— fengshui

February, 2012 Monthly archive

I found this haunting yet interesting Podcast, which are short live radio stories featuring people all around the world. Featured on Radiolab, “Wake Up and Dream is a telling broadcast in which a city reporter in Philadelphia named Steve Volk was devastated and plagued with a recurring nightmare for over 20 years now. Steve starts narrating the first time he started having the nightmare when he was in his apartment. An eerie sound effect starts playing the same time as Steve is narrating. This sets the tone and results in a reaction from the audience. Although Steve was narrating, you can also hear host Matt Kielty’s voice layering in succession. The sequence of voice layering is unique and effective in that it retains the audience’s interest as well as retaining the flow of adrenaline. The fighting scene between Steve and the man was really frightening, given the sudden foreground “fighting” sound. But with all dreams, he wakes up and realizes it was just a dream. It’s interesting to see the transition from Steve and Matt narrating to just the fighting sound playing. It adds sort of a dramatic tone to the plot. 

Steve states that this particular dream would not go away and that it persisted for “6 times a year for 20 years.” One year Steve began writing a book based on science, and stumbled on lucid dreaming, where one is aware that s/he is dreaming while dreaming. The sound effect during this scene was light and kind of playful. It didn’t make me feel threatened unlike the previous scenes. I also notice the repetition of words both the host and Steve uses. Steve says “lucid dreaming” and Matt would repeat right after him, then Steve would repeat again. I suppose the use of repetition keeps the audience on track and informed of the plot as the scene transitions. On another note, to keep the audience on track, the sound effect would sometimes play accordingly and on beat with the way in which Matt speaks. 07:16 Matt describes a patient’s REM (rapid eye movement) from “left to right, left to right, left to right” and you notice the sound effect reverberates the speed of his speech. 

What I love about this radio podcast is the natural segueing from a fight scene to a light casual documentary scene. The transition of loudness to softness, foreground and background music, and the reechoing tone effect to a word are key components to a successful live radio podcast. That is, a successful radio podcast is being able to illustrate the scenes and actions of the story line. I really enjoyed listening to this story although at times I felt terrified to the effects of music. Hopefully some day I will attain the skills of a radio broadcaster.

Read More

Hey girl, you're bad.

Hahaha I just couldn’t help it! I went on James‘ facebook and saved this image on my computer. I would like to say that I’m very much amused with Ryan Gosling’s “Hey Girl” meme, so I decided to import this notorious meme onto James’ photo. I made this caption using cheezburger. Enjoy! 🙂

Read More

TDC47 image: Take a photo that features your favorite colour.

variants of blue

TDC43 audio: Tell the story of a place in one ambient audio recording.

watching the bachelor & eating birthday cake 🙂 by feng_shui

TDC45 audio: Say your name backwards.

I used audacity to record my name and then used the ‘reverse’ effect to say my name backwards. I also used the ‘repeat’ effect to repeat the track 10 times. After that, I wanted to have fun with the tempo and pitch so I made a 328.760 percent change on the tempo and changed pitch from F up to G#/Ab. The combined manipulation sounds something like this…

Say your name backwards: nehc gnef by feng_shui

Read More

I partnered with James Cruz to complete this in-class assignment.

General Synopsis: Tell a story using nothing but sound effects. There can be no verbal communication, only sound effects. Use at least five different sounds that you find online. The story can be no longer than 90 seconds. Another example (by a UMW student): http://ds106.us/wp-content/audio/audio_story.mp3

We went on freesound and found a bunch of ambient sounds: Monster by Sea Fury, nightingale indub by suonho, forest-perspectives by dobroide, bushes by schademansevening in the forest by reinsamba, and playground by robinhood76.

In the beginning of the story, there are kids playing outside and birds chirping. This creates a mother naturey kind of mood. The setting is out in the woods. As you listen to the children playing and having fun, one kid shouts: “Watch out, watch out!” followed by the rustling of bushes. This foreshadows an ominous event that will occur. Even the birds began to fade out right before the atrocious monster roar followed by the echoing of the nightingale. 

