Archive for September, 2012

Hahn Slolo (He’s better than Han Solo)

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Character Rigging

I wanted to try out After Effects and see what kinds of things I could do with it, so I came up with an idea to replace Han Solo in Star Wars with a dumb CGI monster. It just seems like the proper evolution for the franchise.

I think he’s a little too light against the background, but I like how it came out anyway. I put some little details into the rig that won’t be visible, like automatic breathing (the chest and gills move faster or slower depending on the heart rate I set) and a tiny replica of Han Solo’s gun that automatically positions his fingers when I want him to hold it.

Seems like a wasted effort, but I might make more of these if Youtube’s content filter doesn’t keep making me take them down and edit the movie to get around them. Fox apparently considers this a threat. After all, why would people even bother watching Star Wars when they can just watch my superior version?

My mom complained that the alien fish monster is too hard to understand through the gurgling. I think she’s missing the point.

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Wheel Monster

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Character Rigging

I made this in a weekend. I just wanted to make a stupid and inefficient monster. The set is left over from a project I never finished.

I also tried to experiment with some object dynamics by making him hit the cart and having the soda cans fall off. Unfortunately I only had 1 gig of ram at the time so it was kind of a pain to calculate all those can dynamics.

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Dino Tankbots

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Character Rigging

The Dino Tankbot was kind of an inside joke that spiraled out of control. The story is that he’s a cybernetic baseball playing dinosaur from the future, where all baseball is played by robotic dinosaurs. Dino Tankbot is a model that has tank?treads?for legs, and he’s absolutely terrible. He’s ?stupid, can’t follow orders, and thinks about comfort foods instead of the game. The coach of the team (Coach Barris), is?constantly?frustrated by his terrible team of Tankbots. He spends most of his time in the dugout drinking and trying to forget that the team’s owners have insisted that he keep the Tankbots on the team.

Using Maya, I rigged up a 3D model of Tankbot when I was experimenting with what I can do. He has a ton of features and would probably be pretty fun to animate.


In addition, to make Coach Barris even more frustrated, the other baseball teams are built of Dinosaur Cyborgs who are actually good at baseball. These guys are rigged up with controls more specific to playing the game, such as extending gloves, robotic batting arms, and automatic catcher masks.


I’m not going to go into details about how I rigged them up, but if you know anything about rigging you can probably tell what kinds of methods I was using. I would probably do it a little differently if I made these now.

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Livable House

Sep 24 2012 Published by under House and Garden

So by December the house was fit to live in and we were sleeping in it. It’s heated by a wood burning stove, and although it could be bigger, it heats the whole space easily. On days that were 10 degrees F, I was in there with a T-shirt and was totally comfortable.

As far as light goes, it has several sun tubes built into the roof. They’re basically just plastic buckets with the bottom cut off and some mylar on the inside to reflect light. They light the place up considerably during the day. We also have an electrical connection coming from the trailer on the property. We plan on cutting that out eventually and rigging up a solar powered battery setup, but we’re not there yet.

Water comes from a well on the property. We have a few 55 gallon drums ?hidden in the ground above the house. Every once and a while we fill them up and have gravity fed, cold water. We’re working on making hot water as well by just wrapping a drum in black material and leaving it in the sun all day, but with a stove on hand, it’s not really that important until we rig up showers.

We have a toilet in the house as well. I don’t have pictures of it, but it?warrants?it’s own post. It’s a compost toilet, so it uses no water and the poop will be used on the garden in a couple of years. It doesn’t stink at all. I’ll explain more about it when I get some pictures.

The house is covered in plastic and so far (A year down the line) has not leaked. There is a small amount of leaking that comes from the cracks in the stone wall, but we actually build planters?underneath?it and they’ve worked well. Overall the place feels pretty luxurious, even though I’m sure there are skeptics thinking it’s a glorified cave. It still gets dirty, but that’s mostly due to the fact that the place is still under construction and we stomp through it after dirty farm work.

I have no shots of the back room in the right of this picture. It was mostly used for storage until recently. The walls in that room are wooden.

This is an old shot of the outside. Since then, the plastic has been covered by a stone wall and it looks more hidden.

You can see the planters we built to prevent rain runoff from the stone wall.

These are the stairs that lead down the cliff to one of the doors. They're built on a natural incline

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Putting on the roof

Sep 21 2012 Published by under House and Garden

The roof is supported by logs we got from a friend who lives nearby. He helped us lay them on with his excavator, but it wasn’t easy work. Here are some in progress shots. I’d say these were about 2 months after we started the house, so probably in early October 2011.

After this there was a surprise October?blizzard?in New York. Our hands were covered in motar and we were digging through piles of rocks to build around the logs and hold them in place. We were also bringing the rocks up ladders. Probably the most uncomfortable work day we had.

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