Friday, December 28, 2012

Photography Time!

I've been trying to get back into the swing of writing scripts in python every day for practice. I gave myself the challenge "One script a day" but then totally failed on the third day when I had trouble grasping how object oriented programming worked.

I'll keep working on it, but in the mean time I've also taken to hobbyist photography. I just got a camera that lets me manually set aperture speed, f-stop, zoom, and focus, though it's all digital so it's kind of a pain in the butt to fine tune, but there are a lot of features on the camera that make up for it.

I really can't wait to take this camera out for a spin on the town and get some really interesting pictures of places, but for now here's what I have from Christmas Day:

(Make sure you check out the descriptions for additional context for the photos!)

— Ty

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Job Rocks

This job is so much fun and it's a fine place to start my career. I get to work in Sketchup and Photoshop for almost all day and occasionally get to run a large printer. For some reason that's my favorite thing to do, printing. I guess printing really left an impression on me after my time with Off the Wall Signs.

I've made some really cool things. I've got some pictures of them, but not on this computer. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share one thing yet either. Next week I'll be able to post it.

Something that I'm particularly proud of is that I started a tradition of recycling materials like matte board. We're able to reuse stands that take time and material to make. I would post some of the things that I've done in particular but I shouldn't until about a month from now and after the particular event has happened.

I just realized how vague this entire post sounds but I'll honestly have some pics in a few weeks, just you wait!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I've been promoted!

On the week of 5/18 I was asked into one of my boss's offices. We had a short meeting about what I wanted to do, how I was feeling with the company, and where I saw myself going. They told me that I might get an opportunity in the near future do work in the art department in the coming months.

On 5/25 some things happened that I can't discuss, but they asked me to bring back some renderings of a candelabra on Monday. I gave them this:

As of tomorrow thanks to those events and my awesome renders I'll be a salaried employee with By-Dzign in their Art department. I just realized what an interesting opportunity this is yesterday and how I can now be much more flexible when trying to prove my worth (though I always could have been, but I did only now realize it).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's already May!

So the plan in my previous post to increase my productivity had some unforeseen ramifications. I realized that after my relaxation habits changed due to my normal relaxation activities being removed that my inability to satisfy my career goals was not due to being distracted. It was instead due to being unfocused. I have so many productive and unproductive hours in the day. I've actually heard recently that there was a measurable drop in blood glucose whenever you use your brain actively. Anyway if I can be more focused with my productive time then I can make better use of it.

Currently I have 3 activities that seem to properly use my productive time. Working (at By-Dzign), Life Drawing, and Ice Skating.

Ice Skating:

I'm actually getting really good at ice skating (by my own standards). I'm constantly challenging myself to feel comfortable doing different and new things. I've only been skating about 12 times or so and it has been on a weekly basis for the past 3 months. Having it be consistently on the weekends seems to really help how quickly I improve.

Life Drawing:

I'm feeling more and more proud of my drawings the more I do them. Kevin always talked about getting in that 10,000 hours of practice. The more weekly Life Drawing sessions I go to the better I've been feeling lately about my skills. It's also really enjoyable to have this focused time practice.
The imgur album is of the life drawing drawings that I've done. Just a highlight of a few of my favorite. I was going to share the rest of the drawings too but Photoshop is not being very cooperative tonight so I'm going to give it a rest for now.

Work (By-Dzign):
Lately I've been feeling more productive, and actually I've been enjoying my work as of late.
I think the important thing that all of these activites have is that they all happen on a regular basis at the same time every day/week. So if I can manage my focus time and my relax time well I can work better toward my goals!

I like being my own science experiment sometimes. Right now I'm wondering how long it will take me to get back to being someone who is always at his computer again. I kind of don't think I ever will, because when my relaxation habits changed I feel like I became a lot more mature, and now that I feel more comfortable being more social I'll always go out and seek socialization. But who knows what will happen.

— Ty

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Updating business card

Since my business card is using an old logo I decided it should be pertinent to use a new design. My plain white business cards of yore are kind of boring so I wanted to tie it in with my website. Here's what I've come up with so far

I first designed it in the traditional landscape style. A friend suggested trying a portrait design which I'm really liking a lot more than the landscape design. She also suggested I get rid of Photoshop specialist. Perhaps I should just find some Photoshop work to do for fun and let that speak for itself.

There are a lot of things going into my living room model now, but I still need more! So over the next week I'll be drawing lamps, an end table, a printer, a monitor, a bookshelf, and some other knick knacks to throw into the scene. It's going to be fun on a bun!

I'm going to sleep on this business card design for now

— Ty

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Working hard

So I haven't updated lately but that doesn't mean I'm not doing anything! I'm modeling the furniture all separate of the scene so a bunch of models in nothingness would be boring to render pictures of them. I've got a handful of models going and I've been reading a book on lighting and rendering that will hopefully help give me a lot of good ideas on how to best light my scene.

I currently intend for it to be a night time scene with mostly interior lamp lighting. I'm hoping that I can make a successfully lit scene with just that.

Today I sent out my resume to a handful of companies. I'm really hoping to get someone's attention and make a good impression.

Anyway hopefully by next week I'll have a something layout-wise to share. But for now that's all.

— Ty

Monday, March 5, 2012

Architecture nearly complete!

Perhaps I'm making this entirely too detailed, but I'm enjoying myself. Today I popped up part of the roof, and added some windows. I also made a playblast so those of you following along at home can get a sense of what I'm making here

Tomorrow we create a fireplace and start on some furniture if that doesn't take me all night. But that's all for now

— Ty

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Everything is going well!

