Weekly Summary Numero Cinco

Where did the time go?! It’s hard to believe as I’m sitting here typing, that this is the last post I am making for this class! Though, I encountered a few setbacks along the way, I am glad about what I am able to take away from this whole experience. Technology and I while we were at odds with one another, I can now proudly say we are “frenemies”. As for DS106, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what was to come out of it. But, I am so glad to have taken it, I have learned to love it so much. It reinvigorated some creativity I thought I lost long ago.

When I completed this week’s final assignments I had a bittersweet sort of moment knowing that there won’t be another week where I had to do assignments. This final project was time-consuming, but in the send I loved how everything turned out. I didn’t really have a solid plan, I sort of just dived right in with everything (luckily, it worked!).

The most challenging thing this week was weaving the overall story together with the media I created so it could have a certain flow to it. The piece of media, that was the hardest to figure out was Audio. I wanted to find a place to where I could put it in the final project, and it took a while to figure out how I should tackle that, and along with piecing together an audio story in Audacity. But with that being said, my favorite unit surprisingly was Audio, looking back on it, mainly because over the week I gained an appreciation for all the hard work people in that field go through to make an authentic piece of work.

The thing I enjoyed the most was probably the whole final project collectively! I loved creating a character and building a storyline off of that and using a variety of tools to create media centered on the character. One thing I took away with this week is, how to further use editing programs such as Pixlr or GIMP. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure what I was doing with these programs, but after using them quite a few times over the semester it’s almost become like a second nature thing.

One of the things I would do differently would be adding more video media to my final project. I noticed while, I did have one source of video media in the project, I felt like I should have added more to it to explain my characters story better.

As I was working week by week, and struggling at some points, I am going back to the point of gaining appreciation. I don’t think society understands or respects the amount of work that some people do to create a story through digital media. It’s not only time-consuming, but it’s hard at times! I imagine from now on I look, listen, and approach things differently when I run into these types of things again. But, I’m happy I’ll have a new outlook on it.

I also, just wanted to thank Professor Polack for all the feedback and instruction she had given over the past five weeks, it has proved very helpful! I also want to thank my fellow classmates for providing me with insight as well!


Assignment Tutorial

Create Your Own Assignment

Final Project


Have a great summer!

Enjoy some pie!

Pie Time


Life of a Living Skeleton

How could five whole weeks fly by so fast?! Well, here it is my final project!

Where do I begin…? Inspiration perhaps? Okay.

Me trying to be deep…and failing.







Anyways, the inspiration for this big, final project stems from an animated movie- The Book Of Life and my own family! Without, spoiling too much of the movie ( for those who have yet to see it), it has a “Dias de Los Muertos” theme to it, and the animation is simply stunning (yes, even for a kid’s film). As for my family, I am part Mexican so seeing bright images of sugar skulls and bright colors laying around my house are nothing new. I then decided, well why not try to make a character inspired by all of this?

And I did just that.

Check it out if you have some time!
The actual candy, sugar skull.

I can’t forget the main character that is central to all of this- her name is Catalina.


Ahh, where do I begin with Catalina? Three words, five syllables, and overused in every story…

Once upon a time,

In the warm California climate, there lived a girl- of course, she wasn’t just any girl. She was a catrina– a sugar skull, a skeleton, that thing you see hanging in the Anatomy classroom (you get the jist). Her name was Catalina. Catalina lived with her family in San Ysidro, California. From day one, Catalina had always been well…unique. It’s not every day you see a living skeleton family operate just like anyone else. Catalina was a gregarious young one- despite the fact she was always teased for being different. Catalina used to hate how she looked and hated who she was. Why was she being picked on? She was nice, she was a good person, why her?

Catalina took a close look at herself in the mirror.

“Being different isn’t so bad…at least I’m brave enough to be myself. Despite the fact, I get mistaken for equipment in the health room. I like me.” Catalina said.

Catalina turned her heel the other way and never gave the satisfaction to the naysayers. In the end, their words don’t matter, her happiness does. Catalina grew up into a stronger and more positive version of who she already was.  Over the years, her family had a knack for throwing huge parties and gatherings and Catalina would be the first to organize it from the first moment all the way to the last. She lived and breathed for planning events. That was when she decided she wanted to do it for the rest of her life.

“Do you think I could do it?” She asked.

“Well, why not? You are already so great at it, go for it.” Her mother said.

Catalina knew she wanted it, but the question was how would she get it?

Lightbulb moment.

“I’ll go to L.A., there’s bound to be at least one place to start!”

Her parents looked at her in shock.

“Are you sure about L.A.?” Catalina’s dad asked.

“Yes, why do you say that?” She retorted.

“Catalina, they know you here, in Los Angeles…imagine them seeing well a skeleton walking around.” He replied.

“Me? I’m the most normal thing they have going for them up there! They don’t call it HollyWEIRD for nothing!” She said.

