Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Book Surgeon



Brian Dettmer cuts, etches and breaks down vintage encyclopedia & anatomy books to create phenomenal layered art work. He is the oxymoron of booking making :) They are so incredible, and I truely question how much free time you would have to have in order to create such intricate pieces? I really wish I had more free time to create, but for now I barely find time to eat lunch or dinner. But that's life isn't; nothing but shuffling and doing your routine and next thing you know a year has gone by.

Here's my current to-do list that I hope to accomplish by the end of the Summer:
1. Redesign logo and website
2. Create one animation - Topic: unknown
3. Create demo reel
4. Finish grams and gramps portrait
5. Complete a mural
6. Finish tattoo design
7. Keep writing in my blog

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Package Design


This week I was brainstorming with the team trying to develop a new package design for a client. I haven't made any package designs in about two years, but I was really having a great time, and made me remember how much I loved Industrial Design. Perhaps I'll start making my own designs for something fun and new to do. For inspiration I was found a great blog and website, that if you are interested you should check out.

The dieline

Casey Coyle

Monday, March 7, 2011

















Designed by Colm Keller | Country: Sweden

This was his Master's Thesis Project, and his project goal was to highlight the increasing amount of long distance relationships. Since I currently have been in a long distance relationship for the past three years, I can definitely relate to this.

"It highlights the issue of increasing long-distance relationships and the drawbacks of computer mediated communication.

I wanted to include the reflective, relaxing qualities of crafts as way to build an emotional bond between users and the object.

It also hopes to open a dialogue about how we will value our digital artifacts in the future – our digital heirlooms.”

For more information about this project, check out Lovely Package Blog.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Test of Cellular Division

Test Cell Division from Lindsey Brake on Vimeo.

HPV model

There are many different 3d programs, but I primarily use 3ds Max. Working at ExaroMed I am very lucky to work for an Art Director that is always willing to help me become a better artist. Last week, Scott and I took some time going over some lighting parameters within Max, to create more realistic light sources that will help my models have more 3 dimensional shape. 3 point lighting is what I was taught in my graduate program, but not only is the placement of the lights important, but what you do within the lighting parameters that really helps give off an effect you are aiming for. Do you want a cooler or a warmer looking scene? Before lighting a scene you have to take into consideration where the scene taking place. Are you outside or inside? Is there natural, florescent light or both? Common sense right, but sometimes you can get caught up in a project and forget to think about these things, and this is only thing I am always working on to improve.

Lets go over 3-point lighting really quick. Ok, you have your Key Light, Fill Light and Back Light. When placing your lights I usually like to use my Top viewport for placement. Then I like to choose the side views to raise or lower the lights depending on the effect I am going for. Typically I will use spot lights as opposed to omni lights because they can increase render time.

1. Key light – main illumination and is the dominant light source. A spot light or mr spot light can usually achieve the feel of sun light, lighting coming through a window or florescent lighting. Offset the light 15-30 degrees to the right or left of your camera. Also, either raise or lower your lights instead of having it straight on your object.

2. Fill light – Secondary light source, softener, and makes object more visible. This light can simulate the sky or room in general as opposed to the key light being the sun or main light source. I also use spot lights for this, and you can use more than one to light your scene. Place the fill light opposite to the key light, so if the key is on the right, than place the fill on the left.

3. Back light – Also known as, Rim Light. This light can create a edge around the object. Scott recommended changing the color of the back light to create different effects. For example, if you change the light from white to a purple or blue color and turn up the intensity, you can create a warmer effect.

Once you have your lights positioned, the next part is playing within the light parameters. The example I have above of an HPV model I made. I’ll go through the parameters that I changed:

1. General Parameters> I checked the shadows box> within the drop down menu I selected the Ray Traced Shadows for a softer shadow. You can diffuse the edge of the shadow for a softer effect. Warning: Shadow maps can cause flicker effect if you use for animation.

2. Intensity/Color/Attenuation

a. Key light – Multiplier: 0.8> changed color to light yellow color for more natural warm light.

b. Fill light – Multiplier: 0.3> used a yellow color as well

c. Back light – Multiplier: 1.4 for more intensity> changed to a purple color to accentuate its complimentary color

d. Near and far attenuation – Can create a fall off of shadow

3. Spotlight Parameters – I increased the fall off to soften the spot light edge on all the lights

4. Advanced Effects – I didn’t change anything here, but if you wanted to add a overall glow to your scene you can uncheck the diffuse and specular and check the ambient only box.

5. Shadow Parameters – I softened the color shadow to a darker grey and turned down the density to 0.8.

6. Area Light Parameters – I changed the type from Rectangular to Disc. Changed the radius from 1.0 to 150 or higher for softer more realistic shadows that naturally fall off.

Being a medical animator, using your lighting to convey a mood can be very helpful, so experiment. Go nuts. Also just a quick guide to what certain colors can indicate:

1. Red light – danger, can bring attention to something

2. Blue or Purple light – Good for dark lighting, can create a cool microscopic environment

3. Green light – Bad, infected, avoid

Friday, February 11, 2011


My Gramcracker took this picture of me when I was painting her portrait. Whenever I see this picture, I think of the beautiful woman behind the lens. She was a great artist, and she inspired me to be the person I am today. I miss you Grams.

Let's Play Catch Up

Well hello,

It's been quite a while since I have posted, and yes I have posted some images that I have been working on, but I haven't had much energy to actually write where the hell I've been these past few monthsss...7 months. So I guess I will do a quick catch here, but I vow to stick with it and challenge myself to post at least once a week. You heard it here folks, so now I have no choice but to continue.

Anywho, well this past May 2010, I officially graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with my Master's of Science degree in Biomedical Visualization. Who knew how fast two years truly goes. I still can not believe it is actually over. It was quite sad saying goodbye to most of my classmates, as we all ventured off to our new adventures called, "Entering the Real World."

However, I was unlike most of my fellow students who were looking for jobs even before graduation. Those who know me knew that my beloved Grandmother also known as, Gramcracker, had been very ill.

Once I graduated, my grams took a turn for the worse and I moved back home to spend what little time we had left together. I have never personally experienced losing a loved one before, and I don't think anyone can prepare you for it, but it truly felt surreal. I mean, my grams lived in our neighborhood. I don't remember a time when she wasn't around. We all considered her our family photographer, and she always seemed to capture those moments that most did not even consider capturing. She had quite an artistic eye, and I feel so grateful that I inherited some of that gene. She was a painter, a gardener, and a very proud Scottish woman. And, she was a person that always kept her faith, and never lost hope. She cherished every moment, and even at her weakest, she found some way to crack a joke and makes us feel better. But, that is way I loved her so much, and miss her every single day. When I was going through her studio, I found so many paintings that she had never shown probably anybody that I thought were so beautiful. I am getting a few matted and framed and planning on passing them out to the grandchildren, so we can see a little piece of her everyday. Her work deserves to be shown and admired, and I will be taking some pictures of her work and posting a few for you all to see how talented she was. I love and miss her always,

Miss Maggie Malott: July 31 1931 - July 26 2010


I will continue this post ASAP, and tell you how I got my first job as a medical animator.

Good night and have a Happy Valentines weekend. Cherish who ever you love, and live for the moments.

~ link