Pull Me Push You 09 Dec 2014
Having dutifully read my previous post about migrating this blog to a Static Site Generator [namely Hugo], you might be wondering whether it’s not a major pain in the nether regions, having to keep reuploading the site, every time I change anything, rather than just posting new content directly via a web interface [a la Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, etc]. It probably would be, but for the joys of Git. Git is a system which allows you to keep “Repositories” ie.... [ Read More ]
Hugo If You Want To 08 Dec 2014
One of the things I want to get done, now I’ve got time to work on my own projects again, is to bring a lot of my various ‘web presences’ back under my control again –and also to update and [in some cases] add content to the sites, many of which have been sadly neglected of late. One of the first ‘guinea pigs’ for the challenge was to get this blog out of Tumblr which, although it had its useful aspects [ie.... [ Read More ]
Attic Attac 23 Nov 2014
One of the biggest hurdles the young matulevicz lad faces in attempting to return to the world of gainful Self-Employment and/or Lancing-of-the-Free-variety, is that his house is like a fucking tip. The gaff isn’t that big to start with and every room is pretty much utilised to the full, as far as cramming the available space full of junk goes. You couldn’t swing a hamster in here, much less a cat!... [ Read More ]
Katie Price Literary Review Centre 11 Nov 2014
I know you should never share a private joke –it won’t mean anything to anyone else. But, what the Hell. I’ve been slaving over a hot WordPress installation for nearly the past week and I’m determined to receive the adulation I deserve, for my tireless devotion to satire so subtle you could cut it with a knife [Does that even make sense?] Meet the Katie Price Literary Review Centre NO-ONE AT ALL: Ooh.... [ Read More ]
Happy Halloween 31 Oct 2014
Here’s my contribution to world culture for the occasion. Yes, I know. As an idea it’s about as original as a 1970s sitcom, but at least I tried! [I did try and capture the full majesty of it later, lit up at night, but I only had my phone camera on me and it turned out shite]... [ Read More ]
Roll Of Dishonour 18 Oct 2014
A list of staff members from within our small department alone, who have left over the past 5 years, since “You’ve Been Quango’d” and “The Rottweiler” took over: Mark Helen Graham Dan Maxine Sian Mike Johny Simon Paolo Ricardo Sweeney Yours Truly Hey! –I’m just saying. Don’t read anything into it. They were probably all just a bunch of useless employees who didn’t appreciate the open, honest and fair way in which they were being managed.... [ Read More ]
End Of An Era 16 Oct 2014
Well, today I trundled off on my bike for the last time from the old TMC mothership. For a number of reasons, I’ve decided to take Voluntary Severance, in the latest round of such redundancies and throw my sixteen years of teaching practise onto the scrapheap. Extremely tempted though I am to bow out with a valedictory rant, I shall resist the urge: my lovely students and the many lovely members of staff who I leave behind know the reasons I’m going, the management don’t give a shit and the rest of the world cares even less.... [ Read More ]
Introducing Project Mini-Me. 30 Jun 2014
Wherein our humble author attempts to recreate a caricature of himself through the medium of silicone. If all goes according to plan with regard to our equipment requests for next year, we should [amongst other things] be getting some new materials to work with for the Character Design unit and doing a bit of silicone casting. Now, back in the black’n’white days when I was a young jackanapes at art college and subsequently a slightly older jackanapes working in design, things like casting silicone were a futuristic pipe-dream, like hover cars and self-removing trousers.... [ Read More ]
Meet BoxComp 20 May 2014
It’s been a while since I posted anything here. In my few minutes of ‘me time’ during recent weeks, I’ve tended to do do more ‘left-brainy’ stuff than ‘right-brainy’, so there’s not been a lot to show for it, outside of my vacant skull. Anyway, part of my weekend tinkering of late has been to do with cryptocurrencies: I’ve become quite intrigued by the whole ‘digital goldrush’. As well as working on my own altcoin, I’ve been itching to do some hardware tinkering too.... [ Read More ]
Character Design 26 Mar 2014
This week, it was time to roll out the new Character Design unit, or Introduction to Methods, Materials and Making Processes, to give it its show name. We kicked off with the old classic 25 Expressions worksheets. Before springing it on them, I gave the students about 25 mins to come up with a character and then draw him/her/it [head only] from the front. As I’m not a complete bastard, I did give the students a few clues before they started, which would make for more “expressionable” characters, such as advising them to use the full complement of facial features and maybe also include eyebrows or ears, etc.... [ Read More ]
BBC IPlayer Without Flash On Mac OSX 15 Mar 2014
The other day an old work buddy asked me if there was a way he could listen to BBC Radio on iPlayer, without having to install that notorious collection of security holes known as Adobe Flash. I thought about various ways this might be done, ranging from installing Flip4Mac [hmmm… a Microsoft plugin to replace an Adobe one. Talk about ’out of the frying pan into the fire!] to using VLC to try and open the live streams, but everything I came up with seemed to be almost as dodgy, or more of a pain in the arse to set up, than even using Flash would be.... [ Read More ]
Nostradamus Corner 2014 02 Jan 2014
OK. The bones have been rattled. The entrails have been studied. The huge balls have been stroked. It’s time for the latest round in my occasional game of making a few predictions for the year ahead. So here, in no particular order, are the first ten visions which manifested themselves to me through rips in the very curtain of time itself. Remember to check back in January 2015 and marvel at how uncannily accurate these were: 1: US [with pet poodle in tow] will find a new 3rd world country to drop high explosive democracy and freedom on.... [ Read More ]
This Is The Voice Of Your Conscience Speaking... 18 Dec 2013
This morning as I stumbled bleary eyed from the shower, I spotted this tiny piece of paper on the bathroom floor and bent athletically to read it. Even allowing for the apparent ‘txt-speak’ of the ‘U’ it seemed to bear : “Infinity Will Speed You”. “What can it mean?” I thought, stylishly. “Who has carefully cut out this tiny missive and left it here on my bathroom floor? What are they trying to tell me?” “Infinity Will Speed You”.... [ Read More ]
Feet Of Clay 05 Dec 2013
Time for some more ‘WiPs’ or ‘works in progress’. I like that phrase. It neatly combines an impression of having had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from where you are straining to give birth to a work of monumental genius –with the removal of any expectation whatsoever on the part of the viewer that s/he is about to see is anything worth writing home about, at this stage. Meet Kolin The Kidney Bean.... [ Read More ]
Primary Lesson 26 Nov 2013
Yesterday I metaphorically ‘broke the sod’ on a wee project that’s been rattling about in the nether regions of my otherwise vacant skull for a while now. I’m not giving away too much at the minute –mainly because the idea is still in the embryonic stages– but if I say it involves a reindeer with a red nose, you probably get some idea of where this is going. Anyway, as the following sketchbook scans show, Initially I stupidly tried to draw a cartoon reindeer from my imagination, with the result that it ended up looking like someone had chewed up a load of pencil shavings and projectile vomitted them onto the page.... [ Read More ]
Naming Conventions For Doctor Who Episodes In XBMC 25 Nov 2013
As alluded to in a previous post, I had a right oul’ palaver at the weekend, trying to name my Doctor Who episode collection in such a way that XBMC would catalogue them properly. After trying various combinations of folders, subfolders and file naming conventions to try and cater for the fact that each ‘season’ is made up of several multi-part self-conatined stories, I eventually hit on the correct naming formula which is as follows: In retrospect, it may seem pretty obvious but, at the time, I thought I’d have to do some form of sub-organising within seasons to account for the distinct stories in each one.... [ Read More ]
The Best Doctor Who Story Never! 25 Nov 2013
At the weekend –inspired by the 50th anniversary shenanigans, I spent many an hour transferring my entire collection of original Doctor Who episodes from DVD onto the external hard drive on my media server, so I could access them directly through XBMC instead of faffing around with discs. Much fun and frivolity ensued, as I wrestled for quite a while, trying to find a naming convention for the files that would allow XBMC to index the episodes [about which, more in another post].... [ Read More ]
More From Bradford 14 Nov 2013
Of course, there’s more to the National Media Museum than just the BAF and, whenever I get up there, I like to have a mosey around at the other exhibits as well. Being the gadget freak that I am, I love sticking my nose into all the old broadcasting equipment, cameras, and computer gadgetry too. There is also an interesting section on the history of animation. Here are a few of the things which tickled my fancy from that particular department.... [ Read More ]
REVIEW: Bradford Animation Festival –Student Showcases 14 Nov 2013
Yesterday I made my, by now annual, pilgrimmage to the Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum, to check out the latest goings on in the world of student animation, through the two Student Showcases. Overall, I found this year’s offerings a pretty mixed bag. There was some great stuff and some not so great and on balance I think the quality was ever-so-slightly better last year. However, it was a pretty decent show and –with so much production-line CGI about these days– it’s always nice to see some good ol’ fashioned hand-crafted animation and imaginative use of materials and techniques, for a change.... [ Read More ]
MOSI Try Harder 23 Oct 2013
Today we sent our entire first year and Alex’s Level 3 Art & Design students off to the Museum of Science and Industry [or MOSI to its mates], to have a gander at the exciting sounding Creating the Illusion: Animation in the North West exhibition. To quote the blurb: Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall met at Granada Television in 1959, and founded Cosgrove Hall Films 20 years later. Without Cosgrove Hall, there would be no animation industry in Manchester today.... [ Read More ]
Ollie The Ostrich 22 Oct 2013
Nice start to the day today, as someone of the managerial ilk arrived to do an unannounced Lesson Observation on me. No doubt in a couple of week’s time I’ll get the habitual feedback report telling me what an awful teacher I am again, because I didn’t have a lesson plan sitting in pride of place on my desk, formatted to official college standards on the official college spreadsheet and written in government issue edu-babble.... [ Read More ]
