Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ali is Retarded Bobby McFerrin!
Bassy Wheezy.mp3

We know Bobby McFerrin is a brilliant musician and composer
with perfect pitch and an incredible gift for voicing music:

Well what if instead he was horribly tone deaf
had little to no musical talent
and no equipment or experience?

Well you're about to find out.

So going to bed after the last no talking Tuesday,
I had a simple infectious baseline stuck in my head
but knew I wouldn't remember it in the morning.
Then I remembered my new Macbook
(Which I almost never use)
and figured there might be a way to record my voice on it
and sure enough there was.

So I proceeded to record myself voice the bass line,
I was about to close the computer and go to bed when I thought:
"Well I have some accompanying parts fresh in my head,
I might as well attempt to record myself voicing them as well..."

What proceeded over the next half hour was me recording myself
making all sorts of embarrassingly tone def half musical voiced sounds
all recorded on my Macbook and played back over itself.

I call the resulting nonsense "Bassy Wheezy"
and while I'm half convinced that if all the various layers
were transposed into real instruments played by competent musicians
the results could be decent, none the less, as it is now it's likely to inspire
embarrassed cringing, and deeply felt sentiments of pity:

Bassy Wheezy.mp3

No Talking Tuesday # 100

Number one hundred!

In observation of the hundredth no talking Tuesday
I decided to take things one step farther and not write to communicate as well.

It was actually kind of interesting and fun to try to communicate
all the complicated nerd speak I normally use at work purely through gesture etc.
It actually worked better than I would have guessed.

No List

Monday, August 24, 2009

No Talking Tuesday # 99

This Tuesday found me at a Philosophy meet up group in Berkeley.
The idea of sitting in a coffee house and trying to out parry strangers
with half baked philosophical theory didn't strike me as too exciting.
But when I saw the theme for this discussion was going to be:
"How is linguistic communication possible?"
and that it was going to be held on a Tuesday,
well the irony was just too good to pass up.

The List:

Hey everyone I'm Ali. I'm interested in the utility of language.
It might be interest to imagine "Why does linguistic communication
have to be possible? Why exactly do we need it to work?

We spoke earlier about thinking of nouns as verbs.
That if you choose, you can eliminate the boundaries between things (i.e. a table is space "table-ing")
but even then you're simplifying it into divided contrasting states, of what is, from what is not.
So maybe language is defining contrast and boundary in a fluid sea of perception, immediate or imagined.
These encapsulated and compromised bits of experience work as lily pads for others or yourself to follow,
to program a chain of experience that yourself or others can play back to anchor to a fixed state,
and that experience of feeling a fixed state in a sea of change could be the core of ego.
So language and communication, though based in some degree in empathy, is really about separation,
of yourself from others and experience from the sea of reality.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pumpkin Ravioli

I picked up some great looking sheets of fresh spinach pasta the other day.
So I set about making Ravioli.

I ground up sesame seeds, salt, pepper corns, garlic, rosemary,
and fried it over low heat with butter and olive oil, later adding a little chili sauce.

I cut the pasta into squares, folded them over the filling
combined with pumpkin puree and goat cheese,
and wetted the edges, cinching them shut with a fork.

I cooked the pasta while steaming some Chinese long beans,
and sautéed wood ear mushrooms over high heat.

Coiled the cooked long beans atop some spinach leaves,
poured in some coconut milk and placed the cooked ravioli inside,
scattered the mushrooms and topped with a sprinkle of lemon juice, olive oil,
sunflower seeds, and goat cheese.

Of course pine nuts would have been a better choice for this dish,
but since none were handy, sunflower seeds make a good poor man's substitute.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lazy Veggies

Usually when I'm feeling too lazy to cook in earnest I make a variation on what I call "Lazy veggies".
I set the oven to 450
° season whatever vegetables I have lying around and roast them for 40 minutes.

If I use faster cooking vegetables I'll add them about half way through
so all the vegetables come out cooked the same.

The vegetables that stay in the whole time include the following:

eggplant etc.

The half way through vegetables include

summer squash etc.

