Jul 27, 2010

Planning a Fight Scene

I was going through my blog traffic and noticed someone came by via a Google Search "planning a fight scene", and I figured it'd be something interesting to write about.
I'm not going to call myself a pro or experienced, so far I've only done like 4 fight scenes, but I do have a rough idea of how it should could be done. The following is not a full guide, it's just something to build upon. Now that that's out of the way, here's how I plan my fight scenes! Shockingly, there's a lot to consider!

Oh and if you're not patient enough to read all this, or want clarification, standby for the next fight scene. We'll have a behind the scenes look at that video where I will explain all this again.
Read more to see the way we go!

Jul 26, 2010

Pro-Google?

Yea, my friend the other day was telling me that, apparently, I've been displaying crazy loyalty to Google!

Maybe, maybe not. I tried to tell him that I only said that Gmail is the fastest, cleanest and easiest to use mail client there is, Google Reader is one of the top RSS Readers out there, and it's recommendations are awesome; Google's Android OS is open source and really challenges iOS and Windows Mobile; Google Maps has saved me tons of times when I didn't know where a certain rendezvous point was; Google Chrome is the cleanest and fastest browser out and it changed how browsing should be, and now everyone else is trying to keep up and is making similar designs (though I'm still a Firefox guy); that Google Wave is a great resource for editors and also for communication; then there's the Chromium operating system coming soon for netbooks....

Wow, it really does sound like I'm all pro-Google! How sad :-S Oh my, Ideas to Creations is in fact hosted by Google's Blogger.

:-S

I'm scared :-(

Lol... no, no I'm not.
If you're a gadgets and technology fan you'd know that Google is probably out to take over the world! Really! They are!
They have managed to make our friend Steve Jobs and everyone else at Apple their enemy / rival since they decided to release the Nexus One in collaboration with HTC, Apple didn't take it too kindly. Mainly because Google had agreed to work together with Apple to create their new iPhone. Apple started their angry "We don't like you anymore" thing by removing Google's apps like Maps that were previously already installed by default and added their own alternatives, and removed Google as the default search engine in the iPhone's browser.

Sad, isn't it.

Best of all, perhaps funniest, is that Apple and Microsoft made a small <b>agreement</b> to work together against the growing power that is Google. As Google continues employing the smartest and most creative (usually the latter is the majority), they continue pushing out awesome software and services that even Microsoft and now, shockingly, Apple are finding difficult to keep up with, and they both know that if nothing is done to bring some reasonable competition, we'll be looking at Google Computers, Google Cars or, who knows, Planet Google! I sooo see that last one coming!

<i>What about their former rival Yahoo!?</i>
Well, our friends at Yahoo! seemed to have given up on trying to keep up and are just keeping with their online services. They got us <b>Yahoo! Answers</b> which is very entertaining when people ask the dumbest questions. Well, so far that's their only service that I use.

Oh my... did I just post something about Google... :-S

Cheers o's!

[posted with Firefox's ScribeFire, it's awesome!]

Jul 22, 2010

Firefox 4 Beta 1

Firefox 4 Beta





Mozilla released the first beta release for Firefox 4.0

If you didn't know, a Beta version is a release by developers that lets users use future releases before they're out so that they can spot the problems it may have. Beta testing is an awesome way to test something out because with more users there's a higher chance of finding errors and problems and even possible security issues (when hackers and programmers get their hands on it), and it's free.

So, I'm giving Firefox 4 a try! Not bad. If you've used Opera 10.6, then there's nothing new when it comes to the appearance! They've got the "Firefox" button in the top-left that acts like a quick-menu with all the usual stuff you'd easily want from the menus.
The tabs come right below it, but unlike Opera, the Firefox button remains on top where the titlebar should be. Oh, and the add-ons manager is now a tab and looks quite cool

They say it's faster than 3.6.6, but for some of us that use modems who's speed varies as the network coverage fluctuates (which it always does), I can't say for sure, so I can only comment on it's awesome looks.

According to Mozilla, it's integrated awesomely for the new HTML 5, which means we can have videos integrated into pages with HTML rather than using Flash players, which is supposedly gonna be faster. Secondly, the code can change how that specific tab looks, like Google Maps adding toolbars when you're on the page. (can't confirm that).

I hope the final version will have "Paste & Go" and that Firefox button should align with the tabs when maximized or hidable, coz that extra space can mean a lot.