It'S Muybridge Time Again 21 Oct 2013
After several weeks of practising their drawing and mark-making skills, our hard working first years have finally reached the point were it’s time to start making things move. To this end, today I introduced them to the larger-than-life colourful character of Eadweard Muybridge, who was one of the first people to use photography to study how people and animals move. Thus making his ‘oeuvre’ a great source of research and reference material for budding animation students –especially those studying at a college which doesn’t have eleventy billion quids’ worth of MoCap equipment to call on.... [ Read More ]
What An Old Bag! 18 Oct 2013
You know you’ve been drawing too many cartoon self-portraits recently… When even some of the auction pics on eBay start looking vaguely familiar…... [ Read More ]
Animation Death Plunge Horror Shocker! 18 Oct 2013
The world of animation was rocked today by news of the tragic death of Mr. Mannfred B Mannekin, charismatic male model and Room 222 regular. Mr. Mannekin plunged to his death from a 3rd storey window at The Manchester College’s Fielden Park campus around 09:00 this morning. Police have refused to comment on eye-witness claims that jug-eared tutor stíobhart matulevicz was involved in the tragedy, although he was later seen being clubbed at truncheon point into the back of a police van and driven away at high speed, through crowds of jeering onlookers.... [ Read More ]
Speed Life Drawing 16 Oct 2013
Today we embarked on a nice intensive Life Drawing session. It wasn’t your traditional life drawing session though. For one, this was ‘speed’ life drawing, so we didn’t have the luxury of spending an hour at a time gazing at our ‘models’. Secondly, all our models remained fully clothed at all times –which was probably for the best, if the vision that confronts me in the bathroom mirror of a morning is anything to go by.... [ Read More ]
AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! –My Eyes! 12 Oct 2013
[Apologies: For the purposes of illustrating a point, this post contains projectile vomit of a visual nature] What in the name of anal ballbags is it with Tumblr and Tumblr users and animated-fucking-gifs? As if it wasn’t bad enough that every time I log into the site I have to scroll past at least three or four putrid blinking, flashing pieces of this digital excrement which people have seen fit to embed in their posts, it now seems that Tumblr have taken to vomiting them into the sidebar as well.... [ Read More ]
Single-Boot Debian Wheezy On MacBook Pro 4,1 12 Oct 2013
Fresh from all my “right side of the brain” wannabe-artistic efforts of the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d give old left-brain a bit of an outing and let him record how he [finally!] managed to get Debian Wheezy booting as the sole OS on an old MacBook Pro 4,1. Disclaimer: As everything Linux-related I attempt seems to comprise at least twice as much luck, voodoo and chicken entrail interpretation as it does ‘knowing-what-the-fuck-I’m-doing’, this is very much one of those YMMV kind of posts.... [ Read More ]
Mr. WiPpy 11 Oct 2013
My second years were being quite self-directed today, scribbling away furiously in their sketchbbooks, so I got time to do a bit of sketchbook work myself. Here is some more Work-in-Progress on the previously mentioned branding exercise I set my BA students last week. My final idea is slowly coalescing inside my vacant skull. It’s going to be some kind of 1950s style retro-themed promotional material for a “Design-Bot” robot toy.... [ Read More ]
Angels And Devils 08 Oct 2013
Yesterday we wheeled out our newly traditional Destroy Project with the 1st years, wherein they ‘destroy’ studio portraits of themselves. I didn’t have time to join in this year, but see last year’s write-up for more background info. The results were mixed: some nice imaginative ideas and creativity on display but, as always, a lot of the work was let down by terrible hand-rendered typography. Today’s task was a remix of the Destroy Project but with more focus on layout and typography: Working from photos taken yesterday for the Destroy Project and given a pile of glossy magazines to hack away at, the students were charged with using collage to produce two mock-up magazine covers.... [ Read More ]
Branding Exercise 03 Oct 2013
Just for a change from my 1st year doodlings, here is another ‘work-in-progress’ [WiP], this time based on a task I set my 3rd year BA students. First thing in the morning, we played an ice-breaker game whose fiendishly complicated rules I don’t propose to elaborate on at the minute, but which basically involved coming up ideas for logos for a range of everyday businesses, which were different to anything thought up by any of your classmates.... [ Read More ]
Texture Grids 01 Oct 2013
Another follow-up to the infamous Animation Street fiasco, this session was intended to try and get the students to re-engage with the idea of mark-making and illustrative pattern work. Each student marked out an A2 sheet of paper into a grid of 8 rectangles. They then had to fill each rectangle with an illustrative pattern based on some object observed in the world around them. The finished piece should work as an interesting abstract piece of art.... [ Read More ]
Walkies! 01 Oct 2013
This morning as a bit of a warm-up and loosen-off session to banish the memory of yesterday’s abortive Animation Street task, we had a session of that old classic parlour game “Taking Your Line For a Walk”. For the uninitiated, the idea is simple: each person scribbles on a piece of paper in front of them. The papers are then shuffled round in a variety of ways [to stop things becoming too predictable] so that everyone ends up staring blankly at someone else’s scribble, which has landed in front of them.... [ Read More ]
Animation Street 30 Sep 2013
This task was the next step in our attempts to get the students to think about using pattern and illustration to fill in areas of a design. The Sardinhas and My Dream Course tasks had both focussed on filling an internal shape. This task was intended to revisit our old friend ‘negative space’ by requiring the students to fill in the space around a piece of artwork. In the morning session, each student worked from a photograph of their house to produce a line-art version of their humble abode.... [ Read More ]
My Dream Course 30 Sep 2013
This idea was shamelessly lifted from the always inspirational Doodlers Anonymous website [you didn’t really think we make all this stuff up ourselves, do you?] A bit like the concept behind the aforementioned Sardinhas project, the idea is that you take a blank template of a book cover and then turn it into the cover of a textbook describing your ideal ‘school’ subject. Eschewing my natural inclinations to depict the cover of “Advanced Kebab & Guinness Consumption Studies”, I instead decided to throw together a cover for my second favourite academic subject of all time; the noble art of walrus juggling, as practised down through the generations by the sea-faring members of my family.... [ Read More ]
Something Fishy 30 Sep 2013
A while back I stumbled across the Sardines competition organised as part of the Festas de Lisboa. The concept is really simple: download an outline drawing of a sardine and then fill it with whatever springs to your creative mind. We thought it might be a good exercise for the students, to get them experimenting with pattern and design. There was quite a lot of productivity and creative work produced –but unfortunately none of it came from my end of the room.... [ Read More ]
Grid Drawing 25 Sep 2013
Today, as part of our campaign to allow us all to continue producing artwork after The Apocalypse comes and reduces all the computers, scanners and printers to smoking heaps of melted plastic, we set the students the task of magnifying a photograph through Grid Drawing: Overlay an acetate sheet with a grid ruled onto it on top of a photograph and then copy the content of the grid to a larger grid ruled on a sheet of drawing paper –thus reproducing the photograph at an enlarged size.... [ Read More ]
Still Life And Negative Space 24 Sep 2013
More drawing from life today. This time with a bit of a twist: First of all I gave the students a crash course in the art of drawing from life, using a pencil held at arm’s length to measure relative dimensions and angles. Once inducted into this mysterious art of ”looking like a proper artist”, we turned them loose on that old standby of art colleges down through the ages: the pile of boxes.... [ Read More ]
More Still Life 23 Sep 2013
In the afternoon session, we asked the students to experiment with using a variety of media in their still life drawings. We’re always amazed and a bit saddened to find out how many students embarking on an Art & Design course arrive with no experience of working with any art materials outside of horrible gritty supermarket own-brand HB pencils. So we throw a load of proper drawing pencils, charcoal, pastels, pen’n’ink, etc at them and we invite them to try their hand with as many as possible.... [ Read More ]
Another [Academic] Year Over... And A New One Just Begun 23 Sep 2013
[with apologies to John Lennon] Well, here we go again folks. After an inexcusable hiaitus from posting during the summer, your favourite half-witted lecturer is back again, pencils sharpened and raring to. In other words: I’m a firm believer in the principle of not asking other folks to do something you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself so, as ever I’ll be mucking in with my students [whenever tedious spreadsheet-sucking duties allow] in the various design challenges we set them during the coming year.... [ Read More ]
Them'S Good Broth Turned 3 Today 06 Jul 2013
Who’da thunk it, eh? I started this blog, so I could “lead by example” when banging on to my students about how important it was to maintain an online presence. And now, a mere three years later, I have a readership measured in the millions, my wise words have brought an end to war and poverty and —with the enormous sums I earn from a continual round of public appearances— I’ve been able to retire to this sun-kissed tropical island, where I spend my days snorting cocaine from the belly-buttons of dusky maidens, swilling Guinness by the gallon and living on kebabs [with extra chilis] flown in specially from Abdul’s in Manchester by private jet.... [ Read More ]
So Long And Thanks For All The Wish... Es 04 Jul 2013
Just running through the last few exit tutorials this week, before all my lovely second years are freed from my loving stranglehold and released into the big bad world. We’ve had some laughs and tears and fights over the past two years, but hopefully, for most of you, it was worthwhile in the end. If I wasn’t so wizened, gruff and cynical I might have allowed myself a poignant sniffle, reading the nice farewell messages on the card you wee divil’s got for me.... [ Read More ]
