THE NET WAY OF LIFE
Vol. 5 No. 12
on Morning Drivers
on the Urge
on Baby Cells
A college survey claims that iPods are
more popular than beer!?!
EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE
cell phone companies have weeded their way into the mainstream sports marketing
promotion business like a zebra mussel to a Lake Michigan drain pipe. Sporting
events on television are now crammed with telephony graphics, tie ins, star
this or that, dial in, plug up, look at cell-video shorts and toothache nagging
ringtones that a viewer can no longer see the actual game through the graphic
teams are bending over backwards like a new prisoner in a shower to accept
these intrusions into their regular broadcasts. The partnership to promote
the growing cell phone addiction is an unstoppable ship heading toward an
iceberg. Is it not enough for a sponsor to slap its logo on the sidelines,
uniforms, scoreboards, microphones, headsets, batting circles, walls and cheap
giveaway magnetic schedules?
minor league baseball team is experimenting with the notion of managing
the team in real time. During the game, your cell will pop up with situation
decision which you vote upon to tell the manager what the consensus right
move is; for example, a runner at first base with one out--- do you (a) bunt
the runner over; (b) hit and run, or (c) let the batter swing away? The fans
in the stands would log in and vote their choice, and after a quick ballot
count, the decision would flash in the manager's dugout phone. Now, the reason
for this mind baffling technology overdose is clear: everytime you use your
cellphone, the telephone operator is making money. It is money making scam
on the fans to make them believe that they are more involved in
the game. Baseball is a spectator sport; the fans are not active
players in the game's outcome (or should not be). But the sponsors are attempting
to tap in the video-game mentality sweeping the real sports world. Coaches
think that the players can be controlled on the real field like with the locker
room joystick in a simulated game. The coaches call all the plays (especially
in football) so the players on the field are running around with their heads
hazed from instructions instead of playing the game on instinct. Now, with
the baseball example, the manager should be watching the field of play and
not his cell phone. He is being paid to manage the team to victory, but to
shuck in-game oysters for a sponsor. And the fans, who paid good money for
their seats, are concentrating on punching alphanumeric digits into their
cell phones while the game is being played; that takes away from the entire
ballgame experience. You might as well stay at home and watch the game on
a television set if you are that addicted to pixel representations. And what
manager worth his grain of salt will follow the advice of the fans during
the heat of a ball game at such a critical time like the 9th inning (when
things get really tense)?
major sporting events ask the viewer the question, vote for the player of
the game by texting a number to the wireless provider. Like that really matters
in the long run. Especially, when they ask for you votes when the game is
only half over. Oh, and vote as often as you like. The sponsor doesn't mind.
It is unscientifically profitable. It will evolve into in-game hand-held replays
(for a fee), in-game manager video discussions (for a fee), in-game player
highlights (for a fee), in-seat food and beverage ordering system to the concession
stands (for a fee).
will happen when one of these cell nuts has his head down in his lap texting
the latest message when the batter lines a sharp foul ball off the fan's temple?
is distracting enough with people talking on their cells during a game, and
having the caller outside the park tell the person he or she is on television
which turns that person into a mentally deranged zoo ape.
newspaper business is in the midst of a free fall. Paper circulation is
falling faster than Skylab debris into the atmosphere. Magazines are getting
so thin that content is now secondary to the remaining loyal advertisers
space demands. Magazines are trying to stave off bankruptcy by pumping
up unpaid circulation so their ad rate cards do not fall to
that of a carrier current college radio station. Advertisers prefer paid
circulation numbers because it means the magazine's core demographic is
what the advertiser is attempting to hit. Unpaid circulation means a random,
uninterested and quick toss in the trash can readership which in the short
run does not help any advertiser. Local television stations used to pull
in one-third or more of their total revenue from their local news casts.
However, television advertising is also dipping because the ratings have
been shaved to minute shares due to the internet and hundreds of alternative
cable-sat channels. It is not a good time to be in the mass media business.
the financial pundits claim that the Internet is taking away most of the
advertising dollars. Well, it is probably the hidden search engine kind.
Have you noticed that more and more search engine result pages are tied
solely to pay advice sites or that the keywords do not correspond
to the information you are researching but to ancillary service company
pages? This type of grab bag search engine advertising method is like
an unpaid subscription to a magazine advertiser; hit or miss. The paid
rankings in the search engine will drive people away from them if they
are solely looking for real information.
are not reading the newspapers, magazines or watching the news on television.
