The HDMI switch I ordered arrived yesterday and I hooked it up tonight to make sure it works, and it does! It’s got 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out plus one 3.5mm audio output to connect speakers. Now I can use my spare monitor, with a single HDMI por, to connect a Roku Streaming Stick for movies & TV, my Raspberry Pi computer running Retropie to play old school video games, and use it as the viewfinder on my DSLR camera when I record myself drawing. Now I gotta figure out how to neatly mount everything so it’s not on top of the desk but on the rig instead.
I’m making it sound a lot cooler than it really is but I went on a 6 mile hike this afternoon and covered new trails, bringing me a tiny bit closer to completing the whole park. I saw a few animal bones, large moss covered rocks, a fallen tree obstructing a bike trail, a tree that looks like it belongs on a motivational poster, the ass-end of huge grasshopper or something and views of Lick Observatory & the valley below from the top of the Yerba Buena Trail. When I left the park I drove further up Mount Hamilton Road to check out the Twin Gates parking lot & trail head and the Smith Creek Fire Station. On the way I up a saw a coyote eating a dead snake on the side of the road (see video) then again posing for sunset photos on my way back down.
Mira, mira! I printed the names in 5 different sizes and cut them out to see how they look. They look great! I’ll probably skip the smallest size since it’s not much different than the next size up. Besides that, they’re about ready to print on adhesive vinyl sheets and get turned into stickers.
I have a 27” monitor that was given to me a few month ago that I finally want to put use. I want to use it in 3 different ways: 1 - Connected to the DSLR that’s mounted overhead on my rig so I can see what the camera sees while I record myself drawing. 2 - To watch movies & shows via a streaming device. 3 - A monitor for a Raspberry Pi computer running a retro video game emulator as well as regular computer capabilities. I thought it’d be a simple task but the monitor only has one HDMI port and no speakers or audio-out ports. I haven’t tried connecting my camera because I need a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable, which I don’t have. I connected my Raspberry Pi but needed speakers so I went to the store and bought a set. When I came back I played a couple games for a while after connecting the speakers to the computer. Afterwards I swapped the Pi for an old Roku Streaming Stick but gave up when I realized there’s no way of getting audio from it without buying a separate piece of hardware. So now I’m looking at HDMI switches that also export audio to get it all to work. The shit never ends.
I finished editing the Hail Santa video tonight. I ran into some issues and learned a few things while working on it. First off, the DSLR camera (overhead) stopped recording and I had to start it up again. There was a notice on the display saying it stopped recording. Luckily I caught it after a few seconds. After Googling it, I learned that I need a faster SD card. My current card is too slow and can't keep up with the camera as it records video. The other option was to record at a lower resolution but I ordered a new card instead. After importing the DSLR and iPhone footage (side angle) into iMovie I learned the two videos didn't sync up. It took me a while to figure out that one video was slightly faster than the other. That shouldn't happen. My guess is that the slow SD card is the culprit. After doing my best to sync the two videos and cutting the hell out of it, I sped up the video from 18 minutes down to 40 seconds. I want to keep my videos short since most people on social media have little or no attention spans. But after speeding it up I realized the quick cuts don't look good at such high speed. I might export a version that's a little longer so the edits aren't as jarring. Either way, next time I edit, I need to mindful of the original video length and how much I need to speed it up.
It was today. Saturday. I went on an early morning hike with my buddies and I was running on 3 hours of sleep so I when I came home I ate lunch and took a nap for a few hours. At night I started editing the videos I took of my Hail Santa drawing and realized I should have started earlier because it's going to take me hours to finish and it's almost 2:00 AM. The video will have to wait. I'm going to bed and watching some TV before going nigh-nigh.
I drew the Thank You card pictured below a few weeks ago for a cool gal named Lulu. She bought herself one of my t-shirts, and her mom really liked it, so she bought second one today. I drew her a second Thank You card (not pictured) and it's this dude's twin brother. I recorded myself drawing it using two cameras. I'd stay up and edit the footage but it's already 4:00 AM so it'll have to wait.
I started experimenting with multiple camera angles tonight. I used my DSLR, iPhone and a GoPro to record myself drawing. The first thing I realized after finishing was that I forgot to turn on my fill light. After importing the footage from all 3 cameras to my laptop I soon learned that iMovie only lets you work with two video tracks. I scrapped the GoPro footage and went with the iPhone and DSLR recordings. After messing around with the iMovie I put together the video below.
I recently bought prints from local artist homie, Eddie Ramirez, and the package arrived today. My drawing desk was the only available space that wasn’t cluttered so I opened it there and took advantage of the mounted camera & lights by filming an unboxing video. I think unboxing videos are lame in general but I thought, “what the heck?” I need to get more use out of my rig and was planning on sharing pictures of Eddie’s prints on Instagram anyways. Two birds, one stone. The three prints are of local San Jose retail store signs that have been around for as long as I remember.
Check out Eddie’s work at eddieramirezart.com and on Instagram @eddieramirezish
Today I finally finished hiking every trail at Alum Rock Park, and as an added bonus, walked down a steep dilapidated old road that’s not on the map. Next on the agenda is to hike the Open Space Authority trails. (Green lines on the map below) I hiked a little bit of the Boccardo Loop Trail yesterday and fell in love with it.
I got 2 orders ready to go out! One to be delivered tomorrow via The Frankie Mcfly Express (that's what I call it when I drop it off myself) and the other via the USPS on Monday. I also edited a short video with a crawling banner to promote my sale going on till December 25, 2020. Use the coupon code: IGOT5ONIT at checkout and get $5 off each t-shirt.