Stop The World. I Want To Get Off! 17 May 2013
Today, I present the crowning glory in the recent “improvements” to the network at college. Yes folks, the TMC firewall has just blocked the TMC’s own website “in accordance with organisational policy”. I give up. I’ve obviously fallen through a hole in the space/time continuum into a parallel universe, where galloping insanity is the norm.... [ Read More ]
Size Is Everything 13 May 2013
Funnily enough, only a couple of weeks ago, I was on the Aardman website, looking at their self-proclaimed World’s Smallest Animation, which was made using a microscope attachment on a smartphone camera. This is a tiny animation Pretty teeny-weeny stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. But it seems that the world of animation is no more a stranger to the unstoppable march towards miniaturisation than the rest of the world of gadgetry.... [ Read More ]
What'S In A Nom? 13 May 2013
Those of you who are remotely interested in the ins, outs and quite possibly back-in-agains of academia may have witnessed Alex and me swimming against a tide of paperwork, even higher than normal, over the past few weeks. The reason for this was that we were re-writing the Animation and New Media foundation degrees with a view to getting them validated by University of Salford. Well, last week, wearing my best bib’n’tucker and even clean shaven in deference to the occasion, I attended the validation meeting with some top bods from the University of Salford and I’m pleased to say that [subject to a few minor tweaks to the paperwork] they’ve agreed to validate the new course.... [ Read More ]
Bundle Of Joy [Reprise] 17 Apr 2013
I’ve written in a previous post about macHeist and their software bundles, so I won’t bore you with all the background info again. If you’re interested, read the previous post Suffice to say that the current nanoBundle 3, available for a [yankee] tenner might be of interest to some of you stop-frame animator types, as it includes iStopMotion [usually $50]. Also of interest in said bundle are xScope [which is a handy tool for creators of in-screen graphics] and Path Finder [which is like Apple’s Finder, with most of the annoying crapness removed].... [ Read More ]
IOS Prototyping Prerequisites 15 Mar 2013
For the delight and delectation of those who attended Part 01 of my sessions on iOS Prototyping yesterday –part two at the same time next week!– here is a summary of the bits’n’bobs you’ll need set up, if you want to ‘try this at home’. Adobe Fireworks As this is part of the Creative Suite, you should have this already –provided you’ve stolen bought the rest of suite. TAP This is the application framework and builder that allows you to dump a Dreamweaver Library exported from Fireworks into it and turn it into a clickable swipeable app prototype.... [ Read More ]
Oscars Schmoscars 27 Feb 2013
Fresh from suffering a twat-ful of overpaid Hollywood superstars crying into their onion-filled hankies at the weekend, the world of showbiz was again rocked to its very foundations yesterday, as the who’s who [or should that be who?… who?..] of animation gathered in The Manchester College’s infamous Room 222 for the inaugural Golden Doll Awards. From the outset, controversy was in the air, as plucky South African cheerleader Zack Esterhuizen led a people’s revolt, clamouring for the awards to be renamed the stíobharts, in honour of the world’s greatest living half-wit.... [ Read More ]
Not Mud-Plugging 22 Feb 2013
Yesterday, I dragged the first years screaming and kicking off the computers and nailed their chairs to the floor around the gadget free break-out tables in the middle of the room. Said tables I then piled high with packets of air-drying clay, tubs of PVA adhesive, armature wire, chicken wire and ModRoc and told them it was time they started making something, instead of spending yet another day helping demolish the EU Pritt Stick mountain by gluing “research” into their sketchbooks.... [ Read More ]
Character Design For Brands 13 Feb 2013
Here’s an article from Computer Arts about designing characters to represent brands. Might be of interest to you first years, in light of your current brief... [ Read More ]
Lesson Ideas: Mad Men 10 Feb 2013
For want of anything more interesting to waffle about, I thought I might write up, every now and then, some of the lesson ideas which come to me under the influence of opium pipes and pints of industrial drain cleaner –and which I then inflict upon my long-suffering students. Today, I present Mad Men. Named after the US series which my missus watches and which, from what I can see through an occasional glance over her shoulder, seems to be a show about chain smoking –the Mad Men lesson is an exercise in Creative Thinking under pressure.... [ Read More ]
Shameless Pluggage. 02 Jan 2013
[ Scientific research has shown that successfully completing the scroodl challenge makes you stronger, taller and more sexually attractive. It also increases your chances of finding a big suitcase full of cash or drugs, just lying in a back alleyway by up to 43%! So, what are you waiting for? –Just head over to http://scroodl.tumblr.com/ask and fill in the contact form, with your name and email address and I’ll add you to this year’s starting line-up.... [ Read More ]
Creating An Apple Keyboard Mapping For Debian 01 Jan 2013
old Apple keyboard Old macs never die…. at least in my house where, when they get a bit too long in the tooth to handle the latest versions of OSX, I usually install Debian linux on them [often sans GUI], as that’s what I run on my webservers, so it’s nice to have a Debian box or three lying round the house, so I can practice my l33t *nix skills, without breaking the internet.... [ Read More ]
Scroodl Post-Mortem 29 Dec 2012
Tonight I am smugly basking in the afterglow of my completion of the scroodl challenge. This time a [leap] year ago, disgusted with my terminal indolence when it came to actually producing artwork and presumably under the influence of what remained of my Christmas booze stash, I resolved that I would make a slightly premature New Year Resolution. I vowed to do some drawing every day for a whole year. As if that was not idiotic enough, I decided that the best way to ensure I stuck to this pledge was by making it public.... [ Read More ]
Stumpy McDunce Writes... 11 Dec 2012
Every now and then I come across an artist’s website which makes me want to burn all my drawing implements, cut both my hands off and fashion for myself the biggest dunce cap in the world, from all my remaining sketchbook paper –all the while whilst kicking my arse to Putney bridge and back, for being the lazy, feckless twonk that I am. Here is one such site, that I came across, only t’other day.... [ Read More ]
Pinterest —it'S Not Just For Shoes! 20 Oct 2012
](http://pinterest.com) Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll have heard of Pinterest, latest ‘flavour of the month’ in the unending avalanche of new social networking sites hoping to cash in on the success of FacePuke et al. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to gather together collections of images and videos from around the intarwebs and ‘pin’ them onto ‘pinboards’ for future reference.... [ Read More ]
Bundle Of Joy? 20 Oct 2012
](http://macheist.com) Well folks, it’s that time of year again when the good folks at MacHeist start their annual bombardment of my in-tray with news of this year’s ‘bundle’. For those of you unfamiliar with MacHeist, it’s pretty much a bulk purchase scheme, whereby the kind of people who like paying for software [I’ve heard such creatures exist!] can buy a ‘bundle’ of mac apps for a ridiculously low price. MacHeist has been on the go for years.... [ Read More ]
Heffalump Overload 10 Oct 2012
Yesterday I introduced my animation students to the ‘wunnerful world’ of Edweard Muybridge and asked them to do some tracings from some of his photo-sets, with a view to eventually photographing them on the rostrum and making them animate. Given the nature of the technique and the fact that the Muybridge material is so old, I have coined the following term to describe this form of animation: Retro-scoping Do you see what I did there?!... [ Read More ]
I Wanna Destroy! 02 Oct 2012
We did the Destroy Project today with our first years, which basically involves taking photo portraits of yourself and “destroying” them in artistically creative ways [idea shamelessly lifted from the photographer Rankin]. As ever, whenever possible I like to play too, so here are the three efforts I managed to produce, in between running the entire college, practically single-handedly. The astute viewer will notice the depth of the artist’s vision as, with scalpel-like precision he shines the light of enquiry into the darkest recesses of contemporary society, exposing to the glare of self-appraisal the morés and foibles of the twin worlds of fashion and commerce.... [ Read More ]
A Final Scroodl Roundup 22 Sep 2012
Given that I have a terminal inability to draw hands [or feet], I thought it was about time I bit the bullet and actually tried to scribble a few paws, for my scroodl challenge. Yes, even I can be haunted by the disembodied voice of Alex, in my head, telling me to get out of my comfort zone! So, here are a few attempts I’ve made recently. Not great but, given that I am the undisputed ‘King of Crap Hands’, I’m relatively pleased with them.... [ Read More ]
Scroodl Roundup The Ireland Collection 22 Sep 2012
Some more scroodls. These ones are from August, when I was back in Ireland for a bit.... [ Read More ]
YA Scroodl Roundup –Part One 22 Sep 2012
As is my wont, I’ve been neglecting this blog again, over the summer. I was going to post a roundup of all the doodles I’d done since the last update in my scroodl challenge [trying to upload a doodle a day for an entire year], on which I’ve now got under 100 days to go. But I’ve left it for far too long and reposting all the crap in a mighty roundup would take longer than the life-expectancy of the known universe.... [ Read More ]
The Biggest Scroodl Roundup In All Of Christendom 18 Jul 2012
”..Bleedin ‘eck, Guv’nor –you’ve sure neglected to do this for a luvvaduck long while, an’ no bleedin’ mistake!…” OK, my lovelies. Fasten your seatbelts and sit back. Here goes the first part of what will likely turn out to be a bit of an avalanche of scroodl-catching-up. This covers the period from 8th - 17th May. Remember to keep your dangling appendages inside the carriage, at all times. ——— The mighty scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
App Store Chore 04 Jul 2012
Ever since I was a young man… er… well, for about the past two or three years anyway, I’ve wanted to teach myself the mystical arts of iOS programming. That is, programming for the iPhone and iPad. If, in more civilised times, it was thought that everyone ‘had a book inside them’, then surely the equivalent de nous jours is to believe that everyone has an app inside them. I know I do.... [ Read More ]
In Praise Of Markdown 12 May 2012
