Dec 22, 2010

Elephant Live Blog 4

So after a little bit more work last night, and a bit this morning my Mammoth is done!

While I shall force you to wait till the Gallery's opening to view the final version here is a preview of things to come...
So here is my sad little guy in the middle of his arctic abyss...

In the final version he is posed and there is a bit more going on in the environment, but only a bit more.

The only clue you get is this epic fail of a render I tried with my snow effect. What is going on with the snow you'll have to predict.

So that concludes my live blogging for this gallery. This must constitute my shortest 3Ding creation for ART Evolved, but I was aiming for something simple and non time consuming. I have a lot of other projects on the go. All due this New Year!

Dec 21, 2010

Elephant Live Blog 3

Here we are, nearly the end of my first day's attempt, and my critter is 75% done after a mere 4 hours. A first for sure.

A quick aside. The cartoony fur job was inspired by an ancient screw up on my part way way back when... Looked bad back then, hilarious now. So remember kids, always learn from your mistakes!
So starting on the Mammoths face.

The tusks needed to be brought down.
This first attempt at the trunk half looks funny as the shader didn't match...

Furring the face has been proving a challenge much like the feet...

First thing I did was seperate the head into a forehead "blub" and face. This way I could make the face fur thinner and the blub thicker.

Again the eye holes were proving a titch fussy...

It took a few tries...

However a little preserverance and you can manage anything!

Elephant Live Blog 2

So got a leg done just before post 1.

Here is my progress with it.

Here is how they started.

Adding hair to them I got this. Wasn't totally happy with their orientation.

A slight tweak later, and presto! Contentness...

Now to add some toes. This was proving a titch harder than I thought...

However with some patient reapplying of my replicator I cleared enough space for the toes.

So now I had to add the toes. Which on the first go were too tight to each other.

However with the hair clearing I'd done gave me the effect I was going for.

Though I'd cleared a bit too much of the shag from the inside...

So a quick Adjeustment and we were right as rain.

I'd almost be embrassed to post this thing as just the modelling I've done. It is nice and simple, which on one hand is kind of neat. Yet it isn't that impressive...

Adding my hair (which has been proving to be about 70% of my time expended) I get something rather impressive!
He is a virtual muppet!!!
Now on to the imposing task of the head...

Elephant Live Blog 1

Righteo, a Mammoth is the order of the day. I still don't have a clue what I'm aiming to do.

I do know I have NO interest in a full on scientific reconstruction of one at this point in time. Mammals bore me most of the time, and frankly I have no use for a Mammoth. So rather then enter into the very time consuming process of making a realistic Mammoth, I'm aiming for something not real...

What and how I have no clue!

So I've spent the last 40 mins playing around.

I've so far only really built the body. It is a simple thing, but should suffice for the moment.

Espeically when I add the Wolly part to it, it looks not too bad. Though the Wolly was a bit too big here.

So I've just been playing with the size of the shaginess.
This was what I ended up deciding on.

However I tried the next size down which ended up looking TOO real...

Added the shader, and I think I'm off to a good start.

I've just started on legs, but literally just started. So I'll leave them to next hours post, as I expect they'll take up the majority of that time.

Live Blogging Mammoth

Been a while since I've live blogged (been a while since I've had time to do anything on this blog really). So here we go...
Start watching here every hour for progress on my upcoming Elephant. Not sure what I'm doing yet, so this should be fun for all of us!

Dec 20, 2010

Soundtracks: 2010 Holds Up As A Great Year!!!

When I jokingly titled my soundtrack posts of the last year to the effect of "keep it coming" 2010, I didn't expect the trend to hold up!?! While overall the movies of 2010 haven't been fantastic (no wonder Hollywood is complaining of losses this year for the first time in 3 years), the few I see also all seem to have amazing music (or my default composers deliver, in the case of Airbender... I'm not touching that one without Rifftracks!).

