Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Free App for Time-Lapse/Split Screen Video, and How To Donate A Buck To Earn Instant Karma

Just yesterday I reviewed Chris Wahl's wonderful illustrating blog along with two other "inside the artist's studio" webspaces. After praising him for posting video of his computer screen during a sketching session, I mentioned that "someday" someone would be able to easily pair two camera images without any hassle so an artist could show us their hands at work on keyboard and tablet as well as the screen view. Today I came across Phil Piwonka's Mac-app Gawker, which does just that and much more - its primary purpose is to enable the easy creation of time-lapse video. [Addendum, 7/15/06: Piwonka has a Gawker-centric blog - which I somehow missed the first time around - and is now accepting donations via PayPal. Since I haven't had any takers for my own pay-it-forward project (see below), I hope he has better luck!]

I'm out of town to present a teacher training workshop and am using a work-provided PC, so I haven't had a chance to play with this yet. But it looks like there are multiple replay speeds to choose from, making this an ideal (and free) application for science-class data collection. The last You Tube video I posted here seemed to precipitate a couple of early posts' untimely retirement into the archives, and the examples provided are far less interesting than what your students will think up.

If I had $70, I'd buy Chris Wahl a webcam so he could do this. In fact, I'd buy him the webcam at left, the Logitech Quick-Cam Pro 4000, highly rated by Epinions users.

What if we leveraged the Power Of The Internet to make this happen?

If you're a fan of Chris' work or of any young artist who benefits from people like him taking the time to make their skills available to aspiring illustrators, consider a donation today using the link below. I will personally buy Chris the webcam and have it shipped to his home in Sydney, Australia, and will refund anyone who donates after we've already reached our goal (did I mention I'm an optimist?). If we don't reach the price + shipping, I'll still pass on what readers have ponied up so he can start his own webcam fund, and if we get close I'll finish the job myself.

This is not a joke, and I do not know and have never met Chris Wahl. I'm not even that into comics - to be honest, I haven't been much of a collector of anything since my pre-teen years when a sizeable investment in Gregg Jeffries baseball cards left me high and dry back in the late '80s. Click the above link to help send a webcam to a very surprised comic book artist in Australia who is reaching out to young illustrators! (Just don't tell him yet, you'll spoil the surprise.) You don't have to have a Paypal account to send a donation.

While I'm PC-bound, I'll be taking the PowerPoint 2007 beta for a test drive, along with logging some novel-writing time. Stay tuned for a report on the former; for the latter, we'll all have to wait a bit. [Addendum, 7/15/06: You can do this yourself, thanks to Microsoft's excellent new online test drive, a great intermediate step for those willing to play with a beta version and those who just want to know a little about the software.]

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