Sunday, May 15, 2005


Here's my portfolio. I did it over the course of last week, but forgot to put it on the blog until right now, five minutes before 3 on sunday.

Happy summer, everyone.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Aftereffects Redux

Alright, that previous shitty project was what we'll call a dry run. I stayed after class untill 11p to give you all a better version.

You're welcome.

The idea was to illustrate with flying, simplistic text and Google'd images all of the semi-ridiculous, not-really-on-topic sorts of things we've talked about in class over the course of the semester. There is room for a lot more, but this is what I've done, and with it I am both satisfied AND content.

Feel free to compare and contrast the two versions and decide which you like better.

... I had something really clever and intriguing to mention on the theme of people-tracking and privacy, but I seem to have forgotten it over the course of trying to finish my AE project.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Aftereffects = Hangover

This is my Aftereffects project. I wanted to make a sort of "trailer" for RTF 319. What I ended up making was a piece of crap. But it took many hours to do, so, while not proud of it, I am satisfied that I did what I could with the time I was given.

Isn't that from a movie?

I'm so tired right now.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Man Bites Dog

The latest news on that Wendy's incident about which we discussed earlier this week. But take a look at that headline. File this one under the "out-of-touch editor" category. Pun intended.

Also, Aftereffects project is looming. So is the 318 Final Project. So are finals.

Hooray for the end of the semester.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

News Briefs

So, the NYSE is going to be a publicly traded company?

Does that mean... metatrading?

Sang posted some info about that new 7mpx cameraphone. To which I reply with this article about the world's first cell phone ever.

This all has fairly little to do with anything much going on in class, I just thought these were somewhat amusing articles.

Here's a question for you: do you think that cell phone article was paid for by Motorola?

We're starting a lab on sound editing now.


Sunday, April 17, 2005


If I get comments on my Flash project from seven individuals, I will add an alternate ending in which Roderick finds his true calling as a LARPer.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Flashtastic Storybookfilm

Roderick and the Quest for Truth in a World So Cold is finished and ready to be viewed by audiences around the globe. It's got an aspect ratio of 1:1.85, so be sure to resize your window to acheive the maximum cinematic effect.

For its relative simplicity, it took quite awhile to finish. If I'd had more time to work on it (though I'm not complaining about the extra week we were given), I would have had some music to correspond with each location he visited. Some harmonium music for Paris, some trance for the rave, some... something for the Venezuelan brothel. But, I am content with the product I have here. Perhaps not completely satisfied, but definately content.

I like that I now have some knowledge of Flash. This could definately come in handy in the future.

Anyway, if you're reading this FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, COMMENT ON THE PROJECT!

Nobody ever comments on anyone else's blogs anymore. We're in the College of Communication... well, most of us are. So, let's communicate.

Furthermore, I am very tired I think I'm going over to Kerby Lane for some queso and a Dr. Pepper.


The interesting thing though is that his cartoonishly large head and short legs are actually anatomically correct for me.

I could not find a good tuft of chin hair for me, though. They had some goatees on there, but they all had moustaches to go with. I wear a goatee without the lip-hair (no offense intended for any moustache wearers out there in internetland), and the fact that they don't have a style like that proves once and for all that I am too cool for everything.

Also, the new Moby album is devoid of sampling. The last two contained several tracks that consisted of loops from old soul albums with original piano lines, synth, and drums being played over them. This album has no such track. So is sampling on its way out?

In other news, I will continue to pronounce the words as "NEESH" and "FOR-TAY."

Sunday, April 10, 2005

With All These Things That I've Done

Again, I've fallen behind on my blog updating. We're approacing the end of the semester now, where both class expectations and student slackerdom begin reaching their high points. The end of the semester can't come soon enough. Not that I don't love you all, but I just need this semester to be over. I'm sure we all feel the same way.

I'm plugging away on my Flash project still. Will probably be done by Tuesday.

Here is a pretty interesting article about copyright and digital media. Well, interesting might be a bit of a stretch ( has never quite dazzled me with the depth of their coverage), but it is timely. It mentions the Grokster case, which could be landmark, or it could not. There's a whole discussion to be had about that, and somehow I think we'll be having that discussion in class.

