Friday, December 31, 2010

Always - Banner Ads

This was a challenging banner and funny ad to work on. I'm a guy so it should come to no surprise it was hard to grasp the animation of feminine hygiene. The second challenge was the fact I'm dealing with a close up of the ad. You can't just blow up the image and shrink it down because you would have a really pixilated image in the initial frame of the banner ad. Optimization was the most important step before animating this banner ad.

Click here to see v2 of the Always banner ads.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hormel - Banner Ads

I'll be posting a recent banner ad I'm working on every week.

Hormel was a build that was originally developed by Proximity Minnesota Division. They needed help over the weekend and I was called in to lend a hand.

The challenge here was getting the cape to behave realistically which required some bitmap displacement code. Everything had to be under 40kb so it took some rebuilding of the original banner ad to make sure it meets requirements.

The second ad was a jingle that needed a fun animation synced up to the bouncing pepperoni. I added some animation effects from my bag-of-tricks that I came up with working on a bunch of Scotia iTrade ads.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Allstate - Security Banner Ads Trash Version

This was a really big banner build with lots of different sizes including a French build. This was a project that was given to me by Leoburnett now known as Arc Worldwide.

The most challenging thing with this build was the optimization. Back then the file size restrictions were only 30kb for standard banner sizes and 60kb for expandables banner ads. As I think back the other challenging animation was the paper cut outs falling down and trying to make the fall + pan as real as possible without driving up file size on the banner ads.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Altoids - Banner Ads

This was another rush project.

The challenging part was animating a realistic scroll in 30kb. Needless to say I had to do a lot of photoshopping of the original design to make it work.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My favorite artist J. Scott Campbell draws live

I remember when I was in junior high and he came out with GEN 13. I was blown away with his style and even now I still love his work. I went to go see him one Comic convention long ago but it turned out he couldn't make it. How I wished I could see this man draw and now I can!

I haven't practiced drawing in a while and a lot of my style back in art school was based on dissecting his style from the various comic books I had of his.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Alpine EN - Interactive CD

This was a rush project that was given to me by Leoburnett now known as Arc Worldwide. Give it a min it is a big download and was never ment to run on the web.

The idea was to create a flash projector file that would auto run on CDs inside of specially marked cases of Alpine Beer. That's how far back this project goes. Who uses CDs anymore?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home Photo Studio

Not too fond of how he's plugging his guide but it's a nice behind the scenes video of how you can set up a home photo studio. Something I've been thinking about for quite a while.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ring Flash/Ring Light/Beauty Dish

Interesting how they built a ring light with individual bulbs. Interesting look because it's normally a circular halo like the example builds below.

This design made more sense where you keep the flash on the shoe instead of making a custom bracket.

LED Ring Lights

Good even ring light but complicated execution. I don't think the average person would be able to make this. You can see that in the comments where people are asking for explanations or step by step instructions. A lot of dislikes because people can't figure out what he was doing.

Another LED ring light mod with battery pack.

Another DIY LED ring light mod with AC adapter.

Another example using similar LEDs.

A really nice LED ring light. More advanced than previous builds.

Massive LED ring light.

More on the benefits of these LED lights. Price tag is massive when I checked

Rotolight LED ring light. What I like about it is it's portability. No external housing battery and everything is self contained.

Halogen Ring light. 3 sizes not bad results.

Created a ring light modifier for halogen work lamps.

An example of Peter Thompson's ring light build. Here's another example of great glamour photography with a ring light in some cases.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY Soft Box Examples

Here's a couple of videos I wanted to share that shows how people are over coming the cost of owning an expensive soft box. Most of these are teasers but has really sparked a fire in me to come up with a better way of making affordable and effective soft boxes.

Exactly what I was thinking but not at the same level as what I'm thinking.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How Soft Boxes Work To Soften Hard Light

Here's a great example of how soft boxes work to light your subject in a DIY type studio.

I like how he used 1x2 sticks with empty paint cans and concrete to create inexpensive stands. It's really got me thinking of other ways you can create a home studio environment comparable to professional photographers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PVC Lighting System

Damn! Someone has thought along the same lines as myself and created a PVC based lighting system.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Creating A 12v Battery Pack

Just curious how you can power devices without an AC adapter.