One may analyze this story and come to terms that the monster really did consume the children, and I have no objection over that! Initially to me I wanted it to sound like the kids were scared away from the monster but it’s best to leave the observing up to the audience! 🙂

Of course the hardest part for me is figuring out the order of sound effects to produce the most effective and persuasive story. I didn’t have much of a difficult time with the tools thanks to Sarah Parlette, who described the mechanism and usage of the important tools. Enjoy! 

forest and a monster by feng_shui

Read More

I just created my first design assignment! Woohoo! For this assignment, you are to: “Take any person, thing, or animal and apply a cartoon character head to it. Be creative!” Yes, creativity is key to success in this class. I took a llama picture and a spongebob head from google images and open those pictures up on my nifty photoshop. I cropped the spongebob head, copy & pasted it onto the llama layer, and transformed it until the head fit perfectly (or close to) on top of the llama head. Furthermore, I will also screen cast the process to provide a better and conspicuous visual. Enjoy! 🙂


Read More

Find a good, brief joke in a language other than your mother tongue; if you don;t know any other languages this might be a good way to start learning. Record your voice telling the joke focusing on pronunciation and try to make it sound as natural as you can with appropriate vocal inflections. Add a (cc) music track underneath (maybe from jamendo.com) and a laugh track (soungle.com is a good source) at the end.

I took AP Jap back in high school, so I’m a bit rusty but still familiar with the language. Here’s my best attempt at this joke. 

Tokyo hotel’s rules and regulations (in romanization): 

Gesuto wa, kitsuen to okonawanai yo ni yokyu sa rete iru kimochi warui ta no Beddo no naka de no kodo


Guests are requested not to smoke and do other disgusting 

behaviors in bed

I downloaded this tune named kampai by Milton and laugh-child by shades on freesound along with my recorded joke mixed in altogether. 3 star! 

Audio assignment: Make ’em Laugh! by feng_shui

Read More

I have a natural chinese accent 🙂 by feng_shui

This was the first audio assignment that I saw and knew immediately that I would be using my natural Chinese accent. For the order, I said “hello, I would like a double cheeseburger, with cheese on the side and large fry. And also sweet tea. Thank you very much.” Although I try not to emphasize my accent too much, it will probably sound a little forced… but that’s okay. It’s not like I try to hide my accent, anyway… 🙂 1 star! 

Read More

TDC42: Take a photo that represents your current job, or a job you once had.

current occupation: student at UMW

TDC41: Take a photo of your most prized possession.

prized possession: friend

TDC40: Take a photo of someone of someone else’s artwork in an interesting way to make it yours.

self portrait credit Ako Nagahama

TDC39: Take a photo of a bird today.

origami crane


TDC38: Take a photo of an object that represents how old you feel

teddy bears and FUN bottle

TDC37: Take a photo of a toy in action

I'm firin' mah water gun.. at myself.

TDC36: Take a photo of a food being served/eaten in an unconventional way.

chocolate serving

Read More

So this assignment is worth 4 stars and sure enough, it took me about 4 hours to complete it. I’m pretty satisfied of my end result seeing it as took me so long to finish it. At first I didn’t think I would be patient enough to slowly walk work my way through the itty bitty details of this assignment, but I guess I proved myself wrong, which in this case is a good thing 🙂 

Synopsis: A common exercise in design school, take typographical elements (perhaps even the words of a story) and bring them to life.

I really really like this assignment because typography is just so much fun and stirs creativity in me. Throughout the entire way, I had a youtube tutorial walk me through the steps of making one, so reluctance and frustration were out of the question. I have crafted the letter ‘F’ in the honor of my name and added adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc to describe my character and my beliefs. In the midst of the myriad of words, ‘future’ is switched backwards to represent my unknown/uncertain future. (I thought that was pretty clever 🙂

I may do a tutorial on this assignment because it was VERY tedious, but so worth it. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy 🙂 This completes my 15 stars of the week. 

Read More

Here is another 3 star design assignment that I picked: If Movie Posters Told The Truth. I have become infatuated with editing and playing around with movie posters, comic posters, magical places, and posters in general. I think the idea of manipulating a movie/story to a whole new context is fascinating and amusing to me, so kudos to NoiseProfessor for creating such an awesome design assignment.

