So after all the rave reviews of simplicity installing the Crucial 256gb SSD drive, I decided it was idiot proof enough for me to install so I went and plunked down the change to buy one and waited excitedly for it to come in the mail…
It came in the mail and I got all excited about how I could put the Adobe suite on there, Maybe a li’ Maya action, some Z-Brush… Oh I was gonna ROCK this new spiffy hard drive! Yeah!
Well I installed the drive no problem booted it up and for the life of me could NOT get the Asus to recognize the drive.
I tried this:
How to initialize your SSD (Windows) – Crucial Community
and nothing happened…
For a bit I ran into not being able to boot to the bios either which of course scared me until I found this:
[B121] Force the Slate enter BIOS error: Reboot and Select proper Boot device
But my drive had been shut down correctly so again I basically had a very expensive eye patch which was pretty much useless except in case of Borg attack.
For a while i thought it might be that the ext DVD drive didn’t have enough power or something but the disk whirred and the drive seemed to be working.
I even tried to use a standard Windows 7 disk wondering if perhaps the disk itself was either faulty or that my Asus wasn’t recognizing it.
Nope, that was not it either,
Then in an amazing coincidence of frustration and irritation I happened to mash the little half moon button on the right side of the Asus and viola, it recognized the disk and began to install!
I was so excited! Parades were going off in my head, hot chicks throwing confetti, life was suddenly good again and I basked in my ingenuity!
Installing… installing… Yeah baby, Wait for it wait wait… ohhh yeah it’s done! Reboot reboot! So excited!
I’m gonna install all sorts of software rocking my new Crucial 256gb SSD drvie… and it’s gonna be gr-
Wait what’s this?
BOOTMGR is missing?
And that’s my story.
So while it may have been easy for some of you, it’s NOT always a piece of cake.
Still trying to figure out how to get rid of the Bootmgr missing thing.
Wish me luck! :-/
So I solved the problem by cloning the original hard drive. using a wonderful little free tool called Drive Image XML… It cloned the entire hard drive and although it still needed a fix via booting up with my Windows 7 disk and running a repair routine, I got it to finally work.]]>
I am a High School senior and I am doing a project on animation. Part of my project involves interviewing an animation artist. Would you mind answering a few questions?1) What education did you go through to be an animator?
2) What is your favorite software program you like to use in creating animations?
3) What projects have you done that you are the most proud of?
4) What is the most challenging part about being an animator?
5) What sort of skills do you need to be an animator?
6) Are there any personal qualities one should have to become a good animator?
7) What is the working environment like?
8) How competitive is the job in your experience?
9) How much pay should an animator expect to make?
10) What do you love most about creating animation?
So it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog but this is big news so here goes!
I’ve been very fortunate over the years to work on some amazing projects, Pinky and the Brain, Chowder, Xiaolin Showdown and Phineas and Ferb being among my favorites. Now, I have a new project to add to that list in the form of Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja which is set to premiere on Sept 17th at 7pm on Disney XD!
It’s a fantastic show created by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas who really have this show down. The multi-talented Jackie Buscarino is our able producer and our supervising director is Shaun Cashman who’s worked on everything from The Simpsons to Billy and Mandy to Penguins of Madagascar. You can see an interview with him on Animation Insider. The characters were all designed by Jhonen Vasquez of Invader Zim fame and I have to say they’re pretty amazingly done. Such a cool style!
I myself am one of the directors along with the incredibly talented Josh Taback and Chuck Austen. You can read Josh’s interview on Animation Insider here. We’ve also got some amazing storyboard talent on this show as well. Alex Almaguer, Dan O’Connor, Kim Arndt, Bob Suarez, Peter Ferk, Larry Houston, Scott Bern and Fred Cline all provide some amazing visuals for the stories. Otto Tang does some beautiful art direction and lead designer Junpei Takayama adds to the series with some truly awesome monster designs in addition to literally hundreds of incidentals characters as well!
You can read Alex’s Animation Insider interview here.
Voiced by the incredibly talented Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) the show itself is essentially all about a boy who upon starting 9th grade discovers that he’s next in the line of hundreds of Ninjas who have protected the world from an evil sorcerer who was imprisoned under ground 800 years ago by the original ninja. the sorcerer grows stronger the more chaos he creates and is always turning students at the school randy goes to into monsters. Add to that a billionaire industrialist who’s struck a deal with the sorcerer to help him get out of his prison and you a ton of ass kicking stuff going on for poor ol’ Randy.