Her parents obliged knowing no matter what they say she was going to Los Angeles, but being parents no matter how bad your kid screws up, accomplishes, or whatever- they still supported her and loved her no questions asked.

Catalina soon found an apartment near the hub of it all in the city and packed her bags, took her kitten- Lola and drove her Volkswagen van up to the City of Angels.

(Below is a list of road trip tunes Catalina and Lola listened to on their way to LA)

Catalina finally arrived in the city, and amidst getting a few questionable looks she proceeded to unpack her things and settle in. She was going on a job quest tommorrow…all she wanted to do was unwind and take in what the city has to offer. She wasn’t sure nor did she worry about what things were to come into her life soon.

[ To see how this audio track was made click here ]

She walked over to her window and looked at the skyline.

“I think I like who I’m becoming.” Catalina said.

The End. (Or maybe beginning for her?)


I wonder how Catalina feels about all of this ( I am a Third Person narrator after all, therefore in my legal contract with my job, I can’t really speak for Catalina). But, lucky for everyone else, I did find her Vlog post!

[ To see how this video was put together click here for more information ]

I’m rooting for her ( All 206 bones and what not!).

I think this calls for a dance celebration with her younger siblings- Sofia and Ruben.

View post on imgur.com

[ To see the simple way of making both GIFs click here ]



[ Tutorial on how postcard was made, click here ]

Don’t forget to check Catalina’s Pinterest Board out!

Follow Sammy Telford's board Catalina on Pinterest.

Links to how I did all the assignments for the Final Project are down below



Audio Track




I had a lot of fun these past five weeks and I have gained a lot from all the assignments I had done. Now I’m only semi-horrible with technology. Have a great summer!!!


How it’s Made: Final Project and Final Part

To make both the GIFs in my final project I used Imgur’s VidGif creator. I am just going to use a random video to show how I did this.

I first went to YouTube to find videos that fit the theme for my story. In this case, I will use a corgi to show how it’s done (because who doesn’t like corgis?!). I then went to the Imgur VidGif creator and pasted the URL into the line.


The video then processed for a bit, and I was redirected back to a page where the video would play on loop at a specific part. At the bottom of the video, there is a toggle, I dragged the toggle to a point where I could make the GIFs.




Then, I hit the button at the bottom, and waited for my GIFs to process.

And ta-da!

Me trying to swim.

How it’s Made: Final Project Part Five

In another “design” portion of my final assignment, I decided to make a postcard with Pixlr.

1.) I opened the Photo Editor, and I had a few select images I wanted to use for my postcard that represented both the character and the story.



2.) On the bar located at the top I then selected File> New Image, to create a background to drag in the layers I wanted to work with.

3.) With this new image, I dragged the skyline layer into the new image layer.

Looks a bit awkward I know, but it should look something like this.
Looks a bit awkward I know, but it should look something like this.

3.) On the Navigator box (located to the right) there is a selection button that is called “Layer Styles”. I clicked that and a box showed up. When the box showed up I checked the “Inner Glow” option to give my postcard a border.



4.) I then added in the palm tree photo to the background by dragging it in the white part of the New Image photo.

The background image is supposed to look like this. Make sure it comes before the background layer on the Navigator Box located on the right where it shows all of the layers you have used.

5.) Finally, to add details such as the turn and the text I used the tool box located at the left of the page.

a.) To rotate the postcard layer: I went to Edit> Free Transform. A blue dotted box will appear and at the corner the option to rotate the postcard is available.

A box like this will appear.

b.) To add text: On the toolbar there is a capital “A”. Click that and on anywhere in the postcard I typed a postcard punchline.

That’s what the tool looks like for later reference.


6.) I saved it and that’s how I got my post card!



How it’s Made: Final Project Tutorial Four

For the video portion, I used two programs that never fail to pull through for me – Powerpoint and Windows Live Movie Maker.

I made a slideshow full of information about the character, along with personalizing it with pictures, and background elements.



I saved the powerpoint file as a .JPG to be able to edit it in the movie editor. This is where the Movie Editing part comes into play.

After uploading the slideshow into the movie editor- it broke it down slide by slide.



I went to each frame to add animation, change the slide time, and add any more effects to the video. All of which are located in the Video Tools tab on the top. After I had the right pace of the main frames, I proceeded to add a few more frames for the credits. The final thing I did was add an upbeat tune with the “Add Music” tab which is the blue music note located at the top of the page.

Finally, I uploaded it to YouTube!


How it’s Made: Final Project Tutorial Three

This is the tutorial for how I made the audio story of when Catalina first arrives in Los Angelos.

The tool I used to piece together all the tracks was Audacity.

To get all the sound effects to tell my story, I went to Freesound.org. The download part does require sign up.

Once all of the sounds I wanted were downloaded to the desktop, I used “Import” on Audacity to load the files (in the order I wanted) onto the program.

Go under File> Import> Audio to transfer the files.