So here we are at the close of the year, and once again another round of amazing scores bombards us! Admittedly I've only seen/heard one of these, but all accounts I'm hearing is both are highlights of the year, and it has been a year full of highlights score-wise so far!

TRON Legacy by Daft Punk

First up is the new TRON. Having watched the movie a mere day and a half ago, you might be surprised to hear I'm ranting and raving about the music from it already, but I assure you it is rant worthy.

To start off with TRON was such a mediocre movie (it was fun, but nothing I'm desperate to see again soon) that any and all good components leapt out to bored little me in the theatre. The visuals were all very slick and pretty (I must also say the lack of any shaky cams was such a relief!), but after a while especially in non action sequences, they got old. Fortunately the movie was never completely losing me as the music was constantly there to remind me what a wondrous and interesting concept I was watching.

The TRON score by movie music rookies Daft Punk is an 80's nostalgic video game rock opera of unbelievable awesomeness!

For me the most appealing part of the score is the homage to 80's synth music. Best of all it is a homage, and not a direct use. This retro element is still very listenable within a modern context, but invokes a sense of loving memory for when synthesisers were THE thing (where as listening to those old 80's scores now, while enjoyable, all have a cheese factor that is very inescapable).

I'll be covering TRON in full in my year end review of all the scores of 2010...

Though a quick note if you're looking to buy this score beware that with every means and vendor you'll get different music. While you'll always get the base 22 tracks of the score, all the different products have different bonus "exclusive" tracks not available on the other vendors version (Itunes, Amazon, the CDs, etc.)

Narnia 3 by David Arnold

Having not watched the movie or listened to this soundtrack, I can not directly comment. However the majority of the soundtrack community is rather energized about the new Narnia score.

I am intrigued as David Arnold, a composer I rather liked in my teens for his work in the 90's, has since dropped off my radar apart from his excellent music for the new Bond films, replaces one of my current favourites Harry Gregoson-Williams. In all honesty Gregoson-William's Narnia scores are not my all time favourites of his work. They have some great battle music, and Ashlan's theme is awesome, but otherwise the majority of it is meh.

I hear Arnold returns to his prime of ID4 and Stargate with the new Narnia. So hopefully I can track this down and have an opinion for the review of all of 2010.

Dec 19, 2010

My Big News of 2010

Been meaning to get this post up for literally months now!

My work life and situation has been the most blog unfriendly I can imagine. I'll probably post about it at some point, but not to digress from this story again, and risk more months of delay!

We time travel back to the long ago month of August 2010...

A couple takes a ever so brief summer vacation. At the end of their last full delay the boy friend pulls over into this very innocent and unassuming Saskatchewan field (due to the wind turbines you can just make out on the horizon in the photo).

His excuse is to photograph the amazing sunset... Which he insists girlfriend take.
So that while she is distracted, he can spring his cunning trap!
Getting down on one knee so that when she turns around...
He can propose!

So as of August 1st me and Lady R got engaged!

Not that it was a total surprise to her, she knew I was likely to ask the question as she helped pick out the ring (in the failure to get things properly rolling here in Canada, we discussed our long term future, and as marriage helps open a few doors for us internationally, we decided that would be our course... I just decided to have some fun setting it up :P)

However I "accidentally" gave her a false idea for when I'd have the ring. Acquiring it a full 2 weeks earlier than she thought, I sprung it on her during our Cypress Hills trip! It was quite stressful trying to organically launch into the question. Everything is a barrier yet an opportunity...

The scariest point in the trip for me (even compared to losing total vision while driving for 2 seconds going 100km) was when going for the ring in my bag I discovered Lady R's wallet on top of ring's box... She'd gone into my bag innocently, but nearly found the treasure hidden within! Thankfully the ring box camouflaged perfectly with my bag, or it would have been game over man!

So the big event in 2011 will be our wedding in May!

Now to catch up on blogging in general in the next bit, as I have spare time again...

Oct 23, 2010

Hopefully not a habit...

Man, can't believe how things have played out in my life.

My last post was two months ago, and that was apologizing for a silence of a month...

What has been happening in my life to so out of control my doing anything (on the net or otherwise). The answer is work.

Up until this weekend, I had been working 6 day weeks which leads to little time for anything else. It was starting to cause problems both with my sanity (working with special needs kids, while rewarding is also draining, which requires down time) and my life in general. I was one step short of a full on intervention by my people (it had even drawn in friends from out of town!).

The good news is I have now rebalanced my life so that while my midweek is a very intense schedule (12+ hour days), but I have a long weekend (only working Friday morning). So you should be seeing a lot more of my on here, and seeing my various projects get rolling again.

Which brings my back to my last update... It feels like an eternity ago in which that all happened, but probably the most important event of 2010 (I'd venture my whole life) occurred.

No one has yet to venture a guess as to what happened during that sunset back at the beginning of August. Find out in a couple days...

Aug 22, 2010

My Summer Adventures...

Wow, this has to be the longest time of no posts in this blogs existence. Just over a month!

All I have to say is that a 6 day work week is not very conducive to a lot of spare blogging time sadly. In good news I won't end up on the streets or hungry anytime soon!

Anyways thought I'd do a quick recap of my two "long" weekends, as they're where the only interesting and/or exciting things in my life have gone down.

Note I said quick!
So on the first weekend of August I decided to take Lady R to Cypress Hills Provincial Park. She'd seen tons of the Foothills and the Rockies, but not much of the prairies Alberta's other major terrain.

So we got out our trusty tent from New Zealand for some good old camping.

Apart from forgetting my hammer (I had an inkling I'd need it), and having to borrow a hatchet from a neighboring camper to peg down the tent, there were no incidents on this front.

We are both really happy with the tent, and while it is technically a bit large for just the two of us it affords a lot of space. Which is nice. The other feature we liked, and took full advantage of for the first time was the star gazing roof. You can remove the main canvas and watch the sky through this heavy mesh.

Panorama 1

Why Cypress Hills? Well for one it had open campsites on the long weekend. Second it is a truly unique area in the Prairies. While the majority of the area was completely flattened by glaciers during the ice age, Cypress Hills was a lone "mountain" in the area as the glaciers couldn't quite erode them. So to this day it stands towering over the rest of the flat surroundings.

Sadly due to the ongoing forest fires in British Columbia, we couldn't quite see the curvature of the Earth that I fondly recall from this lookout.

Panorama 3

While many areas of the Cypress Hills are as beautiful as I remember them, I forgot just how MUCH of it is developed for ranching. So after a few days we got bored of driving through acres and acres of cattle pasture (that and all the moose were hiding in the woods on account of the wet year, and not needing to venture where people are).

Panorama 6

On the far side of the Saskatchewan side of the park we made a rather exciting discovery (for Lady R in particular) of a National Park dedicated to the first real RCMP fort in Canada. Granted had we researched our trip this wouldn't have been a surprise. As it turned out it was a rather nice surprise for the both of us. Though definitely more so for Mountie obsessed Lady R.

Panorama 71

Having exhausted Cypress Hills we decided on our last full day to push into Saskatchewan. My major objective was to reach the East End T-Rex Research Centre.
Here is the majority of the facility in all its glory. While it was rather cool museum, though I'm not sure if I was happy paying $8.50 for each of us!... Though the money goes to a good cause. I point out again this photo is pretty much the whole place (minus the prep lab, behind me in this photo, and the auditorium which shows a 30 minute video on Sask palaeo). It might be a little over priced (considering the Tyrrell is only a $1.50 more for about 20 times the displays!).
If not for the major thunder storm system that was suddenly chasing us this day, we might have ended out Sask exploration at East End. With the weather being rather miserable behind us we pushed onward... As far as Moose Jaw, which is 2/3 of the way across Saskatchewan. This made it a pretty full on day.