And obviously you can leverage cooking time by how you cut up the vegetables if you do at all.

Then when they all come out I usually sprinkle on some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar,
some olive oil, and add something like toasted seeds or nuts for texture contrast that's crunchy
and something like yogurt or tahini for texture and temperature contrast, usually smooth and cold.
If I'm feeling coy I may drizzle honey or chili sauce etc. Assuming I'm not feeling too lazy.

Also doing nothing more than cutting the cooked vegetables on a bias
and arranging them such that they fan out
is enough to elevate the presentation to something very appealing
when it would otherwise come off as utilitarian and boring.

So for these lazy veggies I used squash, carrots, tomatoes, tofu, and Garlic.
Massaged some gee on them with plenty of salt and pepper and roasted them for 40 mins.
sprinkled on some lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds,
and paired them with yogurt with chili sauce and honey.

No Talking Tuesday # 98

I made a mistake today. FRIGG.
I'm so annoyed with myself!

I blame cat molestation and some jerk.

I've been taking care of a couple cats for a friend,
who love to molest me bright and early every morning
with plaintive meows and face pawing.
Today in the middle of this half conscious molestation fend off
I received a phone call. I answered it unthinking and said "Hello"
quickly realized my mistake and hung up.

So though I would like to blame cats and some jerk calling me at eight thirty in the morning.
Really it was my fault. This is the second Tuesday I've sullied with a early morning mistake like this,
I need to be better at remembering the rules of the day first thing.

The List:

I think it all looks sort
of crappy

Also what looks like the
exaggerated cliff/shore height
diminishes the scale

Lishan - no roast please
and water

sorry I meant not hot water

Monday, August 10, 2009

Crappy Anime-esque Girl Painting Part Two!

(If you missed Part One)

Here's another playback of a crappy anime girl painting for your viewing en-crap-ment:

Corn Banana Soft Tacos


, banana, chickpeas, zucchini, radish,
garlic, sun flower seeds, rosemary, honey, gee, olive oil, chili sauce, lemon juice,
with fresh tomato, goat cheese on white corn tortillas.

Though it may seem weird, I made it for the guys at work
and all were unanimous that the corn went awesome with the bananas.

My boss astutely observed however that rather than bananas I should have used sweet plantains
or "banana apples" as they would better compete with the heat of the chillies and I agree.

The combo came about however because in my recent bargain produce run from west Berkeley bowl
I got two giant bags of corn and bananas amongst other things (for a dollar each!)
and have been looking for ways to get through them,
especially since I would otherwise never cook with either.
(nothing against bananas or corn, just not something i reach for when grocery shopping,
hence my new commitment to going with the flow of the bargain produce
is forcing me into bold new territory)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

No Talking Tuesday # 97

The List:

this is going smooth as

long story
but hilarious

um, so yea anyway this is going smooth as butter
I'm on layer 13 of 16, so almost done

so for that should i build it out in layers that we can turn on and off for
animation purposes

also, when i finish what I'm doing now should i export the low rez and
normal map for each step, well i figured that the scene couldn't hold 17
high rez

Monday, August 03, 2009


Recently I spent two weeks in Berlin visiting a friend.
As usual I spent my time as If I lived there,
making myself at home cooking, taking photos, drawing,
going to restaurants, dancing, museums etc.
Also, I went through a major change while there,
a change I anticipated and am still reeling from.
But there will be plenty of time for that later.
As usual if you want to bypass all this neurotic nonsense
and and get right to the action:

Click Image to see the rest of the photos:

I found the physical and psychological distinction between west and east Berlin very interesting. It gave a structured schizophrenia to the city I really appreciated. Though the wall is down, still much of the architecture and culture of the two sides remains distinctly it's own. The west side is basically a big sleepy mall. Designed to maximize window space to show off women's shoes. And it didn't go un-appreciated. There seemed to be a women's shoe store every twenty feet and most had women glued to the windows with cupped hands peering through the glass at the oh so sweet shoes inside. Stores in general in Berlin are strangely specific in their business plan. For example a book store won't even carry sketch/notebooks or pens etc. Simply books and nothing else. A far cry from our Wall Marts and Costcos, where you can by everything but a human soul, which is curious when you think how many are left inside that commercial purgatory.

Residential parts of the west side are saturated with a palpable sense of stillness. But it's not the eerie stillness of abandonment that you feel on the unused sidewalks of L.A. Rather the stillness feels natural and informed. I think it's partly due to how safe and clean the city is. With such a late night culture you would think that disorderly public drunkenness and riff raff would besmirch every corner and liquor store. Instead, almost every time I saw a police officer he was good-natured-ly chatting with a civilian on the street laughing. It's a strange feeling walking through the darkened streets of a city at three in the morning on a Friday night and feel completely at ease.

The whole city permeates a sort of German efficiency. All the times you might have occasion to vent your frustrations about how things work in America, along the lines of: "Ugh, that's so stupid, whoever designed this is a moron.", in all those same instances in Berlin, you're likely to think "Huh... Well that's clever, how come we aren't set up like this in the states?" I found myself having thoughts of this sort on a myriad of different things, from how the subway system works to the organization of shelf space in a grocery store.

The east side however has a more gritty, young, hip quality, much like what silver lake is to Los Angeles or Brooklyn is to Manhattan. Food and drinks were cheaper, things are open later, more live music, less fanny pack wearing tourists etc.

I have to say that aesthetically Berlin didn't impress me. It's mostly flat and drab, with soviet reconstructed utility and blandness permeating most everything. Though I have to say the couple of historic buildings which survived the war are truly gorgeous.

There is a church on the west side that spoke to me aesthetically more than maybe any structure I have ever seen. I could sit in front of it and draw and paint every day for a year and not get tired of it.


The food was pretty standard hearty, simply prepared 'lumberjack food'. Which is basically my name for dishes comprised mostly of big cuts of meat and potatoes and the like. Which was pretty much what I expected, an abundance of big heavy good meat with obligatory fixins tacked on to justify a meal. This obvious emphasis of priorities was reflected in the pricing. You can get a gigantic cut of meat and all the beer you can drink for practically nothing. But order vegetables and a glass of orange juice and you pay through the nose. I would marvel at times that the giant cut of meat was two euros but my tiny little glass of concentrated orange juice was four.

One of the most interesting moments I had was at a Persian restaurant in the west side. I went with the friend I was staying with who speaks Russian, English, and German. I spoke with one of the waiters in Farsi, which both the waiter and I understood but my friend didn't. The other waiter spoke to us in German, for which my friend and the waiter understood, but I didn't. My friend and I spoke in English for which we both understood but the waiter couldn't. The people sitting behind us spoke Russian with each other for which the waiter and I couldn't understand but my friend could. So my friend translated the waiters German to English for me. I translated the Farsi the other waiter and I spoke to my friend in English. My friend translated what the people behind us were saying in Russian to me in English. So basically every possible combination of the four languages at hand were expressed with no one person knowing them all.

Berlin as an all night middle school dance

Probably the most noteworthy thing about Berlin from a lifestyle perspective is their all night culture. There is a multitude of things going on all over the city every night and most places don't close until after sunrise if they close at all. It's quite normal to start your night out at midnight, and continue your debauchery well into the the following day. Though I should say something about Berlin's brand of debauchery or lack there of. Now I'm sure that there is some secret seedy underbelly operating below the publicly available night life. But what I saw was the most confusedly orderly and respectable debauchery I've ever experienced in a big city.

One night I went with some friends to a dance club. Walking through a catacomb of damp smoke filled rooms, saturated in dim fluorescent colored lights. Each room was littered with old mangy couches covered with the lazy outstretched bodies of bleary eyed hipsters, lazily watching us pass through. I felt like I was walking into a trainspotting-esque den of drugs and sex ready to explode on me with a strength I was prepping to defend myself against. But after making a brief tour of the rooms and the various dance floors, all I found was a bunch of very orderly German people respectfully keeping their distance from one another as they all very tamely swayed their knobby elbows in a subdued erratic manner to redundant techno beats. It was almost like a Jr high school dance as all the single women were dancing by themselves occasionally glancing around radiating their receptivity, but the men stayed an overly respectful distance, choosing instead to simply enjoy the rhythmic hypnosis of the music.

