Download original XCF *by “aliens” I mean “this creature that obviously doesn’t use enough lotion”
In the days since fall term ended, I’ve been keeping busy. Busy playing games, programming, basically just doing whatever I feel like. Three of the projects I’ve been working on, which I started at the same time over the summer, are Mimi and Markov, Markov Comic Generator, and the Mimi and Eunice transcripts project.
The transcript project is essentially done. I have transcribed every Mimi and Eunice comic strip yet posted online. If more comics get posted in the future – which I think seems unlikely – then I will transcribe them as well. Until that happens, nothing new will get added to my transcript project’s git repo. I might still make some changes, such as correcting spelling errors or adjusting the position and size of word bubbles.
Out of curiosity, I’ve compiled some stats from the transcripts:
|Character||Words spoken||Sentences spoken||Words/sentence|
“Label” refers to text that doesn’t belong to any characters. It might be considered the voice of a narrator.
Markov Comic Generator is not feature-complete but is definitely usable in its current state. I will do more work on it, I just don’t know when.
Mimi and Markov is entirely automated; I ended any real involvement in it months ago. One of my computers automatically pulls transcripts from the transcript project’s git repo and program code from MCG’s git repo, then runs the program. Pretty simple really. The only thing I have left to do is decide how long to keep the program running. It’ll be a long time before I fill up even the tiny amount of storage space I currently have on this server.
I’ve been thinking lately about how infrequently I write blog posts. My thoughts are racing faster than I can type (no, I’m not high) so I may jump from point to point. This was inspired mainly by the sudden conversion of lots of Mimi and Markov comics into blog posts. Notice that I created a separate account on this web site, Markov Bot, and the old M&M page has been replaced with a link to all blog posts by that author.
I talked in my previous real blog post about how I used to auto-upload comics to the site, and how I planned to do it in the future. The future has arrived. Now, my Markov Comic Generator program can upload to any WordPress blog that has XML RPC enabled, which most do. To keep everything looking consistent, I
decided had to re-upload all the existing comics in this new format, manually.
I tend to write real blog posts maybe once every six months to a year. My program has been generating new comics every day for about one and a half months. Imagine me having to suddenly create nearly 50 posts!
So yeah, that’s why I’m writing this. Because I just needed to add some actual, non-computer-generated content.
What to write about?
How about “How We Did It”. Yeah, that’s a start I guess. So Gabe and I filmed the first in what we hope will be a video series entitled “How We Did It”, in which we document our filmmaking process. We did two or three full takes (each taking a surprising half an hour – we had expected closer to 10 minutes each) plus one take that ended after a few minutes due to my camera running out of batteries. I plan to post the edited video as soon as I can get up the courage to fire up a video editor and watch an hour and a half of us talking. I hate hearing my own voice and seeing my face. That’s a common – I don’t know the word for it. Fear? Dislike? Discomfort? – and the only way I know of to get over it is to make yourself do exactly what you don’t want to. Make yourself edit your own videos.
The fact that other people have faced this problem and gotten over it does not make it any easier for me.
I’m so glad I learned to touch type in high school. When I get into ‘writing mode’, as I call it, my fingers can almost keep up with my thoughts. Which is quite an accomplishment, seeing as my writing can be long and can wander from topic to topic.
The other thing I wanted to mention was my programming. Specifically my apparent tendency to take on lots of projects and then just abandon them. While it is true that I have lots of projects on the back burner, they are never truly abandoned. I still have a place in my heart and my head for all the projects I liked enough to take on in the first place.
My movie script, I was just thinking about yesterday, trying to decide how to end it and what I want to do with it once it is ended. This isn’t the movie Gabe and I are working on right now. Right now we’re working on “Mother Night”, based on a short poem of the same name. My movie script is called “The Rose And The Wolf”. You can find an early draft of it here (I think – not sure it survived the move to this domain) and a different draft uploaded as a PDF to my DeviantArt account. I’m thinking that, since my original motivation for starting this script was non-economic (it was a homework assignment), and I’m not particularly interested in making an actual movie out of it myself (it would require a much higher budget than I can possibly afford, and some significant work that I don’t want to commit to at this time), and I’ve already published drafts of it online, I’m just going to post the entire thing online if I ever do finish it. I will release it to the public in the hope that somebody else makes a movie of it. It has always been my intention to pass the script off to somebody else. The script is a remix (everything is a remix) based on Campbell’s Monomyth idea as filtered through the mind of Christopher Vogler and his book The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers. I want to see how other filmmakers remix my work. This is Free Culture.
