Saturday, December 31, 2011

Digital 7 TV Reception Issue and Fix

Recently had an issue with poor Digital 7 (and 7mate and 7TWO) reception, and this post is about what the problem and solution was.

We live in an area in Sydney Australia with very good TV reception. Only need a cheap internal antenna, on the top of a piece of furniture. Very classy. The signal strength shown by the set top box is 100%, except the 7 channels which were 85~90%.

A few months ago we started getting drop outs and image friezes on any 7 channel when it rained, but signal strength was still showing good. Now Digital 44 TVS always has good reception and always indicates less signal, closer to 60%. So what was going on?

On investigation and looking back at when the problem showed up, I came to realize it started to happen after putting an Ethernet switch and some cables near the same piece of furniture. It didn't rain till days or weeks later, so the correlation wasn't obvious, as the reception hadn't changed at the time of install.

The switch was leaning against the antenna cable going to the set top box. The solution was to move the switch all of 20cm away to behind the furniture and not have the antenna cable run along the Ethernet cables.

Also used some CO CONTACT CLEANER on the telescoping rabbit ears joints, but that wasn't the fix. It has now been perfect for 3 weeks, and we have had some almighty storms that caused no problem at all to reception.

It even though the TV signal strength was high, when the antenna was near the switch, that interfered with the received digital signal, causing the error rate to go above that which was recoverable by the set top box.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Music Video Cartoon Funny Car Rock

A 2:34 minute instrumental rock music video using drag racing sound effects from a Nostalgic Funny Car meet. It is at a slow 120BPM but does have a double time feel verse, and a heavy guitar sound.
It has a Black Sabbath or Metallica approach to composition, with several different riffs butted together. It has several one bar sections as transitions between verses as well..... and of course the 3000+BHP engine sounds are not your usual song ingredient, so it doesn't conform to a typical song structure.

The video itself looks like end credits. Blue tinged cartoon drag car illustrations fade in and out and have scrolling text over them. They aren't credits though, but bits of info and comments about the car, drag racing, the crew, the sound effects and music production. Mostly tongue in cheek.

The music was recorded and produced in the DAW Reaper with real guitar and bass, ezdrummer for the drums and Mastered using Ozone 5.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Designing Bumper Stickers

A typical bumper sticker is 11" x 3". Generally you want the person in the car behind, while driving or waiting at the traffic lights to read what you want to say.

The simple way to do that is use a simple big text message.

That may be OK for "Save The Whales", or "I love any shit Apple makes!" but is that all you really want to show and say?

The images here shows 2 of 8 options we were working with recently. If you just want to show the URL and a message of what that business does, then the top one may be fine. It will be easy to read from a distance and get a message across, but would it get someone to actually visit the site and look at the style of graphics samples?

Now the bottom image is more complicated, not so easy to read, but also has some visual samples and the URL. Would it get a second look? Would it possibly get someone to actually remember and look up the URL when they get home or to the office?

We have used the very affordable zazzle to make this bumper sticker to try out.

We don't have hard facts to support that one is better than the other, other than a bigger sign than a bumper sticker is better for business advertising on a car!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Megacurve Productions

Megacurve Productions built as a simple Google site.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Animated History of Cool Stuff #2 - Turbocharging

The same format, this time on car turbocharging. The animated blackboard illustrations were put together in After Effects, but it could have all been done directly in Movie Studio, as all the images are full frames generated from Photoshop.

It is supposed to be humorous and educational. It also demonstrates a cost effective method of producing an animated technical presentation using narration.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Animated History of Cool Stuff #1 - Car Aerodynamics

Basic animated narrator and black board illustrations. Additional frames drawn in Photoshop and put on the Vegas Movie Studio time line by hand….. more Anime than Disney.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Car Aero Dynamics Animatic

This is the first stage of producing a 2 minute edutainment video episode on race car, and other, technology. This is a series of story board images put to music and narration. The narrator being someone combining characteristics of Jeremy Clarkson and Stirling Moss. Hopefully combining humor, cool music and historic information. The information is carried in the "black board" diagrams and narration.

