I Did it My Way

I would like to summarize what I learned this week. For my reflection on the entire course, please click here or follow the link towards the end of this page.

This week was a challenge for me. Throughout the course I had difficulty with storytelling behind the visual, design, audio or video assignments I completed. This is what the course instructor pointed out in the feedback to my weekly assignments. Therefore I took it as a challenge and before I could start to do different parts of the final project, I gave the actual story a lot of consideration. I thought of different ideas at the end I decided that I am going to try a modern version of the traditional “Thirsty Crow Story”. I tried the story with toy dinosaurs and at the end it turned out to be a fun experience. I was able to attempt almost all of the digital tools that I learned during the previous weeks i.e. Audio, Design, Visual and Video. I hope that this story can be of interest to its viewers.

Following are the links to different assignments for week 5.

  1. The Final Story: The Thirsty Baby Dinos
  2. Course Reflection: Digital Storytelling and Me
  3. Design Assignment (4.2 Stars): How to Design a Story Poster with Adobe Photoshop
  4. Visual Assignment (3.5 Stars): How to make a GIF animation from different images
  5. Video Assignment (4.5 Stars): How to add a video into the thinking box or a callout of an image
  6. Audio Assignment 1 (4 Stars): How to make a radio announcement or advertisement with Audacity
  7. Audio Assignment 2 (4 Stars): How to record a telephone conversation with two different voices when both voices are your’s

Total Stars Attempted: 20.2

Digital Storytelling and Me

I must confess that at first I was not at all comfortable with the course material as from the first week I got the impression that the whole course was about designing blogs and websites. I am not such a great programmers at this stage so the idea of writing a huge amount of code for anything is not what I was expecting and wanted to expect. I also had some technical issue with my blog that kept me from updating it for a few day which added to my frustrations. But as I progressed and put some effort, I started to enjoy the course and in the third week my digital skills i.e. design and audio editing had improved a lot. I had come to know what digital storytelling meant and how it was different from web designing.  This was also reflected in week 3 grade. At this point when I have just finished my week 5, which is the final week, I really miss the course. I had developed a flow and was improving in many ways. First I was improving technically and second, I was reading literature to audio editing, radio, television, movie making that influenced me personally as well. I have started to look deep at movies. Whenever a person behind the camera is creating a Zolly effect I smile to myself. Movies had never influenced me this way before. In the same way I listen to radio shows from a different perspective now. I try to listen attentively and find out the meaning behind different sounds that fall on my ears.

I would love to be a part of similar course in the future and would suggest this course to my friends who I am sure would benefit from it in different ways.

How to Design a Story Poster with Adobe Photoshop

Please click here for assignment page

Assignment Stars: 4.2

I chose this assignment because it served my need for the poster I wanted to have on my story. I took several pictures of different dinosaur toys. For this assignment I knew that I have use the magic wand tool in the Photoshop that is helps in getting a specific image out of a photo by selecting the image and deleting other parts of the image that are different than the image. For this purpose the image has to clearly visible. I used my mobile camera and two white papers (one vertical and other horizontal with a 90 degree angel). The white papers served as a clean background and using magic wand was smooth. In the following photo gallery you can see different photos I took with my mobile camera.

Following are the different steps I used Adobe Photoshop to make the bellow poster.

The Poster



Step 1:Open the image in Photoshop


Step 2: Use Magic Wand to select different background sections and delete them. At the end there was an image with a transparent background.  


Step 3: Repeated Step 1 and 2 for the other two images to clear their background and make it transparent.

Step 4: Put all the images in one Photoshop image project in different layers.


Step 5: Resized all the images to my desired pixel size.

Step 6: Opened a Jungle Frame in a different layer. I downloaded a Jungle Frame from Royalty Free images with the help of Google Advance Image Search.

Step 7: Added a background color in a different layer.

Step 8: Added a text box as can be seen in the image bellow.



Step 9: Saved the resulted images as a JPEG from the file menu.

How to add a video into the thinking box or a callout of an image

Please click here for the assignment page 

Assignment stars: 4.5

One part of my story was to add an interactive video to it. I creating a video in which a dinosaur is thinking about the thirsty crow story. It was a bit challenging to find a specific tool in any photo editing software that will help me put a video into the thinking box or callout of an image. I had to come up with my own way of making it happen to create a video effect in which we can see what the dinosaur is thinking. Following is a complete video tutorial on getting it done. I would like to thank BenSound for the music.