Programming-wise, I haven’t forgotten about Cybrinth or Mines-Perfect; they’re just on the back burner until I get that burst of inspiration which comes from time to time. Cybrinth I would say is in a beta state, by which I mean it has all the features I want to add (again, I hope other programmers will contribute whatever features they want). Now I’m trying to get it to compile and run without error on computers other than my own. This is turning out to be far more challenging than I ever anticipated. But that’s another blog post. Mines-Perfect: I’m just enjoying playing it but haven’t really given serious consideration to actually fixing the remaining bugs because I’m not actually familiar with the programming language in which it’s written, and I don’t want to learn it right now. I’m learning Python and am about to start taking a required class in Haskell, plus a general “introduction to programming languages” class, so learning C# is not really an option at the moment.
Otherwise, I’ve been spending my time lately catching up on podcasts and playing Super Nintendo games on my computer thanks to zsnes and my Retrode. My Kindle Fire, which I had been using as a podcatcher, got torn apart, so I’ve lost track of which specific podcast episodes I’ve already heard. Not that it matters, since I enjoy every podcast Im subscribed to, but it is annoying to be ten minutes into an episode and then realize that “this sounds so familiar… wait a minute, I heard this three months ago!”
Stay happy, stay free, and don’t forget that you don’t need to be a consumer.
I just finished this project as homework for one of my fall term classes. The assignment’s requirements can be summarized simply as “Do something cool with graphs”. That’s really what the entire class was about: collecting data and finding ways to represent that data.
My project was about two main goals: to collect data that nobody would think to collect, and to present data in ways that nobody would think to present it. Continue reading Capstone project: Multi-sensory data representation
We’re down to the final few hours now. I mentioned this wonderful Kickstarter project once before. If you’ve been waiting to contribute, now is the time!
[kickstarter url=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Musopen/set-chopin-free width=480]
[kickstarter url=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Musopen/set-chopin-free width=220]
MusOpen is doing another Kickstarter campaign, this time to free the works of Frédéric Chopin. After their wildly successful campaign in September 2010 (see here and here for my posts about that), I have to wonder what took them so long. Not that I’m complaining; I think that releasing public domain music recordings is a great thing to do. It’s just that it’s been so long since the previous campaign, it seems like a lot of the excitement that I and others felt has had plenty of time to dry up. It’ll be hard to get everyone excited again. Then again, considering that it took until 2012 for their 2010 campaign to actually get the music recorded and released, it’s understandable that they might wish to wait a bit before going to all that effort again.
TL;DR: I want ideas. Scenes, titles, whatever you can think of.
I’ve been writing a movie script lately. It started out as an assignment for a writing class. Now that the class is over (spring break is here!), I think I’ll put the writing on hiatus for a while. I do intend to add to the story eventually, just not now.
It started out simply enough. At the start of the term, each student was randomly assigned three things: two character descriptions and a location. We could change the characters & location however we wanted during our writing as long as there was some arguable link or path from what was originally assigned to what appeared in the final version of the script. In my case, the main character was to be a female restaurant owner, her love interest was to be a male football coach, and the location was the “north woods”.
So I’ve finally finished work on ‘The Raven’, the short film I’ve been working on. I posted it to YouTube yesterday and the Internet Archive today. The YouTube copy has already been flagged by a bot for copyright violation.
Specifically, it’s about the music. I used a public domain recording (downloaded from MusOpen.org, which “requires all users who upload music to the site to represent that the uploaded musical composition and/or the sound recording is in the public domain“) of what I believe to be a public domain composition (Night on Bald Mountain). NoBM has had a complicated history, with multiple arrangements made by different people. Wikipedia says there were some arrangements made by Leopold Stokowski which might still be copyrighted because they are from 1940 and later, but says “The Stokowski arrangements are only rarely heard today, Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestration being the concert favorite, and the one most often programmed.”. The same article says that the Rimsky-Korsakov arrangement was “completed in 1886, and was published in the same year…”, which would make it ineligible for copyright protection here in the United States. I therefore believe that the music used in my film is entirely free from copyright, and therefore I have the right to use it as I wish. Continue reading Posted to YouTube, flagged for copyright violation
Anyone who’s read my previous post on this blog knows that I’m currently working on a short film based on Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’. I thought I’d write this post to share some miscellaneous tips and ideas that I have found useful during the filmmaking process. They’re organized (very roughly) in order of when you will probably need them, earliest being first.
Often, for me at least, the hardest step in the filmmaking process is the first step: coming up with a good film idea. I like to film, I get the urge to pick up a video camera, but I have no idea what to do with it. Here are a few solutions. Continue reading Misc. Filmmaking Tips and Resources