This week in INTE5340, we were to remix the work of another student in our class. I was paired up with Paloma Ramirez. Paloma is studying elementary education and admits to being new to digital media and blogging. I went through her website’s blog and then ended up on her Twitter, where I found something that piqued my interest to remix. She had completed a 30 Second Story by creating a 30 second audio newscast. She had been inspired to do this assignment from a DS106 Daily Create that she had done earlier in the week. When I listened to her audio newscast, I immediately imagined an animated lady sitting behind a desk in a newsroom talking out the story to the viewers. Creating an animation is something I have never done before, and felt strongly compelled to try, as I had tried and failed numerous times to do animations.
As soon as I set my mind to creating an animation based off of Paloma’s newscast, I began trying to figure out the best program to use to create it. First, I needed to pull her audio files off of her Soundcloud. This was a great experience for me, as I had never done this before. I found a document online on how to save audio files on Soundcloud when they aren’t available to download. The document had 3 options on how do this, so I began with the first one, which consisted of getting into the page’s developer code and saving bits and pieces of the audio, and somehow figuring out how to splice them all back together. I tried this and it just wasn’t working for me, so I went to the next option, which was to use the DownloadHelper extension on Firefox. I followed the directions on how to get this add-on, and while it looked promising, the files were still not complete when I would download them. Finally, I tried option number 3, which was using a download service. I found one online and it asked for the URL of the Soundcloud song I wanted to download. I copied and pasted it into the site, and it quickly created an MP3 of Paloma’s file for me to download. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. That raised some questions for me on copyright laws, but that is for another time.
After retrieving the sound file, I then set out to create the animation. I attempted to try again the programs I had difficulty with previously, such as Powtoon, Animatron, etc. After attempting again to figure these out and get past their limitations (i.e: no available objects that look like a newsroom, etc.), I stumbled upon Animaker. Immediately I could tell that Animaker was a bit different than the other programs and there was a wider variety of objects that suited my needs. I upgraded to the premium account in order to access a greater variety of objects and characters and began working on the animation. The process was much more user-friendly than what I had found among the other programs, and I ended up creating a pretty cool looking animation. Because I upgraded to the Premium account for the month, I think I will create some other animations for my Portfolio. In all, I think the animation I made, along with the soundfile, turned out pretty decent for being a novice and with software limitations.
Here is the link to the final product. I have it stored on my Google Drive for the time being.
In reading Paloma’s blog and looking at her work, I found that she is genuine in her approach to this class. As she is an elementary education major, she is clearly working very hard to get out of her comfort zone by taking this class. I can imagine that it could be intimidating working with new media. This is how I felt when completing the animation this week. I took myself out of my comfort zone and did something that I was definitely not comfortable doing and worried so much about failure, but I did it and I think it turned out pretty good. I feel like Paloma has so much to give to this class, and I am looking forward to following her journey in the next few weeks remaining in this course.