Saturday, 31 May 2014

151 - Sleepy Head

Day 151. After a bit of a big night, Linda decided she was going back to bed for a while to nap. I snuck up and did this quick sketch of her snuggled up in bed. I drew it with the Paper app on my iPad mini and a Jot Script stylus. Enjoy it now, before she serves me with a takedown notice...

If I haven't mentioned it Paper by 53 is a great app for sketching and, combined with a good stylus, really is the closest app I've seen for approximating the experience of drawing on real paper.

Friday, 30 May 2014

150 - Hong Kong Night Walk

Day 150. When I was in Hong Kong last December I shot some footage with my GoPro camera as I walked around the streets of Wan Chai. I was in Final Cut tonight editing something else and found the clip, which I thought it might make an interesting GIF animation loop. I had no idea how to actually do that so of course I just Googled it. I figured out how to change the speed of the original clip, export the resulting frames out of Final Cut, open them as a sequence in Photoshop, convert to a Smart Object, reduce it in size from the original HD1080p video down to a 640px wide graphic, convert it to an adaptive dithered GIF and here's the end result.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

149 - Mr Squeak

Day 149. Our golden retriever Buzz really likes stuffed toys, and he has quite a few of them. This one, Mr Squeak, is one of his favourites. For today's create I propped Mr Squeak up on a table and sketched him using the app Paper and my Jot Pro Adonit stylus. It's a bit rough, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

148 - Almost Hawaiian

Day 148. The iPad app iOrnament allow the creation of patterns. They can be symmetrical, radial, mirrored, etc, and just a few pen strokes and you make some very nice repeating patterns.
After creating a faux floral repeating design, I applied a few filters in Photoshop Touch, stripping it all down to shades of blue. It almost looks like a uniquely Hawaiian shirt pattern.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

147 - Step Into The Light

Day 147. Tonight I was just messing about with a couple of apps on the iPad, and I took a #selfie using Paper Camera, then imported it into Adobe Photoshop Touch and added some filters and effects, including this lighting effect.



Monday, 26 May 2014

146 - Lucidity

Day 146. For schools using Google Apps for Education they can largely replace Microsoft Office. However, the missing piece of the puzzle for many is finding a credible replacement for MS Publisher. Look no further than LucidPress. This amazing piece of webapp magic runs entirely in the browser, publishes to both print and digital, is super easy to use, and they give premium plans to schools at no cost. Brilliant!

Here's a quick sample I made when I was showing our Year 3 students how to use it.

I'll write a much more comprehensive review on my other blog in the next week or so.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

145 - An Audio Tool

Day 145. I've always enjoyed building audio tracks in GarageBand using loops. It would be nice to have a non-Mac alternative to GarageBand but there really isn't much around that competes with it. Maybe Sony Acid Pro, but that's quite expensive).

So when I set an audio looping task for my students recently I had to start looking around for alternatives for those who don't use BYOD Macs. And I found it in AudioTool, a powerful, sophisticated, free audio editor that runs entirely in Chrome. Yes, that's right. In Chrome.

Here's a little rhythm track I knocked together on my first attempt. I think this has LOTS of potential in the classroom.
And here is a screen grab of the editor...

Best of all, the tracks you create are all built on Creative Commons licences by default, so it supports remixing and open sharing really well. Build on the work of others and let others build on the work of yours. Love it!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

144 - In Vivid Detail

Day 144. The Sydney Vivid Festival started this week and we went into the city last night to celebrate out friend Carla's birthday at the Opera Bar. The photo opportunities during Vivid are
boundless, but for today's create here is a panorama shot taken from east Circular Quay using the Pano feature of the new Android Camera on my Nexus 5. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, 23 May 2014

143 - Gone Bad

Day 143. Linda had a big jar of chicken broth in the fridge and when we cleaned it out this week she asked me to get rid of it, stating that it had "gone bad". So I wondered what a jar of chicken broth might look like if it really went bad?

I'm guessing it would scowl a lot... and say "Don't mess with me!"

Thursday, 22 May 2014

142 - Zombie Art

Day 142. This carton zombie was made with an iPad app called, appropriately, Make a Zombie. After I made it, I took the image into Photoshop Touch and applied a few different filters, eventually ending up with this.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

141 - Drawing on Experience

Day 141. Today's create was made using an iPhone app called SketchVid. It lets you sketch over the top of a photo, and turns that sketch into a 15 second video file. I made three of them, editing them together using iMovie, then added some music and uploaded to YouTube using Google"s YouTube Capture app.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

140 - Che Guabetcher

Day 140. Just messing about in an iPad app called MegaPhoto+, I took a photo of myself and turned it into this very Che-style poster. I guess you could say I'm leaving my Marx on the world.


Monday, 19 May 2014

139 - More Maui

Day 139. Following on form yesterday's post, today's create is the actual website we've put together for our wedding plans. As you can see, we didn't actually use any of the designs I came up with, and opted for something much simpler instead.  You can find the actual site at

I have to say how impressed I am with Google Sites as a website creation tool. It's a little clunky and it doesn't do everything ideally but it's pretty darn good. Once you learn to wrangle the CSS settings in the Colors, Themes and Fonts section, you can do an awful lot of customising of it!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

138 - Way Too Much Maui

Day 138. Linda and I are getting married next year in Maui, Hawaii. We are putting all the information about the wedding for family and friends on a website, soon to be published publicly.

I've been working on some ideas for the banner artwork to go across the top of the website, and I've come up with a few designs in Photoshop but I really can't decide which ones I prefer (if any!). So my daily create today is just to share some of the designs I've been working on.

You can enlarge each of these banners to full size by clicking on them.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

137 - Getting Shit Done

Day 137. I was cleaning up my hard drive and I found a folder full of Linda's old photos. I particularly liked this one of her in "corporate mode", sitting at her big fancy desk full of folders, taking notes and talking on her curly-cord telephone. She looks very business-like.

Google+ has a great built-in feature for photos which allows you to easily add "meme text". So I used that to add some (in)appropriate text and create this little reminder that she is not a woman to be messed with when she's getting shit done.

Friday, 16 May 2014

136 - Make yourself a Gnome

Day 136. Pull up a toadstool and make yourself a Gnome. I've spent the day at the Sydney Adobe office today with my Year 11 Computing Applications class, doing a Photoshop workshop with Adobe trainer Renee Lance. We have been exploring some really cool stuff that can be done in Photoshop while learning a bunch of great digital imaging techniques. Here's a fun image I made as we learned about extracting and placing images on new layers, using filters, etc.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

134 - Telling a WAAPA

Day 134. Tonight I did a webinar for Adobe on some tips for using InDesign. In this session I started with a blank document and just made something up on the fly, showing and telling my thought processes as I worked through the creation of an InDesign document. I used my daughter Kate as the subject and created a flyer about some of her acting experience.

I was originally drawn into computers via desktop publishing and I really enjoy messing about with page layout. With the web as my main platform these days I don't do it much any more (and am quite out of touch with it really!) so it was nice to just mess about in InDesign.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

133 - Digital Unstorytelling

Day 133. They say that telling a good digital story starts with a storyboard. But maybe not every storyboard ends up telling a good digital story.

This silly little movie was made using a storyboarding tool on the iPad (I can't even remember what it was called... I drew these images a while ago) and I used iMovie to edit them together into this roughcut, add some Ken Burns effect and a soundtrack. Is it really a story about nothing? Or does your mind fill in the blanks and make it into a story? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Monday, 12 May 2014

132 - Just Hanging Around

Day 132. Out for a walk through my local shops, and things got a little crazy. Good thing I have a tight hold on that pole!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

131 - Everything Old Is New Again

Day 131. Today's create is just a task I created for my Year 11 Computing students. We are learning about digital imaging techniques at the moment, and I'm setting them a series of weekly skill development tasks. Last week we looked at compositing, and this week is about retouching.

Here is this week's task. As you can tell, I run this class in a sort of flipped/online mode. I don't actually see the students face to face all that much, but run it almost entirely in online mode, event though we are physically at the same school. I blame timetabling issues, but it does actually work pretty well.

This image below is only the first page... if you're at all interested, the full document can be seen here.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

130 - One I Prepared Earlier

Day 130. You can do some really interesting things using an online service called If This Then That, otherwise referred to as IFTTT. This service acts as the "glue" that sticks various web APIs together. It basically takes any online service that has a write-API and connects with any other online service that has a read-API, to create what it calls a "recipe", so that IF something happens THEN something else will happen. For example, if you're seeing this post on Facebook, it's because IFTTT has automatically put it there.... eg, I have a recipe that says IF I post to the Daily Create blog THEN also post it to Facebook.

