Monday, December 29, 2008

New Blog

For the last two weeks, Brittney's mom and sister have been have been staying with us. While they have been here we have been taking them to all of our favorite restaurants. Holy wow we have eaten some great food! One of the problems that I've been having is that when I visit these places that I love, I end up forgetting what I have already tried from the menu. I want to start this blog as a way for me to keep track of the dishes I have tried so I don't duplicate, for better or worse (because I have a reeeeeeally bad memory). Also it will be a place where other people can come to get recommendations for awesome food.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Starfish Ninja is coming

Just want to get the word out to the small handful of you who read my blog. My good friend Joe Daniels has been working on a trailer for a personal project called Starfish Ninja. He started this project a couple years ago and has been working on it in what little spare time he has had.

I've been giving him a hand with some of the rigs in my free time and I can't wait to see the progress he makes. Keep an eye on that blog for more news on the project.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Being Nostalgic

While digging around in our one closet trying to find things to throw away, I came across an old notebook that I've had since some time in 8th grade. I used this notebook as my creative outlet. I took it with me where ever I went writing poems, songs, stories and sketches. I used this throughout high school as well. Reading through it just makes me laugh out loud. I took myself so seriously back then. My outlook on life was a lot darker than I remember. Most of my poems/songs focused on this next little ditty titled..."Untitled". I thought it was artistic to be dark and ambiguous, so I guess titling something "Untitled" (as opposed to it being untitled) wass really clever of me. Oh well it made it easy to scan since the default naming convention of my scanner is "Untitled.jpg". I guess my scanner is pretty artistic as well.

That poem was actually written as a song, but back then my song writing skills consisted of me blatently stealing chord progressions (or sometimes melodies) from my favorite songs of the time and putting my own lyrics to it. "Untitled" was written to the tune of the bridge in Dave Matthews "Satalite" (the part that goes "rest high above the clouds, no restrictions..")

Here is some of the art I created back then. I also listened to way too much Phish around this time, because my art was puposefully as nonsensical as possible, much like Phish's album covers.
It looks as though my love for produce with faces has lasted through out the years.

There were a few good poems in the mix. They tended to be the ones that were not about 'love' and more about experiences that I could actually comprehend. One of my favorites that I turned into a song (stealing a chord progression my brother Matt wrote) is called "Dancing In the Rain". Some day I'll rewrite it with original music behind it.

Finally my favorite poem from my notebook is called "Under the Water". I couldn't scan it because it went across multiple pages but it goes something like this...The rush of the water against me is cool,
As I dive into the pool.
I let myself sink down to the depths,
And with a big SIGH I let out my breath.
How neat it would be to stay down there,
My life sustained without any air.
I solemnly hover, looking around.
A tranquil mood without any sound,
but the low rumble of water deep in my ear.
Other than that no noise do I hear.
The blood in my veins steadies its flow
As the beat of my heart begins to slow.
I close my eyes and rest my soul.
The only place where I feel whole.
I enjoy the serenity
Of the water flowing 'round me.
My eyes pop open suddenly
As I'm brought to reality.
The swelling pain within my chest
Reminds me that I need a breath.
The silence is broken as I swim toward the air.
The pain in my lungs I cannot bare.
My body is struggling my heart wants to stop.

With my last ounce of strength I kick to the top.
I burst through the surface with a frantic splash,
And feeling relieved to have air...

..................I GASP....................
How neat it would be to stay down there. My life sustained without any air.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Some of me...

I doodled something like this on my two week vacation. I think I'm going to use it when I eventually design my real website. Being home was nice. I was sooooo relaxed. It is a lot easier to come back to work after having that time to wind down. I got to see lots of family (although there is too many to squeeze them all in), I got to camp out at a bonfire (and get rained on), take a 30 mile bike ride, go swimming at the lake, eat Smith's hot dogs (best hot dogs EVER), and do a couple days of manual labor. Although I'm not as driven to do work around the house as my brother might be, I do love working outdoors. It is something I hated doing as a kid, but now that I don't have to do it I miss it. What's great is that you can look back at the end of the day and see what you have accomplished. Some times I can sit in front of my computer working for days and it feels like nothing is getting done even though it is.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Comic Con

Fun time in San Diego. I spent all day Friday at the beach while Brit, Bill, Mayka and Sean walked around the convention. We went to a nifty club that night where I got attacked by a Cougar. Saturday I went with them and saw some a preview to "Up" and "Terminator: Salvation"...Awesome. I managed to get away with only buying one thing.

My sister in law asked me "When you have kids, what will you do when they want to play with your toys" answer is, they can play with all my old toys...not my new ones :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One of my pet peeves.......