Synopsis: Improve movie posters to make them more accurately reflect the content of the film. Inspired entirely by theshiznit.co.uk

Now I will dive into the process of my editing on photoshop. I googled the ‘top most popular movies’ and while browsing the list of movies, I thought of Inception. Honestly that movie made absolutely no sense to me and I was so confused throughout the movie but I still love it because of the concept behind it. Using photoshop, I cropped out a phrase from the poster and went on myfonts to identify it. Then I went back to photoshop and used the spot healing brush tool to erase the original phrase and replace it with a more descriptive phrase I’ve come up with. The place where I erased the phrase didn’t seem as clear-cut as I expected it to be so I used the clone stamp tool to fix up the minor blemishes to make it appear more convincing and realistic. 

Hope you like it :)!

Read More

Create a Pokemon card for yourself, what are your powers?

Well, this shall be a fun assignment to do 🙂 I used to watch so much Pokemon back when I was just a wee kid to the point that my brother and I could recite the 150 original Pokemon. We were pretty darn proud of ourselves. [But now I forgot them all :(] Like everyone else, I also used the pokemon card generator because I don’t know any other way of making a Pokemon card. The steps are pretty simple: name your ‘creature, upload a picture of yourself or someone else,’ describe and state your attacks/powers, and you’re done! There are other little fillers such as your hit points or life points, your evolution stage, the damage of each attack, and weakness, resistance and retreat cost. 

So if I were a Pokemon… I would name myself Fengster because this is one of my popular nicknames bestowed to me by a particular special friend of mine in high school. Out of the hundreds of pictures of myself, I chose a picture that closely characterizes my personality as you will soon witness. The rest is all self-explanatory if you know my habits 🙂 

3 stars! 

Read More

For this assignment, I had in mind several books that I could use, but I settled on The Giver. One of my favorite books I fell in love with in 8th grade, this book expanded my horizons of a whole new world conceived by the brilliant author, Lois Lowry. The Giver was the first novel that I have enjoyed reading and soon I developed a habit of reading various interesting books like The Giver.

Synopsis: Take a title of a well-known book and re-design the cover to suggest something entirely different. For example, the book cover for Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (an apocalyptic novel about a father and son facing the end of the world) is reframed as a feel-good book about effective parenting (see image). Original idea found through this design contest on Book Ninja in 2008. Image credit: Ingrid Paulson’s  reimagining of The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This assignment felt relatively easy, though the process was a bit tedious. First I went to search for a book cover that illustrated a completely different meaning on google images and downloaded a font somewhat resembling the font for Lois Lowry’s name. Then I went on photoshop to edit the photo. I copy and pasted the award symbol/sticker from the original book onto the new cover, did a little trimming there. Since I was frustrated and could not figure out how to open the font I had downloaded, I just used the font by photoshop and chose the one that closely resembled the font on The Giver.

2 stars!

Read More

So because I’ve seen way too many 1 story/4 icon assignments, I decided to give it a shot. The concept seems simple enough, so that appealed to me. 

Synopsis: The assignment is to reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer, let people guess! The challenge is to find the icons that suggest the story, but do not make it so easy.

I found pictures on google and uploaded them onto chogger for editing and perfecting the icons. (You have to create an account in order to upload/post pictures/comics online.) I didn’t want any background colors from the icons to contrast with the white inside the frame so I tediously fixed and erased the area that I didn’t like. Once I adjusted the frames to my preferred size, I uploaded it. 

See if you can guess what it is! 🙂 

By the way, this is a 3 star assignment.


One story, four icons.

Read More

Week 4 Photography

Here is my week worth of photo, although I can’t say they were the best, but I am proud to say that I have learned much from tutorials, Photoshop, and people’s comments which all constituted to my understanding of photography. Above all else, I have acquired much skills & knowledge from others’ creativity and that drove me to perform my best. 🙂


tdc035 image: photograph your own or someone else’s tattoo

birthmark tattoo

Birthmark tattoo for life, for ever. 


tdc34 image: photo that emphasizes detail of a human hand

My roommate and her boyfriend. 


tdc33 image: take a pic of confusion

confused doggy?

Shrasta confused?


tdc32 image: a photo of sth you aspire to do/be one day.




tdc31 image: photo that represents happiest/memorable moment

Tela Beach in Honduras

Tela Beach, Honduras 2012.


tdc030 image: a place that easily loses things

typical collegiate drawer

collegiate drawer. 


tdc29 image: upside down photo

upside-down smiley pic (:

Oh, hello there. 