The first thing I would like to do is point out an awesome novelty account on reddit called Renderpart. For the past 2 weeks this guy has been cranking out 2-5 models a day. From what I can tell there's no real rhyme or reason. He just makes these really quick renderings of parts of posts in /r/pics. It's really awesome that he's just doing this to improve his skills, and something that I could easily see myself doing in order to get a few extra models that I can use in my upcoming scene.

Speaking of my upcoming scene, let me show you how it's coming out!

It's just walls, windows, and doors but I am absolutely loving the way everything is looking. Things I've made before were in many cases great, but they never looked to me like places that could be real, this one does, since it is.

I finally got that background changed. It was a bit of an uphill battle, I had to figure out what the heck I did with a lot of things on blogger's template, but I won out in the end and everything looks great, I think it looks awesome!

As for the TV surprise that I've been hinting at I lent it to my friend!

Now my TV desk is completely empty, it feels like something is missing, but that's okay now I have another place to put things! Which is great because I have a lot of things to put in various places and was running out of places.

Catch-22-esque humor aside aside, I have now relieved myself of all major distractions in my life. Now I have no choice but to remain focused and make awesome things, or surf the web. Over the holidays and throughout this year I had started doing some exercises in improving my self control. I feel that I have been very successful and that my ability to resist temptations of distractions has greatly improved. So I'm feeling good about the next few months in regard to reaching my goals.

That's all for now!

— Ty

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Busy day

So I didn't get too much done today. I'm really disappointed with the lack of job postings on the AI Alumni Connections website. You would think that career services would be more on the ball with that one but oh well, I'm not above resorting to other methods to search for work.

I was busy with chores today so I didn't get to do too much cool stuff with my modeling (I outlined a wall!), but my friend did make a request for a steam avatar, so I made this:

The first one he loved, but I felt it was lacking so I doodled a bit and made the second one which I think looks really nifty. A swoosh here, a few nonsensical character there, then boom, it's looking really cool.

Tomorrow I probably won't get much done either. Lots of plans to set into motion to ensure my utmost productivity from then on.

One of the things I would like to do afterward is recreated this background for my blog:

I think it looks really cool so I'm going to recreate the pattern as best I can in Photoshop or Illustrator and then create it sized for my blog. Maybe I'll consider making a cool pattern for the rest of my webpages too, they can use it. The solid black is starting to bore me.

That's all for now

— Ty

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More Pre-Production!

It's the production before the production!

Today I made a handful of sketches. I hit a snag because I fell asleep for about an hour and a half after working out. It was a nice nap but totally lacking in dreams. Usually in a good nap I'll have several very vivid dreams and sometimes I'll even become lucid. I'm very big on lucid dreaming, I love exploring my dream worlds and doing things I normally can't do in reality. But I'm getting off topic here. Anyway the sketches:

I tried not to spend too much time on them, just wanted to get the dimensions down mostly. I would like for at least all of these pieces to be perfectly proportioned in my scene. I think I have my computer desk properly made in a file somewhere so I'll use that desk instead of the desk that's actually in my living room. I'll save a bit of time there... Pixar style.

I forgot to mention in my last post some of the changes I'll be making in my life in order to better focus on my goals. I've uninstalled all of my steam games from both my lap top and my PC. I've also packed my Xbox 360 into its box (Yes, I keep boxes like that). As for my TV... Well that's a surprise that I'll post on Saturday.

All that being said I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I hope to be fairly productive — a friend is letting me borrow an excellent book on lighting and I intend to make good use of it — and to have fun in my personal life endeavors. That's all for now

— Ty

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I am greatly motivated to improve my skills and portfolio. I had been working on a project but had gone stale on what to do with it. It's a decent piece and I was really starting to like the lighting and textures, but I was making it from scratch, the references were too diverse and nothing ended up looking like it went too well together. The project stagnated and I need to move on. So I decided that I would base my next project after an actual room. A functional room that everyone who I know loves: My living room.

First step was to take about 40 reference photos. I did this Monday night. I still need to take more. I know I'll need to take more of certain objects.

So now that I had a small reference library it was time to find out the layout of the largest items in the room, and the walls, doors, and windows.

The drawing is really cool and helpful, but I was never the best at drawing things perfectly to proportion, so I punched all of these numbers into Illustrator and came out with this little vector floor plan:

Tomorrow I intend to sketch out the the couches, tables, windows, fireplace, and entertainment system and get a decent amount of measurements so that I can accurately model them. I also will get height information on the ceilings. It's going to be a lot of fun with vaulted ceilings and a 10' tape measure.

— Ty

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How disappointing

For a while I've been thinking of a way to write a program in python that would find all the spaces in a string of words and replace them with underscores. I was thinking of ways that I could write definitions and if statements on how to search the words for the spaces then replace the word, but no, after a bit of reading I find out that I can do this with 2 lines of code.

word = raw_input('Write a phrase and I will change spaces with underscores: ')
print word.replace(' ', '-')

Now I need something more challenging to do! I guess I'll read more and see if I can't come up with some better ideas.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back to programming!

Alright. After a little hiatus, I've decided to once again delve into Python. Armed with a book titled Learning Python by Mark Lutz I am determined to create a program that will help you cheat at scrabble.

What I want this program to do is take the letters of all the tiles you have as well as the letters from any playable tile on the board and compare them against the scrabble dictionary. It will use all possible letters from the former category and only one letter from the latter, unless they are grouped together. I might even find fancy ways to make it so you can indicate spaces between letters so you can fill in those really complicated areas.

However we're starting small. Tonight I created a simple script that tells you how long a word and separates the letters of that word.

print "Insert a word"
wordInput = raw_input()
wordLength = len(wordInput)
wordChar = 1
print "Your word is", wordLength, "letters long."
while ( wordChar <= wordLength):
     print wordInput[wordChar-1]
     wordChar = wordChar + 1

Simple stuff right?