Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MRP Animatic

As the semester comes to a close, I've decided to post my 2D animatic for the 3D animation in Maya I will be creating for my Master's Research Project. I suppose I still haven't explained my project so this is a good a chance as any.

DISCLAIMER: If you don't want to see my animation until its beautiful, 3D, final form, then don't watch the animatic. It's very visually rough, the narration is preliminary in my terrible voice, and everything is a spoiler for the final piece.

In February, I needed to start looking at selecting a project for my MRP, the main component of the MSc in Biomedical Communications I am pursuing. I saw a presentation on a very interesting new tool in neuroscience and chose it as the topic of study. The brief for this topic is to explain the function and usefulness of the newly developed probe to potentially interested parties, including researchers and graduate students. The "micro-optrode" represents the possibility for unprecedented (if I can use such a bold word) examination of individual neurons in living brains. For the time being, this research is being done on mice and rats. I will let the animatic (hopefully) explain the rest...



I will also be building an interactive simulator for the probe to be housed on a website along with the animation. Starting in January, I'll be in production for this animation.

Merry Christmas!
Stuart

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Metastatic Bone Cancer process

I'm hopefully about ready to start rendering this 2-page illustration for the pathology course. My very first idea was something along these lines:


and it has evolved to this point:


I used maya to construct the rough shape of the rib to get a better perspective view and used it as a template. Booleans were used to cut out windows in the rib, and because the mesh wasn't really getting used for anything itself, I didn't mind that the topology was a mess from the booleans.

Later,
Stuart

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MRP Teaser

Now that the pre-production for my Master's research project (MRP) is well under way, I'd like to share some of the materials I have created for the project. This is just a teaser to start (storyboard panel). I will explain the scope and content of my project soon, since I don't think I've yet described it adequately.


Later,
Stuart

Monday, October 15, 2012

Metastatic Bone Disease

For the pathology course, initially I was set to do an illustration on leprosy, but for various reasons, it proved to be not the best topic. So I've decided to illustrate Metastatic Bone Cancer, which should be more interesting, comprehensible, relevant, understood, and satisfying as a final product. I've done a couple of tissue studies. As I've been doing research, I understand that there are several aspects of these studies that I will need to correct or improve for the final illustration. But they serve the purpose of trying to understand the tissue and the accompanying visual problems.

This is a perspective view of tissue cubes, showing a metastasis growing over time and eroding the trabeculae.



This is a color study with pencil crayon, showing a rib with associated intercostal muscle and a pathologic fracture.


I also created a series of tutorials in Cinema4D and After Effects for classmates for a group project we're working on. I honestly don't expect anyone to watch all 1hr+ of it, but the first couple minutes of the first one might give an idea of the scope of the tutorial.



Later,
Stuart

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fetal Transposition

The first assignment for the Medical Legal class I'm taking this fall was to look at a single view of a fetus and draw it at 90 degrees to the original. Most of the time when trying to understand something in three dimensions, I need at least two views, e.g. front and side. It was really an exercise in filling in the missing information using relationships and shading cues. I decided to try to block out the form in ZBrush to help out with the problem.
This is the original image:  

ZSpheres to figure out where all the limbs go:

And some rough sculpting to flesh out the form:


And the final image with side by side comparison. I didn't follow the sculpt exactly, since there were some points where it wasn't completely successful, and my first sketch attempt was not so great. But this is my second version, and I paid closer attention to the original image, and I think it is a reasonable approximation of a 90 degree transposition.


Well, lots of classes this semester and lots of projects on the go. I should be posting some leprous work soon, a ZBrush vertebra, and perhaps some Unity work in the near future too.

Later,
Stuart

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Model viewer test

Testing out a new site/plugin I heard about on the simply maya forums. Could be kind of cool to share models with. Seems promising. Click and drag around, change the shader to wireframe on shaded, etc.
If the viewer doesn't show up, make sure you're visiting the blog itself on a modern browser.



