Space is Huge

The other day I had an idea for a potential new Illogical product. What if I could find a way to visualize the Earth’s orbit in a way that is both unique and scientifically accurate? I thought maybe I could use some fun math to help me out.

The diameter of the Earth is 7,918 miles. In addition to that, the Earth’s average distance from the sun is about 93,000,000 miles. So my question was this: if two people stood on opposite ends of the earth and aimed a laser at the sun, what angle would their beams meet at? In addition to that, I wanted to get a nice visualization of the math as it pertained to Earth’s orbit (remember, that was the original goal) so I wanted to know what an arc of that measure would look like. By cutting that angle out of a circle, we could get an approximate visualization of how much perceivable curvature the Earth’s orbit has over the distance that the Earth occupies on it. In other words, if you bent a giant wire in a circle around the Sun so that it matched up perfectly with the Earth’s orbit (yes, I know the Earth doesn’t orbit in a circle, but remember we are averaging here), what would the section of that wire that actually intersects our planet look like?

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Space is Huge

Made in the Future

I just finished a motion graphic about 3D printing. My goal was to create something that would bring the technology to the attention of creative people who could utilize it to express themselves. All of the assets were created in Illustrator and animated in After Effects (except for one tiny snippet that was created in Maya). Check it out:

Check out the Behance project for this video for a bunch of fun looping GIFs (and, you know, to appreciate the project/view my other work).

And yes, I did steal the Shapeways slogan for the title of this post. I just find it to be so appropriate for how I feel about 3D printing.

Made in the Future

A Taste of Things to Come

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I just received a package I’ve been anticipating for a while. A new coaster! I know, coasters are kind of a lame thing to be excited about. Especially single coasters (what, no matching set?). But this coaster is special. I designed it from scratch and had it 3d printed in ceramics. It’s design is based off of a mathematical formula (I’m sure some of you viewing this will be able to guess which one) as part of a new product line I’m working on. More details on that are forthcoming but for now enjoy this one picture as an informal teaser.

A Taste of Things to Come

SIGGRAPH 2012

This past week I had the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I flew to Los Angeles to take part in the 2012 SIGGRAPH conference. Not only that, but through the Student Volunteer program I got to help run the convention and attend special programs.

I arrived at the convention hall two days early to begin my duties as a Student Volunteer. I also got to  meet my fellow SVs and discovered just how easy it is to make friends with people who share the dane interests as you. In fact, everyone at the convention was happy and easy to get along with. That made sales support and gatekeeping jobs much more enjoyable. Of course, some jobs were downright fun anyway, such as when I got to help run a Panasonic booth showcasing an experimental holographic touchless-input display.

The exhibition hall was the main attraction at the conference. There, major companies, studios, schools, and shops had booths showcasing their wares. They also held workshops and discussions in the exhibition hall along with plenty of raffles and free giveaways, including the fabled Pixar Renderman teapot. At the back of the exhibition hall was a job fair featuring studios such as Disney Animation, Naughty Dog, and Sony Productions.

My personal favorite part of the convention was the Computer Animation Festival. It’s a film festival dedicated solely to digital graphics. Not only were tons of really creative shorts shown (Disney, of course, wowed the crowd with their Paper Man video) but also vfx reels for major films such as The Avengers and The Amazing Spiderman.

There were too many incredible events and experiences for me to write about in this short little post (even moreso because this is my first-ever post written from my phone) but I hope the message is clear. If you’re an artist or an enthusiast or maybe just somewhat interested in graphics SIGGRAPH is the place to be. I only hope I  can go back next year!

SIGGRAPH 2012

3D printed wax seals

Have you ever wanted something simply because it was cool? That’s how I felt one night about having a custom wax seal. No, I am not a gentleman in the 1800s who writes formal letters to all of my sophisticated friends. In fact, I haven’t written a letter – an actual, on-paper letter – in years. That doesn’t make the prospect of having quirky, gentlemanly things any less enticing. Of course, being the nerd that I am I couldn’t stand for simply paying a company to put my design into a standard stamp-cutting machine (I’m fairly certain those exist). I opted instead for a route that will not surprise followers of this blog in the slightest. If you hadn’t already guessed by the title of this post, I’m talking about 3D printing. I designed my “logo” in Adobe Illustrator and then imported it into 3ds Max. There, following measurements taken from a pre-made wax stamp (turns out they give you a free stamp head when you buy the handle, who knew?) I created my own custom version. I also created a leaner “economic” version for a friend who didn’t want his personal stamp to be as expensive. In the end they came out to around $20 and $30, respectively. Adding the $8 for each handle and this little venture is just starting to push into the realm of “why did I waste my money on this?” but that’s alright. It’s still classy as hell.

3D printed wax seals

Yay Instructables!

I got an interesting email a few days ago. It was from Instructables, telling me that I had a featured article and had thus earned a free 3-month pro membership. Considering I’ve only written 2 Instructables ever, this was a bit surprising. I checked it out and, as it turns out, one of the editors of the site found my 3d printing tutorial and liked it enough to feature it. I thought it was great; my tutorial was featured on a prominent DIY site, was gaining more recognition, and was helping people. I figured that would be the end of it. But then I kept receiving emails. The article had been given new life. People were commenting, asking me for questions, giving praise. And then I got a second email from Instructables. My article is now featured and on the homepage of their site. Plus I got another 12 months of free pro membership. Not bad, huh?

You can check out both Instructables and my tutorial here.

Yay Instructables!