Creative software skills?


As I’ve been enjoying Isaac Arthur’s videos, I’ve appreciated the team who animate the subjects for him. So my question for the community is, does anyone have crazy talents at creative software skills? No not your ability to write an AI in assembly inside 64kb, impressive, but not that. I mean modelling and animation software skills that bring a subject or news item to life. It’s a vodcast not a podcast after all, and I think the show(s) would benefit from more art content. It’s an area I wish I had more experience in - there’s plenty of open source software to do the job after all - but would be good to know what talents are out there, especially if you were willing to deploy them for the audience.


100% this! I don’t think we’re just limited to 3D/2D animations either (although those would help a lot!) I’m in desperate need of people to help manage social, help promote the shows, maybe help design set pieces… If there is something anyone in the community is great at and love doing – Would love to chat!

Chris, to your point animations and design work would go a long way to improving the show. I think some edited deep dive topics would be great too.


@Bencredible I have a very limited skill set, most not applicable :pensive:, but I work a lot with databases and dabble in Perl programming (to get info’s out of the databases into workable files… If that helps, I’m all for it.



I have some Basic,C,ASP,PHP,MYSQL Python skills also linunx,windows,and for us oldies CPM. I’m good with the behind the pretty stuff and the make the pretty work just don’t ask me to desgin the pretty stuff afraid my brian isn’t wired that way.


Looks like we have a couple of guys who can work the plumbing… What would be cool is if we had a rocket launch center. A sort of HUD that gave you a bunch of info about the rocket and its current state. Not 100% sure where to get the data, but at a high level what does everyone think of that as a TMRO project?


Sounds cool. Would be more than happy to help on the behind the graphics bits


The info about the rockets is simple, a database takes care of that, the current state is not really doable at the time, as this information is proprietary and the only way right now would be an ocr on screen grabs, not really workable.


Need to flesh out your HUD idea a bit for me, Ben. I like the idea of a rocket/launch/location database to draw from, maybe as a standard graphical overlay of launch footage used in the news section. Think we need a GitHub/repository for art and animations too, even if we don’t yet have anyone creative to contribute, at least create the mechanism to make it easy to upload content in the future. Server space required. Ideas anyone?


Ok, refining this a bit… making taking data from LaunchLibrary and creating a CasparCG template (HTML of sorts) that can give us stats on the current launch, vehicle, etc. Then when we have launch coverage in the show we just select the template, plug in the launch number and it auto-generates the overlay.

Same deal with the weekly calendar. If we could have a sleek way to link to LaunchLibrary and auto-render the calendar in CasparCG (again maybe HTML of sorts) that would be awesome.


Ok so CasparCG is new to me (haven’t worked with that sort of animation before) but i can certainly help with database and api integration to/from the page, and will read up on Casper if you want to go ahead with this to help with integration. on using ‘ocr’ screen grabs it’s not overly hard grab the html output from the page you want then with php or asp it’s fairly easy to strip out the tags and code grab the text and do whatever with it (dump it to a db or push it to somewhere else) that bit I have done in the past. so that way getting any public domain info that isn’t already availble by an api can be done. In fact in some cases it easier to do that than deal with a badly structured or documented api.


The HTML output is a no-brainer, once the final format is decided. OCR is not needed for a web site scraper, but to get the actual status the only source I know is the official videos, hence ocr, but that would be a) too expensive and b) too unreliable. Second best would be the Twitter stream from SpaceX, but if those messages are hand crafted it can become problematic to glean the correct information via RegEx.
What would be possible as a hack:
For each rocket type (beginning with “default”, ending with a specific launch reference) you can enter estimates, say “2:10 into the flight MECO, 2:11 into the flight first stage separation,…” in a sensible sql way, possibly with references to images or animations befitting it. Of course that would never feel “right” .
CasparCG looks like a form of XML, so that is the least of the problems.


Sounds like a plan. This could be an intresting and possibly in some repects technically changling project. Certian one for some of us to take a first foray into CasparCG.


I think the simplest way to store the rockets is in parts, so that for each rocket you enter the parts (stages, boosters, satellites, fairings), that way you don’t have to have a special rocket for each subtype of, for example, the Delta family. Each part can then have its own statistics, thrust, materials, weight, dimensions, etc. Each launch would then reference a “build” made up of these parts, where each part is assigned a staging number, so you could, for example, calculate the thrust of the first stage or the approximate height/weight of the complete rocket, and a type number (for example a booster can be sometimes a booster and sometimes a stage in itself). Those numbers would be off, as there are connection pieces and fuel loads that change, but you could have an overwrite table where known wrong estimates can be overridden with correct values once they are known. As databases go its quite simple and straightforward.


What are you currently using CasparCG for? I’m going to have to read up on it as it’s new to me too before I comment on it. We still need to hunt down some software artists who are space enthusiasts. Where to find them??


CasparCG is currently used for all playout of images and videos and also for comments from the chat using a HTML based template IIRC.


This thread from the CasparCG forum might have some good ideas for creating HTML templates: WYSIWYG software to create HTML Templates - General - CasparCG Community Forum


I am astounded, JS seems so… wrong. Well, as I said, I can transport data into something like that, but for the life of me I couldn’t create it.


Well it beats the flash based templates from the earlier versions :slight_smile:


I think I have people who can work the design side… if you guys can all help do the backend that would be awesome.


I can work out my database proposal next weekend (fingers crossed, I don’t need to work) and that could be a basis to continue talks. I think the idea itself holds water, but it could be, someone with better knowledge of skills has a better idea.
Filling the database with values is a far bigger job, because that is where knowledge about rockets and their parts come into play, so this will be far more time consuming.
Is there someone here who can build a data entry screen? I’ve never had to do that, so I’m lost there.
Question to Ben what database are we talking about, mysql/mariadb, postgresql or oracle?