Friday, January 27, 2012

Batman's Epiphany

The moment when Batman realized the bat purse wasn't going to cut it...


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thinking Outside Of The Box

In September of 2008 I was looking through "want ads," well, we don't really call them that anymore we call them, "job postings." Anyway, there seemed to be some frequency in people looking for "outside of the box" thinkers, doers, sages and seers... people, I guess. It's one of those terms that makes me think, "look for some talent" in your human resources department. That and the requirement for "multitasking." We all know now that multitasking is a myth, right? If you highlight "multitasking is a myth, " right mouse click, Search Google for "multitasking is a myth," as I just did, lo and behold there's a link to an article in Scientific American entitled, The Myth of Multitasking. The first thing it states is we have not gotten better at multitasking but have rather gotten better at switching back and forth between tasks. That's as far as I read. I might add, it appears to me that we've gotten better moving from task A to task B, C or maybe even D and in the meantime everyone's politely forgotten about task A. Fact is, computers have a hard enough time multitasking why should we be expected to?

Back to the box. Thinking outside the box elicited an image in my head that day and I decided I needed to see it more clearly, so I made this image.

In fact in looking back it appears I made 26 variations of this image between September 15 & 16, 2008. Apparently I liked this one best because it ended up on my business card with the proud caption, "Thinking Outside Of The Box." Just like a movie title. Fact is, as I have already alluded to, I think it's a stupid saying and the whole point was to make sarcastic mockery of its stupidity. A lot of people really like my card though and actually so do I but then I think outside of the box.

About 1 year and 11 months later I decided to show people just how big the box really was. After working on a CG elephant for something entirely different I created, "seeking thinking outside of the box." Perhaps my elephant was a subconscious interpretation of certain HR departments. Or not.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Black Water Dragon.

The Year 2012 is the 4709th Chinese year. China enters the 4709th year today, January 23, 2012. Also, the Chinese Year uses the cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting systems and the Black Water Dragon is the 28th Stem-Branch in the cycle.

Having never seen a Black Water Dragon I could only imagine and this is what I came up with, my baby Black Water Dragon. I will call him Walter.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Squirrel Nests

Did you know that squirrels build nests? Well they do. I missed out on getting a photo or video of this so you'll just have to imagine. Yesterday I was out on my daily late afternoon walk, most of this occurs at the local Jr. college. There is one point about midway on the average walk, 2.7 miles or so in, where I pass a men's room on the campus. Sometimes I find this to my advantage. Yesterday as I'm approaching the bathroom I see what looks to be a very odd white animal with a long white tail. As I get closer I realize it's a squirrel and this little critter has just robbed the bathroom of a paper toilet seat protective cover (yes, it was clean) and about 6 feet of toilet paper. He scurried into a tree-like manicured bush well before I was in camera range and I wasn't inclined to poke around too much and upset him.

If you look carefully, toward the bottom center of the image you'll see he also has himself a tennis ball. I call him a he merely out of convenience, the only way to distinguish a male from a female squirrel is to hold them upside down and look. Besides, he was in the men's room.

About a mile before this spot (or a couple miles later depending on which way I'm going) there are several Sweetgum trees. The sweetgums are on the property of the elementary school I attended in the 1960s. It's hard to see the squirrels nests amongst the leaves but once fall finishes it's job they become quite apparent. You will frequently find more nests, also called dreys, where there are squirrels than squirrels themselves because if a nest gets infested with fleas or other parasites they will leave and build elsewhere. Squirrels are actually rather clean and rarely carry rabies.

Squirrel Joke

An owl and a squirrel are sitting in a tree, watching a farmer go by. The owl turns to the squirrel and says nothing, because owls can't talk.

The owl then eats the squirrel because it's a bird of prey.

(People who majored in sciences find that joke funny.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vitruvian Guitar Man

Every now and again there is one specific reason I decide to draw something and that reason is... I want to make myself a t-shirt. The 1st effort for my Vitruvian Guitar Man took place in 2007 and there was some distraction that had me put it aside. In May of 2009 I saw another example of a t-shirt with this and was so enraged, err... no, inspired, I decided to finish my drawing.

The original Vitruvian Man drawing was created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487. The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De Architectura. Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture. Leonardo's drawing is traditionally named in honor of the architect. (source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, walks his dog (on the moon.)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, stands on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module, Eagle, during the Apollo 11 moonwalk. Astronaut Neil Armstrong, mission commander, took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. While Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the lunar module to explore the Sea of Tranquility, astronaut Michael Collins, command module pilot, remained in lunar orbit with the Command and Service Module, Columbia. (Source: Wikipedia)

I, on the other hand, imagined he was holding something. Suddenly it seemed obvious.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wacom Bamboo Stylus for the iPad (my impressions)

Yesterday my Wacom Bamboo Stylus for the iPad came in the mail. The first thing I learned about using it was I am inclined to drag my hand around on the screen when I draw. I think left handed people are particularly predisposed toward this behavior. The remedy for now was to throw on a cycling glove. Eventually I'll find some thin cotton gloves and cut the fingers off, probably leaving the little finger intact. You still want your finger tips free for menu navigation, gestures, some drawing and because you want to feel the stylus.

Other observations:

  • I have long fingers I find the Bamboo to be somewhat short. I think it could use another inch or so. I already heard the joke in my head so forget it.
  • It requires a bit of pressure and since the tip is a rubber nib, ball-like and squishy hollow at the tip, you get a certain amount of drag from that but I think you get some drag from charcoal pencils too so what do I know. Keep in mind I'm a hobbyist when it comes to drawing. I am, in fact, drawing mostly to support other creative digital workflows and secondarily because I would like to learn to draw better.
  • Back to squishy, the tip housing unscrews so the nib can be replaced. If I already had at least one additional nib I'd try packing it with something to see if I can find a better feel. If you're reading this trying to decide on a Bamboo or some other stylus and you're wondering how to order additional nibs Wacom has that hidden away on their site for some reason (I guess there's a reason?!?) Here's the link. Out of stock and no add to cart right now, so no backorders. I could kick myself on that one but I was waiting for the stylus to arrive. Anyway, I'll probably try something like a latex caulk in a nib once I can get some extras.
  • The nib is also a little rubber dust magnet, I suggest going over your iPad with a microfiber cloth before drawing. It's not as clean as you think it is.
  • The price: You'll see this everywhere, the price sucks! I paid $25.43 on Amazon with free shipping. The Griffin stylus is under $11 + shipping or get your order over $25 on Amazon and it'll ship for free. I got the Wacom for the name and it seemed to get the best reviews but for what it is the price is ridiculous.
Overall impression so far, it's a lot better than me trying to draw with the tips of my fingers. I am simply not good at that plus I think once I get into a vector drawing program on the iPad the benefits of a stylus will be even more pronounced. It also has me finally learning Sketchbook Pro for the iPad, the 1st app I ever bought for the iPad2. BTW, I recently bumped into the user manual for Sketchbook Pro for the iPad here. This link will download the PDF. I don't believe Autodesk makes this documnet obvious in anyway, especially considering the name of the document is, file_48931.pdf. I have a sort of long bitter-sweet relationship with AutoDesk I won't get into. That aside, I had made a New Year's resolution to draw more with pen/pencil and paper and a 1/2 hour later I ordered the stylus but I think the main thing for me is to draw in a manner more conventional to analog drawing with more frequency and a $1,000 Wacom Cintiq is out of the picture (my old Wacom has seen better days.) I also like the idea of being able to sit in a recliner, a waiting room, parked in a car, etc. and being able to draw. I'll work on the finger thing as I go.

January 20, 2012 Update

After numerous periodic check-ins on the Wacom site I was finally able to order the 3-pack of extra nibs today. Talk about your ripoffs. The $4.95 for 3 little pieces of rubber is bad enough but they add on $5 for shipping. The use the UPS service that drops it off with the USPS somewhere along the way. They also quote, "Allow 12-15 business days for delivery after order processing." Come on, put them in a bubble pack and throw them in the mail!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

David rocks!

Viewed head on, the statue of David seems out of proportion. The upper portions of the statue appear somewhat larger than is natural. However, when viewed from below, the perspective creates the illusion of proportion. I drew the guitar properly to scale. However, I needed to scale down his right hand (picking) considerably to be in proper proportion to the guitar.

"In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."—Michelangelo

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bye bye 2011. Nice knowing ya.

The last sunset of 2011, San Fernando Valley, CA.

Lucy the Cat gets a new helicopter for the holidays.

Lucy's new helicopter arrived yesterday. This video was done kind of quick and dirty this morning. The game plan is to try and keep the thing out of harms way but sort of dangle it in front of her. I have no way of moving forward/back, left/right with the camera in my hand though. Most of the action is at the end of this including Lucy  swatting and getting nipped at 2:41.

RC Helicopters as cat toys.

For anybody else interested in a RC helicopter. Here's a brief report. Lucy's old heli was 2 channel. 2-ch goes up and down and has a l/r spin. Don't get one. This new Syma S107G is 3-ch, it also goes forward and back via the tail rotor. I have landed this in my hand, much greater control. 4-ch also has a left/right lean or aileron. Plus, f/b doesn't use a tail rotor it uses servos to the bottom rotor for f/b. Even more control. For a small indoor heli the best 4-ch buy is a Blade mCX RTF, about $50 more than I paid for the S107G.


I'm thinking about moving all the stuff I do on Facebook to this blog. I mean, what's the difference where you post stuff if it's ignored anyway, right? I also figure that I have more freedom of expression here and that the kind of stuff I do and might post is better suited to this format. So basically what I'm going to do to start off is move my last few or so Facebook posts to here and see how things look. Exciting huh?