Tuesday, November 22, 2011

University of Toronto - Email Campaign

Simple email campaign for the University of Toronto. I was looking up universities before I received this project and UofT is ranked as one of the top Universities in the world. Pretty cool it's just in our back yard but for me it might as well be across the world. I hate travelling to the downtown core. It's mainly why I try to avoid working for any ad agencies because of the wasted travel time to get there. With all the buzz that's going on from multiple TED talks on the subject. I hope to see more distance learning and e-learning in their curriculum in the near future.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MailChimp Saved My Bacon

With all the talk about email mailers that reminds me of a useful tool that came in handy called MailChimp.

When I was building out some email campaigns and needed to run some test deployments I normally send it through a simple and basic mailer I wrote in PHP that sat on my server. The only problem was one day it stopped working or should I say there was a huge delay of 1 - 2 hrs before I received a test deployment of the email.

I jumped on MailChimp and test deployed without any problems. The only issue was the extra footer bar they added with MailChimp branding to the bottom of your code. I'll take that over 1-2 hr delay any day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flash Video Player

This was an interesting project where I was only in charge of the video player. The functionality and look was very similar to Vimeo's player with the addition of other functional aspects. The interesting part was the HTML I received. It was more or less "off" before I got a chance to touch it. In the freelance world it's a game of hot potato. So to cover my bases I made a back up on my server to prove that it was off before I began integration.

It's common for most clients to think I'm only capable of Flash but what they don't know is that I have roots back in the good old HTML days. The client asked if I knew HTML and if I could look into the issues. Seeing as though I finished the video player under budget I figured I could spend some time to look into the HTML side of things. I was very tempted to just recode it HTML5 compliant but it wasn't what was being asked. To do so would require more time which equals bigger budget. These are some of the things you have to weight out when your developing or designing.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SickKids Email

Imagine you had to code an html email campaign with no CSS not a single line of it to produce the same results as the photoshop file. That's exactly what happened in the case of building HTML email for SickKids.

Just to be fair it wasn't SickKids that imposed these rules but Reader's Digest who is going to serve up the HTML.

If you're a developer your next thought is to slice up the design into images or make it just one large image BUT there's a stipulation that states a division of 60% text and 40% images and a large image will be rejected. Then you have to deal with background image issues with Outlook which is even worse than IE6. You get the idea but in the end I pulled it off and below is what it looks like.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Deadlines Kill Creativity

I find it funny because the argument is how deadlines kill the creative process and yet another deadline is made in the video.

I feel for anyone who works in a creative field that has ever suffered with tight deadlines but that is normal every day occurrence for me. I agree the quality of work is dependent on the amount of time spent on the process but with creativity it is endless. If you were to ask an artist to put a cap on their creativity they wouldn't because no artist wants to be known for pushing out crap. This is why we have account managers, project managers and managers in general to manage artists who are unable to manage themselves. Even the best have to say enough is enough which is what Ron Crabb, a talented and established matte painter, said when he was working on a piece for over 2 months. Keep in mind he was working out of his own pocket for that project.

Its about end of day now and even I have to stop on this post because I could go on and on about creative processes and what I've learned from working with different agencies but I've got to throw in the towel so I can get back to my deadlines.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cats More Lucrative Than Porn And Charlie Sheen

If only advertising agencies really changed their business models and modeled it around cats. If only I had a video camera when I was a kid and had all these cats. I could have had millions in internet theoretical dollars!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scheduling Time Machine's Backups

I wanted to write this post since this morning but got caught up in some work and wouldn't you know it Time Machine thought it was a good time to start backing up your files. If you've ever used Time Machine you'll know what I'm talking about but when the backup happens your system starts to slow down drastically which totally messes up my work flow.

My only option was to either stop it and occasionally it'll stop unless you stop it as frequently as I do then it will just give you the middle finger and keep spinning. The other option I just discovered was to an app called TimeMachineEditor.

It allows you to schedule Time Machine whenever it bests fits your schedule.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thundercats Parody

The new Thundercats gets a parody made from timeless memes.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Rich Are The Super Rich?

A huge share of the US nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.

