Monday, February 28, 2011


Just one of the beautiful sites...

My wife and I were away in Jackson Hole this past week to celebrate our anniversary and for a little vacation - we had a great time. Learned a few valuable lessons as well:

  • New favorite ski spot. Just as many slopes as Vail and half the peeps.
  • Do not assume that someone else will know that just because you're standing next to a national park sign and ask them to take a picture of you that they will think to frame the entire sign in shot (go go Owstone Tional Park!)
  • Vintage snow shoes work just as well as the new ones (and are stylish!)
  • Do not tuck the gator of your snowpants inside your ski/boarding boots unless you want a painful morning on the slopes. Yay circulation cut off!
  • D2D ski rentals are awesome. Oh, I don't have to stand in line to rent and turn in gear and not pay any more for that privilege? Yes, please.
  • First Steven King book. Picked it cause it was it was thick and I read fast. Very talented story teller but a bit dark and unnecessarily explanatory on some especially dark stuff. 
  • Pass bison on the right when snowmobiling. Also, they have the right of way.
  • I am not ready for black diamonds.
  • Whenever you're going to only eat someplace once it's never a bad idea to get the opinion of the waitor/waitress on what they think is good.
  • Even with heated seats, the back of a tandem snowmobile is much MUCH colder than the drivers seat.
  • There is way way too much sugar on the fruit and nuts in the classic snack box on United flights. I'd go far as to say an inedible amount.
With that, I have to get goin. Starting a gig today. It'll prolly be a light posting month as such. However hope to make some progress in the evenings on the python stuff.

jjb be gone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Your Monthly Morphy update!

Morphy Tip of the Day - If the selection objects in the UI aren't working, you need to run boTriggers update script:)

First off, thank you for all the encouraging and kind responses to my last post. Back to the business at hand - congrats to Edwin Schaap for winning this month's 11 second club using Morphy! Here's a few from the month:

Couple of things in general to those of you using Morphy. His shoulders in the t pose are high cause the arms are outstretched. In general, if you bring them down for a regular pose it's going to look better. There are exceptions of course but try bringin em down and see what you think. 

What else is up? Well, progress is moving along on bbThingamarig and my python is becoming passable. Got the template maker working pretty well as well as the main architecture for the arm rig. I had initially been thinkin about just the roll joint setup like AFR and Doublstein's rig use but I'm leaning more towards a ribbon setup so I've been experimenting with that. I think the new spine in particular will be much much improved.

What about cool stuff from the nets?!
  • My good friend Scott Englert is working on some very cool stuff for maya. Check it out!
  • If you ever wanted to try Project Messiah, now is the time cause this temp pricing is nuts.
  • Also, this weather lately has been nuts -  65 one day and chipping ice off the water bowls outside the next

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why Smalltown, Texas?

Crazily enough, a lot of folks have really enjoyed Morpheus and I'm very glad of that. It's been so much fun seeing what folks have made of him. That also means I've gotten a lot of emails which I try to answer. However one of the recurrent themes is one I'd like to address in a larger format.

Why don't you move to where there's more work? It's been a question that has come up many times by folks recently (potential employers as well). I've tried to answer as I can but thought perhaps I might elaborate here. The expressions I receive are of incredulity, sometimes amusement as I meander my way through the winding path of my own justifications.

Here's the short answer - It doesn't make practical sense to do so. Also, the BBQ is really good.

Here's the meandering one -

Having been working professionally now for 15 years - first in the Marine Corps, then as a freelancer/student, and now as an animator/generalist for the last 5 years I've chased some dreams and have a pretty good idea of what I want now - what I love to do. Part of that is definitely seeded in the more personal areas of my life - my faith, my history but more than anything it is the choices I've made. Sometimes we drift through life like a day on the river - beer in hand and make our course corrections after we bump into some log or rock. Other times we decide to go up stream or grab an oar and head towards something. Still others we make camp and stay awhile.

Too much of my own life was spent heading toward some place else - as if that the arrival of one destination or achievement would bring contentment and satisfaction. Some of those goals were met, others not. Those successes never brought more than temporary joy that quickly began to fade as the next goal started to grow in my mind's eye. Not that goals are bad by any means. As a tool to grow as a human being they're amazing. As a reason for existing they suck pretty hard.

So, I've tried to stop that.

The economy isn't the greatest and our industry is a fickle one so it would be pretty selfish of me to ask my wife to quit a very good and stable job so I can work on Project X (on a 3-6 month contract). Also, most of the places where Project X's are being made aren't very cheap. So over a period of time I processed those facts and came to some new conclusions. As cool as that might be working on Project X and though maybe life will make that a more tangible solution in the future, for now it doesn't make a lot of sense for me. I love my craft but my joy of it is not wrapped up in where I do it or for how much I do it for (though if I'm doing it for free more than likely it's for my own enjoyment - I've done more than my quota of "spec" gigs).

This next year I'm trying to avoid away on site gigs so that I can be with my family and spread roots in my community, take my dog fishin, ride horses with my wife, help my neighbors figure out how to hook up a wireless printer - become more like the man I believe I was made to be. I know these choices cost me work opportunities. My hope is that they pay off in the more important areas of life. So far they have. In the process I hope to be salt and light in a world that needs all it can get.

For those that were curious, I hope that answers the question well enough. To those that weren't, I doubt you read this far. To both, sorry for the grammar and editing mistakes.

Be salty and let your light shine.

Now, back to python... :)

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