Read More

For this 3 star assignment, I shall be attempting Tim Owen’s incredible visual assignment.

Synopsis: Take a concept, one word, and plug it into Flickr and take the first 50 images and average them using Photoshop or similar program. Step by step instructions available at http://is.gd/ku3UF

Linda’s attempt at the assignment influenced and inspired me to create my own, and so I did. I went on the suggested step-by-step instruction page so my process will not be any different than what is already provided. 

I will be demonstrating the following concepts: monochrome, euphoria, dignity, & ramen (mm yummy!).

Step 1: To download CC-licensed pictures from flickr, I used bulkr, a free and easy download.

Step 2: I typed ‘monochrome’ into the search option and to show the ‘interesting’ pictures. Then I chose the first 50 images that popped up and downloaded them into a folder.

Step 3: Then I opened photoshop to create a layering of my pictures. Under the file tab, go to scripts, load files into stack, and select the folder of your concept. Also select ‘create smart objects after loading layers’ so that it takes the folder of images and puts each one on a different layer. 

Step 4: Once the layers are all stacked up, go to layer, smart objects, stack mode, and click mean. This effect will merge and layer each photo on top of one another. The final product is complete and all yours 🙂

monochrome average



euphoria average



dignity average



ramen average


Read More

Synopsis: Swap the heads of parents and children. Inspired by http://www.paulripke.de/html/ausgabe.php?galid=60&kategorie=paulpeople&verzeichnis=people

Originally, I wanted to edit my photo with adobe photoshop cs5 but it took over 3hrs just for me to learn the basic tools, so instead I decided to use FotoFlexer instead, since it was less complicated. I really like this photo editing site because it is really easy to use and the tools are all there, just less claustrophobic than photoshop! 


First, upload a photo of your choice, but make sure the heads aren’t bumping into each other because that could raise complications…

Under the ‘basic’ tab, click ‘crop region’ to crop both head with precision, making sure to include the entire outline of the head so that it fits naturally on the other person’s head. Then, right click either head and select ‘cut out person/object’ and a box will appear with directions for editing the head. Repeat with the second head. Also, a word of advice: colour in every pixel for the regions you want to keep/delete (that is, if you are a perfectionist like me :). And you are done! 

daughter-mother head swap

I’m sorry mine isn’t that realistic, I was rather hasty on this one.. but I’ll do a better one next time.

Read More

First video tutorial EVER!!! I’m sorry if my voice filters out weirdly or unclearly, it is due to my audio. Hopefully I will find a way to download a better audio before my next video tutorial, but in the meantime, hope you enjoy this one 🙂

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Read More

bible study asian gathering

This asian gathering took place at a friend’s house. I forget what was going on but the focus is all on the little girl being groped. Enjoy! 🙂

Also, I will talk about the process in my first video tutorial for this assignment ..coming soon later today!

Read More

For this visual assignment, I chose the ‘make your own spubble’ because I have wanted to do one for some time now and who wouldn’t want to get a good laugh out of it? 

So here’s the general synopsis: Learn to love yourself, grab a picture of yourself in which your body language, actions, gestures, etc. suggest one thing and then play off that using a speech bubble. Ideally the result would make people laugh—but I must acknowledge there are other possible emotional responses that may be just as acceptable. Think of it as lolcat, save it’s a human (namely you) and there is nothing compelling anyone to abuse the letter z in the speech bubble text. Picnik.com or Aviary.com would make this assignment dead simple.

And it really was dead simple, as Professor Groom stated once I learned how to operate one of these photo editing sites that was provided. So I used Piknik, uploaded one of my images that my friend took last year, and played it off with a funny little comment. There was no option to insert a spubble for either sites so I had my comment running across the top portion of my photo. Besides that, I made one outer layer change to the picture; I added ’rounded edges’ frame to my photo to make it appear more picturesque and quaint. So… without further ado, here’s my creation. Hope you like it 🙂 

Flower girl sitting beside a tree trunk

P.S. Video tutorials to come soon… I want it to be a good 3 minutes long. I still need to figure out the medium I will use for the process of making one but one thing for sure, it will be on a 3 star or higher assignment because I think 1 or 2 star won’t suffice my desired length of the video.

