My Penny Arcade confessional

iaian7 » blog   John Einselen, 5.09.13    

I’ve read Penny Arcade pretty much every week for years. Sure, there have been some super-inappropriate comics, but I’ve appreciated the continual development of the artwork, the geeky humour, the occasional ode to love of literature. Their “reality TV show” Strip Search was, while at times certainly vulgar (not in the way you’d think, given the title!), a pretty fantastic web series about artists and writers.

The experience of a female gamer at Penny Arcade Expo, however, is far too disturbing and too serious to ignore. This sort of behaviour and this sort of mindset and stance towards abuse of any kind is nothing short of horrific.

And honestly, I should probably be horrified at my silent response to the initial comic as well. “Eh, it’s really not appropriate, but they’ve never been ones for super-appropriate topics…I’ll just move on. Tomorrow’s comic will be funny.” It was equivocating on an unequivocal subject, and I continued to support Penny Arcade, even donating to their Kickstarter campaign. I’m sorry.

In response to the renewed uproar this past week, one of the founders of Penny Arcade “clarified” their position (and yes, I appreciate that they have strict “booth babe” policies at events, that kind of respect at trade shows is hard to find).

But…they’re just sad people are upset. They still like the comic.

I don’t think I can or should be ok with that. Not any more.

It’s going to be a little weird not reading Penny Arcade tomorrow morning, and especially difficult given my obsessive nature (I watched all of Heroes season 2, for goodness sake, I just can’t leave something unfinished!). But…I’ll try to kick the habit, if for nothing more than the silent dissent of my own conscience.


Marty the Monkey

iaian7 » blog   John Einselen, 24.07.13    

It’s been a long time coming, but one of the projects I worked on at Vectorform between 2012 and 2013 is finally public! Working in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, Vectorform helped create a series of mini games to assist clinicians with autism assessment. Based on some terrific illustrations by James Anderson, I was responsible for bringing a 2D character to 3D life, in no less than 130 different animation sequences to be used throughout the experience. Called Marty the Monkey, the character acts as a guide, encouraging kids to progress.

Marty the Monkey

To read more about the visual development and shader process, check out my Vectorform blog post Behind the Scenes: Creating Marty the Monkey. I’ve also included a download at the end of the article with edge projection nodes for the just-released Lightwave 11.6 update!

You can also read more about the application itself in Patrick Samona’s article.


When it's the end

iaian7 » blog   John Einselen, 3.07.13    

Religion, salvation, and good works have come up in recent conversation, or more specifically, a deeply regretful movie I saw last night. Really, though, it’s one of the most important questions a soul can ever ask.

Is there eternity? Can I go to heaven?

If there is a God, holy and pure, and I’m only human, frail and filthy, how could heaven be possible? How could I ever be in the presence of that? Righteousness so supreme that everything else burns away like tattered paper in a nuclear blast? Even on our very best of days, eternal sinlessness is shockingly, pathetically, absolutely unattainable for such a mortal as myself…

But if God is both holy and loving, how does that reconcile? Knowing the chasm between sinful us and holy Him, he built a bridge. Jesus. And no, we can’t earn this kind of love, it can only be a gift. Nothing so profane as flesh could ever work enough to be worthy of such selfless sacrifice. I’ve tried, and after years of fruitless toil, I better understand now that it’s simply impossible. This doesn’t mean I don’t keep falling for the same old lies, trying on my own, time after time, but it really is miserable foolishness.

When you read the Bible, I think it becomes clear…

Jesus isn’t for the self-righteous, the posers and fakes. Jesus isn’t for the pseudo-perfect, the good-enough, or the just-ok. Jesus isn’t for the people who think they can make it on their own; acting faultless and behaving right, dying from the inside while somehow believing they’re still healthy on the outside.


Jesus is for the shipwrecks, the train wrecks, the bloody messes and the tragedies. Jesus is for the lonely, the lost, the terrified and the broken hearted. Jesus is for the damned, the discouraged, the degraded, the destitute and the utterly, completely desperate.

I’m not a Christian because I’m good. I don’t seek after Christ because I somehow think I’m perfect.

I long for salvation because I know without a single shred of doubt that I am fully rotten through-and-through, sinful and hopeless and dead.

Yet somehow, in His absolute perfectness…

…God still loves me…

…and died in my place.

I certainly don’t understand it, I rather doubt many people do, but it’s somehow, unbelievable, incredibly true, despite my frequent doubts and fears.

Christ is for the shipwrecks, the desperate, the lost. I’ve been there, and really, still am every day.

But I’m placing my trust in Jesus.

And that’s why I’m going to heaven when I die. That bridge? It can’t be walked by human feet, you have to be carried.

And that’s incredible.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT


Apple's iOS7 Redesign

iaian7 » blog   John Einselen, 15.06.13    

Based on social media feeds, iOS7 seems to be hated by designers, but loved by those who have actually used it. Having not installed it yet myself, and being a rather picky designer to boot, my reaction certainly veers more towards the negative! Though I’m excited to try it out once the beta builds solidify a little more.

To read my full write up on the subject and what I think is needed for natural, intuitive interface designs, head on over to the Vectorform Blog.


Soap Foam Surfacing

iaian7 » tutorials » lightwave   John Einselen, 13.09.12    

final node layoutfinal renderBubbles are just plain fun, and after reading a post by Milivoj Popovic on the Newtek Forum, I was inspired to try some experiments myself! The self-imposed guidelines were simple; using a single simple surface, texture it procedurally in such a way as to evoke both depth and surface detail, emulating the undulating colours, specular complexity, and volumetric look of the soap foam you might find in a bubble bath or kitchen sink.


Check out the article for the details and project file download.

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Anaglyph Compositing in Photoshop

iaian7 » tutorials » photoshop   John Einselen, 9.08.12    

original images::cross-eye viewing method

How to set up anaglyph compositing in Adobe Photoshop, with Anachrome, Trioscopic, and ColorCode variations.

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RGTV: Realistic Dust Hits

iaian7 » tutorials » aftereffects   John Einselen, 16.07.12    

Watch my video tutorial Red Giant QuickTip #67: Realistic Dust Hits to see how dust effects in After Effects can be seamlessly integrating with rendered footage from any 3D package.


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Open letter to Apple

iaian7 » blog   John Einselen, 31.03.12    

“The creative minds Apple once claimed to champion may well be looking elsewhere…to glimpse a terminal end is devastating.”

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iaian7 » code » dashboard   John Einselen, 14.02.12    

Modicon is designed to use the LibICNS utilities and ImageMagick to batch process .icns format icons with simple levels and HSL adjustments.

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iaian7 » code » dashboard   John Einselen, 14.02.12    

Simplifies the batch processing of videos, either preparing DSLR footage for editing in Final Cut Pro (conversion of MP4 or AVCHD media to ProRes422), or creating the necessary formats for HTML5 video playback (scaled MP4, OGG, and WebM formats).

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