Monday, December 03, 2007

numbers stations

Last night I discovered numbers stations. I've had a compilation of them on almost non-stop since then.

Reminiscent of a mix of ice cream truck music and the voice of a demon counting down your days, they have this odd back-and-forth quality to them that is quite musical in structure. A 4-disc compilation, The Conet Project can be downloaded for free:

The structure sort of tugs you off balance, as though you're looking over a near-vertical cliff, standing at the edge. A calm and rigidly structed recitation of single digits, intermingled with simple, calming melodies and the ambience of short wave radio.

Excellent music to work too. Up there with Björk's Drawing Resraint 9 score. Like that score, I know a number of people who would absolutely love this and a number of people who would absolutely hate it. I like it enough to spend this time writing about it.

Mid-90's Meat Beat Manifesto without the bass, vocal, synthesizers, and percussion.

The score to discs is a collection of off-kilter sounds meant to convey a certain feeling, and this seems to be a more purist form of it.

Yesterday I was going through my junk mail folder, and found a message in jibberish that was almost visually poetic if you could get past the absurdity of what it was on the surface.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


It's that first real snow of the year. Not the first time flakes come down, or the first time a few stick to the ground without melting. But that first magical snow. The snow that feels warm even though it's blistering cold and blowing right in your face. The kind of snow that calls for a hot chocolate when you get inside. The kind of snow that makes you want to take a walk outside at 3 in the morning watching in blow around, turning even piles of litter into mounds and waves of peace. The kind of snow that sticks to your hair and freezes in place. Snow that brings hope and turns the darkest time of year into the brightest.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

this is earth

an implication of earth, a shade of earth, a joke told about earth, a speaking of earth's life, or maybe just a spin on the old wheel of chance.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I made an abstract animation yesterday, called "discs." It still has a few tweaks to go in the compression and sound mix, but until then, here's some stills from it. They don't bring out the motion, which was much more the focus, but these are some kinda fun static frames.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I've been talking and thinking about shapes a lot lately. More in an abstract sense than in the literal meaning of "shape." Here's a couple That were doodled a few days back. TH added a lot of the detail work to the top-left shape. And Neil Young was playing in the environment, so that got doodled in a bit too.

Monday, November 05, 2007


just a quick burst of color! a one!

Friday, November 02, 2007

siggraph papers countdown widget

I was stumped on something for a moment, so I started this new Dashcode thing and made a Dashboard countdown-to-the-siggraph-deadline timer. Hour correctness is set to Pacific time, but it'll tell you how many days are left correctly. :-)

Here you go.

And I got un-stumped while I was working on it!

Friday, October 12, 2007

crowd on a carpet square

Nuit Blanche ("The New Blank") had an installation of a carpeted sidewalk, see (, from which you could take a piece of carpet home with the aim of photographing it and uploading it to a growing collection. You'll have to scroll through the next button to see it on their site, since whatever script generates their index seems to be curfuddled, but the local household creatures seem to be intrigued by it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Natural outdoor light

Autodesk has a great article/tutorial on natural outdoor lighting. It's fun because it collapses a lot of observation into a short roundup for those of us who are too focused on being too busy elsewhere to notice what we see everyday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Speaking and Rats and Posters, Oh My!

I just returned from what has to have been the busiest SIGGRAPH I've ever been to. I gave a talk on the last morning (how to chop vegetables when making Ratatouille), which was really well attended, considering the 8:30 time. A co-author was giving a talk in another room at the same time (hand tracked gestures to animate cameras and simple motions); he also had good attendance. We had a couple posters up as a result of the sketches and posters being clobbered together. They didn't seem to be all that rewarding for us as authors, in that we got very little feedback. They seem to be more unidirectional in that, as attendees, they're convenient to browse outside of presentation times when the area isn't crowded. Lots of parties, caught up with lots of friends. San Diego is also and amazing place for siggraph. The climate and atmosphere and location in the city all mix really well. And the conference content at both SIGGRAPH and SCA had a really nice variety and more novel ideas. Motion capture technology is all over the place. Pretty soon you'll be able to make you're own motion capture zombie films using only the camera in your laptop. Now to finish digesting all the information...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Abstract Swirly Things

Michel Gagné has a section on his website that describes the fun animation of flavor in Ratatouille. Traditionally animated motion graphics reminiscent of Fischinger. :-)

Friday, June 29, 2007

rat a too ee

Ratatouille opens today, somewhere close to you. A few years and many long hours in the making, it seems to be grabbing the imaginations of those who see it and pulling them gleefully along for a couple hours and leaving them full of wonder and that mythical thing called stuff. If you see it, enjoy. Don't forget, leave your ping pong balls at home. :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Recent sketches

Back into at the life drawing monkey business. It's a serious stint this time, as opposed to the intentionally experimental, all over the place drawings from the holidays (below). These are the better of the recent sketchbook drawings, as I try to gain a bit of control over the unforgivable gel pen. Larger drawings are catching up, with proportions still all over the place. Model names smudged for privacy, copyright me. don't redistribute, yada yada yada...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Make Your Own Gourmet Topless Pineapple (R)

Once upon a time, a friend and casting director of peeps related a handful of absurd farm market anecdotes. Among them was the tale of the gourmet topless pineapple, a sales pitch and a lie that has stuck in my head and developed into a recurring joke.

An improvisation, a three minute shooting schedule, and a couple hours of final cut later, we have a culinary documentary. Here it is on youtube:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

irritable maya dox

i just started playing with maya 8.5 and was passing though the api dox when i found this little bundle of happy-programmer joy:

"To do so would require computing the inverse of the local to world space transformation, and I have just been busy telling you we don’t know how to define that transform in general."


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

water under the dwej

Fingers banging against the keyboard, cleaning up the mess left behind by the namesake of the old Americans. "Let's talk." This and that and that and this, profound and necessary but not relevant here. A walk to the kitchen, and a stall. A stream of water across the floor. A few more steps, deep in puzzlement. A large puddle of water. "We have water." Questions and puzzlement and puzzlement and questions. Phone calls and neighbor conversations. The start of The Mop Bucket. Arrival of the Kay Enn. Explorations and sawings and diggings and pumpings. Mop mop mop. Corrosion? Broken seal? Mop mop mop mop mop. Streaming and inching become running and puddling. Mop mop mop. All the while, explorations and much deeper puzzlement by the Kay Enn of the Dwej. Many more moppings, you know the repetition. Alas, a main has failed. Those in Morocco fare not well. We're keeping up. A promise from the big Tee Oh of arrival in a few hours. Splishing and splashing and mopping and squeegying. And even sweeping. Pause. Lettuce, hot peppers, lemon-soaked apples, and blackberries, under red wine and extra virgin. Play. Puddles to ponds, running to pouring. Verification of water spillage. The water off. Then back on, with the next powers that be to in "hours." Mopping and mopping and moving and stacking. More powers that be, diagnosing with a promise of the fourth powers of being arriving in a day. Stopping, accepting, und schlafenzeit.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

a flattened face and unfished forms

pikk a tjurz! good, bad, and ugly!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

draw rings

here's some fully lit, rendered 3d images from life drawing night this week. i've contemplated posting some online for over a year now. the irony is that i'm choosing a time of complete sloppiness, intentional mistakery, and experimentation. but it's fun. laugh, cry, moan, and be awed.

or trump your mother's purple mink jacket and collide into the sphere of your noggin.