Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas 2009

Merry Christmas 2009! And I pray you all have a fun, safe and happy new years eve for 2010!!
God bless

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

STAR TREK: The Art of Film is here!

Here's a review of the book! I still haven't seen it yet but it looks to be a pretty complete art-of book, unlike most that only include pre-production art. Check it out!

OK I actually had a chance to check it out in person, it's a great art book, nice thick paper and all, BUT my big issue is that they removed everyone's names from the artwork!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????? And didn't even number them for the index, so you have no idea who did what
:-\ LAME
Sure there is a credit list in the back, but it's not very accurate because it lists by pages, but the art on that page may have been done by up to 3-4 different artists. And there will be a quote by one artist on a page, but 90% of the art on that page was by someone else....
Other than that, it IS a great book and covers a large portion of the artwork from all phases of production. I personally would like to thank Yanick Dusseault, Jerome Moo, Warren Fu and Dave Yee for their help on the ILM side of things.
Enjoy and Happy late Thanksgiving!

more reviews here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memorable Melbourne Trip...

It was a memorable visit to melbourne to give a talk for Semi-Permanent design conference. First off the trip getting to Australia was very, well.... LONG. Usually it is a long trip, but this one was made a bit a longer all because of a single bird....
     Shortly after take off from LAX our Qantas 747 struck a bird, right in the nose cone of the plane. No only did it cause a huge crater in the nose of the craft, but internally it took out the planes weather radar. So once the plane got to cruising altitude the pilot announced, "we struck a bird after take off, unfortunately it damaged our weather radar and we can't fly across the ocean without it, so we'll need to return to LAX and assess the damage, but first we need to dump our fuel over the ocean, that will take about an hour. Also you'll need to stay overnight in L.A. until we can get a new plane into service..."  D'oh!
    here's a photo of the damage one little bird caused to a huge 747.....

But once we finally arrived in Melbourne we had a great time. The conference was held at the brand new Melbourne Convention Center which was pretty cool in it's self!

    I had a great time talking with LA artist Jeff Soto, the guys from Three Drunk Monkeys, and the rest of the speakers as well as Murray Bell and Andrew and the crew of organizers. I also had a chance to speak to some of the attendees at the after party. 
    It was a great event and I  hope to be able to speak at future events!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

speakin' down und'a

I'll be doing a talk in Melbourne Australia this weekend! Semi-Permanentdesign conference has graciously invited me to share with the Australian design crowd. If you're 'in the area' grab a ticket and come on by :). I'll be sharing a bit of ILM history, some of my own history as well as a behind the scenes look into our work on Transformers and Star Trek and others. There are several other speakers as well including music video directors and print design artists. Check out the line up on their website -Alx

Saturday, September 26, 2009

CCS has grown... sadly Detroit hasn't...

After a nice visit back to the College for Creative Studies, I had the chance to explore campus and the surrounding area. The school has grown massively since 1993. The school had built a new Ford building a few years ago which now houses the clay modeling studios as well as other design classrooms. Sitting in the lobby of the building was a relic of the 90's, a red Saturn EV1. A car I thought was all but history in a scrap yard according to the film "Who killed the electric car?". They also recently were given the historic GM Design building and put a massive 145 million dollar renovation into it. It now houses dorms, classrooms for design classes, as well as an elementary and high-school!
The areas around the school haven't changed a whole lot. While the old Ferry houses have been renovated into the Inn on Ferry st. Some blocks have been wiped clean into vacant lots, while some have new developments and others are left as they were... full of old abandoned and fire charred buildings. The new Comerica Park right on Woodward is a bright spot, the downtown is still a boarded up ghost town of empty storefronts and broken windows. In fact I just had a brief trip to LA and was buying something to read on the flight and noticed TIME magazine's cover was on the Tragedy of Detroit! It stated that the unemployment rate in the city is 28.8% !!! And that over 20% of the buildings are empty or abandoned. At it's peak Detroit was a city of 1.9 million people.... today that number is less than 900,000!! More than half of the population has left! They went on to say that in order for the city to grow again it may have to shrink first. Meaning that they should abandon huge sections of the city and turn them into parks and compress the people into a smaller more controllable footprint for Police, fire and sanitation to handle in a city with a $275 million dollar deficit. Staggering numbers that show in the number of broken windows in 30 story buildings left to rot back to the earth.
It's still hard to tell if now is a good time to start from scratch there or do like the auto industry (and the other half of the people) and leave for greener pastures. One store front in particular caught my eye, a single corner window pane with an orange wall with the words "Detroit, Everything WILL be alright". I hope so.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Upcoming talks

I'll be in Detroit on September 19th to speak at the College For Creative Studies for the students as a representative of ILM along with folks from Pixar and other design and entertainment companies.
Then in October I'll be Melbourne Australia to talk at the Semi-Permanent Design Conference.

Monday, August 31, 2009

San Francisco Motors_ Coronet

I entered another design competition on Local Motors. This time the design was to be a 'shooting brake' design for San Francisco. Based on specific dimensions and an electric motor and battery pack, the competition was to make a realistic design that could be built now. With the kid and work I did this design in one night.
Voting is over. One of these days I'll have enough time to put in a good effort, this one suffered from a lack luster front end design, but got high scores on it's profile and other aspects.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Star Trek: The Art of the Film -Pre-order!

