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What One Man Can Do Another Can Do!

I love the film  The Edge, with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin.  The film is a sweeping action drama that doesn’t feel contrived as so many films can, (I’m blogging at you Michael Bay).  The Edge feels like an honest (albeit dramatic) portrayal of people trying to survive and overcome who they are in life, driven by doubt and the need for money and love, or at least lust and ambition.

Hopkin’s character is the self made billionaire who has honesty and conviction but feeling more isolated by his wealth, while Baldwin’s character, driven by love and jealousy becomes increasingly raw as he becomes more desperate and more divided internally.  The two characters devolve and evolve before our eyes.

The crux of the film for me comes when Hopkins is trying to convince Baldwin that they must kill the bear that is stalking them through the Alaska mountains.   “What One man can do another can do.  Say it Bob!”   He wants Bob (Baldwin) to believe and have conviction that they can do this, because others have done so before.

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Discovering Ardi : Delivered outside the Box

It’s a year since I worked on Discovering Ardi for the Discovery channel, and wanted to recap some of that experience today, as I received email from the film-maker (Rod Paul of Primary Pictures) who made the documentary saying that it has gotten great reviews and the website has had tens of millions of hits since it aired at the end of the summer in 2009.

The main thrust again of what I’m writing is that I delivered this project not by driving into Denver daily (which would have greatly impacted my productivity) but did much of the work here from my studio in Longmont, as my wife was about to give birth to our second son Asher, which occurred right in the middle of one of the most intense schedules I’ve had in many years.

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Art Cooperation: Armor Page 2

Before I get fully involved in debugging my video game this morning I wanted to post some more of my reference library online.   A quick reminder that this isn’t to use for resale, or to use in print work but rather as reference for illustration and lighting or to be used as you see fit for textures.

The reason I love this series of photos so much and I think I have around 600 photographs of the armor and armaments, is the richness in the design of the armor.  There is the shape of each piece and how it fits together and overlaps.  There is also the intricate detail in the armor which is stunning.  You also get a great sense of lighting as well as the tiny detail, the pitted metal, the inlay work.  All the things that go into making something look authentic and real can be studied in these photos.

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Art Cooperation not Corporation

I’m sharing some texture/reference content online today.   My reason is that I’m interested in seeing Indie artists band together more and be more open to sharing content, such as textures, rigs, models, scripting. The reference I have is good for VFX or illustration, coveted by more than a few of my students from Art Institute.

I look at it this way, as an Indie game maker/digital artist, I’m up against the likes of companies who have deep pockets to create games. This creates a certain expectation even on the iPhone games. I’ve already had someone see my first game and say, Can you do some things more like Little Big Planet? (which  is not on the iPhone).

The expectation is that anyone who makes a game suddenly has a huge budget (and endless time and RAM).  Little Big Planet was years in the making with likely millions of dollars and a  huge team just to get it to alpha. Even iPhone games like Avatar and Terminator  Salvation likely  have a pretty big budget. I am  one man wearing all the hats to  create the game,  from design, to level creation,  rigging, animation and  programming, like many  other casual game developers  out there.

I will be posting more of my texture library and my process as I make the transition from VFX to Indie game Development. Let me know if you find this useful to share and I will likely be inspired to share more of my huge library.

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Working Outside The Box

It was not my vision growing up to work in an office building, the dreaded cubicle, that box that I’m speaking out against.

My vision has always been one of working from an art studio and not being confined by both the description of my job, or the size of the box that a company has fit me into for days that range from 8 to 16 hours easily in the field of Visual Effects.  Yet, I did this for many years before I reached the point where I had had enough and wanted out of the box, the office building, and Los Angeles in general.

About four or five years ago I started to talk about telecommuting and telling managers at different companies, that I couldn’t afford to buy a home in Los Angeles, and that if I bought one in the suburbs of Los Angeles I would see my family even less than I was seeing them already.   I wrote a report that was twenty pages long touting the obvious ecological benefits of telecommuting and outlining what kind of techniques and technology I would help build in order to make telecommuting a reliable methodology for artists. I offered to help build the infrastructure myself because indeed, to pay for the expensive software and high end systems myself was still far less expensive than trying to delude myself that I would be able to buy a home in Los Angeles.   Other employees came up to me curious and encouraging, but management did not agree with this vision at all.

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