solarbird: (music)

Okay, so people who have been out of the loop, Livejournal has gone through another purchase/”merger.” I know, I know, “Livejournal? Really? That’s still alive?” And you have a very good point.

But honestly this new ownership is the most responsive I’ve seen since Brad sold the place. They’ve been asking users what they want, they’ve put back in subject lines in comments, they’ve made all sorts of changes that people actually seem to want made.

Including, in response specifically to me, long-overdue resumption of support for Bandcamp embeds. That used to work, and stopped working, about three years ago? Whenever Bandcamp went to iframes for their players. Previous ownership didn’t answer questions about it. Current support just said ‘Okay!’ and “bandcamp embedding should work now!”

O.o

Which is the entire point of this post. Let’s see if this works, shall we?

eta: oh my gods it works. This hasn’t worked in three years. SEE HOW WE STOMP FOR… Livejournal?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Lecturing)

Hooo, that was a lot of fun! Thanks to the Dread Captain Marcos, our guest villain last night, and Jeri Lynn Cornish, our hostage du jour, and most of all, The Cosmic Ray Show for having us all on!

The show is already archived, by the way. Click on the link above and you’ll find it. We’re the final guests, so about 15 minutes before the end of the show, if you want to skip ahead. Or if you’re into space exploration – like Curiosity Rover and all that? Watch the whole show.

I haven’t talked much about DIY day lately, but setting up for this appearance gave me a great chance to use my art degree in a set-lighting environment, and it’s led to a DIY opportunity!

Here are two pictures. One is four days ago; the other was today. The physical setup of the room is unchanged – the angle of the camera is a little different, but not that much.


Basic front lighting


Improved front lighting

According to everyone who has seen both today, the bottom shot is better; I of course agree. It has more depth to it – it’s less flat, more 3D – there’s better presence, and what you can’t see here is that performers pop off that second backdrop WAY better – there’s no fading into the background here.

What do you think the difference is? If you guessed less light, that’s not it. If you guess a lot more light, actually, that’s not it either. Total lighting amount is unchanged; no fixtures were replaced. Camera settings? Also unchanged.

Two things are different. One, I have a glare shield around the webcam. I made it with white cardstock. It keeps ambient light from the side of the camera from affecting the image, and by doing so, boosts contrast:


The 5¢ Anti-Glare Shield

The second is that I warmed the light in the foreground by putting sheets of gold paper behind the light sources, and specifically cooled the light in the background by putting sheets of blue paper behind those light sources, all off camera. The primary line-of-light is not tinted at all, but the first and brightest sets of reflected light is all warmer (in front) or cooler (in back). This also increases visual contrast.

Just as importantly, this also creates an optic architectural layer; it divides the space into two spaces, a bit, in your brain, which makes the more distance space be processed as further away in your head. This is how architectural layering works in physical objects, too; a small room can be made to feel larger by putting a divider into it, one that you can see around – say, a stub wall coming down from the ceiling, or a bar, or an archway. Your brain will see two spaces instead of one; it will treat the second as further away, making the whole stage feels larger.

And since there’s actually more light, the people in front (once there) really pop forward. Again; bright foreground, darker background, more depth.

It still doesn’t look like a huge environment, but it looks a lot less cramped, and gave the video compression software a better chance not to do horrible things. Having looked at the stream a bit, compression still did some weird things, but the result is far better than tests we ran against the original lighting setup. The lighting shift didn’t change the visual world of the shot; it improved it, in subtle but meaningful ways.

And that’s basically just 12 sheets of creatively-placed coloured paper. Lighting is fun!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Tonight’s the night for The Cosmic Ray Show and our guest appearance! I hope you can make it. 8pm Cascadian/Pacific, 11pm Eastern. I’ll be dragging along a couple of hostages as backup chorus, too, which I need to do much more often.

I was doing some testing last night and my shiny new hidef webcam? It’s a Logitech, and seems pretty cool so far. Except Google+ DISABLES IT INTENTIONALLY ON STARTUP. Along with all other Logitech webcams on OS X. They say in their FAQ that it’s just on 10.6.7 and earlier, but I have a later version of the OS than that, and they’re doing it here, too. I just want to punch them.

(Seriously, I have to unplug it and plug it back in. I can’t even turn it back on unless I do. I don’t know what the hell they’re doing to it.)

So, yeah, mmmmm standard definition, because Google Hates Macs And Also Logitech. I get the former, given the whole Maps kerfluffle, but not the latter. OH WELL.


But if anybody knows a workaround, fill me in.

See you tonight!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

So in awesome news of awesomeness, I’ve been offered and have accepted a spot as musical guest on an upcoming live episode of The Cosmic Ray Show. The official website is here. I’m appearing with people who have actually, you know, done things – Discovery space columnist Amy Shira Teitel, Ryan Kobrick from Yuri’s Night, NASA/JPL engineer Matthew Robinson – so I need to get my shit together! XD


Does this thing have production codes? It should have production codes.

It’ll be livestreamed a few places, most notably YouTube, starting at 8pm Cascadian/Pacific, 11pm Eastern Standard, and a kind of problematic 12:30am Newfoundland (sorry! But that’s live web series for you). I’m in the closing segment.

So, tune in, if you can! And tell people. They already have a pretty good chunk of audience, but I would like to bring in a bit more.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (Default)
I've set up a bandcamp site! It works omg! You can stream for listening! You can download tracks! You can even embed stuff!


I've set it so anybody can embed the 128k mp3 - that's the code you get when you click on the "share" button on the Bandcamp page.

I seem to have a lot of unique tags which is MISSING THE WHOLE GODDAMN POINT so I need better tags. Suggestions?

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