28 11/09

Star Wars in a notebook

Tags: , , , | Categories: digital media, DIY

fan productions can appeared in different ways, sometimes these productions are completely independent and others are encouraged by the owners of a particular media commodity, nevertheless, often, fan productions kindly expand the fictional world of a media product by appropriation of its narrative.

Fans are all around the world and it is usual to find contests of fan media productions held by the mass media companies with participants from different countries. Lucas Films and Atoms Films support a yearly Star Wars fan video competition with different categories and prizes, it is called Star Wars Challenge. In the 2009 competition, for the first time a Latin American won in a category. The winner in the category of Best Animated Movie was Óscar Triana, a Colombian animator.

Star Wars in a Notebook has a hand-draw, and cut and paste style. And in spite of its neat animation it keeps the DIY visual style of fan video productions. It was reported by UN Periodico at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (in Spanish). And below you can enjoy this 3 minutes animation piece.

Here can also be watched the winners of each category as well as the firsts nominated for the 2010 competition.

23 11/09

Machinima has hit Manizales

last month I guided a seminar about Machinima in the master programme in interactive design and creation at the Universidad de Caldas in Manizales, Colombia. It was a pleasure to me to be there exchanging and sharing ideas about DIY, popular culture, and the moving image.

In the seminar a small group of master’s students got engaged in an intensive three days study about machinima. We discussed concepts such as hybrid media, real-time, and DIY. Finally, they produced what can be called, as far as I’m informed, the first machinima pieces in a university in Colombia. Their results vary from sound works to mashups of popular songs. These works can be read and watched here: third cohort and second cohort.

and here:

11 11/09

I’m using Linux

since two months I’m using a linux distribution in my hp pavillion ze5300, it is OpenSUSE 11.1.

I tried several years ago with Lycoris, but it didn’t work out. Now I have a dual system computer with OpenSUSE in one partition as default OS and Microsoft Windows in another partition while I do a complete transition. The installation took 30 minutes and it was easier and simpler as I initially thought.

Right now, I’m using most of the times Linux. My activities include, surf in and communicate via internet (firefox, skype); process documents, spreadsheets, and presentations (openoffice); work with pictures, photos, and images (gimp); download photos from my digital camera; write sketches in processing; listen to music and watch movies (vlc); and finally to keep update my blog (wordpress), and my gallery of pictures. It might be most of my time in front of my computer.

I work as designer and I’ve to acknowledge that some applications are behind the mainstream and standards imposed by firms as for instance Adobe, nevertheless with a little bit of time, patience and creativity to teak; I’ve discover that I can produce pieces of a good quality in software like: InkScape or Scribus.

So far I’ve had some annoyances with my wireless card and some video projectors, but my machine is quite old and I guess the newer the distro the easier to find adequate drivers and firmware for Linux distributions.

The curve of learning for somebody with no experience in configuring an OS is low (two weeks to one month) as many things work automatically, for instance on-line updates through YaST or software installation. If this is not enough, I’ve found in forums a large community of people always ready to help :). The system is very very stable and reliable. Before I had very few problems, including some annoying viruses, with Windows XP.

I went into Linux because of my conviction about the freedom we have to have in choosing, changing and distributing digital objects under the GNU/GPL and Creative Commons licences, we cannot continue being segmented and restricted by software companies without having access to the source codes of what actually builds our digital environment and without the freedom to share these digital objects. OpenSUSE is distributed under the GNU licence.