Some 3D Art Stuff..

I’ve been playing with some new techniques.  My computer used to choke on Indirect Lighting Renders.  I installed a solid state hard drive last weekend and have been tweaking settings…and it works pretty well.

I need to beef up my computer and am contemplating a complete upgrade to a high end rig optimized for renders.

The following was done in Poser 9 with IDL quality of around 50.   I made the wall in Hexagon.  The Lights on the wall have an ambient value of 75.   There are orange balls set with ambient values of 45 and 50 above the scene for fill lighting.

I didn’t play too much with them…but I think it looks pretty good.  As always, I like to sometimes tell a quick story.   Tosh and Faith are characters form the Faith Keller graphic story I’mworking on…

Click on the pics for the full sized versions…

The orange ball is a little low on this one…but it is an idl demo


4 Weeks Later: A dream..

This morning at around 6:30 my pager woke me up.  A user needed help signing in and sync’ing up with our single sign on system.

That took about 20 minutes and I went back to bed.

I woke up from a dream at around 8am.

I tend to dream vividly. Hi-def, Dolby 7.1 type dreams.

In my time seeing Dr. N and Roberta I’ve realized that dreams are messages from my subconscious.   Which makes perfect sense, its not like Steven Spielberg is beaming them into you brain at night, and if he was, he’d have nothing on me.  Dr. N has surmised that my odd and vivid dreams are a manifestation of my creativity.

My more vivid dreams are usually milestones in the progress I’m making.

Before I woke up at 8am I dreamt I was in a car dealership doing IT work.  Which is odd, considering that I work in a hospital.  Odder still was the fact that most of my co-workers there,  are my co-workers here.

We were standing around talking,  I forget about what, but I know that some guy came down and asked if I could help out with a sql server problem.  I didn’t know who he was but I remember watching him walk up a flight of stairs wondering what the hell he was thinking, wearing tight green polyester pants and a lumberjack shirt to work.

There was also cake.  I reached around someone to grab one of the last pieces and came away with a napkin instead.

There’s a lot of carrying on and good humour like there is in my work place.   I eventually take my leave.

When I leave the building I am walking to the road beside an old stone church.  Another one of my co-workers is crouched down,  trying to peer into the windows (I do not think this is odd).   I greet him.  Shelby comes running up barking…his “pay attention to me” bark.  He is scrambling around trying to see inside the church too.

I give him a pat on the head and he runs out ahead of me like he did when we were in off leash areas.

He gets to the sidewalk and turns around.  I see him squat to do his business and say, “Hey!”, and point down the street. He takes off out of sight.

I turn the corner and he’s standing on a little embankment beside the sidewalk.   He’s wearing his red leash that I haven’t seen in a while.  Although its not tied to anything I know that it means he’s going no further.

I stop and give him a pat.  I note how warm he feels.  The same thing I noted when I gave him one last pat on the head after he died.   He’s looking up at me with his doggy smile and happily wagging his tail.  I can tell he knows that he’s staying too.

Wordlessly, and even a little bit happy I turn and head down the sidewalk, leaving him behind.  In my dream it is a beautiful summer day.

I wake up and remember my dream and marvel that I am not in tears.

Then I open my eyes, and all that changes.

I eventually went back to sleep for a bit and woke up and had forgotten all about it.

Just before I started to write this,  I was leaving the kitchen and stopped to straighten his picture that’s on my fridge…and I remembered.

Although this dream has significant and positive symbolism.  Today, well,  right now,  I am sad.  I miss my little buddy.

The lengths I will go to for my co-workers…

I do my level best to be there for my friends, family and co-workers.

Last Wednesday we had a gathering planned with the folks from the pharmacy to celebrate the completion of a large project.  There was pizza, and cake!

I had been trying to help a user with something,  but was having problems understanding the issue so I enlisted the aid of one of the experts who happened to be located at one of our rural sites.

It was a morning of back and forth with me presuming she didn’t understand what I was looking for, and her knowing I didn’t have a freaking clue.

So, just before lunch I got a hold of her by phone and we sort through the issue.

I hear some commotion down the hall and tell her that I have to cut the conversation short because there’s cake.

She says, “Oh, I hope you choke on cake!”

I promise that I will do what I can for her,  because I’m there for my friends.  I tell her I’ll see what I can do about getting video.

About to 2pm I get an email from her.  The subject line was “So no video huh?”  She complained bitterly that she was relying on that for her evening’s entertainment.

Not wanting to disappoint,  I quickly came up with a solution:

A depiction of me, choking on cake

Things I hate #1

So yeah,  I’m about to get into my programming for the day,  finishing up the Omnicell User Sync script in Mirth so I can alpha test.  I go to start a pot of coffee.

Come back to machine and see this….

