Capturing Morlium

One of the memes I really wanted to attribute to Morlium was Herobrine, so I got together with a friend with a copy of Minecraft and tried to work something out. I knew there was a tuxedo sprite that would work very well with what I was planning. I had a couple problems, however, putting it together. The first difficulty I encountered was that we did not have access to gameplay-recording equipment, since the game was on an XBox and not computer. As a result, we recorded the screen as gameplay. Unfortunately, the usual problem of recording a screen comes into play, that the capture rate of the camera and the frame refresh of the TV clash, causing distortions of the screen. Fortunately, these can be attributed as a plot device, since the distortion was little enough that a viewer can still tell what is going on.

The next problem we had was setting up the scene. We of course needed two players, and again, with only one system, we needed to play splitscreen. We worked to focus the camera solely on one player’s screen. We mounted the camera on putty, which worked somewhat well, but the observant viewer will notice that the camera is moving during the shot (see how the inventory bar floats from touching the bottom to further up on the screen). The rest came down to concealing the in-game clues as to what we were doing. I was hoping to keep the player’s field of view such that I would not have to clip the video frame. Unfortunately, the falling camera meant some of the second player’s screen was visible in the shot, and careless looking around showed the name-bar above Morlium (and the name in the bar was not Morlium!). Unfortunately, windows movie maker does not have any faculties to crop video frames, so I had to download another movie editor called VirtualDub, a no-nonsense no-fluff video editor developed by Avery Lee. It was able to crop the frame by applying a filter to the video. I then took the resulting video and imported it to Windows Movie Maker, which is more convenient for adding credits and trimming the video down. I then recorded a voice-over in audacity and added it to the video, as per some previous videos I have done on this blog.

In the end, I am fairly happy with what I got done. I am not generally a fan of video-editing, so getting it to at least a presentable state was a relief. Special Thanks to Zeke Kassock for helping me out!

Announcing Morlium

I have not made it a secret in this class that my familiarity with a lot of forms of media range from passing to none. If there is one thing I am half-competent with, however, it is memes, and knowing a lot of pointless facts about things. So, when determining what to do for a final projects, I started at those points.

I knew I wanted my horror character to have a very central role. I have enjoyed developing his attitudes towards me, and I wanted to continue down that path. At that moment, I realized that Morlium’s interactions with computers afforded him an opportunity to be the cause of so many memes. Once I had the idea, I ran with it.

The Penultimate Week

Crazy stuff is happening this week. What with a ton of final projects being due.

Morlium told me the final project was due this Friday. He has been having me create a lot of set pieces, taking video, all sorts of crazy stuff. Fortunately, I learned Wednesday evening that the due date is listed as next week. That made the week slightly less ridiculous.

tree

While Morlium is getting stuff together, I have been doing some upkeep of my own. I submitted a daily create idea, and also worked on writing a brand new assignment.

I also thought back on some assignments I did, and realized I enjoyed one particular assignment so much that I rewrote my explanation for it as a tutorial.

Morlium has left a couple of things lying around, such as this:

Morlium Abe

I overheard him muttering something about the last time he wore a tophat (now he wears a fedora), and being mistaken for Abraham Lincoln. Must be the tophat + axe combination.

Well, my exams are stacked at the front of the week, leaving some solid chunks of time for Morlium and me to finish up whatever he has in mind. We will see you then!

Honest Morlium

Look what we dug up here!

I have been looking for things that meet certain criteria (this will become clearer when I present the final project). This internet meme fits them nicely.

Source: http://weknowmemes.com/2012/07/dont-believe-everything-you-read-on-the-internet/

So, we took the picture, blanked the left side and the quote attribution, and put in our own devices.

Morlium Abe

I decided on reflecting that I wanted to keep the black-and white feel of the original, so you will not see Morlium’s bow tie as red, or his axe handle as brown. This change was fairly straightforward to perform.

