H.o.p.’s first point and click game on Scratch

This is the latest game H.o.p. wwas working on, the one I wrote about recently. His first point and click story game. He did all the coding for it with Scratch, made the sprites, and found non-public domain images for the background via Google searches. “Have you forgotten everything I taught you about copyright?” …I asked him. “Oh, wow! I’ll put in a disclaimer!” he said. And he did.

H.o.p. is still deep into Scratch

H.o.p. is making a new Scratch game and, knowing that the MIT site has kids of all ages, he’s checking with me to make sure that adding in the element of a skull won’t be too scary for them. “It’s supposed to be scary but do you think it’ll be all right for little kids?” He’s very conscientious about wanting to not put up anything the younger children might find frightening.

H.o.p. is Published

H.o.p. is ogling the new Ill CD–a band which he loves, which makes it even more exciting and special to him that they used for the cover art an old drawing of H.o.p.’s that was down on the studio wall.

“I’m too surprised to even speak. My own art work on the cover of Ill!”

I’m paraphrasing there. He had more to say but my original posting of it was lost.

He is thrilled.

Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game

Our son is a big fan of the Mouse Guard books. Which means he’s going to soon find this Mouse Guard game and want it. (Has great reviews.) As for his making a computer game, last night he announced that he realized he didn’t really want to try to program a game, he just wants to do the graphics for one. Because, y’know, he’s an artist…

Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game

One of H.o.p.’s latest sculptures – Shadow the Hedgehog

2009 Feb H.o.p. sculpts Shadow

H.o.p. did this the other night. If you like it, skip over to his blog and leave him a comment.

We have hundreds of sculptures and dozens of movies he’s made over the past few months. One of these days I may get a few of them up on the internet. It’s impossible to keep up with him. He’s always speedily producing things and nothing ever remains “new” for more than a matter of a couple of hours, most often a couple of minutes.

Kitty and the Rainy Day (H.o.p.'s 2nd Flipboom movie)

Kitty and the Rainy Day from H.o.p. on Vimeo.

Here’s H.o.p.’s second animation in Flipboom.

H.o.p. started on this on Sunday night last, immediately after finishing his first Flipboom movie, and did much of the work in one sitting. Then he worked on the animation in fits and starts what amounted to a couple of other days during the week. His computer crashed at one point and he lost two scenes (an evening’s work) which took the wind out of his sails for a little while. Also, he was conflicted on the scenes with the Loch Ness monster and spent a couple days trying to figure out viewing angles.

This was the first animation in which he has ever tried to do the movement of mouths for laying in voices afterward. He labored hard over it, having me say the lines for him so he could examine how my mouth moved, and it worked beautifully when he was speaking the lines before we got down to doing the recording. Once we were doing the recording, however, he didn’t hit things right on target, distracted with excitement, but he was happy with what he got regardless.

H.o.p. came up with the story and did all the animation, and he did the voices and he did the sound effects and he chose the Benny Hill theme to go in the movie as background music.

I did a very lame job of recording those voices, effects and music in Audacity. I just couldn’t get things right. It had taken me a while to get it set up in the first place, and H.o.p. was anxious to get it all done and up so there were no retakes, everything was first try.

H.o.p. likes Flipboom–it’s a very easy and intuitive program to work in. It’s so easy that he was able to do the first couple scenes in one night, the first night he began working in the program.

If there’s something H.o.p. doesn’t care for about the program, it’s that the paint bucket tool doesn’t always work. An object has to be entirely enclosed for the paint bucket to fill it in and an object can look enclosed but the paint bucket won’t work. In some instances the paint bucket won’t fill entirely. You can also see where some lines enclosing objects seem to also disappear.

One needs to be aware that when you’re exporting an animation, a good bit of cropping occurs. For instance, in the scene where the three cats are standing and talking together, one was originally able to view the center cat’s whole mouth and below the mouth as well. I realized this happened when H.o.p. did his first Flipboom, and told him he should make sure to have some bleed area but he promptly forgot my warning.

I think he did a great job. And he’s quite pleased with his effort.

