Saturday, June 6, 2009

Strolling of the Heifers

Went to Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, VT this morning. Lots of fun. I met Monte from WRSI the River 93.9 and 101.5 FM. I want him to call me and give me advice on what games I should make on the air. Come on Monte, Please?
Monte Belmonte

I also saw US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). My wife would not let me bother him for networking oppertunities! :(

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

North East Digital Artists Group - First Meeting

North East Digital Artists Group - Thanks to the primary organizers and sponsors Brad Porter and Hedi Jelev (Great Eastern Technology), organizer Ezra Cove (Mt Ida College) for hosting and 3D Designer Gustavo Fontana for presenting.

Gustavo presented “Design and Prototyping Workflow: mixing Nurbs, Meshes and SubDs - with Modo, Rhino and T-Splines”. Gustavo demonstrated the process of designing a cool pair of goggles. His workflow was fascinating. Modo's toolsets and interface seem very efficient and freeing. The retopo tools looked amazing. Gustavo exported his prototype to Rhino to do any boolen operations and convert polys to NURBS which worked ok. He then demonstrated using T-Splines to convert polys to NURBS. T-Splines did an amazing job! It was very accurate. Gustavo then passed around the audience a prototype 3D print! I'm not sure what was used to print the goggles but different resins were utilised to create clear lenses, rubbery connectors and a strap.

Can't wait to attend the next event in September.

Friday, May 22, 2009

IGC East

IGC East rocked! I missed GDC for the one and only time (if I can help it). Being relatively new to game developer universe IGC East was a super cool networking, education and exhibition (game demo night) opportunity. I do wish there was a little more about the art side of game development. I highly recommend making it next time if your an indie or looking for work.

Boston Indies

I thoroughly enjoyed the Boston Indies gathering at Beta House. The intimate setting, open and constructive critiques (Heritage and Living Playsets), frank and honest advice, diverse yet connected crowd and a wonderful setting (Beta House). Being more of an artist, I for one learned much about running an indie company that night. I met lots of programmers, artists and founders. I rarely find artists to talk to at Boston Post Mortem but it's a different type of venue.

Kudos to Scott (Macguffin Games), Eitan (Fire Hose Games) and Jon & Brian (Beta House) for a stellar night!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old Demo Reel Circa Early 2008

This is my old demo reel targeted to a film production teaching position early last year. It was a real rush job. I had a few days and lot's of shots to render, composite and edit. It turns out the search committee never saw the reel. I found out and applied for the position too late. The search had to fail before any new applicants would be looked at. I new reel is in the works to showcase recent works.

Here is a link for a better quality version if you have the bandwidth. Click play and when it does start to play you may want to pause.This is so the video can buffer in for while first. The file is large.

Otherwise watch the lower quality version below.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dragon Rigging Pose

The dragon is mostly rigged thanks to the help of Raf Anzovin. Raf set up a custom rig using The Setup Machine 2 and his own magical Maya abilities. I need to finish painting weights and create facial blend shape expressions. I also need to tweak the hi-res mesh for displacement and normal mapping.


I haven't done much but recover from a nasty stomach flu for the past few days. It hit me the afternoon before a presentation and completely floored me for several days. I now have mental associations between using 3d apps and nausea /vomiting. I'll get over it eventually :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

TAD Day 28 - Homepage

I missed the final day deadline for TAD. I had the flu and was pretty much useless. I did make a temporary home page for my business website www.VermontDigitalArts.com.

TAD Day 27 - Got my back covered by Mr. T on my Carhartts

This project was a little more involved than I expected. The original head faded after two washings. It would have been better to do it all at once. There is always my next pair for the summer.

Mr. T Carhartt Coveralls Stencil - Photo by JuJu

I have documentation of this process I’ll post on my blog later.

I used adhesive paper for kitchen shelves as the stencil material.

I thought maybe I did not have to repaint Mr T’s head, so I projected my collage on to the back of the Carhartts to the scale of the preexisting stencil.

I then covered the coveralls with the contact paper and taped it down. I should have removed the backside of the adhesive paper first. Next time.

Next I cut the stencil right on the back of the Carhartt coveralls. The razor whent throught the stencil but didn’t even scratch the coveralls. Wow they are tough!

I removed the stencil and the backside of the adhesive paper.

Then brought the coveralls fixed to an easel (thanks Ron) on to the porch. I reapplied the stencil, taped the edges and painted with another kind of spray paint.

Afterwords I knew I had to redo the head. I didn’t have the original stencil or file so I tried to do another. I made it on regular paper. It’s not exactly what I’m looking for but there is promise.The double head image is a little blurry.

Mr. T Carhartt stencil detail - Photo by JuJu

I will repaint the whole suit once a year when the old image is faded away. I bet this will we very cool five to seven years from now.

