Welcome to the March 2017 Category C - Animated GIF Challenge "Preparation"!
First of all, well done to everyone who took up last month's challenge and the entries were all fantastic! The IQF++, I don't know how you got the mouth movement on Licia without CGI and the butterflies - wow!! Well done! It shows what really can be achieved!
Thank you RJ for hosting another great challenge! I look forward to seeing more of your work!
hansdampf21! Well done with Lena at her first effort! I hope you continue! Everyone else who entered makes this challenge so special! Well done everyone! It's so lovely to see our loved ones come alive (especially Lexi)!
I'm truly honoured to win the February 2017 Challenge and to be able to host this month's Challenge! Thank you all who voted for my lovely Ashaki! She didn't even know what was going on with me taking photos because she doesn't normally do anything until she's had her coffee first! (Maybe I should catch her out again, HaHa!)Bear with me as this is a lengthy intro to try to encourage new entries and to clear a few points up!!! Try to read it and not skip it to get on with posting!
Well, I'm going to rock the boat a bit here for the March 2017 Challenge and introduce a vague theme to see if it gives more members a spark of an idea to be creative! Let's see if it can attract more entries! We can always go back to the Open Theme if it doesn't work but I think it's worth a try!This month's theme is Preparation!
The Oxford Dictionary gives one definition of Preparation as:-"Thing(s) done to make ready!"
I'd like to see our guys and girls getting ready or getting something ready for................for what?
It could be getting ready for the day or for a night out..... or for a night in!!
It could be cooking or preparing a meal (come on Rari!) or laying the table ready for a meal or candle lit dinner - be careful of candles though!
Also be careful of them preparing to go shopping on the computer with your Credit Card!!!!!
How about putting makeup on, getting ready for bed or brushing their hair?
How about feeding the pets breakfast so they can start their day?However, as shown in that last example, I don't want to make this theme compulsory! If you have an idea that doesn't really match that, or your situation is such that it won't work for you, don't worry! Post it anyway! The theme is to spark imagination for this category not to limit it! PM me if in doubt!
For instance, how about doing housework (Lena, what else can your duster tickle?) or actually doing up the house (come on Daria!)! They're sort of preparing the house.....
It's been said before that it is really easy to create a GIF animation if you use http://gifmaker.me
. RJ also gave some excellent tips last month which are worth going back to look at!
However, until I get my own head around all this, I use the free software, PhotoScape, to create my GIFs and, like Bud, I find it very easy to use. Once you click on the "Animated GIF" part of the front page you can see the usual file explorer on the left, click on where you've saved your photos and your string of photos appears in the bottom left corner. You click on the first (actually, it's the last pic as it's shown in reverse date/time order!) and drag it to the top bar. Click on the next and drag it next to the first and repeat! The GIF magically starts happening! So you don't get confused as to which is next, the last photo you've used has a bloom effect on it. Don't worry if you get to the end of the bar, it will keep adding the photos. It will show a + sign on the cursor when you're in place to add at the end of the bar (I did nearly 60 I think for Ashaki's bongo GIF!). If you get one wrong you can just click on the offending photo on the top bar and delete it using the cross top right! Don't worry, it won't delete your actual photo!
You can change the time period with a button on the right. I use about 0.3 sec but adjust and see what happens! Your GIF starts as soon as you've entered a second photo! If you've taken a series of photos on the same camera and settings you don't need to bother with any other settings but have a play later perhaps! If you want to emphasise something in the GIF, like my Ashaki drinking her coffee, add that photo again at least once more but you can add quite a lot if you want (you can always keep adding until it's right or delete if too many!). This is especially important if you want to add a photo with text on it so people have time to read it (see Ashaki's December Christmas GIF)!
One thing I have found that is awkward is that, if you have a photo series in portrait, you have to right click on EACH photo on the bar and "Rotate CCW" or your GIF will come out sideways! I haven't found an easy way to do this yet so try to use landscape photos to make it easier!
Don't forget to save it with a title somewhere you can find it again!
