Sunday, 8 July 2018

futurama relation-o-meter

futurama relationship map
but who's counting

Which of the Planet Express crew head for bed most readily?

Why is everyone so tired and in need of frequent naps? Well maybe not tired. Frisky.
If the map is anything to go by, here's the list, ordered in terms of frisk vs. risk...
  1. Philip J. Fry (10)
  2. Bender B. Rodriguez (10)
  3. Amy Wong (7)
  4. Turanga Leela (5)
  5. Zapp Brannigan (3) 
  6. Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth (3)
  7. Dr John A. Zoidberg (2)
  8. Hermes Conrad (1)
  9. Scruffy (0)
  10. Nibbler (0)

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Create a thriving business from your drone hobby

Aerial photography and the cash drone frenzy

start celebrating now

Drones dash for dosh despite dire delusions draining dudes

Well the whole world and their dog bought a drone and, let’s face it, it’s a fad, a really expensive toy with a camera for guys to endlessly drone on about. Yes, it’s fun, as toys are, but dudes simply MUST impress on all just how serious this investment really is. So the next thing on their mind has to be… what serious thing?

This decision, once made, guarantees the cash will start rolling in and justifies how amazing the fellow is with his wise decisions. Now I don’t have a drone, but I know loads of people who do, and unlike them, I’m fairly sure I can earn some good money on this notion alone.

dog walker. didn't think of that.

Part one: Making Your Name

Here are some ideas for naming your business.
Names should have a descriptor byline, such as

Aerial Survey and Data Visualization Specialists

Drone Deployment and Structured Reporting Systems

Dynamic Sports Photo & Video Service

Been there, Drone that.

We’re looking down at you now.
[Licensed to annoy people you don’t like]

Some name ideas…

  • Drone of Arc
  • Game of Drones
  • All the Buzz
  • Drone Zone
  • The View
  • Aerial Reconnaisance and Photogrammetry Survey Systems
  • Eagle Eye
  • Big Brother
  • Level Up
  • Maverick Motion
  • Sky Imaging Robotics
  • Another Level
  • Flock of Drones
  • Aircraft Interference & Seagull Disturbance (AI•SD)
  • Drone On & On
  • Endless Drone
  • Quadcopter Cowboys
  • Tits Up Aerial Surveillance Detective Agency
  • Swipe Right Flight


Part two: Areas where Drones Excel

When Rez and Kimma kicked off their whole Tripping Africaexperience, drones were a godsend. As the hippies trance partied their way around Mozambique and southern Africa, with the most stunning scenery and lots of water, there was no better vantage to be had. Plus, the footage was quite creative.

I wound up with terabytes of GoPro footage, which was literally too shaky to be of any use, even with advanced stabilisation. I think the operator may have been on acid, which didn’t help. The drone footage, however, was sublime… well, when the pilot had managed to smooth the flight and gimbal. Rez and Simon both have Phantom 4 drones, but Rez was still too jerky and difficult to parse with the music, while Simon was just so smooth and seamless, often catching the right moment and even, on occasion, making discoveries that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible. His footage made for a really wow video of their mission, where before none existed.

The only other time I’ve seen drone footage worth while is with the WRC. We’re used to helicopters selectively shooting the leaders anyway, but now there’s no excuse not to be right on the tail of everyone and the entire event is covered in the most dynamic manner possible. Motorsports in general would benefit, as would events difficult to capture, like ocean/water events and the like. So there’s that. (NB Top Gear also noticed this!) We'll come back to sports in a bit.

I’ve also seen weddings covered by drone, but all that indicates is that the photographer is using a drone instead of a tripod. Which is okay, but… weddings? All that’s happening there is that the camera in the hand is now a camera on a drone, and the vantage is becoming rapidly mediocre when the mood, lighting, weather and whatever are all quite bland. 

write a how to book. also good money there.

Watching Jason’s footage, again, it’s all what we’ve come to expect. The aerial view. Pointed straight down, it’s sometimes interesting, and in 4K, of course, which means nothing really except that the powerful computer struggles to process that much data and the playback stutters and jerks. And without any sense of what photographers know, it’s all shot at the wrong time, pointing the wrong way, and showing nothing remarkable.

Still, his face lights up as he proudly explains how he’s practicing being smooth and cinematic. In fairness, of all the hours of footage he has, the one photo taken above the lighthouse, straight down, is great. That’s hundreds of hours, and a cool thousand dollars, for that shot. Yip - $999, or, in reality, north of R25K… after the ND filters, extra batteries, travel chargers, crazy capacity SD cards and a whole bunch of hard drives to stash the ridiculously inflated files, not to mention upgrading computers just to play, let alone edit 4K footage… oh, and as yet, we haven’t even thought of editing anything. We’re just shooting, watching, deleting and looping. And that’s before the petrol to drive to wherever warrants shooting.

