Background Prototype 01

Screenshot of Background Prototype 01+ Click to view the Flash prototype of the background treatment.

I needed to get this prototype out ASAP since some of the strength of the design direction I’ve chosen has to do with this uber-zoomed image pixel grid thingy. When I was designing it, I wanted to take advantage of Flash’s ability to smooth a scaled Bitmap. So, that’s what you’re seeing in this prototype.

I still have to figure out what to do with the motion, but the overall effect is achieved in the prototype. In the end, I’ll be sampling a 35×35 pixel rect of a loaded image and blowing it up to fill the stage. This is a little smaller than that, but the performance remains fast at either size.

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Beginning a Redesign 2009 Redesign Comp 1

I’ve started the redesign of my portfolio site. I created a lot of crappy looking stuff in the last two days, and I’ve finally reached a design direction I’m happy with.

I’m trying to get something up by the end of the weekend, so we’ll see how that goes.

Did I mention that designing is f’ing hard? Here’s another screen: 2009 Redesign Comp 2

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Hyper Violently Gridded

Hyper Violently Gridded Illustration

Yesterday, I was trying to unload the charge of my (now old) MacBook Pro, in an effort to calibrate it. I thought, what better way to kill the battery than to open up Netflix Watch Instantly, pump up the volume (or the jam), and jack the display brightness as high as it would go. Movie of choice: Helvetica.

I was drawn into the interview at the beginning with Wim Crouwel and his description of his use of the grid. The man is absolutely masterful using the grid as a constraint and rule system — and exploiting the hell out of it.

Inspired, I decided to continue playing with that word pair “Hyper Violent“.

Also, my first time using the new Illustrator CS4…

On my new 15″ MacBook Pro

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Browse the Site Visually

Screenshot of the new Grid Browser+ View the Grid Browser.

Today at 2AM I started getting a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon — well, a lot of traffic by my standards. I realized that for new visitors, there’s nothing that really indicates just how much content is actually on this site. I also tinker with a bunch of mediums, and that’s not apparent either.

So it hit me: I need some sort of “discovery” mechanism. I finally have a lot of content, and even I want to be able to see it all at-a-glance. So today, the Grid Browser was born.

On that page, there’s an all-up view of the visually-oriented content on the site. Also, in the header area of each page, you’ll find a little “grid strip” that pulls up 7 random pieces. I’m hoping these things encourage a little more exploration for people.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll put in a little tool tip that calls out the post’s name for each image. I might even go so far as to make the big grid sortable.

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Hyper Violent

Hyper Violent Typography Experiment

On a news podcast, I recently heard the term “hyper violent” used. It really stuck in my head.

Tonight, I didn’t know what to draw — my mind still wrapped up in the back-end of a secret project — so I went toward that phrase. Then I just let it flow. I think I might actually go back into this one and keep working on it.

Or maybe I won’t.

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Salt Shaker

Drawing of a salt shaker

Drawn while at Squat & Gobble on Haight. Something quick since I didn’t produce anything else “show-able” today. I’m working on a little side project with my friend Shikhiu, and my output consisted of a website’s back-end.

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Another computeSpectrum() Example

UPDATE (01-18-2009): Some of you may have noticed that the Flash SWF was missing if you were viewing this post via its permalink. It’s fixed now. Sorry ’bout my screw-up.

UPDATE #2 (08-23-2009): Just realized that the text file with the sample ActionScript class was called “BasicAnalysis.txt”. It should’ve been called “BasicAnalyzer.txt”, which you’d need to rename to “”. The link has been updated below.

Most of my traffic comes from searches for Actionscript 3 spectrum analysis. Because of this, I decided to post an updated example that you can use to conquer your SoundMixer.computeSpectrum() woes. I realized that my original post had source code that wasn’t entirely transparent — and thus, probably not as useful as it could be.

This new example shows how you can draw a series of columns (using basic Graphics.drawRect() code) and how you can do something a little more interesting. I wanted to include both so that people learning from this code don’t get too confused.

Download the source: BasicAnalyzer.txt (you’ll want to rename the extension to .as).

Things you might gain from referencing this class:

  • A better understanding of what’s going on with the ByteArray that SoundMixer.computeSpectrum() writes to
  • A means for averaging the values in the ByteArray so that you don’t have to represent all 256 values of each stereo channel
  • A simple example for doing something a little more “interesting” with the float values in the ByteArray

The source is fully commented, so feel free to snag it for your own use.

You can either make this class your FLA’s document class if you want to try it out, or you can add it as a child of any DisplayObject. Though, there’s some positioning based on stage.stageHeight in there, so your mileage may vary. If you do make it your document class, the Flash movie you’re seeing is 560px by 400px.

Also if you’re interested, the music is “Venus Morning” off an album called “Talk Strange: A Beat Tape Inspired by Bjork” by Dert. Click on his name for the download. Highly recommended.

UPDATE #3 I created a ZIP file with the code and an FLA demonstrating how to use it. You can grab that package here: It was created using Flash CS4, but should be able to be opened using Flash CS3.

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Girl with Big Hat

Girl with Big Hat

Yuck. If I’m going to do anything with ball-point pen in the future, I need to do it big. Or change up the technique. It’s just too hard to hatch when it’s this small.

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