Category Archives: Blog

Changing Times for Graphic Design

Graphic Design Can Mock-up

Not too many years ago it was common to design and then “shoot” a product in a photography studio. Nothing wrong with it, but it was time consuming and expensive. It also required the designer to have the “mockup” product perfect.

Now we have something new. Photoshop document files that work with smart objects and layers. They create virtual packaging in the computer at very high resolution and allow you to change elements within the design at will.


Experience the 48 Hour Film Project


You have 48 hours to create a short film that includes writing the script, shooting it, editing it and scoring it. Can you do it? Would you do it? What would you do?

That’s the basic idea behind The 48 Hour Film Project . This is a wild sleepless weekend where you and your team members get a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre then complete a short film for showing at a local theater.

48 Hour Film Project Crew


Intro to Character Design – Summer Workshop at MMI


Do you enjoy doodling little fuzzy creatures? Are you serious about drawing characters? Whether you’re a student enrolled in a program at MMI, or someone who is just interested in the subject of character design, you might enjoy the weekly adventure we’re embarking on this summer at Madison Media Institute. Join us for what promises to be a fun and informative workshop entitled, Intro to Character Design.

My name is Jeff Butler. I’m an instructor in the Game Art and Animation Program at MMI and I’ll be teaching the Intro to Character Design workshop. I’ve been a professional illustrator for over 30 years. During that time, I’ve illustrated book covers, comic books and many toy and game projects. I spent 5 years as an illustrator in the world famous art department of TSR, Inc. (the original makers of Dungeons&Dragons.) I also worked for 13 years as a video game character and concept artist at Raven Software. Over my career, I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of character art and design. I hope you’ll join me for our summer character workshop! Let me take a moment to tell you more about the class.


Choosing a Pro Camera

The DCS, state-of-the-art, 1991

In 1991 Nikon introduced its first digital camera, the DCS 420. Featuring a 1.3 Megapixel CCD designed by Kodak, the DCS had a separate memory system so hefty that it was worn on a shoulder strap, but it could be used with Nikon’s excellent range of lenses and so was considered a “pro” camera.

Any modern cell phone can out-perform the DCS, thanks to advances in miniaturization and onboard image processing, and cell phone photography has become a whole new genre, and a very interesting one. There is still a need, though, for a “pro” camera when image quality is important, and there are specific features to look for when you’d like to move beyond the typical “point-and-shoot”.


We Are The New Norm


Media is everywhere. There is no way to get away from it unless you’re a hermit. Interaction with media today is unprecedented thanks to our online and plugged in culture.

We also know that the film industry of independent filmmakers and Hollywood alike are a huge part of our American culture and society. Continuous interaction with films, movies, cinema is the new norm. Entertainment remains our biggest export. If we continue this new norm, Wisconsin should be taking advantage of opportunities the Hollywood and independent film industry has to offer.  What does that mean?  We need to resurrect the Wisconsin film credits. How do we do this? The process is lengthy but know there is an excess in the Wisconsin State budget and there is no reason to put Wisconsin on the map (once again) and place it in a competitive role for incentives.   [More…]

Audio Video In An IT World Part III

Audio Video

Click HERE to read part I and HERE for part II of Audio Video In An IT World.

Defined as a “happy accident”. Over the week-end I was enjoying a blu-ray in 3D on my home system. After the movie completed I was exploring the features of my player particularly in the networking area. Today’s players have many network services built in such as, Netflix, Hulu and Blockbuster to name a few. These services are constantly being added in the form of firmware updates from the internet. I however was more interested in the LAN connectivity that allowed me to access media files located throughout my network. These files consist of Audio, Video/Movie and Photos. [More…]

Engineering And Recording Society Of Chicago

From Left to Right: Milano Ortiz, Simon Sosa, Daniel Szfranek, Patrick McElwee, Chris Taylor, Nick Dushack, Danny Leak, and Fran Allen-Leake

Please do not let the quality of this picture fool you. This event was one of the most beautiful and clear events that I have ever attended, and that has nothing to do with the fact that I was the designated driver. The event that I am referring to is the Engineering And Recording Society (EARS) of Chicago. Danny has been my mentor for years; one couldn’t do better than to learn from this guy who is Stevie Wonder’s Front Of House Engineer and Ramsey Lewis’ Studio Engineer. [More…]