Read the full details on Mother Jones.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Highest & Lowest College Job Salaries

An infograph showing some of the highest & lowest college job salaries.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gillette - Paris

Working with Proximity Paris a few summers ago was absolutely crazy. I was on several different projects with several different agencies at the time. Mostly in my time zone but Paris operates on the opposite time zone. I had basically had no time to sleep as I was constantly jumping back and forth from local projects to Paris projects. End of day in Toronto was the time Paris was getting ramped up. This went on for a good week where I had to take quick power naps between review periods beside my blackberry to survive. I had trained myself like a dog to react to the email chime and wake up to get on top of any revisions. Just another story of what it's like on the front lines of the advertising world. Not something everyone enjoys but I like the thrill of it all!

Promo 120x600
Promo 300x250
Promo Dual
Promo Overlay
Trade Up 120x600
Trade Up 300X250

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FedEx Jacked - Banner Ads

Very fun banner ad to be involved in where we took some video of a truck driver and integrate it into the ad. It's a small portion of the ad so file size wasn't an issue. What was really fun was being able to make the FedEx truck drive out of the ad and make it look like it's hooking up to the container. Which then drives off the page which is the reverse of a voken or expandables which starts off from off the page and going into the ad. Another cool project in conjunction with Proximity Toronto.

Expandable EN
Expandable FR

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Chronicle Herald - Website Takeover

I don't get very many requests for takeovers but this one was the first request where I had to actually build the system to handle the takeover. Nothing outside of my realm of expertise but was enjoyable. I think the best part was taking these demo tracks that the client wanted to use and create loops out of them. I take a lot of pride in my flash skills but I have the same regard when it comes to audio. I like to make tracks with seamless loops this keeps the file size down and allows me to keep the quality of the loop up. You don't get the full effect but you get enough of it to make an impact.

Click here to view a demo.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dead Island Into A Movie

It's been done to death literally but I'm really looking forward to a CG based zombie movie. Watch the trailer you'll know what I mean. This trailer got so much attention that a movie deal was made. It's in the initial process so it's no guarantee that it'll still happen but I got my fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

When They Tell Your Story, What Will They Say?

In my case Drake would be saying why you playing on easy mode. Hard to find time to play games in my line of work. When I do play I play on easy mode so I can get through the game quick. I'm not a fan of dying over and over trying to get some sort of achievement that no one in the real world is going to care about. Hoping people in the movie biz will catch on and start making more video game based movies.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

College / University Conspiracy Scam

A lengthy yet informative look into the education system in the US. Anyone who knows me will tell you my stance on the state of our educational system.

"School is a place for people too lazy to read for themselves; so they pay other people to read for them." - Tara Thorton

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OS X Lion Bootcamp Accidentally Deleting Disk 0 Partition

Last night I was installing bootcamp and if you don't know this already Lion OS X will only allow you to install Windows 7. I'm used to installing Windows XP which is just mashing on the next button. However, this resulted in the deletion of a very important partition which handles the reverting of bootcamp. The mistake I made was selecting the 200MB partition and formatting that vs the actual 200GB partition that I had set for Windows 7 in Bootcamp Assistant. 

In order to fix it you have to do the following:

External Recovery Disk
You'll need to obtain and install an external recovery disk if you do not have an external Lion OS X installer. You can download the installer here but for me I still have my external Lion OS X on a bootable 16GB SD card. Once you have it just boot into it by holding down the ALT key when booting up and then selecting it as one of the options.

Disk Utility
You have to wipe the HD by using the erase function inside of the disk utility. If you try to reset the partitions to 1 partition in the partitions tab Disk 0 will always fail because the partition data was destroyed or corrupted. You have to wipe the entire drive and then recreate a single partition once it's been wiped.

Reinstall Lion OS X
Failure to do this step will result in the loss of the 600 MB partition set aside for the built in recovery mode. That's totally up to you if you don't like Apple eating up 600 MB then skip to the next step.

Time Machine
Run time machine and restore all your data. If you skipped the reinstalling of OS X Lion you'll notice that whenever you boot up and hold down alt that the recovery mode is missing. Personally I have a lot of storage so 600 MB isn't a big deal for me.

Hope that helps someone who made the same mistake or wants to figure out how to get rid of the recovery mode.

When is The Best Time to Sell on Kijiji

The short answer is between March & September but the long answer would be all year round.