On that particular issue, the entire score for Revenge of the Sith leaked onto the web this weekend. I'm a bit of a John Williams fan, and I... well, I snatched up the mp3's. Illegally. I'm part of the problem, not the solution. I'll download mp3's, though, but I won't download movies. In part because I have a crappy computer and I value the tiny hard drive space I have, but also because I have moral qualms about it. Well, not so much moral qualms as, I fancy myself a filmmaker by trade (delusions), and I really consider paying money to see a film a way of saying that "yes, I am interested in the work you have done, O' colleague."

The Star Wars score, for those of you who care about this line of thing, is pretty impressive. If you're interested, I can send you a few tracks.

Er. I mean, buy the CD. Yes, buy the CD. Yes. Buy it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Meet Roderick

I have not updated in a week. So sorry. Here is a WIP-version of my Flash project. It is about Roderick and his quest for Self in a world so cold.

Also, though it has no bearing on this class directly, it does have to do with RTF and Digital Media. I saw Sin City at the Austin Premiere on Thursday at the Paramount downtown. It's a case study in the ability of digital media to kick ass.

I would say more, but I'm really tired.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


As much as I wish to avoid being seen as one of those jackasses who quotes the Simpsons at every possible chance, I want to elaborate on my thoughts on the blogs, as well as the article on alternative media with this:

"Marge, I agree with you-- in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory."

While empowering these alternative media sources sounds like a good idea, there's a little idiom that happens to be very unfortunately true about things like this: power corrupts. Now, I'm not saying that by gaining in power, alternative media lose grasp on their values (though I did just re-watch Citizen Kane for 314, and that movie seems to show exactly that), but historically speaking, power corrupts.

Let's take Mr. Simpson's example. I won't bore you all with the history of Russia, since you probably already know it, but here's a long-story-short version. There was this big revolution in Russia about a century ago where they overthrew the czar, and everyone wanted the place to be communist, because, in theory, communism works. In theory. But of course, when they came to power, there was this one guy named Stalin who was a real sick sonofabitch and ruined it for everyone. Seventy-five years later, the flimsy, well-conceived, poorly-executed nation collapsed under its own weight.

Er... by which I mean Ronald Reagan defeated communism. Ronald Reagan brought an end to that mess. By himself. With no-one's help.

Or how about Charles Foster Kane, who came into a great deal of money, decided to run a small advocacy newspaper out of a ramshackle building in New York and as it became a national network of papers, oversaw its tragic descent into a libelous, self-promoting rag. So, Chuckie built himself a decadent palace to prove to himself that he was worth a damn, and died a lonely old man who just wanted to go sledding.

Another example is the Disney company, which was founded as a place for artists and animators and idea people in general to tell stories. Walt used to say that the difference between his studio and the rest of Hollwood is that "They make movies to make more money. We make money to make more movies." That's paraphrasing. In 1990 or thereabouts, after Michael Eisner had taken over the company and begun transforming it into a media supercorporation, he put out a now famous memo that said "We are not here to make art. We are not here to make history. The purpose of this and any other company is and always has been to make a profit." Again, paraphrasing. So, the studio that used to be for preserving the ideals of the artist became the prototypical evil corporation.

Oh, and speaking of evil corporations, that McLibel site is "Corporate Hate?" Hate? Their "issues" page shows that they're trying to preserve truth in advertising, provide nutritional facts, defend the environment, preserve animal rights, and promote fair employment. Sounds real hateful to me.

In completely unrelated news... well, not completely. It is digital, it is media, and it is RTF. This is my 318 Audio project. It's complete bullshit, but my TA recommended I try "more difficult subject matter" than what I did with my slide project, so here it is.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Disruptive Behavior.

On the matter of whether or not blogs are a Disruptive Media: I don't really know.

To be completely honest, before this semester, I never viewed blogs as a serious tool. I mean, I had my livejournal, but I only ever just used it as a place to write up my daily thoughts and happenings, because I'm too lazy to push a pen across a notebook. I'd never really thought of blogs as a major "media source." The '04 election, I found myself clicking around the political blogosphere, yeah, but I never really thought of the articles I read there as being "real news," just people's thoughts, even if the news being written up was, for the lack of better words, news-worthy.