Read More

Presenting my 2 star visual assignment of the day, I chose ‘Visualize that Quote’ out of the variety of assignments because it seemed simple yet elegant. 

General synopsis: illustrate/explain the quote in pictures with the least number of pictures required

you can drag to re-order, click pic to swap, x remove pic, – hide pic leave word.

I found this pragmatic quote by Confucius on Brainy Quotes

Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself

I did not intend to use one of Confucius’ quotes, but he was the first person to pop in my head. I often like to think of Confucius as my philosophy doctor. The aforementioned quote emphasizes custom values and beliefs the Chinese held to be true, and in a lot of ways, is still reaffirming my culture. 

To incorporate the quote more meaningfully, I used phrasr to identify words with pictures. 

Process: I recently found out about phrasr a few days ago on twitter and I soon realized it is a site that borrows images from flickr to identify with a phrase, or quote. Having learned this, I typed my quote in the search bar and it exploded with images, so I tried my best matching words with pictures as they seem fit. Once pictures corresponded with words, a slideshow appeared, and the cool thing is, you could play it over as many times as you want! 

First visual assignment … done! 8 stars left to go.



Since phrasr didn’t exactly portray the quote effectively as I imagined, so instead I will use flickr to search for images that will bring the words to life. Here’s what came to my mind when I re-read the quote: bullying. 


Bullying does not discriminate; it exists worldwide, from Asia to the Western Hemisphere. Especially in my culture, we value in respecting elders by their children, and by logic, the principle goes the say way for kids of all ages. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.

Process: I typed in ‘bullying’ on the search bar and this picture was the best representation I could find to demonstrate my quote.

Read More

When I first heard of Web 2.0 (which was in about a week ago in Jim Groom’s night class), I thought of the macintosh, iPhones, and friendly user interface. That was just a guess of what I thought Web 2.0 might be, and after reading the assigned articles, I realized that I wasn’t quite that far off, in fact, I was on the right track. In Tim O’Reilly’s article, he summarizes Web 2.0 as the next big step, or transformation from Web 1.0, which had a lot of the original components of Web 2.0 but less advanced. To better understand what I mean, refer to the chart in O’Reilly’s reading “Design Patters and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software.” From DoubleClick to GoogleAdSense, Ofoto to Flickr, Akamai to BitTorrent, etc, this chart depicts the progress from the technology we used to know (or in my case, had no idea it existed) to the technology we know now. I would also like to point out O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Meme Map, which I thought summarized clearly what Web 2.0 is really about. Some key ideas from the Map were Flickr, tagging, Blogs, Wikipedia, Gmail, and Google Maps, all that is controlled by an individual. And I think that’s what makes Web 2.0 special, the fact that we are capable of creating, designing, and authorizing websites that belong to the human race. We basically are the force that drives progress behind the cyber world.


While O’Reilly gives us a definition of Web 2.0, Bryan Alexander provides an innovative idea, and enhances that idea to a whole new level. To be more specific, he uses the example storytelling to simply tell a story to a particular group, or to society in general. I have always thought that storytelling was just an old childhood memory of the past but certainly that memory has enhanced in a new light in this day and age. Through storytelling on the web, people are able to connect, share, and create ideas, stories, histories with each other. For example, a familiar site that we all use and explore daily is through blogs or character blogs, where “each blogger demonstrates a persona” as Alexander puts it. To me, I think blogging is really something special because it allows one to tap into his/her creative mindset. We use blogging to narrate a story to a given society, and one way or another, we relate to that story. I would like to touch on another note to which Alexander mentions ‘Twitter’ as “a site for trivial pseudo-conversation.” I actually looked up what that term meant and I came up with “From the System point of view it is a Multi Tasking operation but from the User point of view it is a Conversational method.” So by this definition, Twitter is a mode of making quick and easy conversations from person to person in just a mere moment. I have never thought of Twitter as a mean of storytelling but reading this portion of Alexander’s article made me realize that users of Twitter are able to get their (short) story out by the second.


The future of the web seems mind-numbing now that we are already in the age of Web 2.0. I cannot really fathom what’s to come next. Web 3.0?

source: http://ds106.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/0313387494storytelling-dragged.pdf

Read More


By using this design tool, Web 2.0 provides a very quick and accessible way of communicating and creating our thoughts in such a way that connects to the audience in the digital world.

Read More