I hate word-processors. They are the spawn of the devil, for anyone of an artistic temperament. Ugly, bloated and stinking of corporate dullness, they sit there, sucking the very creativity out of you. Every time someone sends me a Word document, a bit more of my soul withers and dies. And it’s just as bad when I have to write up some kind of formal document myself. Even though I’ve eschewed Microsoft and its evil bug-ridden virus-infested software for years, I still feel the bile rise in my throat when I fire up the equally ugly-stick-beaten freebie alternative, NeoOffice, on my mac.... [ Read More ]
Getting Stuff Into And Out Of Your IOS Devices 12 May 2012
Being an Apple ‘fanboi’ of long standing [I got my first mac way back in ’93] I love my shiny iPhone and iPad. But one bugbear I have with these gadgets is the way that Apple makes it so difficult to get stuff on and off them, without either using only Apple apps, like the execrable iTunes or using clumsy workarounds such as emailing files back and forward as attachments. So here are a few goodies I’ve discovered, over the years, which will help make this process a bit easier.... [ Read More ]
Another Hefty Scroodl Roundup –Part 02 11 May 2012
Here’s the next batch in ‘Operation scroodl Catchup. This lot takes us from 24th April to 07th May. Now the smart boys and girls amongst you will have noticed that there are less scroodls here than there are days between those two dates. “What has happened?…” I hear you cry, with your stupid faces twisted in confusion “Has our hero and role model failed in his challenge of doing a doodle every day for a year?” Well, dear hearts, you can put that notion right out of your heads!... [ Read More ]
Another Hefty Scroodl Roundup –Part 01 11 May 2012
I’ve been neglecting my increasingly froth-lipped scroodl repostings of late and I have so many accumulated in the reserve stash that, when I tried to upload them all at once, all smoke started coming out of Tumblr and a man shouted “Hey, you! Stop that, or you’ll break the internet!” Anyway, here’s the first batch. these were originally posted on scroodl between 14th and 23rd April. As ever, top British secret agent Colonel Wanderbury features quite prominently, fighting his ongoing valiant rearguard action against the despicable Baron von Brücken-Stempfl and his invading hordes of Nazi triffids.... [ Read More ]
Review: Starsky And Hutch 06 May 2012
Seeing as it’s a proven scientific fact that all popular culture created after the mid 1990s is complete shite, I’ve resorted to downloading complete TV series of classic television from ‘the good old days’ off the internet, to give me something to gawp at while shovelling my dinner into my gob, of an evening. At the moment, I’m working my way through all four seasons of the 1970s cop show, Starsky & Hutch and I thought I’d share the delights of this old classic with those of you, amongst my vast readership, who are unaware of this televisual delight.... [ Read More ]
Not Your Usual Weekly Scroodl Round-Up 13 Apr 2012
As I’ve been enjoying a well-deserved week off work for Easter, I’ve been able to devote a bit more time, than the usual half-arsed effort at the end of the day, to my daily scroodls this week. So, I did a mini set, still featuring my fuckwitted creations, Wanderbury & co. but paying homage to iconic movie posters. See how many of them you can get. ——- PS. I’m still looking for new blood to sign up for the scroodl challenge: It’s simples.... [ Read More ]
No.100 –One Hundred, Not Out! 08 Apr 2012
My one hundredth scroodl. Go me! Having donned his best driving bra and taken a firm grip on his joystick, Colonel Wanderbury is looking forward to an exciting evening’s racing, when he discovers to his horror, that the rampaging triffids have completely smashed his Scalextric! [With apologies to B-movie fans, everywhere!]... [ Read More ]
Fourteenth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 07 Apr 2012
You know the score, by now! ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Huddersfield Tapestry 03 Apr 2012
For the past two days I’ve been in Huddersfield at the Subject Specialist Conference, which is part of my PGCE/Cert. Ed. Given that the entire course up to now has consisted entirely of essay writing and spreadsheet sucking, I was expecting the conference to be similarly creativity-sapping. So imagine my delight when, on arrival, we were all given long strips of paper and invited to make some kind of ‘artistic reflection’ during our two days there.... [ Read More ]
Mini Review: The Last Station 31 Mar 2012
One of the websites I frequent is currently holding a poll to find the “Worst Film Ever”. I added my tuppence worth to the debate and then realised that, with a bit of cynical recycling, I could rehash my post there as a review here . So here it is. Apropos of abso-bloody-lutely nothing, save the fact I’ve not actually written anything for a while, just been re-posting my scroodls: If you measure awfulness in sheer tedium, as opposed to irritation, then you couldn’t do much worse than “ The Last Station”: Christopher Plummer [as Leon Tolstoy] spends almost the entire film, lying in bed, waiting to die… with a beard.... [ Read More ]
Thirteenth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 31 Mar 2012
McYadda, McYadda ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Twelfth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 27 Mar 2012
Blunderbuss and Bacon-Slicer again… or whatever they’re called ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Eleventh Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 27 Mar 2012
Wanderbury and the Baron again. More exciting than finding a cornflake in your cornflakes! ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Tenth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 11 Mar 2012
I’ll not even bother introducing this week’s offerings. same old, same old. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Floor Plan 06 Mar 2012
More work done on the set for Project Innocence, this Monday. At the weekend, for the good of the team, I put myself through the soul-destroying hell that is a visit to B&Q. After being harangued by Alan bloody Titmarsh on loop tape in the garden department, searching in vain for the right sized wood and then futilely trying to find a price on the not-quite-right sized wood, which was all they had —I emerged broken but unbowed and loaded up my van with some timber and hardboard sheets.... [ Read More ]
Ninth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 03 Mar 2012
More Colonel Wanderbury and Baron von Brücken-Stempfl. Nothing to see here. move along, please! ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Eighth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 25 Feb 2012
Another week dominated by the adventures of Colonel Wanderbury and Baron von Brücken-Stempfl. Oh well. No point fighting it. Let’s just see where this goes. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
All The World'S A Stage 25 Feb 2012
As self-appointed “Person Who Stands at the Back, Pointing at Stuff” and general dogsbody for the Animation 2nd years stop-motion “Project Innocence” it fell to me to knock up lovingly hand-craft the stage, within which the ‘magic’ will take place. A few weeks back me and Stefan did a bit of setting up cameras, fiddling with tripods, measuring distances etc. in the dirty room at college and arrived at a set of dimensions which constituted the maximum field of view we were going to work within.... [ Read More ]
Seventh Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 19 Feb 2012
I’m afraid the Post-It note offerings have continued into a second week. [it’s just so much more convenient than dragging my sorry arse all the way over to the computer and setting up my Wacom tablet!] I also seem to have created a monster; namely Colonel Wanderbury and his arch-enemy Baron von Brücken-Stempfl, who seem to have taken over my scroodls, at the moment. Trouble is, having given spawned the two eejits, I havenae the heart to kill them off.... [ Read More ]
Sixth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 11 Feb 2012
This week, depending on how charitably disposed towards me you’re feeling, I’ve either been “pushing the boundaries of what constitutes an art medium”, or “being a lazy bugger”. However you want to dress it up, it means i’ve mainly been doing quick 10-20 minute doodles on Post-It Notes. Normal service will be resumed as soon as arse is once more in gear. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Fifth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 04 Feb 2012
Bit of a mixed bag this week, with a couple of pretty half-arsed ones slipping in under the radar, towards the end. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Fourth Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 29 Jan 2012
Inspiration was at a bit of a low this week, hence the preponderance of cartoonish faces, which tends to be what I doodle, when I cannae think of anything else. Maybe, I’ll start picking a theme for certain weeks, to add a bit of variety into the mix. ——— The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called!... [ Read More ]
Third Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 21 Jan 2012
Third week’s worth of scroodls. Woot! –under the “fifty weeks to go” milestone now.... [ Read More ]
Exciting News! 18 Jan 2012
██ ████ all ██ ████ is ████ ██ ████ ██ well ██████ ██ ██████ love ██ ████ your ██ ████ ██ government ████ ██... [ Read More ]
Second Weeks Worth Of Scroodls 14 Jan 2012
Second week’s worth of scroodls [and they said he’d never keep it up!] Forward we go into week three, scribbling away like a good ‘un!... [ Read More ]
The Mighty Scroodl Challenge 11 Jan 2012
The mighty Scroodl challenge; pick a start date and then aim to create and upload a hand-drawn piece of art, every day for the next 365 days –or a “year”, as it’s sometimes also called! I started mine on 31st December, so 6th January marked my first ‘week’. Here are my first seven Scroodls.... [ Read More ]
Review Reviewed 11 Jan 2012
I’ve just stumbled upon this, through the randomness that is retweeting and I love it! It’s an entertaining read and it combines a review of the film with personal anecdotes and hand-drawn artwork. What’s not to like? Possibly something to ponder for you lot out there with reviews to write for your PDPs. “Think outside of the box”, and all thon! War Horse –an illustrated review.... [ Read More ]
Have You Made Your 250 Contributions To World Culture Today? 07 Jan 2012
squid-vicious: Tumblr Post limit: Okay so it’s 250. I guess that’s like a lot of posts in one day. But as someone who used to spend like a whole day on Tumblr because I had nothing else to do and posted 300+ posts (not every day, on rare occasions), I have posted more than 250 posts in one day many times. So… I stumbled across this post, whilst trying to search the Tumblr API for a way to limit members of a shared blog to a certain number of posts per day.... [ Read More ]
Remembrance Of Posts Past 01 Jan 2012