Still, his every word and move is all about how this is work, a business, a justifiable expense. Not a toy, oh no. Personally, I think the endeavour is a compete waste of time; since he’s had the drone, I’ve produced a hyperlapse/timelapse video and posted it on my channel… with a fair amount of praise and not without some hardship… the point being that the drone provides no motivation for producing brilliant work, but instead suggests (as does the quality of images captured by phone these days) that brilliance is now that much easier. It isn’t. Just watch one ‘how to’ drone video on YouTube to see just how excited someone can get over what is objectively so bad, it seems impossible to achieve by accident or design.

It seems by far and away, the best way to make money from
drones is to produce a series of videos and courses on making
money with drones.

The proliferation of these indicates not only that the course material is worthless but that the concept itself is the most lucrative.

I googled “How to make money using your drone” and counted 120 videos on YouTube where the creators were not making money with their drones. 

dude! the money is right there!

Part three: Aerial photography

I am a photographer, one who dreamed of shooting aerials and who actually has leaned out of a helicopter and done just that. I produced a computer-choreographed 12-projector slide show, centred on the fun fair at The Royal Show in 1993. 

The chopper was charging R40 (about $1 at the time) for 10-minute flips over the city, but for me the pilot was happy to pull off the doors and skim low over the fun fair at dusk and into the night, hovering right above the action as I blasted away with no less than three camera bodies. Combined with long exposure night shots, the resulting visuals were, as you can imagine, compelling, and before long the ride operators were letting me ride – and photograph – for free.

It is interesting to note that aerial long-exposure evening/night photos of fun fairs or theme parks is still rare! So drones haven’t reached that market yet, or those in the market responsible for promotion haven’t thought of it yet.

Aerial photography was in demand and very well paid, 
owing to the intrinsic costs involved.
So we had to tap into that.

Around that time myself and a mate hatched a cool plan to shoot budget aerials. A stills camera, a long cable release, a crappy CCTV camera and a helium balloon could get you pretty much the same result as a ride in a helicopter… well, mostly… and without the vibration and movement that made aerials a specialist pursuit.

Aerial photographs were so rare, every school, factory, race course, golf course, spa, hotel, resort, lodge, farm or development of literally any scale clamoured to pay top dollar for a large format print. There’s nothing the boss loved more than a helicopter shot of his dominion, framed and placed to garner the most admiration.

So this is my idea #1

As drone footage has prevailed, this lustre has fallen off sharply. While such images are certainly createable (stitched, shot correctly, in print or VR), this aspect of the market (plush aerials for boardrooms, receptions, publication, promotion, planning etc) is a fallback worth noting.

Also, I’m a top video editor and visual content creator. See Tripping Africa for an idea of what I can do with drone footage.

4 of which are illegal

Part four: My (unique) ideas

These ideas hinge primarily on appealing to requirements generated by:

·         Quantity Surveyors
·         Property Developers
·         Architects and Landscapers
·         Town Planners
·         Complex Managers
·         Bodies Corporate
·         Environmental Impact Assessors
·         Project Managers
·         Construction Firms
·         Public Utility Works
·         Property Agents
·         Commercial and Game Farmers
·         Resort Management
·         Course / Groundskeepers
·         Drone owners/ businesses / dealerships
·         Celebrities
·         Sporting Event Management and Participants
·         Festival Organisers
·         Protesters and Riot Police
·         Inaccessible activity participants
·         Attorneys and Prosecutors

And many more.

I can augment footage with CG elements that can transform any building into a structure of beauty. With LED lighting, I can create proposals with drone footage at little or no cost but which will have significant weight on presentation.

I can create 3D models from drone footage, stitched to make a very detailed surface. With this, I can provide…
·         Statistical data visual representations
·         Visuals on proposals, alterations to building and landscape
·         Provide accurate quantifications, surface or volumetric
·         Use photogrammetry to generate measurements
·         Make augmented reality VR showing hidden infrastructure
·         Create visuals from any angle showing impacts of proposals
·         Print a detailed 3D model or make it available in AR or VR
·         Appeal to QS, architects, developers, bodies corporate as visual aids
·         Project anticipated future developments such as traffic density forecasts

Establish, promote, organise, stage and broadcast DRONE RACING here.
Alternatively, if it exists, become a good racer and win dosh, or use your drone to film it and sell that footage.

There exists a series of apps which provide auto mapping by drone. The sequence is entirely automated and returns a complete, accurate map of the area / building / whatever. For this application you will need to identify those who wish to survey or plot trends... before they discover the app.

dollars! yay!

Coverage of events for promotion or reporting. Fun fairs, flea markets, wine fairs, trance parties, rock concerts, sports events and the like. You may need more than one drone but this is a lucrative market even if on the individual participant level. I have some experience doing this kind of thing – I have shot participants of some mountain bike events in KZN, so its lucrative and the scope is huge (mountain bike, road bike, motor sports, yachting, sailing, running, kite surfing, rally and so on)…

Drone footage is an easy way to make an advert or promotion, particularly if you don’t have a phone with a decent camera.

