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Sketchcast: Week ending May 11

Andy Piper linked to my Nintendo DS sketches and to something interesting called sketchcasting, so I wanted to figure out if I could do that myself without having to get a tablet or work with the mouse. It turns out that you can use a Java program called ColorsDraw to play back DS Colors sketches on regular computers, and you can even export to AVI. A little bit of editing later, and voila!

[kml_flashembed movie="/notebook/colors/weekly-may11.swf"]

Let’s see how well this works.

Sketchcat

Hey, that worked. Good thing I still have some of my favorite sketches on my DS. Here’s the sketch I play back to myself whenever I miss my cat or feel uncreative:

[kml_flashembed movie="/notebook/colors/cat.swf" width="400" height="318" /]

She very obligingly posed for me the last time I was in the Philippines. I miss my cat.

How to sketch with a Nintendo DS

As promised, here’s a quick guide to sketching on the Nintendo DS:

Useful sites:

I like sketching on the DS because it’s something I can always take with me. I’ve thought about getting a digitizing tablet, but I’ve always held off because, well, I don’t think of myself as an artist. Not a proper artist–not like Diane, one of my best friends. She has sketchpads full of good stuff, and would definitely make the most of a tablet. Me, I doubt my artistic skill and hand-eye coordination. But I’ve been working on developing my visual vocabulary by taking pictures, looking at photos and great presentations, and trying to explain abstract things with analogies, and I’m discovering that maybe I do have a little bit of an artistic side. Sketching is actually a lot of fun. Maybe my drawings aren’t as cool as the sketches that people have posted in the Colors Gallery, but they’re my drawings, and they make me happy. =)

I’m starting to save up for a tablet PC. =) I think that would be fun to play with, and I’ve learned that it’s good to follow my intuition. I would love to mindmap and storyboard my presentations with a tablet PC, and if I can use that to sketch bigger things, even better! So I’ve made room in my spending plan, and at my current rate of saving, I’ll have the sum saved just in time for my 25th birthday. =) I want the Lenovo X61 multi-touch model, but maybe an even better one will come along by the time I’ve saved up for it. (And maybe there’ll be more software for it, too!)

In the meantime, I want to learn more about communicating with the tools I have. I’ve got so many things I want to share: things I’ve learned, things I’m learning from other people and from books and from the world around me. You can come along and learn with me as we figure things out. That’s what this blog is for. =) So I’ve checked out a whole bunch of books on visual storytelling, and I’m going to be drafting and drawing some other ideas over the next few weeks. (My Wicked Cool Emacs book may turn into a cartoon guide to Emacs… Yeah, right. ;) )

What would be some great ways to improve on this without springing for new gadgets? I’d really love to figure out how to work with the videos I can get from ColorsDraw and turn them into a slideshow where the pace is controlled by the viewer. I’d love to be able to move things around, cut things apart, and crop and greenscreen… I’d love to do proper animations of stick figures and drawings, too. (Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone came up with a DS homebrew app for that?) And there’s plenty to learn even with static images. =)

So that’s where I am with this Nintendo DS sketching thing. I’m learning a lot, and it’s fun. <grin>

Hello, I’m Sacha Chua! (Self-introduction and sitemap in verse)

Inspired by Dr. Doolittle, Animaniacs, and the Slideshare World’s Best Presentation Contest, I present to you my self-introduction/sitemap… in verse! =) It was fun to make, and I hope it makes you smile. =)

Like it? Please vote for it!

World’s Best Presentation Contest
I’d love to see how far this… err… sketchy style of presentations can go. =)

Here’s the text:

Hello, I’m Sacha Chua and I’m really pleased to meet ya.
How can I assist ya? I would love to find out how.

So what can I connect you to? Ideas that would help you through?
Some tools, perhaps, to help you do the thing you’re working on right now?

Are you changing your bulletin boards and stickies, your e-mail and Notes twisties
for bookmarks, blogs, and wikis? I can help you strategize.

Are you looking for a presentation ’bout Web 2.0 and my generation?
(It has caused a small sensation–all this interest in Gen Ys!)

If you’re also into Drupal and you’re searching for something useful,
then I hope, my fellow pupil, that I’ve written what you need.

Are you an Emacs fan at home with M-x plan
and all that Emacs can? You’ll like my Emacs feed.

Are you looking for a book that’s worth a second look
and some time in a nook? We might see eye-to-eye.

Can I teach you what I learned from the pancakes that I burned?
(Too late the things were turned!) For my notes, read CookOrDie.

I’m a person full of passion (and a hacker of some fashion).
I reflect and I take action, and it’s all there on my page.

There are few things I’ve not written (even times that I’ve been smitten,
and my darling psycho kitten) because all the world’s a stage.

There’s more in my six years of blogging hopes and fears
and laughter, anger, tears–and there’ll be more to come!

I’d love to hear from you, your thoughts–and comments too.
Thanks for clicking through. I hope you’ve had some fun!

Please vote for my about-me/sitemap slideshow on Slideshare!

Only 7 days left for the Slideshare World’s Best Presentation Contest, and I’d love it if y’all came out and voted for my about-me presentation–if only because I found a way to fit both Drupal and Emacs into my rhyming self-introduction! =)

It’s only one minute and 25 seconds, and it’ll probably make you smile. Plus, it’s a (mostly) working sitemap, and how cool is that? ;) The prize for this category is an iPod Touch, which (if I win it) I will promptly put to good use. After all, if I used my Nintendo DS to make a presentation, what might I do with something like the iPod Touch? ;)

Honorable mention would get me a copy of Presentation Zen book, which I liked so much I bought it already, so I’d be happy to raffle it off and keep just the warm and fuzzy feelings that my fledgling sketching and writing skills got noticed. Want it? Leave a comment on this entry (just one comment is fine), and I’ll pick a random commenter if I win the book.

In addition to either blog posts about doing interesting things with the iPod Touch or a chance at winning a free book, you’ll also get the satisfaction of supporting a geek in an area dominated by graphic designers. =) (Not that graphic designers can’t be geeks, of course.)

Anyway, please vote for my presentation! =) Voting ends on July 31, 2008.


World’s Best Presentation Contest

Squee! Won Slideshare’s Best Presentation Contest!

Hooray!

My introduction-in-verse won the Slideshare Best Presentation Contest Category for “About Me”! Which probably means that at some point, I brought a smile to the illustrious panel of judges: Guy Kawasaki, Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds, and Bert Decker.

Hello, I'm Sacha Chua!
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: sketches self)

I’m sure I’ll put the iPod Touch to all sorts of good use!

I had a lot of fun making the presentation on my Nintendo DS. I’ve since then given to my mom so that she can do yoga, but I upgraded to the Cintiq 12WX and it’s really fun to sketch on. Still, I feel very much like a fledgling artist:

Fledgling

As promised, I’ll be sending some of my favorite presentation books to one of the lucky people who voted for me. Hello, Randell! I’m looking forward to sharing Presentation Zen and Back of the Napkin with you. =D

Squee!