Two Different Time Lapse Experiments

Time Lapse Trip from Richmond VA to Tampa FL from Tom Woodward on Vimeo. This is my first attempt with the GoPro. I think it’s set to one shot every 30 seconds. You can see me fiddling with the settings a few different times if you’re masochistic enough to watch it through. The battery ran out early in the trip and resulted in me using it without the stand. That helps explain the repeated drifting as the USB cord1 pulls it slowly towards the driver’s side. It is interesting to see a 12.5 hr trip condensed down to 4 minutes or so. I may do it on the way back but pointed mostly towards the sky or maybe at the kids. Knowing where the stops were makes me wonder if something similar would make for a interesting take on Dan Meyer’s original graphing stories. On the other end of the time lapse spectrum is this attempt to condense one my attempts to fix a photo from the reddit pic request group. This one is kind of amusing to me in that you can see me googling some stuff for a sick child in the middle and finishing up with some posts to reddit and flickr. There is no sound but it’d be pretty easy to narrate if you wanted to […]

Repairing Photos – Semi Tutorial – PhotoShop CC

I’m still not entirely sure this isn’t some sort of art project. The pictures are just too perfect and comments like the one here don’t exactly allay suspicions. I kind of hope it is. It’d be doubly weird to be “fixing” intentionally created errors. In any case, as part of my 30 minutes of something creative here’s a more aggressive before/after repair attempt. To make repairs like this (when the light is fairly even it’s especially helpful) you can select an undamaged portion from the opposite site of the face. You can see I’ve made that selection above if you look closely. It’s a good idea to copy a good bit extra as you’ll be erasing portions at the edges to help with blending. I copy/paste that piece which will automatically generate a new layer. I then flip that object (command T, flip>horizontal) and slide it into place. Once it’s roughly in place, I select the eraser tool and make it decently large, very soft, and drop the opacity down. I then erase chunks of the excess until I get a decent blend. The healing brush tool is a good option to blend the wrinkle lines in. I can’t get a decent screenshot of that. General tips, avoid exactly mirrored portions when possible. Keep an eye out for repetitive patterns. […]

Feedly to Diigo

Not perfect but control clicking on the title of the article in Feedly lets me choose Diigo Web Collector>Save to Diigo from the menu (on Chrome on a Mac with the Diigo plugin installed). I’m assuming right clicking on a PC will do the same. What’s funny is I’ve been trying to figure a decent way to do this for a while. I didn’t think it was worth the pro version fee. There are many people who want Feedly/Diigo integration (Delicious is the current default). I was about to go the very difficult route of trying to write a browser plugin similar to Alan’s Flickr CC attribution helper. I was already at the point of looking at Chrome’s API documentation. I was then in the place of wondering if a Chrome extension could impact a Chrome application . . . luckily I then thought of an amazingly easy straightforward solution. I know my reliance on the freemium tools of Internet is fraught with all kinds of drama. I’m working on it and I have backups. I will not weep if they wander off.

Scrolling Text

We seem to have a need to take names and create scrolling text for various things (honor roll, Veteran’s Day, etc.). It was making me unhappy to have people spending time adding these names to PowerPoints or doing other manually intensive ways things to make this happen. I figured the Internet would have to have a better way. Here is one. After a search or two, I ended up at Max Vergelli’s jquery scroller. Down at the bottom on the examples page, I found the vertical scrolling option I wanted. I downloaded the files. I took my usual path, which is to open up the file and delete the stuff I didn’t want. I focused mainly on the HTML portion figuring it wouldn’t matter if the javascript loaded if it didn’t display. After a few tries, it turns out that I was wrong and that stuff does matter. So I also deleted all the unnecessary javascript pieces, or at least enough so that things worked. You can get a fairly clean version of the file that focuses on vertical scrolling by saving this webpage. You could also view the source etc.View source ought to be a good friend in most situations where you’re trying to figure this kind of thing out. Do keep in mind you’ll need the additional files […]

