A Look at The iPad2:

Apple iPad2 - In Black and White.

Apple iPad2 - in Black and White. Thinner. Lighter. Faster. FaceTime. Smart Covers. 10 Hour Battery. Original Image: Apple

Been A little while, I’ve been working, and that’s a good thing if you’re a self-employed designer. I also broke my ankle back in August while camping, so been recovering. So blogging a slightly lower priority lately, but here I am again.

I had occasion to be out and about and took the opportunity to visit my local Apple store and take a look at the just released iPad2 for my local Apple User Group. Just like it’s predecessor, it’s a very appealing little slab of electric crack. It’s also a more appealing experience than the original iPad. Apparently, a lot of people think so too, since Apple seems to have sold close to a million of the things in the first weekend of availability, selling out at most locations.

When Apple released the original iPad, they were diving out into uncharted territory. As of last year, no one had gotten a tablet computer out there that captured the public imagination till they completely redesigned the interface. Their success with the iPhone, turning the smartphone market in it’s side, suggested they were on to something. But it wasn’t till the first year of iPad, that the realized that they had something quite amazing on their hands. People are doing things with the iPad that Apple never expected. Continue reading

Video Odyssey

Image size, Standard NTSC vs Broadcast 1080i High Definition - Image from RDP Video Productions

Image size, Standard NTSC vs Broadcast 1080i High Definition Image source: RDP Video Productions

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been busy. Being booked solid is a good thing for a freelancer. Being booked solid while having a number of real life issues… not as comfortable, but comes with the territory of home and family. Being booked solid and being paid somewhat indifferently. That is certainly… less good, but seems a function of the current uncertain economy. But that’s neither here nor there. I also promised a piece on data protection and backups and the like, but this is still fresh in the Studio. So hitting it while I can rant with good store of fierce.

A couple of months ago, one of my best and favorite clients approached me about a PowerPoint project that they were having some problems with. So I agreed to take a look at it. Some of the problems hinged on the destination of the presentation— a giant 40-inch plasma screen going into their freshly redesigned lobby. I did the specs on the actual LCD, and discovered that it’s native resolution was 1080i… yes, 1900 x 1080 pixels. Not huge by 300 dpi print standards. But HUMONGOUS at screen sizes. So I agreed to build the big graphics for the slides.

So far this is still straightforward. But was not destined to stay that way. The president of the company wanted some fairly upscale animation effects. And an animated title. So the project slipped into the Flash animation level. Recent versions of PowerPoint have the capability to display video on the slides, so I could export the Flash work to Quicktime or Flash Video files and embed them in the Flash Slides.

As things progressed. The client passed on another request. They want a scrolling type effect to run continuously at the bottom of the presentation, and have a picture-in-picture effect of CNN or something running in the bottom left corner of the screen.

This just became a Video Project.

Since it is going to an 1080i device, it has become a HIGH-DEFINITION Video Project. Continue reading

Credit Crisis – Awesome Flash Vid

While I take a moment from pushing a large, lengthy, lingering and LATE project out of the Studio, in my Live Journal  friends list is Scott McCloud, the well regarded Comic Artist who is the writer/artist of Zot, Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. He turned me on to this.

The Credit Crisis Visualized by Jonathan Davis


The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

“The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. This project was completed as part of my thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. For more on my broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world, visit my website here. or email me at: jonathan.jarvis@gmail.com

Visit The Crisis of Credit Visualized.

I sometimes (um… actually, routinely) rag on Flash, for being mostly used for the internet equivalent of dressing a whore as a Lady, essentially being …well…” flashy.” Mostly shiny objects and pretty lights, web 2.0 ooooh-shiny and little substance. It is also a very challenging application to master. Frustrating to both designers and programmers, as a development platforms that is decidedly schizophrenic, requiring both artistic and design skills on one hand and programmer and coding skills on the other hemisphere.

But this is possibly one of the best, and most useful uses of the application that I have ever seen. Aside from being graphically tight and beautiful, it also gives an overview of a complex, and lately emotional topic with amazing clarity. And furthermore it isn’t selling sneakers or dressing up another sketchy blockbuster film site, it’s providing useful social purpose!

“The Crisis of Credit Visualized distills the economic crisis into a short and simple story by giving it form. It is also argues that designers have the ability to see a complex situation, then turn around and communicate it to others. By giving graphic form to the credit crisis, it becomes comprehensible. Not only do economic activities take shape, but new relationships can emerge between these shapes.” – Jonathan Davis

If ever I pray to the gods, it’s to get to do work this good! **Applause**