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I work for Toys for Bob / Activision. Posts here are my personal views, and do not necessarily reflect that of my employer. 

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Skylanders Imaginators Released!

Skylanders Imaginators released today! Here's a nice review video from ACG:

And Kotaku's Review, And Forbes article, covering the free Skylanders Creator App, for iOS and Android, and info about custom t-shirts, playable cards, and 3d prints!

I've always said that I've got the best job in the world, I get to create characters and make game characters and physical toys. Now you have my job! it's totally the best thing ever :)

My family's been having a blast making their own characters, too. After they've made theirs, I started to make my own Imaginator. My wife and my oldest son were being backseat drivers, telling me what to pick, what looked best, and I said "hey who's the Skylander designer here?", to that they both said "we are".  Yup, YOU all are!

My wife's character, very cool looking and gears are largely chosen by stats.

My son's character, is a pumpkin and snake themed dude, his name is... wait for it... Pumpkin Snake.

Our little guy's creation is a baby, with construction robot body, plunger ears, cupcake hat, fish weapon, eagle armor, with stinky green cloud.

Skylanders Imaginators is available now, for more info: https://www.skylanders.com/

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Strandbeest at the Exploratorium

We got to visit the Exploratorium in San Francisco this past weekend, and saw Theo Jansen's Strandbeest Exhibit. For those of you that haven't seen a Strandbeests, prepare to have your mind blown.

This rare opportunity to see the Strandbeests in person, will be at the Exploratorium from now until September 5, 2016. I strongly urge you to check them out while you can. The Exploatorium has something for everyone, lots of amazing hands on science, and fun for the whole family. Check out some of our pictures here

I took some videos, showing a couple of the Strandbeests in action. My son and I got to push them around! It was actually easier to move than I had thought! I still can't figure out the compressed air/pistons mechanism, even up close studying them. I'm not sure if I'm more impressed with the art of the machine, or the artist who made the machine. Either way, just awe inspiring.

My Hamster walker was also on display there, as part of this Strandbeest exhibit. This is the second time that I've had my tinkerings displayed at the Exploratorium. The first time was showing my steam robots, and talked about making Skylanders toys:  toys: http://crabfuartworks.blogspot.com/2012/01/exploratorium-webcast-toys.html
My Hamster walker is also on Display
Exploratorium website here: http://www.exploratorium.edu/
Strandbeest website here: http://www.strandbeest.com/

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Indiana Jones on iPad Pro + Microkey Air

Playing the Korg Microkey Air 49 with iPad pro + iM1 app!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Figma Archetype Review

Figma Archetype is an affordable, super posable figure, that works great as an artist mannequin. This figure, along with the male version, became extremely expensive, after they sold out everywhere. Luckily, Figma just re-released them, and I got the chance to pick up one to review.

I'm impressed. Yes, it is cheap and small, but it's.... cheap and small! The figure is very poseable, but not as much as SFBT-3. In particular, the neck, head, and wrists felt limited, after getting used to the SFBT-3. I had a hard time trying to cross her arms, and couldn't quite do a pistol hold with 2 hands. However, it's way better than Stikfas, and other posable figures that I've tried, and works great as an artist mannequin.

I preordered this from Tokyo Otaku Mode, for about ~$30. That is a tenth of the list price of the SFBT-3 previously reviewed. SFBT-3 are made in extremely low numbers, and released once in a rare moon, so they are pretty much impossible to get. The Figma Archetype is the next best thing that I've found, check out the review video!