And really it was at this moment, surrounded by everything needed to stoke the flames of hedonistic debauchery (alcohol, loud music, youth, the dead of night, smoke filled deep lit rooms slippery with perspiration etc.) and finding instead respectful well mannered consciences Germans acting with natural self restraint and propriety, that I felt I understood Berlin. Because really the whole city is like that dance floor. Hard working, upright, honest people, proper to the point I can best describe as "charmingly-earnest clueless-ness". I had a vague sense that their propriety on some level causes them to miss the point. Now of course no one can argue there is anything wrong with people conducting themselves in an orderly fashion at a dance club, drinking responsibly, respecting women's personal space etc. and instead privately enjoying the music and the movement of their bodies. But my point is there is a reason you don't often find that in a dance club, it's because on some level people go out to put themselves in a chaotic unpredictable environment that encourages indulgence and disarms inhibition, because that's how people break the structure of every day life to make new connections, romances, release steam etc. In other words, If you don't act stupid and horny and indulgent in a late night dance club then when do you ever? And if you never do, are you somehow missing something? Bottling it up? etc. Then again it's probably why their subway system works so well, or why you don't have to worry about being ripped off at a farmers market etc. I mean this sensibility even extends to their pets. Dogs are very popular and Berlin and you see them everywhere. But almost every time i saw a dog it was without leash, walking obediently beside their owner or else waiting patiently outside a store for their owner to come back out. Obviously well trained, with all impulsive urges curbed, always trotting along with respectable decorum. It's impressive and certainly a pleasure to have dogs behave so well, but is it perhaps on some level, unnatural?

Changing of the guard
On a more personal note Berlin retired a long running chapter in my life which I will only cryptically speak of here. This trip provided a backdrop to a changing of the guard within me. I redefined much of the framework I have well worn to coordinate my understanding of myself and relationships. The old system was built on an outdated design that was hindering my progress more than it provided me with the clarity I once valued it for.

I adopted the now retired framework soon after high school when the pursuit of my artistic development and professional success took hold of me as the forefront concern of my life. At the time I recognized the key to establishing myself on this track was clarity. The clarity to make decisions, the clarity of mind to discipline myself to commit to what I resolved, without weakness or distraction. And the clarity to see myself blemishes and all, to stay honest with myself and others so as to never stop improving myself. And it worked. My life became full of planning, to do lists, one, five, ten year plans, flowcharts, countless sleepless days and nights painting, drawing, filming, writing etc. I began making great strides in all aspects of my life and self improvement, and felt validated by my resolve. But I've recognized for some time that the clarity to which I tenaciously clung, required a simplification of life and relationships into black and white extremes. Things were "bad"or "good"insofar as they helped me or distracted me from my goals. This oversimplification freed up my mind and time to work in committed directions with little deviation, and seeing the reward of such fundamentalist focus, I kept it up and intensified it. People began to increasingly describe me as "over thinking" , in fact the default operation of my mind became to imagine and churn over every possible permutation of any given scenario in any sphere of my life and to develop a plan for how to best anticipate and react to any one of these imagined outcomes. I never lived in the "now"but continually defined the now by it's influence on the future. If you paused my brain at any given moment, you would have found it somewhere in the future, maybe an hour, week, year, decade etc. And often this proved useful, I was rarely caught off guard, and seemed to have a ready well developed plan for how to act and what to say no matter the situation.This constant state of preparedness imbued me with self confidence, and people admired my integrity, discipline and tireless commitment to my principles and priorities. Even if they found it difficult to simplify themselves into such opaque shades so as to fit into my life. But over the last couple years, I have little by little replaced the self image I've had of the scrappy young artist fresh from art school trying to edge his way into the adult world, weary of any and all of life's tricks to edge me off the narrow path of success, and have begun to accept that I am now comfortably walking at my own pace with steady footing, and that no such fear of derailment need exist within me. I have safely chosen a path free of such hazards. I'm no longer the scrappy art school student, rather, I'm working lead and senior positions, as a consultant for my knowledge and looked up to and counted on for my experience and know how. I have a hand in the hiring and training of artists for which I'm qualified to guide. It's no longer me against the cruel world of the status quo. Rather I've made deep investments in quality people and lifestyle choices and in my art that have begun to shape my daily environment , relationships and opportunities, so I no longer need to have a moral polarizing filter for every activity and human interaction. I have the bandwidth now to support more shades of grey between the black and white extremes. And really life is in those messy shades of grey, and it's okay to get mussed up by it, in fact its preferable.

