- I am inspired - This guy is absolutely amazing. Pocoyo is one of my favoritily (yes that is now a word) animated children's shows. I know I've posted it before. It's my blog and I'll do it again if I please;)
- Yet another cool film from across the pond - Jungle Jail - I dig some of the cinematography choices. Watch it here
- I have finished Mass Effect - I shall be animating again. No more games for a while. On the game in particular, the combat takes a while to get used to. I had many hours in it before really understanding how best to use my abilities. The other party members aren't that great at combat, so bear in mind that playing as a mainly support class wouldn't be such a grand plan. Some elements get a little repetitive at times (i.e. the planet scouring game design). However, the story was fantastic and the world better realized that I thought it would be from early observations during the game's development. The auto generated facial runs the gamut from pretty good to just bad in sections. However, the idea of trying to hand key that much facial animation is laughable. That last hour and a half of it was one of the best gaming experiences I've had in a while. I salute their efforts and eagerly look forward to what they have in store for the next chapter.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This is my first Christmas card I've drawn (at least as an adult). I seem to recall drawing some with my grandmother way back when with foxes, rabbits and maybe a dragon around baby Jesus. I finished it a week or so ago and I'm waiting for the printed cards to come in the mail to send out. For those that care, the original sketch was done pencil on paper an the coloring was done all in Photoshop. It was a lot of fun doing it and I look forward to repeating the exercise next year.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
- Life Lessons - "That don't wash" - This morning I threw my laundry in the wash as I was heading out the door for work. Went home for lunch to throw them in the dryer and noticed something resting in the bottom of the wash as I was transferring the clothes. Apparently, cell phones don't like to be submerged in water. Who knew!? No, letting it dry didn't work. So I ordered a new phone (cheaper than the store - the guy at the store even told me as such. 2 points for honesty) but it won't be here till Monday or so. So, if I know you and you try calling, that's why I don't answer.
- An actual site update! - Yeah, I finally got around to updating my age and location, and adding some stuff on my most recent "published" game project at work - Blacksite: Area 51. It ships next week and a new demo will be on live in a couple of weeks. Check it out:)
- Started working on a new project - I'm very excited to be working on another of my good friend David Bokser's Personal Film Project. Looking forward to seeing it continue to take form. I first read the script a long time back and I'm pumped he's in production. AND it means I get to do some full body hand key animation. YAY!
- Recent games -
- Jade Empire - Fantastic ride. Great story, fun combat, though I'd have preferred a few more styles. Ready for some Mass Effect now!
- Halo 3 - Ton of fun playing with my cousins, brother and friends online. Team based combat is just a ton of fun. Discovered I have an odd propensity to finish people off with a melee attack rather than shooting them. Seriously, it's my highest killing weapon - at one point doubling any other weapon. Who needs guns?
- Orange Box - Portal is one of the best games I've played. Period. Episode one and Two were good, Two was better than One but they were both great. Team Fortress 2 has some of the best character animation and design I've seen in a game. However, I think I'd prefer to play it on the PC.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
My buddy Steve challenged some of us guys at work to draw Avatar-portrait fan art of ourselves. I'm a geek and I accepted the gauntlet. Besides I gotta get my drawing muscles stretched for making Liz and I's Christmas card. My grandma used to draw hers and I've decided to continue the tradition. It was a quick one, but I had fun
Matt, to answer your question. Yes, it is all that. Track down the Blind Bandit episode and I'm confident you'll be sold;)
Thursday, October 4, 2007
So my friends at Portland have once again let loose their talent infused digital brushes. First comes a book illustrated by Justin Gerard.
Not to be outdone, Cory has one already out written (and sung) by one of my absolute favorite musicians - the infamously talented Andrew Peterson. If my nephews were on the internet, they'd know one of their presents.
What else is new.....hmmm...
- 5k's - I'm running a 5k tomorrow with my beautiful fiance in Houston. Should be fun. Hopefully the Houston humidity takes a day off...
- It's Fall - The Office, Heroes and Avatar are back...nough said...:)
- Halo 3 - Lots of fun fraggin it up with my cousins, brother and buddies from Chitown
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
My buddies over at Portland are some fantastic artists and they just opened their new store. I already had two of their shirts from their last release a while back in my closet and three more will be joining their brethren shortly. Buy one and support some talented artists (and nice folk to boot) :)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I ran across these three videos today. They comprise the pre-story behind Heavenly Sword (a game coming out for the PS3 soon). There may be more of them coming, I'm not sure. I have to say the art direction of the actual game looks run-of-the-mill compared to this. Maybe I'm just tired of "realistic" representation. How amazing would a game with this look be? Awesome indeed. At least it would be amazing looking...:)
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
(Dislaimer - VERY violent video, lots of blood and stuff, if you're squimish...move along)
So, the Stranglehold demo released last night on XBOX live. IGN did a quick write up on it and the comments I've been seeing for the most part show people enjoying it. If you're into shooting stuff up, give it a look.
I hadn't really seen the multiplayer in a very long time. Prolly a year ago. It's actually looking pretty fun.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
- FANTASTIC "simple" animation - I love this thing. Makes me wanna get back to "traditional" animation even more.
- Great animation blogs - I've stumbled across some great animation relate blogs recently I need to add to the side of my site, in the meantime, here's some of them:
- Free Dog Rig to good home - The guy who did package man (a rig I cut some animation teeth on) just released a free dog rig. One of the guy's blogs I follow did a test animation with it along with a little write up on it. Fun stuff!
- Great Dialogue - Keith Lango puts better into words much of what I've been thinking about the last year along with some great insights - part 1, part 2, part 3.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
- New(ish) job - Monday was my first day in Midway Austin. Things are going well and most importantly, my one way commute has gone from 38 miles to a fraction of that - 3.8miles. My small part toward driving less and stopping the world from blowing up because of mankind (see Al Gore's film for more information on that).
- Apartment living - Finding an apartment in a new place can be an absolute nightmare especially if you've never been to a town and have a day and a half in which to find one. I used a service called apartmentsnow.com which cost me nothing and I was very happy with. However, my new landlords are not starting off with a very good record. First of all, when I was looking here and they showed me the model, it looked great - nice new appliances, great color and great layout. What I didn't know and I discovered my first night here was that there is a rail line running directly behind the complex (far from the rental office or model I saw). My apartment just so happens to be about the closest in the whole complex to said railroad. Imagine my delight when trying to sleep. I reckon I'll get used to it. Sure will help me find a new place with my 6 month lease is up. Secondly, I got in a week ago Monday, dropped off the stuff from my car and went to the grocery store and got some milk and some Frosted Mini Wheats. My stuff wasn't to come until this past Saturday so on Tuesday I headed to Houston to hang out with my girlfriend. When I got back on Saturday and was waiting for the movers, I noticed some ants on the counter. I made a note of it and went down the rental office to request them have someone come out. I only thought it was a few ants and didn't think much of it. Further investigation found that the ants had quite a little conga line going. Right to my Frosted Mini Wheats. Flustered, I started calling the rental office as obviously the apartment had not been treated before I moved in. Wow. I have to hand it to them - they know how to give bad service. The first time I called and said that it needed to be dealt with that day as I couldn't unpack or buy any food till that ant problem was fixed. They said there was nothing at all they could do as the pest people only came on Friday. I explained that they could call their manager and said I expected to be called back with an answer in the next couple of hours. Nothing. I tried calling and I heard the line pick up, background chatter and noise, and then be hung up on. Confused, I tried again, same reaction (with new background noise). Now I've never really had any company I'm paying for service do that, so I was three parts surprised and one part irritated. Finally the phone went to an answering service which I left a message with them and was called back a little later. The girl said the same thing. My response was that either they were going to send someone out or I was going to buy the stuff to do it myself. Guess who won that one, eh? A trip to Lowes later, my ants are gone. I will say this - I didn't know they had it, but if you Google an apartment complex, you can see comments from tenants. If only I had known. Ah well, builds character, right?
