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Fox in Focus:

Animating a dunk for social media

Last Thursday I covered the Poly vs. Stephen Decatur boys’ high school basketball semifinals in College Park. The game made for some great action pictures including several high-flying dunks. Poly’s Demtetrius Mims who scored 30 points, became the school’s all-time leading scorer after a crowd pleasing, breakaway dunk. I made a sequence of 14 frames of the dunk, from his takeoff to his teammates’ reaction. Unfortunately Mims had his back to me throughout the sequence and I didn’t think any of the individual images of the dunk were strong enough to make my final edit. I had several other images of Mims that were better.

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The following day I had a conversation with Ulysses Munoz, a news content coordinator in the Visuals Department at The Sun. I showed him the sequence of photos I took of the dunk the previous night. I explained that the sequence had some news value, but it was disappointing that none of these images would see the light of day anywhere. He suggested I try creating a GIF and publish it on one of The Sun’s social media outlets such as Instagram. Ulysses used Photoshop to create an image of the sports section where the original story about the basketball game was published. We then created a GIF file with the 14 still images of the dunk. This created a three-second animated movie of the dunk. We merged the image of the sports page with the GIF file of the dunk and created an animated sports page for Instagram.

College Park,MD--3/8/18-- Poly #1 Demetrius Mims with a second half dunk against Stephen Decatur. B
Poly's Demetrius Mims is seen on a different dunk against Stephen Decatur last week in College Park. Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun

Fox in Focus posts will typically appear weekly in The Sun’s Darkroom blog. You can follow Lloyd on Instagram at @lloyd1fox and Twitter at @lloyd1fox. Sign up for our weekly Darkroom newsletter at baltimoresun.com/newsletters.

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