The biggest event of the trip (and probably the year for us... and yes I'm comparing this to the Olympics) occurred on the way home with the view of this sunset.

I will not tell what happened this post. You have to guess, and in my next post I'll cover the huge event that occurred to me and Lady R here. (People who already know are NOT allowed to blow the surprise!)

Panorama 29

Sadly long weekends don't last forever, and so on our last day we had to make our way home again. I however didn't feel like proceeding the normal way. Rather we skirted the Montana border, hitting all the sites me and Bond didn't hit in our 2006 road trip to Devil's Coulee.

One stop that I was rather pleased about was our brief stop at Red Rock Coulee. I'd seen pictures of it at the Tyrrell, but never found out where it was... Till this weekend.

Panorama 68

Shortly up the road we visited Writing On Stone Provincial Park. Man I wish I'd made the trip sooner! It was spectacular!

Both Red Rock Coulee and Writing On Stone were much larger and impressive versions of some of New Zealand's most famous geologic attractions. I find this kind of ironic, and am glad on the one hand I saw these after NZ (as otherwise I would have been disappointed down under). It proves what I've been telling my Kiwi friends though, despite New Zealand being a great Middle Earth, the LOTR films could just as easily have been filmed in Canada!

Sadly the very intense rain systems caught up with us on this last day, and we drove a gauntlet of 4 really intense storms.

Three of these were so bad I had to slow right down on the highway due to reduced visibility. In typical fashion right as we arrived in Calgary we hit the worst of the lot, and it lead to the scariest moment I've had in a car in a long time. Giant pools of water collected on the road, and a truck beside us hit one sending a huge sheet of water to envelope my car, making us blind for 4 seconds at about 70km/hr!

We made it home safe and sound in the end, and apart from this finale, it was a very worthwhile and fun trip!

More to come soon...

Jul 14, 2010

Goals 2010

Time to set out roughly what I intend to do over the next year or so.

I'm going with a slightly different layout this year. This time project by project, and covering all their goals at once (last time I went with a temporal organization of the goals)

Traumador Goals

Short Term:
  • Finish the winter OH-lympics before the end of summer!!! They had seemed easy enough to do when I started them during the actual Olympics, but they have turned out to be much more time consuming than I'd anticipated (that and my life hasn't exactly been ideal for anything fun or creative lately).

  • Finish the Chronicles site upgrades I started in the new year. This includes the sidebar revamp, site orientation pages, and new background designs and variants. I intend on spending a good month doing this project, and posting minimally during this time (like it will be a big difference from now *sigh*)

  • Finally get Traum into the NZ adventures I've been stockpiling for 3 years now! No later than the fall...

  • Script out all of Traum's future adventures in Canada, and take the photos this August when Bond is in town.

To help me achieve all these goals, after the OH-lympics, I will not start posting an adventure until I have all the special effects for it done. Which will admittedly lead to a boom bust dynamic of Traum posts, but I think it might cut down on time lose of me stalling mid story as I scramble to put together the pictures.

Long Term:

  • Continue with my top secret palaeontologist project. I currently have 1 in "the can", and 2 more signed up. However I need to make those appointments happen, and would love to arrange way more.

  • Convert my old Bird-Dinosaur link DVD to an Internet compatible format and finally get it on the web.

  • Film a bunch of new palaeo-fact videos... Sort of short term, as I have 5 planned for me and Bond's return tour of the Tyrrell.
ART Evolved Goals

Short Term:

  • Do a summary of Pop Culture genres.

  • Complete a series of Pop Culture pictures for the summer gallery.

Long Term:

  • Getting on those Palaeo-artist interviews I arranged back in spring. (Stupid current life stuff).
Delta Patrol Goals

Short Term:

  • In the fall aim to get all the laser fire effects done.

Long Term:

  • Finish the modelling by next goal session

  • Complete the movie by 2013 (PIP's 10th anniversary)