learning maya

The little CG Hut

I have been ripping my brains out trying to learn Maya.  Below is a simple set that I built following the learning maya tutorial book. I elaborated on the lesson and came up with this little camera move. Baby steps.

something went wrong


Nothing is more frustrating than following a maya tutorial and not having anything work. Instinctually I think I am too blame and out of habit start the tutorial over from the beginning whenever I get some sort of error message. Then, after failing again, and again to get some basic function to work I do the unthinkable. I break down and call someone for help.

I am humbled as they calmly stride over to the computer and kindly explain to me what is going wrong. Magically they dig through hidden pull down windows, use complex key commands and preform what can only be described as some type of digital alchemy. I am in awe hovering over their shoulder. And then it happen.

“Error”. Cooly, they try again. “Error”. and again. “Error. Error. Error. Error”. In frustration and rage my help transforms into some sort of Mr. Hyde type beast. They growl at the screen and bang at the keys. I step back and take a deep breath. its ok. It’s not me this time. Its Maya.

Maya sucks.

abstract animation

Ambient Cinema “ Stillborn”

A few years ago I was really excited about ambient cinema. Making films for the purpose of creating atmosphere. Stillborn was one of my big project from that time. It was an ongoing abstract piece that I showed a lot at gallery shows and IDM parties in the Underground LA art scene. It was always fun to project this piece really big and watch people throughout the night get lost in it.

The film is a loop so it has no specific starting point.

danced lines dbzd


An animated motion dance inspired my some of Oskar Fischinger’s early work. I animated this while on the plane down to California on my laptop using TVPaint.

pee test

I was “AD”dicted

Whenever there was a little time to kill I often found myself working on some sort of ad. To be honest I had a lot of fun thinking up funny slogans and commercials. The following films were made towards the end of production, after I had lost my place in both the art and the story department and for the most part was sitting around the office killing time, waiting for my contract to expire. It was a last ditch effort on my part to try and contribute something to the film. It didn’t go anywhere but I had a lot of fun making them and I hope you enjoy them as well.

My pitch for the add campain was to show the main character ham in a series of very bad nasa system test videos where everything goes wrong. To our delight pour ham gets put through the ringer.

Jetpack Testing

Space Suit Testing

Bladder Testing

Here are the original thumbnails as well.

think these next three clips may give some insight into the sort of film I had running around my head in the early days. They are really really old, slopy, and fun. We used clips like these to help sell the film to investors before the film was defined and everything was still on the table. I still love the energy. Thanks to Devin Westberg for doing the voices!


This is way better than space food


musical number

Space Chimps the Musical!?!

THE WORST CIRCUS IN THE WORLD- Everyone else at the time kept drawing very traditional circus’ but for me I kept thinking about the little half ring circus that used to run every year at fairground near my house. The Swan Bros Circus. I was in 4H and had seen their act every year my entire childhood. The Swan Bos. were both awesome and terrible at the same time. John Williams always called this the Napolean Dynamite version of the Space chimp opening but for me it will always be the Swan Bros. version. I thought the drab setting would could provide contast to the hyper-saturation of the second act and at the very least be a nice brake from the all too common opening musical number.

The following two animatics are what got me the storyboarding gig on space chimps. Both were made before there was a director or any set stylistic or visual direction for the film.


Keith graves had made this little number and I was asked to do some boards for it. At the time the idea of a musical was still on the table. Here is what I came up with.


After this I was asked to attempt another pass using Jungle Boogie.