Archive for June, 2012


The Cow Invasion

Is it the cowpocalypse? Cowmageddon? Cow-thousand twelve?

Before these puns get so bad you start to wish the cowpocalypse would come, I’ll explain myself.

I was coming home from volunteering at a homeless outreach when I noticed one of the campus parking garages was filled with cows. This was a new one for me (even in Missouri), so I decided to snap some photos and try to find out what was going on.

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

Cows in parking garage

No word yet on what is going on, yet. All I’ve found so far is a tweet from a local radio station saying that there should, indeed, be cows in the downtown area. Oh well. I suppose I can sleep peacefully not knowing what the cows are doing down in a University-owned building.

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Hey, guys. It’s hot. It’s really dang hot. KY3’s Weather page puts my place of residence at 101 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of this writing. As such, I’ve decided to compile some pictures of Antarctica, which right now is in the dead of winter. While you probably don’t wish it was that cold, you can probably stand to imagine a happy medium between whatever it is there and the 101 degrees it is here.

(click the pictures to see their source)

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Aurora Borealis’s southern cousin, Aurora Australis, is visible almost all of the time during Antarctica’s winter (so… right now!). The red light you see is used because it doesn’t cause light pollution in that climate.

Lake Fryxell

Ice. Lots of ice. The lake there, which is normally water, is ice. It’s aaaaall ice.

Vostok Station

Vostok Station, where the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was measured: -128 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you applied my “happy medium” philosophy to that, it would still be -14 degrees (which happens to be the coldest temperature I have a memory of experiencing in temperate Missouri).

Antarctica

One of my college professors took this picture in Antarctica. Almost looks like a pile of the ice you get from the store in bags for a few dollars a pop.

Penguins

Oh, and some penguins.

Mario Models

The only tangible work done so far on the Mario Bros. Trailer has been the 3D modeling (I don’t consider scripts tangible since I’d never show them to someone). Here are some work-in-progress pics of my work so far. Most will only be seen for a few seconds (or less) in the trailer, but that’s the nature of trailers, isn’t it?

Thwomp

Thwomp. I intend to make it a little more gritty/realistic, so instead of just a rocky texture, it’ll actually have random, jagged edges.

Star

Power Star! I have a cool effect in mind for the invincible Mario.

Pipe

A strange pipe appears in a utility closet.

Goomba

A lot more to be done on Goomba, but it’s a good start.

Earth

I’ll add clouds and an atmosphere (and, of course, animation) after this. So far, I’ve just gotten the texture applied (courtesy of NASA) and made it so only the water reflects light.

Bullet Bill

Bullet Bill. Easiest one to make, unsurprisingly. I made the eye texture in GIMP.

Bobomb

This was actually not created by me, but rather a guy at Blender-Models.com. Big thanks to him — he’ll be in the credits for sure (though I couldn’t find his name on the download page).

Expect more models and updated versions of these in the near future. Currently in the works: Dark Star, the F.L.U.D.D. device, Bowser, and several more! I’ve been spending a ton of time on this, and it is SO FUN. If you’re interested in 3D modeling, I highly recommend Blender. It’s free, open-source, and very well-supported. Andrew Price’s Blender tutorials at BlenderGuru.com are really great after you’ve played around with it for a bit.

The Mario Bros. Short Film

Guess what: I’m making a movie! That should be no surprise, as that’s kind of a hobby of mine, but this specific one is something you’ll recognize: the famous Mario Bros.!

Technically, it isn’t a “film.” It’s a faux trailer which will likely last 2-3 minutes. Also, I’m making it backwards.

No no, the final product won’t be backward. The production process itself is going backward. I’m starting by doing a large chunk of the 3D modeling and animation, then will film and record sound for the live-action shots, then will decide what order it all goes in. Makes sense, right? Well, the largest reason for that is that it may be a while before I find the right person to play Mario. I have a Luigi, a Toad, and a Princess Peach lined up (Bowser is animated, as you might have guessed), but since Mario is 50-70% of the screen time, I want to make sure he’s the right guy.

Expect a blog post with pictures (and maybe even video sneak peaks) of the CGI stuff in the next few days! It’ll be work-in-progress photos (Goombas missing eyes, etc.), but hey, that’s part of the fun.