I think I’ll call him Minny T.

Check on my blog for further developments in the future.

TAD Day 26 - L. H. O. O. Q. 2009

Looking at my photo’s from yesterday I noticed something I was unaware of. The figure of a woman in the center of the photo has a hot a$. Come on. I mean I can see her butt crack is visible and it’s glowing white on the infra red display! When I took the photo I wasn’t really paying attention to others. I was taking a self portrait. Anyway the title ” L. H. O. O. Q.” is a tribute to Marcel Duchamp’s 1919 ready made Mona Lisa. The title when pronounced in French, puns the phrase “Elle a chaud au cul”, translating colloquially in “She has a hot a$s”.

Judge for yourself.

TAD Day 25 - Self Portrait Photography

After a meeting in Boston I went to the Museum of Science. I had my cruddy generic camera. I took a series of self portraits around the exhibits.


Straight shot into mosaic of mirrors.

More


Unedited shot of enhanced realtime infrared display. White is hot, blue is cool.

I have a bunch more I’ll post on my blog later. Some are very cool and others not so much. I had fun in the museum.

TAD Day 24 - More Dragon

Dragon update. I miss Maya. I am so tired of ZBrush crashing when I light and or render. I can’t wait to make a sss skin shader for mental ray for my dragon.

TAD Day 23 - Business Cards

I needed new business cards in a hurry. I designed this card and sent it online to be printed. They were back in time for an important business meeting Wednesday.



Why is Wednesday always business time anyway?

TAD Day 22 - Creative Plow Repair

Here comes a flood of late posts. Sorry, my business takes priority.

Last Sunday was a good sized winter storm here in sunny Vermont. The tractor hydraulics had been damaged and one of the tires chains broke. I collaborated with my neighbor Sam to Jerry rig the tractor. This is an art. I’m guessing this is a way of life for many Vermonters.

It’s hard to see but I had one new hose (a different size than the original ofcourse), two new connectors joints (forgetting the proper term) and lots of rope. For the chains (photo later) we used random extra linage and zip ties. Well it worked! A proper fixing in in the near future.

TAD Day 21 - Final Detailing on 3D Dragon

Have to finish modeling pronto. This is a render in zbrush not textured to highlight the untextered form. Next stop polypainting.

TAD Day 20 - More fun with Maya and Photoshop

More fun with Maya and Photoshop

TAD Day 19 - Fun with Paint Effects

Today I’m posting three images. The past few days I’ve been trying to complete a bunch of projects for work. I have some new work coming down the pike. Subsequently TAD took a back seat for a few days.

This image was done in about 15 minutes using Maya paint effects.

TAD Day 18 - Textural DigiPainting

Decided to paint a little in Maya paint effects. I like it for painting better than PS. It’s a little more naturalistic.

This is a bit abstract. I wanted a grayscale textural digiPainting.

Total time 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

TAD Day 17 - Redux - Covered Bridge

Managed to upload a different way. I think something is up with the server still.

TAD Day 17 - Covered Bridge Logo - Reinterpreted by the Internet



I wanted to make a covered bridge logo / icon illustration. For some reason it looks wierd when I upload it. I’ll call it “Reinterpreted by the Internet”.

TAD Day 16 -3rd Eye

Thinking of icon designs / stencil designs.

Monday, February 16, 2009

TAD Day 15 - Martian Doodle 2 - Digital ReDraw


Martians change form to represent what humans most desire to see. In this Martian Doodle 2, Digital ReDraw, I used only the value of the negative space to rework the image. I desired to see a human form in 5 minutes and the martian obliged.

TAD Day 14 - MartianDoodle

I drew this for an hour while watching The Martian Chronicles. I wasn’t really looking at the drawing while actually drawing. I moved my hands as I watched the film.

TAD Day 13 - Mr. T Carhartt Update Drawing

Quick drawing. BTW I was modeling Jason from Friday the 13th and decided it was too negative. Imagine that.

TAD Day 12 - Mr. T Carhartt Stencil Plan

Too busy yesterday to do TAD. Today I mocked up a potential stencil plan for Mr. T on my Carhartt coveralls.


The white area will be cloth material color. I’m wondering about projecting the pattern onto the suit and painting the white areas with hot wax. Then spray paint the suit. Later take the wax off. Batik like. What do you think?

Working on something for today’s post now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TAD Day 11 - Oooops!



I missed the deadline. I just returned from the monthly Boston Game Developers Post Mortem at an Irish Pub. It’s a haul. Right Matt? It was cool because 6 teams from Boston area took part in a challenge to create video game that could be played in five minutes. They had 48 hours and had specific themes. The results were pretty amazing.

