Archive for ‘January, 2011’
On March 26, 2011 my kid sister is going to be exercising like a superhero for
six hours straight at the Bust a Move event, presented by the QEII and IWK Foundation, in support of breast health here in Nova Scotia. Her goal is to raise at least $1,000. A donation of any size will help!
One out of every nine women in Nova Scotia is diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those women, one dies every second day. By participating in Bust a Move for Breast Health Andrea is becoming a superhero for herself, her friends, her family and every Nova Scotian who has been, is, or ever will be touched by breast cancer.
Bust a Move 2011 will raise funds to create a Breast Health Centre located within the IWK that will enable centralized, one-stop breast care for the hundreds of families who face breast cancer each year.
On behalf of my sister Andrea, I’m spreading the word and helping her support this great cause. If you can help, please visit her personal donation page and sponsor her online. (Click on the pic!) Or you can print off a Donation Form from the Resources Page at Bustamove.ca to submit a cash or cheque donation.
With Bust A Move you can sit back, relax and know that you supported a great cause while Andrea is busting her butt superhero style at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax with close to 900 others, including Hollywood icon and celebrity guest, Paula Abdul.
Thanks in advance for your support!
Recently, my friends over at StarCast shared a link to my Starcrossed Facebook Page. Unfortunately, there were a number of issues where some people were unable to view the page. In some cases the link was simply broken. In others the link pointed to what appeared to be an incorrect Starcrossed book page. It was all a little tricky as the book page was collecting different posts from around Facebook with the word “starcrossed” in them, including mine!
If you’re one of the folks who tried, but couldn’t find the Starcrossed on Facebook, or if you’re just now discovering that Starcrossed even has a Facebook page, have no fear! The human error vexing the situation (The country restriction setting on the page was mistakenly set to Canada. I have no recollection of doing this, but hey, not important.) has been revised.
Why the big fuss about Facebook? Simple. Everyone and their dog is on Facebook and I would like them all to read Starcrossed. (Yes, dogs too.) New comics and other new posts here on the blog are always linked on the page wall, where you can of course like, share and comment with your friends. Also, when I live stream the comic from my studio I always post the link on Twitter and Facebook.
So, if you haven’t already, stop by the Facebook page and hit the like button. If you have joined the Starcrossed community on Facebook, why not recommend the page and the comic to your friends?
As some of you may know, when I draw Starcrossed or work on commissions I try to stream live on Ustream.tv while I work. Earlier this fall I ran into some trouble with the web app on Ustream.tv no longer being compatible with my webcam – a cheap little Dynex 1.3 Megapixel cam, but it did the trick! – I’ve tried Justin.tv and LiveStream.com but they all use Flash video and the new “Google video adapter” which I believe is the issue.
Enter the iPhone4. This fall I upgraded to the iPhone from an old Sony Ericsson. The iPhone solved my streaming roadblock. I can stream live video directly from the phone. I stream over wifi for obvious reasons but it’s possible to stream over 3G as well. Unfortunately, there are definitely some limitations when it comes to the (free) streaming apps available.
Currently, Ustream.tv has the best setup with regards to ease of use and keeping a constant stream up. The video quality seems to be the best as well, which isn’t saying much. It’s straightforward to set up, especially if you have an existing Ustream.tv account, and just a few taps has you connected to Twitter and Facebook for when you want to let viewers know when your stream goes live. Unfortunately, either by human error or shortsighteness of the Ustream Live Broadcaster app, whenever I get an alert on the phone the stream shuts down. I’ve tried putting the phone in airplane mode, turned off notifications and the 3G network to no avail. It’s nothing to put the stream back up again, but there is a good 15-20 second delay to the live stream. So, by the time I realize the stream is down and relaunch sometimes a minute or two has gone by and I’m sure some new viewers assume the stream is done and leave. Despite the relative clarity of the video resolution with the Ustream iPhone app I get a yellowish tint and a slight rolling distortion flowing through the video. Also, unless Ustream.tv features your channel, you can’t watch it in the Ustream Viewer which is a separate app.
I’m not a fan of the Justin.tv web interface to begin with. Their iPhone app is very similar to the Ustream.tv app with two major differences. First, you can view any channel you want on the iPhone via the app. Second, when I compared the video quality from the Justin.tv app to the Ustream.tv app the dramatic change – and inability to compensate within the app – to a super wide shot was enough for me to kill the thought of using it. I would have to put the iPhone almost on top of the comic to get a decent shot and it would constantly be in my way when I draw. Ustream.tv won out over LiveStream.com in video quality as well.
None of these apps utilize the great video camera in the iPhone4. Ustream.tv just comes the closest.
The iPhone is positioned to my left and a bit above my head as I draw. So the audio is sometimes hard to hear. It’s related to the way things are setup in my studio rather than a problem with the hardware or software. I’ve had mixed reports from the live chat on audio quality. I have to remember to turn my head a bit and talk towards the mic which is in the base of the iPhone. I’m working on a solution for that, but until I return to an in-studio webcam setup (Hoping to upgrade to HD.) and my Yeti podcasting mic the current audio is at the least adequate.
The Ustream.tv iPhone app allows me to automatically record and post each video to my Ustream.TV channel. You can add highlights if you find a particular section amusing or interesting. I’ve posted some shorter clips to my YouTube channel as well but there is a limit of 15 minutes so you only get a snippet. I’ve also embedded the live stream and chat room from Ustream.tv here on StarcrossedOnline.com to make everything accessible in a pinch.
I normally draw Starcrossed on the weekend. I always post to Twitter and the Starcrossed Facebook Page when I’m streaming. So follow me on your preferred network to catch the link. Feel free to stop on by the chat room and say hi. You can view as a guest, or signup for a free Ustream.tv account and join in the conversation. You can become part of my “crowd” on Ustream to get an email when I launch a new live stream.
Hope to see you there!