Garstor's World, My realm of 3D art, LEGO and atheism

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

2017 New Year Render

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

2017 New Year - work in progress

This image is still very much a work in progress. There is still a lot of things I need to add and improve here. Most notably, I have yet to model some baseboards. I should also create some ceiling trim while I am at it.

Everything was modeled in LightWave; however, the numbers were imported into ZBrush for retopology (done very badly by me). Texturing for the room and the plinths was done in Substance Painter. I quickly realized that I don’t have substances for wall paint or for the wood parquet flooring that I originally envisioned.

Because the numbers do not have UV maps, I used a procedural flakes noise to drive the bump of a LightWave dielectric material. I was aiming for a cut-glass look; none of the green colour has come through though.

More tweaking to do here. Hopefully, I can complete this on time.

Getting Caught Up On Stuff

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Screaming up again on a month without a post here. Let’s fix that.

I hinted at a sore throat and that sumbitch only just went away in the last couple of days. It was about two weeks of an actual cold and then two weeks of a dry, scratching throat. It kept me coughing and making ahem sounds.

Black Friday and all the days leading up to Christmas Eve are super-busy for work. As a payment processing company, you expect that. The entire team is essentially on-call right now. Officially, I’m on-call next Friday. Fun!

I have finally re-installed all my SevenStyles Photoshop Actions into PS 2017. Brad has been busy creating even more Actions, so I’ll have to buy more in the near future.

In spite of the sore throat, I have recorded more videos about using Headus UV Layout on my YouTube channel. I was asked to do videos about unwrapping a human model; so I undertook the challenge. I used the free MakeHuman tool to get a female model and then set out to create 3 UV Maps rather than the single UV map produced by MakeHuman.

In the very near future, I am also going to take the plunge into the world of ZBrush. There is definitely a lot to learn there.

I am hoping that all of this will take my mind off of the looming disaster of President Trumpycakes.

CN Tower Stair Climb For Charity

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Moneris buildingMy colleagues and I at Moneris began climbing the stairs in our building as an afternoon break and for some extra fitness. One day, seemingly as a joke, someone mentioned climbing the stairs of the CN Tower.

That quickly became a serious idea. We looked at our stair climbs as a form of training.

The CN Tower stair climb for charity has been around nearly as long as the CN Tower itself. Normally, the stairs are reserved for maintenance personnel only (and it shows on the inside). But once per year, people climb the stairs from outside the tower, up to the observation deck. The donations raised benefit the United Way.

There are 1,776 steps and 145 flights in the CN Tower. We have 21 flights at work and managed to get to the point of climbing, coming down the elevator and climbing again 4 or 5 times. By our math, that was about one CN Tower worth of climbing.

The Moneris DBA Stair Climbing TeamI’m probably in the worst shape of the entire team. At the 96th flight, my right knee was hurting enough that I couldn’t put much pressure on it. That definitely slowed me down.

My time was 35 minutes and 14 seconds.

I’m proud of all of us. We raised $500 for the United Way. We’ll likely do it again next year – faster.

Settling In

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

I have been here in Etobicoke for over two weeks now but I am still unpacking. I accomplished a lot on that front today though.

Some highlights:

  • Walking to work is awesome! I love coming home for lunch and have started a healthier sandwich meal instead of eating at the food court at work.
  • The layout of this apartment gives the feeling of being bigger than my last place in Hamilton, even though it is technically smaller.
  • I might be able to put some of my LEGO models back on display!

Work remains however.

This is a much older building with a lot more units, so bug infestation is a problem. I know that sounds gross, but it isn’t that bad and it can be dealt with. I need curtains. The 3D machine isn’t working yet; I can’t wait to get back to LightWave, World Machine, Poser and Photoshop!


Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

The worst of it is over! I am now living in Etobicoke again. I used to live near Eglinton Avenue and Martingrove Road before I moved to Texas. Now I am near Dundas Street and Islington Avenue. I thought that I would have to lose my last month of pre-paid rent in Hamilton. Happily that was not the case.

I can see the Moneris building from my balcony. I am only a five minute walk to work now. This is going to be a huge boost to my life. I will have much more free time for getting back to the gym and diving deeper into 3D art.

The Rogers cable internet speed is a pretty sweet upgrade too!


Much unpacking and organizing remains! I’d better get back to it.

The Move Looms Closer

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Next Thursday is the big day. At last I will be free of the horrible mismanagement at Chateau Royale!