- Josh the Car Body Banger! - In other news, I fixed my bumper. When I was in Houston last week, I grabbed a rubber mallet from my girlfriend's tool box and banged that puppy right out. Doesn't look too shabby, either. Well, actually, that's exactly what it looks like....:)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Wow, it's been a busy, well, month or so.
- Moving to Austin - the biggest current news is I'm moving to Austin. I transferred with my company down to our Austin Studio and am very excited about it. It's a lot closer to family and my significant other so, it's good all around. I finished up my work on Stranglehold and am hopping on a couple of other projects at work so that should keep me busy. Hopefully I'll have a bit of time to do some personal work as well:)
Last week I was in town finding a place to live and found a new favorite restaurant - Rudy's. I'll be visiting there often. If you go and they ask if you've been there before, tell them, "No, I haven't." It's well worth it.
Disclaimer - if they don't do something special, maybe it was something they only do every now and then...:)
- Arkansas - Three weeks ago I was in Arkansas for my girlfriend's family reunion of sorts. We had a lot of fun hiking, meeting/hanging with her family and checking out the sweet cave art. The name "bob" painted on the rock surface wasn't nearly as impressive as the Native American's work. I also learned that I suck (and I mean SUCK) at the card game "Mafia." It involves being sneaky and lying with a straight face if you're the Mafia so you can "kill" people between rounds and not get killed off by the townsfolk. The one time I was something other that a meager townsfolk and got opportunity to try my hand as a something else it didn't last too long. After the FIRST round, my girlfriend looks me in the face and somehow "sees" something amiss. She says, "You're the mafia, aren't you?" I muster my best lying face and tell her of course I'm not. Her response was to promptly get the rest of the townsfolk to agree to my early demise. The nerve...
She was right of course, but still....:)
- Fairytale land (also known as Yosemite) - last week I was in Yosemite for a family vacation and it was amazing. Pictures do better than words.
- Torrential Downpours - Yesterday, I got back from my week of vacation, apartment hunting and what not. An hour after I got to work a small portion of Lake Michigan, which had miraculously enough been lifted in the air over Chicago, decided to fall. I heard there was a sight to see in the other building and so ran between buildings through 4 inches of water and was amazed by this view:
- Not very nice people - I got out to my car this morning and discovered that in my absence, someone had decided to so lovingly hit my car with their own - crumpling my rear right bumper. The apartment complex doesn't keep records well enough to know who might have a white car that could have done it and the police won't do anything for non injury related accidents taking place in private parking lots, so....guess I'll be heading to the junkyard to find me a new bumper since it's not worth it to pay the deductible. You'd think someone would leave a note....you'd think that...
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Been a little bit and there's TONS going on, but as there's so much going on, I really don't have time to tell it. Life is good, very good. And busy...:) In the meantime, enjoy this fun little film (if you're a Star Wars fan). Edit - I got the link from a blog a peruse from time to time.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I've not posted in a while and, alas, I have no drawings to post at present. Doesn't mean I haven't been drawing though. Just that there's these little NDA things. I post em when I can:)
Life has been trucking along quite nicely. Work is busy trying to finish up the project and every other weekend have been splendid little breaks seeing a particular person/special someone/whatever non-specific term you'd care to think of for the one who reminds you what figurative "spring time" is about...:)
This weekend was another adventure. Saturday we headed downtown to see some of Chicago, hit the Navy Pier, walked Michigan Ave, saw the giant reflective bean at Millennium park and saw a fantastic exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago - Cezanne to Picasso. It was an amazing collection with more than a few paintings of their patron (one Ambroise Vollard) whose face and name I think I'll remember for some time - having seen it painted and drawn umpteen times. Here's a couple of them so you might see a taste of Mr. Vollard's portraiture. Pretty much every famous artist of the Nabis circles painted him many...many...times.
Sunday, we drove to Michigan to hear an author we both rather enjoy who has a church in Grand Rapids. Google maps had said the trip would take three and a half hours or so. With that in mind, we left at 6:45am to make sure we'd get there in time. So we roll in about 9:30am wishing we'd left a little later as we were now, we though, a bit early. We pulled into the parking lot and I asked the parking attendant guy if we were in the right place as they don't use signs. I also asked if the service was still at 11. He said it was and it is and I began to pull out of the parking lot so we could drive around a little while we waited. He came trotting over and motioned for me to roll down the window and asked, "You do know it's eastern time here, right?"
It hadn't even dawned on me that we could be changing time zones. So, being right on time, we parked and went in. It was a good service and Mr. Bell is a very talented orator.
After that and a trip to Pizza Hut for lunch, we headed on down the road. With a bit of time to spare, we explored a little and wound up at Holland State Park laying on a lake side on a beautiful day. Great way to whittle away a couple of hours.
Took her back to the airport and headed home to get some much needed shuteye. Monday morning finds me back at work, nose to the grind and counting the days once more.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Been swamped with work in crunch mode. However, last weekend I was in Houston...it was another wonderful time. Monday was wild, I woke up in Houston, was at work in Chicago by eleven and got home about eleven that night. That's a full day. The short summary of the weekend is that it was fantastic. The long of it happens to be more than I have time to tell. So for now these airport sketches will have to do :)
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Life is good.
It's been a bit crazy the past few weeks putting in long hours trying to finish up the project I'm on at work. So it's especially nice having weekends like this one.
This weekend, my special someone was in town. Friday, she got in and we headed to Hot Doug's to get a couple of Chicago dogs and a small order of cheese fries which only Andre the Giant would have considered small. Quite tasty though. Then we headed to my office (Midway Games) so she could meet a few of my friends at work and see what it's like in a game studio. I think she was most amazed by our impressive arsenal of Nerf Guns - a grand tradition began by the talented Mr. Vanoost I believe (who incidentally began Animation Mentor this week, check his progress on his page).
Much of the remainder of the weekend involved our first attempts at canning and producing the first batch of that which would be "canned." I'm not sure why it's called canning when it pretty much always entails using mason jars, but what do I know? Perhaps "jarring" has negative connotations...Anywho, we decided to make Apple Butter. So, in order to make said appley spread, our recipe called for the best batch of apple sauce we could get our hands on.
We decided to make our own.
A trip to whole foods found us with about nine pounds of apples (Pink lady, red delicious, golden delicious, and Fuji), a bottle of the best natural apple cider we could find (though the real stuff is out of season...next time), and a jar of raw honey (which I've rather taken a fancy to in cooking). We also picked up some pint sized mason jars from Jewel Osco as neither Whole Foods nor Linens and Things had them.
Friday night we sliced and cored our nine pounds of apples (sampled a few bites), stewed em and then mashed them into a chunky pot of apple sauce. After being cinnamon'd to taste we had our seven cups of apple sauce. We threw the rest of the ingredients in a pot and called it a night.
Next morning, after some tasty pancakes and a trip to the mall for some Easter shoes, our apple butter was done. We prepped our jars and canned it up according to the directions in copy of Ball's Blue book from my home canning kit. Close to nine pounds of apples condensed to 4 pints of applebutter and some change - that "change" sitting in some tupperware in my fridge and rapidly being depleted atop leftover whole wheat muffins we made Sunday mornin.
The rest of the weekend was hangin' out, an introductory animation "lesson" (bouncing ball of course), making labels for our jars, going to the Easter service and then brunch at some friend's place. Sunday night, we got a wild hair and ran to the store to get some cup cake mix and made some devil's food cupcakes with vanilla icing which the guys at work enjoyed the bounty of come Monday mornin.
Early Monday mornin I dropped her off at the airport and got into work extra early with enough happy thoughts to fly to Neverland and back.
If they could get me to Houston, I'd be happier:)
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
A good buddy of mine is a phenomenal illustrator who uses flash for lots (if not most) of his drawing. I love his style and tried giving it a go yesterday and discovered that drawing in flash is...well...
Coming from doing vector illustrating in Freehand (and not particularly enjoying that - pen tool, you are my nemesis!), it's just different. So, I asked him if he had any guidance and he did!
Eventually I wanna play with animating in flash. But for now, baby steps.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
I know I'm probably late to the party on this but I have a new favorite toy and its name is Google Reader. No longer do I have go to 33 1/2 sites every morning to see if there's updates. I go to one and can see all of the updates from news, blogs, articles, everything... Not only that, but I can share (plug) articles I like and they show up on the side of my blog here. Sweet! Google freakin' rocks - I now use them for my blog, email, maps, web photo albums for fam and friends, and now my rss aggregtor (Reader). How is it possible they don't charge for any of this? No, that's not a suggestion, Google.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Been doodling a little at work while playblasting some stuff. Nothing too amazing, just feels good to get the drawing hand stretching a little. Lots of late nights at work lately, but it's coming down to the end of the project I'm working on so that's the way it goes. Most of these doodles were sketches for a drawing club that I've been wanting to get in on but me thinks this week I won't have time to do anything final really, ah well...
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
So yeah, I'm in to all kinds of stuff. Anywho, my friend posted a fun blog entry I can't specifically link to so I'll just reprint it here. Learned something new today. Thanks, Bean:)
Yesterday, I was trying to water the lawn, but there were all these bees and wasps flying around, so I was nervous, but I know that bees can smell fear and so I tried to NOT be nervous. Then I came inside and looked up wasp repellent and found the most useful piece of gardening data to date. Wasps and bees are allergic of mint. They are DEATHLY allergic to it. Birds can't smell it and it isn't harmful to them anyway, but mint kills wasps and bees. The author of the website I found recommended using mint extract to ward off the nasty creatures, but I had no mint extract no time to run to the store and purchase some. But they smell it and stay as far away as possible from it, so as to preserve their lives. Knowing this, I threw a mint candy into the garden and today -- NO WASPS OR BEES! Completely remarkable.
Labels: Growing Stuff
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
My same buddy who pointed me on the script yesterday, dropped another in my lap today. This one looks sweet as well and I shall check it out as soons as I have a few minutes to spare.
ELASTIK is a suite of plug-in IK solvers for Maya. Delivering squash-and-stretch functionality at the touch of a button, ELASTIK makes it simple to create dynamic, versatile, and extensible rigs. elastikSolver
- Adjustable smooth stretch
- Interactive elbow/knee manipulation
- Hyper extension
- Dependable twist
- Curve sliding
Labels: Mel Scripts
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
No, not the cars, though they were pretty sweet when I was a kid...:) This is a sweet looking mel scipt. A buddy from work pointed me to it and I'm putting it here so I don't lose the link:) Here's what it says of itself:
MatchBox is the result of an effort to develop a universal character flipper that will work with any rig, every time. While animating a walk cycle, poses will be mirror images for the opposite stride. Even though the thought process has been completed for posing the first step, it’s a time consuming process to match the pose on the opposite stride. Match box allows you to quickly reverse and match the poses for a complete cycle. If the starting or ending pose of a cycle needs to change, the leading or ending foot may change as well, requiring reposing of the entire walk sequence. While some tools exist for flipping animation data across an axis, it becomes very difficult if the character is turning a corner or walking on an arbitrary angle.
Labels: Mel Scripts
Monday, March 19, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Hello, my name is Josh. I will be 29 on Friday and I love cartoons...
...my current vices being Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends and Avatar. The latter of the two is hands down the best cartoon currently airing in the U.S. Fantastic story, epic battles, comedic characters...it has it all. So yeah, my munchkin nephews and their uncle watch the same show and yes, I got them Avatar toys for Christmas. Fans of the show - namely 6-12 year old boys (and animators) are eagerly awaiting season three to begin.
