Thursday, July 21, 2011


Playin around with cs 5. Doodling this guy over and over, trying to figure him out. Panel body, long limbs, skinny offset head. That's what's up.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

from the sketchbook

Doodling some little silhouettes. Made a little wasteland guy, not sure what he's holding. Maybe some little improvised climbey-piton things.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

box bot done got modeled.

Threatened to and thus I have, made my crappy sketch into a crappy model.

Box bot is, in theory, able to transform from cube mode to crawly spider mode and back, relatively seamlessly. Stage two is figuring out how to properly rig this up.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Depth of field + pixelation = pixel depth?

Or depth of pixel?

Been toying with this idea of a lens-effect that would somehow pixelate based on the relative focus levels in a shot. So, what's in focus has a high-pixel density, and what's out of focus is heavily pixelated, with some kind of progression between completely in and out of focus. The progression itself seems like the trickiest part.

If, say, you had a flat landscape extending to the horizon, with a part of the midground in focus and the rest out, the progressively-large pixels (moving away from the midground), could be alligned horizontally with no need for breaks. Almost like little bricks shrinking with perspective.

The problem would be, I suppose, if your focal-gradient (my own BS term there) wasn't in line with the horizontal or vertical. Suddenly the boundaries of different pixel-density would make jagged lines that wouldn't necessarily fit together.

This made me think one could get around this if one we able to cordon off areas on an image at a given level of pixelation with a matching grid. i.e. if a level-of-focus is at 16 pixels per square inch, then it's boundaries are all "snapped" along little 1/4" square steps. From there, you could make an adjoining area with a higher pixel-density fit squarely into the 1/4" area by making it's density, say, 64 pixels per square inch, so that they density seamlessly steps up by a factor of 4 across the boundary and everything still fits. The issue is who does the cordoning. Better left to a 3D engine programmer and some tricky rendering.

Leads to interesting questions though. What happens when a single leaf, out of focus, is drifting in front of an in-focus surface. Should this hypothetical lens/renderer render this leaf at 1/4 the pixel-density of its background, and let those pixels break the "grid" of the backdrop? Or maybe it should all snap-to? If it all snaps to the pixel grid you've established, I feel the sense that the leaf isn't just a smudge on the backdrop might be lost, but if you used transparency somehow, and broke the leaf from the backdrop's grid, it might all work out.

All gibbering aside, I futzed around briefly. Winged it on the changes in density, and areas of focus, using a couple layers.

Prototype #1:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



So I moved, and was without internet (so hard to resist cute pet-names for this essential utility everytime it comes up, almost typed the 'internets' initially, then got brave and tried 'interwarps' for something new, then chickened out) ... for quite some time.

Will resume regularly scheduled programming as of this week. Will take a moment now to share two of my finest creations. 5 minute little doodles on iphone's Brushes app, made upon request via text message.


"octopus riding a sea unicorn."

and of course up top is "turtle excercising."


Friday, April 22, 2011


New term, I'm coining it.

Thumbscape: it's a thumbnail, of a landscape.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Engbot MK. II and his family

An excerpt from a presentation by Apnadirex Industries CEO Ches Berg:

Where the original Engbot set the stage for an entirely new level of unmanned Hostile Environment Resource Prospecting, the Engbot MK. II continues to lead the pack in innovation and field performance.

However, on bigger asteroids, with more profitable deposits, and with more heavily entrenched and aggressive xenomorph colonies, physical human oversight is still a necessity. So the question arises, what can we learn about what we would do in an emergency scenario, by studying what we can force our robots to do in an emergency scenario?

Apnadirex Industries was handed a mandate: to show their stockholders and competitors that it's possible to tell a human story in the very midst of their experimental defense technology trials in the Bosporos cluster. To do this, they would need more from their flagship AIs, Gunbot and Engbot both, than had ever been asked of them before. What's more, the results would need to be watchable enough for the behavioral psychology department to have gained some new insights at the conclusion of the trials.

So, how to bring a little opera into space, when all of your actors have brains made of silicon? How to model the human capacity to prioritize and perform under duress, perhaps with a declining sense of self-preservation, perhaps after witnessing several loved ones pass away, perhaps in the context of a xenomorph swarm-attack?

Given AIs that can already prioritize for repair and defense, the solution required a new point of interest for them:

Significant Proxies. Placed so as to guarantee "casualties".

(pause for laughter)

What did Engbot and Gunbot do? What did we learn?

Over the next 6 hours, we'll be talking about the implications of this new demonstrative technology, all of which is based completely on the new Utils 3.0 software line, and thanks to which, at least in the Bosporos cluster:

(change slide)

There is no tragedy. There is just insight.