Example of how to build your own 12v battery pack.

Best explanation I've been able to find so far on how to build your own 12v battery pack.

Here are some examples of prebuilt battery packs.

10 AA Battery pack in one row.

Build your own 10 AA battery pack without soldering each head together in unison.  I like this because it gives you the option to drop in fresh batteries if you are on location.  If you bought heat shrink wrapped battery versions you won't have that same freedom as the batteries are always enclosed.  Even if you broke them out you'd have to solder all the batteries together.

Once you've built your battery pack you'll want to charge them all in unison.  Otherwise, you'll have to take each one out and charge them in a 4xAA charger.  With 10 batteries that's not economical but I was able to find a device that can do just that at 

Charge all the batteries in unison simply buy this MULTI-CURRENT UNIVERSAL SMART CHARGER FOR 12V- 16.8V CHUN-168 from

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gator Board vs Foam Core vs Card Board

Gator Board - Is a type of board that is comprised of a wood veneer surface with an inner polystyrene core.

  • Expensive
  • Very Sturdy
  • Heaviest
  • Available in select stores
Foam Core - Is a type of board that is comprised of a solid paper surface with an inner polystyrene core.
  • Cheap
  • Sturdy
  • Lightest
  • Available in majority of stores
Card Board - Is a type of board that is comprised of paper surface reinforced with a meshed paper design.
  • Free
  • Weak/Sturdy
  • Light
  • Available on recycling day
I've stated weak or sturdy for cardboard because the majority of cardboard that is used to package items will collapse along it's grain.  There are some cardboards that are really rigid but are only seen on large items and products of great value.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Differences Between Ring Flash vs Beauty Dish

Some interesting insight into the distinctions between ring/circular highlights.

Ring Light

  • Continuos light source
  • Donut catchlight
Ring Flash
  • Flash based light source
  • Halo effect
  • Donut catchlight
  • Flattens out shadows
Beauty Dish

  • Modify's the light source which is the flash
  • Loses more light
  • Circular catchlight sometimes with a dark center

Ring flash vs beauty dish?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Double Your Lumens Without Doubling Your Costs

Leviton has come out with a way you can double your lighting output without having to buy another lamp.  Just buy one of their Twinlite Lamp holder Adapter and add another bulb to your lighting system.

At $4.00 that's an amazing deal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BP Tradeshow Promo

This was an interesting project. It was a rush project where I needed to convert a power point presentation into something interesting for a trade show BP was attending.

This was another rush project that I took on and completed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zacuto Digital Camera Shootout

Interesting documentary on the quality of film as a result of the latest DSLR cameras. Watch the 3 part series that won an Emmy at

Monday, December 13, 2010

User Friendly Dimmer Switches

The challenges of coming up with a dimmer switch design:
  • Simplicity - Easy to build for novice hobbyist
  • Compact - Small enough a child can transport
  • Scalable - Must be able to be add on to and grow the system
  • Compatibility - Must work with existing systems out there
  • Usability - Must work in the dark and provide accurate readings
  • Safety - Must be safe to use

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Creating Your Own Lighting Control System

Just purchase a Lutron Plug-in Dimmer and connect it to your light source and you too can enjoy the flexibility of adjustable light levels.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Budwiser - Youtube Ad & Voken Banner Ad

Budwiser was a complicated build requiring video editing, flash, photoshop. I had to use after effects to create the pulling whip lash effect of the paper.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Boston University - Learning Module

Boston University wanted something better than the usual plain learning modules. So we came up with a unique take on combining flash with 3D rendered stills from Maya. My friend Jimmy gave me a hand in creating this and did an awesome job on the 3D work.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DIY Backdrop stand

Click here for the full instructions on how to build your own backdrop stand.

I like the concept but the execution is undesirable.

- PVC is very weak in comparison to ABS
- Stand requires too many parts to keep it up
- Not as stable with weak stand
- PVC bows more in long lengths
- Background does not allow for quick changing
- Lights are fixed distance
- Electrical box is not easily built
- Electrical box is not modular

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 DNS lookup

A free and clean DNS lookup. No pop ups, complete info and no BS. Can't ask for more than that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

LED Research

I was doing some research into LED lighting and came across the TRI-CHIP 5050 LED Strips.  Amazing technology it can provide up to 13 lumens per LED.  Get a high density LED strip and you'll have twice as many lumens.