Or you can follow the following steps:

Step 1: I put a thinking box or a callout onto your image of the dinosaur. I used Windows Paint it to do so.

Step 2: Then I opened the video that I wanted the dinosaur to think of and resized it to fit the thinking box or callout.

Step 3: I played the video in the thinking box or callout and recorded it with the image of the dinosaur with the help of IceCream screen recorder.

Step 4: The IceCream screen recorder automatically saves the video after you press the stop button.

How to make a GIF animation from different images

Please click here for assignment page (The assignment I completed is similar to it, not exactly the same)

Assignment Stars: 3.5

I must say that it is really an easy task to make a GIF animation because there are many. I used GIF Maker website to make my animation. In my story I had three characters. I wanted them to be known at the start of the story so I made a GIF with three photos of the characters as can be seen in the following GIF.

Gif dino characters

Please follow the following instructions to make a GIF of your own.

Step 1: Go to GIFMaker website.

Step 2: Upload the images that you want to use in your GIF from the upload button.


Step 3: Select one of the options. From the options bellow depending on the kin of GIF you want to make. I selected “Create GIF Animation”.

gif options

Step 4: You will be provided a download button. Simply click it and your GIF will be downloaded to your computer.


How to make a radio announcement or advertisement with Audacity

Please click here for assignment page

Assignment Stars: 4

I had to record two pieces of audios in my own voice. The first piece of the audio was about the letting the audience know which radio they were listening to and the second piece was about the advertisement announcement.

I also had to download two sound pieces from SoundBible. One of the sound I used as a beep between the two audio pieces I recorded in my own voice and the second one was a little bit of music I used at the start of the advertisement announcement.

I followed the following steps to create the radio advertisement.

Step 1: I opened Audacity.

Step 2: I recorded the two pieces of announcements in my voice.1

Step 3: I imported the audio clips that I downloaded by clicking the File Menu and then Import.

importing audios

Step 4: I moved all the audio clips to the series where I wanted them to play from the “Time Shift Tools”

time shift tool

Step 5: I selected the music layer and added a “Fade Out” effect to it from “Effects Menu”


Step 6: To save the prepared audio clip, I exported it in mp3 form from the file menu and saved it to my computer’s hard drive.




How to record a telephone conversation with two different voices when both voices are your’s

Please click here for the assignment page

Assignment Stars: 4

This seemed a challenging task to me as what I needed for my story was a telephone conversation between a male and a female person. I wrote the script that I wanted to implement during the telephone conversation and then followed the following steps in Audacity audio editing software to make it work for my story.

Step 1: I recorded an audio but with breaks. I mean I would record what the male voice has to say and press stop. It would automatically take me to a new sound layer in Audacity. Then I would record what the female voice would say.


Step 2: I downloaded a “Telephone Ring” audio clip from SoundBible and imported it into Audacity and kept it at the beginning of the whole audio.

importing audios

Step 3: I selected the voice layers for female voice and made changes to their “Pitch” from the “Effect Menu”


Step 4: I changed the “Percent” property of the voice layers that were representing a female voice to 13 as can be seen in the image bellow.


Step 5: I then exported the audio in mp3 format to my computer’s hard drive from the file menu.

Please follow this link for a video tutorial to change the pitch of a sound clip in Audacity.

Video tutorial: Fast forwarding a video with Windows Movie Maker

Assignment Stars: Above 4

Please click here for the assignment webpage

Music by:  BenSound

Video editing software used: Windows Movie Maker

Screen recording software used: IceCream Screen Recorder

All of us use internet to find help with all most everything. And luckily there is a lot of online help available free of any cost, thanks to different internet enthusiasts who share their experiences online. There are tutorial for everything we do. It could be simply eating a banana or fixing a car engine. I have always found video tutorials to be fascinating and helpful.

Once I lost the video on my car DVD player. I tried my best to fix this problem. I took my car battery off to hard reset it. I soft reset it with the reset button several times but in vain. I even took it to a mechanic. He also didn’t know to do fix it. I could only see a “+” sign in the middle of the screen. I turned to Google and tried different keywords. I was able to find a video tutorial after a few minutes of search and it has the simplest working solution possible. I just had to click on the four corners of my DVD screen and BOOM, it was fixed. The point I want to make with the above story is that it’s time to return the favor to the online community. What better way could be out there than making a video tutorial and putting it online?

