Archive for November, 2007

Dan Zen Gives Pecha Kucha Talk on Focuso at FITO, Toronto Flash User Group

November 30, 2007

Focuso FITO Talk

Inventor, Dan Zen gave a Pecha Kucha talk Nov 28th, 2007 at FITO the Toronto Flash user group, largest of its kind in the world: http://www.flashinto.com. The event was packed and was held at the Pixel Gallery in Kensington Market, Toronto – (Element156 – Digital Media Center, 156 Augusta Avenue Just North of Dundas, Just West of Spadina – a great gallery to check out!)

Pecha Kucha, apparently Japanese for chit-chat involves showing 20 slides for 20 seconds each, traditionally with a format of no speaking or sound – however, we have westernized it to include speaking and sound. The gist of Dan Zen’s Pecha Kucha is as follows:

Focuso Pecha Kucha Talk

http://www.danzen.com/focusotalk/

As interactive designers and developers, we often build features with a foreground and a background where the content for the foreground is created by the user.  We design the background or the environment.

If the foreground is considered in focus, the background might be considered out of focus. It is the context for the content.

Focuso is the art and philosophical aspect of out of focus or Focus out – Focuso. In particular, it can be demonstrated by photographs that are purposely out of focus for artistic reason.

This Pecha Kucha talk shows how Focuso has been used in a number of Dan Zen features, often as background, yet it stands alone as an art form as the pictures to the right attest.

It is hoped that the samples will encourage designers and developers to think about focus as a way to handle background much like we drop opacity. These days, with the blur filter in Flash, it is very easy to do – but of course, there is always the camera!

Dan Zen

http://www.danzen.com
mad inventor
meets Internet
finds peace

Professor & Industry Liaison,
Sheridan Interactive Multimedia
http://imm.sheridanc.on.ca
Canadian New Media Awards Programmer of the Year 2002

Focuso.org
Dan Zen Flickr

Advertisements

Hip Cats Social Networking Site Makes Top Google Spot 7 Years Later…

November 26, 2007

Hip Cats Social Networking Site

Finally made the top Google page for Hip Cat and Hip Cats. I spent years fuming over being ousted by the likes of Cat Hip Displasia Injuries ;-). Try out the link and please click on Hip Cats!

Google Hip Cat Search Results

Hip Cats was and is a social networking site that was started in 2000. It allowed you to create a persona, make a friends list of people you wanted to hang out with, rate other hip cats, date them, see their favorite music, movies, and books – all connected to Amazon affiliate. You could message other hip cats and view them in different Hip Cat genres like beatnik psychedelia, goth, urban, surf and their words would get translated – good would become groovy, etc. There is a buzz section where users can post reviews, events and creative writing as well as custom moods to view Hip Cats through.

It was a very early dynamic html (DHTML) site that featured updates to certain parts of the page without loading the hole page – which is what AJAX is used for and all this Web 2.0. It was cross platform and still works today which is pretty amazing considering it is a thousand lines of JavaScript, and another five thousand lines of Perl.

The site is self modifying where hip cats that are rated poorly drop off the scene – their data is mailed to the creator.

In the first few months, thousands of Hip Cats were created, top ten Hip Cats messages were sent out to people, and friendships were made. I tried to get other companies or groups to take Hip Cat scenes. There is a SHIFT magazine scene but it went out of business. There is a Beatnik Museum scene but I do not think they added the link. I almost got Austin Powers to take it but it turned out that they thought I wanted to pay for advertising. So it was all very frustrating not to be able to get people to take a free scene and populate it with their fans. It had so much potential.

Out of Focus Photographic Art – Focuso – Desktop Backgrounds

November 25, 2007

Focuso - Out of Focus Photographic Art - Desktop Backgrounds

I have been shooting photographs that are out of focus on purpose as artistic expression. This allows us to concentrate on form, composition, color, mood and avoid some of the everyday details that can make a picture too complex. Often these pictures take on the look of a painting because the blur is similar to a paint stroke. The genre is called Focuso. Focus Out.

I have put together a site which makes it easy for you to save Focuso pictures for your desktop background. Thanks Amy for the suggestion.

http://www.focuso.org/desktops/

I have posted links already to these established sites that showcase works:

http://www.focuso.org
http://www.danzen.com/focuso
http://www.flickr.com/photos/danzen/sets/72157594476995009/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/focuso/

Light Show for Christmas Psychedelic Band

November 5, 2007

lightshow.jpg

I have been working on a tool in Flash to put shapes that move to music on top of pictures and apply blend modes and filters – I hope to launch it in the Spring.

One of the filters that I am experimenting with is the displacement filter. This light show comes from my experimentations and was used as a light show for the psychedelic band, Christmas / Reign Ghost from the 70’s and late 60’s at Sneaky Dees this weekend. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS at the bottom of the show to see different pictures:

http://www.danzen.com/lightshow/

My friend Gaven Dianda, who was in thee Gnostics and a few other bands with me is in a band called Saffron Sect and they played backup to Bob Bryden for the show. He played some really nice guitar and the crowd loved it.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of the show. The sound was great but the sound in the recording is distorted. I was manning the show so I could not take much video and it is just with my little camera.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNUxCHoT5Ok

It was a cool show!


%d bloggers like this: