Wednesday, January 27, 2010

3d Rigging: Free Lightwave character
- Pawn

The year before last, I designed a character named Pawn which I was going to use for animating shorts to use in my (upcoming) reel. I still plan to use him, but sometime life gets in the way of getting the personal projects done.

I visit the 11second club here and there. They have a monthly animation competition for the fun of it and they have free rigs for Max, Maya, etc. But they never have any free rigged characters for us Lightwavers.

So I found a need to fill... Why not clean him up a bit and post him for free for others to use and learn by picking the rig apart? I have learned so much from these forums - I taught myself 3d, no university schooling yet ^_~. I thought this would be a good opportunity to give back, for so much I have taken.

I contacted the 11second club a few times to offer it for free to the users with no response - maybe I'm on their spam list. So I decided to go to the source and post the rig for free on the Spinquad and the Newtek forums.

Of course with human nature, there is always someone riding your coat-tails or trying to steal your fire. My thread on the Newtek forums got Hi-jacked by a guy in the UK offering his own rig for free to reel in people to buy his tutorials and all. Well, he has to pay for his schooling somehow - no worries, there's always one.

Anyways, mine has a control panel to manipulate the facial morphs and mouth for lip sync - his doesn't even have a mouth ^ ^... Live and let live.

...thanks for listening...

Rendering: Li & Fung,
New York, NY

This is a visualization which I did for an office furniture client in New York. It was a space planning and color scheme exercise, that is why you see 2 countertops with different colors.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Renderings: Game Development

Back in 2001, I made some concept art and 3d models for an independent game company in New York. The game never went too far in development due to the developer cancelling production. Here are a few images that I made for the proposed game.
2d concepts

3d images just before production was canceled...

Animation: Flag Icons

I also made some animated gifs for an Administrator of a racing web forum. I developed these in 3d studio Max 4 back in 2001.

Renderings: David Wolfe Design

Some more visualization renderings I found while going through my old CD's.
This is a rendering of a Cherry corner hutch for a colleague. He did get the job to make and install the hutch for a private client.

These are visualizations of a proposed niche installation at the Double Tree hotel in Center City, Philadelphia back in 2001. Both of these renderings were made in AutoCAD 2000i and 3d Studio Max v4.

Web Development: Artist & 3d Render Client

Here are 2 links to web sites which I developed.

This is the first site I made for a client. It was made back in 2002 for a former colleague who was doing a start-up, and done in HTML and JavaScript. HS Studios

This site I co-designed with a former colleague in 2007. It is a bit more involved then the one I made five years earlier. I was responsible for the Web Graphics in Adobe Photoshop and ImageReady, and developed and incorporated 2 Flash plug ins, a slide show and mp3 player. The mp3 player does not have any volume since I did this site for free (come to think of it, I did the first one for free too). This site was made for a starving artist in Mullica Hill, NJ. Once I had the site development done and needed content, the client dropped off the face of the earth. ie. We couldn't get any information from him, so I only have the site without content to complete it. Shepherd

Feel free to contact me if you would like more information about the programming behind the sites.

Rendering: Backroom Bench

Here is a visualization rendering that I made for a personal project. A wood bench which I wanted to make and install in the back porch of our old house. I made it for Proof of Concept for my wife to see what I was thinking before I did the work.

I did this rendering in 3d Studio Max v6.

Illustration: Tekion Newsletter Optips

I made a few versions for a revamp of the company newsletter's logo. Below are the 3 versions which I made in Adobe Illustrator.

Exhibit Design, Renderings:
Philadelphia Museum of Art

These are various (OLD) renderings I made while I worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (circa 1994). These were made in AutoCAD v13 and 3d Studio Max (that's v1!). These are the first 3d renderings I ever made and it shows that I had no training...

When they wanted to revamp the Kid's gift shop in the basement on the south side of the Museum, I was called in to do before and after renders for approval of concept. This is before.

