Learning About Vine and Stop-Motion Animation in Westchester

Image representing Vine as depicted in CrunchBase

Image by None via CrunchBase

by Megan Johnson, intern

Ever since Vine, the app that lets you record looping 6-second videos, debuted in January of this year, it has been a hit amongst stop-motion animators. All a Vine recording requires is that you press your thumb down on the screen to record and lift it to stop. So, for stop-motion aficionados, that easily translates to creating your own stop-motion animations.
For those of you who are interested in exploring the stop-motion world, check out these tips, provided by the pro Viners themselves: 

1. Come up with an idea!

No (successful) stop-motion clip can be spontaneous. Plan out what you’re going to do in your 6 seconds and figure out what your goal is for this Vine. Pro Viner, Frank Danna, recommends asking yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” if you have “Viner’s Block.”

2. Plan. Rome wasn’t Vined in a day!

Much like longer-length productions, you’ll need to organize your Vine by breaking down your shots and figuring out what you’ll have to do – for more complex Vines, this may involve storyboarding! This helps you stay on track and constant throughout the filming process. “I typically begin with rough sketches or written walkthroughs that help me keep the story of my Vine intact and insure consistency from start to finish,” says Danna.

From here, you can figure out not only where your Vine will end up, but also what props and camera angles you may need. If you want to ensure steady shots, get a tripod or a makeshift tripod to keep your stop-motion animation looking flawless.

3. Cut frequently!

You’ve got way more time than you think you have. 6 seconds seems long to us, but in the realm of stop-motion animation, it’s a long time. You have so many possibilities!

Just look at Ben Wyatt (on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) as his hard work of three weeks led to 3 seconds of stop-motion:

Don’t worry, yours won’t be as bad.

4. Use the ghost feature!

Some of you may not even realize this exists, but pro Viner and video producer Ian Padgham recommends using Vine’s ghost feature. It allows you to have a ghost layer while you’re filming, so that if you bump the shot at all, you can view the last scene with ease by tapping the ghost in the bottom right corner

5. Take a screenshot for looping!

Padgham also recommends that, if you want to have a great, smoothly looping Vine, you should take a screenshot of your first shot so that you know exactly how to end your video to look just like the beginning.

Maybe you can even aspire to be as great as these guys (but don’t be ashamed if your first attempt isn’t quite as awe-inducing!)

Happy Vining and hope you have as much fun with it as we do! Check out our Vines by following @thedaexperience.


Love Vine? Check out these great Vine articles that have more tips and more awesome animations!

Interested in having your kids learn stop-motion animation?
Our next Stop-Motion with Legos class at The Digital Arts Experience for ages 9-12 will begin December 4th!
Click here for more information.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: #Hashtag with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

If you haven’t seen this already, it’s Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s hilarious jab at all our #uselesshashtags that we feel obligated to throw into every sentence, ’cause #YOLO! But seriously, check it out and #TGIF!

On Instagram from a Photographer’s Point of View

by Jordan Frankenthaler, Photography Intern

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Photo taken by Jordan Frankenthaler, Intern

Photography has interested me for almost my entire life. I remember shooting photos on a Polaroid camera, quickly putting the undeveloped photos in my pocket, and waiting a few minutes until the photo is ready. Now, everyone (including me) has a camera on his or her phone and taking and sharing photos has become much easier. Services like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Vine allow users to (sometimes artistically) show their entire lives to the world.

One of my favorite services, however, is the photo sharing app, Instagram. Instagram is interesting in that one can share photos with the option of not sharing words. This focuses the viewer’s attention and puts more emphasis on the photo. This makes Instagram unique in that people can tell stories without words, only using images. When I took my first photography class, the first thing my teacher made the class do was convey a meaning, tell a story with only images. It was one of the most helpful creative exercise that I ever did because it forced me to think about what each photo said. That’s why Instagram is so important to me; it just reinforces that exercise’s meaning. It drives creativity and forces users to think about what they are showing the world.

Taking a Closer Look at Twitter Analytics

This article was shared by our good friend Cristin Grogan, Director of Communications at Silverback Social, an amazing social media marketing company.  Please visit them at SilverbackSocial.com.