Jul 19, 2010

Showcase

The world is an awesome place, it really is... especially Kenya. There's tons of creative people out there, TONS!! Seriously, I've seen people pull some really crazy work that I couldn't even start wondering how it was pulled off. There's pros at illustration, there's animators, there are really cool filmmakers and writers, there are really awesome poets and story-tellers, great singers and really admirable rappers.
Perhaps the one problem everyone seems to miss is exposure. I got some exposure but it really took some time to get to where I am, though this place I'm at isn't really ALL that, though I must say I'm progressing nicely. But there's others I've seen do some really great work on Photoshop but either aren't posting it up in the right places or are just keeping it to themselves as a small hobby-type thing. Those who are looking for exposure suffer from the not-so-nice fact that everything will stay within your circle of friends and only slightly reach out beyond that (which is what I'm going through)

To get your dream in the multimedia / entertainment sectors, anyone can tell you that it's all about the audience and exposure. It'll take an audience to bring you up if you're planning on going big, or just planning to get the every now and then gig.

Having said that, I would like to introduce an idea I came up with last night while suffering from insomnia:
SHOWCASE! ©

If you're a big fan, I'm sure you've seen TED where people give all these inspirational ideas they've had. Well, I'm not making something exactly like that, but I'd really like showcase to be a chance for people to see what others are capable of. The entertainment industry in Kenya really needs a big boost, and I'm really hoping that Showcase will help give people the exposure they deserve!!

Lemme know what you think. If I should go into a pilot program, I'd like to have some people to display their work and go through the in-the-making 'showcase' program, so if you have some work you'd like to display to people, holla or drop a comment below and I'll holla back when showcase is up and running.

SHOWCASE all rights reserved under davdalx (c) 2010

Hot Mayo - Mystery

Yes, I uploaded this track 10 months ago (as of Jul 2010)

   Mystery by davdalx

I had to tell a story and it's with this that I pulled my first real song. I could give the lyrics but then I'd prefer you listen to it first. Lemme know what you think. I'd prefer an honest review than a "oh ya it's good" one

Cheers!

Jul 17, 2010

How'd You Find "Ideas to Creations"?

Hey visitors.

I wonder, how did you find my blog? There's a poll thing at the very bottom of the blog (below my profile), or you could just post your response as a comment on this post. It's open for as long as... well until I get some sort of reliable figures

Thanx

Who's My Traffic - Blogspot Traffic Info

Hey guys!
So Blogspot is an awesome place to blog. They have an easy interface and posting style and customization is easy and (with some knowledge in HTML) quite free compared to other blog hosts. Though there is one thing that blogspot doesn't have and that's stats.
Perhaps the only real way of knowing if anyone's really reading what you blog about is through the "Followers" application, but when you're starting off and you have zero followers but can't really fathom why yet you've sent your URL/address to everyone... it starts raising the question: Is anyone really reading my stuff?

If you've paid a visit to Wordpress, you'll notice they have a very cool statistics page that shows how many times your blog has been visited in today or in the last month or even since you started out, or how it is that people are getting to you. Was it direct traffic? From Facebook? From another blog? From a Google search? If so, what did they search? Which is awesome.

But then again Wordpress layouts and designs are very limited. You're stuck to specific skins and for those of us who love to customize it's not very cool (unless you're willing to fork up some cash for the CSS customization add-on which is a whole other story).

Anyway, my point is, Blogspot should hook up a way to tell how much traffic is rolling in and out. There is, however, a cool way to get that service if you can't wait: Google Analytics!

Google Analytics works just like I mentioned about Wordpress. You get all sorts of stuff, and since it's a whole other dedicated app, you get lots of other features as well. Like custom views, crazy graphs of crazy stuff and even alerts when you reach certain goals, there's even a world map showing where your visits are coming from.
Although it's a bit of a process to hook it up, well you just need to copy some code into your HTML, you should be walked through how to do it.
I suggest you hook it up with your current Gmail account, go to "Add to HTML" or something like that when requested for the confirmation process, then come back to Blogspot in a separate tab. Choose "Layout" from the dashboard then go to the "Edit HTML" tab. From there, press Ctrl+F and search for </head>. You should find only 1 result within the box. From there, copy the stuff you're given by Analytics and paste it right before this tag.

There you go. Then choose "Verify".

Your traffic will be logged by Google Analytics from this point onward. Be wary though, Analytics will count how many times YOU visit the page, so at the bottom where it shows "pages visited" you'll see one that's just "/" and it'll have the most views (if you don't have as much traffic as yet). Those are going to be your results. You can set up a custom view to exclude this but I haven't delved into that yet.

