Category Archives: experiments

My 2010 In Review

2010 was a strange year for me.

Unintentionally I did less client work than I should have. When I started working on a portfolio, I had to wonder how I managed to pay my mortgage with how little work I did. Heck, I even griped about not working in April. You know that feeling that maybe it’s you? Yeah…

Moviesinhaiku – Watches, Prints, You know…
On the other side of things my self-directed personal project, Moviesinhaiku, started taking off. I was given some interesting opportunities involving my love of movies and haiku.

Firstly, Scott Wilk invited me to design a watch! That’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. I cannot wait for it to be finished. And I think we’ll continue the collaboration as I enjoy designing watches. I can’t vouch for Scott, but I am totally into it. And if anyone else wants me to design a timepiece, hellz ya is all I can say to that.

The casing from render to silver casting

The face from render to silver casting

I’ve been working on the second watch for a little while now. Very excited about that.

Secondly, Dana Brunetti from Trigger Street asked me to design a larger version of one of my prints and I opted for doing a brand-new triptych of their latest production, The Social Network. My first commission, as it were. Very exciting! Anyone wants a custom Moviesinhaiku original, let me know, I am down.

The Social Network tripych

Public Speaking
I was also truly lucky to speak 3 times this year at events. The Flashbelt conference, Flashonthebeach and FiTC Edmonton. I wrote about them individually before, so let’s just say I really love public speaking and my intended session for 2011 ought to be awesome. So far my only confirmed speaking engagement is for FiTC Toronto. This should be an amazing conference and I am truly excited about it. Any other conference organizers want me to speak at their events, let me know, I simultaneously love and hate public speaking, but I am getting a knack for it.

The Future
What’s on the horizon for 2011? Man, I know one thing, I am going to be working on a documentary film I am calling Influential – The Age of Digital. I blogged recently on how to create a wordmark and that was meant as a teaser to this project. Stay tuned, I am crazy excited about this project.

My upcoming documentary film project

If you know something about the film industry, man I can use some help. So far, I am stoked to know that the fine folk at Influxis will be involved and potentially FiTC. I don’t want to speak out of turn, so I’ll leave it there. Anyone want to throw money into a totally interesting project for a production credit, you need to let me know. Or however that works. I am hoping to find out soon.

Finally, I quit smoking. Feel really good about that.

Why Moviesinhaiku?

I get mainly positive feedback on my work with Moviesinhaiku. However, very occasionally I have heard “I don’t get it.” As a justification, here are my 5 reasons for Moviesinhaiku:

5. As a freelancer, I experience downtime. It’s part of the employment cycle. When I have extra time, it’s better to occupy myself than to sit and play video games which give me nothing back.

4. I program in AS3. I have been animating or programming in Flash since 1999. Doesn’t that seem a long time to be doing one thing? With Moviesinhaiku, I can experiment, play, try new things and challenge myself.

3. As part of challenging myself, I have to admit something; typography scares me. It always has. I am a face your fears kind of guy. Therefore I am doing typographic treatments as an attempt to shake my fear of typography.

2. I graduated from Interpretive Illustration before I made the jump to digital. I went from painting every day to typing in what feels an instant. There’s an illustrator inside me screaming “Why code Hugh? WHY!!??!” So I am combining illustrations into the prints.

1. Why not? I love movies, it doesn’t hurt anyone (minus the people who’s delicate aesthetic sensibilities might be compromised) and if you don’t like Moviesinhaiku, they’re easily avoided. They’re not that popular. Yet.

So there you go. That’s why I do Moviesinhaiku. If you like any of the prints, I priced them so anyone could afford to enjoy them. If you have a specific movie you want done, email me: hugh [at] moviesinhaiku [dot] com If it’s a movie I like and know, I might take a crack at it. If it’s not but you present a compelling argument, I still might take a crack at it.

The Hype Over Hype

I attended Joshua Davis’ Hype Workshop last month at the RMI space in Toronto.

I had a hard time figuring applicability in my daily work life.

So I sat on Hype, undecided what I could do with it. What I missed in Josh’s workshop was the fact that Hype is simply a collection of classes. Use what you want and ignore what you don’t. Hopefully, I’m not the only one with that misconception. If I am, I’m dumber than I thought.

Yesterday I had some downtime as I wait on my friend to get to .NET changes for TattooCapture and decided to manufacture something I’ve always wanted: A class to plot points equally around 360°. Why? Well… that will become clear in the future. In the meantime, that was my goal. Feed it 8 points and it comes back with how many degrees each would be to be equally dispersed around a circle.

It was a pretty simple solution; divide the number of elements by 360. Tada! Then use that degree number within the class to return what degree an element would be. Further, use it to return what radian (what flash uses to calculate degrees) that element would be.

I ended up with the Orbit class right-click and ‘save as’. Usage boils down to importing the class and an instantiation. Then using it’s public functions. Therefore;

import com.orbit.Orbit;

var orbit:Orbit = new Orbit;
orbit.increment = 15; //15 being the total number of elements
var degree:Number = orbit.getDegree(8); //8 being the 8th element
var radian:Number = orbit.getRadians(degree);
//returns the radian value for the 8th element out of 15;

//alternatively, you can piggyback the calculations
var radian:Number = orbit.getRadians(orbit.getDegree(8));

So yeah.

Here’s the first example. Each time you click the start button, the piece will pick a random number of elements, then run through that number and each element on stage in it’s prescribed location. Sweet.

So once I figured that out, I started monkeying around with it, as is my wont. Change the number to see the progress.

In comes Hype.

Eventually, in version 4, I decided to muck about a bit with Hype. I wanted to draw to Bitmap was being done and with Hype, I had a built-in class to do just that. BitmapCanvas. Worked like a charm.

Messed around for another couple of versions and in version 8, added in FilterRhythm and TimeType. So far so good.

In version 10, I added in colorPool. Honestly, it all starts to get a bit silly and really I’m just messing around with minor alterations.

In version 13, I dumped my Event.ENTER_FRAME for SimpleRhythm.

Finally, with some more tweaks, I have this (basically) where I want it. Version 19. I might spend some more time with it, but it’s in a place I like. I left it running while I wrote this post and this is what I got.

click the image to see it full-size

The moral of the story is; If you keep your eyes closed, you won’t see the path in front of you. How’s that for a fortune cookie? I oughta be a writer.