I had an incident modeling my dragon a week or so ago.I changed order of points that define its surface. Since this is already to technical I’ll just say my model exploded in some parts an was fine in others. I wanted to strategically simulate that “effect” again. I did my little process and whamo -


TAD Day 10 - Dragon Detailing

I spent half the day driving and waiting to buy tractor parts. Perhaps fixing my tractor will be a TAD project. I had to keep working on the dragon with my available time so no time for artistic excursions today.

Here is a close up of the head area. Please excuse the weird lighting. I’m rendering in zbrush and don’t have the hang of it yet. I’ll be doing some zbrush lighting tutorials soon.


I am also building a subsurface skin shader in Maya 2009. That will be TAD project in itself. Maya 2009 has really increased the lighting / rendering options. I’m actually blown away at how much better it is. We’ll see when it comes to displacement mapping

TAD Day 9 - Dragon Scales

I worked on some high polygon detailing today on my 3D dragon. I made new and refined some older alpha brushes for sculpting scales. It’s hard to see in this little image. Click on it to see a larger version.

I’m using Zbrush and Maya in this project. This image was rendered in ZBrush. I’m posting now but will continue to work throught the night. I just have time to do this now. Later I’ll be concetrating on finishing the modeling.

TAD Day 8 - Got my Mojo Workin’

Last night I made my Ibis Mojo mountain bike ice-biking worthy. I had a late start to ice biking this winter. I found my Nokian Hakka WXC300 studded tires and put them on my summer wheel set. Adding studded tires makes all the difference.

A friend who rides a Norco Fluid and I headed out to Pisgah State Forest in New Hampshire. The temp was just above freezing so the snow was too soft on the snowmobile trails through the woods. We elected to ride the partially sanded, ice covered roads after we saw psycho snowmobiles flying about 60 mph on the trails. The hill climbs were brutal but well worth the satisfaction of accomplishment.

These photos were taken along my ride on my iPhone. A no frills photo-documentation. It would be cool if Apple enhanced the camera functionality.

Ibis Mojo Detail

Ibis Mojo parked in the snowbank.

This section of road was solid ice with sand on top. We road over 20 mph on this surface then it turned into glare ice.



TAD Day 7 - MrT Carhartts

I finally painted my Carhartt tractor suit. It was almost a disaster. It was 6 F out and windy. The stencil was not cooperating. I managed to get black stove paint on my cedar steps when the wind blew. It did clean off because it was too cold to absorb into the wood. It’s a little bit of a bummer that there is a seam down the center but from a distance I think it looks good. I’m going to the food co-op while wearing it this afternoon. That should be fun.

Quick Explanation: Mr. T has been my idol since I was 7 or 8. I saw him on the tv show Games People Play in the 1970’s. It was the toughest something or other show. Mr. T at the time was Muhammad Ali’s (heavy weight champion boxer) bodyguard. He had to compete with other tough dudes by jumping over obstacle smashing through doors and walls to ring the bell at the end in the fastest time. He not only did that but he ripped the bell off the wall. His immense toughness was balanced by his sense of what is good and caring. I’ve been impressed ever since. He empowers me to preform superhuman feats.

Detail of Mr T suit

TAD Day 6 - Mr. T


Had to draw Mr. T for 10 minutes.

TAD Day 5 - Wacom Digital Drawing


Did an hour long sketch improvising scribbles to form a woman and background.

TAD Day 4 - Random Digital Sketch


Here is a real quick random sketch.

TAD Day 3 - It's BuisnessTime


A hour long ZBrush character creation.

Monday, February 2, 2009

TAD - Day 2


Today I drew in Photoshop for an hour. I created a concept sketch of a Rastafarian dude who slipped in the snow while walking with his hands in his pockets.

Thing A Day (TAD) 2009 - Day 1 (Yesterday)

I joined Thing a Day 2009.
I saw two other artist from S.C. participating. Maybe there are more.
Here is my first post, a stencil for my tractor suit:

Updated Dragon

I'm playing with alphas to sculpt detail into the dragon's form. This is a test.


Here is another zbrush render without alpha
sculpting.



This is what happens when you change the order of the verticies in the base mesh in Maya and bring it back to zbrush.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wings and Things




I worked a bit more on the wings, feet and tail. Still needs work but I'm cruising now.

These were rendered in zbrush when it wasn't crashing.

Dragon Sculpt






Here is the update rendered in zbrush. It keeps crashing when I mess with lights, shadow and other render options. I'll render in Mental Ray with displacement map tonight.

The wings and tail have been neglected for some time. I'm working on those now.

Ciao

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Moving Along

We have had days of ice sleet and snow. The weather forecast always underestimates the snow here at the studio.

Baby is coming along. Zbrush keeps crashing when I render with "fancy lighting and rendering settings"