And this is after.

Another concept rendering was to move an existing statue from the field at the north side of the museum into a niche. The project was not done since the President at that time, the late Anne d'Harnencourt, considered it not appropriate. This rendering saved the museum quite a bit of money in labor and coordination costs.

Of course, they didn't have Photoshop, so I couldn't 'shop' the existing bushes out of the pictures I took of the niche. NOTE: my UV Mapping skills have also improved since then ^_^.

Exhibit Design: Visitor's Center, Williams, AZ

The largest exhibit we made at David Wolfe Design was a USDA project for the proposed Visitors Center at Williams, AZ. It is located within the existing train station. It had many interactive exhibits, lit panel walls a DVD display unit and much more. I was responsible for the working drawings and fabrication of the exhibit pieces. Of course, I was not part of the installation team, I had to stay behind and hold down the fort.

Here is a link I found that has a few pictures of the exhibit: Visitor's Center I still have nightmares about that squirrel ^_^.

This is the DVD display still in the shop. It also has a fiber-optic light display that traces the route (66) from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA.

Here is a closeup of the DVD and Fiber-Optic display.

These are pictures of some of the interactive display walls in the final installation.

This was by far one of the most challenging and most satisfying (after completion) exhibits I worked on at David Wolfe Design.

Exhibit Design: Various Installations

We made a number of installations for smaller jobs at David Wolfe Design. We did installations at the Primate house in the Philadelphia Zoo, Private Clients and more, but I do not have pictures of all of them. Here are a couple pics of the ones I do have...

We jokingly called this the 'Money shot' of David in the Trolley at the Library. It has been a while, so I don't remember the name, but it's a library in West Philly.

Here's the Trolley installation Crew: Kevin Lamp, Roman Przychodzien, Phillip and David Wolfe.

This is another one that I made the working drawings for fabrication. It's a train that fit into an existing fireplace at a Library. Kept the kids out and gave them something to climb on ^_^.

Exhibit Design: Philadelphia Int'l. Airport,
Phila., PA

At David Wolfe Design, we also made some vitrines for the Philadelphia International Airport. It was all part of a project called "Jazz & Java" at the airport.

These were installed in Terminal D, but that was back in November of 1998, before 9-11. I do not know if they are still there or not. With the new security provisions at the airport, and also due to the fact that I don't travel too often, it's hard to get in there to see them.

This was the BIG ONE. It was a 'bear' to get in there at that time, since we had to install when the terminal was closed. David Wolfe is the gentleman center left giving direction.

These are 3 of the other vitrines we made for the installation.

Another detail of one of the vitrines above - just beautiful. I wonder if they are still in use???

Exhibit Design: Camper Exhibit, Dover, DE

Here are some photos of and installation that we did for the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover, DE. This was my first project working as a consultant at that time for David Wolfe Design. I made the working drawings which his company used to manufacture the cases, platform, and vitrines for the installation.

Here's the entrance to the exhibit. The exhibit was for Jehu Camper, a local whittler and historian. He made some impressive pieces of art.

The platform and vitrines.

Detail of the wall-mounted vitrines.

Exhibit Design: Betsy Ross House, Phila., PA

Here's some pictures of casework we made for the gift shop at the Betsy Ross house when I worked for David Wolfe Design. This installation was done back in 2001, I visited there this past summer and the gift shop has since been redone, only 2 of our original pieces remain - that's small business...

I was responsible for the working plans and I made a few test renders for approval (don't know where they got off to). We manufactured, and delivered them to the Betsy Ross house. Anvil Construction installed the pieces.

We also made the wall pieces too. This is how it all looked (beautiful) before the workers at the gift shop covered them all over with 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper with descriptions and prices for the goods they would soon carry.

Here's a detail of the dentils and acrylic grab boxes (point of sale) at the cashier's counter.

This is a view looking West in the shop, and Bill (24 karats) working hard holding up one of the freestanding cases.

