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Blog posts from November 2011

Playing Around in JavaScript

Yesterday at Uni the rather talented and nice bloke Seb Ly (seb.ly) came to talk to us Digital Media Design students about creative coding.

He showed various examples of cool effects created using simply JavaScript, which, basically, floored me. It was awesome. For the first time in many years I was properly inspired to get coding and create.

He quite rightly pointed out that if you’re learning through making stuff you feel excited about, it’s SO much easier to learn and be motivated than if you’re learning towards stuff you, um, don’t.

Yesterday afternoon as a result I coded this in JavaScript for a bit of fun (oh and then wrote loads of stuff down about a potential Squage JavaScript game…):

Particle Bouncing Things!

(The code’s a mess, but I was just playing 🙂 )

Toodles,

Pat

Posted on Tue 29 Nov in Uncategorized with No Comments

Life After 35mm?

Hello there! Me again, this time with a synopsis of the following article from The Guardian:

Don’t Keep it reel: why there’s life after 35mm

Yes, you could just go and read it now, but don’t: let me tell you about it first. Why?

Because. That’s why.

Anyway, the article above discusses the transition from 35mm film and projection to a digital format, as is happening right now.

It argues that despite the nostalgia with the 35mm format, plus the risks of projection issues associated “death” of the projectionist through the automated digital projection systems, the following positives outweigh these negatives:

  • Picture Quality: improved frame rate with the digital cameras (e.g. the 4k runs at 48fps, twice that of 35mm)
  • Cost to Studios: Cost effectiveness of sharing film – hard discs vs film reels
  • Flexibility for Cinemas: As the film is in a digital format, and thus copyable and tiny in terms of physical footprint, it can be shared around cinema screens easily, along with being able to “bring a film back” after several weeks not being shown

Do I agree with that? Yes. I think so long as cinemas can invest in some technology to better monitor the ongoing performance of each digital projector, and thus reduce the time to fix any errors, the lack of a physical projectionist is not really an issue. Also, it’s almost a moot point given most analogue multiplexes have had one person half-watching 12 screens at once for many years already!

Anyway, read the article and make your own mind up.

Cheers,

Pat

Posted on Tue 29 Nov in UniLesson with No Comments

What is Creativity?

Oh yes. Two “What is…?” posts in one day. We’re doing a fair bit of discussion in class today.

So, creativity. What is it?

Is it randomly having text on the right hand side in your blog?

Is it using red Comic Sans without warning?

Possibly. But with great creativity comes great responsibility, so I’ll not be forcing you to endure either of those things again.

Anyway… where was I? Oh yes: creativity. What is it?

Is it writing a load of waffle to try and avoid having to think about what creativity is?

Possibly. But with great creativ(JUST GET TO THE POINT! – Ed)… sorry.

Based on our discussions, we’ve thought creativity can be:

  • Thinking laterally – or “outside the box” if you insist on using Business Speak.
  • Experimentation – moving away from set instructions to enhance something (e.g. adding a bucket of Jalapenos to a kid’s birthday cake).
  • Originality – Using existing ideas and things to come up with something new (such as a nuclear powered fridge, or a bicycle that makes toast).
  • Self-expression – Clothing, for example. Or lack thereof.
  • More than just art – you could be creative with numbers, creative with facts (“Oh hey, The Government!”), creative with food (see the above Jalapeno example).

It’s also been discussed that creativity relates to skills. I’d say this is true insomuch as the skills allow one’s creativity to be expressed in a more “impressive” fashion, but it’s not necessarily directly linked: i.e. someone can be unskilled but highly creative. And, probably, pretty frustrated.

Right, we’ve had an original sign-off, and now for a creative one:

Bye,

Pat

Posted on Tue 22 Nov in UniLesson with No Comments

What is Originality?

Arguably this post is. There’s almost certainly never been anything exactly like this. It’s unique (and very, very brief 🙂 ).

Has anyone written an article about originality before?

Almost certainly, in fact there are another 10 people writing about it in this classroom as I type this. So is this really original? Well, that depends on your definition.

We discussed this in class and came to a few potential conclusions:

  • There’s no such thing as pure inspiration.
    • An unique idea is simply a unique combination of one or more existing ideas or things previously perceived.
  • Originality can be subjective – For the designer or the recipient
    • Even if an idea or design is considered by some to be unoriginal, to a person with no prior knowledge of the idea the idea appears original.

I’m not sure about the first point, to be honest:

Is it not possible for a misfiring within the brain, something misremembered or perhaps a strange dream to cause an idea to arise? If this is the case, then an original idea can be based on something not perceived in the real world, but within the mind itself.

I personally believe that this is the case, and am stating this in a US Republican Candidate style: i.e. with no evidence to back it up. 🙂 That’s for another day, perhaps. But for today? This will do.

And now to sign off with something highly original:

Bye,

Pat

Posted on Tue 22 Nov in UniLesson with No Comments

Playing Around in Flash

I’ve not really used Flash before, so I’ve decided to try and teach myself in my spare time. Here are a couple of examples of some very basic animations I’ve managed to cludge together. Neither do much, both are only a few seconds long (and then looped), but it’s a start!

First:
Scrolling Trees – A Paralax Scrolling Test!

Second:
All Aboard the Misery Boat!

See ya,

Pat

Posted on Thu 03 Nov in Uncategorized with No Comments

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