Hey everyone, the new Star Trek Movie will be out on DVD in November and along with the release they are also making an Art of the Film book filled with all the great art done both in pre-production and post-production. Look for art from Ryan Church, James Clyne, John Eaves, Tony Kieme and myself and many more. A must-have for any Star Trek fan and concept artist!
It's available for pre-order on Amazon right now for $10 off the retail price! It will be released on Novemebr 17th.
reserve your copy today!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Axis W.I.P. in 'Clay'

Just doing some surface refinement and still plugging away on details. I thought I'd revert it back to a solid color to see the forms and how they floe together. It helps show where it needs a little tweaking and it's kinda like the clay model process without the mess... or the smell.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Axis work in progress #3

Here's an update on the Axis model. I've cut the door panels and glass, re-shaped the pillar and added a few details like the underside ground effects. Still adjusting a few shapes and adding details. I'm not sure i like the colored panel on the nose, I may keep it all glass and carbon fiber. You can now see the tandem seating layout in one of these pics as well as the scale of the car. The dark colored side blade is a half door for the rear passenger. Also still in the works are the placement of the headlights. I've drawn them in in Photoshop to get a feel for them here.
lots more to come! stay tuned!

Monday, July 27, 2009

old tank painting

A little something that's been on the website that I thought I'd post here until I get something new up :-P
This was done for an alternate reality story for a graphic novel that I don't know if it will ever get made... but it was fun to do.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Axis W.I.P. in white

Nothing terribly new since yesterday. I'm still working on details and on the door cuts.
enjoy these white renders,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Axis W.I.P. #2

Here's an update on the progression of the Jaeger Axis in Modo. I've been refining some shapes and working on the way the back end comes together. I also upgraded to Modo 401, so I now have some wonderful new preset shaders and environments to work with. I've added under-wing diffusers and refined the 'wings' to the wheels a bit more. The headlights in these renders are just temp colored faces. The final lights will be different as will the pillars.
As I am still modeling the shaders and textures are just temp as well, but here's a nice metallic looking blue and red, as well as a brushed aluminum :)
enjoy, thanks for stopping by and keep checking back for updates!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the JAEGER AXIS work in progress

Here's my second 3D model in Modo. The first one was a good basic starting point, but I thought this one would be more of a challenge:) The Jaeger Axis is a tandem 2 seat hydrogen powered car. There is a rough interior on this model to make sure it all fits, but just basics. I'm focusing on the exterior design at the moment. Mainly I had the original design drawing, but I really wanted to see this thing from other angles to make sure it worked. So here's what I have so far. I've made a few minor alterations from the drawing, but so far I'm pretty happy that it's all working and looking cool in 3D. (it means my 3D thinking when drawing it is still working :)
And of course the Axis is made by Jaeger Tech Design :P
enjoy, and let me know what you think so far!
-think above and beyond!

Monday, June 22, 2009

THE PACIFIC! Band of Bothers 2!

The original HBO series 'Band of Brothers' is soon to be followed up by a second mini series 'The Pacific'! If you haven't seen the original series which follows the 101st Airborne through Europe from D-day on, now's the time to catch up. In 2010 HBO will air the second installment focusing on the pacific theater of WWII. Check out the 1st sneak peak trailer!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


OK, so you know how last year I raved on about The Fall? Well this year let me begin to rave about a new independent film called Moon. I had seen the trailer a few months ago and seen a few production stills and was hooked from the outset. I won't list any spoilers here but I must say it has been a long...long time since I've seen such a pure sci-fi film. Sure Star Trek was great, but that is a different kind of glossy high budget sci-fi. Moon was made for around 5.6 million dollars... for the whole film... that's not even a fraction of the VFX budget on Star Trek! Thankfully though it looks like a 50 million dollar film.
Moon is a sci-fi that takes place on, well, the moon! And the main character Sam Bell, expertly played by Sam Rockwell, is there on a 3 year contract to work for Lunar Industries mining for Helium3. His lonely 3 year tour has been rough on him and he's now 2 weeks away from returning home to his wife and child. His only companion is the base's computer 'Gerty' voiced by Kevin Spacey. Things begin to get a little weird for Sam as his contract nears it's end and it's here where the story gets really interesting. I won't say much more than that, but the movie tells a great human drama and phycological thriller without the use of big explosions or mind numbing action sequences. Director Duncan Jones handles the story with good pacing and visual grit while the erie soundtrack by Clint Mansel adds to the creepy loneliness of the moon's landscape. Tony Noble was the production designer and I'm amazed at the beautiful sets and FX they were able to pull off on such a small budget. The designs were simple and not distracting from the real, human story that Moon is about.
If you long for a refreshing Sci-fi story that is not drowned in 'hey look at me!' summer movie explosions and wonder what happened to simple human stories in the Sci-fi genre, then MOON is the movie you've been waiting for!
It's being released all over the US is various cities, so check your local theaters for when it will be playing in your area, it's worth the wait!
The amazing soundtrack is also available now on itunes! check it out!


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