The hard part came in, trying to layer, trim, and time every sound to weave the story together.

Multiple files all started at the same time, so to make a smooth transition I used the time shift tool located at the top to move each sound to where I wanted it to be in the story progression. Then, I used the selection to highlight areas and trim the sound out.

Then, I played it over a few times, and moved around the sounds until I got the audio story I wanted.


How it’s Made: Final Project Tutorial Two

This is the second part to how I made the “visual” media for my final project. I want to show how I embedded a playlist into my post.

The first thing I immediately went to was the “Add Media” button, which is located directly above the text space provided in any blog post and/or on the sidebar located to the left.

There’s the little guy.

Now after I clicked that button, a window immediately comes up Untitled


I then clicked “select files” located at the center and uploaded the music files I wanted to have in the playlist. Located at the left in the window a tab labeled “Create Audio Playlist” appeared.

Not my picture by the way, but it’s better quality.

From here I select all my music by checking them. I then pressed the Create a new playlist button located at the bottom and my playlist came to life.



How it’s Made: Final Project Tutorial One

Hello! I decided to break up how I was able to create some of the media with my final project character into separate posts. This will allow me not to make a super long final project post and help organize it better.

So this is the tutorial for how I did a “design” assignment for my final project. This is where I made Catalina (my character).

How I did this was pretty straight forward, I first set out to find my inspiration on how I wanted my character to look. I found a multitude of pictures on sites like Pinterest  , Tumblr,   and this Youtube video to help me piece together a look for my character. I finally sketched her up on regular sketch paper.

Some visual tools I referenced when I was sketching her were a Howcast video and the immensely helpful website- IDrawFashion.

I then drew her up and colored her in. I used the scanner to upload the picture into my files and I selected it to put it in my final post.

Hope that helped!!


Cereal Box Fun

The best thing I can cook is cereal. It’s probably the only thing I can cook. I don’t know if people realize this but, I think cereal box covers are often overlooked. Yeah, they are not breakthrough designs but they have an iconic.

All these characters are recognizable and famous yet they don’t even have to twerk to be known for who they are.

Anyways, what better way to show and create new characters than creating a cereal box?!

Here’s the magic I used in Pixlr to make my cereal box (my dog happens to be the mascot).

Possible catchprase..."They'll make you go woof!"
Possible catchprase…”They’ll make you go woof!”

The cereal will hit grocery store shelves in Fall 2377.

How to do this:

What you’ll need- Photoshop, Pixlr, or GIMP.

*Note* I used Pixlr for all of this.

1.) What you are going to do, is when you have a new image in one of the editors, the size does not matter, BUT, since most cereal boxes have a larger lengths than widths you might want to stick with that sort of concept.

2.) Once you have the size you want, take the paint bucket tool (or the gradient tool) and fill in the background with the desired color or colors of your choosing.

3.) After the background has been established you want to add a new layer. Typically when it comes to all of these editing softwares- they have a tab to where you can add a new layer.

As in this example set by Pixlr.

4.) Add the number of layers you desire. With these new layers you are going to further add a picture in each layer that has to deal with the type of cereal cover theme you want to advertise.

5.) Then, once you set your decorations around the picture, go to the tool bar, and locate the text tool (this is usually a capital letter on the left side).

6.) You are going to clock anywhere in the location of your “cereal box” and type it in. Have fun with the size, type, and location of the font. Add a punchline if you want!

7.) Finally, you are going to upload a photo of your own created character/ mascot, your dog, or even yourself to the box.

Assignment worth total: 3 stars.


Now you can be a Professional DJ (Well kind of)

You can become a famous!

Not this DJ…
This one!

But in all seriousness, let me get down to the real business- Making Your Own song. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t have the pipes of an angel so I opted to go the instrumental route, which, believe me, works just as well.

The tool of my trade? Soundation, a website where you the user can make music for free!

1.) Choose the genre type you want to build your own personal anthem by. The choices are located on the right.

Click one of the options and various instrumental sounds are listed- such as a Clap or a “Beat Straight”

2.) Once you choose your tunes- I say pick about 2 (maybe 3). You are going to want to stagger the sounds.

Another note: To have a consistent beat (meaning it shouldn’t sound all over the place), try and pick the same BPM or tempo, I know for electronica it varies from either 90 BPM or 95 BPM.


3.) Keep staggering all your gathered sounds until you feel you have the right fit. This may take awhile. Now, on the line above there’s this ruler looking thing- that is the time for how long you want your song to go for. There is a scroll bar at the bottom if you want your song to go longer.

The time bar.
The time bar. Sorry, it’s a bit small!

4.) On the left, the crucial thing with this is the toggle bar. This is where you can drag it to either make a certain beat more prevalent in the song or make it softer.



5.) After playing it back a few times, go to the “File” tab and Save it, then upload load it to Soundcloud or any other place!

*Note*- The setback to all of this is, Saving it, you have to join as a member but it’s free.