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Photo Blog: Late Autumn


I've been getting into photography as a fun way to kill some time on the weekend. I figure where best to share the fruits of my labor as here in my first ever photo blog.

Fluid Static, I took these last weekend. Thank you.


IMDb Me!

Its been a while since I wrote a blog post, but I felt I'd share this. I finally got off my ass and filled out all my IMDb credits.

I'll take any and all questions about visual effects, the film industry as I know it, and maybe some wisdom on life.


New Demo reel, finally!

This has been a long time coming, but I finally updated my working demo reel for 2011. This is all of the best stuff I've worked on over the past five years. Thanks for checking it out.


Day 26...beyond the threshold

 Whats up Giant Bomb?  
What is day 26? This my personal record for days worked without a day off. I set that record back in September 09 when I was working on a big ESPN job. Today I reached that record and I'm going to shatter it by more than a week. I've been working 10 hour days for the past four weeks and I think I'm starting to lose grip on reality. Don't worry, I don't think I'll go postal anytime soon... but this is really starting to wear on me. Day after day, disaster after disaster needs to be fixed and good old super_machine is expected to perform at his peak. On top of that, I do the job of four people, yet get payed like one.  I like what I get to do at my job, and it is amazing being a part of something big. But everyone has their breaking point.
I just needed to vent a little, it helps. I know I'll get through this and hopefully I can be proud of my work when it hits theaters next month. More on that later. 
Oh, if working the robot shift wasn't bad enough, two weeks ago my wife told me she wants to separate. Thanks babe! 
happy thoughts right?


Amateure engineering: Back Yard 2.0

 About a year ago I began an epic project to solve a major issue with my back yard. Seasonal flooding. Here is a quick run down of the situation with my back yard.
-Low spot (water doesn't drain)
-Solid clay under soil
-Lot behind me is on an incline
 Those three factors caused two main problems. My backyard becomes a swampy mess this time of year, and the soil saturation reaches a critical level and leaks into my basement :( 
Last year I decided to figure out a solution that would solve both problems and not cost me a fortune. I devised a plan to build a drainage field and install a pumping system to collect and move the water to a part of the yard which drains into the street. The project took me about two months (working solo) and cost about $300.  That was a year ago, and this is the first Spring thaw with the system installed. I still consider it a prototype, but the test results have been perfect. Last week the all the snow melted in a period of three days and then it rained two days straight. Not a single leak in the basement, and the ground in the backyard remains firm. It's been sunny for the past three days and I can still hear the system belching out water like clock work. 
It was a lot of hard work, and I wanted to share this because its something I'm really proud of. It is an amazing feeling when you have a good idea and can bring it to life the way you imagined.

 1. Find the low spot and mark where to dig.
 1. Find the low spot and mark where to dig.

2.  Dig!!!
2.  Dig!!!

3.  Install pump well. Bury electrical and tube for water terminus.
3.  Install pump well. Bury electrical and tube for water terminus.

4.  Install perforated drain pipe.
4.  Install perforated drain pipe.

 5. Cover pipe with 1/2 inch washed  gravel.
 5. Cover pipe with 1/2 inch washed gravel.

 6. Cover with lose topsoil.  Remove excavated material. Seed.
 6. Cover with lose topsoil. Remove excavated material. Seed.

7. Disguise pump terminus and activate the system. Done.
7. Disguise pump terminus and activate the system. Done.

Alice in Wonderland, in 3D!!!

Well, I suppose its safe to talk about now. Last month we finally wrapped up on a four month long project. As the title suggests I was involved in the post production of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. We did the 3D stereo conversion on over a hundred shots in the film. For my part, I was lead Match mover (camera tracking)at the studio I work for. It involves taking the raw footage shot on set, and matching the physical camera movement to create an exportable virtual camera. The 3D cameras I created were then sent to Sony pictures (they did all the CGI).  Sony was waiting  to get the shots match moved so they could start doing the CGI on their end. No preassure right? Basically, I was the first guy in the VFX pipeline. Match move is not my main CGI skill, but one I know pretty well. One of my shots made it into the trailer, if only for a half second.

I did this, well... I made the camera in a virtual 3D space.
I did this, well... I made the camera in a virtual 3D space.


Its true that sometimes cops have nothing better to do than harass people at night. I was heading home from a friends party on Saturday night and two cops pulled me over. It was about 2:20 am, and they claim my license plate light was out. Yeah, BS. But they made me do the whole song and dance drunk test. Man that was a nerve racking and embarrassing experience! Ok, I had been drinking most of the day, but I stopped about four hours before I drove home. I was also drinking light beer at a very slow pace and played about six games of volley ball during that time.  I know my limit and when I shouldn't drive if I've been drinking, and I knew I was ok to drive that night. But you never know. Even when you feel sober enough when you have had a few drinks earlier in the day, some trace might be in your system. Long story short, I passed all the tests, even the breathalizer and they let me go with a warning to fix my bulb and renew my registration. My Bday was two weeks ago and I never got around to that yet. The cop was actually really nice and he didnt write a ticket for the registration and the bulb because he said I was really cooperative. But damn, it was an experience I dont want to go through ever again.


Feature Film: Red Cliff Press

A while back I posted a blog about a feature film I worked on. I wish I could say, go out and see it, but the film was made for Asian markets. There is no distribution in the US yet. The Film is call, Red Cliff part 2. The Battle of Red Cliff is a tale of two ancient Chinese factions that went to war with each other...etc. Oh, and there was an epic naval battle with 10,000 burning ships. The part I worked on was lighting and texture mapping the fleet of ships. Other members on my team populated the scene with a variety of ships, sailors, and props using a Thinking Particle propagation system. This was one of the largest series of FX shots in the entire film, yet we didn't really get the credit. We are a 3rd party working with Frantic Films who did the majority of the SFX on this job. So they get the credit.  At least we got paid :)

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