Tossed-off visual experiments and ephemera.
Random design thoughts.
Sporadic behind-the-scenes chatter.

Or Eve Progress Shot

Things like this happen as I simultaneously work on learning how to work Blender and figure out where the rest of Or Eve might go. There's about a million things "wrong" with this image but part of the occasional fun of leaving the sketchwork behind and just diving in and throwing some stuff together is seeing where you might surprise yourself; and here, it's with that head-shape, which is both exactly like a sketch somewhere in my sketchbook and absolutely nothing like I would have been able to communicate to myself with a pencil. I figure as skills on both sides rise the gap between intent and outcome might lessen, but for now it's great fun to find unexpected results through such simple means. And really I hope the gap doesn't close entirely, just for that reason.

Image created and rendered in Blender and doctored in Photoshop.

Lyric video animation test

Eventually, given the time required to assemble it and, of course, render it, this would be a kinetic typography lyric video for the song "Texture" by Catherine Wheel. I've mentioned my predilection for minimalism in design work and this project would or will either give the lie to that statement or confirm it completely, I'm not quite sure which. Of course the whole thing's a bit on-the-nose as far as wordplay goes but oh well.

I've been in the "playing" stage with this project for a while now; the stage that comes before actual planning or sketching or wireframe rendering. So I get things like this that take forever to render only for me to notice everything that's actually wrong with it (like, the fact that I actually got the words wrong, whoops). But seeing these kind of things early on is helpful, encouraging even. I like the general effect I'm getting though I'm less enamored of the grainy shadows than I was when I was creating the images for Or Eve (where the effect was kind of cool and appropriate). I'm working on upgrading my rendering set-up (I'm pretty sure my current machine could get me to Mars faster than it could render a full-length video) so a final piece might be a ways off yet.

Promo video animation test

When I create work for myself I tend to prefer to want to get lost in big, long, involved projects where I can turn up the music and tune out the world and geek out endlessly over details for days and days on end. So I wind up with things like The Reds and Or Eve and then these kind of weird deafening silences between because I'm either bummed out that I finally had to finish the previous project or I haven't quite yet found my way into the next project. I like journey more than destination, I guess. I mean. I do like destination. Destination is great. But. Journey is just so much more...exciting, yes?

I wouldn't call it a bad habit but I imagine there's much to be learned from smaller projects, too, so I'm trying to trick myself a bit into not exactly giving up on the epic quests but at least setting my sights on shorter trips in greater quantities. Not every trip has to end at Walley World. Sometimes you have to go to the grocery store, too. Or even just the drug store. Or the mailbox on your front porch.

So! We get things like the video above, where I'm experimenting with kinetic typography in Blender. I love kinetic typography and I love working in Blender and there's a wonderful add-on for Blender called Sniper which makes combining the two loves maybe not exactly completely easy but certainly far easier than it would be otherwise. (Says the guy who has spent most of his motion graphics time doing keyframing in AfterEffects; bouncing between the two programs is sort of fascinating, a reminder about just how critical muscle memory is to a smooth workflow.)

In any event there's probably about a million things wrong with this test video as I step back and look at it critically; the animation should be much smoother and the lighting could be more dynamic and there probably ought to be some off-camera stuff for the text pieces to reflect a bit to give them a greater feeling of depth and contrast and and and and, but I do kind of like the general flow of it and for being a clip I didn't sketch or script out ahead of time I'm kind of pleased with the way the general flow came together, especially the bit where motion slides under the main title, which just amused me too much when I decided on that.

Also I'd normally prefer to make the music myself for something like this, even though I have little to no business making music, but I grabbed a loop for this one just to get it done. Listening to samples of loops is a surreal and strange and sort of painful experience. Like, come on, Internet, why can't you hear exactly what's in my head yet and just give it to me? Sheesh.

New web host, new site activity

Good news: if you can see this, I've managed to jump to a new web host, without completely destroying the site in the process. Yay!

What's cool about this is mostly cool-to-me stuff. For the nerds out there, I've finally wrestled Drush into shape. I admit, I'm a little embarrassed that it took me so long to do so, but, hey, it does now, and it's awesome. Helps remove quite a few of those excused I'd toss in my own path whenever I'd think up something cool or new I could or should do with this site. Goodbye, tedium of syncing up the local development environment...hello, needing to find new excuses not to run more updates to the site in the future.

Forward-facing updates are minimal at this point while I still kick the tires on my new processes but I'll go ahead and point out the "What's New" block down in the footer and the brand new contact form, two items I can at long last cross off my site to-do list. More fun stuff to come. (I've learned a thing or two over the last year, like from the BECA project, which I'm itching to push a bit further where I can.) There's also been a few cosmetic updates, namely around the blog, which is still responsive but a bit more bold with images at the larger screen sizes. I'm planning on giving myself a little more flexibility with blog post types, to accommodate for more or less text-heavy blog entries. I'm still fussing with a few things. It's cool. More to come.

Pictured above: a bit of the sass behind the site theme. I, uh, need to refactor, just a bit.