Here's the issue, though: even if a news story appears on the blogosphere, and eventually awareness becomes great enough that it appears in major news sources, it is no longer this sort of "underground" information, its a major news story. So, now the major exposure it gets is through the filters of the media conglomerates. So, the actual version of the story gets to the masses with a different spin.

It's sort of like how we talked about the rise and fall of the independent movie in class yesterday. Nothing stays "cutting edge" for long. And by the time it reaches the masses, it certainly isn't cutting edge anymore. It's been gobbled up by one of the Big Seven, and reduced in meaning.

I don't remember who it was who said in class yesterday that the more they hear about how the media industry works, the more jaded they become, but I kinda have to agree with him. It's kind of abysmal, the state of affairs. Especially now that the FCC is "clamping down" on "indecency." $500,000 dollars for an indecent broadcast? Meaning, as much money as the tuition this year for everyone in the class if I got up infront of a camera and spoke about my disgust for this Fucking McCarthyism.

Something has to come in and shake things up. Is it the blog? I'd like to think so (see the above), but don't think so. Unfortunately the only people who read blogs are the people who read blogs. If that makes any sense. I'm afraid that none of this makes any sense. I'm kind of in full-on rant mode, and I'm told that it can be quite incoherent (remember the time we were talking about authenticity in music and I went raving for about ninety seconds without a breath?)

Anyway, I have learned a lesson about web-safe colors. See, on my icon project, I had used Illustrator to do the actual shape of the thing, and then saved the PNG to my webspace. I forgot, however, to save the AI file. So, when I decided later that I wanted to change the color scheme, I had to do so without the original AI, and since I know Photoshop better, I used that. Unfortunately, on the monitor I was using (on a crappy older mac in the basement of Simkins Dormitory), it looked like I had managed to get every pixel in areas I had turned from red to black. Turns out I missed a few. Hopefully, I'll be able to fix it before you, Chris, get to it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Well, class just finished, and I got a B+. Not here to bitch or dispute about the grade, but I'm kinda dissapointed. Not so much about getting a B, but moreso in the fact that I know I could have done a better, more coherent job and gotten a better grade if I hadn't had the idea of making the "non-photoshop-collage-collage."

Some ideas should be aborted before they come into fruition. Like "Hey, what if we made these little polyester sleeves to keep your legs warm?" or "Hey, lets re-shoot Psycho. In color. With Anne Heche."

In other news, an icon project:

This is an updated version that I cropped up a bit. The original had the word "Bandidos" across the bottom.

It takes a little explanation to understand this one, so here goes.

My friend and partner in filmmaking crime is actually still in High School. He's making this silly movie called Los Bandidos Del Colegio. Translation: High school bandits.

The idea behind the movie is that it is an exercise in completely self-indulgent piece of silly, stupid, throw-the-rules-away high-school filmmaking. He wanted to make it because, since it is his last year in high-school, its sort of his last chance to do a throwaway sort of a picture before joining the RTF Departement here at UT. Plus, he wanted to try his hand at new and different types of special effects, to push what could done with zero-budget mini-DV filmmaking.

What we have here is an image from near the very end of the movie, when a meteor smashes into the main characters' favorite hang-out. Yeah, its that kind of a thing.

Anyway, the idea here is to sort of show that image in wht at first glance just looks like an abstract southwestern/geometric pattern. Since the movie takes place in West Central Texas, and owes a lot to Clint Eastern westerns (again, that kind of a thing), the southwestern thing seemed the way to go.

The very minimalistic color scheme was a choice I made for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, its easy to work with. Har. Secondly, I wanted something vaguely reminiscent of the Soviet posters with which we have been dealing so much in this class. Also, since so many of the people involved are punkish guys, I thought they'd like a design they could have made into a patch for their jackets.

OK, there's that. Back to lab work. Today: Flash.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Hindsight is 20/20

Well, now that I look back on it, trying to make my Photoshop collage look like a non-Photoshop collage may not have been the best idea I ever had. It just looks like I didn't know how to creatively blend stuff.

Le sigh.

For evidence that I actually do know how to use Photoshop, click here, here, and here.

