Welcome to johnbintz.com

Lenovo ThinkPad Pen Pro Troubleshooting

Jun 08, 2020

Some of these instructions are specific for Linux. All of them are the process I need to remember to walk through to get the pen working correctly. I also have 8 rechargeable AAAA batteries and two Pen Pros.

I really hate needing styluses that take or contain batteries. Older Wacoms (and Samsung S-Pens) were fine without them. :/ And I hate the idea of buying a bunch of AAAA alkaline batteries and throwing them away just to draw.

Papagayo: All the fixes

Jun 05, 2020

With the animation I’m working on I want some help breaking down the lip movements that Bamboo is going to have to make while talking. I saw that Synfig has support for loading Papagayo lip sync files so I took a look at the 2.0, C++ version of the project and saw it was quite abandoned.

I decided to incorporate a bunch of the great fixes to the software over the years, as well as a tweak of my own, to the all-the-fixes branch on my forked repo. And, to make sure it’s working as intended, I created a lip sync from my animatic audio in the forked version:

animatic audio save it

…and loaded it into Synfig:

load it see in properties

I’m not looking to become a hardcore maintainer of Papagayo. I just want it working well enough for my animation work. If you want to help keep it going, pull requests are best!

Update: I found the Python-based 1.x fork called Papagayo-NG which seems better maintained and has AppImages. I may try this one out as well. The project is also more active than the original one.

Synfig/Krita/Kdenlive Animation Notes

Jun 03, 2020

So you want to do hand-drawn animation on Linux and/or entirely with Free Open Source Software, and that animation involves lip syncing? Well, here’s some notes as I work on my first decent sized animation in Synfig/Krita/Kdenlive and I get my pipeline ready to go for smooth production work on future animation.

All in all, the process was pretty decent. It took some time to figure out the Synfig way of doing things, but once I got that, the actual pipeline of Krita -> Synfig -> Kdenlive was very smooth. Expect something way more substantial describing the process in the coming months.

Sandstorm static hosting proxying and Not Found handling with nginx

May 09, 2020

I host all my sites on Sandstorm using Hugo and hugo-sandstorm. This is super convenient for a couple reasons:

However, there are limitations:

I was solving the latter 2 for a while with HAProxy, but after setting up the site for Rabbit with 1000 Repos and realizing I wanted to shift pages and sections around as the dust settles on this hit new comic, I wanted 404 pages so folks could still find what they were looking for.

Here’s the nginx config I eventually came up with. You’ll still have to put the site’s public ID as a TXT record into your domain name as indicated in your static config setup, and make sure the Host header is sent along correctly so Sandstorm can do the DNS lookup correctly:

# redirect http to https without wildcards
server {
  listen 80;

  server_name ~^.*\.johnbintz.com$;

  return 301 https://johnbintz.com$request_uri;

# serve subdomainless from sandstorm
server {
  listen 443 ssl;

  # let's encrypt certificates go here

  server_name ~^johnbintz.com$;

  location / {
    proxy_set_header Host johnbintz.com;
    proxy_pass https://the-sandcats-url-sandstorm-static-publishing-gives-you;
    proxy_intercept_errors on;
    error_page 404 /404/;

Then, if you’re using Hugo, create content/404.md with the contents of your 404 page. In the event of a missing page, the user will be handed the content of this 404 page, and receive an HTTP 404 Not Found header in response, so search engines will do the right thing, and it’s way better than the blank Cannot GET /this-page-does-not-exist page you get normally with Sandstorm static publishing.

Root Board Game: Player Guide

Apr 26, 2020

I love the board game Root. It’s my favorite board game of all time. I love the RPG, too. I’ve been been working on making a one page player guide I use when I teach the game. You should buy the game, then use my player guide for when you want to help teach the game faster.