I’ve been racking my brain for a week or two now, trying to remember the name, web address [anything!] of a site I came across a while back, whereby you sign up with them as an illustrator and [subject to being accepted] you get to illustrate eBooks for iPad, from a selection they sell on iTunes. I thought it might be of interest to Vanessa in particular, but also to some of the rest of you, who enjoy a bit of illustration, on the sly.... [ Read More ]
Meet Scroodl 31 Dec 2011
Howdy boys and girls. At that depressing post-Christmas time of year, when you look at your haggard hungover face and turkey & mince pie-bloated carcass in the bathroom mirror and realise that you’ve spent the entire Christmas break stuffing your face and poisoning your liver and done “absolutely-no-work-at-all©” it’s nice to set yourself some aspirational New Year’s Resolutions. And what could be more assuaging of your festive guilt than to pledge yourself fervently to some unattainable goal which, deep down, you know you’ll give up on, halfway through January and return to your self-loathing indolent ways?... [ Read More ]
Calendar-Iffic 27 Nov 2011
How do you like my saucy new mini-calendars, showing the post-dates on my blog entries? Pretty nifty, eh? – and the cool thing is that it’s all done with good ol’ CSS. No image files were hurt in the making of this website. If you fancy having a go, here’s what you need to do: 1: First, add the following code into your theme’s custom HTML. If you don’t know how to edit your theme’s custom HTML, you probably shouldnae be doing this anyway but, if you like living on the edge, refer to my previous post for instructions on how to access the HTML editing screen.... [ Read More ]
Less Pain - More Gain 27 Nov 2011
Trying to edit your Tumblr theme’s HTML was annoying enough previously but, since the latest update to the interface, it’s even more of a pain in the arse than ever. Now you have to have two tabs open and make at least three clicks back and forth between the “CUSTOMISE” section and their annoying HTML editing screen, every time you want to make the slightest change. Here’s a way in which you can set things up, so you can edit your theme’s CSS locally and then have the changes automagically applied to your Tumblr blog: Assumptions: You’re using a custom theme.... [ Read More ]
Stop-Frame Genius In Action 18 Nov 2011
I saw this video a month or two back and forgot to book mark it and had absolutely no luck since in finding it because: A: I couldnae remember who it was about B: I couldnae remember the name of the film. Thanks to a casual comment by Rob [AKA “Big Tough Gully”] in one of his posts yesterday, I finally remembered that it was A: Barry Purves B: Tchaikovsky Really clever on two levels; Firstly, you get to see the master, Barry Purves in action and secondly, it’s a stop-frame within a time lapse, which is judged just right to give the effect that the stop-frame model is moving at normal speed.... [ Read More ]
Charlie And The Pickelhaube Of Doom 13 Nov 2011
After they got fed up with me hanging about looking dejected, because I wasnae allowed to play with plasticene too, my 2nd year Animation students took pity on me and said they’d allow me to design one of the characters for our forthcoming ”Project Innocence” stop-frame animation. Presumably because they’ve already seen the state of my drawing and modelling skills, I was given the job of designing and building Charlie, brother of the main protagonist, who spends most of his brief appearance in the film clad in an old army greatcoat and German Pickelhaube helmet [war relics, belonging to his granda], so that not much of him is visible, apart from his chin.... [ Read More ]
Cert. Ed. –ifiable 13 Nov 2011
At the last session of my terminally tedious Cert. Ed. course [which I’m being forced to complete, to prove I’m qualified to do the job I’ve been doing for the past eleven years], I was actually given carte blanche to do some doodling in an official capacity –instead of using it as a means to attempt to preserve my sanity, while the lesson drags by, as is usually the case. We were split into groups of four and charged with producing some “visuals” which explained how ‘something so boring I’d rather eat my own dung than think about it’ differed from ‘something else so boring I’d rather eat my own dung than think about it’.... [ Read More ]
Project Innocence 13 Nov 2011
Since I’m looking forward, in the next few weeks, to bollocking those of my students who’ve not bothered to post anything to their PDP blogs, since the current term began, I thought I’d better get my arse in gear myself, lest some barrack-room lawyer pipe up with a, “Please stop hitting me with that length of two-by-four dear tutor for, in our indolence, we were only emulating your good self!” So, here come a couple of posts from the “Leading by Example” school of lecturing: Project Innocence, is the working title we’ve given to a stop-frame animation film, which I’ll be making during the course of this academic year with a select band of my 2nd year animation students.... [ Read More ]
Clean Slate 02 Aug 2011
Well, I hope all you smart young NMD and Anim students have been listening to the repeated advice from your Uncle stío and Auntie Alex, to back up and keep copies of all your work. Because, last week, while we were on holiday some fuc.. twa.. ars.. clever person from IT decided to completely wipe every computer in room 222 –without even consulting with us first. So, anything not backed... [ Read More ]
The Great Sketchbook Project Rip-Off 23 Jul 2011
I’m feeling pretty pissed off this morning. After writing previously [on a couple of occasions] about The Sketchbook Project and my mixed feelings about it, postie has just delivered my sketchbook for this year’s outing –and I’ve got to say that $25 for the tiny, sorry looking sub-school exercise book quality “sketchbook”, which tumbled out of the envelope, is a fucking joke. I had some correspondence by email last year, with the organisers of The Sketchbook Project, with regards to their describing 2011’s sketchbooks as Moleskines, when they were patently nothing but cheap knock-off copies.... [ Read More ]
Digitisation Across The Nation 08 Jul 2011
As I’ve mentioned previously, I participated in The Sketchbook Project last year and, in true student fashion, failed miserably to complete mine in the allotted time –although, in my defence, I did only hear about the project about a month or so before the deadline. Anyway, at the time I entered the project, I stumped up the extra twenty greenbacks to have my sketchbook digitised. As the months zipped past from last year’s submission date, I alternated between forgetting all about it and thinking I’d been ripped off, when visits to the project website eternally promised that ‘digitisation of submissions’ was under way, without providing much in the way of evidence for this.... [ Read More ]
A Dilemma 25 Jun 2011
Now, here’s a dilemma for me… What do I do with the “following” list on the mancol.tumblr.com blog, now that all the students on there will be leaving us, to go off to pastures new? Obviously I’ll need to clear the decks, for the new intake, or it’ll all get very messy, with a mixture of current and ex-students. But it’d be nice to still somehow be able track the progress of those of you who are leaving us this year and see how you’re all getting on in the big bad world.... [ Read More ]
Mad Hallucinatory Experience 09 Jun 2011
Logging into my Dashboard today, I notice that changes are afoot in Tumblrland. I’m not sure if I like it. You tend to get stuck in your ways, once you hit your mid seventies and I feel a bit disorientated by all this crazy new-fangledness. Hopefully I’ll wake up in a minute to find it’s all a dream and I’ve just dozed off listening to The Archers again.... [ Read More ]
Lordy! Lordy! 21 May 2011
Given that I’ve been comparing Richard’s developing graphical style to that of Rod Lord [of original “Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” graphics fame] and that Rich has posted a couple of Rod Lord animations himself, I thought I’d share with you this excerpt from the great man’s website, wherein Rod tells the tale of how they put together a demo sequence of the H2G2TG [as the nerds call it!] “Babel Fish” sequence to win the ‘gig’ from the suits at the BBC.... [ Read More ]
Google Maps Typography 18 May 2011
This is pretty cool. Aussie artist Rhett Dashwood spent about six months, poring over Google Maps, to compile this landscape alphabet. Some ‘letters’ work better than others, and I reckon it would work better with more instantly recogniseable landmarks. But nonetheless, another one of those really simple ideas to file under “Why didn’t I think of that?” Link-o-tron [with the locations of each ‘letter’]... [ Read More ]
Mac Vs. Pc Infographic 08 May 2011
Mashable have posted this infographic. Based on data gathered by Hunch.com from user profiles of visitors to their site, it confirms that all your preconceptions and stereotypes about Mac users vs. PC users are true. Click here to see the full version.... [ Read More ]
A Pictorical Paints A Thousand Words 06 May 2011
This is a really nice idea. In essence: Pictorical are a publishing house, who sell ebooks for iPad. You apply to register with them as an artist and –provided they like your illustration style– they sign you up and you choose from their list of available books and illustrate it. When it’s done, they sell it as an eBook and you [as the artist] get half the profits. Applications are closed at the moment, but it might be one to keep an eye on for the future.... [ Read More ]
Fuckwitts' Corner No.217 28 Apr 2011
Dear Tumblr What, in the name of Beelzebubb and all his legions, is the point of providing an HTML editing button for posts, if you strip out any custom code we write, anyway? 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9:... [ Read More ]
If At First You Dinnae Succeed... 28 Apr 2011
For about three days in a row over this [alleged!] holiday, I’ve been wrestling with my webserver, trying to configure it so I could use embedded Ruby in my webpages. Something I’ve been meaning to do, ever since I switched from using Apache to Nginx for my server, a while back. The consensus of web-wisdom suggested that the easiest way to do this was the allegedly “plug’n’play” Phusion Passenger. So I spent about two-and-four-fifths of those three days, configuring, reconfiguring, uploading, downloading, installing, uninstalling Ruby, Nginx, Passenger and various other doohickeys and doodads and must have tried every configuration option out there, with absolutely no result; whatever I did, Nginx, Passenger and Ruby steadfastly refused to even look at each other.... [ Read More ]
Busman'S Holiday 26 Apr 2011
Even though i’m supposed to be on holiday for the next week, I cannae resist tinkering on the intarwebs. So today i’ve given my Tumblr blog a bit of a make-over: Before: After: Widened the layout. There was s-o-o-o much wasted space in the old one. I think it was about 700px wide altogether. My new one is 1000px wide. Changed styling of post title, footer bars and sidebar headings to make them look a bit more ‘labelly’, which is kinda the look I’m going for.... [ Read More ]
Stupid Oul' Bags 26 Apr 2011
