One of the things I love about the aesthetic of Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires (1965) is the low tech spaceship control console that seems analog, almost like a radio you’d find in a 60s car. Kinda reminds me of ds106radio—old school tech and aesthetic that meets cutting edge ideas for exploring the yet unchartered space of online connections.
But actually this post is not about Mario Bava, not is it about ds106radio. Rather, this post is about John Johnston‘s awesome application for the Mac, movie2gif, he made using SuperCard. it makes creating animated GIFs a cinch, and it is basically a GUI interface for the open source, command line GIF animator called Gifsicle. It is a clean, dead simple interface, and it makes the process of creating animated GIFs that much more accessible, which any good interface should. it does everything from grabbing the stills, to letting you resixe it, to previewing your animated GIF, it is brilliantly conceived. Kudos to John. You can read his post about it here. What’s more, he even created a step-by-step screencast to get you going quickly.
In his post, and in the video, John really nails the strange fascination that seems to accompany the creation of animated GIFs:
One of the things that the ds106 folk have been doing is creating animated gifs from very short sections of movies. I am still not sure if I see the whole point of this, but it becomes a very addictive process.
I couldn’t agree more, I am not sure if their is a point to these animated GIFs other than personal amusement, but I do know I am addicted. It’s a blast to make them, and it helps me focus on single shots and scenes of film I would have passed over before. I like to think it opens up a new way for me to look at films I love. A way of breaking down shots, and hopefully a way of thinking harder about how the were framed by the artist. What’s more, there seems to be a move towards creating elegant and subtle movements in film and photography that has been termed the cinemagraph (kind of an upscale animated GIF 🙂 ). I found a quick tutorial for the cinemagraph using Photoshop, and I will be checking that out to see if I can get some of the same effects in GIMP. So, all this to say what’s old is new again—despite the fancy clothes—long live the animated GIF!