Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
To participate in MZD's Frosty's Extreme Makeover Contest Click Here

Monday, December 17, 2007


I LOVE PARIS - PhotoShop tennis if anyone wants to volley :)

NEXT. promo

This started as a 3ds max and After Effect demonstration to my digital effects class at Indiana University's School of Informatics, then turned into a basement promo.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Show Reel Animation Test

Its been a while since I've posted... production around here has increased significantly :)
In between dinner, playing Half Life 2 and sleep, I've been working on an update to our show reel. Besides my fascination with Half Life 2's Physics, I admire Valve's blend of mechanical and organic character design.

Being inspired drove me to the following sketch and animation. We've always seen the basement dwellers as a rowdy group of animated heathens, but we wanted to design a ring leader.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

sometimes I draw slow. sometimes I draw quick.

These are character concepts sketches for an upcoming animated short film.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

compositing in After Effects 7

foreground footage

background plate

This is the final render of a keying demonstration for my class at IU's School of Informatics. This demo covered keying with Keylight, color correction, 3D cameras and film grain.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The holiday's are coming! The holiday's are coming!

It became obvious to me that Christmas is around the corner after completing this 3D project for an upcoming billboard campaign. The boxes and ribbons are all 3D models done in 3ds max 9. The image was rendered in Mental Ray with adjustments and compositing done in PhotoShop CS3.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

show and tell

Since I haven't been posting much lately, I wanted to share some of my teaching demonstrations. This work will never make it to my reel or portfolio. I did this during an After Effects demonstration for my effects class I teach at Indiana University's School of Informatics. The demo was to show the "PhotoShop to After Effects" pipeline and animating 3D cameras in After Effects 7.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

3d cells illustration

Here is an image I'm currently developing for an interface comp. Everything was rendered in 3ds max using the scanline renderer. The texture is a raytraced material with a displacement map to generate the "bumpy" texture. I like using raytraced materials for the additional shader options that aren't in the standard material. I use raytraced materials even if I'm not rendering glass or a reflection. Color correction, blurs and DOF were done in PhotoShop. I hope we get to animate this scene!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Temporal (Speed) Animation Test

Here is a temporal (Speed) animation test done in After Effects CS3.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oprah's not the only one with "The Secret"

What does Adobe's After Effects 7 and Rhonda Byrne's book have in common? They both know "The Secret". Even though Adobe's secret takes more then just positive thought, the reward can be greater to an artist trying to get a rendering done before a morning deadline.

Here's the problem: While rendering, you get a "frame buffer full" error and everything stops and you start to c*ss at the monitor. Hopefully you are rendering frames!!!!

Here's the solution: Start After Effects; Go under the "Edit" pulldown menu; hold SHIFT; Open the PREFERENCES flyout and select GENERAL; Now select the PREVIOUS button.

Now you see a preferences panel titled "Secret". In the "Purge Every ___ Frames During Make Movie" insert a number of frames (I use 60). Now After Effects will clear the cached data after every two seconds of animation.

Now pay attention to the RAM percentage in Make Movie, it will drop to zero every 60 frames.

Now you have "The Secret" and wealth and happiness comes with every render :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

The RCA web spot...

This was a web spot I did for RCA in a previous life. The model was built in 3ds max using spline modeling techniques (surface tools). This modeling technique has many advantages over simple polygonal modeling. When prepared correctly, it allows you to control polygonal density with a spinner using the "Surface" and "Turn to Poly" modifier.

The product and ribbon animations were done in 3ds max and composited in After Effects 7. We separated the ribbon and product into render passes to allow for specific effects. Motion blurs were done in Combustion 3 using the RPF tools.

*Here's a tip, when you render a RPF pass for motion blurs in Combustion, make sure the background color is the same as the product model. meaning if your product is black, make your background black. If it's a lighter color it will give a halo effect in your compositor.

break on through to the otherside

Here is a still from an animation I'm working on that will never see the light of day in its finished form. I was going to use it on the new basement site but the load time would have sucked. The chuck were simple splines in 3ds max that were extruded. I added a multi sub-object material to store the gray and white shaders in the same material. The animation was hand tweened instead of using a Reactor simulation. Most times, I'd rather have the animation control. However, physics simulations can look amazing when used properly.

Everything outside of the chucks and arrow uses a Matte-Shadow material. This shader is used when you want to composite the frames. I'll post more about Matte-Shadow shaders in the future.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Subsurface 2007

Every year, my friends put on an event celebrating the art of graffiti. Please support local art! Here's the info:

Subsurface is a celebration of style and camaraderie amongst talented graffiti artists from across the country. Since 2004, these artists have traveled to Indianapolis each Labor Day weekend to collaboratively paint on a series of walls. Each year it continues to grow with fresh new talent while the ones who've been here keep coming back.

Friday, August 31, 2007.
Subsurface gallery opening at Pivot Gallery
5:30pm - 9:30pm
1005 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aesop's new album

To me, there's nothing like getting to the parking lot and opening a new CD from an artist that influences my being. So here we are four days before the new Aesop release hits stores and I come across the entire album on MySpace. I did listen to first song and stopped to fulfill my "New CD" ritual. But for the people who open presents before Christmas morning ... Here's the Link

Adobe adopts the H.264 Codec

Here we are again watching Adobe pave the way for the delivery of interactive content and rich-media. Adobe has announced an update to the Flash 9 player which includes support for the H.264 codec which is the standard compression for the dueling High-Definition DVD formats and is the same codec that Itunes uses for its video delivery. The updated player will now include multi-core hardware acceleration. psst.... This little blurb about hardware acceleration is a big deal!

So what does this mean? Right now it means larger, more crisp video that requires hardware acceleration to make it run smooth and a more efficient way to deploy content. Encode once and deliver to pockets, IP networks and DVDs. But this may be a glimpse into Adobe's quest for IPTV domination. If you own the conduit that media runs through, you essentially own the network right?

Now that they have multi-core hardware acceleration in place, how long long before they introduce the real-time 3d engine? My gut tells me not long. I always thought Adobe's Atmosphere Engine looked great and it included the Havok physics engine . Could they dust off the 10+ years of Atmosphere research and finally give flash a Z axis. Let's hope so!

Press Release Link

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Roster Interface Design Comp

Here's my design comp for our gaming property called Roster. Thanks goes out to Amy and Dan!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This site was sent to me from a friend (thanks Mike), it is an experiment in where a gentleman by the name of Alex Frank has taken away all the mousedown functionality of a site and built an amazing online experience. He has an interesting theory of filling mouse movement between clicks, that he calls "dead space". My friend said this is a "glimpse into the future (of interface design)" and I started thinking about what happens in that "dead space".

While I'm in my dead space, I am processing my next decision. I can imagine rolling over the "order" button and it processes. Do you know how many Todd McFarland Toys I would own? Now I am far from a scientist, but I believe there is a filing system in the human brain that lays down an invisible bread crumb every time a click or decision is made. Countless times, I find myself retracing my tracks based on clicks. This would be great for the shipping industry.

Anyway, my hats off to you Alex! Thoughts like this move the media industry from now to new.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Scary Spice!

continuing to play with different character styles. This was a quick mock using a biped in max. I rendered the arm and body as passes and painted in CS2. I've got about two hours in it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Give me a break Jim!

this what i do when i should be building our new site. i quickly modeled our little dweller to see how he would translate to 3D. using the ink n' paint shader, i added procedural maps to the outline (including all "sub" outline maps). i modeled him in 3ds max 9; painted details and layout in CS2. total time: 2ish hours.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A new beginning....

Today is our first official day of business as the basement design + motion. Cheers to the future!