Later,
Stuart

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Physically Accurate Lighting in mental ray" from Simply Maya



I have the privilege to review a tutorial from Simply Maya called "Physically Accurate Lighting in mental ray". This is a 2.5 hr tutorial designed to get you up to speed on using the physical sun and sky system and other indirect lighting principles to light interiors (and exteriors). The tutorial starts with a solid explanation of linear workflow, which I have heard a lot of enigmatic references to but never had the courage to tackle. While the descriptions and demonstrations of linear lighting and gamma correction far from satisfied all my questions, I now feel like I have enough to go on and I will definitely try to use linear workflow on any future lighting projects. I am also curious to explore Gen's PMM Linear Lighting Buddy plugin.

The goal of this tutorial is to create a lighting setup that can be very easily modified for light at any time of day. As such, physical sun and sky figures prominently. Portal lights, final gather, and global illumination are all utilized to supplement the main lighting provided by PSS. I found the explanations of PSS and portal lights to be more detailed than FG or GI. FG and GI are often described more in many introduction to lighting tutorials.

After setting up the lighting system, the room is textured using mia_material_x and misss_fast_shader2_x exclusively. I found some of the shader connections to be quickly done and confusing, but they ended up being repeated several times, so it becomes clear what is being arranged. There are several good tips and tricks offered to both optimize render time during testing and also improve quality in the final render.

To summarize, this tutorial is not a lighting basics course. It assumes a good understanding of maya's interface and general lighting principles. The main purpose of the tutorial is to take lighting in mental ray to the next level of accuracy and realism. Explanations are well articulated, while leaving room for further study (much like a lecture can be supplemented with textbooks). The final render is rather pleasing, and it is easy to imagine applying very similar workflows to many kinds of projects. I'd highly recommend this tutorial for anyone wanting to explore linear lighting techniques and physically accurate setups.

Thanks for reading.
Stuart

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Juggling Balls

Spent just a few hours experimenting with a few features in Maya I haven't used much. I like juggling, so I thought to render some juggling balls on a clean white background. Though they look like spheres, I used nCloth to give the balls just a tiny bit of sag and weight. I used image based lighting (IBL) which I'm not sure I'll use much in the future (seems too hard to control), and I added some depth of field (DOF) in PS using a zdepth render pass. DOF in post (PS) is faster than DOF in Maya, but I'd like to experiment more with both of those to see what kind of results they can give.


Maybe I'll call this the "Bad Sketch" Series: #5/1000

Later,
Stuart

Friday, August 31, 2012

Egg Campfire

I'm pleased to present my final image for the Simply Maya "Egg Photography" challenge. I had a ton of fun with this one and learned quite a bit about texturing and lighting.


I wanted to make something simple but fun and interesting. The brief was to create in CG the kind of scene that people sometimes make where they draw on eggs and pose them in frying pans etc. to create funny images. You can google "egg photography" if you don't know what I mean. I tried to picture what people would be doing around a campfire if someone took a photograph, and translate that into egg world. So, I have a tealight with matches, a mini marshmallow on a chopstick, and of course eggs with pipecleaner arms sitting on popsicle sticks.

The modelling was quite simple, since I wanted to spend more time on the texturing. I used bump maps, displacement maps, specular maps, subsurface scattering materials, fur, along with a couple textures from cgtextures.com. I used point, spot, and directional lights, light linking, fur shadowing, ambient occlusion, and shader glow (boo). The egg faces were made in illustrator, and I did a few tweaks in PS after rendering. I mentioned those things in case you have questions about how I tried to achieve something, so shoot me emails or message Biocinematics on facebook. And to show that a deceptively simple scene can have a lot going on that I needed to learn about.

This is a full 1080p render, so if you want to download it and use it, e.g. as a desktop image, go right ahead. If you do want to use it for personal enjoyment and the faint watermark bothers you, just shoot me an email and I'll give you a watermarkless version as long as I know you won't post it online or share it or sell it. I know it seems silly, but I am proud of this one and want people to be able to find my other stuff if the image gets around.

Back to school on Tuesday! Whoo!

Later,
Stuart

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Egg texturing

Just a few more days before the "egg photography" challenge deadline. I've textured everything in the small scene, and am just about to embark on the challenging issue of lighting. I really wanted to focus on lighting for this challenge, although I have learned lots about texturing and some different shaders, so that was great.




