Archive for the CGI Category


Posted on Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at 4:02 pm

I decided to give Turbosquid a turn to see what I hadn’t downloaded. Out of over 3000 free items, I grabbed four that I felt were exceptional. This was one of them.


Not only is it a decent human model, it also presents a number of challenges, such as retopo (the original is triangle based). I had to reduce scale by 100 (1%) and turn X rotation to -90°, then zero everything, to make it work properly in modo. It’s a good model for practicing texturing as well.

I also got a Star Wars battle droid, an ant, and a bunny eater. All were exceptional. In times past, I may have grabbed around 150-200 items out of the 3000 for the library. But I have it pretty much covered with what I’ve amassed.

Made the split pea soup, finally. Took a while before I could find the energy.

Change of plans

Posted on Saturday, December 29th, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Well, I won’t be home for New Year’s after all, I’ll be in Bryan tending critters. Ellen broke her hip and will be having surgery on Monday morning. I’ll be there from Sunday through Tuesday, less than 48 hours. I won’t need to take off until tomorrow afternoon, arrive before dark to be introduced to the new dogs, etc.


I’ll need to eat up the risotto, because it won’t last that long. The partial soup too. I can take the full soup with me, as well as the rest of the jambalaya. Pastrami and cheesecake too. I’ll probably get my black eyed peas and cornbread from an eatery or HEB.


I’ll leave music stuff here. I don’t expect to be playing. Computers will go. Basically clothes, meds, digital, and food. Grab a bag of ice. Ultra-light, won’t take me long to pack.


*Sigh* Life is never what is expected.

Happy happy

Posted on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 at 4:42 pm

The 2018 card.


Gas Tank

Posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Just a quick model and first render in modo 12, a propane tank.



Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Going over the basics in the most recent version of modo.



The DVD of Duck arrived yesterday.  I have been wanting a copy for years, and I finally have one.  The cover had a cosmetic dent (1/2″) in it, but it was still in the original wrapper, so I got it at a price that was right for my budget.  Enjoying it immensely.


Posted on Friday, December 29th, 2017 at 12:16 am

I couldn’t end the year without a new mesh, a fountain.


Three weeks

Posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 7:44 am

Three weeks ago, the scalpel began its incision.  That means that I’m half-way through the six weeks limitations.  At times I feel great.  At times I’m sore in particular spots.  At times I want to sleep all day.  Right now, I’m dealing with a painful case of gas.


I’m tired of the downsides.  My navel is the difficult part, as it is the most stressed part and the longest to heal because of the complexity of the incisions, repairs, and the mesh.  I read tonight that Alfred Hitchcock had his navel removed during a surgery.  In a way, I envy him.


I can get around well.  I can drive, shop, do most things that don’t involve lifting things more than 10 pounds.  It’s just that I’m very weary of the parts that keep cropping up that involve pain and discomfort.  I deal with them without a lot of complaining, but at heart, I am beaten down and need recharging.


Then again, it’s only been three weeks.


Posted on Friday, August 25th, 2017 at 7:20 am

Hurricane Harvey is approaching the Texas coast, and people are scurrying to grab supplies, before the advanced rain bands just to the south arrive.  Of all the time for HEB to decide to rearrange their shelves.  Talk about DUMB!


Could be as much as 14 inches of rain here over three days by NOAA/NWS estimates.  There might be winds in excess of 39 mph, but not for long.  Forecast calls for the storm to be a coast hugger, making very little progress inland before turning back around and heading east towards Galveston.


I’m prepared to make my way to Bryan on Sunday.  It will be wet and I will be checking for road closures and flooding before rolling.

Myka’s trees

Posted on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Pictures of Myka’s favorite two trees in spring glory.  The long, low horizontal limbs are her niche.



The Offline Drones

Posted on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 at 10:32 am

(written one day before restoration of internet services and the publishing of this entry)
The storm Monday morning was quite a blow, damaging structures, snapping trees, and generally making a mess of things. Fortunately the property here was spared the brunt, and only one cedar tree was snapped, putting a dent in the swing set. It could have been much worse, considering the force of the winds.
I feel pretty good about how I handled the 6 day, storm-induced internet severance. (Dropping by the neighbors with the jPad for email checks doesn’t count.) There were some cursor rituals, to see if there was any magic in the microwave transponder up on the pole here. But over all, I kept my dignity. I chuckle a lot too.
I did get reading material on Muse, getting myself oriented while the net is down. I think I see the mentality behind the process. Some InDesign, some Photoshop, some something else, GoLive maybe? I haven’t designed anything yet, but I am starting to see the tools available and what they do. Here we go again…
Not sure what will happen in a week. Myka may be returning to Brenham. I’ll face that in a week when it happens.  (Update, looks like I’ll be heading back to Brenham around the first of the month.)
The refurb is handling quite nicely, though it still feels a little barren. No permanent collection folders yet. Most document files get sticked over to the old one right away. It’s still my trusted library index. (And it still has QT7 on it.)
A couple of renderings in modo.



Posted on Friday, February 17th, 2017 at 11:35 am

Here is a quick render from modo 10, using a TIFF alpha image (ZBrush, etc) as a displacement texture.  The refurb seems production ready.


I’m also experimenting in Muse, starting to learn the ropes.  I’m hopeful that I will be ready to use it for production soon.