Randy’s bro Howard Wienerman voiced by the amazing Andrew Caldwell helps out as well but honestly more gets in the way making room for a lot of fun as well as action.
It’s basically a recipe for ‘boy’ in the form of monsters, magic, robots, ninjas and fart jokes. Yep plenty of body humor here as well and that’s the way I like it. It’s in short a fantastic show which premieres Sept 17 on Disney XD and I hope you’ll come along for the ride that we all take you on.
Here’s a trailer for the series below:
Click here to view the embedded video.
You can download a free copy of the preview episode Last Stall on the Left on Apple iTunes.
You can read the press release at Kidscreen.com]]>
I bought an Asus Ep121 about six months ago and have put it through some serious paces so I finally feel I can review it well from an animator’s perspective. Sorry if it’s a bit random since I’m just writing as I think of things to say.
I work as a director in the L.A. animation industry making cartoons and put this thing through some serious paces daily in order to do my work. The tablet itself it is a great device which is perfect for an artist trying to draw digitally. Priced at about half the cost of a Wacom Cintiq it’s a good replacement and is portable to boot. You of course also get an entire computer too in Windows 7 which has it’s pluses and minuses as I’ll go through later. If you’re thinking of looking for a tablet but can’t afford a Cintiq, this is the tablet you want.
I have seen many people over the years asking online what’s the best tablet for an artist, and it was the Motion Computing LE1600 until this tablet came out. Now my money is on this baby. The tablet comes with almost no bundled software and as an artist the only one you’ll use will be Artrage which is a great tool for painting. Better than Painter and better than Photoshop because by default you can paint one color and the select another color and when you drag the second color through the first color they will mix with each other. Yes MIX! You can buy Artrage here. Another great drawing program, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro works fantastically on this tablet and it really should be bundled with it but Asus doesn’t seem to care much about giving you any software as the built-in webcam does not even have software to use it. You can however get yourself a free gmail account and use their built in webcam software which works wonderfully.
If you buy the 2gb version you’ll need to upgrade the tablet to see it’s full potential. If you don’t you’ll have out of memory errors and the graphics card will flicker and cause refresh errors. Adding the memory is a snap with a screwdriver and a credit card to crack open the case. Below is a tutorial of how to upgrade the hard drive and the memory.
Click here to view the embedded video.
Armed with the full amount of memory the tablet will run Storyboard Pro, Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, Maya, ZBrush, Sketchbook Pro and pretty much anything you throw at it.
Also if you’re buying the 2gb version you’ll only get a 32gb hard drive which barely has any space left once you install something like Adobe’s Creative Suite so there’s that to think about as well. Luckily the tablet has an SD card slot and if you buy a fast 64gb SD card you can install the Creative Suite on that and your problems are solved. In my opinion it’s cheaper to buy the lesser version and upgrade yourself as it’s cheaper than buying the 64gb version unless of course you don’t feel you can do this yourself and then you really should buy the more expensive model.
The tablet is also touch sensitive which might make you think it’s like the iPad. Don’t think that. It’s not even close. The primary reason is Windows 7 sucks for touch screens and by default the touch screen functions are seriously lacking. It has touch screen by default turned on and unless you do a little hacking you have to continuously go to the Control panel to turn it off and on. You can NOT draw effectively with the touchscreen turned on which is something I have not seen any one else say in their reviews. It NEEDS to be turned off in order to draw at all because it does not have what is known as ‘palm rejection’ so that when you place your hand on the screen, it registers your palm as well as the stylus and they fight for which one gets the input.
The stylus is small, cheap and does not have a right click button on it and in some programs the press and hold feature of Windows which is supposed to mimic right clicking does not work. One offender is Toonboom’s Storyboard Pro which never registers anything but a real right-click with a mouse or button equipped pen. Another is Adobe Photoshop.
The Wacom Penabled Stylus will also work with this device however and is almost exactly the same side except it has a button on the sider of the pen. It also does not register the right click in Storyboard Pro or Adobe which makes me suspect the Ep 121 and not the software. It does however work with Sketchbook pro so I don’t know, it might just as well be the software after all.
There is a hack out there to make the one button on the Asus Ep121 remap to turn on and off touch screen function and once you’ve done this you have to wonder why Asus didn’t do this themselves as the button by default is set to go page though the Aero 3d screens which shows all your screens like a deck of cards and each time you press the button it flips to the next screen. Basically it’s Alt-Tab if you know the reference. If you do not know what I’m referring to try it on your computer and you’ll see what I mean. About the only thing the touchscreen is useful for in my opinion is to read books or magazines with because you can flip through the pages by simply touching the screen. The device also auto rotates so you can read a comic or a magazine easily in portrait mode with this tablet. It also has a rotate lock switch on the top of the device which I use due to the sensitivity of the rotation software. It is a bit heavier than an iPad too so there’s that to think about as you wont be holding it for long periods of time without taxing your muscles.