If you want to leave any comments you can do so on H.o.p.’s blog where he’s also posted the movie.

Ummm, this week….not much….to say…

Nothing to say all week.  Nothing to say today.  I watched the debate Tuesday night and was alarmed by McCain.  No, say it as it was.  The moment I saw the expression on his face as he entered the stage, I felt dread on a scale that surprised me.  Subsequently, I have been increasingly disturbed by what’s coming out of his rallies.

But enough on that.

I’m only writing today to say that H.o.p. immediately returned to Flipboom last Sunday and began another movie and with his brief familiarity he made a large leap in quality.  He has since worked on it off and on all week, putting in about two day’s work altogether.  He finally finished it last night and I’m setting my computer up to try to do the accompanying recording, because he needs my help for this.  He can’t try to sync by himself and I doubt my own ability to sync sound with his cartoon considering my primative set-up.

I mean, this kid very carefully and diligently animated mouths for voiceover.  I’m amazed at how well he did it, the only problem being that for one scene he didn’t write out his script, he was doing it mentally, and a couple of days after his finishing that scene he forgot one of the sentences the character was saying and he can’t think up another one to match the movement of the mouth.  But it’ll hardly matter because my attempt at syncing sound will be lamentable.

Flipboom has its problems.  It’s fine but it could be a lot better.  More on that later.

H.o.p.’s new movie "Kitty and the Invisible Butterfly"

H.o.p. has posted a new movie called Kitty and the Invisible Butterfly. He’s hoping for some comments…but most of all he hopes people will enjoy it.

It’s his first movie made on Flipboom, an animation program for children made by the Toonboom people. H.o.p. sat down with it tonight, taught himself how to use it and produced this in short order. Probably too short order as the action runs by too quickly. But he’s satisfied with it.

You’ll notice he purposefully gave it a wide screen appearance.

He wanted to add the music “Rimshot” but I’m not set up right now to record it for him and add it on. As he wanted to get the film up tonight, he decided to go without the music.

Flipboom does seem to have a quirk. When the movie was published to Quicktime, the program cropped at least 1/4 inch around the edges. Thus, at the end, the “B” of “By” is partly clipped off. There was plenty of room to the left before publishing.

Anyway, H.o.p. is quite excited about what he was able to do so quickly with Flipboom.

He also has a stop animation movie that he did outside over two evenings earlier this week and is looking forward to getting that up. It looks pretty cool in camera, from what I can tell.

The Last Night of September 2008

The Last Night of September 2008
The Last Night of September 2008
Sept 2008

A photo accompanies this post. If you don’t see it, click on the header.

H.o.p. made a movie while I chatted with George. When we came out it was just as the sun was setting, movers were moving someone into an apartment on the floor above us. Marty arrived home and we talked about Paul Newman movies (mainly George enthused over Paul Newman movies as he was far more familiar with them than we were, which means I need to look up “Hombre” and “Cool Hand Luke” and watch those two again). Others came and went. Then it was quite dark and Marty went on in to start the spaghetti squash and I sat outside with H.o.p. waiting on him as he finished up another movie.

Update: I watched “Cool Hand Luke” last night on Netflix. Realized I’d never seen it before, when I thought I had. Great movie. I’m still pondering it…Paul Newman cutting off the heads of the parking meters. Remarkable opening. I was surprised at how much “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” owed to it.

A Precarious Perch at Twilight

A Precarious Perch at Twilight
A Precarious Perch at Twilight
Sept 2008


Brave man on a ladder at a Midtown intersection at twilight.

This evening on our walk H.o.p. entertained himself making movies of Yoshi, a little toy figure of his. Yoshi was tossed up and down and thrown across the sidewalk and walked fences and cavorted in trees. A number of men were working at another intersection and one of the road crew was apparently entertained with H.o.p.’s antics. The next thing I knew he had produced a camera out of his pocket (he is prepared) and here I am with my camera and H.o.p. is with his camera photographing Yoshi and now one of the road crew is grinning ear to ear and photographing us as we walk across the street.

Continue reading A Precarious Perch at Twilight