Robb Pratt gave us Superman fans a new little work of art to geek out over:
The character design is a departure from anything I’ve ever seen before on this subject material – it has an appeal that’s hard to define, but is immediately engaging. The biggest problem is that it’s over all too quickly – but then, it’s also hand animated, and it really does take time to do this at all, let alone do it well. It all makes more sense when you go to Mr. Pratt’s web site and discover that he’s a Disney animator and storyboard artist.
What an amazing discovery this one was.
– Gene Turnbow
No, seriously. It’s hard to listen to this and not feel all your stress and anxiety melt away. [tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qadUoaWkRW8[/tube] – Gene Turnbow
New drawings in my gallery.. – Gene Turnbow . . . → Read More: New Sketches Posted
How to Play the Major Scales on a Guitar
I teach beginning guitar to technical directors at Rhythm & Hues one day a week on my lunch break. Up till now I’d been relying on material other people had published for my classroom materials, but I couldn’t find anything to teach people the major scales that worked well with the way I teach – so I made this one. Feel free to grab a copy of this and print it out for yourself if you’re struggling with this, or if you’re teaching a class yourself and need something like this for your students.
– Gene Turnbow
But Only If You’re A Chicken. [tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXUeO3auRZg&feature=player_embedded[/tube]
This video has been around for a while, but there may be something to learn from chickens yet. Watch in amazement as this chicken’s head remains precisely located in space regardless of the motion of its body.
Then be amazed that you sat and watched a chicken for a full minute with your mouth open.
The main problem with developing working warp drive apparently isn’t the math. We’ve figured that part out. What we need, though, is an unimaginably monumental supply of energy to power the thing.
The spokesman for CERN’s ALPHA experiment—Jeffrey Hangst of Aarhus University, Denmark—says that trapping these atoms was a bit of an overwhelming experience:
What’s new about Alpha is that now we’ve managed to hold on to those atoms. We have a magnetic bowl, kind of a bottle, that holds the antihydrogen [...] For reasons that no one yet understands, nature ruled out antimatter. It is thus very rewarding, and a bit overwhelming, to look at the ALPHA device and know that it contains stable, neutral atoms of antimatter.
Well now we’re one step closer. At CERN, scientists have successfully captured antihydrogen and can hold atoms of it for study in a magnetic bottle. They know they’ve got antihydrogen, because when they release it, the expected annihilation takes place.
You’ve just gotta see this.
Why have I been writing about leaps in scientific knowledge and technology lately?
Because I feel that Humanity is reaching for its future with both hands, and that if we can solve the mysteries of the universe, it’ll make it easier to solve the problems of your everyday garden variety human beings as individuals. It is an exciting time to be alive. We are on the verge of a new frontier, and it all begins right here, right now. Our perspective and perceptions are shifting as our awareness and understanding of the very nature of reality itself expands.
On seeing the Enterprise’s warp engine while visiting the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation (where he would briefly play himself in the 1993 episode Descent, Part I), Stephen Hawking smiled and said: I’m working on that.
I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I can hardly wait to see what’s under the tree.
– Gene Turnbow
Links CERN Document Server
A new technique developed by Germany’s Technische Universität allows elements to be removed from video images in real time. They’re purportedly working on a version of this that runs in Android, so I may be able to try this for myself on my Droid phone soon.
Watch the YouTube video and be amazed.
– Gene Turnbow
Those of you who have read and enjoyed speculative fiction all their lives, take note of this newest development. The J. Craig Venter institute has created the first synthetic self-replicating species whose parent is a computer. It carries the names of its creators and its own web site encoded directly into its DNA.
It is interesting to me that while the endless discussions as to whether or not it would be ethical to create life from scratch were taking place, starting with Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, the scientists were quietly and methodically making it happen.
I offer no opinion on the ethical questions this represents, other than to note the occurrence of one of the most momentous accomplishments in human history. Those who wanted to wait until we’d figured out the ethics of whether or not something like this ought to be done before we, as a species, created a synthetic life form, are going to have to deal with the fact that this particular ship has sailed.
The link: http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html
– Gene Turnbow
I was very excited to see Photofly from Autodesk – this looked like a fantastic way to quickly model objects and buildings using nothing but photographs and the click of a mouse (and time waiting for some computing to be done on some server someplace to figure it all out and stitch it all together).
So I gave it a whirl – I had a ton of photos from India when I was there, where I had shot panoramas of various historic, legendary buildings and places, and I tried uploading them to the system to see what I’d get back. I was genuinely hoping to get something back.
So I clicked the submit button and waited. And waited. I left the computer on overnight. In the morning, I got up and looked at the screen – still nothing. After after a few more tries, I gave up on the thing and uninstalled it. I figured the technology was possibly a little too new to work very well. Months later after I had gone to SIGGRAPH and been invited to join the Autodesk forums on LinkedIn.com, I found that a lot of other people had had the same problem, made the same assumptions, and had come away empty handed.
Yoda, sitting in the passenger seat of my Fiat 850 Spyder.
Then I found the tips pages, which I could swear weren’t there when Firefly was first announced. Now that I have some guidelines on how to shoot, and what it can really do, I’m going to give it another go. I’m really interested to see if it can generated meshes from sculptures, because I started out in the motion picture business doing molds and makeup effects, and no amount of computer simulation can properly replace real world materials. If I can work in real clay and build my digital models based directly on my own sculptures, I’ll have an outrageous advantage.
I still have the molds from the Yoda replica I and my friends Michael Moore (not the director, a different Michael Moore) and Jeff Farley made in 1985, and I’m wondering if somehow I can get Photofly to recreate something approaching the original, either from the molds, or from the latex puppet we built (which after all these years, I still have). Making the Yoda replica was a labor of love, and it would be great to bring him back to life.
Now that I have what may pass for working instructions, I may be able to make some progress.
– Gene Turnbow
I think I’m finally beginning to understand it.
When your life is a blur of work and driving to and from work and being so tired from work that you don’t even have the energy to sit up and watch television when you get home – when things you thought were being handled for you aren’t being handled at all and it all winds up on your shoulders anyway – you start to lose the meaning of it all. Nothing matters anymore. You start to wonder why you keep doing it day after day after day with no reward and no purpose, and no joy.
Stop and look around you. No matter what, that tremendous weight of responsibility you carry is only made worse if you forget who you are, what makes you you and why you started down the road you took in the first place. If you can’t remember why you started down that road, and you realize it’s taking you to places you no longer want to go, it’s not too late to turn around, go back up the road a piece, and pick a different one.
Better choose – you only get to travel so many roads in your lifetime. You’d better make each mile count. And on the way, don’t forget to look around and enjoy the things you enjoy. You have a right to it.
Look yourself in the mirror every morning and ask yourself, “If I got to choose what I’d be doing today, would I voluntarily choose to do this?” We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow. Your lifetime might be ninety years – or only thirty-two years, and only one more day after that. Your days are the most precious thing you have.
So it’s not idle frivolity to “stop and smell the roses”. You need to stop and smell the roses once in a while to make sure that the roses are actually still there. And if they’re not, you need to go find some.
– Gene Turnbow GENE TURNBOW GENE TURNBOW GENE TURNBOW GENE TURNBOW