There is a pretty nifty hack out there that lets you add a touch screen slider widget to your screen which you can check out here.
The EP121 also comes with some accessories like a leather folio which you can slip the tablet into and use the flap to cover the screen. I never take mine out of the folio one because it’s kinda slippery without the leather to give it a little grab but also because it has two nice flaps on the back which allow you to prop it up for drawing, one portrait and one landscape. The flap itself flips over as well letting you use it to prop the device up so you can type with the included keyboard. The keyboard is something I’ll mention later but suffice it to say it’s solidly built if you can get it to stay paired with the tablet. I could not.
If you are not computer inclined you might want to steer clear of this device as well as it needs tweaking to get right. By default it does not have pressure sensitivity and you need to install Wacom drivers to get that functionality. you also need to have the right driver to make that work well or your tablet will crash. I have seen a fair amount of refresh errors as well so there’s still something buggy about the graphics driver.
The Bluetooth keyboard has issues too in that you have to repair it every time you turn the keyboard off as it does not remember the pairing. At least mine didn’t so perhaps it’s just me. It uses two AAA batteries so when they die you need to put new ones in and re-pair it with the tablet. Kind of annoying. In my case I kept it in my backpack which caused it to constantly be pressed and wearing down the battery. Each time I pulled it out to use it, the keyboard was dead. In order to pair it you use the stylus to push a pair button on the back of the keyboard and it’s supposed to flash red then green to let you know it’s in ‘pairing mode’. Some people have reported it takes up to 30 seconds to get it into that mode. Eventually mine never flashed at all making it of little more use than a Frisbee.
From the beginning my keyboard did not connect very well and over the next few weeks eventually stopped connecting at all. I contacted Asus and was told that the keyboard itself was considered an accessory which is not covered by the warranty which is odd to me considering it came IN the box WITH the tablet and has the ASUS name right on it!
Anyway, I wanted to let you all know buyer beware that if your keyboard breaks they will not fix it.
Do I still like my Asus tablet? Yes of course, it is a solidly made device and helps me in my daily work exponentially. Would I buy another Asus product? Yes I think so, if only because it suits my purposes well and there is nothing out there similar but I would not recommend them as a company to trust or count on.
A friend recently asked my opinion on whether she should plunk dow the cash for a Cintiq or get a Tablet PC instead (which is cheaper). I figured some might make use of the info so I have reposted in below.
I guess it all depends on what you want to do with the device digitally. The transformer is an Android device if I’m not mistaken so I don’t think it would do you much good since you can’t use a stylus. If you need to use ToonBoom software (IE.: Storyboard Pro) and don’t want to spend the $2000 for a Cintiq your best bet is still Asus but it’s the Asus EP121 which I have and it works very well. It’s also touchscreen which you an toggle on and off depending on what you need it for. The only caveat to it is that the screen is only 12″ but it will run Storyboard Pro very well and it’s probably worth buying for that reason alone. The EP 121 has an i5 processor which is fast as hell and works nicely with Photoshop, Maya, Flash, Toonboom Animate and Storyboard Pro and of course Sketchbook Pro which is the smallest fingerprint of them all. IF you don’t necessarily NEED Storyboard Pro there is another option in the form of the Motion Computing LE1600 which you can get for about $300 on eBay. Nice huh? It works very well with Sketchbook Pro which is a decent alternative to Photoshop for storyboards. If you just want to go ‘digital’ then I would say get one of those. The only thing you need to remember with the LE1600 is that you need to make sure you get a Centrino processor and NOT a Celeron. For $500 you could even get the LE1700 which is faster and takes up to 4gb of memory. Some of them are even touch screen.
The Cintiq is honestly the best way to go for doing storyboards simply because of the size of the screen but a smaller device is completely useable and I have done dozens of boards on a 12″ screen. You also sacrifice performance with a tablet vs the Cintiq but even then it’s really about what software you need to use to get the job done. Some studios like WB and Nick use Photoshop which Sketchbook Pro will fill in for as a lightweight substitute (and also is able to save in .psd format) but then other studios like Disney requires Toonboom and because it uses vectors it needs a decent graphics card and processors to do the math and calculate the strokes you’re creating.