In the meantime, my fellow fans, I stumbled across this little parody cartoon that will probably not make much sense if you don't watch the show. So, for any fans out there, enjoy.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
...my new website design is up! After far, far too long, I have a new website design that is up and working. I've not fleshed out quite all the content yet, but it's a start. Projects has been updated with some recent projects, so give it a look see. The Gallerific section is done sans the animation and photography areas and I'll be getting to my reel update in the next month or so (the one I had up here is way old anyway. Also, I updated the awards won by my buddy David Bokser's Le Vieil Homme et les Poissons which I had the pleasure of working on. For people who care how some things were done...
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
My good friend Jared Chapman illustrated this book by Phil Vischer who also happened to come up with some cartoon or another about some chatty bouncing vegetables? Anywho... this is definitely on my to buy list as Jared is a phenomenal arteest
Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
No, it's not some 60's B horror flick (though that could work as the title of one of those). Maybe like some Frosted Mini Wheats come alive with really bad stop motion to get their revenge and frost the right sides of people! But I digress... I was perusing the news sites today on arriving home from hanging out with my comedic cousin and came across a little tidbit that I had heard in passing on the radio the other day and forgotten about. Apparently there is some contaminated peanut butter going around with salmonellosis. Being one who regularly "licks the bowl clean" when making muffins, cake, even sometimes cornbread mix (man..I'm weird), I've been ignoring warnings for food safety for sometime. I'm not saying that's a good thing necessarily, just stating the facts. However, peanut butter is near and dear to my heart - I sometimes just grab a spoon and scoop a whopping pile of the stuff and snack away. I think I got off a little there (again)... Back to the news story. There's this bad batch of peanut butter and one of the brands is my fav (Peter Pan), so I went to check my pantry for the contaminated batch number on my jar and... Egads! Even more disturbing is the warning that all Peter Pan peanut butter bought since May 2006 should be discarded...I've probably gone through 3 or 4 jars since then. Crazy. Maybe I should really check into my mac battery recall number...
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Thanks for the comments. I've gotten some feedback from some other friends too. So without further ado- two very slight variations of a theme...
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Labels: Concept Art
Friday, February 9, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Monday, February 5, 2007
Taxes pay for everything! Policemen, trees, sunshine. And let's not forget the folks who just don't feel like workin', God bless 'em!It could always be worse...:)
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Another weekend finds me with a list of things to complete and little desire to do so. I'd rather sit and read a book, work on some animation or be having an engaging conversation with a "particular friend." Could be awhile... High on the priority list was a revision of my syllabus again. There was just still too little animation and I'd rather my students have some nice animation for their reels than a rudimentary rigged character and little animation to show. I'm still gonna teach facial rigging, but a basic leg rig and stretchy spine can be done following any multitude of tutorials to be found online. It also happens to be something I've been able to specialize in, so might as well let them learn from the mistakes I've made and learned from. The course is a "lil" different than the syllabus I was handed, but I'm still hitting all the "core competencies." All I really care about is getting my students to a point of having work that might get them a second look at a studio when they graduate. If deviation is an issue, I've got a day job. I finally got a hold of a buddy yesterday who's been dodging my calls (yeah, I know you've been avoiding me, Keith;). He's a fantastic animator and an instructor at Ringling which consistently puts out excellent story tellers. Anyway, he told me to do another check on Keith Lango who's been doing some pretty honest sharing about the animation industry. He's going on my daily blog stop list. Great tutorials and thoughts there as well. It was a balmy seven degrees this morning as I walked over to hit the elliptical at the clubhouse. Prolly hovering in the negatives with the wind chill. It was kinda nice. Not that I have any pretense of desire to stay for long periods of time out in temperatures like that, but for a brief moment it's nice to have the chill nip at your ears and nose, to feel the wind bite and feel very much alive. If I was having to live in it, I think my tune would change rather quickly. Watch "The Little Match Girl"... I've got some serious thoughts on a couple of books I've been reading but don't have time to delve into them at present. You'd be surprised how much in similarity there is to be found between the insights of a scholar of sociology and the last meditations of a priest who served in India. One of my buddy's websites I was transferring this weekend is down, back to it...