The Red Eagle Knight

As per what I understand is good etiquette for the class, I took the liberty of completing my own created assignment.

Setup is simple. Open up the image editor of your choice (in my case, MS paint), set the properties of the image to be 16 pixels by 16 pixels, zoom in to the image, and use the pencil tool for good measure. I looked at animation sprites for 8-bit videogames, such as early Mario for inspiration.

I looked specifically at people since I knew I wanted to try my hand at a person. What I learned is that the sprites focus on two or three main features, it is alright to have goofy-looking appendages, since any person will understand that they are in fact arms and legs. Prominent in the Mario sprite are the mustache and the suspenders, while the arms and feet are somewhat out of proportion.

My result:

Red knight enlarged

Here, I went for getting a visor, sword, shield featuring a red eagle emblem, and cape. Needless to say, I was surprised at how much detail I could cram into the image. In an ideal world, the eagle could use a few extra pixels, and I could put a little more detail into the sword, but constraints are constraints! I added the cape at the end, because I felt the right hand side of the sprite was a little bare pre-cape, and it suddenly hit me that a cape is appropriate garb for a cartoon character.

Overall, I am quite happy with how it turned out.

To Make a Maze

Making a maze might seem like an incredibly tedious task. Depending on how you go about it, it very well can be. However, one of the beauties of digitizing content is that you can generate some very bizarre and difficult mazes rather quickly. As a forewarning, if you want to make a grid maze like the one in the description, this tutorial may not be for you.

The first thing I will note for this assignment is that you want to know what kind of maze you want to draw prior to staring. If adding color or background, realize that your maze walls need to be readily identified from the background. No matter what design you are going for, remember the primary purpose of a maze!

I personally am a fan of lightweight applications, so I will be showing steps as done with MS paint. Start by filling in a background color (if you are lazy like me, that color is white), then draw a general picture of what you want your maze to look like. Don’t worry about having paths or anything of the sort, just draw a picture. In my case, I simply drew a bunch of random shapes and lines on the canvas. Whatever you draw, try to have lots of lines, they will make your maze more intricate.

mazinger
Once you have the general picture, we will create a maze from the picture. Choose a color you have used nowhere else in your maze (orange for me), and draw the path you would like to be the solution. Ignore walls, just draw right over them (although try not to draw over ALL of them, there will be no walls where you draw by the end!). Also, MAKE SURE TO USE A SOLID BRUSH. Don’t use a brush that paints the selected color and lighter shades of it around the edges. For later versions of MS Paint, you can use the eraser (it actually just draws whatever color is selected for color 2).

mazinger solution

Once you have the main path drawn, branch off of the main path and draw in dead end paths. put in as many as you wish to make the maze as complex as possible. Make sure that as you are drawing dead-end paths, you always keep a wall between the dead ends and the ‘correct’ path.

mazinger complication

Once you have drawn in your dead ends, use the paint bucket tool (fill tool) to paint the paths you drew to be the same color as the background and, VIOLA!, you have a maze which hopefully retains the semblance of what you drew at the start. Note that not all parts of your maze may be accessible, but that is ok! You can check where the maze-runner can access by using the fill tool at the start of the maze, and it should fill in all the places accessible from the beginning. You can do this to make sure there aren’t any paths you overlooked that you don’t want to be in the maze.

mazinger complete
Before you are done, make sure to label your start and finish points!

A Summary to a History

(A man in a suit and fedora stands before you, leaning on an axe. Despite a blank face, you feel waves of incidental hostility flow over you)

Good Evening.

I see…my lazy landlord thinks I am a party to his sloth. Surely he did not expect to get away with…such words so easily. Has he ever run over by a bus? Perhaps he should…refrain from giving the experience to others, lest he receive it himself…

Perhaps he does not know how tirelessly I have worked to make the internet my home. Perhaps he does not know how hard I have worked to SHAPE THE INTERNET IN MY OWN IMAGE. I do not receive from him the respect I am due. Just look at this previous shoddily made attempt at describing my past. It was so bad I had to cut it off before he…damaged my reputation

Perhaps he is just…ignorant. Perhaps I must…more explicitly narrate my own achievements. The video above alluded to them. Have you wondered…the origins of the Nyan Cat? They are much darker than the feline would have you believe.

