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As I was working on my second example of an animated story for my Digital Storytelling class, I came across a project that I did with the help of my daughter when she was in about 6th grade. She drew the monkey and I added the sound and edited it for an event in the School of Communication. I lost the final version in one of my many hard drive crashes, but still have the original drawings.

So I decided to use the same drawings but add new audio to create a new animation. The total project (not including the time it took my daughter to draw the monkeys) was about an hour. This includes recording and editing my voice, editing the stills to fit the words being said, matching the voice-to-image, searching for background music, and editing the background music to get this final product.

For the sound editing I used Audacity. I’ve always found it easy to use, and I am still discovering the many editing tools. For this project, I adjusted my voice with the “Change Speed” effect. I also had to adjust the tempo to help fit the images. Both steps were rather simple – and I admit were not necessary, but made the final version more fun than a “regular” voice. After exporting the voice recording as an MP3, I imported it into iMovie.

The background music came from Free Music Archive. I simply played a few files to find something upbeat that could work. I had nothing in particular in mind beyond that. I found “Panther” by Qusic, and made sure it was licensed so I could use it – it has a Creative Commons license for Attribution-Share Alike. Perfect! (Thank you, Qusic!) After downloading the file, I imported it into iMovie and chose a few seconds to fit the short video. I had to split the clip so I could limit the volume under the voice – no problem.

With iMove, one is limited in what can be done, but for a simple, “unprofessional” video like this it worked fine.

So, how do you like Monkey Mocha (the name my daughter gave her monkey sketches)?