Archive Page 2

3DS Max = WTF?!


I don’t like 3DS Max.

I was really excited going into my first unit of 3D about four weeks ago.  I sincerely was!  I had Maya installed on my mac working perfectly well.  I had fiddled around with it, making (in my mind) uber cool blobs.  Hey man, blobs can be cool, but I knew the best was yet to come when I would start the first unit of 3D modelling.  Sweet as!

Imagine my disappointment when the class I was put into was dealing with 3DS Max exclusively.  Depending on which tutor you get, they would either be teaching you Maya or Max.  This of course meaning I had to install it on to my Windows partition on my mac since Autodesk have decided for some bizarre reason to not make a Mac version even though Maya, which they also produce, is cross platform.

But whatever, if that was all it meant then fine.  I could deal with it.  I found a copy of the program, installed it and ran beautifully first time without any hiccups.  Awesome!  Then I fiddled around with it’s UI and became terrified.  My brain already started to fry up…welding the core?  WTF does that even mean?  Oh well, I’m sure I will learn all about these functions in class.  All cool.

Two weeks later and I was doing one of the tutorials at home.  Flash video on my laptop playing the tutorial (bowl of apples) while I was following away on my LCD screen when something bizarre began to happen about 15 mins in.  The flash video started flashing red, and then remained a solid state of red while my entire computer slooooooowwwwweeeedddd to a snails pace.  So you know, not a good idea running anything else while 3DS Max is going because your computer will go Waaaaahhhh!

But anyway, I can always watch the tutorial video first and then go ahead and work on Max as a work around.  Fine.  Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I’m in class, constructing an office chair in Max.  All is running smoothly.  All the bottom wheels of the swivel office chair seem to be in place so I hit render to check it all out.  The machine hangs. Hmmm.  I restart Max, reload the project, hit render.  The same thing happens.  I call the substitute teacher over so he can check it out.  “Hmm, Odd” he says. “It must be the machine”. OK then, I’ll just try it at home.

A couple of days go by again and by this stage I had bought and installed the new Max OS Snow Leapard.  Awesome!  Everything seems to working OK.  Might as well get back into that project from last week.  Boot up Windows, boot up Max, ERROR.  “Licencing error 1.0011.  You need to relicence this product”.  OK.  I try to relicence it.  It authorises OK.  I press ‘next’ and the same licencing error comes up.  I try this about 50 times.  I then start to cry.

Class a couple of days later and I jump on a different computer to try out the render again.  Computer hangs again!  I look at the chair and delete the wheels.  Hit render.  Everything is OK.  The wheels which were just SIMPLE CYLINDERS were crashing the machines.  I call the new teacher to my computer so he can check it out. “How bizarre” he says. “It’s just a cylinder.  It makes no sense to crash.  Sorry mate, but your just going to have to do the wheels again”.

I have left it until today to fix the licensing error.  A bit of research shows that broken licences are prevalent throughout Max and have since found the way to correct the problem (deleting the licencing file completely).

Now,  I can finally begin designing and building that piece of furniture needed for my assignment that I should have started about 3 weeks ago.

I don’t like 3DS Max.


Where did that July go??

Neglecting something is a bad thing.  I have been a tad busy (procrastinating) over July, completing a winter term unit which was rather fun.  Yes I have been doing/seeing stuff that I have neglected to write about on here, which is stupid as it’s supposed to be a diary right??  Surely I could have stopped pressing refresh on Facebook/Twitter and actually do something useful.  Maybe I have the guilts.

Well, finally launched my own website using a modified wordpress theme.  It’s just a start to get a web presence up  but a PROPER design will go up eventually:

Semester 2 starts next week so I’m sure to be more proactive by then… my excuse is that it’s holidays…fucking typical bullshit student talk I know…the change is happening now though, I promise!

Lastly, about procrastination, a great article about it is here, thanks to an interview with Tait Ischia and his stupidly good blog, Junior.

Till next week.

The coolest interactive installations


I miss it already.  The interactive installation ‘Volume’ which was ‘touring’ Federation Square in Melbourne over the past month or so has been packed away, getting ready for its next city.  What am I going to look at now while I wait for my tram?  Oh well, thank you youtube for feeding my lust before the next installation hits town.

Volume by United Visual Artists

Aperture by Frederic Eyl

Circles Mirror by Daniel Rozin

10+5=God by Art+Com

Interactive Snow Projection by Enness

Lenovo Water Wall by Enness

Dexia Tower Installation by Lab[au]

Enteractive by ElectroLand

Burble by Haque Design

Flock by KMA

‘Best of the Fest’ Closing night @ the 2009 Melbourne International Animation Festival


Last night was the closing night at the Melbourne International Animation Festival, where they played a selection of the best films from throughout the week.  Highlights for me were Monsieur Cok by Franck Dion & Richard van den Boom, The Swan by Aleksandra Korejwo, The MIAF film of the fest The Spine by Chris Landreth, The Employment by Santiago Grasso, Australian film of the fest The Bronze Mirror by Susan Danta, Rex the Dog by Geoffroy De Crecy for its smile value & Fantasie in Bubblewrap by Arthur Metcalf for somehow making you feel that popping bubblewrap is like taking a life.  Embedded are a selection of the films that I have been able to find on the web from last nights screening.  Enjoy!