Two images is all it takes to make an animated GIF and it can be just changing the effect of the same photo, like colour to black and white for instance!Advice
- For taking a series of pictures with a little bit of movement each time on the doll you MUST have the camera as still and as fixed in the same position as possible or it'll be very jerky! It doesn't need to be on a tripod! You can actually tape your camera or even phone to a solid piece of furniture if you like! I used an antislip mat on a wooden stool once! The smaller the movement on the doll the smoother the GIF looks. You also need to think about whether the doll is actually accidentally changing position slightly each time you move whatever you're moving. You can change more than one bit at a time though, like arm and head. If you twist the body, try to think about what happens to the rest of the upper part to be natural (like arms and head position). Soft furnishings like bedclothes are also hard to keep in the same place if you lean on them!! If you look at Ashaki's last GIF there are lots of shuffling bits and knee prints in the bedclothes (perhaps I shouldn't have given that away but you can see what I mean!). Take care not to get bits of your own body in the shots (ahem, and fingers IG!). I took about 60 photos when Ashaki was doing her bongos and I had to kneel. Leaning over to the camera I didn't look at the camera screen so my knees came out in some photos and not in others and I had to start again or clip each photo the exact amount!
Ashaki demonstrates a simple two pic at GIF at 0.3 sec timing:-
MarchGif1.gif [ 281.73 KiB | Viewed 870 times ]
...and here I've put 6 steps in between plus I've added the last pic three times to hold the motion slightly at the end:-
MarchGif2.gif [ 1.35 MiB | Viewed 870 times ]
Not brilliant, I know, as I did them very quickly and the camera wasn't very still but it just demonstrates how smaller movements and more pics can make the GIF look quite a bit smoother! This time the timing is set at 0.15 sec. If you have more photos you can shorten the time even further!
The encouraging news is that February's challenge attracted a lot more votes overall this time so hopefully that will evolve into more entries! I've looked back at some of the previous winners' entries last year and there have been some amazing GIFs! Let's keep that standard up!
I'm really looking forward to your new GIF animations and can't wait to see your dolls come alive! Note, the wording of the rules is slightly different for clarification purposes only.This month's Category C rules are:
1. A new or recent animated video of at least 2 frames played as a continuous loop in .GIF format viewable on TDF. No external links! (to YouTube for instance!)
2. The GIF should be shot by yourself and not composed before March 1st 2017 and not posted before as a video. Exceptions may be considered viable in this category if newly adapted in March of this year, particularly if the still photos were taken earlier. However, the host will have the final say as to acceptability! If in doubt, to avoid clogging up the thread, please PM the host with an explanation before posting!
3. An entry into this category may contain any mixture of dolls, whatever the kind, shape or size.
4. CGI dolls or CGI adaptation of dolls can be used. For clarity, please state if CGI has been used.
5. Doll nudity is acceptable although please keep to TDF Rules. Remember, some members may not vote for nudity!!!
6. Photoshop, Windows, GIMP, Paint.net, Photoscape or other image editing is allowed. Special Effects are also acceptable. Please feel free to add 'the making of...' comments which you think might help others join in or improve their own animations!
7. Do not break any TDF rules regarding photos and also comply to The Doll Album AUP.
8. Include the name of your doll or dolls and remember to put a title/caption for your animation in your post (not just what you've saved the GIF as)!
9. Please try not to harm any dolls, humans or animals (real or stuffed!) etc. during the making of your GIF.
And remember: All kinds of dolls and sizes of dolls are allowed to take part in this category! I'd love to see some 1/6 scale dolls (like Phicens) joining in!This month's challenge will run until approx… 05am EST Tuesday March 28th 2017, with the next three days open for voting.
The top three winners (unless there are ties) will be announced on Friday March 31st 2017. When there are ties, there are more winners!
Bear with me on times as I am in the UK and on GMT, so my TDF time may not correspond to EST which I think is 5 hours behind me (ie 4pm here is 11am there and quite a bit of the day to go!)! What's a few hours here or there?! I'll work it out somehow! I think 05am EST will give me midnight here!
So, everyone PLEASE join in, whatever you think your skill levels are, and let us bring our dolls to life and, above all, have fun! Who needs robotic dolls when we can see our own beauties come to life? Try it! You'll be amazed like I was the first time! If you think you need help doing this or get stuck feel free to PM me! However, don't forget I'm a novice too! We're all learning here!
Sorry for the long blurb, you'll have to forgive me as it's about 6 in the morning here and I'm not feeling brilliant! Anyway, I hope the blurb helps!
Good luck everyone! Hollows.