Evil geniuses and world domination are 2 of our goals... we also like Dr Who

Project:Snail Tales update

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For those of you in the know, for the past couple of years I have been working on an animated short film. It’s a long process to make a short animation and with lots of assets to keep track of. I use a production chart to keep tabs on everything. here is a snapshot of the production chart as it stands:

Now the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that it’s a spreadsheet In the past I have tutted and rolled my eyes when people have complained that when they use a spreadsheet to catalog their DVD collection, they couldn’t per pixel scroll, it would snap to the nearest cell.  And then a patiently explain that a spreadsheet is not designed to catalog a collection of DVD’s, A spreadsheet is really good a totaling columns of numbers and/or applying formulae on them. A DVD catalog is best done with a database.

Yes I know I should use a Database to store the production chart. It is a more effective way to store this information. Each scene is a record that can have a series of fields applied to them. we could poll the database for complete scenes and get an accurate percentage of how much of the film is animated or rendered  or needs work(etc)

thing is I am, to my own surprise, a little bit old school. I learnt to breakdown sound using a mixing desk, and large sheets of paper, jogging through soundtracks, listening for the pops and whistles and decoding them into the phonemes that made up the characters speech. and this is a digital equivalent of the old school way of creating a production chart – It’s a digital analogue of an Analogue er.. analogue

today , kids examine wave forms or use software tools to provide easier breakdowns, and whilst I like them and do use them a fair bit, sometimes , I think that younger animators, fresh into the field, are lacking some of these old school skills.

part of my old school curmudgeon-ness is the creation of dope sheets and production charts. there was something exciting about transferring your sound breakdown to a dopesheet ready to animate, it was a prelude to the storm of creation that leads to the initial pencil tests. I loved the way the Production charts would fill up with checks and notes becoming more full as the deadline approached.

working on this project has been great fun. the biggest problem has been scheduling the time to make the animation and learning to use the software. Part of that has been learning some of the limitations of the software and the creation of new software tools to allow me to work with the software the way I want to work with it. I was using synfig stage last night and it struck me I have talked a lot about it at Oggcamp and other tech shows without really showing it. I started using it and it worked straight away (more or less) and so showing it working didn’t feel important because it actually was working. I suppose I should make a video demonstrating the tool and the problem it solves.

Priority though is on the film. Right now with about 16  scenes left to animate there’s a definite feeling its starting to come together as a film and part of me will be glad to get it finished, to move on to the next thing. part of me also misses my old school beginnings.  and I hope maybe one day in the future, I will do a proper old school 2D short using an actual pencil on real paper.


We have a reader!

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That’s right – you read that right… We


I received an email from a reader –

Hi Mike,

I got an issue with my bought on O’Reilly books’ reading in Amazon Cloud Reader.
When I was searching Google for solution I found your post on “http://titaniumbunker.com/?p=2707”.

I read your discussion with Amazon support team and carefully tried to apply their suggestion. As result I could load “*.azw” books to the app “Amazon reader for PC” that were bought outside the Kindle store as a MOBI format.

Sorry for this email. But if this info is still interesting for you, I made following steps to have a possibility to read the books:
1. I bought the books in MOBI format named “ng-book-25.mobi”.
2. I sent the book in MOBI format to my Kindle email. As result the book named “ng-book-25.azw” appeared in my Amazone Cloud Drive.
3. I Downloaded “ng-book-25.azw” from Amazone Cloud Drive to hard disk of computer.
4. I installed “Amazon reader for PC” and set the folder for local content in its menu “Tools | Options | Content” to my special local folder “D:\Documents\My Kindle Content”
5. I put downloaded “ng-book-25.azw” book to this folder and reopened the app.
6. The book appeared in the “Downloaded items…” root of the reader and available for reading.
7. I think you may put any other supported books’ formats directly into this folder as well.

Regarding Amazon Cloud Reader, it is possible to hold there only the books bought in Kindle Store. In this case such a book appears in Amazon Cloud Reader automatically.

Best regards,
Denis Levushkin

Wow – A real live human has read our (or part of) our blog.

I responded to Denis – and his comments are correct – you can upload a book from O’Reilly and get it into your kindle library, and into Amazon Reader for PC, and I have managed to get that to work.  So his instructions are 100% correct.  As a bonus, you can link your O’Reilly and kindle accounts, and get O’Reilly to send newly bought books directly into your Kindle Library.


Message from the Brig

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Well I’m writing this from the Titanium Bunker brig.  Conditions here are terrible wonderful, and I couldn’t be happier.  There’s practically no signal an opportunity for me to relax in wonderful surroundings and they only have strawberry Ice cream, and that’s like my 3rd favourite ice cream have a wonderful menu for me to try.  The security bods geniuses weren’t too happy that I was able to defeat the access control systems using a paperclip and some duct tape have been wonderful in working with me to see the error of my choices, and to further improve the access security controls.

Anyway I’ll write some more if I get chance, but I worry that my communications will be censored by the security team and I have no concerns that my communications are in anyway monitored of censored.



Busted – Update

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Titanium Bunker Incident Report Form

Oh I’ve got you Mike… Bang to rights!

I filled in the paperwork today to record the recent security ‘incident’.  I’m not a vindictive man however, and I therefore I don’t intend to apply for the death penalty. 😉


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so I was reading about last weekends sci fi weekender over  on the daily post  panel1   about halfway down the article there was a slideshow about the weekend. so I clicked it. After all I love a Cosplayer

panel2looking at image 3 there struck me as something not quite right….

panel3…Lets zoom in a bit shall we?

panel4OMG! it’s Mike, Rachel and the future Mr & Mrs Byrne! and mike said he was at a .net conference!

It’s obvious mike went AWOL from the bunker. Don’t worry TitaniumBunker security has been informed.