Saturday, 30 of August of 2014

Tears of Steel – Blender Foundation’s newest Project! (Mango)

No words can describe.

So thrilled.


Fabricated Wine Glass Holders

Well, it’s that time of year again: when college students around the world start to pull their hair out because they didn’t get enough work done the previous nine tenths of the semester, and now have to pick up the slack as finals loom. Oh? That doesn’t happen to you? Perhaps it’s just me.

Graduation cometh, and verily, in 13 days I shall walk, or die trying.

On to the fun! The small CNC Router we built a few years ago at IZation Labs is still kicking! It was used to make around 20 Wine Glass Holders for Christmas Gifts this past year. The following video shows the basic process from start to finish.


Yes. I do need to get more sleep.


Copperpot Munitions

Copperpot Munitions, supplying high quality cartridges since who knows when.

The render to the left is the original output of the scene that I only recently finished. Up late watching viral videos and playing video games one night with some friends I don’t get to spend enough time with, one of them showed interest in seeing what Blender is capable of, as he hasn’t been actively following the newest (earth shattering) updates. So, being on a video game kick, I modeled him some nine millimeter cartridges at about three that morning.

Never one to leave a sleeping model lie, I came back to the file about a month later while cleaning up my main Blender project directory and felt like the scene could be so much more, could be more full bodied and realistic. This lead me to create the Copperpot Munitions LLC  box of 9mm cartridges. Then I duplicated a single 9mm round 100 times or so and used the physics engine to drop them into the box and scatter them about the scene.

I’m very happy with the final product, my only regret is that the cartridges could look just a bit grungier in my opinion. To see the texture used for the box art, head over to my portfolio.

On a side note, here’s a shameless plug, just in case anyone isn’t already using the software package “Dropbox”. It completely replaced my flash drive for school and projects, and it keeps my data backed up and updated to the newest revisions on all my computers.

Dropbox is a program that creates a normal folder on your computer, conveniently called a “Dropbox”, that automatically and in real time backs up to a safe place on the internet, so no matter what happens to your computer, your files are always safe and accessible online. Plus, if you have multiple computers, or a work and a home computer, you can install Dropbox on both, and it automatically syncs the files between computers! Save that document you were working on at work to your Dropbox, and there it is in the same place when you get home!

If you haven’t yet, check it out! You get two free gigabytes of free storage, and it can be expanded for up to ten or twelve gigs for free by doing things like uploading your first files, installing it on more than one computer, etc. Click the link below if you want to know more.


Online CG Generalist Portfolio

Just a heads up, my official online portfolio has now gone live! 

This site will serve as an uncluttered unique website to showcase my graphics based projects when they reach their absolute final stage of completion. You can find a link to it at the top of the site, too! Check it often, That’s where a lot of my finished projects will go, possibly with links back to here for posts concerning more of the in depth and nitty gritty aspects of each project!



SAG Environment Design 305

Lo, everyone!

So finals this fall semester are coming to a close here at Eastern Michigan University. Soon student’s sleep schedules will return to whatever is normal for college kids these days, the computer labs will empty, and SAG majors everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief, so glad to have even finished their projects that they couldn’t possibly begin to worry about the actual grade they will receive, which I hope will be good for all of us.

My most recent reason to celebrate is the completion of the final project that has been looming over me (driving me mad with worry) since early November, when I fell rather behind in a number of classes due to an accident that I sustained. After I spent a week in decontamination and the suits told me not to play with plutonium anymore, I had difficulty catching back up in classes. (Seriously though, it was a severe concussion.)

SAG 305, Environmental Design; A course meant to teach the basic concepts behind architectural design and BIM, one of the most common kinds of environments in which humans find themselves situated. While spending a semester studying Autodesk’s Revit software package, we 305-ers were tasked with selecting an on-campus building (or off campus, with approval) for recreating in the software package of our choice. Most chose Revit. A few others chose Autodesk 3ds Max. One nut even went with some open source software called Blender.