The Barbicide Jar

The keys jingled in Pat's shaking hands as he unlocked the door. Detecting his presence, the barbershop's lights activated. Pat took in the room: the chairs, mirrors, and combs. For all its scientific prowess, humanity had yet to replace the barber. Vacuum-bots scurried into position, waiting to suck up chopped hair. But there wouldn't be any. Nobody wanted to visit a barber whose hands shook.

Even in old age Pat's hands were strong, beautiful, and slender. But the Ciboscis virus had robbed him of that. Most days he wished the damned virus had been allowed to run its course. He was a Barber. Couldn't be anything else. That's why he had made the choice and agreed with his son. He would have customers again.

A bell jingled as Pat's son entered. “Jesus, Dad, what are you doing here? We're due at the clinic in an hour.”

Pat didn't respond. His son grew silent, realizing: his father wanted to open up his shop one last time as a whole man.

The boy put an arm around his father. “Come on, pop. Let's get you some new hands.”

The surgery went flawlessly. The rehabilitation therapy was faster than most. And before he knew it, Pat was back in his barbershop. Once word circulated that a barber with bionic arms was in the city he couldn't get through his customers fast enough. Many asked him to remove the synth-skin, marveling at the insides. Pat told stories, comforted wives, and gave children sweets. He even regained his sense of humour.

At the head of his desk he kept a jar of blue barbicide. Mothers cringed, men stroked their chins, and children stared wide-eyed. Floating in the jar were Pat's old hands, finally still. Taped to the jar was a note: “Retired”.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Father Valdemer Juarez rapped his wooden cane against the bars of Luis' cell. Inside, the prisoner wound coloured threads into a black cloth. Father Juarez recognized the figure: La Santa Muerte.

“I have come to help you repent, my son,” said the Father.

“I'd rather you brought me dinner,” said Luis. “A nice roasted chicken. Some baked beans. That, to me, is heaven.”

“What was the last meal eaten by the prisoner you killed, I wonder?” asked the Father.

“It was a sacrifice, Padre. Payment. For La Santa.”

The Father swallowed; another sacrifice.

“There are real Saints for these times. St. Jude Thaddeus, Saint of desperate causes.”

“He is for some other Mexico,” said Luis. “I used to work for a tourist company. Then came the swine flu. No more tourists. Then the drought. My mother can't even grow vegetables anymore. The cartels are the only way to survive, and their god is The Skinny One.”

“I'm from Sinaloa. I used to run with traffickers before you were born. Before del Golfo started the wars. Then, one day...” Father Juarez tapped his cane against his leg. “But the Lord saw that I should live.”

“And what a life you have, begging dogs like us to say we're sorry.”

“There. I saw it. In your heart you know The White Child is false. I'm leaving now.”

Luis whipped around, angry. “You're not leaving! I see you here! You're just as much a prisoner as we are!”

Father Juarez coughed. “Perhaps. But when I'm hungry, I eat. Right now I feel like a nice piece of spicy chicken.” Luis lunged for the Padre through the bars. But he couldn't reach the old man, who was already hobbling away.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Scape the Goat

Was day-dreaming to myself a little scene.

We're in a windblown desert, at night, thousands of years ago. A nomadic band of humans, nestled in some forbidding rock formations, have taken shelter from the sands and found an oasis. They've been camped here for several weeks now, trying carefully to manage their resources as best they can, but tensions are high between members of the group. Food is not plentiful, and the stormy weather is not permitting them to travel safely and find more elsewhere.

A cloaked man stands on a promontory and looks out over the desert. He anxiously watches the horizon. Lighting strikes, and in his hand he slides another bead down a length of string with his thumb.

Cut to our hero, Scape, a male goat, who stands tethered to a tree amidst the shadows and shelter of the rocks by the water. He watches some of the men arguing whether to head out and brave the storm, or hold out where they are. The women and children move about in the background, some are at play, some sit worried.

One child stands close to Scape amidst the sparse bush, clutching a doll made of filthy rags and twine and papyrus, watching his strange square pupils and trying to make sense of them.

The man watching the horizon sees lightning strike again. He raises his chin in acknowledgment and puts away his beads, and returns to the camp.

Scape watches him step between the arguing men and present a decision to all parties. They look amongst themselves, then the look to Scape.

Scape has a strange ornament affixed to his collar as he's lead to the edge of the encampment. All the humans stand at the edge of the firelight in their rags and watch him. He looks back. The man who watched the horizon says a few word over the gale to the group, then a few words to the twisting storm outside. Then the man kicks Scape viciously in his hindquarters, almost sending him to the ground under the force. Scape panics and darts forward but then circles back tightly out of the wind. The man whips at his legs, and face, and haunches. Scape scurries confusedly between the man and the windy dark, as the crowd begins to shout and jeer. Try as he might, his former keepers won't be having him back.

The searing pain of the whip eventually overrides his fear of the dark and the wind, and he begins to wobble forth into the wasteland.