Art: Acheron “Briareos” d’Tana

Here’s a character sketch I did for a fellow member of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. Acheron, modeled after Briareos Hecatonchires from the Anime film Appleseed, is depicted here with sub machine guns. Using a toy as a reference, I drew this with my Intuos3 tablet. Overall, I liked the way it came out!

Acheron

myPlymouth: Thanksgiving Theme

Thursday before Thanksgiving, users of the myPlymouth portal at Plymouth State were greeted by an altered header graphic similar to that of the Halloween theme I had done for the previous month.

This one, however, changed daily for 9 days. Here’s the sequence:

Thursday:
Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Friday:
Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Saturday:
Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Sunday:
Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Monday:
Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Tuesday:
Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Wednesday:
Day 7

Thursday (The flames flickered ever so slightly):
Thanksgiving Day

Friday – Monday:
Day 9

Now, once I finished that final graphic Dan approached me and made a funny request. He wanted a special little violent ending for himself. The thought of a custom final header for a few sketchy people sounded fun…so I obliged with this header that showed for a mere 5 people on campus:

Day 9 Alternate

In addition to the internal alteration of the header, I did another alteration on the login page for the Tuesday and Wednesday before as well as the Thursday of Thanksgiving. My pal, the turkey, showed up in place of the random image. Here he is:

Thanksgiving in myPlymouth

Overall, the header was well received be the campus feuling my desire to come up with something nifty for the coming holidays! A special thanks to Ken, Zach, and Dan for giving good content suggestions and allowing me to bounce ideas off them!

myPlymouth: Halloween Theme

As I alluded to on my last post, on Halloween, Zach, Dan, and I unveiled a new feature in Plymouth State University‘s portal. Plymouth State will begin customizing the myPlymouth logo and/or the entire header withing the portal.

Using some snazzy CSS easter-egg functionality combined with some PHP, we can dynamically alter the look of the portal and target customizations to the entire campus, groups of people, or individuals. On Halloween, we customized and targeted the entirety of our user population with the following header theme. We changed this:

Default myPlymouth Header

To this:

myPlymouth Halloween Header

The Halloween theme was a surprise to the campus and received a number of good reviews and comments! The theme didn’t reduce the portal’s functionality, it simply gave it a nice candy coating to add a little flair. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the layout (which is actually made up of 7 images). Due to the excitement around the Halloween theme, the campus can be sure that more are coming!

As I mentioned before, targeting the entire campus is doable along with targeting groups of people and individuals. Needless to say the targeting capabilities of this can be exploited by…well…by me. And I’ve had some fun exploiting it, too! Here’s a couple of fun ones that I targeted at specific users:

This header was targeted at my manager, Ken:

myPlymouth: Ken

This one is targeted at Dee:

myPlymouth: Dee

Here’s one that I targeted at Dan and Zach:

myPlymouth: Lame

Fun times. So far, Dan, Zach, and I have some pretty sexy ideas for what can be done…ranging from minor tweaks to the logo (similar to the goofy ones I did above), to fully customized headers (like the Halloween one), all the way to full blown themes that customize a larger portion of myPlymouth. I look forward to getting creative with what I can draw and implement.

Art: Turkey Sketch

I’ve begun the design of custom headers for holiday themed portal action in Plymouth State University‘s portal. Here’s a quick turkey sketch I did with my Wacom tablet in preparation for a Thanksgiving themed header. I’m still a little undecided on what I plan to do with the header as a whole. I have a few weeks to figure that out, I suppose :)

Turkey

Drawing: Female Yuuzhan Vong Warrior

Female Yuuzhan Vong Warrior

Here’s a drawing of a female Yuuzhan Vong Warrior I did for the Dark Jedi Brotherhood using my Intuos 3 Wacom Tablet (You can click the image for a larger version). She has a very high sloping forehead, complete with tattoos, scarring, and topknot. She is clad in Vonduun Crab armor and wields an amphistaff.

Fun With My Wacom

Orv Desktop Background

I’ve been having some serious fun as of late with my Intuos Art Pad. Honestly, I haven’t done much drawing since my Alien Sketch back in July. I didn’t realize how much I was missing ;) Well, ever since getting back into Star Wars, I’ve had an urge to do more drawings…well, actually drawings have been asked of me and I’ve happily obliged.

I’m pumped and ready to hone my skills even more…From these sketches I can tell that I’m pretty rusty but things will come around! Here are a few of the other drawings/crests I’ve done as of late:

Rokir Family Crest Etah Phoenix Faces Kosk Qel-Droma Battle Team Crest

Drawing: Mejas Doto, Dark Jedi Master

Here’s an image I did for a member of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, a Star Wars club on-line with a focus on computer gaming, writing, and roleplaying. Anyways, this member collects images of his character and thus commissioned one from me. Here’s the final product:

Older Mejas Doto

Along the way, I saved various steps I took while creating the image…its interesting to look back and see the progress.

Mejas Doto Step 1
Initial sketch, general layout for the character.

Mejas Doto Step 2
Darkened in certain areas, defining key parts of the Jedi Master. Created the face and head markings.

Mejas Doto Step 3
Finished basic darkening, began coloring in the skin.

Mejas Doto Step 4
Defined clothing and colored under-tunics.

Mejas Doto Step 5
Defined cloak and clothing even more and continued coloring.

Mejas Doto Step 6
Finished clothing definition and coloring.

Mejas Doto Step 7
Thickened lines, shortened middle finger, filled in gaps, added a black background.

Mejas Doto Step 8
Fixed hand and added Force lightning…blue lines, Gaussian blur, faded brush strokes.

Mejas Doto Step 9
Drew lightsaber and added blade. Defined right hand a little more.

MejasDoto
Original final rendition with sweet red background.

Older Mejas Doto
Re-done final rendition…aged Mejas Doto appropriately…he’s no teenager as the previous version implied.

Thats all she wrote! The picture took about 6 hours on my Wacom Tablet. Much fun was head and it was good to break the tablet in again! Its been far too long.

Dube Juggling Equipment

Dube I’m a newbie juggler. Despite the fact that I consider myself a novice, I’ve been juggling off and on for about 5 years. Cliff over at Spiralbound.net was the guy who got me interested in juggling back in my freshman year of college and I got by with some cheap beanbags that I picked up at a bookstore.

It wasn’t until a year later that I bought my first decent Juggling items… Dube was my juggling store of choice. Dube equipment is high quality with a decent amount of customization to allow you to get the look you want. The juggling equipment available at Dube ranges from beanbags to cigar boxes, from bowler hats to unicycles.

The only drawback to Dube is their site as it looks like it was constructed in the 90′s. It could definately use a revamp. But thats beside the point :)

To date I’ve purchased:

  • 3 Silicon Juggling Balls
  • 3 European Clubs
  • 6 Phatboyz Clubs
  • 3 Juggling Knives (w/ cases)
  • 1 Set of Poi

I’m impressed with the quality and longevity of the above listed items. Its only now (after 5 years) that I will need to replace the decoration on my first set of Phatboyz clubs. w00t.

Intuos Alien: Aerek

I’ve been playing around with my Intuos Tablet and I’m loving it. I think I’m slowing getting the hang of things. The only issues I’ve been having is working with the photoshop interface…I’m not used to interacting with it with a pen. Proficiency will come in time, I suppose.

I did the quick alien doodle (below) in Photoshop over my lunch break. That’s a creature that I came up with a few years back that I tend to sketch a lot. I figured I should christen my tablet with him. Fear the weapon wielding naked thing.

Fun cartooning. w00t w00t.

Aerek

First Intuos3 Sketch

I just bought an Wacom Intuos3 9X12 USB Tablet for all my art and doodling needs. Here’s a brief description on what the product is:

Intuos3 gives you the power to quickly and professionally edit photos and create digital artwork by turning on the full power of Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, and over 100 other leading software applications. Intuos3 tablets now put ExpressKeys and Touch Strips right at your fingertips for convenient keyboard shortcuts, scrolling, zooming, brush size control, and more. Wacom’s Penabled technology gives you the natural feel and superior performance of Wacom’s patented cordless and battery-free tablet technology. You’ll find that using an Intuos pen, mouse, and tablet gives you more control, comfort, and productivity. Alternating between the comfortable Grip Pen and the ergonomic five-button Intuos3 mouse reduces repetitive motion. It’s an easy and natural way to work.

It just arrived and I installed the drivers, plugged the sucker in, and fired up Adobe Photoshop to give the thing a whirl. Here’s what I did in my first 2 minutes:

First Intuos3 Sketch

The thing is extremely easy to use but will take a little getting used to. I’ll be posting more on the tablet when I get a better chance to sit down and play. So far, I like the way it allows me to be have sketchiness that is common in rough drawings on paper…makes it seem real. The pen is pretty comfortable and the thickness of the lines is influenced by the pressure you apply to the tablet. To erase stuff…simply flip the pen upside down and erase like you would a normal pencil. That is just cool. Once again, the eraser is influenced by pressure.

Anyhow…more to come.

Enormous Pink Bunny

My friend Randy just created his blog and one of his posts struck me as funny and a little scary. It seems that a Viennese art group called Gelatin have constructed the giant stuffed pink bunny you see to your left. The thing seems to be stuffed with hay and its ‘skin’ was knitted by “dozens of grannies out of pink wool.” It must have taken FOREVER to knight that much wool. Check out this blog post about the large bunny.

The 200 foot toy is expected to stay there, on the side of this 5,000 foot high mountain (Colletto Fava in northern Italy’s Piedmont region) for 20 years, until 2025.

Thats a long time for such an eye sore. The art group that has created this massive rabbit has a number of other pretty excentric projects as well. Check them out if you are interested…warning…some of the art projects are pretty sketchy and a little gross.

Web Expressions – Creativity

Creativity In an assignment I gave on the first day of the Web Expressions class that I’m teaching, I assigned the reading of an essay then asked everyone to answer these questions:

  1. When are you the most creative?
  2. What are the necessary conditions for creativity?

I received an e-mail from someone asking me to clarify what I was asking you to do. Here’s my reply: (I made some edits so the e-mail looks prettier on my blog)

This assignment is pretty free-form…and should be answered however you can think to answer it. This class is a combination of web-centered topics AND creativity…which is what makes it so cool. (in my opinion) The article I had you read delves into a creative process and explains how it isn’t always as easy as one might think at first glance. It takes practice. As the article states, art is a mixture of ideas, logic, order, harmony, drawing, line, form, passion, romantic ideas, feelings, and masses of color.

With the questions I’m asking, I’m not assuming that everyone is an artist, but people can be creative. Art and creativity spans from painting to doodling, from music to planning an activity with friends, etc. The two questions that have been asked aren’t necessarily separate questions and can be answered as one. I want you to think outside the box. There is no right answer, so think deeply :)

So:

When are you most creative? What are the necessary conditions for creativity? (i.e. what environment do you like to be in? What mood? What time of day? What events need to happen? Can you only be creative while wearing a bear suit and standing on one foot? That type of stuff)

If you haven’t been introduced to the wonderful power of Wikipedia, now’s your chance. Check out Wikipedia’s entry on Creativity. Its got some decent info that you may find interesting and helpful in answering your questions (if you have reached a stumbling block).

You may be wondering…”Why are we even discussing creativity?”
Well, thats a good question. If you see this prior to class, give it some thought. I’ll be asking you to answer this on Friday. (a.k.a. class participation)

If you have anything to add to this blog entry or would like to spur a discussion, by all means use the comment feature on this blog. (a.k.a. class participation)

To make comments: There is a link on the top line beneath the title of this article that says “Comments.” Click that then scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see a place to enter your name, e-mail, website, and your comment.

UPDATE:
Oh, and here is the agenda for tomorrow’s class:

  • Creativity Discussion
  • Creativity Activity
  • More on Blogs
  • Moron Blogs

ASCII Star Wars

SW ASCII I’ve never seen this…perhaps I’m a little late. Fine. I’m about a decade too late. Star Wars Episode IV done in complete animated ASCII art. Very cool. Being such a huge Star Wars fan, I’m unsure how this escaped my radar completely but it did until my co-worker Jon received a sweet e-mail telling how to access it which he graciously forwarded to me. w00t!

Instructions:

- Open a telnet window (a windows Command Prompt would do fine)

- type: telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

- watch and enjoy :)

For more sweet Star Wars video action, you should check out the video a bunch of us at work thought of and created: Watto Pr0n!