Sunday, July 30, 2006

Starting Olaf...

First things first, I started Olaf this weekend. I started off by installing Lightwave 9 since I hadn't had a chance to play with it while I was finishing the last gig (done in 8.5 and didn't wanna jinx things). I'm enjoying it. The new edge tools are great and I love the new 4+point sub-d's. Bout time. I think I'm still gonna pick up Silo which I've been playing with at work in my downtime. It's a great mix of Maya and Lightwave modeling to me and is hard to beat for $100., on Saturday afternoon, I started by taking a hard look at Cory's drawings and trying to get a feel for what that would look like in 3d. Illustrators tend to not worry so much about staying "on model" when they do their illustrations. They're more concerned with the single image then a consistent moving one, so I tried to pick out the key facial landmarks I could. I did some of my own quick studies to try and get a hand on it, drew some quick modeling images and started up. I spent most of last night on starting to model while also refamiliarizing myself with modeling again. I've not really done any serious modeling in some time...especially character modeling. I looked at it this morning before heading to church and saw the utter crap that it was and decided to start over when I got home. After church, I picked up some modeling clay and spent a good bit of this afternoon experimenting with Olaf's head "in the round". When I was satisfied I had a better understanding (and convinced of the feableness of my sculpting abilities), I started again. The above image is where I'm at. LONG way to go, but can't wait to have this character ready to move around. He's gonna be a ball to animate. Many thanks again to Cory for letting me give him a CG breath of life:)

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Holy cheerios, Batman! I'm DONE with my freelance gig. I'm burning the DVD's for the client now. Whoo hoo! It'll be a bit till I can update my site cause well, that hard drive crash I had a few weeks back took out all of my web source work. So, now that this is done, I have to get another hard drive to start unpacking my backups onto to see if what I've lost forever, and what I've got sitting in an archive somewhere. Good times. As soon as the client get's the DVD ready for sale, I'll post a link cause I know you'll wanna help Tiko pay for his pear eating addiction;)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Portland Studios Blog

My friends over at Portland Studios have started a blog. They're a great bunch of phenomenally talented artists that I love to work with any chance I can. In fact, my next personal project is a collaboration with Cory to take one of his great characters into the THIRD DIMENSION MWAAA HAA HAAA... ...err...something like that;) Sorry for stealing the pic Cory;)

A Sigh and a Movie...

First, the sigh - My freelance gig is completely rendered, composited and template setup for the client. All I have to do now is a few promotional things for the DVD cover, advertising, behind the scenes, etc. Holy moly am I ready to be done. Now for the movie. Earlier this week, one of the guys invited us to see The Ant Bully at the IMAX. His girlfriend had a lead on getting premiere passes through her work. Very little arm twisting was necessary to get me on board. So, Tuesday after work we headed to the Navy Pier and got a bite to eat at healthy and wholesome McDonald's. A 10 pack of chicken nuggets, fries and a diet coke later I was lethargically rarin' to go. I don't eat fast food very often at all anymore. Something in my system decided a few years ago to punish me every time I surrendered to the greasy caloric gluttony. Punish me it does. We then headed to the movie and received our swank 3d shades...

Jae, me, Randy
Jae's girlfriend likes to take pics and was kind enough to share. The movie was a lot better than I thought it would be. The animation was very good - a lot higher quality than Jimmy Neutron and was a pleasant surprise. The lighting, sets and art direction were nice takes on themes that had been done before. Two other ant movies done before covered a lot of ground but this film was able to stay out of their wakes for the most part. The 3d effect was very cool as they actually rendered the shots twice (one for each eye). When I saw Chicken Little in 3d last fall I was a bit disappointed by their implementation. It felt more like a children's story book pop up book in motion then true 3d perspective. Another nice surprise was that the director of the film was at the premiere and the kids and parents asked some funny questions. There were one or two more technical questions but for the most part it was just fun stuff. Good fun.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Book Thoughts : The Da Vinci Code

Short of it - Good writing, interesting characters, and exciting ride. Long of it - So, apparently this is a pretty well known book, eh?....;) I decided to see what all the hype was about. I actually started with Angels and Demons which was a great novel and was glad I did for some of the allusions to that story found in The Da Vinci Code. However, having finished the second and first books, I have to say that it seems pretty apparent that Mr. Brown has some major issues with the Catholic church. I'm not Catholic and didn't really take offense, but it's pretty blatent. That being said, he is a very talented author who weaves a pretty engaging fictional tale. I really enjoyed both books. There was quite an uproar right before the movie came out (I didn't see it cause I hadn't read the book) from some Christians who wanted the movie censored. As someone who tries to follow Jesus, I gotta say that I don't think that was a good way to go about it. Yes, there's some pretty wild claims put forth by Mr. Brown, but if someones faith can be rocked by a "historical" piece of fiction, they need it to be shaken so that they can figure out exactly what it is they believe. The "fact page" of the book really doesn't go so far as to claim (in as much as I can see) that Mr. Brown is purporting his theories as fact. The details of the "fact page" are intentionally narrow in scope. In particular,

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
I imagine the descriptions are quite accurate. His interpretations and theories are very much open to debate- as is painfully obvious by the uproar:) I'm not gonna go into detail on why I disagree with certain theories. I don't know that I have a good enough memory nor the knowledge to write intelligently to that, but I've read many of "extra" gospels he refers to in the book. He doesnt' refer to all of them - there are quite a few and he does a fair bit of cherry-pickin'. In my early 20's I went through a phase of questioning my faith and I read a lot of texts that are beyond the "cannon" of the Protestent Bible and in doing so, it was painfully obvious why many of the texts didn't make the cut. However, the Catholics have a few more books that the protestants (namely, the Apocrypha), and the Eastern Orthodox others still. As far as I know, most of those have to do with the Old Testatment. In regards to the "lost gospels", if we suddenly found a document that claimed to be a testament of the life of Abraham Lincoln and it said that Abe in fact led an invasion of western China we might just pause a moment to compare that to what we already knew before just accepting it at face value. I'm comfortable with the idea the Bible I have is the one I have for a reason. I imagine that most people will believe what they want to believe as the character, Robert Landon, himself points out in the book. If you want to believe that Jesus was just a man and has no claim on your heart and are willing to accept fiction as fact, this book is a very entertaining way to get you there. If you want to find out actual facts, perhaps starting in the non-fiction aisle is a better place to begin.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lots O' Nothin!

  • Never ending rendering - So my never ending project is about at an end. I really can't thank the client enough for being patient. Let's just say that rendering at HD res adds just a "wee" bit of render time AND Lightwave doesn't render the hypervoxels so fast at that res. I'm pretty tired of not having my main computer. That and losing a hard drive a few weeks back makes me ready to give my computer a little break. About 30 frames to go!
  • Running after being sick - I was sick for about 3 weeks. Not too bad of sickness - tired all the time, headaches, etc. So for about that much time I didn't really jog. So last week, I tried to start up again. Wow did I lose a lot of my runnin' mojo. Before I got sick, I was running 6 miles most days and close to 10 every other weekend. This week, I started at completing 2 of my 4 mile circuit and after a week of it, I'm only barely back at 4. The funny thing is I lost nothing on the lifting front....strange.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Saw this last weekend with some friends. To get ready for it, I watched the first one the night before. The movie was a fantastic popcorn flick...just a whole lot of fun. It was a little long, but not too bad. On the special effects front I just have to say, "Wow!" Davy Jones is the most amazing cg character I have yet seen on the screen. The greatness of Golum has been eclipsed and my mind is still reeling at the how's of it. It was a special effects smorgasborg and I can't wait to pick up the DVD to see the behind the scenes.

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