F22 Raptor Final Images

Here are some final renderings for this class of the Raptor.  Now as I have finished it up, I actually plan on going back and rebuilding it due to some bad geometry on the sides and bottom.  Now that I am actually comfortable with the workflow, I should be able to do it in half the time.

And last, but not least, a turntable rendering:


Crossing Borders: Information Overload

Information Overload

The technological advancements that humankind has achieved in the past few decades have been staggering in their potential.  The ability to transfer information instantaneously across the globe is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.  There is no doubt that this revolution has significantly accelerated the rate at which individuals can access information.  However, with such a rapid change in the pace of technology, it is worth considering that this transformation might have some unintended negative consequences.  The digital painting Information Overload seeks to present straightforward, satirical look at the effects that the information age has on a portion of humankind.

The painting features a caricature of a working-class middle-aged man staged against a sickly, green backdrop.  The man stares in silent agony at his current predicament while a stream of saliva dribbles from the corner of his mouth.  His cranium is humorously inflated to twice the size of a normal human’s while countless communication devices appear to be seemingly embedded in his head.  The silhouette of numerous electronic and media company logos bulge precariously beneath his skin.  His eyes bear increased signs of fatigue and distraction while his unshaven face suggest that his physical care has diminished due to his circumstances.  The blood vessels in his eyes are even reshaped to match the trace paths of a circuit board.  As the viewer follows the gaze of his eyes upward, they are greeted with the central focus of the piece: a single glowing power button.  His pained expression and gaze seemingly ask the viewer to reach out and press the button, hopefully allowing him some relief from the painful predicament that he has found himself in.

With new ways of exchanging information emerging every day and the rapid increase in the rate of data transmission, it is becoming apparent that humankind’s ability to adapt healthily to this advancement is marginal.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, and many more have rapidly shaped how the world interacts with and exchanges information, sometimes resulting in negative consequences.  A recent experiment was conducted by the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology where the campus blocked internet access to social media sites for an entire week.  The resulting responses of students were mixed, ranging from those whose stress level seemed diminished to those who showed the same type of withdrawal symptoms a quitting smoker might experience (Reuters).  Another study done by the Cranfield School of Management among teenagers revealed that a third of the 11-18 year olds they surveyed admitted that text messaging shortcuts damaged the quality of their writing and spelling.  In addition, it was revealed that a high percentage of teens admitted to directly inserting information from the internet into schoolwork without any changes.  From those that admitted, a third deemed it as an acceptable practice despite recognizing that such behavior is considered plagiarism (Associated Press).

In addition to demonstrating physical and psychological reactions to the inclusion of technology in societies, there appears to be a growing transition in social behavior.  The generation of individuals born within the past thirty years have recently been labeled the “Me Generation,” mostly due to the increased use of social media and a growing attitude of narcissism.  According to North Western University psychology instructor Jerry Green, today’s generation is in a constant state of multi-tasking.  Students are texting while they eat, sit in class, or drive down the road.  According to Green, “Human Nature is the same as it has always been.  We are all born very selfish but eventually learn to put our needs on hold.  It is taking this generation longer to grow up than ever before” (Estrada).  With the increasing trend of dependence on technology and self-centered mentality, one can only wonder what the next social transition of humanity will entail.

There is no doubt that the advances in technology across the world over the past few decades have had significant positive results.  Medical and scientific breakthroughs allow countless individuals to increase their standard of living far above that which they have been able to previously achieve. However, with the exponential increase of information availability, it is questionable if the human mind will be able to healthily adapt.  Numerous situations in addition those previously discussed show increased evidence that some humans are unable to effectively integrate these advances as an appendage to their life rather than the focus of it.  It is arguable that mankind may have to slow down a bit in order to adapt to this increase in technology or to find an acceptable distribution channel without the negative side effects.  Perhaps it would be better for all of mankind to emulate the man portrayed in Information Overload, and find the ‘power button’ for their own technological distractions in life.

Works Cited

Associated Press. "Technology Addiction Disrupts Teenage Learning | Database and Network Journal | Find Articles at BNET." Find Articles at BNET | News Articles, Magazine Back Issues & Reference Articles on All Topics. BNET, 2009. Web. 09 May 2011.

Estrada, Amy. "Students Say Their Social Media Addiction Earns“Generation Me” Label." Http://collegian.tccd.edu/. The Collegian Online, 08 Feb. 2011. Web. 9 May 2011.

Reuters. "Social Media Ban Experiment Reveals Facebook, Twitter Users Display Signs of Addiction - FoxNews.com." FoxNews.com - Breaking News | Latest News | Current News. Fox News, 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 09 May 2011.


From the Other Side of the Mirror

I have been thinking an awful lot about this subject and feel that I need to at least blog about it.  Seeing that today is a day in which many people celebrate the women in their lives, I think today is a relevant day to speak about it.

Now that I happen to be in the "other boat" in terms of my marital status, I feel that my eyes have been opened to just how mucked up the situation is with young single adults, especially within the realm of my own religious culture.  I have looked out on countless situations of people desperate to be married, yet not having any sort of success in that arena, and I think to myself, "Was I really like that, too?"  It seems so odd to me, being married now, to think that I had some of the same dark mentality plaguing me a year ago.  It seems so silly to have let myself drift into such despair when such a bright light was right around the corner.

