Keys by willi and drums by Marshall, recorded July 25 - 27 2010, Portland Oregon.
Tuesday June 9, 2009 10:46 AM
Particle systems are an interesting computer graphics technology that are typically used to create effects like fire, smoke, explosions, falling snowflakes, flocks of birds, schools of fish, etc. In this project I used instancers to copy basic geometric shapes into the position of each particle. The emission of the particles is constrained by collisions with an invisible polygon shell which is used to sculpt the flow of the particles into abstract representations of a larger shape. These shapes are used to model objects like flowers or dragonflies. The final scene was partly in response to a loose challenge by an instructor of mine, the goal being to render an entire scene using only particles and instancers. The computation of all the particle systems and physics calculations are pretty demanding of computing resources. This project is not necessarily a good example of quality character animation, but I think it was successful as a proof of concept demonstration and certainly helped me familiarize myself with Maya's (complicated, buggy) particle systems.
Yesterday Joe Howard and I set up under the I-5 bridge, next to the Hawthorne bridge in South East Portland, and played a couple of sets. The view of the city and the Willamette river was nice, the air was fresh and breezy, and the tall overpasses actually provided some really nice presence and reverb. We had some people stop by to watch and listen, dance, and share, which is always great. Later our new friend Robert stopped by and played a few songs on the old mouth harp (Harmonica). All of this was made possible with the wonderful help of Joe's brother David, who also took some great pictures. And thanks also to Amy for coming by to hang out and for helping!
The Dead recently played at the Gorge Amphitheater and we took the opportunity to share some of our music with some of the other fans. After a 5 hour drive we arrived late Friday in Quincy, Washington and proceeded to set up in the middle of the campground. The next day we played a couple of sets before and after the show. We are currently working on trimming and uploading some music and video files. Meanwhile feel free to check out some of the pictures!
I've uploaded mp3's from an impromptu jam session from last year. John Hermoso and Scott Howard cover the drums and bass/saxaphone, respectively, while I play Johns lovely 73 key Rhodes Mark 1 (with back-checks added to the key action) through a few effects pedals and a Fender tube amp. This was the first time we played together, and John caught a few tracks with his little digital recorder. You can hear the development of the second section of 70's Chick in this session. Some parts are pretty loose, but there are also some fun jams in there that we are now sharing online...Spread Tha Luv!
This short animation is basically a spoof about the incredibly long lines to test out the Nintendo Wii at E3 206.
You can also visit my YouTube page to see some of my other videos I recently uploaded.
did this for a quick laugh and it's ended up being the most popular thing I've put online
E3 2006 Summary
Wednesday April 9, 2008 6:00 AM
2007 came and went without an update on the front page of this site, although the forum did see some interesting new threads. During late 2006 I moved back to Portland, Oregon and enrolled in the Media Arts and Animation program at the Art Institute of Portland, which has kept me very busy. The biggest focus of the program is 3d computer animation using Maya, but the cirriculum encompasses 2d animation and stop-motion animation as well.
Nova Luna at Jazz Minds MP3's now online
Friday January 6, 2006 4:30 AM
Nova Luna's performance at Jazz Minds is now available for download in MP3 format! Due to some recording errors only the second half of the show is available, unfortunately, but there are still 12 songs or so - over an hour of music. They are packed together in a Zip file; it weighs in at about 111MB. You comments and input are appreciated!
Nova Luna is performing at Jazz Minds Art & Cafe on November 29 at 8:30! The night will start with some solo piano by willi around 6pm, with the band playing from about 8:30 - 11:30pm. It's going to be a trio arrangement with Ian on the electric bass and Jason on the drums. I'll probably bring a keyboard to get some electric piano and other sounds in with the grand piano they have. Jazz Minds is pretty nice inside with some cool decor, full bar, stage, and DVD projector.
I've released a modification for the Llamasoft game Gridrunner++ which replaces all the sounds and graphics with characters and effects from the Mario Bros. series of games by Nintendo. It's good for a quick laugh if you are familiar with Nintendo's ability to place Mario characters in seemingly any type of game, or if you are a fan of Gridrunner++. It works with both the Mac OS X and Windows PC versions. You can download here, or visit the games section for more info.
on a new music album in the studio, and hope to have it
done within a few months. I've already got a couple of
tracks in progress, although it's difficult for me to leave
things well enough alone -- I want to tweak and edit on
and on and on, and I'm not totally satisfied in the end.