I recorded myself doing a quick drawing using a GoPro Hero 3+ that I'm borrowing from a friend. I'm still waiting on parts to mount my DSLR overhead so I figured I'd test a different camera while I wait. The GoPro has three Fields of View and I used Narrow in this video because I didn't want to distort the image. The downfall is that I can't fit the entire page on the screen. After recording myself draw I edited the video in iMovie to speed it up (from 10 minutes to 30 seconds) and added some transitions, titles, & stock music.
The rig is slowly coming together. The big stand made of metal pipe is to mount my camera onto. I got a DSLR camera that I bought years ago, and never used, that I want to use that to record myself drawing from overhead. I bought a clamp-on arm but the camera is too heavy. I’m either gonna return the clamp or use it with the GoPro I’m borrowing or my cellphone and maybe shoot from multiple angles. I also got some new light fixtures and bulbs. Next, I still gotta figure out a solution to securely mount my big camera to the stand, learn how to use the camera, and hang a 4’ fluorescent light fixture above the desk for more light. In the end I just wanna record fun videos and upload them online.
These past few days I've been trying to come up with a solution for recording myself draw. I have a DSLR camera that I want to record with but need to mount it on over my desk. I'm leaning towards building rig from steel pipe and buying new lights. Tonight I did trial recording using my phone and gooseneck phone mount clamped to my desk. My phone ran out of storage before I finished my drawing but I got a much better idea of what I want to accomplish.
Incase you missed it... a fly landed in Vice President Mike Pence's hair during the vice presidential debate tonight. It hung out for a little while and the vice president didn't even notice it. Instantly, all the social media platforms lit up with "flies on shit" jokes & memes. Kamala Harris is lucky it didn't land on her head too.
I watched the presidential debate. It was a shit show but these Snapchat filters made it a little better.
Today I made a screen recording of how to view the SCU Lightning Complex affected areas and evacuation maps after a couple friends on Instagram mentioned how the maps I've been uploading have been helpful. Processing all the information about these fires has been confusing so I'm happy to share what I've learned. At night I made eggplant parmesan after the temperature cooled down and the air cleared up enough to open windows and fire up the oven. This recipe skips breading & frying the eggplant, to cut back on calories, but is still delicious. I'm having leftovers for breakfast, lunch & dinner tomorrow.
Today I bought a one-year subscription to Skillshare Premium. Skillshare.com is website with a bunch of online courses on all a bunch of different subjects. I heard about it when one of my favorite graphic designers, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co., shared on his Instagram (@draplin) that he released a new course. He's taught 6 of them. Tonight I watched his 2-hour course on improving your Adobe Illustrator workflow and it alone is worth the $59 I paid for the whole year.
I went on a 2 hour hike at Alum Rock Park today and snapped a few pics along the way. It got dark on the way back and I came across a wild/feral cat, a little bigger than a large house cat, in the middle of the trail. It climbed up a hill and watched me from above as a I walked past. You can see it walk off the trail at the beginning of the video below.
It's been 4th of July for about a month in East San Jose. That's how long people have been lighting illegal fireworks. It wasn't even the ones that light up, just loud AF and setting off car alarms. Tonight they lit up everything. It was crazier than years before. I stayed home in the backyard listening to the police scanner and ready with the hose in case there was a fire. I'm getting old.
As I've been SIP'n for the past few weeks, after protests and DJing a gig, I've been working out less frequently. Today I went to Lake Cunningham to walk a couple laps (4.09 miles.) I had been exercising 4 days a week in April & May but have only gone out a total of 4 times in June. It's time to get back on the horse and drop some more lbs.
I decided to go last minute to the NAACP "die-in" at San Jose city hall today. I designed a BLACK LIVES MATTER graphic and rushed to transfer it onto an old canvas I recently painted black. I only had time to draw the outlines before I hit the road. There was a ton of people outside city hall when I arrived and a bunch more kept coming. I couldn't hear what was being said over the PA but when it was time to do the die-in, most people took a knee or sat down. I don't think there was enough room for everyone to lay down flat. While everyone was down it was really quiet. I took a video and you mostly hear the sound of the crosswalk signal and the construction across the street. It didn't last long, maybe 5-10 minutes? I thought we were gonna lay down for two hours. Afterwards I met with my cousin and her husband who just arrived then we were off on a march heading towards 1st street and taking a right. I didn't know the march was on the agenda or where we were going. I found out we were heading to the police station right before we arrived. I was nervous since I arrived downtown but now I was a little scared. I've been arrested twice (story for another day) and I don't even like driving near there. When we got close we could see police on the overpass ahead. The crowd turned down another street and soon we were there. We took a knee, chanted, and as a group said Happy Birthday for Breonna Taylor, outside the police station. We weren't there long. The crowd turned around and we headed back the way we came. When we got back to Santa Clara street my cousin & her husband went home and I went to Pizza Flora to grab a beer. I finished it then walked back to city hall. On the way there I saw a guy wearing one of my black & blue SAN JOSE t-shirts. I saw him again later outside of city hall, he said he had to wear it out today and I told him he made my day.
In the two videos below, the top one was during the "die-in" at city hall, the bottom one is everyone taking a knee outside the San Jose police station. Everything was peaceful the whole time I was there and I really hope it statyed that way.
I inked a few more eyes and a mouth today and drew a spider preparing to eat a fly after witnessing it in real life. True story, bro...