Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stepping Outside She Is Free

Stepping Outside She Is FreeI’ve been wanting to do a “big character” for a long time.  CGI scales easily so I thought it would be simple.  Well, the scaling was simple, then I needed a city so you could tell the character was twenty times normal size.

urban renewal

I used Stonemason’s Urban Sprawl 2 The Big City which is absolutely fabulous.  Once I found a good spot for the “incident” I needed to add some buildings and extend the street another block or so in the background.  I also moved some buildings around and shortened one in the back to get the skyline I wanted behind the girl.

Big Aiko BTS - city 01Big Aiko BTS - city 02I’m tremendously impressed with Stonemason’s work on this city model.  It’s incredibly detailed with 20 or so different buildings – lots of props like streetlights, signs, mailboxes, and trash bins – and yet the model is very light.  It doesn’t slow things down that much even when you have all four city quadrants loaded as I do here.

bad skin

The scaling of the girl created a problem I didn’t anticipate.  When I started lighting I did a screen render and the skin was all messed up.

Big Aiko BTS rendering SSSI tried different skins and some were better but all seemed to have problems.  I eventually figured out that the Subsurface Shader (SSS) was the issue.  Apparently it didn’t scale well.  While I was trying to fix the problem I discovered that it got better if I added in HD details.  The character Aiko 6 doesn’t have an HD add on so I tried adding the Victoria 6 HD details.

Big Aiko BTS - V6 HDThe screen render turned out better but there was still some problems as you can see here on the arms.  (click to embiggen to see the issue)

Big Aiko BTS - HD skin renderIt turns out though, that the problem doesn’t present itself if you render it out huge (at 10K) which is what I always do at the end anyway, so I stopped trying to fix it.  The final render came out fine.

crazy pants

This was a most annoying problem.  Every time I closed the project and re-opened, the guy’s pants over on the left would go nuts!

Big Aiko BTS - normal pantsBig Aiko BTS - crazy pantsNow maybe this was because I had Genesis clothing on a Genesis 2 character, but I’ve done that before and I’ve never seen this.  It’s the Morphing Business Suit on Gianni 6.  Never found out why this was happening.  The only solution was to delete the pants and re-load them onto the character.  That worked at leased until I closed the project and re-opened.

big finish

For the final color correction in lightroom I decided to pump up the color on the main character while keeping the city bland and gray.  What do you think?

Big Aiko BTS - lightroomCreated in DAZ Studio 4.8
Rendered with 3Delight
Color Correction in Lightroom

Figures used:
Aiko 6
Michael 5
Gianni 6
Victoria 7
Urban Sprawl 2 The Big City

Are big media corporations using fraudulent copyright take-downs to sabotage other media corporations on YouTube?

I posted this video to Google+ and Facebook yesterday.  It’s a really great promotional video for the upcoming film Prometheus.  Today it looks like it was taken off YouTube by Comcast because of copyright.  What a stupid thing to do, I thought.  You want your promotional videos to be copied and posted to YouTube right?  That’s the whole point of promotion.  You want people to see it.

Then I realized, wait…  Prometheus is a 20th Century Fox film and Comcast owns Universal.  Not the same company.  Is Comcast fraudulently using YouTube’s copyright protection technology against a competitor?  Looks like it to me…

These kinds of shenanigans really piss me off especially since huge companies like Comcast are trying to force all kinds of new copyright restrictions on everyone.  You can’t have it both ways Comcast.  Copyright law is intended to protect your own content.  It’s not a weapon to go after your competition.

Here’s the video on another YouTube channel.  Check it out before Comcast tries to take it down!

Amazing old school special effects from Space: 1999

Brian Johnson is a well known special effects genius who worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Space: 1999, and The Empire Strikes Back. He is not a good TV host. In spite of his dry delivery this documentary ends up being a treasure anyway. It’s a behind the scenes look at how they created the Eagle model shots in Space: 1999. All the composting was done in camera – no blue screen, no optical printers. The SPFX shots were one strip of film directly from the camera.

Don’t swim upstream baby the future is right where you were…

Online video pioneer Ze Frank is “replaying” his much imitated daily video series The Show exactly five years after its original broadcast in 2006.  Follow along as episodes are released on a new blog complete with reflective commentary.  It’s an exploration of a brand new medium, an examination of spontaneous creativity, and a study of viewer engagement.  It’s funny too.  Watch the replay every day here.

Leo Laporte Jayne Hat 2.0 unboxing on TWiT live

Here’s the letter CAT wrote to Leo:

Hi Leo!

Two years ago, (almost exactly) I had the idea to make you a Jayne Hat so that you would have something to wear during your new venture on TWITlive.  When you received the hat, I was so excited to see that you really appreciated it.

Over the years, fans of both TWIT and LetsKnit2gether would send me pictures of you, your daughter and others wearing your hat as part of a “Jayne Hat sightings” picture collection.

Recently, someone sent me a picture and pointed me to a video of Colleen happily wearing the Jayne Hat as she was leaving the TWIT cottage for her new adventure at Google. Now, although I am thrilled that amongst all the hats that you have in your collection, she chose the Jayne Hat to grace the halls of Google, I couldn’t leave you without one.

So, here is Jayne Hat #2.  Wear it well and remember, “A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything”.

Thanks for all your support,


Moby promotes his own album

This the video promo for Moby’s new album.

Amazing! It’s laid back, simple, and charming. Certainly not something a big record company would do. The changes in media are really opening up the landscape. I hope to see lots of other artists doing their own thing like this!

It's official! Podcasting now in the dictionary

“Podcasting” is one of the Oxford English Dictionary’s new words for December 2008.  It looks like this is relatively soon for a new word to be entered since one of the other words for December is Rashomon, which has been around since 1951.

The first reference to the word podcast is possibly this post to the Yahoo group ipodder-dev from September 2004.  That’s just a bit over four years from made-up-word to “near-ubiquity in 2008.”  The power of the internet is on display.

The only thing that disappoints me is that the new podcasting entry only mentions audio.  Can a video podcaster get a little love?  I guess the video podcasters will just have to wait for a future dictionary update to go main-stream.

I came across this information on Twitter from @GrammarGirl and @MWGblog.   Ain’t Twitter great?  It seems these days that everything you hear, you hear first on Twitter.  Maybe Twitter will be in the dictionary some day.  I just hope they don’t call an individual message a “tweet.”

all impressions are NOT created equal

I came across this cartoon the other day.

It’s called “Word of Mouth” but I think what it really illustrates is that impressions that are closer to you are more valuable than others.  It speaks to Old Media v. New Media – Traditional Advertising v. Social Networking.  The friend isn’t even promoting her drink, she’s just sitting there, yet that influence is more powerful than all the overwhelmingly powerful noise of traditional advertising.

This is the power of Social Media.  A video podcast (for example) that has a regular community surrounding it creates a small family.  The number of viewers is perhaps smaller but the impressions are much more effective and valuable.    I think this needs to be taken into consideration when setting a price for ads or product placement.

Yea, I know, many advertisers and agencies don’t get it.  That’s the mantra.  But you know what?  I think many of them do.  They sit around and think about this stuff all day just like we do.  I think some of them want to feign ignorance so they can get something valuable for free.  Don’t fall for it.  A simple mention in the right video podcast is much more valuable than a magazine ad or a banner on a website.