I’d like to meet the designer who didn’t think to add a “not now” button. The restart later will pop up every 5 minutes or so. The problem too is that my laptop is encrypted. Which means that I can’t just hit restart and walk away to grab a refill or chat someone up. I have to wait until it reboots to enter my decryption key after it posts.

I would’ve upgraded to Windows 7, but here on my work machine I have a fair number of development environments that would have to be reinstalled.
That, and my boss took away my Photoshop license for someone who “needed it more” when I upgraded to the laptop.

Hey…here’s how I got the laptop.

A year or so ago I was frustrated at the number of interruptions in my work day causing me to fall behind in my primary projects. I started doing all my hardcore programming at home, at night, remoted into work through our VPN.

I asked him if I could work from home for an afternoon or two a week. He said no (that’s his personal bugaboo). I frowned at him fiercely with my best curmudgeonly anti-social programmer frown.

He said, “Hey, how’d you like a laptop? It’s got half a gig in ram!”

I’m so easy….

So last night I thought either my apartment had been broken into, was haunted, or I was having auditory hallucinations…


Last night at about 3am I got up to use the washroom. I thought I heard something.  A woman’s voice speaking softly.

I went to investigate.  The voice disappeared. I shrugged and went back to sleep.

This morning I get up early and wander to the computer to check on a render I started last night using a new method.  I walk into the living room and freeze,  I hear that voice again.

I think maybe I left my cable box on,  but the only sound device attached to it is the television, and its turned off.  But no, my cable box is off.

The voice disappears.

I sit down and check on the render.  I have 6 passes, one for each different light in the scene.  I open up Photoshop.

I hear the voice again.

I freeze, cock my head.  I close my eyes and relax (this makes you hear better).

Very faint…female.  Not my neighbour Deb, or her daughter Haley (I know its not Haley because she’s usually yelling).

I pick up one my computer speakers and hold it up to my ear.

Its my computer….

I go through my various tabs and find,  on a forum I was on when I was researching hardware choices for a rendering machine, an embedded video ad.   There is a 10-20 second pause between each replay.

So,  tonight I will figure out how to block those.

…and check my usage meters.

I’m on Rogers afterall…

I’d post the results of my renders, but I used my Faith Keller character and I neglected to dress her.

I’ve just loaded up Faith’s sidekick, Tosh.  Fully clothed.  I’ll post the render tonight.

3 Weeks later…

So,  this past Friday was the 3 week anniversary of Shelby’s passing.

Some people have been asking, so I thought to post an update here.

I still have tearful moments but the time between them grows longer.

I miss him.  Every fucking day I miss him.

Of my 2 cats,  Gus is the only one effected.  He hung out with Shelby and at times I had to break up the inter-species love fests.   Gus has become clingy and for the first time in his 10 or so years of life I’ve heard him purr.  Not much, but occasionally I’ll hear him purr when I’m petting him.

I don’t think Socks has noticed to be honest.

What’s interesting is that is in the past few days I’ve caught myself on the verge of buying Shelby treats.  I was in the pet food aisle buying kitty litter and cat food when I found myself selecting treats for Shelby.

Yesterday when I left Joe’s Diner,  I caught myself heading across the parking lot to the pet store to pick up the glucosamine cookies I always get him.

Interesting…ingrained habits that took 3 weeks to manifest again.

Outside of these bumps I’ve grown accustomed to him not being here.  The massive hole his passing left in my heart is still there and has been the subject of conversation with both my shrink and my therapist. I finally figured that out last night I think.  I need to digest and discuss with some people before I decide whether to post the results of my musings here.

But the short story is that I’m fine.   I’m able to function.  I don’t have to struggle to keep myself from running to pound and adopting another dog just to fill the void.

Thanks for caring,  and to all my friends,  flesh and virtual,  thanks for being there.   I’ll continue to make you laugh, and make you think and make you wonder if I’ve suffered brain damage 🙂



Things your date will say that are clear signs you are going home alone…

Oh..ummm,   this is a date?   OMG,  I’m so sorry…I thought you were gay!

I love talking to you!  Its like you’re my best girlfriend!

So wait.  Are you really trying to tell me that the reason the Soviet Union fell was due to its unsustainable economic model and not because Jesus made it happen??!!

I have to use the ladies,  don’t wait up.

I’d love dessert but I’ve got to go,  my husband is picking me up in 5

OMG George, you’re the funniest guy I ever met!  What, you’re name isn’t George?  No wonder you look nothing like your picture!

How much taxable income did you declare last year?

Hold on,  I just got a text from your mom…

You’re so completely awesome,  most of my ex-boyfriends are iv drug addicts!

Whadda mean you can give me some pointers on picking out shoes for next time??!!!

Yeah, a room at the Royal York would be nice,  but you need to get a suite!

–Feel free to add more!

…yes,  I’ve heard some of these during dates!   3 to be precise!  Can you guess which ones?    Oh…and for my irl friends,  you can’t play because you’ll know which ones.