Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Go Fast! - Pixel XL - Power Director 15 - SurfaceBook

Second in a feel good project similar to the previous post. This is for people that like racing games and fast travel. I forgot to mention that the footage presented here and in the previous video were captured with a Google Pixel XL in 1080p. Then transferred to Google Photos (gotta love unlimited cloud storage for photos and video. Thanks Google!) and downloaded to the SurfaceBook to be edited and output using Power Director 15. I also used Audio Director to edit some of the sound as the recorded tracks with the video don't have much punch. WipeOut Pure and WipeOut Pulse are featured here. Both are PSP titles that I've played for countless hours on the original PSP release and the slim version with some of the tracks being re-released for WipeOut HD on PS3 and then again on WipeOut 2048 the final installment of the series before Sony closed Studio Liverpool (sad day, you are missed).

These are catharsis projects to help deal with times by going back to games and other hobbies from more pleasant times. Less outwardly racist times...less blatantly unstable times. Using the creative tools available to me to share video for anyone that might be interested.

Big Hard Heavy - Power Director 15 - SurfaceBook

This is a test video of PCSX2 version 1.4 on the SurfaceBook. I recorded some footage and used Power Director 15 to do editing and some minor tweaks. I'm still learning the new features of version 15 of Power Director too so future videos will be more refined. This was a spur of the moment project, quick and dirty, inspired by the desire to do something different, something less serious than the social commentary of the last few weeks.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Street Photography (Manual vs Auto) - Nexus 6P - Pixel XL

"If only my money was as long as my shadow..." - This is a Nexus 6P image I captured and used in a weekly photo challenge in the Street Photography community on Google+. The topic being "shadows." This was shot using manual settings in Camera FV-5 for Android. Because of the problems with the slow shutter and wonky focus of the 6P camera I learned that it's better to shoot manually with a 3rd party app at times. This does make it more difficult to capture shots in the moment but depending on circumstances, it could also result in better quality. The Pixel/Pixel XL doesn't suffer from these shortcomings as testing has proved. This ultimately translates into the Pixel XL having the superior camera but the Nexus 6P is still capable if at times more difficult to use in a pinch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Motherhood Isn't a Crime - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Final version (for now anyway). When you consider the advancements the world has made in science and technology over the last 200 years, it's amazing that breastfeeding is still such a divisive topic. Too many places in the so-called developed world still treat breast feeding as if it's a violation, something unholy or unnatural. America is the worst in that we can applaud a company spending hundreds of millions of dollars to place sexually charged ads to sell some product during the Superbowl, but the site of a woman breastfeeding in public is indecent. It's another issue that shouldn't be in a society that has far too many issues that shouldn't be. It's tiresome.

Oh Damn! - Pixlr - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

A sign of the times for sure. I played with this image a bit to test an idea based on the incredible "HOPE" marketing campaign of President Obama compared to the feelings of many about Donald Trump. I didn't put a lot of time into this but I may revisit and really push the idea later.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Love Trumps Hate, Because we could all use a little love after that debacle of an election - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This is a feel good piece. Plain and simple. As the protesting continues and total dysfunction and dumbassery are imminent once Trump officially takes office, the feeling of impending doom is hard to escape. Was I surprised Trump won? No. Even though millions of people believe Trump should have lost because he's...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Silence - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This is to illustrate the mainstream reaction to various tragedies, lies, contradictions, fear, isms, phobias, religious dogma and general hatred occurring in the current era. The idea being, "if we don't talk about them or acknowledge them, they'll go away. Because that worked incredibly well in the past. 

Président Trump says "Hi!"

Or, this is an image of a vampire that's about the snack on some poor schmuck that got caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. Take your pick. It's pretty much one and the same to me with the same result. You're screwed. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fear is Freedom! Subjugation is Liberation! Contradiction is Truth! Final - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Just in time for the election. This is for a project I've been working on for a few weeks now. Although the header says it's final, it's not quite because there is another component to this that I can't show until the project is complete. This piece asks the question, "What is freedom?" Define, "freedom." As many of us are going to the polls in a few short hours, this is a question that has become harder for me to address as time passes. Many believe that freedom is money. Plain and simple. The ability to have the monetary resources to live a life of  gross excess. The ability to do anything or nothing at all. There is a point to that perspective. But is it really freedom?  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Photo Testing Take #2 - Stock Android 7.1 Camera app - Pixel XL with LG V20 comparisons

For this series, I waited until dusk and walked to one of my favorite places to shoot and compare the photos with Nexus 6P and Nexus 5 shoots from months gone by. Lower light performance on the Pixel XL is really good but I'd like to test that again soon under more extreme lighting conditions. The Pixel XL produced excellent shots all day. Great color reproduction, high levels of detail, more clarity, little to no noise that's common with other devices. When I run these tests, they're not simply for taking photos. The tests are also a means of testing a particular device in a real world test out in the wilds. What that means is I started early in the day with a 100% charged Pixel XL, synced to my Android Wear device and use it heavily all day, playing music, answering calls, sending text messages, performing various searches, using Google Assistant (which rocks hard) and checking email...while taking photos (4:3 ratio at 12.3 MP and 16:9 widescreen at 8.3 MP) and shooting videos (4K/30 with stabilization on) at the same time.  I also shot 240 FPS slow motion video without problems with playback. On the Nexus 6P, this function was broken. I'll test it further soon to be certain but initial tests produced great results. This is all to test the stability of the OS, in this case, Android 7.1 Nougat as well as to test the battery.
The Pixel XL performed beautifully. This is what you get with a premium device that's built from the ground up by the parent company as Google takes a page from Apple's playbook. More after the jump!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Photo testing - Stock Android 7.1 Camera App - Pixel XL

Meaty Nom Noms - I finally got a chance to go out and test the Pixel XL's camera today. I've explored every other aspect of the phone over the last week or so with the camera being the last bit left. It didn't disappoint at all and I even had the opportunity to pit it against the LGV20. I started the day with an easy series of tests. I took a trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences because they have really cool stuff there, the people are nice and the kids are generally fun. Since the subjects are static, it allowed me to set up shots easily. No filters were used, no trickery, no hacks or gimmicks. Just the Pixel XL camera using the stock Android 7.1 camera app and the settings within it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"You're gonna get it!" - Rebelle - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

"Bad Hair Beauty"  11/02/2016 - This is a portrait of Z a friend that sent me a photo of her hair completely unlocked/untwisted. When locked her hair was as long if not longer than my own (my locks fall to my waist). Z's sense of humor is hilarious and the expression on her face in the photo was priceless. I had to paint it as she would make a fantastic comicbook character. Her spirit comes through in the photo and is one of the details that drew me to her long ago. This project was completed using the latest version of Rebelle (which updated again to 1.5.2) and then adding the hearts and caption using Clip Studio EX (upgraded from Clip Studio Paint Pro 5). Eventually I'll use something other than pencils and watercolor for these Rebelle projects but the watercolors in the application are so damn impressive that it's hard to work with anything else.