Oh, and the URL for Google Analytics is "http://www.google.com/analytics/"

Enjoy blogging!

(posted with Firefox's ScribeFire, it's way awesome)

Jul 16, 2010

Hot Mayo Productions comeback!

It was underground until the release of the first album, then it was shut down... for a while.
If you haven't heard some of my jams are on SoundCloud, see them here.

It's been almost 2 years since I did it, and now I wanna come back.

See, not so recently we made a music video for Speedy G's song "Second Half", I was co-directing with my boy Kip from MgO. I had met that guy that very day and here's what we did:



I worked on the beginning sequence in the parking lot. I did some of the shooting and well we had lots of fun, though I must say it could've been a lot better quality-wise.

So I thought to myself, to improve my skills how about I just make a video for myself. Not for anyone, just as a test. At first I thought of taking a song and just rapping to it. Candidates were "Never Forget Pluto" by CYNE or "Electric Relaxation" by A Tribe Called Quest.
Then I remembered my history with FL Studio and Hot Mayo Productions...

Now, after releasing a short spoof video, a stop-motion and a concert recording, it's time to get working on a music video. But first, we'll need the song. Luckily, I had about 10 songs that I was meant to add vocals to but didn't get around to it. They're okay, some are awesome, but I'm getting to fine tuning them. Now to write the lyrics, record, and get working on the video. Of course, the song will be released BEFORE the video to get the hype up so we can get people to be in the video (the more, the better)

I hope this project won't get trashed like most of the ones we've had. Oh well, wish us luck!

Thanx for reading!

(posted with ScribeFire. It's way better than Blogger's editor)

Jul 15, 2010

Adventures of Explorer Jim

Yes, it is done! The sounds, the syncing, the awesomeness! Check out episode 1 of the Adventures of Explorer Jim! It just might change your outlook on life:



Explorer Jim was created using a bit more than 100 images, random free sound effects from the net and my own voice work and not so good singing.
I love the way I say "...jungle" at the end of the first line of the song"!

Hope you like. Drop a comment below!

Jul 14, 2010

Stop Motion 2

Hey y'all!
So we released our first stop motion (starring me :-S) on Facebook.
Yesterday (at about 4) I found a sort of Indiana Jones-type doll that had great potential, and I decided to make a stop-motion for it. Shuria was too tired to work so I got his brother to help me out. About an hour of shooting later, we had done the whole scene but even we knew that that was way too short, and it was, the frames are far apart and very jumpy. Anyway, I came home and working at 4 frames per second I threw in the photos using After Effects.
Thanks to the few photos we took and the framerate, it's super choppy, like one second he's here, the next he's jumped to the second step. Usually phone videos are about 15 frames while proper videos are between 25 and 30 and sometimes 60 frames per second.
I shortly added the sounds for everyone, now that I was back home and had lots of psyche I decided to take advantage. I knew that if I left it I wouldn't come back. I used my laptop's microphone which offered two major problems:
1. My room isn't very recording friendly. There's some noise in the background.
2. Thanks to a full hard-drive that's always working, my fan is always on, so you can hear it in the background (sometimes you can here it even speeding up and getting louder). The parts in the video where two audio clips overlap makes this noise even louder :-S

At least now I've learnt that adding sounds will be an issue in the future. But anyway, it's something like a test since it's MY first stop motion.
Anyway, the voices are done, it's just to add the sound effects now. Check out the promotional poster:
Wa, people are in for a let-down... wait what?

Jul 12, 2010

Facebook Page & BotB

Hey y'all!
So we finally have our Facebook page and we've started uploading stuff, starting with the Showdown vid in the previous post. Check it out here!

We, as Feel the Void, were at Battle of the Bands-Rebirth on 04 July, Sunday last week, at Choices. Wow, it was an awesome event. Although we all wished it could've been held at the basement since there was so many people, we still had a lot of fun. Shuria was covering the photography aspect this time around and I was doing the videos (somewhat), though when the Famous Grouse checked in and Rock of Ages played I couldn't help but hand over the camera to my co-camera guy and go jump around and rock out in the mash-pit with the other hectic Kenyan fans.
It's very jazzing and inspiring to see how much rock actually hits in Kenya. To be honest, at first I figured it was only the rich kids from rich schools that could afford studios and equipment that could pull this off, people I would only hear of and probably never get to meet. At Worlds Collide a few months ago we met... 5 bands it was... and I was amazed by not only the fact that there were actually black, proper Kenyan people (not dudes from America or anything with crazy accents).
It's too inspiring. Just because of where we come from is not a good enough reason to assume that we are not capable of anything. At Battle of the Bands almost 11 bands were rocking out and I must say they were all very good at what they were doing! You'd be amazed by how big the fanbase is. Over 200 people were on the scene.. but it also gets me thinking...

