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

Faith No More

Posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at 8:59 PM in Entertainment, Music, Personal by Garstor

Last Monday, July 27th, I caught the Faith No More concert at the Southside Ballroom in Dallas!

It took at least 2 full days for my ears to stop ringing.

Faith No MoreThe opening act was Napalm Death and I can’t say that I enjoyed that. At first I didn’t believe their singer when he described themselves a “impenetrable fucking noise.” But with 20/20 hindsight (and Wikipedia), that is exactly what they were.

Fortunately, Faith No More put on a great show that more than made up for the opening. Of course they played their big hits from the past but also added in the new material from the Sol Invictus album.

The lighting was great – almost mesmerizing. Most of the stage and the band were in white, so the light show took full advantage of that.

Alas, my cellphone camera could not do justice to the event.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing FNM performing together again.

New Toys!

Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2015 at 6:34 PM in Ray-Tracing by Garstor

This past weekend, I bought 3D Layout Pro and the Allegorithmic Substance Live products.

I confess that the $300 price tag for a tool that looks very much like a DOS program emulating a windowing environment was initially off-putting to me. But after watching some videos of UV Layout in action, I was sold on it.

space_fighterThe proof is in the pudding as the saying goes. So I had to dive in and try it out myself. I used a spaceship model from one of Adam Gibson’s tutorials.

Even though I have only scratched the surface of what UV Layout can do, I found that the often tricky business of UV mapping was greatly improved by this tool. The $300 price tag makes sense once you get in gear with it.

This is not my final UV map that I created – indeed, it is not even complete yet – but it was produced rather quickly and painlessly.space_fighter_uv

UV Layout has several advanced tools for unwrapping meshes. I may take to YouTube in the future to show off some of these features as I learn how to take greater advantage of this application.

I’ll have to write another post about Allegorithmic. There is too much to those tools for me to fully comprehend right now. It is like drinking from a fire hose.

These are formidable tools for the 3D artist’s arsenal.

Photoshop Editing

Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2015 at 7:39 PM in Personal, Photoshop by Garstor

I currently cannot show the entire image since I do not own the rights to it. It was taken by dear friends in the Dominican Republic. I will only share the full image after they have given me permission to do so. This left-side slice of the original is the only relevant bit to this post.

I wanted to use the photo with another one of Brad Gobel’s Photoshop Actions. Running those Actions usually blurs or completely eliminates anything but the desired focus point. Nonetheless, I set out to remove much of the background clutter.

before and after

It was definitely good practice and put my Wacom tablet through its paces!

The woman in the tree shadow was removed with Content-Aware Fill. You can still see a blurry patch in the tree shadow that I could not fix. The swimmer’s heads were removed with the Spot Healing Brush.

The man with the blue shorts was the most difficult. Content-Aware Fill did a rather poor job but it was a start. The Patch tool and Clone Stamp did the rest but it was slow and patient work.

The beach recliners were mostly removed by using the Clone Stamp and approaching from both the water and the sand. Again, slow and patient was the watch word. I would frequently zoom in and out of the details to keep an eye on the progress and how it looked at full-size.

All in all, for my first major retouching, I am rather proud of how this turned out.

I would be remiss if I did not give a shout-out to KelbyOne and the Photoshop training videos that gang has created. More and more of Photoshop’s features are sticking in my head thanks to Scott, Corey, RC and Pete.

New Horizons: Truly Fitting Project Name

Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2015 at 8:01 AM in News by Garstor

I am really excited by New Horizons. It is not often a major leap forward in our understanding of universe happens. I was too young to appreciate what the Viking and Voyager missions did for us. But I am following the great space explorations of our time: Rosetta, Cassini-Huygens (hard to believe we are approaching end-of-life to this incredible mission), Messenger, Curiosity and so much more.

Now – in just two days’ time – we are going to see Pluto up-close and personal.

I really cannot do this any more justice than what Bad Astronomy wrote about it. There are some great links and videos in that post.

I hate to end this post on a down note; but we desperately need to increase the funding of NASA. All of humanity benefits from space exploration.

Grabbing More Of Brad Gobel’s Photoshop Action

Posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2015 at 4:03 PM in Personal, Photoshop by Garstor

It has been many months since I bought any additional Photoshop Actions from Brad Gobel. The man has not slowed down though and has produced several more Actions. So I finally decided to grab some of the ones that caught my eye.

As a quick experiment with the Lines Action, I used one of my Flickr photos of two dear friends. I think it came out rather nicely.

John & Wendy - wedding dinner

I’ll have to find (or take!) more photos that I can experiment with.

Happy Birthday USA!

Posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2015 at 7:01 PM in Personal by Garstor

Happy 239th birthday to the United States Of America!

You’re growing up so fast! Finally extending (some) civil rights to the LGBTQ community! Keep going! You’ll get to civilization eventually.

Happy Belated Birthday Canada!

Posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2015 at 6:58 PM in Personal by Garstor

Sorry I couldn’t post on Canada Day, I was in Seattle to attend mandatory training.

Happy 148th birthday to the best country in the world!

Way To Go SCOTUS!

Posted on Friday, June 26th, 2015 at 7:50 PM in News, Politics, Religion by Garstor

The Supreme Court Of the United States has made some spectacularly bad decisions over the years – Citizens United has flooded the political system with legalized bribes.

But this week, this country took some big steps forward. The Court upheld key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and this morning they ruled that love conquers all – the states cannot ban marriage equality! My LGBTQ friends can marry whom they choose. This is a great day for the United States.

Cracked’s article A 30-Second Guide To How The Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You nails this perfectly:

If You Are a Homosexual and Want to Get Married:

Where before this came down to whether or not your state had legalized it, now you are free to do so regardless of which state you live in.

If You Are a Heterosexual and Do NOT Want to Enter into a Homosexual Marriage:

You will not be required to marry a gay person. This is a common misunderstanding. This decision actually does not affect you in any way.

If You Are Currently in a Heterosexual Marriage:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Is Not Currently Married:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

It goes on like that. “This decision does not affect you in any way.” EXACTLY!

Equal rights for everyone.