Franck Dion, Richard van den Boom
France, 2008, 9’45
An ex-employee visits his egg-headed ex-boss at a robot-run bomb factory.

Smith & Foulkes
UK, 2008, 8’30
There’s a right and a wrong way to deal with the soon-to-be-buried. And then there’s the way these two accident prone undertakers go about it….

Linde Faas
Holland, 2008, 5’30
A quiet, intricate portrayal of the behaviour of birds in a natural environment.

Geoffroy De Crecy
France, 2008, 3’15
This puppy is cut out for a career in rock n’ roll.

Nicolas Brault
Canada, 2008, 6’30
Under the African sun death is a constant companion but so too is the hungu, an ancient musical instrument.

Arthur Metcalf
USA, 2007, 3’45
Even bubblewrap has feelings. Lots of feelings. Especially when you start popping them one at a time. They begin to wonder out loud which bubble will be next.

Direct link (Sorry, I couldn’t embed this one)

Emma Curtis

UK, 2008, 3’30

A totally engaging documentary about dedicated collectors of treasure, trinkets and ephemera.

MIAF 2009 Film of the Fest:

Chris Landreth
Canada, 2009, 11’00
Oscar® winner Chris Landreth returns with a poignant story of redemption that takes us into the relationship between a man and a woman trapped in a spiral of mutual destruction after 26 years of marriage.

Digging what other students dig

I had my first winter term subject today and all of the tutorials for that subject are online.  When this happens the group of students are normally asked to introduce themselves and post something which inspires them on the discussion board.  It’s always interesting to see what students admire from all the different forms of design disciplines teached at the University (communication, multimedia, interior, industrial, product and film). Here are some of todays highlights:

Claes Oldenburg




Roy Lichtenstein







Frank Lloyd Wright








Modular Lighting System by Molo

light softblock





Petrina Hicks








Patricia Piccinini








Fujifilm mini instax 7s







Yayoi Kusama










H. R. Giger






Paul Sahre





Zaha Hadid






Kazuyo Sejima


sejima - zollverein




Jarratt Moody – Typography




Behind the scenes at FoxSportsNews

Contrary to popular belief, I actually do work for a living.  One of my main gigs over the past few years has been working as a director at FoxSportsNews.  Here’s a bit of a look behind the camera for you.

Firstly the studio itself which is set up to seat a maximum of three people on the desk.  We do two sports news bulletins over the shift (much like Sports Tonight) and a hybrid news/opinion show.  One thing to point out is that Fox runs a pretty tight ship on these shows so we don’t employ any camera people.  One of my jobs is to set up the four cameras (2 CU’s, 1 two  shot, 1 wide) and then lock them off.  This works fine on most occasions as the anchors know that they can’t move around too much but you do sometimes get a guest who is quite animated, moving in and out of shot which causes me to lose hair.





Behind me you can see the set of one of the other talk shows.  I just wanted to show that the books aren’t REAL!!!




There are three monitors inside the front desk which show program, and the rundown.  Auto cue is also controlled by the anchor by a scroll wheel beside them (not pictured).





Harry, one of our audio guys in the audio booth.  The little blue box on the top of the mixer is a sound effects machine which comes in handy if your a little bored.



This is the technical directors area.  I try not to touch anything in here!  I basically cry out to the technical director if something isn’t working and hope that he/she can get it fixed.



This is the area where I mainly work in.  It’s not as scary as it seems although you will jump into hyperspace if you pull the mixing desk leaver towards you.  Thankfully I have yet to do that.  The monitor on the far right attached on the wall is designed to input the plasma content which will be looping on the front desk.  The system only has memory for thirty seconds of video (!) so you need to ingest the footage through and make sure it loops ok for each show.  You can also see that the vision mixer monitor shows all four cameras, what I’m sending out to line, and program out.  






Lastly, it should be noted that the number of crew on the Melbourne end total the grand number of THREE people.  A director, an audio director and a technical director who also doubles as a lighting director.  The show itself is based in Sydney so all graphics, tapes and of course the producer of the shows are located over there which is great for me as all I have to worry about is cutting for the conversation and let Sydney do all the rest.  Awesome!

Rotoscope Animation Assignment

This is a 2d rotoscope assignment for University which had to be all done in Flash.

The Brief:

You are to explore the creative graphic possibilities of the repeated use of 1 – 3
short animated loops, at least 12 frames in duration. Your movie should
have a lyrical theme, be at least 1 minute in length and edited to a sound track
(preferably copyright free).

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