Three Simple Steps to Creating Amazing Flixels

A few weeks ago a fun little app launched called “Flixel” – this little app gives you the ability to capture a short sequence of images and then control what is animated on screen. The app is free, fun and I highly recommend you try it out.

The tool itself is really straight forward to use and start creating with but there’s a few things you can do to help make the best possible flixels, so I thought I’d throw a quick post together and share what I’ve learned in playing with the app for a little while now. Feel free to share your tips in the comments too! Continue reading Three Simple Steps to Creating Amazing Flixels

New Portfolio Site & Other Content Streams

As part of my theme for this year (“Create”) I’ve been trying to figure out how best to organize my different streams as I push content out into the web. One thing I’ve started to become more sensitive to is how I’ve got several different interests, passions, hobbies that don’t always cross over to one another which can make some of my streams feel like a lot more noise than signal.

So, with that in mind I’ve started to make some changes and tweaks to try and focus the different streams of content so those who choose to consume content I produce (thanks, by the way) can get the type of content they’re interested in, and hopefully none (or at least as little as possible) of the stuff they don’t.

New Portfolio Site

The biggest change so far is that I’ve started to migrate all work/portfolio related content into a new site at – since I’m working full-time the showcase worthy freelance work & speaking engagements are a little more spread out, causing them to easily get lost  in the sea of other posts and content on this site. I’m also trying to keep my actual “blog” a lot lighter in terms of moving parts and that ran counter to having slicker, portfolio style posts.

Everything Else

So what to follow / where to read?

Fire Hose
My primary twitter account @ryancoleman continues to be my fire hose stream – pretty much everything ends up there eventually.
Ideas / Opinion / Blog
That’s this site,

Work, Speaking & Facilitation Portfolio
That would be the new site mentioned above

Photography [Photoblog | @ryansphotos | Tumblr ]
I’m not sure I’ve found the right mix here yet but in a nutshell:

– if RSS is your preferred method the Photoblog is your best bet
@ryansphotos is the same content as the photoblog, just via twitter (my @ryancoleman account also includes these posts)
– My Tumblr Photoblog integrates the primary photoblog content & my Instagram pics

Humour, Oddstuff, General Interest [Tumblr]
I’ve got an odd sense of humour – I try to keep that side of me confined to my primary Tumblr blog.

So there you have it, if you got this far thanks for reading – hopefully this helps you narrow the stream of content coming from me if the fire hose is just too much.

App I’m Loving: Paper

I first got turned on to paper yesterday when John McArdle posted about it on the Teehan & Lax blog – I downloaded it right away, sprung for the brush pack shortly after and have been using it almost constantly (well, at least @ every opportunity) for the past two days. In short, “Paper” is a sketching app – you can create notebooks, add pages to them and then sketch away to your heart’s content. It comes with one brush free (and it’s a darn good brush) but no doubt you’ll want to pick-up the add on brushes ($1.99 ea or $7.99 for the whole set).

Example of Brushes & Colours available in Paper

Like John, I’m a long time Sketchbook Pro fan and had been using it for sometime. While it was great on my desktop I never quite got in the groove with it when I started trying their Sketchbook Express on the iPad. With Paper though, I immediately connected with it and just loved the quality of the default brush. Drawing features are kept to a bare minimum (brush selection, fixed palette, draw & erase & undo – aka ‘rewind’.) & changing/adding pages is simple and straight forward.

Nice Touches

A couple of things I really like:

  1. Multiple ‘Sketchbooks’
    Paper lets you create multiple “Books” in the app, so I can section off my personal stuff form my work stuff really easily – or if I’m working on a specific project I can give it its own book etc.
  2. Rewind
    Their interpretation of “undo” is great. Rather than simply undoing and removing the entire last action you made you can simple ‘rewind’ by placing two fingers on the screen & then moving them counter clock-wise. And it backs up your actions, just as rewind implies. Go too far? Just rotate your fingers clockwise. I found it a little finicky at first but after a bit of use it’s become pretty natural.

One Feature Request/Wish

While I appreciate the minimalism there’s one feature I’d love to see added and that’s very, very basic layers. I don’t eed full blown layers like Photoshop or Sketchbook but even just having two layers would be great. I’ve encountered a few times where it’d be great to be able to sketch something out on one layer, then ink & colour over it on a second and finally remove or hide the sketch layer when finished. I know it breaks the paper metaphor, but still…

Highly recommend it – Paper is available in the Apple App Store for iPads.