Archive for September, 2007

Tekzilla on Revision3

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

I was a fan of “The Screensavers” when it was on TechTv. Revision3’s new show, Tekzilla, has the potential to be a drop-in replacement. Check it out. Jessica Corbin is somewhat easy on the eyes too.

What are you listening too?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

So far today my musical journey has taken me through Crowded House, De La Soul, Corey Stevens, Pink Floyd, and then Collective Soul. WTF! Next up? Cyndi Lauper! Just kidding.

Episode 040 – Dripping Blood Text

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Episode 040 is up. It’s a quick and simple one. I demonstrate how to make a dripping text effect.

Episode 039 – Flaming Alien Skull Avatar

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Wait! Flaming as in fire…you got that, right?

Lucky number Episode 039 has been posted. In this tutorial I illustrate an alien looking skull and add some flames to it. This particular graphic project has been done to death and can be found many places on the Internet. My idea for this tutorial stems from Mr. Tom Knight’s tutorial over at Obviously, my avatar/logo is very generic looking in comparison to many others but that was intentional. I kept it a little simple with the Tango colors. I would expect the viewers of this screencast to pick up where I left off and make there’s even better. Perhaps adding some outer glows or shadows, more highlights, reflections, and other things will really get the project looking great.

I glossed over making the actual flames in this screencast. It really does take practice to draw flames, at least it did for me. I bet I had drawn the flame that I used 15-20 times before I was somewhat satisfied. I even sketched it in Gimp a few times since it has better Wacom pressure sensitivity features. If you do this then you can bring in your Gimp image into Inkscape and just trace over it. Whatever method that you use the end result is always most important.



Monday, September 17th, 2007

Sorry everyone. I found that I removed the “Faq” link on our website (in the navigation bar).  It’s likely that no one noticed. I didn’t for 3 days. Anyway, it’s back now. Go on about your business…nothing to see here.

SCO Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Groklaw article.

Episode 038 – Halloween Pumpkin Clip-Art

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I have uploaded my latest screencast, Episode 038. This screencast was more or less just a simple and fun one to do. You may have asked yourself what in the hell you intend to do with Halloween pumpkin clip-art. I don’t know either. I have no use for it really. The world doesn’t always make sense though. So just try to enjoy the screencast and maybe you’ll learn something from it.



Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Well what do you know. My media player of choice in Linux (lately) also works on Windows. I highly recommend SMPlayer. It’s fantastic!


Monday, September 10th, 2007

For the last couple of days I have been experimenting with video encoding again. Presently, the screencasters offer an H.264/MP3 AVI file for download. These files, so far, have been working out great for us. I hope they have for you too. Also, we rip that into an FLV file for those who wish to watch our tutorials on-line. For a lack of a better description, FLV has always been the retarded cousin of our AVI files. The quality is functional but know where near H.264.

Recently, Adobe had announced the new Flash Player with H.264 support (codenamed MovieStar). I was pretty excited when I read the news for the first time. However, it’s not going to be a cake walk for Richard and I. I’m fairly certain that we will have to change containers from AVI to MP4 to get our videos to play correctly with the Flash plug in.

So far I have been playing around with MP4Box. With it I can dump the audio and video track out of our AVI file and re-assemble it into an MP4 container. It literally takes about 10 seconds to convert the H.264 AVI to H.264 MP4. The problem though is that the audio and video get out of sync. Furthermore, I have not tailored the new MP4 file for a streaming download. I know how to hint the MP4 file but I do not know how to encode with a fast startup. Just when I get a handle on Mencoder, I am reminded that I don’t know jack about it. Perhaps FFMpeg has something in it’s toolbox that I could use.

So I am back to the basics again. I am trying to figure out if we can do away with Flash. What if we provided an embedded H.264 screencast that used the Quicktime plug in instead? (mplayer-plugin for the Linux folks) So far the Quicktime plug in woks great on Windows and Linux with a local file. Until I can figure out how to encode for streaming though, I’m dead in the water. For the next few days this is what I’ll be researching. I’ll be taking a break from screencasting while I do this. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted on our progress…if we make any. It’s a probability that I may come full circle right back to FLV’s.


Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Yes, I’m still here. Sorry for the week of silence. I have had a very busy week both at work and in the evenings. Being a father to three children on different schedules sure has me feeling more like a taxi driver than anything else. I have two in soccer and one in tae kwon do. I no more than get one child to a practice or a game and then I’m whisked away to get the others to theirs. Plus all three are in school and one is an alter boy. Something to do every night of the week. Weeee!!!

Yesterday I got a few minutes to work on my next screencast. I recorded this episode several times before being disgusted with it and deleting it entirely leaving me with nothing to show for my efforts. I can barely tolerate public speakers that say “um” or “uh” every few seconds. Well what do you know…I do it too. Of course I don’t know why it matters. None of my screencasts are masterpieces. I sound like a fool. Amazing that you watch them in the first place. In real life though, I’m flippin’ brilliant. I talk very fluently and with authority on every subject. It’s true. And on my planet the grass is purple and the sun light gives you the ability to fly. |