This trip broke down some of the most re enforced walls of my outdated system, and while it's thrown me off balance for the time, rebuilding with new materials, lacking in clarity, but much more rich with the shades of experience already making my life broader in it's experience, deeper in it's depth and more satisfying in its chaos.

Click Here For Berlin Photos

Wehani Rice and Vegetables

Was feeling a down to earth mood today,
thought I would make a fried rice of sorts with Wehani rice,
cubed sauteed radish, zucchini, mushrooms and asparagus,
all seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper, a bit of lemon and olive oil ,
toasted pumpkin seeds, and topped with crumbled feta cheese.

It's funny,
when i served it up for the gang during lunch
there was no sense that I skimped on the fancy.
I like being re taught the lesson that simple food can be just as good
and appreciated as the fancy stuff when done right.

Song Obsession
The Knife - A Lung

For some reason I've been obsessed with the song "A Lung" off The Knife's self titled album.
I mean I like the song and everything,
I'm just not sure why I felt the need to listen exclusively to it and nothing else straight for three days,
racking up over fifty consecutive track plays.
I mean isn't that kind of demented?
Anyway click here if you want the proof.

And if you want to hear the song for yourself:

Berries and Tea

I made a little berry plate today to pair with some Fu Shou Shan spring harvest oolong tea.

It's made up of green and red strawberries, blue berries, black berries, and red currents.
I laid them in a shallow pool of coconut milk, and crumbled some pie crust on top.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


I went to my cousins wedding in Montana.
Why Montana? Aren't I Persian? Do Persians live in Montana?
The answer is yes, one does, my cousin.
He's a surgeon, and a few years ago he took a position
at a hospital in a small town in Montana,
I think he may even be the only surgeon there.
He owns a huge ranch and is the most happy I ever saw seen him
in overalls smeared in dirt fresh from bailing hay.

It was a culture shock to say the least to have a gaggle of Persians
roll into a small Montana town.
At the rehearsal dinner the grooms side showed up, ninety percent doctors,
the women wearing chiffon dresses and pearls and black stiletto heals
and the men in Armani suites.
While the brides side wore mud caked work boots and t shirts.

But I have to give due credit to both sides,
they tried their very best to mingle and understand each others world.
The whole time I was in Montana I experienced no prejudice or small minded racism whatsoever.
Quite the opposite in fact, almost every person I met showed a genuine interest and curiosity
in learning more about my family and culture.
I'm always struck when traveling through America
how kind, earnest, hospitable, and polite small town people are.

Montana has these unbelievably huge skies stretched over beautiful rolling hills.
The last few days of the trip we spent at glacier national park
and I was overwhelmed by the beauty.
Quite possibly the most beautiful natural scenery I've ever seen, which is saying a lot.

Click image to see photos:

Tea and Persian Sweets

I won't even get into my tea obsession for this post.
Really it would be too much.
But suffice to say my interest in tea
(high mountain Taiwanese oolongs in particular)
is actually rather frightening.

When people find out how much time, money, and work
I've invested in tea they look at me
as you would a well meaning deranged social outcast.
it's a look that's equal parts alarm, confusion, sympathy and pity.

So I will simply say that the tea in this photo is a formosa oolong
called Tung Ting Mi Xiang
it's like the Tung Ting except harvested later in the year
after cicadas are allowed to bite the leaves
the tea plants release a compound in response to the bites
that partially oxidise the leaves and gives them a unique sweetness.

The rest of the plate is covered with all the Persian sweets my
mom brought back from Iran, or made herself, or made by her friends.

