Jan 11, 2012

How AMC's "The Walking Dead" Comes to Life

created at: 01/11/2012

I'm not a big zombie movie person. I like Night of the Living Dead, and that's about it. So I was surprised when I found myself really liking walking dead, a lot. One thing that hooked me was how well they pulled off shots of a post zombie-pocalypse Atlanta.

This is the demo reel from Stargate Studios, the company behind The Walking Dead effects, highlighting how they composite in graphics and animation to make The Walking Dead look so good. It's awesome, and it gives a good sense of how much time goes into making those shots.

The video is a little long, but try and stick with it at least to 1:28, when they show how they did the now

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Dec 01, 2011

Knitting Battle: Gnomes vs. Snowmen! A ManMade Exclusive Interview with Anna Hrachovec

created at: 11/28/2011I was out at the American Folk Art Museum in Lincoln Center a few weeks back for their Make It Thursday event, and I got the chance to see Anna Hrachovec speak. For those of you who don't know Anna's work, she's been knitting tiny toys for five years and runs the website Mochimochiland.com.
created at: 11/28/2011
She was at Make It Thursday talking about her most recent exhibition, Gnomes vs. Snowmen. I took the opportunity to swing by the exhibition, and to ask Anna a few questions.
1) Do you have any metrics on how much material you used for Gnomes vs. Snowmen? Feet of yarn, or number of yarn balls?
Let's see.. I used about 64 skeins of green and white yarn

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Sep 22, 2011

ManMaker Profile: Dennis de Groot, Graphic Designer Extraordinaire!

My wife and I were recently in Amsterdam. I know, I know, our lives are amazing. But that's not the focus of this story.


created at: 09/22/2011One evening we went to cozy little bar with some outdoor seating. While we were there, two guys sat down on the bench next to us, over looking a canal,like all seats in Amsterdam do.

created at: 09/22/2011

One of the guys, it turned out, worked in publishing. He'd just brought a print of his client's new book, "Bare Essentials", and was showing it to a friend.  

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Jul 20, 2011

How to: Build a Rustic Wooden Coffee Table (from Scratch!)

I know, I know. Your $20 Ikea coffee table is fine. But, the thing is, I'm old now. I just turned 32, and 32-year olds have beautifully crafted, handmade, coffee tables. I think it's something we're legally compelled to do. Look it up on Wikipedia.

created at: 07/20/2011

To start out our project, we needed some pretty wood to form the top and second shelf of the table. While at an antiques fair in Massachusetts, my lovely wife found three sets of wooden cigar rollers. Since they came in sets of two, we'd have three for the two levels of coffee table goodness.

created at: 07/20/2011

Next, we needed the rest of the crap to put it all together. It's best, when doing a build from

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Jun 24, 2011

5 Tips on how to make a short film

5 tips for making a DIY short film

Sorry I haven't written much in the last few weeks. I was doing a pilot for the New York Television Festival, and it ate all my time like Cookie Monster at the Keebler factory.

That said, I thought I might write a couple DIYs on different aspects of DIYing a pilot which, except for the script, is run the same way a short film is.

So I'll start with a really general overview by offering a few tips and tricks:

1. Start with a good script. Even if the script isn't amazing, make sure it's something you're interested in doing. You'll be putting time and money up, so you should be at least 80% on board with the writing. If you can't find a

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May 10, 2011

Death to All Humans! Robots Violating their Orders (Video)

created at: 05/10/2011

Popular culture is filled with killer robots, most famously The Terminator. Unpopular culture, science fiction novels, are filled with all sorts of robots.

Isaac Asimov, in his years of writing science fiction, wrote a lot about robots. He wrote so much about robots he ended up having a series of laws about how robots should and would function. They go a little something like this:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Not too bad. I would have put in a fourth law about robots needing to look super cool, and always have guns for arms, but what do I know? I will say this. So far, deep into the future years of the 2000s, i have not seen one frightening robot... until today.  

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Apr 20, 2011

Take The Test: Can You Hear Me Now?

How about now? No? What's wrong with you?

created at: 04/20/2011

Is it possible that I only speak on a frequency you can't hear? No. But it's likely that when you take this fun hearing test, there will be frequencies inaudible to you. And if you're over 25, it's cause you're old. Or cause you listen to a lot of music. 

"Here is a list of tones that go from 8Hz all the way up to 22,000Hz. It’s fairly common for people who are over 25 years of age to not be able to hear above 15kHz, so this will help you find out where your high frequency hearing cuts off.

Musicians have a much higher risk of hearing loss that most people do, and many of us don’t really wear

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Apr 14, 2011

Not Just for Playing With: Man Finds Therapy in Creating a G.I. Joe Alter Ego

created at: 04/14/2011

I really love a weird story behind an artist. Henry Darger was a near shut in while writing his 30,000 page book with illustrations.

created at: 04/14/2011

Martin Ramirez was institutionalized (possibly because he couldn't speak English) and spent every waking minute drawing on whatever materials he could find.

created at: 04/14/2011

Recently a friend clued me in to an artist named Mark Hogancamp.

Mark's story is bizarre. In 2000 Mark was attacked and beaten into a coma while leaving a bar. When he came out of the coma he had little memory of his former life, his marriage, or his rampant alcoholism. He found comfort and therapy through his art, an ongoing photo series telling

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Apr 05, 2011

Charlie Rose on Charlie Rose; the serpent swallows its tail

created at: 04/05/2011

Somebody somewhere asked a few very imporant questions about The Charlie Rose Show. The first was, "what if Samuel Beckett wrote a play about the Charlie Rose show?" The second question, a two parter, "what does Charlie Rose really know about technology, and why doesn't Steve like this?"

The answer to both questions was this video:  

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Mar 29, 2011

My Favorite DIYer: Jim Henson

Earlier today, I learned that Jim Henson had collaborated with Johnny Hart to make a tv test pilot for a 30 minute "Wizard of Id" show.

The video is okay. I've never been much of a fan of The Wizard of Id to begin with, but it got me thinking about how much I love Jim Henson, and how awesome his work has been for decades.

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