Lastly, as mentioned previously, a series of how-to videos, a course perhaps, on getting the best results from your drone, how to promote your drone ambitions and, of course, how to generate a torrent of cash using your drone and sparkling wit. This is by far the easiest and least demanding option.

#9 is not an idea, but it is lucrative… poor people who desire to go for coastal helicopter rides. Five dollars (several thousand rand) for 20 minutes with the VR headset. Also, MOUNTAIN RESCUE – well, not to rescue anyone, just to find them. They’re usually tourists so that’s lucrative too.

The only scenario not recommended is working with animals. For some reason, animals of all kinds really enjoy attacking drones, particularly seagulls. Some people, like myself, also enjoy having a go.

another way to make money from drones


While watching drone racing in Dubai, which is interesting for about ten seconds tops, I noted to Jodie that drones really seemed to be a guy thing. Dudes get really wound up about it, whose is the best, what it can do, how great they are, how fast it goes and, of course, the inflated version of what it cost… it’s testosterone and competition and all that pile of junk. She said it was a bit like RC cars, it appeals to the mechanic slash driver that’s embedded in boys from the start. I was like, yeah, RC rules! Vroooooom.

All said and done, it is a toy, The more fragile the ego, the more irresistible the compulsion… just like the crappy RC helicopters we destroyed after a brief exhibition of what we could loosely call flight. We all had to have one, but they relied solely on the dexterity of the pilot, hence a lifespan measured in seconds. Now, the dude with the drone says ‘Watch this’ and fiddles with his controller for five minutes, i.e. four minutes after you lose interest and two minutes before the battery gives out. “There’s aircraft interference” notes the dude, not noticing he’s now talking to himself. The performance is reminiscent of a large, bored mosquito.

Moral: you can get anything to fly if you throw it hard enough.

see? weddings are right up in there!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Film Industry - dead giveaways

Signs you work at a CGi company

  1. You wake up screaming with nightmares of intersecting polygons.
  2. You get a paper cut and you bleed coffee.
  3. Your best friend is your mouse *sniff* you never let me down*
  4. You pet your desk lamp and call it Luxo Junior.
  5. Pets get paged thru the intercom. “Fido to the back door please. And stay!”
  6. You criticise “Reboot” because they don’t render the shadows
  7. The sun rises and sets, apparently
  8. You find yourself making ‘signs you work at…’ lists

Signs you work in film

  1.  7am is considered ‘sleeping in’
  2. You use ‘stand by’ and ‘copy that’ in normal conversation
  3. You buy household light bulbs based on colour temperature
  4. Your fridge is empty and you have no clean underwear
  5. People who wrap cables wrong irritate you
  6. You can’t watch a movie without finding issues but watch until the credits end
  7. Your turnarounds are so short you can’t get your phone fully charged
  8. You can never get to a bank in business hours
  9. You have no idea what day of the week it is

Signs you work in signage

  1. You can word a disclaimer without thinking
  2. All your fonts end in ‘XB’ or ‘black’
  3. Anything under A4 is considered ‘fine print’
  4. All your friends know what ‘vector’ means
  5. The only time you feel steady is when you’re on a ladder
  6. You have sixteen terms for very strong glue
  7. You don’t know how to unlock Caps Lock

signs you work in sculpture

do do do do weooo oo ooh do do do dodo do weeooo

file under 'ebut uoy'

life is a joke liked my joke

i love love chords

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Graffiti and Street Art

Graffiti Art

Aside from other disciplines, fresco/mural/street/graffiti is a more recent development.

to my father, who started me young

#psybanksy #1up

what i looked like in 2011

what i looked like from the other side in 2010

• 2007 •

"astrid" (detail)

"chaos / kaos"

• 2008 •

• 2009 •

• 2010 •

"madonna carried by angels"

"cherub" on canvas (commission)

• 2011 •

• 2012 •

• 2013 •

"art & love" (commission) digital


• 2014 •
digital CG 3D art "psycandy"

• 2015 •

my tutor: dolce (brazil)

• 2016 •

"mystic elephant"

• 2017 •

• 2018 •

16m² (commission) jameson whisky / cafe caprice

This page will be updated as I dig up photos and/or paint some walls...

Related: The Best of Chaos


so far the best theory



Some of the art pictured is based on existing works, notably:
“Creation of Adam” by Michaelangelo, c. 1510, “Madonna Carried by Angels” by Jacopo Palma, c. 1590, “Whaam!” by Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

Commercial (Graffiti for film sets)

It is preferred to paint in the presence of the client, although feedback is possible by remote. Sketches typically serve as prep and are submitted for approval prior to application. 

The process of good graffiti art has four stages:
  • ascertain compatibility/suitability (dimensions, surfaces, deadline)
  • plan, draw, finalize monochromatic on paper
  • factor special paint, rigging requirement
  • prime, sketch and paint the target in 3-5 complete passes 
It is worth noting that scale is a factor, particularly with reference images:
    It's all about scale!.
    ~ ↑uφ

    Postscript iterum

    experience timeline, hand art

    * 'Iterum' is 'again' in Latin.