I found this advert on the Moleskine website. If you ignore the fact that the bags themselves are [as they used to say round our way] ‘pure mingin’, it’s quite a nice wee piece of stop-frame animation. Not entirely original though. I can see shades of Evelien Lohbeck in there.... [ Read More ]
Apple Knows Where You'Ve Been! 25 Apr 2011
Lots of scandal in the technology press this past week about the discovery by Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden [a couple of computer security researchers] that our beloved iPhones are keeping tabs on us wherever we go, storing this information in a hidden file called consolidated.db on the phone and also backing it up to your computer, whenever you sync your phone with iTunes. Apparently it is mentioned in the terms and conditions you sign up to, when you buy an iPhone that: Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device.... [ Read More ]
Backups Revisited 22 Apr 2011
A week or so ago, I posted about a couple of recommended options for backing up your Mac. One of the options I mentioned was using Amazon S3 storage, in conjunction with a ‘front-end’ application to configure the backup options on your Mac. At the time, I recommended Arq, as my preferred application for the purpose, as I was currently trying it out, after many years of using [but not particularly liking] JungleDisc and, on first impressions, thought Arq was the better app.... [ Read More ]
Every One'S A Loser 21 Apr 2011
I like to think I’m a pretty broad-minded individual. But, for the sake of humanity, some things just shouldnae be allowed: I hate the use of “IT” as an umbrella term to cover anything remotely connected with using a computer I positively loathe the use of the meaningless buzzword “Solutions”, so prevalent in business at the moment I find the use of underscores instead of spaces really irritating and ‘Windozey’ And I’d bring back the death penalty for annoying twats who say “K” instead of ‘thousand’.... [ Read More ]
Postmammal 15 Apr 2011
Here’s a sample of some nice Illustrator artwork I just happened across from a guy called Robert Murdock, who works under the pseudonym of Postmammal. It’s a programme for a wedding, which takes the form of an Infographic style brochure providing an “A to z Guide to the History of Your Bride and Groom” Me likey! Good original concept. Hands up who would have come up with the idea of an Infographics pamphlet, if asked to produce a programme for a wedding?... [ Read More ]
PWYW 15 Apr 2011
Loathe tho’ I am to encourage idle frippery and the pursuit of happiness by my students, whilst they are anywhere near a computer –I thought some of you might be interested in this: The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle It’s a bundle of four games [supposedly all Mac, Linux and Windows compatible], being offered on a “Pay What you Want” basis. I dinnae bother with games myself. I much prefer to spend my idle time doing paperwork, but there ya go.... [ Read More ]
Backups 10 Apr 2011
Last Thursday, NMD & Animation students & staff went for a pint or six after college. Being the nerdy geeks we are, the subject of backing up your computer came up in conversation and I said I’d write something about it on the blog. So here it is: First off, if you’re not backing up your work, you’re an eejit. With so much of our lives stored in digital format these days, it’s madness to not have it backed up somewhere in case you fry your hard drive or have your computer stolen.... [ Read More ]
Vimeo Showreel 23 Mar 2011
Just to let you all know; the URL for the NMD/Animation pages on Vimeo has been changed. It’s now: http://www.vimeo.com/mancol and the showreel itself is at: http://www.vimeo.com/mancol/videos [And yes, I will be starting to upload some of this year’s work soon!]... [ Read More ]
The Art Of The Title Sequence 20 Mar 2011
[{{% figure src=“http://www.artofthetitle.com “art of the title”) Pity I didnae stumble across this one a few weeks back, when you were all working on your Title Sequence briefs, but still worth adding to your bookmarks anyway. I love the quote on the about page, which is spot on, coz it’s true: Remember when your heart sank just a little when you realised the Pink Panther movie wasn’t a cartoon? http://www.artofthetitle.com... [ Read More ]
Bedtime Stories 19 Mar 2011
[Amazon linky] This is a pretty good book, if you want to do a bit of reading up on Infographics, ready for the next brief: As ever, I’ve absolutely no idea where you might find a snidey PDF copy [If there was a disc image containing this book at the above link –which, of course there isn’t!– I’d guess the password to open it would be the same as the... [ Read More ]
When Life Imitates Art [College] 19 Mar 2011
I think I may need a rest from Isometric/Isographic Perspective. After having spent the tail end of last week introducing its joys to to my students, I’m starting to see the damned stuff everywhere! Case in point. My latest phone bill: Check out the pattern inside the envelope: Aarrgggh!... [ Read More ]
Happy St. Pat'S Day 17 Mar 2011
[Shamelessly recycled from last year!]... [ Read More ]
Career Opportunities 16 Mar 2011
Anyone fancy a design job working for a small unheard of startup company? According to Behance, there’s one going here... [ Read More ]
Competition 09 Mar 2011
A bit short notice –the deadline is 14th March– but there’s a competition on the TUC website at the mo’ to make a 60 second film [which presumably could be an animation or other moving image piece] on the theme of the current government cuts. £500 prize up for grabs and the winning entry to be played on a on the big screen at Hyde Park as part of the TUC rally March for the Alternative on the 26th March 2011.... [ Read More ]
Street Sketchbook 05 Mar 2011
I thought this might be of interest to those of you who are interested in street art/grafitti. [Amazon linky ] I’ve heard rumours that somewhere around here, there might be a snidey link to download a scanned PDF of the book [255mb], But I would personally never involve myself in such underhand goings-on.... [ Read More ]
Unfortunate Brand Names, No:427 04 Mar 2011
Check out their website for the fromage-laden theme tune Barf!... [ Read More ]
Put A Shilling In The Meter, Tumblr! 04 Mar 2011
I’ve posted about it before and, no doubt I’ll do so again; I wish to feck Tumblr would bloody sort out their servers, so they’d actually make some token attempt at handling the traffic that the site attracts! It’s doing my head in! –and today is even worse than usual. I’m currently averaging about four attempts for each page, before I can get the damned things to load. What makes it even more annoying is that Tumblr seem to do bugger all to address this issue.... [ Read More ]
It'S Funny, Coz It'S True 02 Mar 2011
Interesting article on Mashable, looking at the current crop of design clichés in the world of website logos: Linky... [ Read More ]
Random Tip No.226: URL Shorteners 13 Feb 2011
PROBLEM: You want to send someone the link to a fabulously exciting webpage you’ve discovered. but the URL [or web address for the uninitiated] is far too long to remember… or perhaps you want to send it as a text message. Imagine for example you’ve just spotted an ideal outfit for the office christmas party on ebay and want to share it with a friend. Here’s a typical ebay link: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELVIS-JUMPSUIT-TURQUOISE-VINE-PROFFESIONAL-BELT-CAPE-/190498555796?pt=Adult_Fancy_Dress_UK&hash=item2c5a994794 Fancy trying to type that into a text message or tell it to someone and expect them to remember it?... [ Read More ]
Random Tip No.426: Twitterfeed 13 Feb 2011
Twitterfeed is a nice webservice that allows you to automatically send updates from various types of website [eg. blogs, forums etc] to a Twitter, Statusnet, Hellotxt [whatever them two are?] or Facebook account. So you can choose to have your Twitter account automatically update, whenever you add a new post to your Tumblr. I know Tumblr has a built-in option to do something like this, but Twitterfeed offers you a lot more control and is just as easy to set up.... [ Read More ]
Retro Heaven 12 Feb 2011
I’ve just come across this great blog, packed full of all kinds of retro design work, ranging from book & album covers to advertising, clothing catalogues and technology, etc. Retrospace I’ve always loved the style of book covers and magazine illustrations from the 40s-60s, especially Sci-Fi or trashy ‘adult’ stuff. I mean… _‘Nazi Fraulein Werewolves’_… what’s not to like?: …There are also some things [mostly dating from the 70s] that... [ Read More ]
RSI 06 Feb 2011
ie. ‘Repetitive Scanning Injury’. Well, a couple of months after signing up for Beyoncé Behance, I thought it was about time I got off my arse and actually stuck something on there. So, where better to start than the drawer full of old sketchbooks I’ve been meaning to sort out for so long? And, after nearly two days spent scanning, cropping adjusting and uploading, I’ve now got ten of said sketchbooks digitised and added to my Behance profile page: http://www.behance.net/madra Most of them are old college sketchbooks, dating back to when I was on the ND Audio-Visual Design and HND Multimedia courses at this ‘ere very establishment, way back in the early nineties, when The Manchester College was still _City College Manchester and the boy matulevicz was still firm of fetlock and luxuriant of hair.... [ Read More ]
Procrastinator'S Delight 05 Feb 2011
Whilst pondering the ever-increasing list of things I want to get done this weekend [ever-increasing because each weekend it is supplemented with the things on last weekend’s list, which I didnae get done], I came across the following website: Ta-da List Wherein you can create simple todo lists, fill them with things to do and then triumphantly tick them off as you achieve them: [BTW - Herman is my van, in case you were thinking I was planning to throw emulsion over an innocent member of the public] The nice thing about Ta-da List is that the site has been designed to play well on iPhone, so you can create, edit, view your todo lists on either your comp or your phone: Now –did ye know that, if you click on the the plus button [circled] at the bottom of any webpage on your iPhone, you can choose to add an icon for that page to your iPhone’s home screen [obviously it’s only worth doing this if the webpage in question has been designed to function as a webapp on the iPhone, which is the case here]: Hey Presto!... [ Read More ]
Fuckno! 05 Feb 2011
What is it with all the Tumblr blogs entitled “Fuckyeah <insert subject of blog>“, which seem to be abounding these days? Am I missing out on some really witty new internet ‘meme’ [or ‘Internet zzzzz’, as I call them], or is it just the latest manifestation of the lack of imagination of the cyber-population at large?... [ Read More ]
Is It Just Me...? 27 Jan 2011
…or is uploading photos broken on Tumblr today?... [ Read More ]
Sketchbook Yummyness 27 Jan 2011
