Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Y bots visit Providence

Recently, "Y the Robot Band" was asked to perform at a club in Providence, RI. a Steampunk themed party complete with a belly dancer, and  2 other bands, Hemlok, and Mighty Tiny.  I only had a little over a month and a half to prepare the set, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity.

 Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to use the Kinect camera to record motion capture, so I had to animate all the robot's performances like puppets with IK. (Inverse Kinematics). Which was tedious, to say the least.

After determining which songs we would perform, (initially there were 9, but with the time restrictions, I eventually reduced the set to 6, which was difficult in that none
of these songs have ever been performed live, and some are over 20 years old.)

The next hurdle to overcome was the shear volume of rendering needed, somewhere around 30 or 40,000 frames, so I decided anything over a
minute a frame render time was unacceptable, but all the volumetric lighting was sending render times way up. So, another sacrifice, no volume lights....which is such a shame, they really do add to the realism, but oh well, I'll use them next time.

I wanted the bots to appear to be actually on stage at the venue, so I visited the club in advance, and photographed and measured the stage, then built the show to "fit" the room, we also constructed a screen specifically made to block the entire stage front.

And here are all the songs in order, from the show ! 

this one is a little different, taken from another view of the stage

It was a great night, the response was really positive (I had NO idea how this was going to be received)
and I'm so thankful for being asked to play at this show.

I had to spend the money I planned on using for merchandise to buy another computer to help with the rendering, but the motion capture software that didn't work on my old computer works on the new one, so I am presently hard at work preparing the next show, which I guarantee will be a huge improvement !

For more info on Y Band of Robots and to find out when our next show will be, like us on Facebook
or visit us on Reverbnation

© 2012 a million pictures ent.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

TOOL review

well alright, 1st post of the new year !

I'll be honest, I've been focusing alot of attention on my Tumblr page, why ? because I've rediscovered my love for animated gifs, so I'm always thinking of new ones to make.

a recent post is a gif  made from TOOL after show passes I was lucky enough to get from Adam Jones.

blogger doesn't display animated gifs,but you could visit my Tumblr

That was a result of having a TOOL tribute band going for 6 years, and being fortunate that Adam found our myspace page, his generosity was incredible, he hooked us up with passes and amazing seats for several shows on the 10,000 days tour.

These were taken from the 4th row center !
we were so close, you could hear Danny Carey's cymbals from the stage, so cool !!!

I miss playing TOOL's music (the tribute disbanded awhile ago).  TOOL are one of the only bands I actually can listen to nowadays,...they're one of the only ones being different and creative,..maybe I'm just old, jaded and bitter, but almost EVERY thing I hear from other bands or artists sound like rehashed stuff that I've heard over and over again, nothing new,..which is what drives me with my original band projects, to create something different, and new, and not give a damn if its not whats "cool" or trendy or whatever,.. ok, I'm on some kind of rant right now,...sorry about that,...

here are some pictures of the TOOL tribute, parabola
and bonus video !

and dont forget to visit my Tumblr page, it gets updated way more than this blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Robot Christmas

What do robots have to do with Christmas ?
As much as reindeer, snowmen, and anything else we've attached to celebrate a religious birthday...

So this year, in the spirit of holiday frugality, I have re-purposed an animated piece I created for a company I used to work for. I originally made this in 2001, we entered it in a few contests, had it shown at a local theater before a feature movie, and then it just sat on youtube in low resolution. (Back before you could upload HD)

It was originally supposed to be a quick animated christmas greeting, but I took the simple concept of Santa landing on a strange planet to plant a Christmas tree a little further. He's befriended by a huge robot, that helps him find his way.

I built the entire piece in Flash, except the robot, he was built and animated in Lightwave, then converted to vector to be used in Flash, if I made this now I would've definitely used Anime studio, the version of Flash back then didn't have the best rigging tools for characters, (it actually had none thinking about it)

Seeing as the company I made this for no longer exists, (they were bought and chewed up by a corporate monster) I felt this would be better suited for my 'Y Band of Robots' project.

Enjoy the new HD version (watch in 1080 !)
 and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!

the updated sequel coming next year !
and also like us on facebook

© 2011 a million pictures ent. all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spacedog, with apologies

I had created some new merchandise of one of my cartoon characters, and I received a message from Zazzle stating the item would not be allowed on the marketplace, this of course came as a shock, nothing was a copyright infringement, or offensive,..but then I realized my characters name, Zipperhead, is a derogatory slang. I've been using that name for so long, and I never knew it was offensive !

I sincerely apologize if anyone was upset or insulted, I have now changed his name to "Spacedog Laddie".

Part of me hates changing it, the old logo was actually drawn by John Kricfalusi 

But you won't find anything with that Zipperhead logo on it now, 
(unless your one of the people getting a mug or shirt this christmas). 

I'm really anxious to post some animation of him, hopefully soon,. for now, check out the new

© 2011 a million pictures ent. all rights reserved

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the Puppets ! the Puppets !!

I've been called a masochist,..not that I'm into pain or anything, but I will usually do whatever it takes to get a job done, no matter how tedious, or laborious. Case in point, the latest animated video for Y - Band of Robots, is a "live" performance piece that is definitely the most complicated, involved, animation project I've ever worked on. (over 10,000 frames in one continuous shot to render)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found a program called iPi, that lets you use the Kinect depth camera to record 3d motion, then apply it to whatever you'd like with your favorite 3d program. Well, despite having a brand new souped-up computer to work on, I can't use the software because I need a certain video card....
so, until I can make that happen, it's back to animating my robots as IK rigged puppets.

The drummerbot has 4 arms, each controlled by a goal object (the squares in the picture).  And even his kit has morph targets set to animate when he hits a cymbal, or a kick drum. Lots of graph editing.


The bassbot has articulated fingers on both hands, he only has 3 fingers on each hand for a few reasons, mostly to save time animating, but really, he's a robot, he can do more with 3 than people could with 5.

Eventually, I'm going to get the motion capture software to work, but I'm still tweaking the hell out of his moves with that precision bass.

I'm currently working on the keyboard bot, it's definitely not as involved as the other performances,
especially considering we wont get a close up look at her hands !

There are many improvements from the previous Ybot videos, like this one where I used Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 to create the fireworks and laser show.

don't forget to like us on Facebook !!

© 2011 a million pictures ent. all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

option 7

I'm working on so many different things right now, so I'm going to shamelessly use this weeks blog entry to promote one of my original music projects. I'm really excited about the music we've been coming up with, and looking forward to performing this stuff onstage.
For now you can preview some demo versions of songs heading for our first 2 cd's..

sell music online

please feel free to share this widget, join our mailing list, send us money, recommend us to your friends, or you could just say hello on facebook or reverbnation

Saturday, October 29, 2011

creepy clowns

I was really trying to finish an animated music video I'm producing for the band "Option 7"
before Halloween, as it is a creepy song, sung by creepy clowns,...but, well,'s not done yet...
so, heres a preview of some of the art from the video, both of these are fully vector, created in Anime Studio, and have articulated mouths, eyes, and hair, I'm still working on their bodies.