Let me share a bit about myself that I really haven't shared publicly, but I feel that maybe some might find some solace in knowing about it.  For the years following my mission, I felt extremely uncomfortable about dating.  There was something that just happened to me that I can't pinpoint to a single cause or incident.  I just didn't feel good about myself and trying to find my eternal companion.  I wasn't really shy, but this feeling of disinterest seemed to overwhelm me whenever I was supposed to be mingling in any of the young single adult activities that were provided to me when I was at BYU.  Mentally, I would check out if I was in those situations and would never be very social.

I eventually succumbed to feelings of great despair and disappointment.  I began to mostly believe that there was something horrifically wrong with me and eventually decided that I was unworthy of love.  The tiny candle of hope was almost all snuffed out in my heart.  I kept hearing from people that I was such a "great guy" and that there was someone special out there.  Sometimes relatives or friends wanted to set me up with a girl that they knew and I eventually started to reject the offer straight up front.  It was such a disheartening dilemma because I desperately wanted to get married, yet I felt spiritually and emotionally unable to even begin to try.

I wish I could tell you exactly why I felt this way, but I can't.  I still can't pinpoint it to anything in particular, it was just a dark time that lasted for several years without reprieve.  I can, however, tell you what kept the little flame of hope from completely disappearing from my heart: service in church.  It wasn't just simply attending church and going through the motions each week, singing the songs, pretending to pay attention during the lessons.  No, none of that put any fire on the tiny smoldering flame in my heart.  It was when I got off my keister and started doing things for others that kept that flame still lit.  It didn't take away my loneliness, but it kept me going one more week at a time.  I eventually had enough experiences to let me know that there is always hope to be had in the future, even if it is beyond this life.

I wish I could tell you that I was over this dark feeling of hopelessness when I first met Sarah.  (In fact, one of the things that she remembers from first meeting me long before we went on our first date was the fact that I seemed sad.)  I wish I could tell you exactly what it was that started to bring me out of this mentality, but I can't.  I can tell you that I had an excellent ward that I really enjoyed being around who were a great social support network.  I also dug in my heels with my assignments through the church and  found that I felt great when I got them done.  Those things helped, for sure, but no single event brought me out of the pit that I had dug for myself.

When Sarah first showed interest in me, I was stunned.  I wrongly thought that there must be something wrong with her if she liked me.  However, I got a few gentle nudges in the right direction and eventually decided that I had had enough of being miserable and feeling like I couldn't get married.  Once I made that conscious decision to change, everything else fell into place and month after our first date, we were engaged.  (That hardly does the whole thing justice, by the way...)

I don't know every single person's situation, nor do I mean to imply that everyone's situation can change as easily as mine did.  The only thing I really wish to share is a message of hope.  I waited seven and a half long years for my wife, and looking back I can see many valuable lessons that I learned as a single adult.  I would have married her had I met her right off my mission, and I don't know why it took us so long to find each other, but now that we are together, all of the pain I felt over those years is all but gone.

Going back to my original intent, I just wanted to touch on my feelings towards many of the women in my life.  I have many women that I know who are still single and I know yearn constantly to find a man that will treat them right.  Some of them go on many dates, and some don't get asked on any dates at all.  In truth, it pains me to tears to know that because these women are some of the most intelligent, creative, funny, compassionate, loving, and fun-loving women I know.  The sad thing of this whole situation is that these are the same caliber of women that my relatives tried to set me up with, yet I wouldn't even give them a chance because of my selfish attitude.  Shame on me for not giving them the chance to feel hope and acknowledge that they are celestial marriage material!  And shame on any man now that does the same thing that I did!  These women deserve so much better than what they are given and we should be counted lucky to even know them.

The other thing on my mind are those women I know who long to be mothers, but for one reason or another are unable to experience that joy.  My heart goes out to them and I hope with all my heart that our God in Heaven will hear and answer the prayers of their hearts.

In short, Happy Mother's Women's Day to all of you wonderful women in my life.  To all of my friends, thank you for being such great examples that I can draw on.  To my mother, thank you for being the best example I could have of compassion and how to treat others.  To my wonderful wife Sarah, thank you for your love!

Hard Surface Modeling: F-22 Weapon Bays, UV Mapping, and Start of Textures

I finished up cutting out all of the major weapon bays and such for the jet, but decided that I won't have enough time to get this looking good with all of the other bells and whistles by the end of the semester.  Anyway, I'll have to add the rest later.  In the mean time I wound up UV mapping everything and started on creating the texture maps.

I've got a ways to go this week in creating textures because this thing won't begin to look real without some grunge on it.

Chiaroscuro: Final Assignment

This isn't due until next week, but I wanted to get a head start on it since I have to start some heavy work on my thesis presentation.  The goal of this assignment was to create a still life composition and use all of the techniques that have been developed over the semester to create something nice.  It also had to be done on gray charcoal paper, so you're creating both the shadows and the highlights.

I probably should have gone a bit darker, in some areas, but it is interesting how your eyes start to play tricks on you after a while.


Not artsy...

... but still the best creation to date:

Baby is due December 9th-ish.  Everything is looking okay.

Hard Surface Modeling: F-22 Weapon Bays

This week I started adding the weapon bay doors and landing gear doors.  I also moved my little family this week, so I didn't have a whole lot of time to work on stuff.  I have three weeks to finish this, and I think I can do it.  Who knows what condition it will be in, but it will be finished, darn it!

Chiaroscuro: Final Assignment Thumbnails

Fairly soon I will be starting my final assignment which will be a charcoal drawing on medium gray paper.  The first step is to find a pleasant composition:

Once the thumbnails are worked out, it's time to refine and start laying out the drawing.