In some good news, my original fears about losing out on my last month’s rent have been put to rest. That will be very helpful indeed since it should cover most of the costs of the moving company.

I’ve packed up nearly all of my books and I hope to start packing my computers tomorrow.

At the new building, I’ll be using Rogers’ cable modem for internet access. That should be faster than what I have currently.

I can’t wait!

More Trickling Updates

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

What a month this has been! Nearly three weeks have oozed past since the last post attempted to provide updates to my world.

The move to Etobicoke is probably the most impactful to my world at the moment. I do have the apartment confirmed and am aiming to move in at the end of September. This means losing out on a month of pre-paid rent here.

I hate this building and its (mis-)management so much that I am prepared to throw away $1,600 just to get the fuck out of here as soon as possible. Hamilton can be a great city to live in – just never, ever, live at the Chateau Royale building.

Next Saturday, Debug gets her next rabies shot. I do tend to avoid this since she is never outside. But this will be an opportunity for further check-up on her dental situation.

Miscellaneous Updates

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Here we are, one week into August with no blog post. Yes, I have been busy – a weak-sauce excuse perhaps; but true nonetheless. So here is a point-form set of updates about what has been happening.


I am so glad that I love my job. Last week, was my most recent on-call rotation so I didn’t stray far from my work laptop in case an alert call came in. That meant no grocery shopping. Unfortunately, my one call was a false alarm. The hindsight is 20/20 as usual but I refused to risk not being able to respond quickly to an issue.

This past weekend didn’t see any relief. A major – and long delayed – data migration project was finally executed. So I was working from home all weekend, tied once more to the laptop. At least that was a successful series of tasks; it will be a large accomplishment for the year.

I love my job, but I hate my commute. So that leads me into…


Yep. I have to leave Hamilton and get closer to work. I thought that the commute would give me time to read or study. But it doesn’t – it is so utterly mentally draining that I usually snooze on the bus in both travel directions. The snooze is not a restful one either.

When I get home, I am practically in a coma. There is so much stuff I want to do – especially with 3D and Photoshop – but I cannot get the energy or motivation to kick in. The commute is 4 hours every weekday and around $400 per month. I’ve got to get that back.

I am looking at a two-bedroom apartment that will be a 5 minute walk to work. It is an older building so I am not expecting much from it. But the cheaper rent and the removal of the travel time sink should do wonders.


Of course I wasn’t about to forget an update about my baby! I took her to the vet on Friday for a post-surgery checkup. Having been on a wet-food diet for 2 weeks, she lost some weight – which is good, she was just slightly overweight before. The vet says her mouth is healing nicely though. She can now have some kibble.

I think she has gotten much more affectionate since the surgery. She’s almost always moving to whatever room that I am in and she loves to cuddle at night.

There are a couple of other items that I am keeping under-wraps for now. We’ll see what comes of those later on.

A Little More Debug

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Debug sleeping - 2016-07-24Just a couple of photos of Debug that I added to Flickr. One of my disappointments is that I did not take many photos of Code. So I intend to do better with Debug.

She loves to take naps next to the tiny desk that I use for my personal computing. The 3D computer is on a bigger desk off to the left. The only place she sleeps at more often is under my bed.

I loved the look here and quickly grabbed my cell phone to capture the moment.

Debug at vetWhen I picked Debug up from the vet on Friday evening, every gushed about how much they loved her face. They took this photo in her kennel before the operation.

She really is such a sweet cat. She is my baby.

My Poor Baby!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Two nights ago, I dropped off Debug at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital for surgery.

When I left Texas, Debug received vaccinations that were necessary for her to be permitted back into Canada with me. The vet in Irving recommended that I get her mouth checked out and stated that at least one tooth should be pulled. I finally brought her in for a check-up and got some pretty bad news.

Poor Debug’s mouth is in a bad way. I had no idea. She never seemed to be in any pain and certainly loved eating her food. But the vet stated several teeth would require extraction and that several had already fallen out. So on Thursday evening, she was taken in to prepare for surgery on Friday.

I picked her up after work on Friday. Nine teeth were pulled. She barely has any teeth left. The vet remains concerned about her jaw too – so there is to be a follow-up check on that.

It will be soft food only for at least two weeks. I’ll probably keep her on that from now on.

Here is hoping for a speedy recovery with no further issues.