The other day while researching into Print-on-Demand publishing sites, I came across this self-published sketchbook of the works of Norman J Schureman. Not someone I’ve ever heard of before, but I’m loving his scribbles: Linky poo EDIT: Wow! - I just googled ‘Norman J Schureman’ to see if any more of his artwork was available on the intarwebs and found this: Murder in Westlake stuns community It’s a crazy world out there, folks!... [ Read More ]
REVIEW: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen 26 Jan 2011
While I was working on my [to be honest, pretty risible] entry for the Sketchbook Project, over the Chrimbo holidays, I did a wee bit of doodling using a brush and Indian Ink. a technique I used to be quite into ‘back in the day’ when I was a callow youth at Art Collge, but which I hadnae used that often since. There’s something really satisfying about the physical craft of laying down lines of treacly black, lovely thick and gloopy Indian Ink, using a brush; controlling the thickness of the lines with tiny variations in pressure and then waiting for it to dry, leaving a slightly raised bead of lightproof, waterproof permanent black on the paper.... [ Read More ]
British Cartoon Archive 22 Jan 2011
This is a great site for anyone interested in the history of newspaper and magazine cartooning. The British Cartoon Archive is located in Canterbury at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library. It has a library, archive, and exhibition gallery, and is dedicated to the history of British cartooning over the last two hundred years. The BCA holds the artwork for more than 150,000 British editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines.... [ Read More ]
Title Sequence Playlist 18 Jan 2011
Title Sequence playlist For those first years working on the Title Sequence project; here is a selection of the typography heavy Title Sequences we showed you at the beginning of the brief.... [ Read More ]
Lateral Thinking 14 Jan 2011
I spotted this ‘Be seen in the dark’ sticker on a bike outside college before. Nothing particularly interesting about it, on first appearance, but my curiosity was idly piqued by the choice of a Cheshire Cat, as opposed to any other cartoon animal or object. Then I remembered the characteristic of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland: ..when [Alice] noticed a curious appearance in the air: it puzzled her very much at first, but, after watching it a minute or two, she made it out to be a grin, and she said to herself `It’s the Cheshire Cat: now I shall have somebody to talk to’… In Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat tends to materialise out of thin air and it’s always his smile which appears first, before the rest of his body.... [ Read More ]
Come And Have A Go... 11 Jan 2011
..if you think you’re art enough! If you think you’ve got an eye for colour and graphic design, check out the Munsell Hue Test and see how you get on. I scored a whopping 99,4% – Go me!... [ Read More ]
Paging KPP!... Paging KPP!... 08 Jan 2011
###Interesting Looking Book: An Illustrated Life “ +++ I just stumbled across this at random on Amazon. Looks like the kind of reading material any sketchbook obsessed Scouser would love to have in their collection and, at not much over a measley tenner, they wouldnae even have to shoplift it! Linky An Illustrated Life offers a sneak peak into the wildly creative imaginations of top illustrators, designers and artists from around the world through the pages of their personal visual journals.... [ Read More ]
Busman'S Holiday 03 Jan 2011
Damn! - cannae believe it’s back to the day job again tomorrow, after my all-too-brief Christmas break. However, I’ve not been idle over the holidays. As I’ve alluded to before, I’ve been busy working on one of the websites I run; namely, the Appletalker Discussion Forum. I’ve switched the site from using the Unclassified Newsboard [UNB] forum software to using the Simple Machines Forum [SMF] forum software. For two reasons mainly; The developer of UNB has effectively abandoned the project in favour of working on UNB2, but has said there will be no upgrade path from UNB1 to UNB2 –which is complete madness– as it locks current users into using ‘abandonware’.... [ Read More ]
Tumblr Bollox Pollock 02 Jan 2011
I was hoping that Santa Claus might have brought the folks at Tumblr some new servers for Christmas. But apparently not, as I’m still getting that bloody annoying “…Over Capacity…” message almost every time I try to do something on the site. So in homage to the now legendary Twitter Fail Whale, I present the “Tumblr Servers are Bollox Pollock”... [ Read More ]
There Ought To Be An App For That 31 Dec 2010
... [ Read More ]
Nice Animation 29 Dec 2010
Quite a nice wee combo of stopmotion and computer graphics used in this German promo campaign for Google Streetview. And it’s good to see the perennial old “Living Sketchbook” idea still has legs! There’s also a page here with some info on how it was made.... [ Read More ]
Premature Felicitation 24 Dec 2010
Seeing as how I’ll be doing the rounds tomorrow; stuffing my face with booze and food, and unlikely to be going anywhere near the comp to upload this, you’ll have to accept my Christmas greetings a bit early. Have a good one everybody and, as Tiny Tim would say: “Gawd bless us, one and all!”... [ Read More ]
We Don’ Need To Show You Any Steenkin’ Bhajis! 24 Dec 2010
It’s good to find some classic movies occasionally, amongst the mountains of brain-dead dross on Blinkbox. Last night I unearthed one of my all-time favourite westerns “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. The only problem is that, for some unaccountable reason, every time I watch this film I find myself hankering after an Indian takeaway!... [ Read More ]
Button Loon 24 Dec 2010
I’ve been working on my forum website makeover for most of today again. Because I border on being OCD when it comes to how things look, I spent several hours designing a set of iPhone style buttons, just so I could replace a couple of minor buttons on the forum interface –as the built in ones were putrid Windoze style crappy gifs. I didnae design these from scratch, but based them on an iPad GUI template set very helpfully published by these folks.... [ Read More ]
Bracket Monkey 19 Dec 2010
Today I’ve been “doing my brackets_”, as the missus calls it; trying to port the immensely popular *cough!* Appletalker Forum I run from its current Unclassified Newsboard [UNB] software [which has been abandoned by the developer] over to a new forum software, called Simple Machines Forum [SMF], which should future-proof _Appletalker for at least the forseeable future and –even more importantly– allow me to build a forum theme which formats up nicely on smartphones.... [ Read More ]
Cheeky Chappies! 17 Dec 2010
Found on my whiteboard yesterday, when I went into college. After a bit of waterboarding and ‘robust interrogation techniques’, Robert and Karl confessed Karl confessed and dobbed in Robert too. Hmmm… methinks some grades might have to be adjusted downwards!... [ Read More ]
It'S Official - We Rock! 17 Dec 2010
It was nice to see so many students, both past and present out for our little soirée at Jabez Clegg last night and also nice [albeit quite blush inducing] to have so many of our former students come up to Alex, Griff and myself and tell us that –since they’ve moved onwards and upwards to 3rd years on degree courses at ‘proper’ universities– they’ve retrospectively begun to really appreciate just how good the teaching they’d received from us had been.... [ Read More ]
Chrimbo Quoffs 14 Dec 2010
Just to remind you all; Christmas drinkies will be in the Function Room –or whatever the Hell it’s called!– at Jabez Clegg on Thursday evening, from 7pm ‘til 1am. Tickets are a measley £2 and are available from all good tutors [and some rubbish ones]. Those students wishing to show their appreciation of the fabulous teaching they have received from me during the course of the year may do so by placing pints of Guinness in my sweaty paws, for the duration of the night.... [ Read More ]
Cum Shot 13 Dec 2010
And the award for “Most Risibly Unsubtle Attempt to Use Sex to Sell a Product” goes to…... [ Read More ]
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 12 Dec 2010
I notice that the bookies are offering odds of 17-to-one on a Beatles track being the Christmas Number One single. I might well have a flutter on that, so I might! When Apple first announced the arrival of The Beatles on iTunes I, like most other folks, said “So what? –’the kids’ today dinnae even know who The Beatles are and the people who know who The Beatles are already have all their music anyway!” But it seems we were all wrong and Apple have once again tapped into a goldmine that no-one else suspected even existed; Someone out there is buying Beatles tracks by the bucketload.... [ Read More ]
Product Placement 11 Dec 2010
Ice-Cold in Alex is on Dave TV at the mo’. One of my all-time top five favourite movies. As well as being a ‘cracking good yarn’ I think the movie [made in 1958] must be one of the earliest and best examples of product placement ever. In fact, back when this movie was made, I’m not sure that product placement -as a concept– would even have existed. Unfortunately, Dave TV have chosen to show the movie at completely the wrong time of year; this is a film best served on a hot sultry summer’s day, with an unopened bottle of cold beer waiting to hand.... [ Read More ]
Title Sequence Brief 10 Dec 2010
Just for reference purposes, here’s the playlist of the example Title Sequences we showed you, when introducing the Unit02 brief: Clickety-Poo [Whoops! - previous link was broken. This one should work. cheers Xiu Wei!]... [ Read More ]
Review: Blinkbox Freebies 27 Nov 2010
ASDA [and apparently the Co-Op too] have currently got some 4-packs of Grolsch, with a promotional code, which allows you to watch an online movie for free on Blinkbox.com –a site I was hitherto unaware of. Me and the missus grabbed a pack last weekend and availed of the promo code to watch Avatar and see what all the fuss was about [Answer: not much, unless you like your allegories dumbed down to primary school level so that the Americans can ‘get it’ –but that’s a review for another day!] Anyway, after the missus signed up for Blinkbox and ‘rented’ Avatar, using our Grolsch supplied promo code, Blinkbox suggested she invite a friend to join, whereupon said friend would receive £5 joining credit and she would get £1 referral credit for recommending them.... [ Read More ]
Check This Vid Out 17 Nov 2010
Check this vid out. Looks like the kind of thing an enterprising student might want to try. And I’m sure you could make one of those viewer thingies from a couple of pieces of clear plastic and a bit of glue and Cellotape:... [ Read More ]
Perchance Bēhance Will Enhance 17 Nov 2010
…Your prospects of finding work. I got quite excited this morning when I got an email which, on first glance, seemed to suggest that Beyoncé wanted me to join her. But when I re-read it, it turned out to be from a website called Bēhance, inviting me to create an online portfolio on their site. Living the sheltered existence I do, i’d never heard of Bēhance before today, but a quick look around the site suggests it’s kind of like LinkedIn for ‘24 Hour Arty’ people; You can put your portfolio online, pimp for work and connect with other like-minded individuals for fun evenings in, sitting round a roaring fire, talking about your favourite brand of oil pastels.... [ Read More ]