So there, I’ve just complicated it for you further! :-)
But really it’s kinda simple.. to recap:
If you are going to only use Photoshop then you can easily get an LE1600 or and LE1700 but if you need to use Storyboard Pro then your options are either a CIntiq or an Asus EP121.
I hope this helps!]]>
Illustrator wanted to create Mount Olympus Gods
Back again? okay…
It’s amazing how much people value our work! Idiots… And what’s worse is that people will bid and someone will get this job. There’s bids there now! Fools!
Sadly, (or actually befitting) it wont be what the guy wants and he will be disgruntled about using artists in general never knowing that it was his fault because he did not put a value on the art to begin with! Even funnier is that people often want to spend nothing in order to create millions! They’ve got this giant amazing idea that everyone will love but they don’t want to spend anything to make it but fully expect to make a mint from that free work.
So this morning I wake up in a pretty decent mood. I trudge out to the kitchen to kiss my wife who got up early to make me pot luck stuff for my Christmas party at work. On my way I stumble on the carpet mat for my desk chair and my foot gets caught under it and I scrape my entire foot across its sharp spikes that prevent it from sliding. Now if I can manage to mame myself in the first 30 seconds of waking up,
its gonna be a good day ladies and gentlemen!
Anyway, one of the best kick ass features of Android is the fact that you can install apps to your phone by scanning bar codes on websites! Of course you can install directly from your phone by using the standard App Market program installed on all Android phones but again I like choices.
How does it work? Lets say you’re on your computer and you’re searching for apps and you come across one you’ve just gotta have. Well you can fire up a cool lil app called Barcode Scanner and take a pic of the barcode on the website with your phone, which will then automatically send your phone to a link where you can download the file! Sweet!
When you find an app you like, you will see when you click on the install button a bar code like this:
The best place I find to search for and find apps on your phone is to go download an app called AppBrain. Alternately you can go to Appbrain.com and search on your desktop too. It works the same for Mac or PC. As for the Android phone app once you download it, you can use it in place of your regular app store to download stuff and what makes it better is that you can make backups of your other apps online just in case something goes awry on your phone. If your phone is destroyed and you lose all your apps, once you get your new Android phone you only have to reinstall Appbrain and resync your phone and all your apps will reinstall.
You can also search on your desktop after you’ve created an appbrain account. and then install to your account from the web. Then you sync your phone’s Appbrain app with the website and all the apps you’ve selected on the desktop website will be installed automatically onto your phone!
One other thing not everyone knows about the difference between installing on an iPhone vs an Android phone is the fact that ANY paid app can be installed onto an Android phone and if you don’t like it, simply uninstall it and your money is instantly refunded! How cool is THAT!?!?!
I know right? Geek out!
If you’re still reading at this point…
Here’s a few other awesome useful tools I use to customize my Evo:
A great notepad that allows picture inserts, lists, website links, forex trading and even digital inking where available which will synchronize with your ‘access anywhere’ online account.
Self explanatory but extremely useful one step button for those meetings where you can’t afford to have the phone ring out loud.
basicly a find it app which tells the nearest you are to stuff like restaurants, shops etc… also has a search feature you can search for other stuff. I found my Halloween costume this year with this app.
The Weather Channel
Obvious but useful when you want to instantly know the temp
take a pic and warp the face either with the auto warp button or just by dragging your finger over the face.
self invokes and watches for when you move a lot and catalogs it and tells you calories burned all by itself
App 2 Sd
allows you to move installed programs to your sd card
scan a book or a product at the store and it will find it cheaper elsewhere
endless supply of custom tailored music channels for your tastes.
shows you in real time what stars are in the sky
Much better than the installed camera app. Better control of the flash, as well as added stuff to play with such as frames and props.
Allows you to put word balloons and props on pics you take. Very fun to play around with.
Will scan everything you download for viruses and if you lose your phone will allow you to track it online. For free.
I don’t know if there’s any one else out there who’s ever bought a TV and lost the manual only to find later that you need it to reset the moronic V-Chip in it to watch anything but Sponge Bob but… in case anyone ever does look it up on the web, I have not found this answer anywhere else so I will post it on my blog to stand as a beacon and a thumb in the eye of Bill stupid ass Clinton and his clowny time V-Chip. To reset the Megavision Hyvision 192 TV/monitor’s V-chip setting (and for the most part any other V-Chip enabled TV who’s manual you’ve lost) all you need to do is type in 0000 (numbers not letters) and it will unlock the stupid v-chip lock. I hope this helps!]]>