Fast Image Rotation Engine (FiRE for short)

Tubatomic Studio has been working on some fun side projects in addition to our client work. One of those projects is a programming solution to a problem I was having.

When I began to make the transition from using Corel Draw to Adobe Illustrator for vector graphics and digital illustration about a month ago, I decided to turn Prom Night Fist Fight into a digital sketchbook/playground (because I know myself well enough to know I will typically only produce art and/or content so long as I have an outlet for it.) 

Digital playgrounds are hardly an original idea (off the top of my head I can think of Jemma Hostetler’s Prate and Mike Cina’s True Is True.) But I wanted a simple content management solution that allowed me to upload a graphic to a folder (via ftp) and for the site to display the images in order. This would eliminate the need for individual html pages and would (in theory) only leave you with one file and one image folder. My PHP knowledge is extremely basic, so I explained what I wanted to our resident guru-of-all-things-web Alex Ogle, and he responded by writing a super simple script that solved the problem. The FiRE script ended up being two php files (just for ease of updating the code) and one image folder. The read-me file is actually bigger than the script itself.

Prom Night Fist Fight is running the FiRE script and all I do when I create sketches in Illustrator is save-to-web straight from that app, determine the background color, name the file correctly, and upload to my images folder. It then displays the images in chronological order. There’s no extra html pages, no added css, and no editing of php files. I just name the file and upload it. Fast Image Rotation. Beautiful.

After I got Prom Night Fist Fight running, I started brainstorming other ways we could use the FiRE script for web solutions. All you actually need to make it work is an image-creation app of some variety, a domain, and ftp access to that domain. I decided to see what I could do with a mobile phone blog (I wondered if I could snap a photo on the Treo, name it correctly, upload it to my site via a basic ftp program, and then the photos would display in order within the framework of an already css-styled site) and a Polaroid photoblog.

With some slight CSS/HTML modifications to the index page, .com/moblog took me all of an hour to set up. I axed the background color option and added a previous/next feature and a footer. I made .com/polaroid today during lunch break (and have about 200 Polaroids to rescan now and upload.) It’s a good example of how easily you can customize the script with other CSS framework.

Oh, by the way, the FiRE script is free. You can pick it up from Tubatomic right here and have it up and running on your server in less than 10 minutes. Go forth, be creative. Enjoy the fruit of our creative loins. (Ew?)