In the following tutorial I chose to share with my audience a simple tool to fast forward any video. I have used Windows Movie Maker as it is a simple and free video editing tool from Microsoft available for Windows users. To record the video from the screen and my voice with it, I used IceCream Screen Recorder which is available here for a free download.

Original Video Clip in 1X

Video tutorial to fast forward with Windows Movie Maker (includes the fast forwarded clip)

I would also like to write down the steps that I took to make the video tutorial.

Step 1

Open Windows Movie Maker.


Step 2

Open the video that you want to fast forward by clicking the “Add video and photos” button on the home tab.


Step 3

Select the video by clicking it and from the “Video Tools” tab, increase the speed from 1x to 4x or whatever you like.


Step 4

The video play time has decreased from around 130 seconds to around 23 second with the same video frames played faster.


Step 5

Click on the “File” menu and save the video output in the format of your choice. I saved it for YouTube.


Step 6

Once you have recorded the whole process with IceCream Screen Recorder, you can again open the video in the Windows Movie Maker and add title slide, credits or music to it. I downloaded some royalty free nice music from BenSound and added it to my video tutorial.


An amazing video week

This course has been unfolding precious mysteries for me. In the previous weeks I was able to organize my personal blog, learn photo editing and tell audio stories. This week has been more amazing for me. It was related to the video world. I was able to have a glance into how critics view movies. Believe me it is completely different than how we view it. They can see the use of different camera angles and their effectiveness. Even where a character comes from and where does he/she goes has a different meaning which I have tried to describe in some of my posts available bellow. I used Windows Movie Maker for the first time and it was great to know that some of the video effects like slowing a video down or fast forwarding can be done so easily. I faced an issue of using music clips that would not be taken down by YouTube when I upload it there. I found a great solution to this problem in the form of two amazing royalty free music website i.e. Free Music Archive and BenSound.

Following are the links to the different tasks I have completed.

Reading Movies

Roger Ebert on Reading Movies

Summary of Cinematic Techniques

Look, Listen, Analyze

How to Look, Listen and Analyze a Movie


Creating Instant Replay

Tutorial: How to Fast Forward with Windows Movie Maker

Comments on Blog Posts

Is Commenting Helpful in Learning Only?

4 Daily Creates

Confessions of an Arab

Be a Vegetarian

I Still Look Good

I am Going to Mars

Creating Instant Replay with Windows Movie Maker

4 Stars Assignment

Click here for assignment webpage

YouTube video where the clip has been taken from:

I love pets. Back home I have got a dog and a cat. Yes, both of them live under the same roof in peace and harmony :). I have been looking at the video assignments to select one that I would love to try. I looked at the instant replay assignment and I thought why not make an instant replay of a clip from one of the dog shows that I already have on my computer hard disk. So I selected this clip from the Freestyle Flying Disc Winner – 2016 Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® Eastern Regionals video. I usually watch video by Dog Challenge Eastern Regional. All the dogs and their owners are really amazing. They give it their best shot. There has to be a winner of course but I consider most of them winners as the winning point margin is not that much greater.  I really like the dog moving backwards towards his owner, therefore I made an instant replay of that specific part of the video. In the following, I have discussed the different steps that I took to make the video instant replay with Windows Movie Maker.

Here is the video clip with an instant replay:

Step 1


I opened the Windows Movie Maker and saved the project to my hard disk.

Step 2


I added the video clip by clicking the “Add video and photo” button.

Step 3


I was going to make an action replay of the video part starting at 11th second on the video timeline. Therefore I clicked on that part on the video timeline and then right clicked in the video to split the video at 11th second.

Step 4


I clicked on the video part I wanted to make an action replay of and then from the “Video tab” reduced the speed to 0.5 of the original speed.

Step 5


I downloaded a music clip from Free Music Archive and added it to my project. There are many audio effects that can be added to the video from the “Audio tab”. I added a slow fade out audio effect to make the audio smoother.

Step 6


I added a title slide to the video from “Title” on the “Home tab”.

Step 7


I added Credit slides to the end of the video from “Credits” on the “Home tab”. I added different credits as can be seen at the end of the video.

A guide on opening and closing credits is available here on BBC Website

Step 8


I saved the prepared video for YouTube from the “File” drop down menu. Video can be saved with different formats depending on what you need it for.