Furthermore, and though it has nothing to do with our class, it does have something to do with RTF and Digital Media. I am working on my Audio Project for 318, and I don't much like it. I scrapped an idea of doing a Superman radio play parody after deciding that it was too cute and not funny, and decided instead to do an audio soundscape of a Yeats poem, with an accompanying piano. The result so far is sounding pretty good, using sounds taken from a lake-house visit, and lots of birds. But I just seem to never be content with my work.

That's a good trait to have, though, right?

Also, I never mentioned that I thought that Chick Tract Remix was hilarious. So I will mention it now: I thought that Chick Tract Remix was hilarious.

Spring Break. Yeah, I should get on that.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Arrival of the Ax6!

(click to see the big one)

Ladies and gentlemen. The Ax6. Is here.

What I wanted to do was do a collage that was a commentary on what a Photoshop collage is, based on the ideas from the Benjamin article. Probably, if I hadn't kept condensing things to keep better track of my layers (because that's the way I work with Photoshop- once I have it the way I want it, I rasterize and merge), it would have about 35-ish layers, including the ones I deleted from the final image. I think the actual PSD (which McChris can see here) has around a dozen or so.

So, yeah, lets talk about what's on here and what I did.

- The Mona Lisa thing is the thing that seems to catch peoples' eyes pretty quick. That's a pretty blatant statement of what Benjamin was getting at.

- Above that there is the cover of the last Moby album, and a still from Ashlee Simpson's SNL appearance. That's a throwback to the conversation about authenticity in music we once had in class.

- Above them is an early photograph of a crowd dressed all victorianish. The "?"s on their faces are a sort of an attempt at a comment on identity. Sort of. Not really.

- To the right of that, is part of Andy Warhol's head. We could open up a whole can of worms on whether he was a genius or a hack because of his postmodernist derivative style, and that's why he's on here.

- To the right of Mr. Warhol, we have a picture of assembly line workers from the Ford plant making a Model T. Mass production, etc. etc.

- To the right of that are six multicolored copies of David by Michaelangelo. I wanted a text label explaining what I was getting at here, but the screen was already blindingly busy as it was. What I wanted it to say was something to the effect of:

"If he could have made lots of them, would we know who he was 400 years later?"

- Next to him is a still from the Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star video. You could write an entire paper on the irony of how a song that critiques a consumerist flash-in-the-pan pop culture became the pop anthem of the 1980's.

- Bottom center is Quentin Tarantino. He's on here for the same reason that Warhol and the Buggles are.

- Finally, bottom right, is a question about what this collage is as a whole.

Alright, so that's content. Let's talk design. What I wanted to do was do a Photoshop montage that doesn't look like a Photoshop montage. I'm a bit of a Photoshop snob, and I get sick of seeing the same old poorly-selected regions pasted onto a gradient background with a lens flare. I wanted to use Photoshop to create a montage that looks like it could have been made of paper elements and glued onto a backboard. So, no obvious filter use (save the color halftone).

Also, since I wanted to make each individual element look like it was cut out solidly, I couldn't use blend properties on the individual layers, so I had to be creative with the actual order of the layers. And, I wanted everything that wasn't a cut out element to look like it was put directly onto the collage. So, lots of monospace, typewriter-like fonts, and for the big letters across the center of the page, a blend was used to make it look like it was stamped onto the image at the end with a very wet, watery ink. So, there was some grain added, a blur done, it was turned diagonal, and the blend was changed to Linear Burn.

In summary, I am glad to be finished.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


So, it's been awhile since I've updated. I have nothing important to say right now, but I thought I oughta add a new entry.



Bloggues are fun.


And midterms suck.

Stay tuned later this week for my Photoshop Montoge entitled Authenticity, Authorship and Aura in Art: The Awesome Auteur.

Or, more dazzlingly: Ax6!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


So, here's my new template. I've tried to write this update about three times before now, and I keep closing the browser down and forgetting to save the draft.

But, yeah, this is it. I may have to make little tweaks here and therel: I'm still trying to figure out how to get the comments page to look the way I want it, and I may figure out a better way to do the dates and times of entries, but for now, this is what I am turning in for the grade.

In other news, I missed class today. Anything too terribly exciting happen in my absence?

And if this template look is too terribly 1990's-Nickelodeon-looking, let me know, because I can change it. I thought it would be more classy, but it turned out looking kinda kiddie-ish. If you think so too, I'll change it.

