Gimme the Bat

I’m in a ds106 state of mind these days. In particular, I’ve been meaning to dig into all the amazing work John Johnston has been doing with command line tools over the last several years. I always looked on in wonder, but todayI decided to stop internet rubbernecking and get my A-game back on 🙂 As I was thinking about things I wanted to play with—his recent post about playing with ffmpeg and ImageMagick to create cartoon versions of famous movie scenes came immediately to mind.


After some deliberation I decided on the “Gimme the Bat, Wendy” scene from The Shining.  The idea was to take this scene, which is reminiscent of a Punch and Judy puppet show, and make it cartoonish. There are several references to cartoons and fairytales in The Shining: Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner (beep beep), Bugs Bunny, Hansel and Gretel, the Three Little Pigs, a bizarre ass rabbit, etc. So this might be a good place to start exploring the trope with some command line art.

Anyway, I spent far too long playing with this, but I am close to some understanding—well, at least of the basics. I followed John’s tutorial, and it was spot on. The only issue I ran into was a permissions problem with the cartoon script, and John bailed me out with a quick permissions fix in command line:

chmod +x cartoon

The other thing John does not cover in his post is installing ffmpeg and ImageMagick. I did this through MacPorts, and it makes installing system software like this really easy. As luck would have it, I just installed MacPorts a couple of weeks back to get my Mac to talk to the C128, so I was in like Flynn. I recommend this great guide for installing MacPorts if you have a Mac and are planning on exploring this stuff. Once you have MacPorts installed properly, spinning up ffmpeg and/or ImageMagick is a simple command.

For ffmpeg it is…

sudo port install ffmpeg

And for ImageMagick it’s…

sudo port install ImageMagick

John’s tutorial will take you the rest of the way home, and home is where the heart is as Jack Torrance constantly reminds us:

This entry was posted in digital storytelling, film, movies, video and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gimme the Bat

  1. I’ve been waiting for a nudge too. Command line stuff, when ti works, makes you make superman look like a skinny punk on the beach.

    FWIW, I found both ffmpeg and ImageMagik a one line breeze to install with Homebrew (followed instructions here

    There will be westerns made.

  2. john says:

    Wonderful Jim, great clip to start with.

    I’ve be posting these ‘tutorials’ for a while and can’t tell you how delighted I am to see you pick up the bat & put it to use:-)

    Like Alan I’ve used homebrew for installing ‘this sort of thing’. You can get gifsicle there too;-)

    What I really like about commandline stuff, is you can generate a lot of variations and pick

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