One of the greatest things about designing/developing for the web is the exposure to useful tools. One of those tools I use on a regular basis to help me answer client related queries is Google Insight. In this example I applied Google Insight to help me figure out when users are actively querying search terms such as "spring cleaning" & "garage sale" which are the top key phrases that come to mind when I'm thinking about selling my junk.

In the chart below you'll see a series of spikes which relate to the amount of interest. Now I've set it up to show me stats from 2004 to the present and for only Ontario. You'll notice that interest begins to spike at the beginning of March and begins to drop after September.

From personal experience the time between March & September have been the most effective times for me to start posting on Kijiji. I've sold the majority of my electronics, video games, old computers and power tools during this period. I think I ended up selling over $1000+ worth of old things I no longer used or rarely if ever used. It's a great way to declutter and reap something back from your investments.

If you decide to post anything after this period be prepared for longer periods between inquires and actual sales.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Call To Arms For All Designers & Developers Who Use Flash

The web is unpredictable which makes it very similar to the sea and with the introduction of html5 its a pretty rough sea out there. Especially for Flash developers as it's almost become a witch hunt for anyone who uses flash. The constant jabs by Jobs doesn't make things easier to explain to people who revere's him as a messiah. One who eats the white apple from the forbidden tree of knowledge. It's come to the point where anyone who speaks of Flash is branded a heretic and quickly becomes an outcast. Well if it's outcasts you want than Pirates we'll be. ARRRGH!
"What will you do when HTML5 kills Flash?"
A question I always hear but never understood why it was being asked. You ask questions to seek an answer but, from what I can tell, the people who illicit this type of question are only seeking some kind of emotional response. To that I can only respond by saying I will do nothing. As in I will do nothing differently. I will continue to seek adventure on the high seas, I will continue to search for bigger fishes, I will continue to push the limits of the web and sail into uncharted seas. Where mythical ideas await to be discovered by those brave enough to sail into the eye of the storm. To expect any less of me would be fool hardy.

"A ship in the harbor is safe, 
but that's not what ships where made for."

Fear for the unknown usually stops people from seeking out the required knowledge to use new tools. Honestly, I would rather have more weapons at my disposal than less when going to war on a project. By being able to wear many different hats will grant you more opportunities to pull excrement out of your ass and slap the proverbial "shit" together to form something truly out of this world. The great thing about HTML5 is that it created a reset where everyone has to relearn new things. Thus allowing everyone to be on equal footing. Now is the best time to start your voyage on the web as HTML5 is still being standardized but be warned. This isn't the life for everyone with all the late nights and scrambling to put out fires on the ship's deck.

To everyone else starting or continuing the voyage, "Yo ho, a pirate's life for me."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Drawing Inspiration

I want to dedicate this blog post to the guy who found me on kijiji and bought my drawing table. We met last Friday after work he called me to let me know he was on his way. He sounded very eager to buy my drawing table and I was really curious why but I wasn't the type to pry into his reasonings.

Friday, September 9, 2011

HP Windmill

Loved how the pinwheel animation turned out in this HP banner ad. Just another well built banner ad for Proximity Toronto.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Greg Learns About Hitler

Greg learns about Hitler and the Nazis. This kid is an amazing actor I'm looking forward to watching more of his antics as he grows as an actor.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Unaimned Arrow Never Misses - Jake Lloyd

Star Wars kid talks about everything that has happened after the 10 years. Wow I can't believe it's been that long...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

HP Widget

Where do I begin with this project. So much optimization went into this project to make it look decent without having to up the compression. Reminded me of this Roger's project that I lost on a conference call because I told the client what they didn't want to hear. They wanted to do an effect where a bunch of small little images shot out from a phone. App icon images, stars, confetti, etc. Just a bunch of stuff that would randomly fly out and grow bigger.

The real issue was there wasn't a lot of reused assets which means you're looking at 30+ unique images of varying sizes = very high compression. I explained this in the conference call and the response was you can use code to suppress file size or that the icons are really small so they won't be that big in file size. I rebuked each claim and the last thing I heard was you know what we have someone else who can do it and that was it. Learned a lot that day I can tell you that.

