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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, September 17, 2017

Play Acoustic and Electric Guitars Without an Amp

I made this video to show how you can use a Vox Amplug AC30 and a Xvibe Vibration Speaker, to make a poor man's ToneWoodAmp.




And also realized that this can be used for electric guitars as a practice amp, without having to be right next to a traditional amp. This is great for just kicking back on the couch, or make a great traveling amp.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nothing Else Matters cover with the Guitalele

I started learning the guitar earlier this year, and attempting to sing.... here is Metallica's Nothing Else Matters acoustic cover, using a Guitalele



Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele is a $100, 6 string guitar-ukelele hybrid, tuned A-A. With a lot of experimentation, and searching guitar/ukulele forums, I was able to get it to tune E-E, standard guitar tuning. I did this by using standard tension nylon strings, removing the highest string, and shifting the remaining strings down, and adding the lowest string with an extra high tension low E string. It stays in tune well, after a couple weeks of letting the strings settle in. Obviously this isn't what the Guitalele is made for, so do at at your own risk. The low E string is slack, and the rest of the strings aren't tuned up much higher than before, so overall pull on the neck isn't very different, I think. Mine's been working out great for a few months now, but again.... your milage my vary, and do it at your own risk. A-A tuning on the Guitalele actually sounded great, very sweet and ukulele sounding, and you can play and practice like a guitar... But I wanted to learn to sing with it, and my unfortunate limited vocal range  just can't go that many steps up, otherwise I'd just stayed with the A-A.

I've also replaced the saddle with a tusk saddle, but I don't hear an improvement there, so I wouldn't recommend going through the trouble. Overall it's a great travel guitar, couch guitar, and just something fun to play with, it's so cute! It is very small, and feels very cramped because of the super short neck scale, but it has very good nut width. The string spacing at the saddle is where it feels very tight for finger style, and I wished that it was spaced out more there. Still, it is pretty fun to mess around and practice with.

This video was recorded on the iphone, using Movie Pro app, with the remote app. I also used a usb mic, the Samson CO1U Pro, and USB to Lightning connector.

Friday, June 23, 2017

iPad Pro 10.5 vs Original 12.9


Here is a video comparison between the new iPad Pro 10.5, and the original 12.9. See  the original full iPad Pro artist review, for the full rundown. So far, I'm loving it!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Motorla Steampunk

This is a spot that I did for Motorola a few years ago, but was never used. I found a version of it and thought that I'd share :)



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/





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: