This month marks twenty-five years of the web.
Enjoy the FIRST-EVER cat video, from nearly one hundred years before the web. A film recorded in Edison’s office of boxing cats, which neatly ties together the history of a place that has become a bastion for thieves, Copyright infringement and other debauchery, via a motion picture, which Edison stole the patent for by murdering Louis Le Prince.
Hooray progress. Thanks, Al Gore.
“‘There have been complaints as well about him leaving sandwich crumbs behind, falling asleep during interviews, using an exorbitant amount of talc in the later rounds…'”
[family member who asked not to be named but plays part of Wife enters room]
Speaking of the Olympics, it would seem as though things are worse than the media would lead you to believe in Brazil. Take the Olympic Village for example. Granted, one doesn’t come to expect five-star accommodations in a third-world country, but the lack of reliable Wi-Fi (and en-suite plumbing… and a roof), but you really begin to see how bringing in Venezuelan decorators may have been a mistake.
On the bright side, however, it’s nice to see Motel 6 upping their game on the international stage, and hiring what appears to be at least one part-time maid for the duration of the event.
If you’ve ever abandoned all fear and simply wanted to know the thoughts that go through my head, here’s a sample from the “Television in BrianLand” File:
“Tonight on Miming Towns of the Old West, Marcel Montana. We’ll visit a place where the winds rip so violently through the main square that residents have evolved to walk at a near sixty-degree angle.”
[cut to scene of cowboys leaning against non-existent boxes while one pulls on an imaginary rope to lead an equally imaginary horse – VOICEOVER: “Yes, it’s never a dull day here in Marcel, sister city to Paris, France. Here we see Bose ‘Mr. Pockets’ Ketchum wrangling some lunch!”]
“We’ll visit the high-security prison [wide shot of three men “trapped” in an imaginary cube], and get to know a four-hundred pound local known only as ‘Tumbleweed.'”
Having gone well off of the beaten path again lately, I thought it would be nice to revisit the original theme of this blog for a bit, and look behind the scenes of some renderings. What do you say?
A peek at the process:
Starting with the tried-and-true box method to nail perspective and proportions, I sketch the essential shapes and components (taking time to design a wheel, too!), and then scan the sketch, and begin the heavy lifting in Illustrator. Around forty-nine layers in total, this one is relatively straightforward, with only minor custom changes, allowing for a little more time to play in the details.
No presets, meshes or brushes, just paths and pen tool. There’s a lot to be said for using the basic tools, and I find it to be a very Zen experience; it becomes the art of massaging your brain while working. It can get tedious, but the key is in finding a rhythm, wherein you can alternate between left and right brain, solving little design and engineering issues as you make everything look “right” or “cool.”
My goal is a smooth, clean piece which retains some of the raw lines, but with a heavy focus on getting the little stuff in all of the right places:
Speaking of playing in the details, lets’ take a peek at the hundreds of paths that sometimes need to be squeezed into a fraction of an inch with some custom ‘Cuda tail lamps. In this case, we were looking at creating the concept art to show the customer what ’71 Charger lamps would look like in his ’70 ‘Cuda (see here for more on that!):
From paths upon paths to a detailed illustration:
A behind-the-scenes look at the rendering for the project, working from a loose box guide to sketch, and then into Illustrator for around forty hours of pen tool work, this time strictly using the mouse as my hands weren’t cooperating:
One more piece for this installment, and a rendering that was a big challenge and a ton of fun at the same time, as it required creating something that didn’t yet exist, and finding a way to create a unique spin on the classic belly tank-based land speed car:
Working with just the basic plan, it was a matter of packaging everything neatly and orderly, and then making the aesthetic work. Starting with the tried-and-true box method, I git the perspective working in my favor, and worked to get the parts and pieces that my client wanted showing, and then built upon that foundation once the loos sketch was scanned and in Illustrator. The post work in Photoshop brings the whole thing to life, and it took lot of restraint to avoid losing the original hand-drawn feel. I think it worked out in the end:
Conversation Gone Awry: Dinner With the Youngest/Vocabulary Skills Edition:
“So how was school today?
“OK. We talked about a lot of stuff in Technology.”
“Do you know what ‘patricide’ is?”
“I’m not certain that I like where this is headed.”
“It’s when you kill your Dad.”
“You want dessert? Maybe a car?”
“…and there’s matricide.”
“Or mattress-cide. But that takes a lot of planning and upper body strength. I mean you can’t be too covert carrying around a California King… or better, a QUEEN-SIZE, and then snuffing someone with it, and running away. That would really confuse the cops, though. ‘Detective, we’re stumped. All of these victims appear to have been suffocated by something heavy, but soft.'”
“OOH! ‘But they look comfortable. No pressure points.'”
“Yes! We need an ’80’s cop one-liner… ‘I guess his sleep-number came up.'”
“‘The best AND worst night’s sleep EVER.'”
“BETTER: There’s a copy-cat murderer who is dragging around an old Craftmatic Adjustable bed. He gets caught quickly, though. Those are heavy, I’d imagine.”
“Why not just use a pillow?”
“This guy is too crafty for that. He tailors the mattress to the victim. ‘This bastard here… He’s getting futon-ed.’ Maybe his grand finale is dropping a sleeper sofa from a roof…”
“You’re weird, Dad.”
Oh, Hollywood, when will you learn?
NO ONE wants to see a classic movie like Ghostbusters ruined by changing it all up to become some all-woman buddy movie, as evidenced by the deafening silence in theaters. You re-make, re-launch and re-define everything until the life is sucked from it time and again, and we the viewing public take the brunt of the abuse.
I’d suggest pulling out of these cluster-fucks once and for all, and not subjecting us to any more “creative” torture. Please don’t even consider casting Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Jennifer Lawrence in Band of Sisters. Or thinking along that line, Rosie O’Donnell as Henrietta Hill in Goodsisters, or skipping ahead into The Godmother: Part II starring Angelina Jolie. Dirty Harriet starring Sandra Locke, or Kate Beckinsale in the relaunch of Lethal (But Stylish!) Weapon. Jennifer Garner and Janeane Garofalo in a comic team-up relaunch of the Charles Bronson Death Wish series (could even go all wicked witch/fairy princess-like and make it about a fantasy wish of death OR an empowering film about a female extreme sports junkie in true Hollywood bullshit fashion), or a Smokey and the Bandit relaunch with Sandra Bullock and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah (with Lena Dunham and Gabourey Sidibe as a mixed-race, plus-size, same-sex cop duo)… Or dare you cross the line into sacred territory and completely ruin Caddyshack by making it a feel-good, all-female Summer romp starring Jodie Foster, Jane Lynch, Meredith Baxter and Sara Gilbert, in which the main plot centers around liberal talking points and female empowerment, set against the backdrop of the Bush Presidency. The Diva Dozen could be an ensemble musical which is anchored by the return to the big screen of Lindsay Lohan, while the more eco-sensitive classic chase scene from Bullitt could have a bio diesel-powered Volvo pitted against a Prius, but filmed somewhere relatively flat, like Kate Hudson.
Again, Hollywood, these are not pitches. It’s time to go home and rethink some things. What do you say?
Far be it for me to dump on a dream, but no matter how good the food or service or atmosphere, I’d imagine that the hardest part of opening your own artisanal grilled cheese sandwich restaurant would be realizing that you’d never really have any “regular” customers.