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September Warm Up Exercises this week:
2 completely different doubled sided 8 x 8 designs of guest book pages for my daughter's wedding next month.
Completely new logo, graphics, and flier for the annual discipleship course at church that starts next month. We begin promo for it this Sunday. It's been renamed, revamped and I figured it needed a completely new smashing look, too.
Designed a dreamy graphic card invitation to the Dream Meeting next month. [Master Planning meeting for the whole church property.]
Decided on and ordered a new color copier/printer. [Konica/Minolta, Biz Hub, true-color, 33ppm, CMYK toners, folds, staples, scans, and does all the accounting! Er, copy/print accounting]
Learned to make Candy in Photoshop for a Scrapbooking exercise.
3 More Misc graphics for media support announcements.
Edited new ending on to two videos that have been BEGGING for better ends.
Designed most of the new brochure for the District Pastor Camp.
Did all of the nasty edits to the database that I'd been putting off. You know, the stuff nobody else knows what to do with.
Told 2 people "no" - Don't have time to do that this week, too. Then offered to schedule it in advance for them next time. Yes, really, I'd like a 6 week lead time on that.
Stayed late today to make sure a man who had to work out of town could get his Promise Keepers tix.
Lost an ollllld filling and 1/3 of the side of the tooth on Thursday at 5:30, my Dentist closed at 5pm for the _weekend_. So, I've learned how to use wax for braces from the drug store as a hole filler to keep from turning a bad situation worse.
Well, following the dance drama at the revival last week, with 3 cam IMAG recorded to dvd (from the videonics output, not a separate mix), we had a short video from our Ukraine trip scheduled for this Sunday. I was tasked with putting it together, though we didn't have any of the video from the Ukraine yet...
On the other hand, we did have 35 GB of photos...LOL
My problem with these things is that they always want it as short as possible, meaning very few photos...and yet we spend over a week there, ministering to 43 different church pastors and their families....
I'll try to post the video, though I don't have permission for uploading the song that went with it.
Once again I used Photoshop Elements 3 for tweaking the photos (the cameras used over there this year were awesome-two different Nikon DSLR's, in addition to all of the normal digitals and the video shot by the ministry over there), giving me lots of zoom and pan options that I just couldn't use last year due to resolution limitations. For animation, I used Microsoft's Photostory 3.
Its amazing to zoom in to like 1/16 of the image area, and still have a useable photo left. I could start out zoomed way in, and pull out and pan, or vice versa. I stuffed in nearly 180 photos into a 3 minute song, with title lead ins and fade out beginning at 2:45...with several 1 sec stop action sequences. I love doing that when the first shot looks "normal", with smiling faces et al, and the second one is funny, or when the sequence shows some of the emotion involved.
Last year, I first rendered all the images to 1024 X 768-this time, I just left them alone, only cleaning up date stamps (some of the normal cameras were set to generate those), color, etc...
I generally use the levels commands in PSE to color balance the pics. For people pics, I frequently use the black in the center of the iris for setting the blacks, and use the whites of the eyes when feasible, or find something else I can use as either a grey or white to get a better balance. After using levels for years and years on houses as an appraiser, it's second nature to tweak images now.
For some of the portrait style photos, I used the virtual photographer plugin, using the warm setting to soften the facial features,especially of the ladies.
It seemed to go over well, though we had some real rendering issues. For some reason, PE 1 kept giving me really really slow renderings, taking over half an hour for 30 frames, of a 3 minute video. I eventually gave up, and tried something else
Even nero hiccuped, with similar issues (I'm guessing I have a codec issue), so I finally tried windows movie maker. Given that I was combining a couple of Photostory generated wmv files, it seemed like it might work, and I was right. Instead of hours for whatever reason with PE or Nero Showtime, it only took ...
wait for it...
7 minutes. WOW!!!
I guess MS knows how to work with their own files...and that seven minutes was generating an avi file at dv resolution (720 X 480). Including the music, and everything.
We ended up generating avi, wmv, and even a dvd. We used the dvd live at church, as it "just works", though we did cue the avi file into EW as well, just in case.
I've kicked up the sermon graphics some. But our biggest effort may not bear fruit in September.
4 of us, including our new (3 weeks) associate pastor went to the Creative Worship seminar by the Midnight Oil guys, Jason and Len.
Some of us attended the Digital Storytellers a few years ago, but we were never able to get the ball rolling on anything besides trying to coordinate the song slides and the sermon slides.
This time, during breaks in the seminar, our associate pastor was VERY excited about what he was seeing and asking us questions about how and when, not if and why.
I doubt we'll get anything in September because of this. But the seeds are planted in some very fertile ground. I think we'll be moving forward with many of the Creative Worship concepts sooner rather than later.
Milton SDB Church
"...if we are to glorify God fully, we must engage our mind in knowing him truly and our hearts in loving him duly." - John Piper, Think
Yeah ... last minute. This week, when I had a 2 day work week, and the week before a 2 day work week - I had *3* people want completely unscheduled things ready for Sunday.
So I spent time I didn't even have to explain, carefully telling them, "NO".
One of them went to the Pastor. (Who backed me up, mind you, but still... eeeks!) Another one produced their own .... cartoon-like images from an ink jet for a men's event. And I got to get into the middle of why we have standards, too.
Now, everyone has come a long way from our stick-figure-like beginnings, but we've still got a long way to go. Have faith, you're getting there.
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