The freestanding case Bill was holding up ^_^.

The second freestanding case, looking west again.

This was a great project to work on. it is just a shame that the pieces are no longer in use (except for 2).

...thanks for listening...

Monday, January 25, 2010

AutoCAD Basic: OK to Regen?

Hello all,

Have you had deja-vu (on a minute by minute-basis) while working in AutoCAD? You know, where each time you ZOOM in/out/extents, etc., AutoCAD displays a dialog box which asks you if it is "OK to Regen?" If you are on a tight deadline, this can turn into a nuisance real quick.

If you are sick the Autodesk equivalent of a 3 year old always asking you, "Why?". Don't sweat it - it's an easy fix.

At the command prompt, type in REGENAUTO. Then change the setting on ON (or 1). Viola! AutoCAD will regenerate the view without asking you if it's 'OK' each time. I could 'rib' Vista, but I'm not ^_^.

But be warned, this setting is saved in the drawing that you are working in. That means, when you change the setting, that only applies to that particular drawing. If you open another drawing and the REGENAUTO variable is set to OFF (or 0 - zero) for that drawing - It's back to 21 questions.

The good thing is that now you know how to combat the issue when it comes up again.

...thanks for listening...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things happen for good reason

Hello all,

Well, it was bound to happen in this economy. My employer lost their one big account and half of the office got laid-off. I was one of the lucky few that got the axe... The good thing is that I have more time to spend with the kids and shine up the resume. Heck, I may even get to putting my demo reel together. -geek chills run up & down my spine-

So if you need a Project Architect, I know quite a few. But if you need a Jack-of-all-trades, I know only one. He's a bit overweight and has graying hair, but that that never hurt anyone and he knows his stuff ^_^. I will begin posting my online materials and resumes on the blog too. I'm just glad that I completed assembling my new computer system and all the bugs worked out!

I will be spending some more time on the blog as a great perk of my latest status. So I can get my Tips and Tricks for AutoCAD and maybe some Lightwave stuff as well.

...thanks for listening...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MS Office Advanced: Issue Converting docs to PDF's

Hi there.

Have you ever had that frustrating occurrence when you try to make a PDF from a Microsoft Word doc, and the computer tells you it can't find PDFMaker and asks if you want to reinstall in ...yada, yada... 'What does this error message mean'-land? Note that MS Word and Acrobat Professional are installed in this instance...

Here's a fix:

1. Close all MS Office Apps.

2. In Explorer, go to 'C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates' (note: this was done in XP).
a. If you see a file named '~$Normal', you have not clo
sed all of the MS Office programs. go back to Step 1.
b. Rename to anything else (You can delete this file after this is fixed).

3. Open MS Word
a. In the drop-down menu, click on Help > About.b. This brings up a dialog box, at the bottom, click on 'Disabled Items...'(Button)
c. If 'PDFMaker' is showing up in the dialog box
, Re-enable PDFMaker by clicking on the name in the box.
d. Click on the 'Enable' button.

4. Close and open MS Word.

5. Try Word to PDF conversion and see if it works.

worked on my issue. If this didn't work, I'm sorry - you'll have to keep on searching for the solution...

...thanks for listening...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Flyer's won big last nite

Got all Flyer'd up last nite! They kicked the Leafs 6-2, Danny Briere made his 500th NHL career goal, it was an action-packed game. My son was pretty happy as you can see...

...thanks for listening...

AutoCAD Advanced: Shape File is missing

Hello all,

Sometimes when you open a CAD drawing, you will receive a dialog box to load a Shape file. Which you may or may not have.

Of course, it depends on where you get a drawing file from. Note that a shape is used in special linetypes or text or embedded in blocks, etc. If it's from where you work, you can normally go to the person who worked on the file before you and ask them for the shape file and everything is roses. If it's from a 3rd party, you could ask them for it. NOTE: If you are going to send a drawing to a consultant, etc., you could also use the eTransmit tool from the File menu. This is shown at the left. This will include everything associated with the drawing (Xrefs, Linetypes files, etc.) you are sending and we're back to the rose garden of work getting done efficiently.

