Stop motion

The Daughter had an assignment, so the Father learned a few new tricks. The normal daily life of a parent-child relationship.

My Daughter is a crazy [1] person who decided she would learn three languages at the same time at school. So she started with English and German [2] back in 6th grade, and then she took Latin in 8th grade.

Her last assignment in Latin was: do something multimedia (a presentation, or whatever) about Antonius’s monologue in Julius Caesar (O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth…). She decided she would do it in stop motion, of all things!

So, she first painstakingly took photographs of all the stills, and then recorded her voice with Audacity.

Then, under Ubuntu, she looked into a few supposedly “easy” solutions for school kids. It ended up being a nightmare, she was losing images etc.

And there was much rejoicing.

Er, not yet but keep reading.

I took all the photographs and read a huge lot about avconv and ffmpeg [3]. Up until now, I thought that avconv was a recent fork of ffmpeg because the latter had stopped being developed or something – before learning that not at all, the two of them still have independent lives. Some things you can only do with ffmpeg, such as concatenating stuff, if I read correctly.

So, after much reading, I understood frame rate, concatenation through a text file, exporting to MPEG4. Phew. Then I had to learn about Pitivi, to mix her MP3 recording with the silent movie.

But in the end we did it, it’s perfect (according to her, which was the aim). She’s happy because she ended up with what she wanted to do (and hacked around quite a bit, which is good for her young brain), I’m happy because I learned a new trick and helped her out in the process.

And there was much rejoicing.


[1Nice-crazy, but a bit crazy nonetheless.

[2We’re French living in France, in case my accent didn’t give me away.

[3These two names must be hell with a screen reader, so let me spell them here: AV conv, like Audio-video converter. FFMPEG, like F, F, MPEG. Yeah, I know, right.


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