Later on I saw how the ad turned out. High compression and unique images whittled down to 10 or less and reused. Sometimes I think I dodged a bullet there cause I knew it was going to be crap but in the end there is always someone who will give them what they want. This is where I think I lost because I never got contracts again for debating with the client. The old catch 22.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Madeon - Pop Culture Dance Video

Sexy dance routine that'll make your friday.  My new work song. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shaw Red Dot - Banner Ads

In this banner ad example the goal was to show case how fast Shaw's Internet is.  We achieved this by getting the user to interact with the banner. If the user tries to click on the red dot it will quickly move to a randomly different spot. If the user tries it the second time the red dot will magically disappear into smoke. Just another series of banner ads produced for Proximity Toronto.

Expandable - 300x600
Expandable - 600x250
Expandable - 728x360

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scotia iTrade Summer - Banner Ads

Summer's almost over but if you haven't had a chance to check out the Scotia iTrade summer banners here's your chance.  I really liked how the umbrella animation worked out.  Another cool looking banner build for Capital C Toronto.  Keep your eye out for the new Scotia ads that will be coming out in a few weeks.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Change Up Changes The Recipe

Same body swap recipe just with a lot of fuck nuts added.  It'll have you toasting kamikaze shots by the end of it.  Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds
 pull off an amazing job portraying each other in the change up.  I thought this would be just another disappointing body swap movie but it turned out to be way better than I imagined.

The best part is whatever you saw in the trailer is nothing compared to what you'll see in the movie.  Normally they show the funniest moments in the trailer and when you go see the movie you know what to expect.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Scientology From The Eyes of The Great Grandson - Jamie DeWolf

Jamie DeWolf takes you back to the beginning of before there was Scientology and how his last name DeWolf used to be Hubbard.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pokarekare Ana

You might like New Zealand music after listening to this song.  I thought I had added this video to my collection but it seems Youtube has taken it down.  I've been in search for some good beach music as of late.  Must be because of that Hugh Jackman concert I went to where one of the background singers along with Hugh Jackman did an AMAZING cover of Israel IZ Kamakawiwo'ole's version of Somewhere over the rainbow.  Blew my mind how well Wolverine can sing and dance... but that's a tale for another time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Applying Senna's Principles to Business

"If you no longer go for a gap that exists... you no longer are a racing driver."
"The main motivation for all of us... is to compete for victory. It's not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th."
"I race to win as long as I feel it's possible."
- Senna

If you've ever felt scared or hesitant to make your move in business then this video is for you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kijiji - Classifieds - Tip #2

Post throughout the year to build up your counter
Don't feel you need to post in a huge batch or post everything before March.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

LYTRO Picture Revolution

LYTRO is going to revolutionize the Camera Lens with it's shoot first focus later approach. There are some great examples of the concept on the LYTRO website utilizing Flash to simulate the concept of focusing later.  The simulation basically fades in and out different images.  I think the idea is great but I'm curious to see how it works in real life and how massive, in size and in price, this lens is going to be.

Visit the picture gallery at http://www.lytro.com/picture_gallery

Thanks to my colleague Mike Lau for the link.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Royal Bank Life Sciences - Banner Ads

This RBC banner build was a tricky one compression wise. When you deal with big images you have to think about how you're going to bring in all the images and keep the file size down. A reason why I believe HTML5 will never be able to do banner ads. I've seen HTML5 do banner ads that are similar to some of the banner ads created in flash. The only difference between HTML5 and Flash banners, that I've noticed, are:

1) File size - Some not all have exceeded the 40kb file size restriction placed on banner ads by as much as 3x and sometimes more to do the semi equivalent to a Flash banner.
2) Animation - Some of the animations I've noticed left out subtle masks, gradients and have simplified the animation.
3) Deployment - With FLASH you have to ad serve two files.  One swf and one static image. With HTML5 all the assets are separated and you have to send off every single image used in the animation, at least one css file and possibly one js file.