Below is a gallery of incremental renders created over the course of one day that display my progress in my final project, which was the Starkweather building here at EMU. Yes, I did wait too long to start it, mostly because I was still playing catch up in most of my classes. Also you can click HERE to explore the flash interface that lets you click through and explore the building from different angles, which was the actual final project that was demonstrated in class.


Expect a few more final project posts here at the labs as finals come to a close!

*Edit* Here’s the link to the project on my portfolio website, for trackback purposes.


3ds Max Textured Football and Helmet

Sleep comes easier for me now that I’ve started up my most recent caffeine ban, but that won’t stop me from adding a few newish photos

I’m finally starting to generate some images and content that I feel I can be proud of. Things that aren’t exactly out of this world, but are also good enough to not get comments like ‘Dude. Is that supposed to be a car or a bird?”

I honestly believe in using whatever tools best suit you. Much of what you see here is generated in Blender, unless I mention otherwise. I’m just a Blenderhead, through and through. I’ve a professor who knowingly joked that if I thought I could get away with it, I would do all of my modeling in Blender and just import it as a .obj into 3ds Max for the 3ds based Studio 1 class in which I’m currently enrolled. The class erupted into laughter, myself included, mostly because we all know that he is perfectly correct.

The two new uploads for the evening have got a few weeks on them now, but they include a textured football and football helmet. These were given to us as models and we were to texture them in 3ds Max. Enjoy!


MyBook Pro Woes

I know, I know. No summer posts, what was I THINKING? (Lacey, you got some splainin’ to do!) I promise, explanations later, right now I just need to get this out in the open in case anyone ends up having the same problem that I just did. No one should have to work that out on their own if at all possible.

I’ve always had problems with my external hard drive. So many that I don’t know why I still have it, but that’s beside the point. It’s a 1 TB, two drive MyBook Pro formatted by and being run on Mac OSX. Note: This is the second time this has happened in as many summers. Somewhere along the line, the Mac OSX just decides it doesn’t want to freely let go of the drive, and wipes out my partition table, leaving my hard drive feeling incredibly brick-like. My data is still physically there. There was just NO way to get to it.

I found some help from a number of places, the best of which is this website:

So following the instructions, testdisk to the rescue, to an extent. This at LEAST let me see that my data was still there and gave me valuable information about the drive.

But that wasn’t enough.

The drive was non writable. No matter what combination of unmounting, different connections into both Windows and Mac machines, I couldn’t progress through the instructions, as pdisk still claimed that the disk was, in essence, write protected, and that I should go home kid, you got no talent. There was just NO way to rewrite the dead partition table.

After four hours of play time on both Windows and Mac, with my head hung in despair, I decide what the heck, I’ll try it on one of my Ubuntu machines in my workshop.

Lo and behold! It mounts. It’s accessible. In fact, nothing at all seems wrong with it. Strange, I thought. Maybe by plugging it into Ubuntu it repaired the partition table. So I plug it back into my Mac. Again, no dice. But that’s okay, because I have access now through Ubuntu, and can copy the files to a different drive and then reformat, right?

Almost. One of my folders has a different owner from the owner/user ID on the Ubuntu machine. So I’m not allowed to access that folder or its contents in any way. The drive is still non-writeable as a whole, so I can’t change file permissions, and can’t change the owners, throwing chmod and chown out the window.

And here’s the saving grace. What if, I wonder, I created a new user on my Ubuntu machine to match the user ID of the Mac account, which I could see by selecting the inaccessible folder and looking through its properties. This may be a big DUH for some people, but for someone relatively new to *nix, it was a tremendous moment of possible comprehension for me.

Surprise. It worked. Created a new user with an identical UID, logged in, and there are my files, ripe for the transferring.

I sincerely hope that that helps someone. If it just saves ONE person from the headache I just had, it was worth the time writing the experience out. If you need more detailed steps along these lines, comment on the article and I’ll see what I can do.