ds106 Class Notes and Stuff

ds106 Class Notes and Stuff

Green Eggs and GIMP

I like how my students are learning how to create their ds106 design graphics in GIMP by no means the easist software to use. Sometimes they get frustrated and revert to ones they know or just drawing things on paper and taking a photo.

The point of this class is for students to become creators, and sometimes this means making a choice between trying some quick and easy web generator graphic tool or doing it the hard(er) way in software. To become a more versatile person with media, in the long run you will be better off knowing how to make your own graphics, because they will do much much more than the one off easy apps.

I saw this morning my student was up agains the GIMP wall

http://twitter.com/laurstray20/status/254954559825403904

Beyond not knowing exactly what the issue was, its not easy to explaining something like GIMP in twitter. And then I fund something that is wonderfully simple in Photoshop (adding an outline stroke to text) takes a few more steps in The GIMP. So I wanted to make sure I knew how to do this and try and explain it (late) to Lauren.

First, one thing I notice in this new version of GIMP that it did not list many fonts, On Mac OS X I found a video that helped (you have to identify your fonts folders in the app prefs).

Okay, so Lauren’s design was to take a cover from Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham and replace the “Eggs” with Viruses– she got frustrated and went back to using MS Paint.

So let’s crack open The GIMP and see if we can walk through the process. First step is locating a base image, using google image search:

ds106 Class Notes and Stuff

Making Text Work With Your ds106 Design Work, Not Against it

Another problem with taking the quick short cut route of doing ds106 assignments is generally the text tools are limited to slapping text on top of photos. I am seeing a number of the early work my students are doing is that are not really looking at how the text interacts with their design.

If the text is just typed over the picture, it will look flat, often it is not as readable due to conflict with the background, and frankly, it ends up looking not designed.

I’m beginning to wonder if when asked to designa poster, if students are really thinking about say, how movie posters look?

Let’s say i am working on some assignment, maybe it is designing a book or album cover, and I use a photo of my friend Bryan Alexander. I can use many tools, but I choose pixlr a free web based editor I see a numnber of students are using — and woah, I am impressed, it has layering tools and thus can do many things I want students to be doing in their graphics.

But if all I do is toss some text on top of Bryan, it looks cheap:

There are all kinds of problems, it clashes with the background, the color is not really working well with the color in the images. it looks like it is slapped on. This is not designed.

What can we do?

ds106 Class Notes and Stuff

Five Points!

I was curious last week to see how many of my ds106 students were doing their part to stay tuned to the class hash tag (or me) in twitter. What better way than a POP QUIZ? Testing if my UMW #ds106 students are listening in twitter. Particpation Quiz can get you EXTRA CREDIT POINTS https://t.co/BRZhTAkr […]