Brendan Dawes
The Aesthetics of Form and Code

That Was The Week That Was — 3rd March 2019

Monday I started in earnest on a title sequence for an upcoming conference — another project I'm creating in Houdini. It's based on the idea of oscillation and interference in that attendees and the event itself acts as little oscillators that cause an interference pattern to emerge.

I also ordered a new computer keyboard — a mechanical one from WASD, after I got tired of the iMac Pro keyboard. The Mac one is fine but not as good as it could be, plus I do love a nice clicky keyboard. I liked how with WASD I could customise the colours exactly as I wanted it. When it arrives this coming week it should have a nice retro look and feel.

With that in mind I wanted to improve on my typing speed, so I found my way to keybr — a beautiful online system to help you get better at typing. Have to say I've already improved — so far reaching on average 40wpm. In addition, I needed to stop my beloved office chair from descending whenever it felt like it since the gas cylinder started to die. I found a great simple fix on YouTube involving a cheap piece of plastic pipe. It worked great and now my posture is as it should be when sat at my desk.

Tuesday was the last day of my financial year and I'm happy to say that both turnover and profit is up quite nicely. An acquaintance once said to me "Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity" — something that has always stuck with me. Whilst it has been a great year, the beginning of last year was really quiet. It goes to show you have to keep the faith and stay strong in respect of the things you believe in and the work you want to create.

Had an interesting Skype call with a manufacturer of high-end handmade carpets who want to collaborate with me to create a collection for them. It was surprising how they referenced work I had done years ago that I felt was kind of throwaway or trivial at best. It went to reinforce my own thoughts on how important it is to put yourself and your work out there as you never know who it may resonate with. The process that goes into the making of these carpets is truly amazing and certainly could be a new thing for me if it moves forward.

Touch Designer was dusted down as I started to explore a video piece for a new collaboration which I can't say too much about just yet. I do love Touch Designer, especially as it reminds me of working with Max/MSP a few years back, but it's not without its quirks. For instance, just wiring up a button to play or pause a video seems more complicated than it needs to be, having to wire in a select node before you can do anything with the state coming from the button. I'm guessing there must be a reason for it but it can be a little frustrating.

On Wednesday, apart from working on the title sequence, I took some time out to write a blog post entitled Seeking Alternative Rectangles detailing how I'm trying to better manage ever pervading screens. It seemed to resonate with a few people who feel the same way.

Thursday I started to drill down further on the typography for this title sequence, tightening up the underlying grid and making sure the font weight can be seen against the main imagery. After some tests I've decided to not labour how the type is shown — there's no fancy type reveal or even fading in and out. I just want to keep things clean and simple and not have cheap gimmicks.

I decided on Friday to write a new blog post about my favourite text editor Vim, describing the power of 'g' and how it can be used in different ways. There's probably only a handful of people that it's relevant to, but to be honest I write this stuff mostly for myself anyway — albeit a little quicker than when I started the week.