Saturday, June 27, 2009

RIP: A Remix Manifesto (with a pic of Greg Gillis, aka, 'Girl Talk')

Girltalk -- Colour (After), originally uploaded by royblumenthal.

One of the movies on the Air Canada flight from Edmonton to London was Brett Gaylor's RIP: A REMIX MANIFESTO. (Download a remixable copy of RIP 2.0 here:

The documentary is a wonderfully immersive introduction to the Creative Commons movement. Well worth seeing.

One of the artists featured in the movie is a remix musician called 'GirlTalk'. (Here's an interview with Greg Gillis, the dude behind the nom de plume:

I LOVE what he does. And I HAVE TO get stuff he's done. Buttkickage of the highest order.

On the plane, I hit the pause button on a good shot of him. Whipped open the trusty li'l black Moleskine. And slammed some lines down with my Bic Intensity gel-ink pen.

So the black and white version is what I ended the flight with.

Girltalk -- Black and White (Before)

And the colour version is a high res scan brought into Photoshop CS3. The only thing I've done is draw various outlines, and use the colour adjustment tool to get some lovely smooth, flat colours going.

That's made possible specifically because of the fact that I scan at high res, in full colour, with low contrast. This means that the paper texture is part of the black and white picture, even though it can't be seen.

This picture is released under a Creative Commons 'Attribution Share-Alike' license. So remix at will.

Originated in black ink in an A6 unlined Moleskine. Scanned. Then tweaked for colour in Photoshop CS3 on my Rectron-sponsored Asus R1E tablet pc.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Roy Blumenthal Making the Amy Goodman Visual Facilitation Pic

Earlier this afternoon I caught the live streaming vidcast of the OPEN VIDEO CONFERENCE held in New York.

I liked what I was encountering. So I did a visual facilitation of some of the keynotes. You can see the pics I made in my Open Video Conference set on Flickr.

Amy Goodman spoke about Democracy Now, a free-tv station that seeks to put views across that aren't curtailed by corporate influence.

I made a pic of Amy Goodman's session.

I though it might be neat to show some of my process in speeded-up form.

So I zapped into, started recording, and then hit 'Control Y' to redo everything right to the end state.

I brought the resulting AVI file into Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, where I sped it up substantially.

Once I had something that looked reasonable, I found some music. The track I settled on is sourced from the legally free The track is called 'Minimoonstra', from the album THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC TRIP VOL 2, by the band Speedsound. The entire album is released for free use under a Creative Commons 'Attribution' license.

I converted the MP3 to a WAV file in Audacity. Brought that into Premiere. And did some minor editing to sync up the emphasis points of the vid with movement in the music.

This is the result. A short, condensed journey into how I do visual facilitation.

This video was made on my Rectron-sponsored Asus R1E tablet pc. I originated the pic in ArtRage 2.5. And did all video editing in Premiere Pro CS3. All streaming and uploading was courtesy of the free broadband internet connection in my hotel room in Union Bank Inn, Edmonton, Canada.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crawford Schools -- DreamFlight Competition -- an animated overview

My girlfriend, Jennifer, is a teacher at Crawford Prep, Sandton. She's also on the Ministry of Creativity, a national body aimed at spreading creativity in the classroom over all of the Crawford schools.

She recently asked me if it would be okay to help her out with a little video explaining the competition to her colleagues. We decided to approach it as a creative multimedia project.

She got photos and video footage of previous winners. I then made caricatures of them on ArtRage 2.5 on my tablet pc. I took my video camera to her classroom to get some moving footage for the vid. We asked the various winners for voice recordings of their accomplishments. We recorded these on my cellphone voicemail. And then tried to make the quality acceptable. I think we achieved that mostly. But some of Sean's talk is a bit lost in the electronic muddle.

I then took the voices and caricatures into CrazyTalk 6 (I'm using the closed beta version at the moment), and powered them to life.

This video is the result.

Sadly, non-Crawford people can't enter the competition. So this is here just so you can see the kinds of stuff they've up to.

Thanks once again to Antony Raijekov for his awesome Creative Commons licensed music. The track you hear is a slightly modified version of 'Fidder (2004)', from the 2007 album JAZZ U. It's licensed as CC 'Attribution, Non-Commercial'. Go grab it for yourself at Jamendo --

Three of the photos that appear briefly in the vid are from Flickr, also released under Creative Commons licenses. They are: 'Dream' by Ravichri (CC By-Attr-ND), 'Innovate' by Uncleweed (CC Attr-Share-Alike), and 'Yourself' by Ami Harikoshi (CC Attr). All other pictures are fair-use to illustrate the public topics they deal with.

All of the illustrations and animations are mine. As is the DreamFlight logo. I designed it using Creative Commons licensed illustrations that I modified.