BogusRed's Sketchblog

Random musings from the PaperDemon admin.

This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer. This site is not associated with Google, Inc.

Modding updates, workin' on ST

Posted by BogusRed

My "Project Time" is working out really well so far. I have drafted storyboards for the first two scenes in Surviving Together and started the third. There are a total of 4 scenes. I'm finding it quite difficult to storyboard. It's difficult to imagine characters in a setting, decide on camera angles, and have it all make sense. I'm also trying to reuse shots whenever possible to save time in the animation stage. Also I'm trying to avoid showing any characters walking because that's difficult to animate. I want to get this first episode done. Then I can work on more challenging animation shots. Right now I'm being as conservative as possible. Once I have the boards together I'll scan them all in and create an animatic to share with a few people to give me feedback. More updates to come.

I've spent some considerable time the past couple weeks reworking the tools the Moderators use at PaperDemon. We've been short staffed as of late and there have been a lot of submissions coming in. I figure if I can improve the tools to make it easier to mod and have it take less time, we can get more done with less staff. The tool uses a lot of nifty AJAX. I just learned XML and XSLT at a 1 day class at work and am trying to put it to good use. I have a php script that generates the XML file and an XSLT style sheet that states how the file should be formed. Then I use Sarissa to submit post data of my form, get the xml back from php, and then apply the style sheet to the data.

So far the only problem I've run into that I can't solve is that it doesn't work for some reason in IE 6. I haven't tried it on 7 yet. Sarissa has trouble applying the XSLT on the XML for some reason. It  doesn't make any sense because if I access the XML file directly and put in a line in there to use my XSLT file it outputs the formatted HTML correctly without any errors. Is this a problem with Sarissa? I tried searching the net but haven't found a solution yet. Works just fine in Firefox.

Project Time

Posted by BogusRed

I recently posted an update on PD Media explaining the recent troubles with the team and status updates for the projects. The new anime spoof show is on hold. But I'm going to go ahead and start working on Surviving Together again. One trouble that I have is that I have a lot of time in the evenings but I don't use it effectively on my projects. I end up watching a lot of tv or hanging out with my boyfriend. So I've devised a solution. Certain nights of the week will be designated as "project time" and I'll work whether I want to or not. Because if I force myself, five minutes into it I'll be engrossed in my work. It's always been the 'getting started' part that keeps me from being productive.

So tonight I'm working. And I'm starting off with this blog post to get me pumped!

After I post this entry I'm going to get into working on the storyboards for Episode 1 of Surviving Together., geek alert
I've done some significant improvements on the moderator tools for PD. I took a class at work on XSLT and XML and I'm putting those skills to use in the new mod tools making things ajax powered and stuff. It's coming along nicely. I will continue to improve the mod tools over the next couple months. XSLT is pretty sweet. I really like the idea of separating the data from the control of the layout. There's just one thing that bugs me about XML though. Why on earth would you make the XML file decide which XSLT sheet to use? It makes no sense. I think the XSLT file should decide which XML file to use instead. The whole point is to be able to manipulate the same data in a variety of ways. But if you make the XML file declare which XSLT sheet is used, it means you have to duplicate the xml file in order to use the same data with different xslt sheets. Which defeats the whole purpose.
But I did figure out that you can use PHP and even Sarissa, an AJAX library for Javascript, to apply an XSLT file to an XML file on the fly. So that way I can keep things truly separate and flexible.

Turns out that applying xslt via the browser is not fully compatible with all browsers so I've switched to having PHP apply the xsl to xml. It's faster this way anyway. I'm also migrating from Sarissa to jquery for AJAX interaction.

Link Costume
D-Day happened at SJSU a couple weeks ago. I don't have too many pictures yet but when I get them I'll post them. I finished a lot of what I needed to. Boots and wig are done. I started the gauntlet but its looking too small. May need to remake it. So all I plan to get done before Fanime is the gauntlet and the sheath covering for my sword. Chainmail is taking much longer than expected. I do have two sets that could be put along the rim of the tunic but it's too heavy for the tunic to hold and looks stupid. I'll either need to make a complete top half of the chainmail shirt or buy lighter rings. Anyway, I'll save it for next Halloween.

Plans for
The design is getting stale. I plan to redo the site template and put some more content on it. I'll tap into the PD database and display my artwork from there over on I also want to integrate some feed content. Particularly my shared content from Google Reader.