A “How To” Net Art & GIF Making Tutorial.

A “How To” Net Art & GIF Making Tutorial.

GIVE IT TRY! This is a fun exercise to add to your NEW WEBSITES!

Lets use a NYPL Digital Collections Archive Image.

Its no secret, you can find tons and tons of great historical images in the NYPL Digital Collections Archives. I made this series of GIF animations based on the inspiration from this old subway train image below. I love trains, especially NYC subway trains. Im a bit bias as NYC subway Graffiti has inspired me from the get go, but here is the “how-to” process below on how I made this series of animations and net art works.

subway car

The original image. I found it, I liked it, I was inspired and got to work. (tons of images here) I saved the image from the web. Don’t fret, you wont get sued like Andy Baio did! I don’t plan to do anything with this image other than inspire creativity and show you how we can breathe new creative life into our history. Let’s revive this image and bring it to life! The NYPL has done a great job of digitizing tons and tons of historical images. I feel a connection to NYC. My family is from NYC, Im from NYC, this is a part of me and I love that energy. I first opened the image in adobe photoshop and got busy.


Using the rectangular marquee tool I simply removed the interior spaces from the windows of the train, making it transparent negative space. I then saved the image as a psd. file (for archival and re-use purposes) but mainly I saved the image as a PNG-24 – (file –> save for web – select – PNG-24) the PNG-24 image option allows for the negative areas to remain open so that if you layer the image over another image or animation you will be able to see through it. I do this on a regular basis with images that I like, I love to work on repurposing static images with an animation. Its a nice way to connect the past and the present.


I went back to the web and logged into my to.be account (its a digital art making platform, I also love newhive and jump back and forth testing how far I can stretch my ideas on both platforms – both are free, and really awesome!) I started a new “field” on my to.be platform. I added two layers. (sadly, uploaded files on to.be must be 5 mega bytes or smaller, where newhive seems to allow unlimited sizes) no matter, getting comfortable with preparing and resizing images for the web is a task we will all face, a lot! Best to get used to that, and learn how to navigate it. The back round which you see above as a static pixelated image is actually an animated GIF of moving pixels (below.) This is an asset that i made a few weeks ago. I keep a stock of this kind of stuff, just for this purpose.


The to.be platform allows for you to drag your graphic assets directly into the field, so I did this first and then layered the prepared image of the old train directly on top. I scaled it to size by pulling the corners. I then used the quicktime application on my mac to “screen record” a few second of the animation. Of course you can publish the work directly onto your to.be feed (or keep it private) but in this case I used it as a “tool” for the screen capture. I later published another version of this animation (below.) Ultimately you can do all of this stuff in one application like photoshop, but I find it much more fun to cross discipline and tinker with multiple software applications and techniques on the web. This is where one can create their own methods, record them, share them and build off of them! I saved my quicktime screen recording and imported it into photoshop. Use the “import –> video frames to layers” option from the file menu and then open your timeline. From there you can crop away the rest of the screen (as you see below) and also resize the animation at will. Im not going mislead you, quicktime will screen record a large file, and it will need to be tinkered with for the best output of display. Output can be in GIF format, or you can also render the frame animation back into an mp4 video file. This is helpful if you want to loop the animation on mobile platforms like Instagram or Vine, or bring it into after effects or imovie, or final cut pro.


Above we see the first output iteration as a GIF animation, a colorful pixel party happening only “inside” of the train. Will you get in? I enjoyed this as an idea so much I had to extend it. I thought, what if one of the party goers inside the train stepped outside for a minute, what would that look like? More fun for sure. I placed this animated digital asset (below) on top of the existing animation by layering over it again. I also utilized the entire width of my screen field to extend the viewers perspective.


This digital asset above is a two frame GIF animation that was made with a transparent back round. It was originally a vector image created from this drawing. I love seeing how far I can push ideas, and also convert the applied arts in digital arts.