Hooray for stylesheets.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Most Decidedly Harmed in the Making of this Site

The vast potential of the human intellect is invested in digital media technology. And what do we do with said power? We create a website where you tell a guy in a chicken suit what to do. And he does it.

So what does this surreal marketing tool have to do with class? It's all about the Meta Data.

In order to give the appearance that you are in fact instructing a subservient chicken to do your bidding, the ever so clever marketing wizards created roughly 400 animations for this guy, so the odds of you repeating one are very slim. And each animation is played based on certain key words that you type into the command bar. Meta Data.

On top of being odd, its pretty impressive, and surprisingly hard to trip up. I told him to "hop." And he hopped on one foot. I told him to "hop on the other foot," expecting that they wouldn't have foreseen that specific instruction intended to trip him up. But lo and behold, he had another animation for hopping on the other foot.

So, today's lesson: meta data as we have learned in class has many practical applications in sorting information and making knowledge more easily accessible by humans and We Are A World Community Bound By Internet. But, more importantly, it can make a guy in a chicken suit bow down before you.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Maintaining Quotas

I'm pulling an all-nighter studying for a Psychology Test. The Internet is helping to keep me awake.

Because, yes, I do still visit every monday to see what is new (I knew about them before they were cool. Just like I knew about Franz Ferdinand before they were cool. I'm on the cutting edge of excitement!), here's an example of what Chris refers to as a "Homer Simpson Website."

Oh, and speaking of Mr. McConnell, he posted some loverly photographs of an open flesh wound on his Flickr account the other day. I won't link directly to them, since that, while potentially earning me some kudos for the A HREF tag and stuff, will probably result in an adverse reaction, by Chris, to my final grade. And while I don't think he would do that (especially since, as we have discussed, whatever embarassing thing you put on the intarweb, you've made fair ground for all to see). I will say, though, that I've already linked to his blog. So go see for yourself. Fair warning, though, its extra-close-zoomed-in, for extra accessibility for the visually impaired. You can see individual blood cells coagulating.

Oh, and here's a Wikipedia article about the Uncanny Valley, that principal of doll-like spookiness I was talking about on Wednesday. See, its for real. Like, with corroborating science and everything. And if you call yourself web savvy and you haven't been to Wikipedia yet, you should either stop calling yourself web savvy or go to Wikipedia, because it is a place for knowledge and knowledge is power.

Alright, I'm off to go back to studying for this Psych Exam. Yay for fun.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Postertastic Fun!

Since I'm such a supernerd, I decided to do my Photoshop project on the poster for Steven Spielberg's upcoming War of the Worlds. I also decided to overstep the requirements by one and do 13 distinct sections.

Why 13? I was feeling lucky.

Here's the original

Now the super-awesome version

1- "Pointilize" - This filter looks a lot better on a section with more color. It is, however, a bit cliche.

2- "Grain - Vertical" - Speaking of supernerd, this is the filter that is overused by many horror film posters.

3- "Lens Flare" - Want to show the world that you're brand new to Photoshop and completely unoriginal? Use a lens flare.

4- "Photocopy" - Used correctly, can be pretty cool.

5- "Halftone Pattern" - Used with the right colors, can be pretty cool.

6- "Paint Daubs" - Similar to "Watercolor," this can be used on certain images to convince everyone that you're a French Impressionist artiste of the late Victorian era.

7- "Radial Blur - Spin" - Good, if used well. This is not an example of it being used well.

8- "Tiles" - Considering how long this filter takes to render, you'd think it would be cooler or at least more practical. The sad truth is that it is neither.

9- "Solarize" - You could, like, so use this one if you wanted to make your band's album cover all, like, ...woah.

10- "Desaturate + High Contrast" - This isn't a filter, its just something I like to do with pictures to make them look cooler.

11- "Crosshatch" - On this red and black pattern here, it actually looks kinda cool, though I can't say that I've ever seen it look cool before.

12 - "Color Halftone" - Dude! Lolzorz, this phltar makz yor pic totllay PUNKRAWK! frikkn hXC! xx1337 HAXXORZxx!

13 - "Radial Blur - Zoom" The other kind of radial blur, the kind that looks a lot better than this if used on a much larger image.