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Sunday, September 30, 2012

500 Subs, and a sneak peak of Season 3

Five hundred subscribers! We are very pleased to see that there is still a growing audience, and very thankful that most of you stayed. As I mention time and time again, I hope Machine Zealots can last for a significant amount of time, and hope you guys stay and enjoy the show.

As mentioned before, I am taking the liberty of upgrading our production value. This includes slicker graphics, nicer editing, and of course, better overall content. (Hopefully). I've also finished editing and polishing up the new intro sequence which will be used on the episodes starting from Season 3, January 2013.

I personally like the new intro a lot better than the current one. I don't want to spoil it by showing you guys the complete video yet though, but here's a screen shot of one of the frames:

Anyway, thanks again for the support! I'll be looking forward to the next hundred people who find Machine Zealots!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brake fluid flush and bleed on the STI

This is the last video for the season. Bleeding and flushing your brake fluid is one of the most important aspects in car maintenance, especially if you frequently brake hard. Constant hard braking, like at the track or race days, causes the brake fluid to lose integrity and maybe even boil over. Overtime, brake fluid itself gets exposed to air and moisture, causing air bubbles and other contaminants to form in the brake fluid. All of this effects the hydraulic braking system itself, and will end up giving your car less braking efficiency.

I highly recommend getting a partner to help you out for this procedure. As explained in the video, if there is a partner that is coordinated with your actions, you can get the job done in an hour or less. If you do not have a partner to help you out, I would suggest that you invest in a vacuum pump/brake bleeder kit. They don't cost a fortune, around $50, and there are other uses for it too. If you are into maintaining your own car, then I would purchase one anyway.

In this video, I used Motul DOT 5.1 brake fluid for daily driving purposes. If I go to track days next year, I will be flushing the brake fluid with a better suited brake fluid.

I will update you guys when Season 3 will be back on the air. Cheers!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Inspiration Driven

This afternoon, I posted on the Machine Zealots' Facebook Page that I had driven by an Aspen White Hawkeye STI, and we exchanged waves out our windows. There was a sense of camaraderie, a brotherhood, and definitely an exclusive mutual feeling the STI owners share.

This reminded me of the Fraternity of STI, which started when the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI was released. It was one of Subaru's marketing campaigns to make the STI owners feel like they were in, well, a fraternity. They sold t-shirts and stickers for this club, so this gave me the desire to create a t-shirt design of my own.

At the beginning I had wanted to display the slogan, "Join the Brotherhood". This was obviously played off of the Fraternity of STI theme. However, it soon came to my attention that it was too shallow, and maybe even childish. With the help of some of you guys, I think I finally decided on something that hit the mark.

To be honest, I even questioned myself if there was a need for a slogan. I turned off the text, and it just felt empty. The text should be small enough on the t-shirt, so it wouldn't be visually distracting, yet it still gives the right energy overall. The words, "Inspiration. Driven." are just two words that I think describe an STI. Though you may think there are a hundred other words that could describe the STI, I felt these two words also described the overall design. Or at least, that's how I felt when I was designing it.

I posted this image on some Subaru forums and the general feedback, other than the slogan, were that they liked the design, but didn't know what it was. Well the design concept was simple, I chose to focus on one of the characteristics of the STI, the kick you feel when on boost. I started off the design with an image of the STI's turbocharger. If you are looking at the image, you are actually staring at the turbocharger dead on. The turbo was then treated to look like it's pulling in air. Obviously, also treated with super high contrast, so you lose the image of the turbo completely. The rest is just an abstract representation of the forced induction process. I wanted to express grittiness, power, chaos, but also show form, elegance and beauty. This is just the essence of how an STI can be represented in my mind. In the end however, my goal was to create an image that could catch the attention of others. Hopefully, this does the trick for some people.

I will make these shirts and hoodies available soon. I'm just deciding which color I want printed for myself. There will be three color variations (variations on the STI logo only): STI's Cherry Blossom Red, Monster Energy's Lime Green, and White for that extra stealthy look.

Thanks for all those who participated in helping us create the slogan!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Production history, and the future

We love doing what we do on Machine Zealots. Working on cars, attending car shows, and even just driving around. However, none of that is as important as documenting it on video and sharing it with the world. I started filming what we do from an iPhone 3GS, which doesn't even shoot HD video, then I went onto using strictly GoPro Cameras. Big thanks to GoPro for their help and support.

Shooting with GoPros.

Ever since the Machine Zealots' YouTube channel was born, I've already put in constant upgrades into our arsenal of production hardware. We started with a GoPro HD Hero and recorded both the audio and video on that one camera. However, the GoPro camera didn't have the sound quality I needed, so I ended up buying a Zoom H1 audio recorder. Later on, GoPro sponsored two of their newest cameras for Machine Zealots to use, the GoPro HD Hero 2.

Autocrossing with an arsenal of cameras.

While these cameras are both versatile and powerful, there are things they just can not do. That is why I have been asking around for camera advice, and doing tons of research. We plan on investing in a DSLR, which is a much more powerful camera, but also within our budget. Most importantly, this camera will have a lens, so there is much more to play with from here on out. I am very excited for the future, and I'll do an entire write up of our equipment and editing software for you guys some day. I've been asked many times what we use to make our videos, so I suppose I owe you guys a behind the scenes look at Machine Zealots.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

RevScene Summer 2012 Video

This is the video for the annual RevScene meet. The show was very well organized, and showcased some of the best cars owned by locals here. The Lexus LFA was a sight to behold, especially when I have never seen it outdoors in person.

Also got to meet a couple of Machine Zealots' viewers, who came up to us and introduced themselves. It was a pretty good experience overall.

Can't wait for next year's show!