Renaissance Ninja

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Building a Static Site (with Hugo)

Well, that took longer to complete than expected (as always). After experimenting with Docpad for a while I stumbled onto a number of other static site generators, finally selecting Hugo. Hugo’s speed—it regenerates the whole site (all 140 pages) within ~1.5 seconds—combined with the flexible structure convinced me to give it a go. Hugo’s speediness is undoubtedly due in part to Go, as in Go lang, a newer language originally developed at Google.

90 Days of Motion Graphics (Project 5)

I won’t usually put in video editing stuff, as it tends to be straightforward. However today was a bit of playing around with fonts for the intro along with some subtle music syncing to a short clip. …or is it? I’ve been busier with After Effects now that I’ve officially begun helping with the VFX side of the film I referenced in the last post. For that I’ve signed an NDA so the actual projects and experiments I’m working on right now for it I’m not sharing here.

90 Days of Motion Graphics (Project 4)

This project drifts away from motion graphics towards visual effects. I’ve been participating and helping with an indie film over the past several months, including editing. We’re working our way through that but there’s also a huge amount of VFX work to be done with it being a sci-fi film. So this project of learning motion graphics and After Effects coincides nicely with that, and presents a fantastic challenge to apply the skills to something more real.

90 Days of Motion Graphics (Project 3)

What an odd week. Ended up away from my computer (unexpected, in a good way, road-trip to D.C.) or otherwise without real time to commit to opening up After Effects and thus am a bit behind on new projects. But before that happened I ran across an awesome new resource for tutorials, where I found this Polygon animation tutorial: It looks slick, but is far less complicated to create than what the end product would suggest.

90 Days of Motion Graphics (Project 2)

And with less fan fare here’s the second project! Like the first it ended up taking three days (sessions as it were) of work. Unlike the first this was following along with a specific tutorial on creating trailer titles. The original source tutorial examples had a metalic and gunmetal vibe, so I went looking for a short quote that might work. The Book of Five Rings is always a good source for philosophical quotes on fighting, and thus this one felt perfect.

90 Days to Learn Motion Graphics

A thirty day challenge is an excellent way to build a new habit (and highly recommended), but to learn a new skillset? You need more time. While thirty days will lay the foundation, via the habit, of practice, it most often takes longer to get past the novice stage where everything you make or do feels subpar. As an experiment I’m extending the focused period of practice to ninety days.

Movement Modes: Graphic

Felt a bit of designerly inspiration today (AKA had something in mind to make). After a few thumbnail sketches not much interesting was coming out, then I remembered an idea from The Creative Habit where Tharp discussed the idea of “finding the spine” of your work. Since I was looking at a movement idea, I decided to take that a bit more literally. Movement Modes I did a quick pen trace of a picture of a spine, taken from one of my anatomy books, with the type on the path following the line.

DIY Web: Building with Docpad

Ghost has consistently impressed me so far, and I really like how it works for this little blog in particular. But it’s not the best choice for every web project, because it’s “just a blogging platform.” Still, as I wrote about earlier most sites, including all of mine (currently), do just what I said there: serve content. And content doesn’t change unless you tell it to (we hope!)—so why put it all into a heavy database and use a dynamic language like PHP to render the page every time a visitor requests it…when the content hasn’t changed since they last visited it?

IA: The Creative Habit (Book Design)

IA: Inspiration / Analysis. An experiment in examining the craft of art and ideas that inspire. Plus sharing beautiful things, of course! I picked up the The Creative Habit at the library earlier and have to say I love it; both for it’s content and design. First up, it’s well worth a read for anyone interested in creativity, as it addresses the oft ignored or understated part of sustained creativity: habit.

Some introspection: Bridging Genres

Inspired (in part) by Seth Godin’s “People who like this stuff…” Fitness or Athletics? Building from the same concept of genres, I see myself as existing in or between the above two. Though athletics here is a catch-all concept to describe a whole host of activities: sports, dance, martial arts, parkour, and other, predominately physical, arts/disciplines. How do these two genres differ? Well, let’s look at what terms we use when going to do either one: