Archive | January, 2010

Live drawing on Ustream on January 23, 2010

24 Jan

Just wanted to let you know that on my other blog, Pencilcast, there is a post about a live drawing I did on Ustream. Click on the image to go there.

blog post on Pencilcast

Tested some 720p streaming video

22 Jan

I read that the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac can stream up to 720p (960 pixels wide and 720 pixel high) at 30 frames per second (30 fps). So with my improved Internet connectivity (1.5 Mbit/s up and 10 Mbit/s down) I decided to give it a try. I used Quicktime Broadcaster to stream video to Justin TV (JTV), and also to record the video on my Mac while streaming.

Below you can watch the video recorded on my end, and here is a link to the archived video clip on JTV.

Again, the quality is quite good, considering the limitations.

I have to remember next time that it can take up to 10 s until JTV picks up the recording. JTV also seems to cut off the recorder 5 s before you end the broadcast. I’m sure the amounts of time vary, depending on how busy the system is.

I used these settings in Quicktime Broadcaster:

Audio: MPEG-4 22.050 Khz 16 bit mono
Video: 960 x 720 (4:3) H.264 30 fps, key frame every 30 frames, limit data rate to 700 kbits/sec

The video shows the Logitech web cam and part of the Mac OS X desktop of my iMac, both switched with CamTwist. The audio came from a Plantronics DSP-400 headset. The digital A/V signal was passed on to Quicktime Broadcaster, which passed it through the Internet to the real-time video servers of Justin TV, which in turn broadcast the stream to the Internet as Flash video for all to see.

Unlike the Flash interface for broadcasters on the website, Quicktime Broadcaster is the interface, so you don’t have to visit the JTV website to start a broadcast. Of course, you would like to monitor the live channel, so you’d see what others see on their screen. For that I use a separate netbook.

That’s enough tech specs for now. The fun is using this stuff as a “small television station on the Internet.”

Fun with overlay layer mode

21 Jan

I played a bit with the overlay mode here. After I filled the shape, I put a layer on top of it, with an overlay mode for that layer. Now I could paint with shadows (well, with any color, everything turns in a shade of the color underneath). As a painting program I used ArtRage 3 Studio Pro.

Posted via email from Posterous of René van Belzen

Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac test

21 Jan

I tested the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac, and compared it with the built-in iSight camera. The Logitech web cam has some issues with freezing and not being recognized by Ustream, but you can get around that with CamTwist. Just set up a keyboard shortcut in CamTwist to select the Logitech web cam, and it resets when you reselect it as the video source.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro for Mac …“, posted with vodpod

I did a second test, after I removed the Quicktime plugins Flip4Mac and Perian. It improved things, but with Quicktime Broadcaster I still got a frozen video image. Since the drivers are built into the web cam, and presumably can’t be upgraded, this is something you have to live with (the occasional freeze). Luckily, with CamTwist and preprogrammed keys, you can easily reset the web cam.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “USTREAM, My Recorded Videos“, posted with vodpod

So this is not a professional solution, a semi-professional solution at best. Connecting a Firewire mini-DV camcorder seems to be the best solution at this moment, although Firewire enabled mini-DV camcorders with web cam functionality are hard to find nowadays, at least under 500 euros. And let’s not forget that Apple is also slowly phasing out Firewire in its lineup of computers.

I paid 92 Euros, including shipping and VAT for this web cam, which is very reasonable if you compare it with what you’d have to pay for a mini-DV camcorder.

There is one caveat, though. I haven’t tested under Snow Leopard, and I’ve read reports that it also freezes under that OS.

Preston Blair inspired drawing, part 12

21 Jan

Well, inspired is a great word. Let’s say that I used the three-drawings tutorial to create a sloppy copy of the original (which was already a loose sketch).

Preston Blair inspired drawing, part 12

I did nothing with line value, really. Getting the shapes somewhat right is already hard enough.

Framed a nice piece of art

20 Jan

I ordered a niece piece of artwork from Go! Go! Illustration, at and put it in a photo frame. The artwork measured 28 by 18 cm.

Framed a nice piece of art

I’m mighty proud of Goatlord, drawn and inked by Mark Rudolph, who is from Ann Arbor Michigan in the United States.

I’m sure he’ll raise some eyebrows of visitors. Then I can tell them they can buy similar art for dirt cheap on Go! Go! Illustration. They even do commissions.

Now I’m an artist!

20 Jan

I asked myself what does a true artist need? Watch the video and you will know.