Monday, March 14, 2016

Quick Dragon Shot

The first half of a combat sequence started last summer.   Might take another six months to finish, the file is so heavy it is difficult to work on.  Wanted more flight shots on the reel so I rendered a clean (enough) pass on the section I can get away with.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Revenge of Lamarr

I grew up in the ‘90s with parents who happily indulged my interests but were careful about overdoing it.  They would pay for a console and the occasional game, ONE was the limit.  In order to buy a Super Nintendo, I had to sell my NES in the classifieds, so on and so forth.  Likewise, I had one magazine subscription: Gamepro, a publication frequently bashed for its sophomoric approach, eight year old David was oblivious and loved it all.

We had an older machine in our house, Pentium 166, as I remember it.  It was designed and purchased as a WordPerfect fail-safe for Dad’s work, but really a result of parents who read NEWSWEEK and thought they saw the future.  They did.

That Windows 3.1 piece of hot trash was the beginning.  It barely, if ever, functioned the way it was supposed to.  Encarta 3D Encyclopedia was the go-to “LOOK AT THIS!” moment, a 650 MB CD that was ultimately a precursor to Google. That PC exposed me to everything – word processing, indexes, paint, command prompt… troubleshooting, most of all.  When Win95 emerged and I was struggling to get games running through DOS, I moved on.  Space Chase and Sim City 2000 were my favorites of the time.

Smash cut to fifth grade, Playstation is the new hot ticket.  An older friend shows me Twisted Metal and my world is changed. Nintendo’s N64 is on the rise with smooth but blurry textures, Dreamcast on the horizon looking sharp as hell. Sony fanboy, David Lamb, is struggling to accept reality.  Enter the PC loophole.

A PC is not a console, we needed both.  I distinctly remember a Half-Life preview in the lower left page of the five-page PC section of Gamepro.  It stuck with me, something about those checkerboard laminate tiles.  Did some research, greased a wheel or two, our next machine had a Celeron 400 paired with a 3DFX Voodoo Banshee.  Eventually, I had Half Life.

That was the moment, plain and simple.  Riding the tram into Black Mesa, I had zero appreciation of what was really happening, completely lost in the screen. A perfect storm of next-level 3D story-telling and a young, willing mind. The first 10 minutes of the game have never lost their impact on me.  Anytime I replay Half-Life, the opening ride serves as a chance to reflect. I am 11 year old David starting his journey.  I think about everything that lead me to that point, everything that lead me here, each time with more awareness about 'what' makes it special. I remember playing online deathmatch for the first time, 28.8k connection, my Dad coming in and asking … “you mean that guy could be living in Europe? Wow.”  The magnitude of something like that can only be appreciated as an adult.  Yea dude, WOW.

Inspectah Deck coined one of my favorite/most hilarious lyrics related to art, “I touch kids but I’m no pedophile.” ('cause he's "sick with the art.")  Valve embraced their community, put the tools in our hands, and rolled with it.  Everyone has benefitted from that. I started with Counter-Strike maps and since became an animator.  Capturing intangible ideas that penetrate further than anyone can anticipate, that’s what it’s about, man.