There are more reasons but I'll probably dedicate a whole post to reasons why HTML5 will not be able to do banner ads.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

HP Gibberish - Banner Ads

HP banner build produced for Proximity Toronto.  I had to take this banner build over from another freelance developer.  Most of the assets were coded which is usually unneccessary as it makes the project  much more difficult to work with.  Managed to complete what the client had originally wanted under the usual tight timelines.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ontario Science Center - Banner Ads

A generic banner ad version for the Ontario Science Center banner ads built for Mighty an Ad Agency in Toronto.  In all my years in Toronto.  I've never been to the OSC.  I think I'm going to have to take a trip there this summer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ontario Science Center Reptiles - Banner Build

The Ontario Science Center Reptiles banner ads produced for Mighty Toronto.  Before I began building out the ad I researched the movement of Chameleons so I could make this as life like as possible. In my head I kept remembering a show I caught once on the Discovery channel about how the digital artists for the 3D Dinosaurs show had to work with paleontologists who argued over the minute details of the dinosaur.  I had a fear this would be the case as well but in the end we ended up moving away from the realism and more towards dramatics as any good banner ad should be exciting or full of movement.

Monday, June 20, 2011

CSI Ontario Science Center - Banner Ads

A banner build for the Ontario Science Center produced for Mighty Toronto. There is going to be a live performance at the Ontario Science Center for those of you who love watching CSI going on from June 6 - Sept 5, 2011.  Personally looking forward to seeing this exhibit.

Just started seeing the ad show up.  The ad links to http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/calendar/default.asp?showid=1070 where you can find out the times for the live performance.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gillette Young Guns Nascar - Banner Ads

Gillette's change your blade banner ad campaign produced for Proximity Toronto. Features 6 famous Nascar drivers in several different banner ads formats.  The theme was in line with Nascar drivers pitting to change their tires for better performance on the track.  For a better shave you need to change your blade.  I agree with changing your blade for a better shave but, for an asian guy who doesn't grow a lot of facial hair, its going to be a while before I need to change mine.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Gillette Young Guns Generic - Banner Ads

Gillette Young Guns generic banner ads produced for Proximity Toronto.  This had an interesting build with an in game voken OTP that resolves inside of a Big Box.  If you click you can use the keyboard to control the car to do some donuts.

Donut OTP

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

President's Choice - BBQ Mini's

Difficult banner ad for President's Choice produced for Mighty Toronto.  There were so many large image assets in this ad that it required a ton of optimization.  Getting the flame just right was the tough part as well.  in the end the results are spectacular.  I have to say the mini idea is good.  I can remember many occasions when you'll be eating and you know you have enough room for maybe half of a hot dog or half of a hamburger.

English Version

French Version

Monday, June 13, 2011

Royal Bank Muffin Man - Banner Ads

Preroll Banner ad for RBC muffin man produced for Proximity Toronto.  Really cool ad where we had to implement a video into the banner ad.  The end frame had to be vectored in order to change the end frame of the video.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ministry of Health Pills - Banner Ads

Ministry of Health banner ads produced for Proximity Toronto.  Simple and clean banner ad part of a series of banner ads for MoH Ontario.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Last night's leftovers battle for their lives.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Scotia iTrade Jet - Banner Ads

I love the way the Scotia banner ads always turn out.  It's clean, simple and adaptive as we can cover just about any situation with a simple line drawing.  Another cool banner build produced for Capital C Toronto.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

MSN Santa Claus - Banner Ads

Santa Claus is revered for giving you gifts for being good but I think you should be given gifts for being awesome!

My niece Stephanie, who is only 10 years old and probably doesn't believe in Santa anymore, is helping me produce my portfolio pieces. Most people I tell this to react as if I'm running a child labour factory of small elves! I find this type of ignorance insulting as it undermines a child's potential to that of a sweat shop worker making shoes for Nike.

Since my work doesn't allow me much time to update my blog. I've enlisted the help of my niece to assist me in capturing and updating my portfolio images. In the process she has learned valuable computer skills, life skills and is working towards earning her own Dell laptop that she can also use at school.

The only bottleneck is me trying to find time to write something about every piece of work I've done.  This was an MSN project produced for Mindblossom an ad agency in Toronto.

Monday, June 6, 2011

How Dragon Ball Z Movie Should Have Been

Funny how a lower budget short can be way more entertaining than the actual DBZ movie was.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

President's Choice Summer - Banner Ads

Another banner ad built for President's Choice summer product line.  Produced for Mighty a Toronto ad agency. This banner ad was the most involved as many of the raster images needed to be vectorized in order to be animated.  Like the dripping chocolate fudge or the grill and coal flames.

English Version

French Version