You will need to be careful when planning out your power consumption needs.  Here's a guide to help you figure out how much power you will need to power your LEDs.

If you plan on adjusting the light you can attach a dimmer knob to the LED strip to control the voltage.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Time your websites load time

Great concept where it allows you to time your websites load time to the 10th of a millisecond.  Only down side is that its got an outdated look to it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Globe Ad Network Specs

Now and then I get a link to some ad specs for a particular network.  I figure I'd start tracking these spec sheets on my blog for quick reference.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

AMP Sports - Banner Ads

AMP banner ads were designed to look and feel like high impact sports. So a lot of the shaking and jarring animations you find when watching sports were incorporated into the ad.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Vision

These are some flash pieces I designed & developed for World Vision. Another rush project for a Tim Emery from Visible Media. We parted ways on one project as he tried to go over scope and I couldn't do the work that was not signed off on.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AMP Expandable - Banner Ads

What I like about doing expandable ads is the complexity you get when you deal with seamless expansion and collapsing animations. Normally, developers will have only a open animation but the close is an abrupt animation. This depends on the platform you use to develop on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

AMP - Banner Ads

The best way I've found when dealing with geo specific ads is to create each ad individually.  I've worked on builds where a single ad is developed for each region and dynamic information is passed in.  This leads to poor quality overal because you have to embed all the font data leaving very little in file size left.


AMP MASS 728x90 - Calgary 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Calgary FR 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Edmonton 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Edmonton FR 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Halifax
AMP MASS 728x90 - Halifax FR
AMP MASS 728x90 - Montreal 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Montreal FR 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Ottawa 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Ottawa FR 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Richmond 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Saskatoon 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Saskatoon FR 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Toronto 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Toronto FR 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Winnipeg 
AMP MASS 728x90 - Winnipeg FR

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Joey Gunz - Introduction to Photography

Introduction to Photography Tips -- powered by

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Defreittas & Associates

A project from way back. Redesign that took only 3 days to design and implement.

Friday, November 26, 2010


RBC flash promo for the Olympic Torch Bearer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

GE The Brick FR - Banner Ads

Publisher specific GE Banner Ads. Namely The Home Depot, The Brick and The Bay.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GE EN - Banner Ads

The idea behind this ad was to show the different types of clothes a typical person washes and how confusing it can get at times to use the right detergent. GE has produced a wonderful washing machine that auto configures the right amount of detergent for your wash. No more guessing!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rogers Howard Stern - Banner Ads

Funky banner ad where I tried every trick I could. Another banner build for Wunderman Toronto.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scotia iTrade Crush Voken & Standalone - Banner Ads

Voken's are a tricky bunch. Especially when you have to sync 2 separate animations together so they don't conflict and animate in unison with their big box counterpart.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scotia iTrade Crush French & Chinese - Banner Ads

Something to keep in mind when dealing with chinese characters is to pick a font that will treat all the characters the same. Sometimes Chinese font sets will not support the all the fonts the same and what you end up with a few characters that are serif and others that are sans-serif. Keep in mind file size is also a factor when selecting a chinese character.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Scotia iTrade Crush - Banner Ads

The first series of iTrade banner ads. The idea behind the animation was to give the lines a little life. So a Charlie Brown animation was employed to give it a playful animation. Animation is a skill that you constantly refine by studying different animation styles.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Smart Car EN - Banner Ads

This was a fun playful banner ad. The car parks into an empty space to show how much space it needs for parking. I don't own a smart car but I do own a compact car which is the Honda FIT. I will say that there needs to be more of these cars out there and if I didn't already have the Honda FIT I would probably have gotten the smart car just because I'm never driving anymore than 2 people.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sun Life Financial Consumers French - Banner Ads

This is the french banner ad build for the Sun Life Financial consumers campaign.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sun Life Financial Consumers - Banner Ads

This is the consumer version of the build. You'd find these on sites like the TSX and other financially related websites.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sun Life Financial Advisor EN - Banner Ads

A contextual banner build where only Financial Advisors would be able to see. These banner ads would most likely be displayed to login users of financial sites and areas where it can be determined that the user is an advisor type.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Uncle Bens - Banner Ads

One of the more challenging banner ads to build. A banner ad with a game. The goal is to reach the microwave in less than 2 minutes.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Web Perspectives - Banner Ads

Another successful banner ad campaign. Client was extremely happy with the click through results of these ads. Especially the racing one. This is another project dating back to my Mindblossom days.