As amazing as our people are, as long as they've been doing it, they've not been getting as much publicity and popularity as we would naturally expect from people with such talent. In Oath, Last Year's Tragedy, Rock of Ages, Seismic, Doveslimme... there's tons of really good guys but I probably wouldn't have known about them had I not known one of the band players. Still, they deserve to be recognized, and I feel we should be the ones to give it to them. Not only as Feel the Void, but also as friends and as true fans.
Give it a try. Attend one of the events. I'm sure you won't regret it!
(Next rock event is set for end of this month, I'll post up something on it when I get details)

If you're yet to hear their jams, here's part of In Oath's performance at Battle of the Bands (I covered it :-D)



Cool! Here's Last Year's Tragedy from a previous event (long before we met them)








Awesomeness! Stay tuned for more on the somewhat underground rock scene here in our very own Nairobi!

Thanx 4 reading and/or watching!

davdalx

Jul 8, 2010

Video - Showdown



Hey all!

So here's one of the many videos I promised. This one didn't take too long to make so don't expect much, but it was hella fun putting it together.
I had searched for suitable sound effects but it's so hard to find them these days. I only got this 'swoosh' sound that I used once. Anyway, you just check it, it makes it harder to criticize when I start rambling about it.

Criticism will be greatly appreciated.

Jul 7, 2010

iPhone 4 Reception Blunder

If you're a regular browser like me, you should've by now seen how much people are hating on Apple and Steve Jobs over the reception issues with the iPhone 4.
In case you don't know, the recently released iPhone 4 experiences reception issues when you hold it with your left hand and touch the bottom-left corner on the edge of the phone. This is coz the metallic piece surrounding the phone is used as the antennae and there's a small gap here that when you bridge the connection with your hand, it causes reception issues.

It's all over the web. Especially if you're on Google's RSS client Google Reader you'll see a lot of this on the Explore/Recommended Items. Haha

Then now that Steve Jobs is, apparently, being sued because of these issues, more people have finally gotten the chance to rip on him and Apple for all the years that they've wanted to. Here are some interesting things I found on it:


Seen on GeekyGadgets



Seen on Funnyassblog

It goes on and on, and probably will for the next few weeks until we move on to something else...








Battle of the Bands - Rebirth

Hey!
So we went for the Battle of the Bands event yesterday at Choices. 300 entrance. it was POLITE! 11 bands killing the crowd like madness! It's quite inspiring to see the Kenyan bands rocking out like that. To be honest, before Worlds Collide a few months ago I never thought these bands existed. They were only 4 at Worlds Collide but the 11 this time around was... awesome!!

I took the opportunity to get "Feel the Void" out in the public. But there was one blunder we made: we didn't have our business cards out yet.
It would've been so much easier, and I couldn't help but feel that some guys were looking at us as though we were just another group of guys with cameras, and in such a loud environment it's hard to start explaining exactly what it is about us that makes us different, and worst of all, why it'd be worth calling us over.

On a cooler note, I met another really cool Photoshop guy at the event through a friend. Didn't have a card either but I managed to get his address from him, and wow! His work is very cool, and he's right here in our town. Usually I feel a bit safer coz the artwork I see online if from people on the other side of the world, but it's somewhat intimidating. Anyway, we're not gonna be competing coz "Frozen in Time" images is looking to recruit people and get some affiliations. Of course, I wouldn't mind.

That was a night well spent! Though now I feel like today is Sunday what with the slight hangover from jumping around and screaming.

Worth it though :-P

Cheers people!

Jul 1, 2010

Look What I Did!

Hey!
So I created a whole bunch of images for the new Facebook page. Here's a couple. We had a photo shoot outside my house and used a car's headlights for lighting and an aluminium foil stapled to a piece of card board as a reflector to get some lighting on the dark sides. I threw them into Photoshop and here's my result:


© 2010 davdalx All Rights Reserved

This is quite an easy process using smoke and splash brushes and layer masks and a few extra layers. The "Feel the Void" logo is very flexible since it's a vector with layer styles. (except the swirl, it's a rastered layer).

You can see them better on my Flickr photostream
Criticism would be appreciated! Be BRUTAL!!