Deep in installations

Posted on Sunday, January 29th, 2017 at 11:33 am

In the nut and bolt stage for almost a week.  It’s been a lot of relatively slow downloading, with much of the stuff piling up in a folder.  Mixed in with this is looking at the new features of the ones I have installed, some massive learning curves ahead.  This is going to take several more days to get everything squared away on the hard drive before I put installation brain behind me.  (This doesn’t mean that I won’t be adding software for quite some time, it just won’t be the big ticket stuff.)


Been eating a lot of traditional meals lately, lots of bird in the mix.  Turkey dinner, chicken pot pie, etc.  Not that it’s all been traditional.  I am eating quite well.


Sleep has been pretty erratic, too many technical details bouncing around in my head, keeping me from easily falling asleep except after a big meal.


But the end result is that I am getting back in the digital swing with the new refurb.  It should be a lot fun to play with in a few weeks.

New drive

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 at 6:31 am

Well, the new 4TB drive has been erased and formatted, and all the 3D files have been copied over from the backup drive.  The 1.45TB transfer took 25 hours 14 minutes.   I am basically back to where I was before the SMC problem and the fry job on the 2TB.  Hopefully there won’t be any further problems.


I will be transferring the contents of the two 500G drives over to the 4TB and retiring the pair of USB 1.1 drives from the line up.  That will give me three USB 3.0 4TB drives and the 500G Firewire (+USB 1.1) system clone/catch all drive.  It will be a reduction of external drives from six to four.


Still no headway in finding the 2TB drive outside of the USB port reader in System Information (profiler).  Two options, get a USB 3.0 housing, if it doesn’t show up on the MacAir (when it arrives).  If neither of those work, the drive is dead.  $20 – 30 to verify would be worth it if the 2TB hard drive is still intact, and not too big a price if it’s a door stop.  It’s a 50/50 chance of it being the drive or the controller.  However, because the SMC was to blame, my suspicions lean toward the controller being fried.


Anyway, I will have old USB drives for whatever purpose.  But it feels good to be back to quo.  Now I can move the desk and get the new fi-op internet feed installed.  That was a delay that neither I nor my wallet needed.  The MacBook Pro is slipping further away.


On a lighter note, the Myka and the gecko story continues.



2 TB down

Posted on Monday, August 15th, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Well, the 2 TB USB drive (3D collection) crashed.  Fortunately, it was all backed up and cataloged on the 4 TB backup drive.  Whew.  I have been having cut out problems with the USB in general, but I reset the SMC (System Management Controller), and that might have solved the problem.  Unfortunately, it may not have been soon enough to save the 2 TB drive.  I was able to bring up the drive, though there were problems, but now it won’t mount and it won’t display in Disk Utility.  I don’t know if it’s the drive or the USB controller, though probably the latter.  The data is still probably on the drive.  It’s probably cheaper, not to mention easier, to get another drive unit than a new housing for the hard drive.  Another expense I don’t need taking away from the new Mac purchase.  But at least there is no loss of data.  But I won’t be doing any 3D for a while, until I get another drive.


Since the SMC reset, the mouse has been steady, the catch all drive works fine on USB again, and things look okay, at least for now.  I’m hoping it stays that way.  There were a number of small problems, such as the temperature monitors, that were also giving me problems right before I’d lose the mouse.  So I think the solution is the right one.


Looks like I’ll be getting internet here, AT&T looks to be the choice.  Another $50/month drain on the finances.  I was hoping to sign the contract today, but alas, the USB issue has prevailed, setting the cleanup back another day.  I need to get some sleep.


For what it’s worth, the temperature has been downright pleasant with the Gulf system keeping everything overcast and rainy.  Had a low of 72°F last night.  I haven’t seen a temp that low since May.


Posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2016 at 3:54 pm

I am relieved from kitten duty.  I think Myka misses her, as strange a twist as that may be, considering all the hissing.  Or maybe it’s just disbelief that the kitten is truly gone.


Time will tell if she’s wrong.

Erwin Schrödinger

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 at 3:06 pm


Shoe diving

Posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2016 at 10:12 am

Here is a photo (albeit blurry from motion) of Myka shoe diving after a brushing.  Crazy cat.



Candle Holder

Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Rendered this candle holder, all materials original procedurals in modo. All light is from the candle and background (reflection).



Blue Screen

Posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 at 11:30 am


David Rodriguez

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Heard on Wednesday that David Rodriguez passed away.  For someone I never met face to face in the flesh, he had quite an influence on me.  I had video conferenced with him and emailed more than a few times.  I almost did his website, but a bad deal messed up domain rights…  We did a round of Ballad of the Snow Leopard and the Tanqueray Cowboy for him.


One of the Texas flames has gone out.


Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at 9:41 pm

I rather fancy this rattan chair that I found at 3D Sky.  It took a bit of basic texturing, as nothing in the FBX held true to modo.  But it pretty much universal for all textures.



Cherry Martini

Posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 at 12:44 am

A cherry martini in modo, some things borrowed, some things new.



Weather plug

Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 at 5:58 pm

I’ve been pretty closed mouth about the weather plug that I’ve been developing for modo.  It’s in alpha at the moment, and it has been tested, showing proof of concept.  Lots and lots of work ahead before it becomes a commercial product.  Details as I make progress, but ‘m not going into any great detail yet.


Music school tomorrow.  One last run on the old radiator.


Posted on Sunday, September 13th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Here’s a little pre-Halloween iPad video FX for Myka.




Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Playing with textures on this vase in modo, some interesting glaze effects.