It is an alarming social trend with significant political ramifications
(an uninformed public is a politically sheepishly dumb electorate). It
is claimed that the Internet is now the choice of choice for news and
information to the average Joe and Josephine. Which is also a scary thought.
Most news sites on the net are personal blogs spouting spin, opinion and
commentary wrapped up as a news portal. Most traditional news media outlets
have ported their content to their web sites, but usually under the paid
or registration mandate which many surfers refuse to honor. Most surfers
are independent, free thinking clickheads who don't want to
log in, get another password to memorize, or pay for news articles they
can get someplace else at no cost. Reliability of net news content and
accountability for it are still open questions in the journalism community.
The cultural change is the question that people do not have the time to
sit down and read newspapers or watch a full news hour. Most people point
and click at their computer screens at work when a report is being printed
at the print station down the cubical. It is easier to fish through some
news portals or the local webpaper then sitting down at a table and unfolding
an eight section paper to digest with the morning coffee.
is based upon a well informed public. The First Amendment was designed
to safeguard the general public from a power broker elitist government.
Most Internet sites do not have the resources to have full time reporters
professionally gathering news stories or investigative pieces under the
gate keeping functions of professional journalism. Many just run with
the party's faxed speaking points as legitimate news without calling to
confirm the accuracy of the allegations or getting the other side's quotes
on the allegations.
order to win back viewers or readers, the media is getting more and more
into feature stories over hard news content. The theory is that the general
public finds it more appealing to learn about celebrity hang-ups or the
latest patent medicine cure than corrupt politicians or failing school
administration. When cities had a half dozen daily newspapers competing
for readers, the era of tabloid journalism with huge GRAPHIC headlines
was the rage. Tabloid television is taking root in all news casts, with
an in-your-face political bias, which continues to leave viewers grasping
for the channel changer.
our reader(s) know, we have been experimenting with basic animation principles
for the past few months. The CGI-animation industry has to be the fastest
growing segment in the economy. Look at any commercial, there is some
form of video enhancement or cartoon character feature. DisneyTV,
CartoonNetwork and Nick are all heavily into programming animation, with
a growing segment towards adults.
is no longer the things of kids' stuff. Major motion picture studios
are spending tens of millions of dollars and years of preparation
time to launch full length features. Animation studios are popping
up all over the world; many are being founded by the multi-millionaire
technology or tycoons, like Nike's Phil Knight. It appears that
everyone with a notion, an idea or some capital, wants to be the
next Walt Disney.
as one begins learning the process, one will find that this animation
business is a vastly complex layered and technology demanding
enterprise. There are companies with hundreds of highly skilled
artists who sole job is to create tweens, the individual
time consuming single frames of action between the projects key
frames. Getting anything into a final product can take months,
years or decades to complete, depending on the nature, length
and complexity of the story and its art.
a self taught cartoonist, the mindset has always been to try things on
your own. Animation looks easy, right? It is like a person who likes food
but can't cook a damn thinks he can open a restaurant. There is a logical
disconnect in this reasoning. But there was some hope. In researching
the anime world, I found it especially interesting that the new crop of
illustrators, artists and animators are heavily influenced by the Japanese
manga pioneers more than Americanized Disney legends. The graphic style
of the background muted pastels, to the character's main traits, are mostly
Japanese inspirations. The bulk of the CartoonNetwork's growing popular
shows are imported (and redubbed) Japanese anime. Even the virtual band,
Gorillaz, takes tribute to the whimsical artistic spiritual images of
these Asian anime masters.
there was the story that a single person could produce a critically acclaimed
animation short, using just a Mac G4 computer and off-the-shelf software.
His name is Makato Shinkai. His project, Voices of Distant Star,
appears to the the watershed moment or inspiration for the hobbyist animation
circle. The story goes that after real job in a computer graphics firm,
he would go home and spend his nights creating his own story project.
After many months of working long hours, the project begins to stall.
It is not that the story changes, but his attitude has to; he finds he
has captured some great sequences, but can't seem to tie the work together
as quick as he would like. So he quits his real job, and spends the next
seven months totally focused on completing the project. The completion
was the sole goal in the end; otherwise, he said, no one would see any
of his good work. And his work as been praised as being the next Miyazaki,
Japan's modern Walt Disney.
the gauntlet had been laid down. Animation can be a quality home brew
one of the problems with running headlong into a project such as this
is that one quickly learns that you are running head long into a Wall.