I do not wish to…spoil the seamless barrage of strikes against my landlord. For now I leave you with…this preview, one of many that I will demonstrate and weave together into a…truly worthy tale of my history.

Morlium Cats

I am not here to judge, only to state what is.

All Thine Bases of Operation

(A man in a suit and fedora stand before you, leaning on an axe)

Good Evening.

Many years ago, I found myself…in a world unlike…any I had ever experienced before. Trapped, I struggled to learn how I might…reach out again to this world. I have taken the liberty of…recreating one such attempt.

Morlium Cats

As you may have…imagined, my first attempt did not go over as well as I hoped. However, my actions sparked a…chain of events moving forward. It turns out my unique position has afforded me many opportunities to…make history.

The above recreation was created by…taking a marked up version of the picture and…undoing the embellishments made by the artist. It turns out that MS paint’s eschewing of solid brushes is…convenient for attempting to add depth to such adornments as bow ties.

I am not here to judge, only to state what is.

The Blame Game, Week 12 in Review

There is a lot of blame to go around this week. Let us hope the pattern does not continue.

As with many weeks, a combination of procrastination and being-out-of-town-leading-up-to-the-weekend has gotten me into trouble again. Direction for this portion of blame? Squarely here. And Morlium. Let’s throw him under the bus since he isn’t here right now.

Of course, others should not suffer from my bad work habits.

I would like to take a moment to criticize the FCC. They are never there when you need them. I blame all of my audio quality on them. They may not deserve the blame (actually, they most certainly do not), but that won’t keep me from trying!….not very well…because I told you they are actually doing a sufficient job for my needs…

While I am on the subject of chewing people out, I would like to assign some more blame squarely where it belongs. We are lucky I am here today writing this post.

Finally, I do not know who to blame for this debacle. Ship designers? Navigators? Script writers? Random people with internet and image ediitng software? When the best of the best can’t take down a planet-sized gorilla, we have a problem.

Mixing and Mashing has proven to be an interesting take on the assignments in this class. They feel like previous assignments, but a lot mor involved to come up with a sufficient idea and working to make the details work.

 

We’re Going Down!

For this mashup assignment, we had to take two iconic movie scenes and mash them together.

My inexperience with media in general is a detriment to this assignment. Iconic movie scenes? None ring a bell.

I ultimately did find a scene I thought would be appropriate to mashup, this movie poster of a scene with the Enterprise crashing down to earth gives a plot of action and a convenient blank space to work a little magic, something where inserting something won’t make it seem crowded because if anything, the space is TOO blank.

star-trek-into-darkness-poster-excerpt-660x577

So what to put into it? I didn’t think much of the movie itself, so why don;t we insert something that pokes fun at the plot? The Enterprise is crashing, so why not give it a reason to crash? I considered putting in a spaceship from some other series, like a star destroye, but ultimately decided that would be too expected. So, to keep with a somewhat comedic feel here, I bent the rules of the assignment and swiped an object from what I consider an iconic opening scene of one of the better TV shows to travel the airwaves:

So, I brought up powerpoint, indserted the movie poster in a slide, then a picture of the barrel monkey from the futurama wiki. Thanks to the raltively constant background, powerpoint had no trouble removing the background of the photo when I inserted it into the slide. Just to keep some perspective, I also tilted the image slightly. The end result:

Monkey Trek
I was relatively happy with the end product. I considered darkening the gorilla and planet to make it fit in better with the dark colors of the movie, but I also wanted to keep the lighter cartoony feel that the brighter colors provided. The ship is central, but the brighter color almost demands attention, but it is small enough to get second notice.