Sunday, September 28, 2008

I can has Mac?

So I broke down and got a Macbook. It wasn't really breaking down as much as my Dell smacking me in the face and saying, "Ha, you fell for it! You're stuck with me, you silly, silly man!" But now, I've joined the herd of Mac people who would rather give up their firstborn than go back to fighting IT battles with their computers (not to be confused with the herd of people who went to Mac first, never used a windows based machine, but swears that Macs are better anyways.)

Let me back up a bit. 
A couple of years ago, I got a Dell Inspiron 1705E that has a lovely 17" display. Little did I know that the reason that Dell could offer this computer at such a low price was because they essentially took parts that they knew they wouldn't support anymore, threw them in and said, "Hey, a 17" at this price? We must be out of our bloody minds!". It turns out that WE, the consumers were actually out of our minds. 

About a year into owning the Dell, things started to act a little wonky. Another 3 months, then my soundcard went, my screen almost fell off, my keys got stuck, my DVD drive broke, my Audio-In jack bit the big one, and it won't connect to any network.

So to make a long story short, I'm now the proud owner of a brand spankin' new Macbook. So far, it's doing the job. The graphics are OK (I need to buy another 2GB of RAM. The display, while bright, isn't 17", but it'll do. It won't network with my Dell, but sees pretty much anything. I'm a huge fan of dynamic memory allocation (the cool thing that Macs do to give back ram after the program you're using is shut down. Windows doesn't do this). 

The main graphics program I use, Lightwave 3d has Mac versions (for everything except for the most current upgrade). My painting program, Artrage has a mac version. My 3d painting program, 3d-Coat has a mac version. I have Skype, Adium for all my messaging needs, and iLife, which comes with OSX (I have a hard time saying OS Ten, 'cus OSX sounds much cooler).

I'll be the first person, however to say that the claims that Macs "don't get viruses" is bullshit, and a pox on anyone who says different. While I haven't gotten one yet, (thank god), it's only a matter of time before I do. The only thing preventing Macs from getting viruses is that there are fewer people writing viruses for Macs. It'll happen folks, you mark my words.

Aside from that, I appreciate the stability (even though i've crashed it about 8 times now since I bought it from massive memory usage). I haven't had to fight with it since I bought it. It doesnt take 5 minutes to wake, and runs like I just booted it. 
Rendering my stills in lightwave happens pretty fast (even with interpolated radiosity activated). 3D painting flows a lot faster, unless i'm working with a very highpoly mesh.

All in all, i'm happy with it. I'm still getting used to the change from Vista to OSX, but with the help of a very good friend, I'm a lot more comfortable with it. 

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mesh-up Mash Up

Recently, I did a search for CG artists in the surrounding area, as I do often. I do this just to see if anyone new has popped up, and to try to network a bit.

It's been pretty disappointing in the past, because 3D artists are few and far between, mostly to be found in major cities like New York and Boston on the east coast, and a lot more on the west. 
I found a site,, and discovered that the studio is actually just down the street from my office, so I decided to call them up and see what they were all about. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, just maybe a newtworking opportunity, but they were kind enough to invite me over to chat after work. 

On Thursday, I stopped by their studio, met the owner, and one of the modellers. It was a really nice meeting, and they liked the few samples of work that I brought with me. They're a Maya house, (meaning that they use the software Maya), and I use Lightwave. For those of you not in the know, knowledge of how to use different pieces of software can make or break you in this industry. Luckily, there are ways to convert from one to the other. 

They asked to see some more of my work, so I pulled some together after I got home, and sent it to them. I got an email back praising it, and was told that they'd consider me for their next big project. 

This is actually a huge step for me, because I've never really formally studied 3D, and never expected that my work would catch the attention of those who do this for a living. 
So we'll see where this goes, but for the moment, i'm feeling pretty good. Below are some of the pieces I sent over.