The fruit roll looking thing is called "lavashack"
which my parents made from the plums in our backyard
it's freakishly good.

The marshmallowy thing is called "gaz"
and are sort of hard to describe,
kind of like firm mild marshmallows with pistachio nuts mixed in

The bready cubes are Persian Baklava,
distinct by their soft bready-ness and perfume of rose water

and the toffee looking thing is something called Sohan Asali

Squash With Wehani Rice and Basil
Flavored Water

This afternoon I threw together a simple dish of wehani rice on a bed of basil.
Roasted acorn squash and sauteed asparagus and mushrooms.
topped with a little bit of feta cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil.

I also flavored some water
with slices of cucumber, basil (mint if you want to be a bit more daring), and lemon slices.
The trick with the water is to use only good fresh ingredients
and to not let them sit in the water for more than a few hours.

Shredded Carrot
Coconut Milk Variations

I've always been against the idea of grating food.
But if pressed to explain why I wouldn't have an answer.
I think on some level I had this samurai code
of wanting to rely on nothing but a sharp knife for my cooking,
and the idea of using a big ugly grater clashed with my sensibilities.

But lately I've felt a weird urge to try and see what I could do with grated carrots,
and how to include them in some of the summer salads I've been making recently.
For the second salad I tried marinating the shredded carrots in lemon juice
for a few minutes to sharpen up the flavor
and give it a bit more crispiness,
It didn't make the carrots too tart, and worked great.

I also started experimenting with coconut milk and have been having a blast!
I don't know why I never thought of it before, but coconut milk is awesome.
It's such a team player, it does so much to bring order to chaos in a dish.
It tethers possibly competing flavors and directs them in a single direction
better than anything I can think of.
I think it's due to it's versatility.
It's good when paired with sweet, savory, good cold, warm, hot,
thickened to a sauce, or diluted with stock or soup etc.
It's mild and smooth, yet specific in flavor,
doesn't taste heavy but still has a richness to it etc.

Given how much leeway the coconut affords me, I made a couple ballsy salads:

The first was made with grated carrots/radishes, cilantro/parsley, and tomatoes.
I poured on the coconut milk and accented it with
honey, chili sauce, orange juice and toasted pumpkin seeds.

The second was a mixture of carrots, blueberries, mango, tomatoes, and grilled julienned radish
(grilled this time to be more in line with the sweeter elements of this salad)
and the same coconut and accent bath as the last one (minus the orange juice).

Bargain Produce!
Dear God...

I came back to the studio after grocery shopping the other day completely freaking out!
I was ranting hysterically to everyone at work at the amazing grocery store experience I had just had.
and truly it was amazing.
Normally I get my groceries from the Berkeley bowl.
It's a large kind of hippy dippy supermarket where you can get lots of unusual produce
and they have a huge bulk foods section, are reasonably priced, and carry lots of really great stuff.
But it's primarily the produce and bulk foods sections I shop at.
I can get honey made from bees who live on an exclusive diet of black berry flowers,
red quinoa, tropical fruits, weird freak sized eggplants etc.

But a friend revealed to me that a new Berkeley bowl had just opened closer to me
and that she had heard mixed reviews from her friends but it seemed like something worth checking out.
I had just gone grocery shopping a few days earlier and only needed more produce
so I told myself that this was going to be a surgical strike, in and out,
no being seduced by esoteric superfluous things like Bolivian vanilla pods or marinated plums from Madagascar.

So I started perusing the produce isles being quit impressed by the variety and overall clean open space,
when I asked the guy working if there was a bargain produce section like at the other Berkley bowl.
I usually buy my produce from such a section because i don't have any produce prejudice whatsoever
and am just as happy cooking any vegetable really.
The bargain section usually has good and often unusual produce at greatly reduced prices,
and introduces a delightfully random quality to my cooking,
as it forces me to cook with produce that I may have otherwise not considered.