Here are some emails sent to Tech Guru Rocky:
PAP test number one has been completed. After a 42+ hour render,
the subject matter came back with numerous mistakes, issues, and adding
a ton of mental homework to find means of correction. I may have rushed
to the End level too quick. (Dammit Jim, I am a plain country doctor,
not a quantum physics hydrobiobotanist nuclear scientist!) No immediate
plans for a second test launch until further understanding of programs,
sequences, files, ect. (Capt'n!!! I don't think the engines can
handle much mooooore!!!) PAN THROUGH IMAGES OF GALAXY SPACE Space.
Between my Ears. These are the voyages of the tramp steamer, pindermedia.
As it attempts to boldly go where few cartoonists have ever gone before
Render. A quick search finds that rendering is the bane
of the animation community, novice to expert. Apparently, I will have
to get a handle on mattes, layers, compressions, multipasses, channels,
to see if render times can be dramatically reduced in a final project.
Mumblings about 20 hour renders for 5 seconds of animation as being normal
issue is creating a migraine.
Last night I spent in character development. I felt I got
the rudimentary background art thing down to beginner level, so on to
the next major skill task. It is a tedious and time consuming process
which hopefully will cut down time requirements down the road. I project
that it will probably take three nights (9 hours) or more to complete
one character study. Now I see why that writer used the term years
in developing animation.
This is what I found today: Decisions: Limited Animation: If you have
only a few years to complete your animated motion picture then you should
use limited animation. Limited animation is where you draw each character
from 8 different angles without a mouth or limbs. (All you needs Photoshop
or Illustrator and a Wacom Graphire tablet but if you prefer, you can
use any of the dozen or so excellent 2D animation programs which make
the drawing easier and faster.) You simply move the character to the correct
position in the scene and you animated the mouth and limbs in either Photoshop,
Illustrator, AfterEffects or a 2D animation program. South Park
is an example of very limited animation. A more sophisticated version
of limited animation is Hanna Barbara's Scooby Doo cartoons.
Digital Actors: If you have about 7 years to complete your movie, then
you can use 2 1/2 D animation using digital puppets from Zygote. This
is what I teach in Digital Puppet magazine. With this method, you create
the movie sets as still images in Bryce which are animated in Adobe Aftereffects
Then you combine the movie sets with digital actors from Zygote inside
of Curious Lab's Poser and/or Adobe Aftereffects A 90-minute feature will
take one person about 4 to 7 years to complete using this method. Hand
Drawn Animation: If you lots of talent, you can draw every frame of the
motion picture. It normally takes a team of twenty artists about 5 years
to draw a feature film.
the first lesson in Animation has been learned: pull back! Don't try to
do a large project first; build up you tech-animation common sense. As
noted above, you have to have to pull together several different skill
sets, including complex graphic and animation programs, in order to complete
any project. The methods from hand cel drawn characters, to multi-layered
3D composites, are similar. It is a question of wandering the jungle,
swinging from tree to tree until you find a strong enough rope to hang
first aspect of this bunge jump into the animation canyon is that one
gets an new appreciation for the television animation series. Second,
you begin to watch those shows on a secondary level (I see how they
are doing this segment, or how did they do THAT?) Third,
you become inspired and frustrated at the same time. But that is all part
of the learning process; learning is never easy.
REAL NEWS ----------PINDERMEDIA.COM
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Sultanate of Clintonia-Rogstaden
The global on-line gaming
experience has quietly exploded into a a bandwidth python of multi-hour,
multi-kingdom game spheres. Whether it is the team combat arena, or
the total simulated fantasy genre, more and more men and women are using
their free time to escape to a virtual world. As a result of our tech
guru's prodding suggestion, cyberbarf.com
has created Sultanate
of Clintonia-Rogstaden. Readers will have
a running update of the status of this virtual country; you can peek
at the real game pages,
or get the backstories
outside the game's program. For example, check
out the images of the national currency. There will be inside jokes,
satire, humor and pulse of a real bizarre country. New features will
be added on a regular basis. So check out the cyber-soap opera of nation
building here at cyberbarf.com
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