Hopefully I get the final image that I have in my head. So far I'm pleased. Fingers crossed :)

Later,
Stuart

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sedan 1940

This is a stop motion animation my younger brother did a couple years ago. It's pretty cool, so I convinced him to upload it to vimeo so other people can see it. Be sure to check it out and share it with anyone you think would like it.




That represents a lot of hours. I haven't done any stop motion that ambitious before.

My egg challenge is approaching a conclusion, so I'll post some WIP shots hopefully tomorrow.

Later,
Stuart

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Various projects

I've been on vacation for a couple weeks, which was really nice to get away. I posted a couple things on my facebook page without updates here, so for those that are without facebook (keep holding out!), I'll share them here too.

Update on the egg kitchen photography challenge. The deadline is Aug 31 I think.

A couple shots of the tank in progress:


Just a couple weeks before classes start again. Very excited!

Later,
Stuart

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tank modelling

Finally got back to my panzer IV modelling. I'm taking my time about figuring out the main shapes, because if those are wrong, nothing else will be right. It's still hard to figure out which components I should make separate, and which I should build as a single mesh, because in the manufacturing process, the tank started as many many separate pieces, but of course they were welded together, which is difficult to do cleanly digitally. So I'm trying to plan ahead, but that's also difficult to do without much hard surface modelling experience.

And I started on the drive sprocket (the powered wheel), because it was a little more fun.



Later,
Stuart

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The "Bad Sketch" Series #3-4/1000

It's been a while since I posted any "bad sketches", my self-imposed discipline to keep practicing without fear of failure (semi-successful). I tried putting together zspheres to create a little creature I had in my head, but when I created the adaptive skin, I just couldn't put any form in it that I liked. So here is just the zsketch, and the lesson learned is to at least create a pencil sketch to work from.

I also painted a goose from one of my many photos that are not presentable as photographs, but work alright as reference. These are just half an hour to an hour.



There's been a couple of reasons why it's been so long since I last posted. I took a trip to Quebec city to visit the Centre for Neurophotonics and the researchers for whom I will be creating my Masters Research Project. It was an incredible experience, and it really restructured my focus for how I imagine the final product. Definitely need to keep on with the Unity tutorials.

I also attended the 67th Annual Meeting of the Association for Medical Illustrators. It was also very interesting and educational, and I enjoyed hearing from the speakers their perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas. E. O. Wilson and James Gurney were among the talented presenters, and I ended up buying James Gurney's latest book "Color and Light" which I hope will be helpful for my experimentation in digital painting.

I also acquired a record player and some very nice speakers, so I've been having great fun with that. I felt all cool as I laid out speaker wire and connected everything up. Looking forward to doing more sketches and some work on my egg scene and tank, and I hope you are too.

Later,
Stuart

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The "Bad Sketch" series: #2/1000

Here's another sketch from ZBrush, just a few hours invested. Another alien creature (bullsquid) from half-life and this time I experimented with ZSpheres and polypainting on the mesh.




Later,
Stuart

Friday, June 29, 2012

The "Bad Sketch" series: #1/1000

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my goals this summer is to produce a large number of sketches, without worrying about the end results. Some will be finished-ish, others will be very rough and incomplete. Not worrying about how "good" they may be frees me up to experiment, stay loose, learn a broader variety of techniques, be creative, and most importantly, have fun. So without further ado, here's a couple screenies from my first sketch in Z. Based on the scary barnacles in the half-life video games.


This last image is called an "alpha" and it's used to pull out surface detail on sculptures. I drew it in PS to make the little barnacle shells on the big barnacle. You'll notice that white gets pulled out, and black is left at the same depth.

Later,
Stuart

Monday, June 25, 2012

June Update

Really can't believe it's been so long since I've updated my blog. Time just screams by. I've been keeping busy, but sometimes it's difficult to see what I've accomplished. I guess that's what blogs are for. So here we go: the past month in a nutshell.

