpeg streamclip and gimp gave me this.

Animated Gif - Trial 1