The final final piece above was published on my to.be platform. Rather than reposting the screen recording GIF conversion of the piece I grabbed the iframe source code from to.be and embedded it into this blog editor template. I can resize it by its height or width if needed.

Updated – 10/11/16 – A second variation was created with a static graphic asset laying over the animated back round. This too is taken from the iframe source code on my to.be feed.

(By the Way, writing tutorials is a great way to practice blogging! )

What do you think? Are you ready to make yours?

How to make Kale Chips

Here’s an instructional video that I recorded on how to make kale chips because I always eat them and make them for my family and they really enjoy them as well. So, I thought I’d share how I make it. I figured it would be a good CT project to do because videos are great tools of communication and people are always on YouTube trying to learn how to do something new. I used my Samsung Galaxy S4 camera to record the video and I uploaded it to Windows Live Movie Maker and I edited the video for hours. A 12 minute video was cut down to 3+ minutes (it takes a lot of time especially on a slow computer). I’m very proud of finally finishing Lol. Here it is… enjoy :).

GIF the Portrait for Points!


Welcome to the GIF the Portrait Project!

CT101 students, so by now you love to make GIFs!! Well, then why not join in this fun collaborative project and rack up some digital storytelling points!

First, check out the project itself – http://giftheportrait.tumblr.com/

My section most likely recalls the demo I did with this Picasso image above, yes?
How did this project come about?
“I love to make GIFs and I wanted to create an online event that would allow for anyone in any part of the world to submit and participate.”
The images below are the result of two single images. Pablo Picasso and Kurt Schwitters are two of my favorite artists (Andy Warhol as well, but we will get back to him later) I wanted to use them as inspiration for a series of collage based works. These are the first few pieces from my experiments. Each piece is sized at 8.5 X 11. inches. The desire to create a series like this came from my interest in a series of works created by the students of artist and professor Javier Cambre. Cambre is a friend and one of my colleagues at CUNY QCC. I later re-designed my interpretation of the works to fit into a project for myself, as well as my students. I have been teaching 2D design at the college level for 10 years. It is a course that I love to teach. I also enjoy intuitively expanding the course content and the class projects. The course allows for students to learn manual and analog techniques, as well as basic graphic design skills. This gives us a lot of options as we focus on understanding the elements of art, and the principles of design. As you may know, the vastness of how this language can be applied is…..endless!  Hence why it also applies so well into our CT101 class.
So, Where do you begin?
Re-Organize a single Composition (Portrait Image)
In this project you will be re-organizing a representational image into a more subjective one or by creating a hybrid.  The image selected should be a portrait. (The image should also be a high enough resolution to re-copy and scale to larger or smaller sizes, but then again, if you wish to include texture as an aspect of the work, sky is the limit) You as the artist can decide what a portrait is. Is it a human? Is it an anime character? Is it your dog or cat? Hmmm. You will need at least 6-10 copies of your image to start with, you can make multiples by using a photo-copy machine or a printer. Or you can simply use adobe photoshop to copy, paste and layer variations of the image purely digitally.
Final output-
You will be re-creating 3-6 subjective variations of your portrait.
After manually or digitally generating 3-6 variations, pick your favorite image to GIF. But why stop there? After you create your first contrast, you may want to make more, and more, and more! (sinister music begins to play)
1.  Manipulate the existing image by cutting out several parts and pieces (this includes the individual facial features, head, back round, neck, & clothing areas) You may use your scissors or x-acto knife to cut out your forms, or you can use the lasso and crop tools in photoshop to save and create individual layers.
2.  Measure and create 3-6 blank picture planes to work on. I suggest keeping these between 6.5 x 9 inches and or a bit smaller. Either way, they will need to be resized for the web and minimized to about 3×5 inches and 72 dpi for tumblr (but you are not limited to these sizes for your own wordpress sites!) Yep, we will be archiving this project on Tumblr. If you are unsure of HOW to resize your work, don’t worry, We can troubleshoot that if necessary.
3.  Lay out the cut pieces or various windows in front of you. You will then re-organize and compose your pieces into 3-6 different compositions. All 3-6 of the final works should be subjective and or hybrid images. Or perhaps another  “such-ness or potential  is-ness” you may define that as well.
4.  Scan, photograph, and save your final outcomes.
5. Chose 2-3 of the outcomes that you like the most and animate them by generating a GIF(s). Save your GIF work for the web. Meaning, as a .gif file. If you need assistance on this again, shoot us an e-mail. We will help.
6. E-mail the analog still images and the GIF files to us by using the address on this blog.  Ryan (@) ryanseslow.com, you can then write up a how-to tutorial as a blog post for our class!
 Check out the project on our tumblr  –  http://giftheportrait.tumblr.com/