Things that look like diced chicken but in fact are not:

I'm lookin at you Tofu
and Artichoke Hearts

Want to get me upset? Make a dish that has these items prepared in a way to look like I am piling my plate full of yummy chicken. Then I'll go to take a bite, have that strange moment in my mouth where my brain is saying yum chicken but my tongue is saying, "nah bro, its bogus" and in that fight the food temporarily tastes like air. That'll make me hulk out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Character comes from character design

Let me pose this question?

What sort of personality does the following character have?

Yeah probably really wise. Pretty somber. Doesn't seem to be focused.

Does the above character have the same personality as this?....

This guy also seems wise, but seems a bit more crotchety. Sort of like a grandpa who is always ready to tell you the way you should be doing something.

How about this guy below?....

This guy just like the other two seems to know something about the world. The difference? This guy knows, but isn't going to tell you. Most of this personality comes from the proportions and shapes in the face, particularly the placement and shape of the eyes.

Now consider this quote:

". . .my ally in the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we...(Yoda pinches Luke's shoulder)...not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between tree...the rock...everywhere! Yes, even between this land and that ship! . . . Concentrate...feel the Force flow. Yes. Good. Calm, yes. Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future, the past, old friends long gone. "

Which of these images best fits that quote? This?

or this?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


About a year ago I was working on a different kind of face rig based off of these tutorials. With this set up using nurbs curves to deform the mesh, I created this animation to an audio clip from "What About Bob?"

The model was done by Josh Piejko. So about a year later The Face Machine is released which is an face auto rigging tool that was developed by my good friend Jed Mitchell. This rig uses very similar concepts as my nurbs curve face rig, but it takes it several steps further in the way it deforms the face. The automation is easy as pie too. It takes me about 10-20 minutes to rig a character's face using this tool. So what I decided to do was to revamp this monkey model and rig it using the Face and Setup Machine and try to polish the animation as best as I could. Here is what I ended up with.

if you can't see the videos you can check them out at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Get the most out of your Digital Camera

First of all a big congrats to my friends Joe and Emily on the birth of their beautiful baby boy, Joe Daniels the 5th.

While Joe IV was home last week getting used to parenting, he snapped a lot of pictures and came up with a great way to get good exposure from his point and shoot digital camera using a business card and tinfoil. Check out his post about it here. I made one of these for Britt's camera and let me tell you it works perfectly. No more washed out pictures from the flash, and no more red-eye!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Miles to Go, Before My Car Sleeps

200,000 MILES BABY!!!

I can't believe it. My car nearly hit 200,000 miles on the money when I pulled into the parking lot after work. I was at about 199,999.3 so I drove around the parking lot till i could park it right on the money. This car has been amazing. I'm pretty sure if I was still on the East Coast this car would be toast. That's what happened to my 89 Taurus. Then engine still ran great wiht 130,000 miles but the body just rotted out from all the winters/salt on the road. I hope this car lasts me for another 200,000 miles. I am not looking forward to shopping for a new one.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Hey you! Looking at this now! Brittney and Bill have been working hard on this new website/game/viritual world and i think you should check it out at

What's that? You're too lazy to go there? Well lucky for you I've embedded my room in this blog post. You show up as a little ghost named "Guest####". Walk around, chat with some people, play some games, then sign up for an account. It's all free!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

MyToons Finalist!!


Sorry for the delay, but if you haven't heard yet, Furnick won!!! Big thanks to the judges, to mytoons, and the loads of people who have watched Furnick and left me all the nice comments. On it has recieved over 2000 views so far! Woo! has a contest to make a short animated bumper with their logo. Well I entered Furnick and found out today that I am a finalist! Out of the ten finalists only three of them win the prize. I believe there might also be a grand prize, but don't quote me on that. Check it out, check out the other good finalists and cross your fingers

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

Here are the Tales and legends you never hear of:

The Legend of the Loch Ness Fish and The Tales of Steve the Librarian Who Never Did Anything All that Exciting.

The Legend of Robin Hoods Lesser Known Brother Rodger Hood, who robs from baby's and gives nothing in return.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jim Henson Toy Puts on a Concert

Jim Henson Toy warms up the crowd with some classic hits.The crowd loves it. Look a storm trooper made it to the show.

Now Jim Henson Toy starts to play some new hits.

Police force is needed to control the crowd and keep them from rushing the stage.

Some people just don't appreciate Jim Henson Toy's music.

Jim Henson Toy does an hour and a half tambourine solo...

...and the crowd loves it.

After the show Jim Henson Toy gets a hug from one of his biggest fans.

John Cleese on the Muppet Show

I watch the Muppet Show on DVD while I work and I had to get these sketches out of John Cleese. Unfortunately I didn't have my sketchbook or pen with me so I used sharpie marker on in a notebook.

He is such a funny guy, he has an explosiveness about his comedy. He tries to play it straight until the Muppets drive him lash out in comical goodness.