Making GIFs

A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to learn how to make a GIF. I know you can download just about any GIF from the Internet, but that would not express exactly what I wanted to say. Anyway, it irked me that I didn’t know how to do this. So I learned how to make the most rudimentary GIF.

I used a simple, open source image manipulation program, GIMP. I do this whenever I make a GIF, or create any picture. GIMP is wonderful, although I still can’t use many of its functions. That’s changing. Now at least I can make a GIF. And I can sort of extract a picture from a background. But there’s a lot more to learn.

If you’re not familiar with GIMP, take a look at it. The program may not be as sophisticated as Photoshop, but if you have patience you can do just about anything with it.

Right now, on the spur of the moment, I’ll make a tree, blossoming. Let’s see how that works out.

I just picked a couple of generic images from Paint 3D (flower and tree) and made a few successive frames.

What I find is that when I blog, inserting a GIF sometimes adds interest. People like action. I even did this to a brain diagram earlier today. I ended up not using the brain GIF, because I thought it was a little creepy. Still sometimes this may come in handy.

Here’s the before and after on the brain diagram (this is a public domain image, NIH produced)

I was writing a blog about functional connectivity–neuroplasticity–so I thought the pulsating brain might be interesting. It was more annoying than interesting, though 🙂

Anyway, just thought I’d drop a note about making GIFs since I made a few in the last couple of days. Actually, I enjoy doing it.

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I’ve Been Writing a Lot…

 

 

mach writing Josef_Löwy_Handstudie_vor1872
Josef Löwy: “Handstudie” 1872.  Public domain

 

 

I’ve been writing quite a lot for several years now.  At first I wrote a book about personal experience.  Many people begin with the personal when they first write. After I finished that book, I cast my eyes out, and saw a universe of interesting subjects.

A blog followed–on Godaddy.  Then I opened a Twitter account. A few children’s books followed.  As the years passed, I wrote more books and found more mediums on which to feature my writing.

WordPress offered a convenient platform…and so here I am.  It may be my temperament that leads me down different paths.  Or it may be a symptom of the times. So many opportunities exist for people who want to write.  There’s no such thing as a closed door anymore.  We all have a key and an invitation to enter.

I’m blogging today about two lovely opportunities for writing, besides this one, that I explored this week.  Both of them are on Steemit and both are extraordinarily accessible to just about anyone.

The first I’ll mention is dedicated to haiku writing.  This has turned into a weekly exercise for me.  This is supposed to be a contest, but I don’t write to win.  I write because the community and the exercise are enjoyable.  Each week we are offered a picture and are asked to write a haiku in response.  This is a link to the contest.  My haiku is on the bottom, in the Comment section (under @agmoore).

Another exercise I’ve engaged in this week is a short story contest, Tell A Story to Me.  Contests abound on Steemit. I rarely win, but I do have fun writing for them.  Tell a Story to Me really captured my imagination in this round.  The prompt was the Golden Record.  My story is done, and I’ll post it on Monday.  The theme is so rich I can see this story developing into a book.  I’ll let you know how that works out 🙂

One thing you’ll notice, as you navigate around the creative writing blogs on Steemit, is that a lot of names reappear on different blogs.  There is a true creative writing community and after a while you get to recognize different writers and their styles.  You also appreciate how writers grow as they practice their craft.

And I don’t know much about cryptocurrency.  Steemit pays rewards in cryptocurrency.  But that is not the attraction for me or for a lot of people who blog there.  Maybe we’ll make money and maybe we won’t.  But in the meantime, we’re having a very rich experience.

I think I’ll try my hand at a haiku here.  This is in response to the picture featured in the contest.  Can’t show it…might be considered plagiarism.  When you read my haiku, you’ll see why I don’t win the contest 🙂

accent accent

Sunlight warms the pier

Wisp of a brown leaf withers

Atop its shadow