Friday, November 5, 2010

DIY Sound Booth

Amazing DIY sound booth. This is just plain genius something I've always wanted to use to drown out the noise when doing audio. Not that I've done a lot of audio recording but I can see how this can dampen out the noise if you did voice overs and such.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Starbux Rethink Coffee - Banner Ads

Not too fond of how this turned out but this is what the client wanted. Sometimes you have to accept that the client has the final say.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Braun Gift Wrapped - Banner Ad

One of the first Braun campaigns I've been involved in. Client was happy with the star dust effect. Same technique I used in the Aspirin banner ads.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AMP Pro EN - Banner Ads

A few generic banner ads done for the launch of the AMP MLG website.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Braun Series 3 - Banner Ads

The final results of this Braun ad build was simply amazing. Combining a voken ad and a big box ad together to form an ad that looks like the words are growing on the man's face. The most challenging part of this build was creating a cool text effect that really popped and got people's attention.

Monday, October 25, 2010

DIY Floating Billy Bookcase

I picked up 2 IKEA Billy bookcases during the christmas season.  I wasn't going to buy them but for $29 for each bookcase I thought why not. 

Last night I was inspired by the look of a floating or off the ground bookcases and I thought about creating my own out of the Billy bookcases.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Doritos Hypnotize - Banner Ad

This banner build required a lot of optimizing in order to get it looking decent. The static TV effect was made from flipping over a single noise generated gif horizontally and vertically.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gatorade EN - Banner Ads

Made to have that same high impact, high intensity of sports casts on TV. You'll notice a lot of slamming and in your face animation. Works really well with this particular Gatorade banner ad.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Clubmonaco - Website

One of my very first website's I built under The Creative House. Got to work with legendary Paul Fleming who won many awards in advertising. He taught me a lot of stuff that seems lost to the new guys entering the field.

Click the image to launch the demo copy of the website.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

World Vision

Second series of flash modules for the world vision website. The idea was to illustrate how World Vision has aided world catastrophes in the past.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

AMP - Website

Everything that could be animated was animated. The results were spectacular.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top Producer Website Templates

This is just a sample of the kind of caliber of real estate web designs out there.  Top producer makes a great system to keep track of real estate related information but falls short on their designs.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gillette Young Guns Nascar - Banner Ads

Really cool explosion effect on the logo. Tied it back to the website campaign look.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

iPhone steadicam

Nice tutorial on how to make the gimbal. I think the best I've seen so far on 3 axis gimbal. Not sure which is better the 3 axis pvc gimbal or the gimbal made out of a ball bearing and universal joint or the ball head made by teethoftheearth. All have great qualities to them but there's a trade off with each system. Love the ideas coming from everyone.

Monday, September 27, 2010

DIY Glidecam AKA Wiggle Stick

Not a bad idea but it's essentially a monopod type glide came. The only thing I don't like about these systems is the fact that you can hit something at the bottom when you're running with this type of glidecam. It works if you had other accessories like a monitor at the bottom and a battery pack. But the majority of these DIY units only have weights on it to counter balance. If that's the case then a Merlin type steadicam is much better.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

DIY Flash Soft Box

Flash soft box made out of tent pole. Nice idea where it's easy to collapse and transport. Obvious limitations would be that you can't direct the light how you would like but as he says in the video it doesn't matter too much for him.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Gillette Hydra Scrub - Banner Ads

Banner build that I took over when another freelancer wasn't able to finish the job.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I love the color grading in her videos.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bottle Ceiling Light

I remembered seeing the most eco friendly method of capturing light.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Award winning steadicam shot