Synthesizing Ideas for Points!

Synthesizing Ideas for Points by Re-Defining Photography!  

I have been getting a few interesting inquiries about generating content for our class projects. It has been mainly about what qualifies as a “legit” contribution to the course projects criteria listed on our syllabus. The short answer is, you decide! I know, that may seem like a lot of power but think of how you can direct that power and what you will learn in the process. The key word is process. As you practice blogging (and you certainly are at this point) something great will occur to you over time. You will notice that you are developing both a blogging style as well as a series of techniques to communicate via the web. You will notice that creating, expressing and sharing what you are passionate about through your blog will enhance the content. So, is it possible to create and event, tell a story and create a tutorial about how it all came about? Indeed it is. Perhaps this post can serve as an example, or start a thread for you to personalize and transcend.

In a recent post on my personal blog I talked about re-defining my relationship to the medium of photography and integrating more of it into my work as an artist. I have been thinking, what better way to do that than to make a 1 year commitment to a project. I could shoot a series of pictures each week, choose and edit the most interesting ones, write something about each of them, and post them onto my blog for the year to see how they build. I proposed to post a minimum of at least one photo per week (I am going for quality here) but if it happens more than that, so be it. The intention is to define and understand how and why I am shooting the subjects that I choose, and what each image “means.” I am interested in discovering and communicating my visual world by recording fragments from daily life. I may be setting up fictional props and installations to accompany this. All of the images will be shot and captured in a digital image format. I choose to create a new process for how I plan to later show the works as they exceed this blog and my social media profiles. This project has far exceeded my original intention and continues! I do not have any plans to slow it down.

IMG_0493 2

I have been using flickr since 2005 as an archive to share and show my art and its processes. At the time, I created two separate sets for photography of this nature. One is titled “RMS Photography” which for the most part is what I “thought” photography was, and what “should” be in that set. The other is titled “Video Art Frames, Projections, & Film Stills.” I feel that this set is far more interesting and it has also become a part of my next step. I have been experimenting with digital film making and video art as a medium for over ten years. I enjoy writing and creating fictional narratives, editing sequences, creating manual filters, and working with the related software and technology. As a result of this in repetition during the editing process I discovered still frame compositions that held my interest. I started a collection, and it grew, and grew. I started manipulating the images in a variety of ways. Over 3,000 images later, I realized that I had to finally synthesize my perception of photography and the existing video / film still archive into another entity. So, here I am. Mobil phones and other portable devices have certainly upped the game, this is contributing to my process big time.

I have a created a specific set on my flickr blog to archive the project:: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmsmovement/sets/72157631375113790/

Equipment Update 4/1/13- I have used an i-pod touch as a camera source for this project from 4/1/13 – 12/20/13.

Equipment Update 2/3/13 – I am happy to announce that a Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS has been added to the equipment bag for this project.

Equipment Update 1/2/14 – I have added the iphone 5C to the project.

Degenerated Digital process Experiment

How would you title this post? Digital Storytelling? Tutorial? Process / Event creation? Am I leaving something out? Have you considered collaborating with another one of your classmates to generate something for our platform?

Sky is the limit.