But we live in the real world, where this seldom happens.

So we have to get rid of every instance of the special linetype in the drawing. Open the drawing and you can use the 'Quick Select...' from the Tools menu, or type qselect at the command prompt (I work ambidextrously -keyboard commands- when I can) and hit enter. From there you can look for shapes, text and delete them, replace them if necessary and move on with your work day. I won't go into detail here - hit the F1 key and search for 'quick select' - how do you think I learned most of my Acad knowledge - schools just use the curriculum's book contents - unless you have a great teacher. Anywho, use 'Quick Select' to root out the offending shape objects. Then you can Purge the drawing to delete the linetypes from the drawing.

You may also try to find the shape file online, but that's a shot in the dark. There is probably more than one version of the shape file you are trying to find. And the referenced shape in the file this drawing was made from may be different from the file you find from some unknown source from the internet. Then you have an improper representation of objects in your drawing and I'm certain your boss is gonna love the craziness when the contractor, client comes back to ask why there is a line of dolphins where the Sanitary Sewer line is supposed to be...

When this doesn't work, it's time to move into the Black Magic portion of figuring out and fixing the problem.

Here's one solution which I have found. Root out blocks and/or objects that are resident in the drawing, but disconnected from the drawing's database. Time to drag & drop.

Purge all items from the problem drawing.

Open a new drawing with nothing in it - I have a saved one just for this purpose. Make sure the layer is set to 0(zero), Purge, CDGPurge if you have it (get it), etc.

Now Restore Down the current drawing so you can move around the drawing sessions inside of the Acad window.

Make sure that the Problem drawing is on top of the new clean drawing. Make sure that you can see the background area of the new clean drawing. Back in the problem drawing, unfreeze, unlock all layers. Hit 'ctrl+a' to select all items in the problem drawing. Left click on any item in the problem drawing - DO NOT click on a grip since that will just modify that object in the problem drawing, and drag your mouse (left button still depressed) over to the new clean drawing and release the left mouse button. If done properly, you will see the objects from the problem drawing in the new clean drawing.
NOTE: Just because you placed them into a new drawing, don't forget that the placement of the items are not in the same place as the old drawing. I'll leave that to you to figure out.

Now in the new clean drawing, do a Purge, CDGPurge, etc. If the case is true, you should see 'Purge-able' objects in the purge window that were not there in the problem drawing. And hopefully they will include blocks (as was my case). Purge 'em out and run another Purge - do as many times as needed. When the special linetypes are no longer part of the drawing, you should see the Linetypes in the Purge window and get that out as well. Why does this happen? I could explain why the sky is blue, but that would not help as to why certain things happen. Acad is just a program made by humans and things go south sometimes, 'nuff said.

Now after you have the placement in the new drawing all figured out and cleaned up. Save the problem drawing as a backup (name it whatever, but make it relevant), and save your new drawing. Why do we not delete the old drawing? If something wasn't brought over correctly, you need some references, etc., you need the old as a backup - that's why they call 'em 'backups'. The next time you open the drawing, you should not be plagued with Acad asking you for a shape file that you do not have.

Time to get Kudos from your boss and that raise you were bucking for. I hope this helps if you had a problem of this kind.

...Thanks for listening...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lightwave 3d Model: Bee

Hello all.

Here I have posted some wire frames of a Bee I modeled for my animated short...

Here's another shot of the detail on the legs.

Here's a final shot with FiberFX in place for the 'fur'. Note the 'Flame Job' on the Thorax. You know, I'd be lying if I said that I don't think of Cheech Marin's line in 'Cars' whenever I say, "Flame Job." ^_^

...Thanks for listening...