The next stage is to animate and lip sync the narrator and animate the black board drawings.
This format is for producing a series, with the mobile phone being the target platform. A series of different topics with different music soundtracks.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Holden V Ford

Olden v Furd is the age old rivalry in V8 Supakar racing downunder. Customizable posters of Olden V Furd are now available at the online store.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Car, Kart Caricatures gifts Cards and Postcards

Customizable Car, Kart Caricature gift cards and postcards at Art & Technology as well as t-shirts and stickers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Megacurve - Heavy Metal Garage

Instrumental track avaliable for download.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Loop Portfolio

Have a Portfolio on The Loop and haven't seen much activity from it. It seems to be for Creative Advertising Types, after whatever it is I am not doing.....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Car Caricatures Cartoons Logos

Here are some samples from our Car Caricatures Cartoons and Logos.

Art work for personnel use as well as for marketing, t-shirts and sign-age.  We can do digitally painted sketches or production artwork in CorelDraw or Illustrator.

And this video is a short music video showing a number of our designs from concept scribble to finished illustrations.

Contact us for details.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Google Jumped The Shark July 2010

UPDATE: August 2011
In the last week, the google access seem to have gone back to what they were, after 12 months or so. If this continues then Goggle has unjumped that shark.

The original article...

The Google Analytics Dashboard Graph shows the date Google Jumped the Shark for useful web searching from our own monitoring and research. Despite their recent publicity, saying they had fixed the problems, we still find their search does not return what we actually want, compared to before this date.

In the last month or so, somethings are better. If you search for a datasheet from a major semiconductor manufacturer today, you may actually get the original site, and not some scrapper with nothing useful, trying to sell information that is freely supplied by the actual manufacturer.

A terrible shame, and we are still hoping they get their act together. Image search is still very very broken. The webmaster forum Google hosts is full of examples. They are always changing the algorithm, and you can see two massive cycles after the JTS date, until settling to their "un-impressive" state at the time of this post.

Try the image searches in google, bing, yahoo and any other search engine yourself and compare. You need to.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Car Caricature T-Shirts Store


We have a Zazzle Store with T-Shirts and Stickers of some of our designs For some people, they may find this enough and not need a custom design by us.

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Business Logos and Graphics

I am amazed at the number of people that have contacted us to do some logo illustration work as graphic designers cannot draw. We usually do some illustration part of a logo, but have no trouble doing the lot, contact us for details.

And to not ignore Warhol's Mustang, giving this fine stallion the same treatment as Marilyn. Fine Art A3 prints available, as well as this 38.5" x 24.5" wall peel.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bumper Sticker Design 10" x 3"

Bumper Sticker Applied to a Windshield
A 10 x 3 inch bumper sticker design for our Band Megacurve, featuring a modern hot rod flame pattern.  Also features music site Soundcloud url.

The design in CorelDraw

We used Cafepress for this stickers production, but have also used the  Zazzles 11" x3" stickers. The Cafepress stickers are thicker and UV safe, so the image doesn't fade.  The Zazzle sticker is thinner and fades.

This is a vector based design, contact us about your graphics design requirements.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Movie Poster Advertisement

Movie Poster for a product that isn't a movie...Megacurve by Megacurve Productions.

Gift Stores

We have been attending the Reed Gift Fairs in Sydney for a few years and find it amazing that these exhibits are way larger than just about any other industry here. Way larger than Cebit or anything electronics related.

We have a Cafepress Gift Store and you might find something interesting there.

Car Caricatures, Logos and Cartoons

We have been doing this type of commercial illustration for over 20 years. Been on the Internet since 1995 and it is recently a shame that the Car Caricatures, Logos and Cartoons page isn't coming up in google searches like it was. It is great that we have some customers that keep coming back because they like what we do, and they don't need to find us!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"hot rod caricatures logos" search

Bing v Yahoo v Google.

Google is fighting SEO campaigns, spammers and scrappers. To counter it they are trying to work out what sites are "poor quality", and it isn't working, at least for the last 8 months...

Try the search "hot rod caricatures logos" in the image search of Bing, Yahoo and compare the results to that in Google. Bing and Yahoo give better results. Most people still use Google, myself included, but for the tests that I know what the answers should be, Google is broken. It isn't smart enough to have the context for keywords right..... it really is nothing to do with the leader of North Korea, or Oakland Raiders caps!!!

If Google does show something of ours, it is not from the original site,, but from a forum or scrapper site. That just isn't right. Not right at all.