IFTTT got a little more interesting a few weeks ago when they released their Android app. Because Android is far less locked down than iOS it gives access to parts of the system that let you create some very interesting recipes. In this example, I have created a recipe that says IF I take a photo on my Nexus 5 using Instagram THEN set that photo as my phone's wallpaper. So every Instagram shot I take ends up being my wallpaper until I take a new one.

IFTTT Recipe: Instawallpaper  connects instagram to android-device

Friday, 9 May 2014

129 - Angry Young Man

Day 129. After a long day at the end of a long week, I just fired up Adobe Illustrator tonight and scratched out this stylised face. I had no particular goal or idea, I just dragged a few lines on the page (with a trackpad, not a stylus) using the Blob Tool in Illustrator, and turned it into this rather angry young man.

And no, I'm not actually angry myself. :-)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

128 - Slam that!

Day 128. I took a Year 6 class this morning while their teacher was away. This class is part of our BYOD iPad program so, borrowing the Slam idea from the Google Summits, I got them to do an App Slam. Each student who chose to voluntarily participate had 2 minutes to share an app, game, tool, tip, etc with the rest of the class.

I was amazed at just how eager they were to do this, and they were literally falling over themselves to add their name to the list of presenters. As they did their slam (which of course they had to end by shouting the word Slam!) I added their name and demo to a Google Form. When the last student presented I simply published the form, gave them the short URL to access it and let them vote for their 5 favourite slams.

It was a lot of fun and a great way to let them share what they are learning with their iPads.
I particularly liked the fact that, of all the things they shared, I was only previously aware of two of them. Part of the magic of a BYOD scenario is that the kids are discovering apps and things that I would probably not. It's pretty clear that they feel far more in control of their own learning when they are the owners of the technology.I was talking to a teacher yesterday from another school that went 1:1 iPad but their devices were school provided and highly locked down. They had $14,000 in damages in their first year of operation. We have had virtually no damages at all. Turns out students look after this stuff when they own it. Who knew?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

127 - Dash Cam-berra

Day 127. Spent the day in Canberra today at the AIS IT Managers Conference talking about our school's use of Google Apps for Education. On the way home I put my Nexus 5 in the dash cradle as usual, and just for something to do, turned on the LapseIt Pro app and set it to take one photo every 2 seconds. So this clip is the sped up version of the drive from Majura Road, Gungahlin to Lake George.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

126 - Laneway

Day 126. Out for dinner in the city the other night we discovered some really interesting little laneways off Kent Street. This shot was taken on my Nexus 5 and then editing in the new Android Camera app (which I'm sure reuses some code from SnapSeed). Desaturate, adjust contrast, vignette, etc...

Monday, 5 May 2014

125 - Flat Pack

Day 125. The term creativity can be interpreted in many ways, and some would say that assembling furniture is not really creative because it's just following instructions. And they would be mostly right I suppose. But Ive assembled quite a bit of flat pack furniture and it's interesting that when you've done it a few times you start to come up with your own systematic approaches to assembly that don't necessarily follow the instructions exactly. And that can feel somewhat creative. My story, sticking to it.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

124 - In a Giffy

Day 124. Adam Pash, the past editor in chief of Lifehacker took a coding course recently and as a result put together a fun little site called And then I was Like. It enables the webcam on your computer and lets you take a "moving selfie". It's a bit of fun and will do for today's daily create.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

123 - Creativity is all Relative

Day 123. This fun little graphic was made using this site. Just come up with a text phrase and the site will generate an image of Einstein writing your words on his famous blackboard. What will you write?

Friday, 2 May 2014

122 - Glassy Eyed

Day 122. This photo was taken on my Nexus 5 using the new blur mode of the recent Android Camera update. It uses a very clever algorithm that manages to identify the foreground and background of the image and the introduce blur to simulate the short depth of field that you'd usually only get from a proper DSLR camera. It's not perfect but it's pretty interesting.

After that I did a little bit of post processing using the filters and adjustment tools in the Android camera app. Phone photography sure has come a long way!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

121 - Pablo

Day 121. I felt like doing a sketch tonight, and if you're thinking about being creative who better for inspiration than Pablo Picasso. So I Googled images of Picasso, found a lovely portrait shot and tried to sketch it using the app Paper by 53 and just my finger (no stylus for this one)

Google it yourself and see if you can find the original. If you can, maybe this sketch is not too bad after all.