?

Log in

entries friends calendar profile Plankhead.com Previous Previous
OMG PURPLE FOX!
Bwahahaha!
I no longer use Livejournal anymore. No particular reason, I just prefer alternatives.

I still read my friends' journals, but not through my friends page. I use Feedly, combined with FreeMyFeed for Friends Only compatibility.

The only posts you will see here are mirrored from my blog on Plankhead. Comments on these posts are disabled, but they have a link to comment on the original post, which is a painless process requiring no registration.

Most of my other updates are posted on my Twitter feeds, @XerxesQados and @omgpurplefox because it's faster and easier than LJ for me.

So, this journal only exists for the purposes of keeping my friends who are sticking with LJ updated.

It was hot out. Our Macs weren’t quite able to cope. So we put ice packs on them.

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
1 comment or Leave a comment


My latest post for Falkvinge on Infopolicy, about why even the most robotically sociopathic person should be for equal rights and opportunities for all human beings.

Most people feel that it is their moral obligation to help those who can’t help themselves; we help others to have healthy, happy, productive lives out of a duty to our fellow human beings. I agree, but forget morals — helping our peers survive and thrive even makes cold, logical sense.

Evolutionary biology and Darwinian theory might have you believe otherwise: the fit succeed and survive, the weak fail and perish, and by interfering with this process, we hold back the advancement of humanity. But the true evolution with which we need to be concerned is our new stage of evolution: ideological.

Continue reading at Falkvinge on Infopolicy

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment


You see that picture? That’s the result of me not thinking ahead.

See, today, Raye Gestwick — the voice of Leora in Your Face is a Saxophone — came to my bedroom recording studio to record her lines for Episode 2. Had I been thinking, I would have had the bright idea to take a photo of her actually standing at the microphone, delivering her lines. But I didn’t, so now all I have is the microphone stand still set up, the mixer still sitting on top of my laundry hamper, after she’d wrapped up and left.

But anyway, now that we have Raye’s lines, Episode 2′s dialogue is completely recorded, and we’re now free to animate every single scene. Animation’s going a bit slower this week because Erica Frohnhoefer, my other animator, is out of town, but it’s still progressing.

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment


Here’s an article I wrote for Falkvinge on Infopolicy, the third in a three-part series on how the theoretically reasonable and rational “profit motive” is actually broken and damaging to society. But we can fix it.

A banker offers you a loan so that you can buy a house located near your cushy new job. You sign, comfortable that your salary will allow you to afford the payments. Months later, your employer downsizes, and your job disappears. With no job, you can’t pay back your loan. But the banker’s not upset — in fact, he was hoping for this. As you miss payments, your interest rate goes up. You need a new job to pay your increasing debt, and conveniently enough, the banker is the only one in town hiring. This is the crux of the issue with the profit motive: those who profit can put harmful pressure on others.

At its core, profit is power. Whether it takes the form of having many coins, being owed many debts, or something else entirely, profit is a measure of one’s ability to get other people to do things. By giving a merchant money, I can get her to give me her product. By reminding my friend of all the favors I’ve done for him, I can get him to do me a very large one. I gain these abilities through profit.

As I’ve tried to drive home, this is a perfectly reasonable thing to desire, and a perfectly natural thing by which to be motivated. But today, sometimes profit enables us to make people do things that they don’t want to do. Is this a necessary evil, or just another fixable bug?

Continue reading at Falkvinge on Infopolicy

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment

Principal animation for Your Face is a Saxophone, Episode 2 has been going on for about a week now. I’m working with Erica Frohnhoefer to A) split the workload, and B) bring her animation talents to the table. Already, the character animation from both of us is looking far more expressive and dynamic than the pilot episode.

I’ve also worked out a much more effective lighting technique, using primarily directional lights rather than point lights — it gives us some nice subtle shading without the headache of positioning a bunch of points. We’ll be using spotlights here and there to cast shadows, but for the most part we’ll be using directional and ambient lighting. You can see the results in the freeze-frame below: subtle, and nice-looking.

Freeze-frame of Eddie and Blake in a cubicle

Speaking of subtlety, I realized that the pilot suffered from a bit too much “LOOK WE HAVE MOTION BLUR AND DEPTH OF FIELD!!!”-ing.

The motion blur, I kinda have an excuse for: I only realized what exactly the “Shutter Angle” option did after all of the animation was rendered. Apple Motion defaults to a 360° shutter angle for motion blur, which makes something resembling sense if you’re doing traditional motion graphics. For character animation, it’s, in retrospect, absurd. Observe:

Click for full size
Comparison of 360 and 72-degree motion blur shutter
By the way, Apple Motion was being a bitch trying to render out these two frames, so I just ended up taking screenshots of the viewer window. And the frame up top of the cubicle took about 3 minutes to render out to a PNG, even though it took only 3 seconds to render it inside the damn program. Oh, and they completely borked the Render Current Frame function in Motion 5. So, I lied, Apple Motion still sucks.

Needless to say, for the future, we’re using a 72° shutter.

Depth of field, on the other hand, I don’t have much of an excuse for at all. It was just overdone. We’ll still have it, and still rack focus when it’s dramatically useful, but it’ll actually be at plausible levels this time.

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment


Here’s an article I wrote for Falkvinge on Infopolicy, the second in a three-part series on how the theoretically reasonable and rational “profit motive” is actually broken and damaging to society. But we can fix it.

A salesman sells you a tube of toothpaste, claiming it will make your teeth whiter than they’ve ever been in just a week of use. It’s a bold claim, but he wins you over — for twice what you’d normally pay for toothpaste. A week later, your teeth are still yellow, and you’re tremendously ill. Not only was the toothpaste nothing special, but it was also contaminated with a nasty bacteria; apparently, it was cheaper not to sanitize the toothpaste factory equipment. Now your friends certainly won’t buy any of this not-so-miracle toothpaste, but the damage is done. You’re vomiting, and the salesman’s got your money. Herein lies the problem with the profit motive: bad behavior is profitable.
[...]
Fortunately, it isn’t insurmountable. It’s a bug in the system, and bugs can be fixed. To fix a bug, you often have to dig deep to find the root of the problem, deconstructing it — and the system it exists within — to its bare essentials.

Continue reading at Falkvinge on Infopolicy

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment

Remember how much trouble Apple Motion was while animating the first episode of Your Face is a Saxophone? Well, now Motion 5 is out. Here’s our experience:

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment


Here’s a new article I wrote for Falkvinge on Infopolicy, the first in a three-part series on how the theoretically reasonable and rational “profit motive” is actually broken and damaging to society. But we can fix it.

A man in a big house on a hill asks you to tend his garden. In return, he’ll give you a great deal of shiny gold coins. It’s not like he’d miss them, because he has more shiny gold coins than anyone you know. But you don’t want to lift a finger for this man; everyone knows that he got all his shiny gold coins from lying, cheating, and stealing. Unfortunately, you’re starving and your rent is due — the only way to pay for food and shelter is with shiny gold coins, and Big Evil House Man is the only one with any to spare. This is another problem with the profit motive.

Continue reading at Falkvinge on Infopolicy

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment

Here’s some video of us recording the dialogue for Episode 2 of Your Face is a Saxophone. We got about 90% finished that day — Raye Gestwick was ill and couldn’t make it, so we’re recording her lines at a later date.

Plankhead members will get access to all of the footage we shot that day soon enough.

Music used in this video by Distemper.

Originally posted at Plankhead
Leave a Comment
Leave a comment