I've been working on several simple line illustrations for Toronto Notes, which I may be able to share in the future, but not quite yet. Although classes for Business Practice and Research Methods are finished, there are a couple projects just wrapping up this week. My MRP proposal is now finished, and I created a bunch of business docs too. So, mostly written stuff and very little imagery, although here's my new(er) logo:

and the tag line I'm going to go with for the time being is "Animating the Components of Life". I also registered Biocinematics as a business in Ontario, so that was kind of exciting.

I'm working on a PPE PSA Poster with Olivia. This is one of the sketches I did for that:


I finished ZBrush 3 Essentials and am getting close to finishing ZBrush 4 Essentials over at Lynda.com. My goodness, ZBrush is the most unintuitive, hardest to learn program I've ever encountered. Seriously, even the instructors keep saying "I know this doesn't really make much sense, but you'll get used to it." For everything! And to make matters worse, the program changes so much from version to version. I have 4R2 (version 4 release 2) so after the frantic googling that accompanied the ZBrush 3 course, I thought the version 4 training would make more sense. Not so, the buttons and options just keep disappearing and moving around the interface. Very hard to find stuff. And several of the brushes are gone! At least to my eye they're gone. What kind of developer removes brushes? I suppose in the long run it's a good idea to not let the program stagnate and bloat up, but by the SAME token, why are meshes still called tools because the program was first developed to paint in 2D using 3D objects? /Rant. In the end, it's really rather fun, which is why I've done more tutorials on ZBrush than on Photoshop or Unity. My aim is to get past the bewilderment phase of learning ZBrush ASAP so I can start generating sketches.

Which brings me to my next goal. I've been wanting to get in the habit of doing many smallish sketches in PS and ZBrush, and that's slowly starting to happen. That means that I should have lots of crummy artwork to post in the next weeks. One of my professors' professors said something along the lines of this "You need to shake a thousand bad drawings out of your sleeves before the good ones start coming out" and there was another quote about making lots and lots of bad art and then you'll start getting good. But I can't remember who said it or enough of the words to google it, so oh well.

I also read a whole textbook on fiber optics. And bought some juggling clubs so I would have an excuse to maybe go outside and get a bit of exercise. So there you go, I guess June did have rather a lot going on.

And finally, cause you made it all the way to the bottom, I can share my updated journal cover that I've submitted to the AMI 2012 salon. Thanks for reading.


Later,
Stuart

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Master Collection

I just got myself Adobe CS6 Master Collection. Master means you have to be very good to use it. No not really, it just includes everything and the kitchen sink. Except for some things. Like Lightroom 4.
After opening each program once, here are my initial impressions.

Some pros:
- The splash screens are cool! Very trippy.
- Photoshop doesn't turn off my mouse wheel settings
- The apps finally work with Aero snap
- Illustrator is 64-bit... hopefully that will solve an export memory issue I was having
- Finally have access to InDesign, Acrobat, and umm... SpeedGrade?

Some neutral, literally:
- Photoshop is dark!
- Illustrator is black!
- Flash is still pale grey.

Some cons:
- Photoshop said it would import all my "presets"... but my preferences did not get imported.
- The apps still don't look cohesive... quite diverse in fact.


This time Adobe won't come out with a new version immediately after I buy it. Ha, take that Adobe. I'll post an image next time... maybe something I created with CS6!

Later,
Stuart

Friday, May 11, 2012

Promotional page

For our business practice class, we are required to design a promotional "tearsheet" for something like the AMI source book that circulates. A full page advertisement is something around 1500 bucks for a year, so I'm unlikely to be doing that very soon, but it's a good thing to work on.

Instead of using 2D illustrations that I've created for the program so far, I wanted to make a new, single image page that highlights the animation process. So far I've blocked out the design, but there's lots of work to do to get the kind of rendering styles I have in my head. I still need to come up with a sleek logo too. Comments are appreciated.


Incidentally, the process of a bacteriophage injecting DNA into a bacterium was the first (very simple) scientific animation I ever created as far as I can remember, using Macromedia Flash in about 2003 maybe?

The tank is in progress, albeit slowly.

