In Depth Post #7: Planning my learning center

DSC_0275It’s only a matter of weeks until the in-depth presentations night, so I’m going to start planning and building my learning center. Lucky for me, this won’t require a whole lot of work. In fact, I actually planned out the whole thing while eating dinner in around five minutes.

My general plan is to branch out from the standard poster board and paper idea, instead turning to a display that isn’t fully self-explanatory, and instead will prompt people to ask questions. This will involve a mostly visually based presentation. The pieces that I will be needing are my downhill bike, as well as a (possibly) dirt jumper style bike which I also built over the course of the project. I will also have a laced but not trued wheel in a stand that will have a small amount of text displayed on it, making it more interesting than the standard display board. I will also have a selection of standard tools, as well as some more specific ones I got from Dave, displayed on a table. Finally, I will have a laptop playing a stop motion video of the entire bike build.

The stop motion video encases the entire project, showing the entire bike being built from the ground up. It took me six days to film, and another day to edit. The entire filming process consists of nearly two thousand pictures which are strung together to create the illusion of motion. The pictures were all taken by hand, and required over ten hours of work.

On the first day of filming, I was building the wheel. I took a picture for every spoke placed in the wheel, so the entire wheel building process took an hour longer than usual. Next I took apart the front brake, and filmed it having parts replaced and rebuilt. I needed to rebuild the brake anyways, so the stop motion was just convenient to do at the time. The next day of filming was to show the fork being repaired. The fork I used was not the Boxxer shown in the final product, it was instead the Totem that I had been using before. After repairing the original fork, I moved on to filming the new fork being repaired. This consisted of a very short clip, in which I am spray painting the worn out lowers.

After all these parts were filmed, I finally found time to film the entire bike being put together into the final product. This process is often called an overhaul, where the entire bike is stripped, fixed, and put back together. In my case though, nothing was being repaired, it was just being rebuilt. As I set up the camera and such, my dad began to take apart some of the larger parts. I took off the wheels and drivetrain, and we were ready to begin filming. For this sequence, I had a more complex setup to ensure the final video looked as good as I could make it. For lighting, we had a fluorescent light, a halogen light, and a very powerful shop light. The shop light is two movable spotlights on a stand that would be commonly used to light up workshops when there is no external lighting. Because I knew the filming process would take a long time, I could not use light from outside, as it would change over the course of the day. Once the lighting was setup, I adjusted the camera to fit with the lighting conditions. A camera usually needs to be operated at a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second to compensate for your hands shaking, but since I had it on a tripod, I was able to use an exposure of 1.5 seconds, much longer than anyone would normally use. I also had the camera hooked up to my laptop, which was running a program to operate the camera. This helped with two things:

  1. there was no shaking from me pressing the button on the camera
  2. the pictures downloaded to my laptop as I took them

The filming ended up taking over six hours, with a break only to have dinner. Conclusion, stop motion looks cool but sucks to make.

Details about setup:

  • I may have sound for the video, but it is not necessary
  • I will need a large space to accommodate everything, it will need to hold at least 1 folding table and accommodate two large bikes WITH ROOM TO SPARE (I don’t want anything bumping into the bikes, they total a cost of $4000 so I don’t want them getting damaged) The concrete area outside the MPR would work, if not a large space indoors would be just as good as long as I have space
  • Equipment (I will need):
  1. Folding table
  2. Electrical outlet

Equipment (I am bringing)

  1. Extension cord
  2. Laptop
  3. Bike stand
  4. One, maybe two bikes
  5. Tools
  6. Wheel in a stand

All photos

As a prize for reading to the end, here’s some cats


2 thoughts on “In Depth Post #7: Planning my learning center”

  1. This is thoroughly planned and well laid out. Your supporting details are relevant and helpful. You have thought of everything and every committee should be clear on what they can do to assist you. Just one question. I love the idea of your stop motion. That is very time-consuming for sure. Are you thinking about projecting it on the big screen and be part of the staqe presentations as well?
    Thanks, Aidan.

    1. Although this was not my original intention, it would be doable and I would be willing. if you would like for this to happen that is fully possible.

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