From one end of the arena to the stage.  I was blown away how he did it with a Seagway then hopped off and continued filming.  The focuspuller is also amazing.  WTF is all I can say.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Remote image scrapping

Beautiful php class written to scrape image data. Saves a lot of time trying to figure out how to get it done.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Automated sliding rail

Pretty cool how this guy built a contraption that slides across a rail. One of the coolest things is how he automated the process of drilling holes into metal.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cat Adoption EN - Microsite

This was a demo for a Cat Adoption flash module. The idea was to create a visualization of the cat adoption stories.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coke Bubble Game FR - Banner Ad

This is the french version of the CokeCola banner ad game.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Citi - Banner Ads

Some really small flash ads during the Mint Canada campaigns.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cesar EN v2 - Banner Ads

Another adaptation of the Cesar dry food banner ads.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Volvo - Video Ad

This Volvo ad was one of my first banner ads to incorporate video. I had to fit this video into a small banner ad. Couldn't scale it because that would distort the video so I tiled it with a bit of scaling to make it all uniform. It reminds me of that Arnold movie where he has to survive a deadly game show.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rogers Muskoka - Banner Ads

A straight forward banner build for Wunderman Toronto.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ben & Jerry

Ben & Jerry ads. Fun and playful was the idea.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Floating Billy Bookcase

Karine Schenkeveld and Erik Roscam Abbing from Rotterdam, The Netherlands turns a $59.99 bookcase into a fancy designer object. They tell me, "All we did was cut off the bottom part of the vertical elements underneath the bottom shelf, mount nine steel L brackets per bookcase to the wall (three per fixed Billy shelf) and mount the Billies on to them.

Pretty simple, but everyone thinks we had them handmade for us. Some people are worried that they'll come off the wall. But come on, there are 18 (!) 8cm (approx 3") screws per bookcase, and the load is almost completely vertical: no problem."

Damn someone beat me to it.  Same concept using a couple of L brackets to support the shelf.  Most important thing is to screw them into the studs.  If you don't can't drill it into the studs than use adequate drywall anchors.  Like the heavy duty stuff.  You'll have to cut off the toe kick area to do this.  Which is a good thing since it looked so ugly and the hole wasn't big enough to support my baseboard moulding anyways.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quaker Oats EN - Banner Ads

Simple and clean banner ad for Quaker Oats. When you're dealing with banner ads with lots of images it's good to try and think of optimization. It's one of the more important steps when designing and developing an effective banner ad campaign.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CAA - Banner Ads

CAA banner ads have started to show up in my browsing.  It's such a nice feeling to see your work out there for everyone to see.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Braun Clean Energy EN - Banner Ad

I was called in to fix this campaign when another person dropped the ball. This was a very, very tricky project. I had a tight timeline with several deliverables. The ad was built with unoptimized assets, animated with pure code and heavily nested movie clips. Ideally I would rebuild the whole ad but there wasn't enough build time for that. So I kept majority of the animation. What I did to improve the ad was to make the text more consistent throughout each size. Simple and effective way of bringing an ad together. You'd be surprised how some forget such a simple task.

This is not one of my better ads that I've built for Braun. So be sure to check out my other work.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mending Plate

Piece of metal used to join something together.  I knew there were L brackets for this but I didn't know there was a single piece.  Good to know for future DIY projects.

Monday, August 30, 2010

DIY Camera stabilizer only $14

Great idea and I love the handle on the side to make it easier to turn around.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

No more shaky hands when taking point and shoots

Tips from howcast on how to take shots and avoid the shaky hands. I like the string idea, bean bag idea, pole idea heck all of it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crazy Sword Skill

I love how funny cheesy martial arts movies can be.  Sometimes random searches pay off.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

FedEx Guessing Game EN - Banner Ads

Another challenging ad for FedEx. The biggest challenge was creating the zooming out effect under 40kb.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

YUI + jQuery = Search

Came across an interesting article on combining YUI with jQuery to create the equivalent of I heavily use but I find it's bulky and wonder if I should spend time to learn either YUI or GOOGLE visualization tools.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow

This is my new battle song. When I work I tend to picture myself going to war.