Later,
Stuart

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer projects

I thought it would be good to update with semester end notes and my plans for the summer.

I officially finished spring courses last week with an 'Evolution of Medical Illustration' presentation and critique where I presented my artwork to faculty. My evolution presentation was on software use in the biomedical animation industry, and I think it went well. The critique was helpful and I got several ideas and solutions for improving my pieces from this semester. The good thing about digital media (although it's a double-edged sword) is that it is comparatively easy to go back in and correct problems, work up certain areas, and generally polish pieces for my portfolio.


This summer I've got a couple courses: Business Practice and Research Methods. I'll be creating promotional and administrative materials for myself (tearsheets, invoices, business cards, logos, cover letters, CVs - actually just one of each most likely). And I'll be doing background research for my master's research project (MRP), which I will elaborate on in the future.

A lot of my time will also be dedicated to self-directed learning in the software that I will be using for my MRP. Maya, Unity, Photoshop, and maybe some ZBrush just for kicks.

For Maya, I've started modelling a German WWII tank, the Panzer IV (Ausf.F2 to be precise).

For Unity, I've started going through this learning path: http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/learning_path.php?lpid=18

For Photoshop, I'd like to work on a series of sketches and digital paintings to improve my wacom skills and painting technique.

For ZBrush, well I'd like to at least get through this course: http://www.lynda.com/Zbrush-3-tutorials/for-windows-essential-training/642-2.html and then we'll see what happens. Hopefully some quick sculpts on a semi-regular basis to get my hand in.

It's always a risk publishing my goals, especially with so much going on. I know that the reality is that I won't get as far as I want in each of these areas, but maybe with some encouragement from my readers, I'll be able to keep all the balls in the air.

Later,
Stuart

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Surgical Final

Back to back illustrations! Incroyable!
Clicken to embiggen.

Again, I'll probably rework some stuff over the summer to improve this illustration for portfolio purposes, but I'm fairly pleased with it at the moment. Considering how tough this course was, I think I learned a decent amount.

Oh, the more I look at, the more visual problems I see... ha, gonna sign off now. Wouldn't it be nice to finish something and then weeks later come back and say "Yes. Yes, it's perfect."?

Later,
Stuart

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Neuro thus far

It's actually been a while since "Neuroanatomy Illustration" finished, but I'm only now uploading my "final" illustration because the semester is officially finished! Which is to say I've still got one project to finish and hand in today, and one project to start and present before the next round of classes begins. I'd like to rework this illustration when I get a chance (in the summer perhaps) after I get some more practice in digital painting.
I haven't received any email from the contact form on my website, which is fine, unless someone's tried, because then I haven't got it. So let me know if you've already tried that form of communication.

Later,
Stuart

Friday, April 13, 2012

Journal Cover Final

I don't know how the time goes by.

Well that introspection was fun. Here's my final journal cover. Had some rendering crises (pl.) but I managed to enlist the help of four iMacs to get through it. I probably didn't optimize my render settings quite as well as I might, but I couldn't afford to spend time trying to dodge memory errors while optimizing every little value.
I think overall I'm pretty happy with it, considering I only opened C4D for the first time in January.


Hope you like it. Come Monday I will have officially finished classes for this semester, so next week I'm hoping to update and cleanup my website with some more info on current and past projects (and get rid of the lorem ipsum). So there will be a fair amount more info on what this journal cover is supposed to mean. It does all have a reason. It's not just a random collection of lab equipment and a rodent; but that will have to wait. Just a note, I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I haven't optimized the site for mobile devices or older browsers, particularly Internet Explorer, so if you do want to see what my site is supposed to look like, please try a modern browser like Chrome or Firefox (yes, I know IE is getting better).

Still one more intensive weekend of work, then I've got another project to do before end of April, and my first committee meeting to prepare for (yay, master's project!). But despite all that, I'll have some time to unwind and slow down at the end of April.

Later,
Stuart

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Site Launch

At long last, I have the pleasure of announcing that my website is officially live and online.

Stuart Jantzen or Biocinematics (not sure what kind of title I should give it yet).