Twitter-Facebook-Instagram-Pinterest-Image

With the recent introduction of both Twitter and Pinterest’s analytics platforms, it’s becoming increasingly clear that everyone, from senior level executives down to solopreneurs, want to see quantitative and qualitative results from the time, money and resources they’re dedicating to social media.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring Twitter’s new analytics platform and it’s proved to be a great tool, to measure both quantitative and qualitative data. Here are some of the ways we’re using Twitter’s analytics to gain insight on how successful our clients are on Twitter:

1) Gauge the performance of your current content: With Twitter’s analytics, your tweets are laid out in front of you so you can take a closer look at what you’re sharing on a daily basis. Are you tweeting about one topic too much? Are you tweeting more than you’re replying or retweeting? Using too many hashtags? Not enough? Seeing all of your tweets in one place allows you to get a closer look at the content you’re sharing and allows you to make changes to the frequency you tweet or what you tweet about.

2) Replies and Retweets – These are most important when measuring you or your brand’s social influence on Twitter. I define social influence as how many people look to you to provide relevant content and information – it’s the measure of how resourceful you are. Retweets are indicative of someone agreeing with your insight, finding your content useful and wanting to share it with their network. Replies are someone who wants to directly engage in conversation regarding those insights. The point is, the higher your replies and retweets, the more influence you have on Twitter, which also expands your reach, your brand awareness and further solidifies your authoritative position within your given industry.

3) Follows and Unfollows – At the top of the Twitter Analytics platform, you’ll see a bar graph with blue and pink bars. Blue bars measure “follows” and pink bars measure “unfollows”. You can easily improve your content strategy by gathering insights from this. Cross reference the day someone unfollowed you with the tweets you sent out that day. Does your content give any clues as to why people may have unfollowed you? Maybe you tweeted too much one day…Or maybe you didn’t tweet at all. What about a day when you had a significant amount of people follow you? Did you use a specific hashtag or share a particularly engaging piece of content? Your follows and unfollows can help you understand where to gear your content so that your audience of followers continue to grow, thereby expanding your potential reach on Twitter.

Measuring social media actions, interactions and engagement tells an important story about your brand’s success on social. The challenge is looking at the data, asking the right questions and whether or not you’ll use it to help you be more successful in your approach to social.

Cyberbullying, Sexting and the Dangers of Social Media

On Saturday, May 4th, The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains hosted its first ever “Cyberbullying, Sexting and the Dangers of Social Media” workshop. The 90-minute presentation was facilitated by Director of Communications of Silverback Social, Cristin Grogan, who exerted not only her insight and expertise, but passion on the topic.

We feel very strongly that cyberbullying is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, particularly when stories of cyberbullying happen so close to home. The workshop covered the dangers of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and included cyberbullying, sexting and privacy issues as well as how to identify signs if your son or daughter is the victim of internet harassment. It is important for you and your child to understand the impact of his or her actions online.  The workshop provided the attendees with the tools to monitor their child’s interactions on social media.

What is Cyberbullying?
“Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology…including devices…such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat and websites.” It is anonymous, constant, and wide audiences see it and can participate in it. The victim can’t escape and the bully can escape punishment and cannot see the effects of his/her actions.

Where does it happen?
Email, texts, instant message, chatrooms, blogs, polling site (ask.fm), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat and any other social media platform.

What are the signs?
Feelings of guilt or self-blame, sleep difficulties, wanted to skip school or certain classes, going home sick a certain time everyday, lower self-esteem, depressed tendencies, ongoing sadness, health problems, poor performance in school, violent tendencies, self inflicted injuries, sudden interest in death, reckless behaviors, saying “can’t handle things anymore”, social media postings that are are out of the ordinary, dramatic changes in appearance, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, addiction to social media, obesity, self destructive acts.

What can I do?

Take Steps to Monitor
Supervise your child’s computer use – keep in a public place, learn about the sites your child visits. Encourage your child to come to you if he/she witnesses cyberbullying. Make internet use a privilege that can be taken away. Be aware of what personal info he/she shares online. Have a no phones policy at night – place all household phones on a single charging station.

Teach Digital Citizenship
Teach your children to conscious of how they represent themselves online and how the world can see everything that that they write, share, etc. Let them know that they have rights and responsibilities online & set age appropriate expectations. Teach your children to think before they post – everything on the internet can be seen by colleges, employers etc.

If need be, monitor your child’s activities
Mac & PC have built in parental controls. If more advanced monitoring is needed, sites light McGruff Safeguard, Sector Pro, Mobistealth and others allow you to see what sites your child is visiting and what he/she is saying.

The Digital Arts Experience will be hosting another Cyberbullying workshop on Saturday, June 29th from 11AM-12PM. To register for the event, visit our sign-up page.