At some point I just have to wash my hands of it and consider
the work to be a 'snapshot' of my current style and stuff.
The album itself is a mix of some older songs of mine that
I'm finally getting around to doing a full production version
of, as well as some new songs I'm coming up with as I'm
working on the album. There are also going to be a few
'atmospheric' sounds and stuff between tracks, hopefully
helping to bring it all together into a complete work.
I'll be working with some friends of mine to fill out the
sound, including Tavana on guitar and the infamous Ric
Gonzalez on bass.
reworked the layout slightly, as well as having integrated
a variety of new gear, Particle
Storm is back in production
mode. I'm working with some different music producers on
a few small audio projects, and doing some early planning
for a few upcoming video productions.
Well, the site
has been online for a few weeks now after recovering from
some downtime. I had some problems with phpBB hackers messing
with the forums again, which was sort of to be expected
given that I was once again behind on updating the phpBB software
to patch some known vulnerabilities. Fortunately they have
implemented a version checking feature in the Admin panel,
so you can see a little more readily if there are any updates
available (hmm, it seems there is one now..). I've also
enabled a image-code generator thing that is required in
order to create an account now.. it's another nice new
feature in phpBB, and should hopefully help cut down on
the amount of annoying spammers that Newt has been kind
enough to help deal with.
on, and I've had the pleasure of meeting Stephen
Kay (programmer of the awesome KARMA2 features of Korg's
new OASYS keyboard)
as well as the legendary Bob Moog. It's the first time I
had a chance to play a Moog,
which has plenty of knobs and has gained a touchpanel in
the latest iterations. I also 'played' a theremin,
although it is a bit confusing and quite sensitive.
I've also played
with the Hammond XK-3
a bit, and it's nice although I've also become quite interested
in the Nordelectro
2. The electro doesn't have real drawbars, so I hadn't
been considering it, but it plays very nice and sounds great.
In addition, it's pretty light weight and not too expensive.
In comparison, Korg's OASYS is scheduled to be available
around April 2005 at a price of about $8,000.
It's not really
a fair comparison though, as the OASYS may be more expandable
and capable in the long run. It already features built in
audio recording and sequencing, CD burning, etc. It's running
on a Pentium 4 CPU and supports various types of software
synthesis, which could theoretically be expanded down the
line. It supports at least 1GB of memory, though it's unclear
whether the 256MB included is soldered in or if that is in
a single DIMM slot. There is a 40GB hard drive inside, and
there are two built in mic pre-amp/combo inputs as well as
two additional 1/4" inputs, for use with the built in
16-track audio recording. Audio recording is integrated with
the built in sequencer.
The retro action shooter game Gridrunner++, which features some of the sprites I've created and released, has been ported to Mac OSX. The port actually has some upgraded graphics features, like bilinear filtering at high resolutions and a native widescreen mode. The game also has web-enabled internet high scores now, so you can compete with other players around the world for the best score. And perhaps best of all, the game runs extremely well on a Mac, enabling the "TurboNutterMode" which runs about twice as fast as the game used to. It's quite intense, and there is a free demo available. Check it out!
I'm currently in Los Angeles for NAMM, the big music trade show. I'm going to go get my badge and finish my registration soon, and the actual show starts tomorrow. It lasts until Sunday and I'll be back Monday night. It's been pretty cool so far, and there are going to be a lot of cool things at the show. Hopefully I'll make some good contacts for my music and studio, and I'm particularly looking forward to the Moog, Hammond, and Korg booths. I've been told by a reliable source that the KARMA might see an update at the show, and hopefully I'll be able to play a lot of keyboards I've been trying to decide amongst based on specs and catalog photos alone.
The website is working again, although there are of course things I'd like to change, upgrade, or add. My DVD project that was giving me replication headaches has finally passed mastering and duplication phases so that is a big weight off my shoulders. I'm looking at doing a couple of new studio projects when I get back, including new Nova Luna and turbowilli++ albums, and some recording/producing projects with some friends bands back in Hawaii including West Coast Boys, Big Trouble Rock Band, Andre Derizans & Zion Band, Freesound, and a few others.