You can reach it a number of ways, but uoft.me/stuart is probably the preferred method for me, because UofT tracks traffic for me, which is nice, and I've had some problems with stuartjantzen.com not always redirecting properly (refreshing the page usually works though).

So go ahead and explore!

Disclaimer: The site is still very much in progress, so you'll find a lot of Lorem Ipsum (i.e. dummy text) and many links are "broken" (i.e. redirect to my error page) because I haven't created all the content yet. It takes a lot of time, and I have several other pressing projects on the go. Eventually though, this site will be the center for all my content. Please do send me any comments or problems or questions you have, either on my contact page, on facebook, or here in the comments of the blog. Or email (mail@stuartjantzen.com). I've not had any problems yet with the comment form or the email address, but I'm still wary of the process. So, if you want to make sure I get it, request a reply from me in the message, and then if you don't hear from me, try again or let me know in another communication channel.

Hope you enjoy it, and keep in mind there will be many tweaks and changes over the days and months. And years. So keep checking back.

Later,
Stuart

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lab assembly

Getting most of the elements together for the journal cover. WIP render of the stage so far. There's a hamster conspicuously missing here, but it's on the way. Getting the fur/hair system working will be a fun challenge. Nick suggested I use hair instead of fur for more control and faster rendering, and after seeing the difference, I very much agree.



Later,
Stuart

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Dissect that peritoneum" or "Gallbladder, stat!"

It's crunch time at BMC. In the next ~2 weeks, we got 5 projects due, one exam, one grant application, one committee meeting to arrange, and another project to mostly complete, although the deadline got pushed back, so that's all good. To be perfectly honest, I'd say... half of them are fun. The other half is a bit of a grind. Notice how I used both "half is" and "half are", so I'm sure that one of them are correct.

This is a panel from surgical illustration assignment 3. I did see this procedure in person; three times actually:


It needs to be tweaked (along with the other 5 figures) before Monday, but I'm happy enough with it (relieved may be a better word) that I'm posting it now. If the carpet wasn't grey before, it would be now from the eraser crumbs. One of the panels will get fully rendered in Photoshop for the final assignment.

That's all for now. I'm sure as projects become finished, I'll be posting more frequently. And of course there will be the big reveal for the biocinematics site.

Later,
Stuart

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Neuroanatomy concept

My final sketch for neuroanatomy illustration on the blood brain barrier:



Note that this isn't a final piece. I'll be rendering it by importing illustrator paths into photoshop and going to town on it with paintbrushes. It's intended to be a textbook figure. Like most people, I decided to take up the whole page with picture. My textbook wouldn't have many words.

 Fur test and model of a "generator" (in quotation marks because there's no generator that actually looks like this).

I posted these images on facebook originally, but now they're here, for those people that don't use facebook. I've been continuing to try to sort out how best to manage my various "sites". This blog will continue to be the source for all important information, updates, and images. I mostly post links to new blog posts on facebook, but occasionally I'll post a WIP image that may or may not end up on the blog too. I'll post various links and thoughts too sometimes. Just if you're curious about my facebook updates or are worried about missing stuff. :)

My main website is progressing steadily too. Still will be a while before it can go live, but pieces are slowly coming together.

Later,
Stuart

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Populating the stage

I've been modelling bits and pieces for my journal cover over the past couple of weeks. If you've been keeping tabs on my facebook page, you may have seen some of the assets I've been working on. Here's a quick render of most of the stuff so far that I threw on a multi-tiered stage, just to get an idea of what I still have left to do (lots). Found out that Cinema4D has a cool watermark feature built into the renderer itself.


And of course the big news is that this blog ticked over 10,000 views, so that was pretty exciting in a... somewhat arbitrary statistical way. But thanks so much again for your views, (family, friends, colleagues, and internet passers-by), it really keeps me motivated to learn, create, and share my work and ideas.

Later,
Stuart

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lab equipment

Got started on modelling some lab equipment for my journal cover. Still slow going modelling in C4D, but I'm learning some things here and there. I wonder if it'll be tough getting back to a maya workflow after this. Hopefully not.