The guy directed me around the corner to a bunch of large wooden shelves covered with bags of produce,
being prodded at here and there by old hunched over Chinese women.
(A good sign in the bay area, as old Chinese women are the best at sniffing out good deals on produce,
whether it be a farmers market, fruit stand, or whatever)

... I don't remember much of the next fifteen minutes.
It was a blur of drunken produce intoxication.
Before me lay countless huge bags all marked a dollar or less
of amazing and often very expensive produce
One bag was full of about fifteen avocados, another with four huge mango's,
another had two giant bunches of asparagus, another had two huge eggplants,
bags of artichokes, zuchinni, mushrooms
still others were full of peaches, strawberries, black berries etc.
I couldn't believe my eyes, and greedily snatched at the bags
only to find that the bag of avocados was only one of many such bags,
and that there seemed an endless supply of obscenely cheap high quality produce ready for the grabbing.
So I piled the bags into my hand basket far above it's rim,
(until one of the Chinese women couldn't resist pointing at me and laughing)
and made my way to the register.
The following picture shows the fruits of my labor (ba-dum chee!).
That entire table of produce much of which is being obscured from view cost me only fifteen dollars!
Crazy times!

No Talking Tuesday # 96

The List:

i need guidance about something:

so i went to bed really late last night
so i thought well maybe i should give them like half
their food now before bed or something.
since it was only a couple hours from seven

but i noticed their food dish was still full
so i figured alright well i'll just do it when
the big fatso wakes me up

but i wasn't woken up by any fatso
and i haven't seen them yet this morning

so i'm guessing their just sleeping somewhere,

but if there is food in their dish should i feed them anyway
or wait until they eat that first?

this is a clean cmesh type thing
so i can very easily add those rocks
in the sculpt if it saves a hassle

and should i arrange my layers or collapse them in some way
that will aid in the transition shot?

cause it's all sort of procedurally built up

isn't it like falling away in parts or something?

so you just need the final sculpt as a target

i don't fully understand what your saying
but you cant use a normal map on this level 0?

it's got right topology

we can also try dividing level 0 in half poly count wise

i think it would still hold up

so this is the low rez mesh reduced from xsi
with the displacement map from my mudbox scene applied

now do you want me to generate another displacement map
using this

ok gotcha
so i saved this file already

do you want me to render out an ao map while i'm at it?

so i can also start texturing it with overhead photos if
we have any

i mean the whole reason i had to model without ref
was because there was no photos

and this is granite right?

ok well i can look into that


ok so the best use of my time is to hunt these rock ref right?
i just want to make sure nothing is waiting for me

ok so there is no drama from other shots waiting for me
so others can work or anything?


ok, well


well should i check in first once i find ref photos

just poly reduce, since it's organized

i mean we would have to test to make sure it looks right
with normal map, but hopefully it would

yea i think so

i would bring in the reduced low rez as a different object
and choose it as a target when making the normal map

i wouldn't have to re apply a displacement map

i'm always nervous about applying displacement maps
since it always in my experience but not jun's
introduces all these little artifacts i have to paint out
that take forever

but i'll try and see


i thought that the layout reel looks pretty good
if no one is complaining

how is it falling away now?

is there just two meshes and you animate verts


hmm so we need 15 different objects all low rez
with high rez normal?

so should i still poly reduce this low rez?

so as far as what i'm doing right now
it's poly reducing the mesh and applying a displacement
and get everything together in one mudboxfile?

wasn't this whole shot going to be done in that illustration
texture/render style?

like that palma video you showed me where it was kind of
water color esque?

we can't just dissolve to the realism at the end when it's all scan data?

so for whatever reason when i try to export the decimated
mesh from xsi the obj won't open in either maya, or xsi or mudbox.
the xsi running over there now how up the ready to go obj,
but i can't for the life of me get it out of the scene in
a way that can be recognized by anything. i'm sort of
at a loss of what to do, if this doesn't work we can decimate
in gsi i suppose but i'm not really sure how to work in gsi etc.

i resolved the issue

truly this is a moment in ridiculousness
the good news is that nothing was wrong with xsi
the problem if you can believe it was there was
no more space left on the local drives

so i tried writing to my external and it was fine
that's also why each subsequent attempt got smaller

so it's fine

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