Category Archives: Random Success

Lili Magazine

Let me start by saying I am not a graphic designer. I have very little fine art skills. I understand composition, lighting, layout, and how to bike on ice.

That being said, I’m surprised this project turned out as well as it did. Me and my wife were too cheap wanted to get our families a nice home made gift for the holidays, so we did a magazine project. She wrote the articles, I took the pictures. Etc. Here’s a few pages

Also my server works again, booyakasha!!!!

1-Cover

2-Chef_LiLi

6-Romance

I have a Podcast

Those of a you whom have the pleasure of knowing me personally, know that I have been trying to find a partner or group of people who would be willing and able to do a weekly podcast. I was ready to do yet another gaming podcast, a nothing podcast where we just talk about life’s happenings, or a men’s podcast or anything that I have knowledge about. Then I realized…my wife is having a baby! Plus one of my long term goals is to be a marriage councilor with my wife (when we’re like 50). Why don’t I do a podcast with my wife about marriage and babies and pizza?

Great idea!

So we have officially launched the Mommy Daddy Baby Pizza Podcast! We’ve recorded 2 episodes, and you can subscribe here:

Subscribe to our Podcast using RSS
Subscribe to our Podcast using iTunes

This was my first time actually getting something onto iTunes and getting approved by the Apple machine so it is very exciting for me. I’ll change the quick link at the top of this blog that used to point to Tamara’s blog to point to the podcast site now.¬† Enjoy!

Podcast Image

I Suck at Nurturing Hardrives / My Review of BackBlaze

I haven’t posted in a bit…that means I got a job right!?

Well, I did get some freelance work with a Toronto studio but now that’s wrapped up.

Actually what happened was my hard drive went and died, and I had to do a massive restore. Luckily I am smart and keep both a local backup and an offsite backup using the service BackBlaze. It’s a good idea to have both, not just one. I know plenty of people who say it’s just fine and dandy to back up using external drives and they need not to waste time on nothing more. Well, you’re wrong, and probably homeless. What if someone breaks in and steals your machine as well as your backup drive? What if there’s a fire? What if there’s a flood? What if some rats get into your ceiling and bump some pipes and the bathtub upstairs drains right into your office? What if your stanky neighbor decides to drain his pool to your side of the property and all the water leaks into your window and everything gets ruined?

Plenty of scenarios. The same way, using an offside automated service like BackBlaze has it’s drawbacks as well. The biggest drawback being the amount of time it takes to restore your data. You see, I had about 1.5tb’s worth of stuff kept offsite with BackBlaze. I would keep my current projects from the last year and my photography stash backed up locally, but the rest of my old work was sitting over there wherever BackBlaze’s servers were a sitting. They’re across this country, across another country, in some building, behind whatever speed caps along the way. Simply doing an online restore of 1.5tb’s would have taken a LONG time since the downloads were going around 950kbs/s. I didn’t have time for that. Nor do I have the home internet option to support 1.5tb’s of downloading.

Luckily, BackBlaze has options for restoring specific files and folders, as well as other options for restoring to a thumb drive or up to a 3tb hard drive and having it shipped to you. The latter is what I choose. They say they will restore up to 3tb to a hard drive and send it, but they wont send everyone a 3tv hard drive. It’s relative to your amount of data. So if you have 850gb of data, they’ll ship you a 1tb drive. Since I had like 1.47tb they managed to fit everything on a 1.5tb drive. I wish I have 400mb’s more data, because then I would’ve been shipped the 2tb hard drive! No matter the size of your hard drive the cost ends up being the same. $180 USD shipping (not import fees) included.

I began the restore as soon as my hard drive went kaput on Monday, and it took around 7 days for the hard drive I ordered to be shipped. Unfortunately they use FedEx, who typically are horrible to deal with. They tried coming 3 times to my home, at different times during the day, despite me requesting (and them confirming) delivery after 1pm. In the end, I had to drive 45 minutes to go to one of their stations to pick it up. They wouldn’t send the package to the holding center that’s 5km away, I had to drive 45 minutes…and then pay them $38 in duties. So, why did I pay for shipping again? Regardless I finally got the hard drive on the following Thursday. That was 10 days after I requested from BackBlaze. That’s not a bad turnaround at all. Like I said, I keep local backups of all my current work so this was really just a bunch of old finished renders, portfolio pieces, demo reel stuff, and 20 years of digitized family videos.

Anyways, the package was put together nicely and the hard drive was well protected. Though I do wish there were some extra padding in the box so it wasn’t sliding around.2014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (2) Opening it up…2014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (4)And voila! Cute little sticker. I’m glad it was a 2.5 inch hard drive as well, I needed one of these for after.2014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (5)It came with one of these fancy powered USB 3.0 cables. Nice!2014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (11)You can actually use a standard micro USB cable for the hard drive if you’d like, but then it’d only be USB 2.02014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (12)If you’re using a standard micro usb cable it would just go into the port on the left there2014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (9)Here’s some extra details on the hard drive. Its a Toshiba Canvio HDTC615XK3B1. It retails for about $89 on sale. There were some scratches on the enclosure, which made me feel like this drive wasn’t new like they promised…2014_02_21_BackBlaze_Package (6)

So I plugged it in, everything was there and worked great. I’ve heard some people report that they had issues with various versions of files but for me, I can confirm there was no issue. Their support said automatically the latest version of every file is sent unless otherwise requested.

The total cost after import fees and currency conversion came to $253 Canadian dollars. Quite a bit more than the $180, but at least I get to keep the 1.5tb hard drive they sent (it actually does fit into the Playstation 4 out of the enclosure). Here’s a video I did showing how to take apart the hard drive enclosure, since there’s no screws.

So in the end would I recommend BackBlaze? Yes! I have tried Carbonite and Mozy and compared to the others I prefer BackBlaze’s lack of restriction on upload caps. I have a nice steady 10mb/s upload and for the most part I get close to that. I’m still using it to back up my machine again, and wouldn’t hesitate (even with the price) if my drive failed again.

A new demo reel!

* edit REEL TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE

Yes yes. The last time I did a reel was October 2010…and if you saw that one there’s still a lot of the same content. I didn’t change the song, or the intro, because…well…I still like it. It’s my reel.

Alas. I’m learning I don’t suck at animation as much as I once did. People have hired me, I have worked on a few major motion pictures (well…one never made it to theatres so I guess it wasn’t THAT major), as well as 2 full seasons of a TV show. I also learned that being a layout artist means I need to put a few full sequences on my reel to show off my cinematography skills.

I like quick edits and short reels, so hang on…this reel has neither.

 

I am still working on stuff, like a game or 2. Yes, you heard that right. I’M MAKING A GAME! Details to come eventually when it’s in a condition that will help, not hinder, me transitioning to that industry.

ps: the (not so) major movie I worked on for 5 months as a Matchmover/Tracker, you’ll notice none of that footage is on my reel. Why? Becuase the movie isn’t out yet, and I guess it’s bad to show those things? I’m not a doctor. I just suck at animation.

We had 45 minutes free during Easter

So while we were waiting for food to be finalized we had a few minutes to play around with my camera. My niece and sister wanted to star in a video, and my wife found a random creepy costume.

I really need to invest in a steady-cam, because the rolling shutter on my Nikon D3100 is absolutely horrible. Especially when I’m shivering.

Alas, this is pretty good seeing how we made it up on the spot, used a built in mic, and had to worry about the sun setting and being eaten by coyotes and wild turkeys. It reminds me of the videos I used to do in college. My style is still the same, and in 45 minutes I managed to shoot a better video then I did in an entire semester during college.


 

Happens to Be a Zombie

5 years ago we made a mockumentary about a Zombie, and what it would be like for him to try to live a normal life without eating people. It didn’t work. It’s moderately snickle worthy, but it served it’s purpose. That purpose? I don’t want to be a producer or video editor. Blooper reel will be up in a few days. Or minutes if anyone’s interested…but seeing how I’ve disabled comments I doubt anyone will notice

The 2nd GWL Promo Video: Boi-Yu in Call of Duty 4

We didn’t want to try to outdo the previous video (and rightfully so), so instead we went for a more simple approach. Also, we’re still not sure on the whole legalities of using game footage for promotion…

Anyways, here is the latest GWL video!

ps: it’s hard to make time for stuff now that I’m working full time!

pss: Mikkel provided the excellent voices/grunts for Boi-Yu, and yours truly did the voices of the promoter and the chicken