Where’s the BOOM???

Freehand drawing of the Joker

For my “Say It Like Peanutbutter” assignment I chose a scene from “The Dark Knight” where Heath Ledger as the Joker is trying to blow up a hospital and is wondering why the grand finale did not go off as expected:

Joker in nurses uniform blowing up a hospital

This is one of my favorite movies and while all of the performances are great, Heath Ledger was scary good as the Joker. This is not necessarily my favorite scene (or even my favorite scene with Heath Ledger in it), but it popped to mind immediately for the assignment because it is non-verbal and short.

This assignment was a bit more technically challenging than I was expecting. I am doing my work on a Linux laptop (Lubuntu 16.04 LTS) and tried to use the instructions found at Creating Animated GIFs with (free) Open Source Software. My first challenge was that link to the the YouTube downloader http://www.fastestvideodownloader.com/ is dead. The substitute I found for Linux was youtube-dl, but when I installed it using the native package manager (apt-get), it did not work. Luckily this is a fairly well known problem and the wget instructions from this link worked fine. (The video itself came from here).

Next, I discovered that the MPEG Streamclip tool for converting the video to a series of images is only for Windows and Mac. I tried to use my favorite video editor (openshot) to do this but even though the feature exists it was producing a single MP4 file instead of a series of images. Again, I found that this is a known issue with newer versions of Openshot (I’m using 2.3.4) and was able to produce the image files with an older version (1.4.3). I also have Kdenlive installed but have never really used it, but I did confirm it can also produce an image sequence. It may be time to switch.

In any case once I had the images I was able to use Gimp as described in the handbook (by importing the images as layers) to produce the GIF above. I’m please with the result, but if I wanted to spend more time I would figure out how to get rid of the nasty letterbox bars above & below.

I took the original video clip from YouTube and assume that falls solidly under “Fair Use”. The post image was drawn by Michelle Clark and downloaded from https://www.flickr.com/photos/indieflickr/2737651689 under this license.

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