I really don't know too much about rendering in C4D, so it'll take a while to get good WIP renders out, but here's a type of ambient occlusion for now.

Later,
Stuart

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Website and Journal Cover WIPs

The last few weeks of school have been mostly focused on getting sketches and mockups done for the various projects that I'm working on. I've mocked-up my website in Illustrator and Photoshop, and that's currently being implemented in Dreamweaver (well, to be honest, really the only feature of Dreamweaver I'm taking advantage of is the auto-complete). Chrome is simply brilliant for checking out my website progress. RMB > Inspect element lets you see a whole ton of info and do some crazy things to boot. You can see html on the left, css on the right, and metrics lower down that give you visual cues on how the padding, margins etc. are working on the page. You can uncheck bits of css and see how that changes the page, and even change values in the browser itself. That works on any page, by the way, so I spent some time unchecking bits of facebook and twitter css and royally messing up the page. A refresh will get it back to normal, if you're freaking out. Sorry, I'm not going to post any images from my site mockup yet, so you'll have to wait for the grand reveal in a few weeks. I've been wanting my own site for years and never got the momentum to make it happen on my own (despite getting books on html and css, downloading dreamweaver demos, and making several false starts), so this is pretty exciting.

The other project that I'm really getting excited about is the 3D journal cover in Cinema4D. Here's my sketch of a fake journal cover advertising an article on transgenics in hamsters.


It's an editorial piece, so I get to be creative with the style and content. The background is that hamster cells (CHO cells) get used to produce human enzymes for use in therapies for people with non-functional copies of the enzyme. The idea was to represent this process somewhat conceptually using laboratory equipment motifs, but more in an old-school style mixed with mechanical/factory parts connecting it all together. Hopefully the final product will be visually interesting and engaging, while allowing for a few levels of interpretation. That's my goal, anyway.

Well, I always end up writing long posts infrequently. I'll work on more frequent shorter updates with a better picture to word ratio. This blog is getting close to 10,000 views as counted by the google counter thing. So, again, thanks to all that read! Here's a TL;DR cat for you.



Later,
Stuart

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Automotive finished

Finished up the old rolls... can't take any credit for the texturing, just a b c following the tutorial, but I think I learned a couple things anyway. And the lighting/rendering was all a preset from the tut. Well, okay, I can't take credit for anything here, but it was a learning exercise, and I quickly got a good feel for modelling in C4D.


Next up is some organic modelling?? Or should I spend time on something else? Speaking of cars... Top Gear is back!

Later,
Stuart

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Car modelling 2

The rolls is coming together... and so is modelling in C4D. I have to say that the tutorial isn't completely working for me though, cause we'll start making a piece and the blueprints are fuzzy and I don't know cars, so it's hard to envision how the piece will look in the end (like the fenders or something). But it's kinda fun at times and it's certainly satisfying to see a model coming together, especially when a strangely contorted piece of geo finds a place and looks automobile-ish.


In other news, my profile has appeared on the BMC website, along with my classmates's. Give 'em a read if you're at all interested. It's certainly a privilege to study with such talented individuals. Click the image below to get to the aforementioned page. The image is serving a dual-purpose as an image and a hyperlink. How convenient.
I've also restarted my personal challenge of reading a book-a-month. January was the Hunger Games trilogy. Okay, so technically that's three books, but they're quite fast to get through, and pretty entertaining. Nothing too mind-blowing, but overall enjoyable. I'll give the trilogy 4/5 stars. I'll probably check out the movie that's coming out too. February book? Not sure yet. I'm currently reading "Lighting and Rendering" and "Confident Color", but I don't think those count as leisure reading.

I'm still working on designing my website, and once I've got something concrete up, well you'll know, because you're all checking stuartjantzen.com on a regular basis, right? No, I was going to say, once that's put together, I'll change this blog style to match the website and be a little easier on the eyes. Hope you're having a good weekend.

Later,
Stuart

PS Oh yeah! The other big news is that I got a new wacom tablet... intuos 4. Can't wait to start doing more photoshop and zbrush work with it.