Better Animated GIF Tutorial for PS CS4

I’ve been fairly obsessed with animated gifs lately. My apologies. It was really If We Don’t, Remember Me that had me stuck in this loop. This person churns out such really interesting visuals, I couldn’t rest until I got something fairly close. I feel like the image above, while not perfect, is close enough to let things rest for a while1. Initially, I just thought IWDRM was just a master of choosing just the right clip. Now, that part can’t be discounted but there’s a lot of other things that go on to improve the final product. While fairly simple, I’ll try to detail what I did and how I eventually learned to make it more economical time wise. I’m not a PS guy, so there may be even better ways. If you know them, let me know. This is tilted towards CS4 but I imagine the concepts will make sense if you use other versions or other software. Clip your video down in Quicktime or something like that. You can edit in the PS import tool but it’s awkward. Import the video files to layers. The animation window will be at the bottom. Edit it until you’ve got a decent cycle going. The first frame will be the still portion of the image so choose one that is clear. […]

Animated GIF in Photoshop CS4 Tutorial

Inspired by the Noise Professor’s decision to make his animated GIF in Photoshop, I decided to play around with that tonight and ended up learning a good bit and with a much better process and product (fewer programs, higher quality). I didn’t know you could do this all in just CS4. Video to Images Capture video frames as stills to layers – you can even select portions of the video right in the import window. You’ll now have all the frames as images in individual layers. Animation Window Open up the Animation Window1 Eternal Looping I set it to loop eternally. It’s right there in the bottom left hand portion of the animation window. If you forget you have the option to set this again when you do the final export/polishing. Frame Speed Shift click to select all the frames and you can change the animation speed all at once. Animate the GIF I saw this was impossible in a number of places and if you go to the normal Save/Save As location, it is. There is actually an option below that on the menu that is “Save for Web & Devices.” Somehow I never saw that. You’ll have Animated GIF as an option here. Polish It Up 1 Never opened this before


Migrating from WP to WPMU

I spent some time the other day helping our ITRTs figure out how to install WPMU and then get their single user WordPress blogs imported into WPMU. I’ll probably make a video sooner or later as this is probably murder without images. So here’s my shot at best practice advice in case you have to move a lot of blogs from WP to WPMU when you’re not the final end user and can’t screw up. 1. Go to your WPMU install and make a new blog. Make the url the same thing as your WP blog but add a 1 and the end (so if it the blog url is name this one loveme1). We’re doing this so you can import it in while leaving the original blog up until you’ve made sure everything worked the way you wanted. We’ll go over how to drop the 1 from the WPMU url later. The admin here will be whoever is the main user of the blog. You’ll have access no matter what as WPMU admin. 2. Got to your WP blog (the original one) and log in to the admin panel then choose tools>export. This will get all your content out1. Save it on your desktop or wherever in a folder with the same name as the blog. While you’re […]


Intro to Theme Tweaking: Firebug has Magic Eyes

A couple of people at work were discussing how to make a good website for a school newspaper. I couldn’t help but point out the beauty that is The Collegian and mentioned it was based on WordPress with some theme tweaking. So one thing led to another and now a number of people are interested in learning how to do this type of thing. I’m the one-eyed guy1 who’s attempting to guide them. I’m no master of CSS, PHP or even WordPress but I have managed to do a few things over time- usually through trial and error. The movie below kind of talks about why CSS exists and then delves into using Firebug2 to explore website and learn how/what to change in the CSS to tweak themes. Firebug Introduction from Tom Woodward on Vimeo. 1 Too obscure a reference? 2 I find this plugin to be nearly magical and highly encourage you to use it for this and a variety of other purposes.

WordPress Tutorial

This WordPress tutorial is aimed at teachers (or anyone else) who is just starting out with some server space and Fantastico support. It covers a lot of the basic installation questions and gets into how to add themes and plugins to the blog. Most everything is done in video format. I made it for our ITRTs who are mainly using LunarPages for their server space. It also covers the basic blog usage questions regarding activating plugins, changing themes and doing all the other normal stuff. We also get into some of the settings we use to make sure comments are moderated etc. There are also some tutorial on what plugins etc. I used to create different projects (like the Byrd Books audio blog) It’s a solid intro into the world of assisted WordPress installation and administration.