Friday, January 22, 2016

iPad Pro + Pencil Artist Review (vs Wacom Cintiq Companion)

I've been using the iPad Pro + Pencil for a couple of months now, and I think it's the best digital drawing experience that I've ever had. For sketching and drawing, the Pro and Pencil just feel so natural. Apple made something different, whereas other drawing tools and tablets are either made by Wacom, use Wacom, or trying to copy the Wacom stylus. I'm a huge Wacom fanboy, so it's hard to win me over, but Apple did it! The Apple Pencil is truly is an incredible first gen device, see the review video below, to see why:

iPad Pro + Pencil Artist Review

Procreate is my favorite drawing app on iOS, it really is an amazingly powerful app. It has everything you need for sketching and painting. Here is my tweaked Pencil brush for Procreate. Here are directions on how to import brushes into Procreate from Dropbox: The brush is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w8y5grf3eqsbnkd/Apple_Pencil_Crabfu.brush?dl=0

I found the tilt setting on most drawing apps make the line thickness way too much, and Procreate was no exception. This may make the Apple Pencil look really impressive at first, tilting will turn your pencil into a gigantic graphite stick, but is very hard to control. After a lot of tweaking with this brush, I'm very happy with the results. It feels like a natural pencil, when a bit of shade when you tilt it down low. This pencil brush, along with the pressure curve + screen protector shown in the video, made all of the difference.

Here are some of my sketches, using 100% iPad Pro/Pencil & Procreate:

Portrait sketch practice, me and my boys. I used ipad's split screen view, to see reference pictures on half of the screen, and sketch on the other half, worked out great.

I'm not much of a painter, but testing out painting rather than drawing.

Sketch of my wife

Love the blue pencil feel!

And a sketch using Sketchbook Pro

Previously, I reviewed the Wacom Cintiq Companion, Wacom Creative Stylus, and Galaxy Note, and other Tablet PC's, but now it's hard to imagine wanting to use them over the iPad Pro/Pencil. I still need to keep the Cintiq Companion, for heavy duty photoshop stuff for work. But if I want to just draw, design some characters, sketch out ideas, even render in color, I think iPad Pro can handle just about everything I need. At half the cost of the Wacom Cintiq Companion, I'd strongly recommend iPad Pro and Pencil.

Friday, November 20, 2015

iPad Pro Pencil Sketch (Procreate)

I just got the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I'll do a review after I put more miles on this puppy, but so far it's been amazing! Here are a few sketches and doodles so far:

Sketches with iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Procreate:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hamster Walker in Popular Science Magazine

The current November issue of Popular Science included a little blurb about my Hamster Walker! This is the second time that I've been in the magazine, the first was when I made the Putterbot back in 2009. Popsci website had previously covered the Hamster Walker video, but now it's in the magazine! The little machine is currently on display at the Peabody Essex Museum through January, with the amazing creations of Theo Jansen's Strandbeest.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hamster Walker on CBS This Morning

My Hamster Walker made a few second apparence on CBS This Morning. I love this interview with Theo Jansen! This exhibit is currently at the Peabody Essec Museum

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Strandbeest Exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum

My Hamster Walker is currently in an exhibit at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Ma. It's part of a traveling exhibit of Theo Jansen's Strandbeest, and I am honored to be a small part of it.

Theo Jansen and his wind powered Strandbeest

Hamster Walker displayed next to other amazing Strandbeest creations!

They've included the original video next to the Hamster Walker.

Below is the schedule for Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen. I am looking forward to see it at the Exploratorium next year! Theo Jansen is a legend in the maker world, and I can't wait to see his machines in real life. If you don't know who Theo is, and what his creations are, you must see them in action: http://www.strandbeest.com/

Peabody Essex Museum, September 19, 2015 - January 3, 2016
Chicago Cultural Center, February 6 - May 1, 2016
The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, May 25 - September 5, 2016

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sketchbook Pro 7 Animations

I finally got around to testing out the new Flipbook Animation feature on Sketchbook Pro 7. It's amazing to use my favorite drawing tool to animate! Currently, it is very basic and limited, but enough to do roughs and cycles like these. I used to be a 3D Animator, but I've never actually done any 2D animation. Years ago, I transitioned into Concept Art, and have been putting in a lot of sketching miles over the years, so it is great to be able to put these two passions together. And boy, is it harder than it looks.... much more studies and practice needed! I sure hope that Autodesk continue to support this feature, and turn it into a full animation program.

Animated with Sketchbook Pro 7, and Cintiq Companion 1, with Muybridge reference.