Friends Season 1 – An Average Episode

I recently read an article about average faces which made me curious about moving average images. How would an average movie of a certain director look like? Or what would the average ‘I love you’ phrase in a movie look AND sound like? While I was thinking about this, somebody told me this has already been done with the first season of the Friends TV Series. So I looked up the YouTube video “Watch Every Episode of Friends Simultaneously” (embedded below).

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Rap Karaoke in a Costume @ Minerva Open Day

The ‘Rap Karaoke in a Costume’ event was a big success! I hosted the event during the Open Day of the Minerva Art Academy on Saturday November 7th. Everybody was welcome to give a (lip sync) rap performance in the Green Screen Studio while simultaneously express a positive or a negative word to review a move.

What is this all about? The ‘Rap Karaoke in a Costume’ event is part of my current project: Rapping.Reviews. This is a website with over 13.000 computer generated rap battles made from IMDb movie/tv series reviews. The lyrics will be ‘rapped’ by a computer voice (the eSpeak speech synthesizer) and have been combined with a hip-hop beat, the video trailer, and a rap performance to present you movie reviews in a new way.

This is an example video of how a rap battle could look like:
One rapper presents the positive opinions of the movie and the other rapper presents the negative opinions. Because of this I want a variety of rappers that also look like a positive or negative word that could be used to review a movie. The words should in a way be synonyms to ‘good movie’ or ‘bad movie’. Some examples are ‘Badass’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Cool’ or ‘Shit’, ‘Weak’, ‘Regrettable’. I made a spreadsheet containing many positive and negative words that could be used to review a movie (using a.o. Urban Dictionary as a reference). I would like to visualize as many of these words as possible with original rap performances! That’s where the ‘Rap Karaoke in a Costume’ event comes in.

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Batch Download Tracks from YouTube Music Library

The YouTube Music Library is a good resource of free music. But when quickly trying to find a suitable track, I was slightly annoyed that the YouTube Music Library doesn’t allow you to scrub through the track. This forces me to listen to the whole intro. I wrote a small script that batch downloads all track on the current page. This way you can easily listen to the tracks in your favorite media player and scrub as much as you like 🙂

// Anonymous "self-invoking" function
(function() {
    // Load the script
    var script = document.createElement("SCRIPT");
    script.src = 'https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.4/jquery.min.js';
    script.type = 'text/javascript';
    document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(script);

    // Poll for jQuery to come into existance
    var checkReady = function(callback) {
        if (window.jQuery) {
            callback(jQuery);
        }
        else {
            window.setTimeout(function() { checkReady(callback); }, 100);
        }
    };

    // Start polling...
    checkReady(function($) {
        // Start download
        
        $('.download-link').each(function(){
            $this = $(this);
            $this.prop("download", "");
            this.click();
        });
    });
})();

Run this code in the JavaScript console (Command+Option+J on the Mac in Google Chrome) or execute it through this Batch Download YouTube Music Tracks Bookmarklet. Drag the link to your bookmarks and click it when in the YouTube Music Library.

Resources used: Stackoverflow.com

Update:
The same method works on the Vimeo Music Library too (where you’re also unable to scrub through songs). You only need to change the class selector from .download-link to .download. Vimeo doesn’t show all tracks on one page so you may need to run it a few times. Here is the Vimeo bookmarklet: Batch Download Vimeo Music Tracks Bookmarklet.

Pyro: The experiment of my first Nikon 1 4K RAW film

Equipment used: Nikon 1 V2, Canon FD 28mm f2.8, Canon FD 50mm f1.8, Canon FD 70-210mm f4, Pentor Auto 135mm f2.8, 128GB Komputerbay SD card, Fotodiox FD-Nikon 1 Lens Mount Adapter with tripod mount, tripod, Zoom H4n audio recorder, Macbook Pro Retina 15″ 1TB SSD

Software used: Custom Perl script for sorting the burst photos, GoPro Cineform Studio, Adobe DNG Converter, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, Pro Tools

Music: Grenade – Fire in the Hole by Andrew Haze

Third party audio:
Brandweerwagens passeren met sirene by Robin Koek

Another Sky by Yukihiro Kaneko

high_pitch.wav by VTK Productions (vtkproductions.com)

ScreechGuitar.aif by HolyGhostParty https://www.freesound.org/people/HolyGhostParty/sounds/71145/

BottleDrinking02.wav by Abolla

The process:

As a student and technology enthusiast I don’t have a lot of budget to buy equipment. But I’m always interested in experimenting with new technology. One of those experiments I’ve been doing for a while is producing videos with a cinematic look, on a budget. I bought my first DLSR in 2011 (Canon 550D) and installed Magic Lantern straight away. The fire-brigade shots in Pyro are from the 550D before I sold it. I bought the Canon 50D and briefly experimented with it for RAW recording with Magic Lantern, but that wasn’t the right camera for me.

Then I found video’s from Javier Sobremazas and Tom Beal that inspired me so much! They’ve been using a small and cheap Nikon 1 V1 camera to capture 4K RAW footage in really short burst shots. It would be a great experiment to capture and work with footage that looks so beautiful! I quickly bought the Nikon 1 V2 (second hand €350 with kit lens), a 128GB Komputerbay SD card and two adapters so I could use my fathers old Canon FD lenses (which didn’t work without corrective optics on my EOS camera’s) and the few old M42 lenses I had laying around. For little money I had a 4K RAW camera and already 7 lenses to use with it…

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Product Development – The Beacon

My favorite course at ADM was Interactive Devices where we developed lamps that visualize information about a person. As you can hear in the video, my concept is like this:

The Beacon – A smart lamp for lovers.

Do you like to feel connected to the people you care about? We do! That’s why we’ve developed The Beacon: a lamp to feel connected when your partner is away from home.

When at least one person is home The Beacon gently lights up when the other turns on the screen of their phone. A signal of life that makes you feel the presence. That way you can feel connected without effort. You can also shake the phone to signal your partner a light message. This means: contact me! It obviously works the other way around too. The Beacon knows exactly who is home.

Coming home will not be the same without it! The Beacon enhances the warm feeling of reuniting with a loved one by creating a pleasant light scape.

That’s what The Beacon is all about: staying connected when separated and enhancing being together.

To develop the lamp, I used a Raspberry Pi model A together with a LPD8806 LEDstrip. I learned how to properly connect everything from the Adafruit tutorial but in the end decided to use Node.js for controlling the LEDstrip.

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Reflection on Ubisoft Visit

A Sound for Interactive Media Field-trip

An image of the group sitting in the Ubisoft Singapore Sound Studio
The group sitting in the Ubisoft Singapore Sound Studio

My first field-trip with The School of Art, Design and Media of Nanyang Technological University was the visit to the Ubisoft Singapore studio. Our professor for the course Sound for Interactive Media, PerMagnus Lindborg, had arranged for us to speak to the sound designers at the game studio. In the morning of Thursday October the 9th Kayleigh and I were picked up at a bus stop Blk 271 CP by PerMagnus who had already picked up our two fellow students. Luckily there are just four students registered for the course, so we all fit in one car. The mood was good-hearted and exciting.

On our arrival at Ubisoft we were greeted by Alex Lim who showed us around. There’s a lot of game concept art on the walls in the studio that’s been used in the development of the Ubisoft games. Especially a lot of Assassin’s Creed artwork. We had to sign a Non-Disclosure-Agreement but it’s a pity we didn’t get to see anything we’re not supposed to disclose.

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Jip de Beer is an artist who operates on the intersection of art and computer science.