Bandwaggon Jumping 17 Nov 2010
Thanks to Karl tipping me the wink about this one via his blog post, I have also jumped upon The Sketchbook Project bandwaggon. Mine arrived yesterday, all the way from “Murka” - woohoo! After the inevitable ”$25 for this flimsy piece of crap!… and is it even a real Moleskine?” outburst, upon opening the envelope, I got down to the maths; forty pages in the sketchbook to fill –or eighty if you want to be insane and work both sides of the paper– and two months, almost to the day, until the 15 January deadline for posting it back.... [ Read More ]
Recession?... What Recession? 13 Nov 2010
While the rest of us are having to tighten our belts and cut down to half a bottle of meths and a small crack pipe a night, it’s comfortingly teethgrindingly annoying to know that there are still people in the world who can afford to spend nearly half a million quid on something that disnae actually exist. According to Yahoo News: …stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe… because its real estate prices will drive you insane.... [ Read More ]
Screen Capture On Steroids 12 Nov 2010
Check out this pretty cool screengrabbing app, that i’ve just stumbled across. It’s called Layers and what sets it apart from the eleventy billion other screengrab apps out there is that it captures your screen to a layered Photoshop file: Every window, every dialogue box is captured and placed on its own layer - even the ones that are hidden behind other windows. even things like hard drives on the desktop, menubar icons and the cursor get their own layers –all nicely named and organised: Alright, I’ll admit i’m a bit of a geek [although I prefer the term CyberPunk!] but this is the cleverest thing i’ve seen in a long time.... [ Read More ]
Interesting Vid 09 Nov 2010
Interesting vid from Cambridge University’s YouTube channel. Stephen Fry narrates a quick intro to the world of nanoscience. Fascinating subject and sprinkled throughout with some quite nice infographics.... [ Read More ]
No Need To Rub It In! 07 Nov 2010
So, after upgrading my iPhone to iOS 4,1 a couple of weeks back, I finally got round to checking out the new Game Center [sic] thingy this morning. After setting up an account, I was presented with this summary: Wow! - cheers Apple. Way to sum up a guy’s lifelong contribution to humanity, there!... [ Read More ]
Re-V-Iew 06 Nov 2010
“People ought not to be afraid of their governments… Governments ought to be afraid of their people!” Last night, in honour of Guy Fawkes night I rewatched the excellent V for Vendetta again. For those of you who have yet to see the film, it is based on a graphic novel of the same name and is the story of… well, how to sum it up? think ‘Guy Fawkes meets 1984, by the makers of The Matrix’ and you’ll be on the right lines.... [ Read More ]
Mentioned In Despatches 04 Nov 2010
Just for the record; the apps I mentioned this morning in relation to noseying around existing websites: Firebug Plugin for Firefox, which allows you to inspect elements on a webpage and see what code controls their layout and appearance and also lets you make changes to the code and see the results actually on the page. Download Here SiteSucker This app allows you to download entire [static] websites, preserving their folder structure.... [ Read More ]
Here’s A Belated Hallowe’en One For You. 03 Nov 2010
Here’s a belated Hallowe’en one for you.... [ Read More ]
Multi-Author Blogger = Suckage 27 Oct 2010
Why!, O why!, O why!, O why! [etc. ad infinitum] are Blogger -and by extension Google- so utterly determined to make it impossible for contributors to a multi-author blog to separate out their own posts? As you all know –or at least that fraction of you all who are my second year students, I have been wrestling with the problem of how to extract our individual contributions from last year’s multi-author PDP, so that we can import them into Tumblr.... [ Read More ]
D&AD Awards 2011 22 Oct 2010
@ 2nd Years: The D&AD briefs have gone online today. You can access them Here Remember kids, we want one of these for the staffroom windowsill!... [ Read More ]
Comments 29 Sep 2009
Hi all. I have installed the Disqus comments system on the blog, so you should now be able to comment on each other’s posts, by clicking on the ‘comments’ text in the grey bar at the bottom of each post. I say ‘should’ because I’ve had mixed experiences with Disqus before, on sites I’ve installed it on. Sometimes it works fine. Sometimes it makes me want to throw the computer through the f**king window.... [ Read More ]
I Do It My Way - A Blogger Workflow 02 Jul 2009
[NOTE: This article has been somewhat ‘Overtaken by Events’ - the latest version of Blogger has actually fixed a lot of the long-standing bugs and annoyances mentioned below. That said, I still tend to compose most of my more longwinded posts using the methods here. I’ve just never really taken to composing directly ‘in-browser’] Here is a quick outline of the procedure I use when preparing an article for a blog hosted on Blogger, of which there are several to which I contribute my words of infinite wisdom.... [ Read More ]
Memory, Man! 10 May 2009
Being the retarded thicko I am, I can never remember the correct order that the four ‘sides’ come in, when writing CSS shorthand. For example, instead of writing: .whatever { padding-top: 10px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 2px; padding-left: 0px; } The smart cookie CSS coder, does it with the following shorthand: .whatever { padding: 10px 5px 2px 0px; } My terminal inability to remember the order for the shorthand version is annoying enough when writing my own code, as I have to write the CSS out in full each time, but even more irritating when customising existing CSS code, coz I have to tweak each value in turn and then reload the page to see which was the ‘top’, which was the ‘left’ etc.... [ Read More ]
Installing ERuby On Mac OSX Leopard 02 Apr 2008
I’ve seen several guides to installing eRuby on OSX - none of which I could get to work for Leopard. But after much trial and error, I’ve managed to get eRuby up and running on Leopard, using a special mix’n’match blend, culled from various bits of other tutorials on the web. So here is my guide to installing eRuby on OSX Leopard. As I say, this worked for me, when other guides didnae, but I’m not guaranteeing anything.... [ Read More ]
Adding A Social Bookmarking Toolbar To Your Posts 26 Mar 2008
[Shamelessly recycled from my post on the appletalker scrapbook] Here’s a quick tutorial on how to add a nice toolbar [with icons!] to the bottom of each of your Blogger posts, that will allow your avid readership to post your drivel to the following social bookmarking sites; Digg, Reddit, del.icio.us and Technorati. I’ve also incorporated Blogger’s built-in ‘Add Comment’ link into the toolbar, to keep everything neat and organised. First of all, grab yourself some icons for the social bookmarking sites you want to provide links to.... [ Read More ]
Random Photoshop Tip - Straightening Wonky Horizontals [Or Verticals] 07 Dec 2007
We’ve all got photographs were the horizontals or verticals aren’t quite perpendicular. You can try to avoid this problem by not taking photographs while drunk but it’s much more fun to use Photoshop to fix things up later. This tip also works for teetotallers who just cannae get their perpendiculars perpendicular either. 1. First find an afflicted image. Here’s one I’ve deliberately ‘wonkified’ to an exaggerated degree. If your horizons are consistently sloping this much, maybe try a lower strength beer.... [ Read More ]
Using 'Categories' With Blogger 07 Dec 2007
Last week one of the students, who had previously used Wordpress, asked me if Blogger ‘did categories’ because [s]he wanted to file their posts under categories reflecting which college project they referred to. “No” I replied, with the robust confidence of someone talking out of his nether regions *“Blogger disnae support categories. The best you can do is organise posts by date”. Well, even a towering intellect like myself can occasionally get things wrong and, after further tinkering I have discovered that, whilst Blogger disnae support categories per se, there is a way to make it behave as if it does by taking advantage of the fact that Blogger does support attaching keywords to a post [or LABELS in Blogger parlance] and does allow you to add some custom menus to your template layout [providing you’re using one of the modern templates].... [ Read More ]
Set Up Tracking For Your Blog 04 Dec 2007
In ten… Oh, alright then eleven simple steps. One of the lesser known goodies that you gain access to, when you sign up for a Google account is Google Analytics - a service which lets you track visitors to your blog and view lots of interesting geeky detail about them, such as where in the world they surfed in from, what browser they used and the ego-bruising bottom line; ‘How many people are actually reading this crap?’ Anyway, for you stat-junkies out there, heres how to add Google Analytics to your blog: 1.... [ Read More ]
More On PDPs 04 Dec 2007
As part of their coursework, students at our college are required to keep a PDP [Personal Development Plan] - a studio diary in which they chart their progression through the course by way of discussing works in progress, referencing other works which influence them and - as part of the critical studies element of the course - writing a couple of reviews. In the past, this PDP has always had to be presented in physical form which, as you can imagine, gives rise to numerous opportunities for the perennial student excuses such as “The dog ate my PDP….”, “Our house got robbed at the weekend and they took the DVD player, the computer and my PDP…”, “I left my PDP on the bus…” and the like – quite apart from the logistics involved in collecting and assessing well over a hundred such volumes.... [ Read More ]
First Tweakage 03 Dec 2007
Inveterate tinkerer that I am, I wasnae able to leave the default template alone for long. Although it’s the cleanest looking of the templates available, there were a few things about it which bugged me, so I made some initial adjustments. No doubt I’ll be returning to tinker at a later date. For now I’ve: Moved the sidebar to the left - where it should be [IMHO] Widened the whole layout.... [ Read More ]
The Traditionally Tedious First Post 03 Dec 2007
In my capacity as most popular lecturer in the Design & Visual Arts Department of City College Manchester, I am often asked to share my encyclopaedic knowledge with hordes of saucer-eyed students, who gaze at me in admiration and hang on my every syllable. This past two weeks I have been talking the students through the process of setting up blogs and showing them the mechanics of adding photos, slideshows & video – generally availing of the various tentacles of the Google global empire; Blogger, Picasa and YouTube.... [ Read More ]