Pinot Does it Again

I have posted previously about the great Vine artist Pinot. Yesterday he posted this Vine of a train coming out of a tunnel. I think it has a Hogwarts Express feel to it.

The use of light in this one is amazing. The light changes on the train cars as they pass out of the tunnel. Also, the lighting of the ground and rocks around the tracks are changed by the passing train, including the light coming from the windows.

This is definitely one of my favorites.

Tom’s Favorites: Internet Edition – The Amazing Artist Pinot on Vine

This is the first in an occasional series of posts that I plan to do on my favorite things, people, places, and anything else I think is cool. I am starting off with an Internet Edition on the brilliant artist Pinot.

I came across Pinot on Vine, the app that makes 6 second videos. Vine is perfect for doing tradtional and stop motion animation, and Pinot takes it to the next level. Pinot lives in Kuwait with his wife and young children, who make appearances in many of his Vines. He has also been commisioned by companies like Ford and ESPN to do commercial Vines.

The thing I like about Pinot is how he combines drawings with real world objects, including people. His drawings appear to come into and influence things happening in the real world, like this one celebrating the World Cup:

Other Vines show the influence the the real world can have on a drawing, like sharpening a pencil:

Or taking a walk in the “rain”:

The best thing about Pinot is that he shares a lot of tips, how-tos and behind the scenes. For example, he did a Vine celebrating the work of Miyazaki (Spirited Away):

Then posted the behind the scenes:

One of the best tricks he uses is to shoot through glass. The glass can be drawn on or used as place to put cut out drawings on. This is one way he gets the effect of 3D or something flying off the page.

Check out Pinot on Vine. He is also on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Sites and Services I Use in Support of

I use different sites and services in support of my website. This is for video files, sound files, pictures and even documents I may refer to in a post. I do this for three reasons.

The first is that the sites and services I use, such as YouTube and Vine for videos, are simply a better way to go than hosting them myself. These services were specifically designed to handle their file types. All of them have iPhone apps that make sharing very easy not only to my site, but to my Twitter and Facebook accounts as well.

The second reason is my hosting service, BlueHost. Though BlueHost offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, there is a caveat. They define “unlimited” as how much storage and bandwidth a personal or small business website would use in normal operation. As we all know, video files can be huge, and streaming videos can take a large amount of bandwidth.

At this point in my site’s life I am not too worried about exceeding “normal operation” (and I am fine with BlueHost’s policy), but I just do not want it to ever be an issue. The main driver, though, is the functionality, ease of use, and sharing/iPhone app support that these services offer.

The third reason I use these services is my recent experience with moving hosting services. Though many hosting services use a similar folder structure (/public_htm/ for example), not all of them do. My last host – Earthlink – used a different folder structure than BlueHosts so I needed to update links. If I had all of my files hosted on my current hosting service and decided to move again, I may need to update a lot of links. Again. Yes, there are ways to do that, some (semi-)automated, but still many steps to go through. This way, anything stored and linked to on one of these sites or services will maintain their current links if I move.

Here is an overview of the sites and services I use. In the next few months I will do individual posts on each, discuss how I use them, and give any tips or tricks I may have come across.

Website Build: WordPress

The first thing to keep in mind is that there are two types of WordPress. One is This is a free service (similar to Blogger) where the site files are hosted by WordPress on their servers. Totally free sites will have “” as part of their name, though for a fee you can have a dedicated name assigned to it. There are some limitations to what you can and cannot do on a blog. Please see their website for more information.

The other type of WordPress is This is the type of WordPress that I use. has themes, plugins and other files that can be downloaded from their site and installed on a hosting service that you pay for. Some hosting services, like BlueHost, have applications that will install the WordPress files on your site for you. Then you customize the site with the theme you want, plugins and widgets to include, and so on.

Using a hosting service is not free, but it gives you more control of your site and your content. The Kindle book WordPress for Beginners by Dr. Andy Williams was very helpful to me when I was setting up my site.

Picture and File Hosting: MediaFire

There are many great sites for storing/hosting pictures (Flickr, Tumblr, Picasa, etc.) and for storing/hosting files (Dropbox [which I use daily and love], Google Drive, etc.), but I decided to go with MediaFire.

MediaFire allows me to upload and store not only picture files, but other types of files like Word documents and PDFs. One post I have coming up is about some Visual Basic for Applications programming I did in Word and I want to be able to easily share an example Word document.

I use the Pro version of MediaFire, which is normally $4.99 a month, but as of this writing (January 2014) is half price. The Pro version includes ad free sharing and downloading, and 100GB of storage. It also includes the ability to link directly to my pictures or files. The MediaFire web interface is very clean, you can create folders, and drag-and-drop files from your desktop for upload. I also like their iPhone app.

There are many other solutions you can use – including free ones – but the biggest draw was having one place to store and organize my pictures and files, having them be available ad free, and overall ease of use. This also keeps my Dropbox account completely separate from my site.

Video Hosting: YouTube

YouTube is of course the premier video sharing service. Once I finish ramping up the website my plan is to focus on my YouTube videos and channel. A great feature of YouTube is the ability to embed a video stored there into a page on your site. Yes, the videos are ad supported, but the trade off for their storage and use of their bandwidth is worth it to me.

Because YouTube is so ubiquitous many apps, programs and even cameras with built-in wi-fi have “upload to YouTube” options.

I also like Vimeo, though I have not used it very much. Cool features include being ad free and you can password protect videos. Some filmmaker friends of mine have used this when sharing reels or clips that they didn’t want completely out in the wild yet.

MicroVideo Blogging Service: Vine

I have been on Twitter since February 2008. When they announced Vine I had to check it out. Vine is a fun app to create 6 second videos. Like YouTube, the videos can be embedded into webpages. Some people are doing amazing animations with Vine. It is also great for quick, simple demos or examples when you don’t need to do a fullblown video. Also on the list to do more with in 2014.


I love Vine. Six seconds of fun. I plan to do many more this year that I will share here as well.

I will also share some Vines I like and recommend some Vine creators who do amazing things with those six seconds.

This Vine I took when I was in Connecticut the week before Christmas. Hadn’t driven in weather like this in years, but did fine. AWD helped. A lot.