Art Nouveau House



A concept sketch for a modeling project.  French Art Nouveau inspired house. Plan to model in 3DS Max where I will texture and render out. I am digging the sketch now I just need to start modeling. I am new to 3DS Max but I am hoping I will pick it up fast and do all the things I have been meaning to do, hone in my cg skills and take a stab at some production design.

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Hsi Lai Temple Sculpture Eyes

The temple had a great variety of sculptures made from various materials and of various entities. I decided to concentrate on the eyes of these sculptures. All are somewhat similar but the over all styles and techniques are different.  I really liked  the first three the most. The detailing and quality of the sculpture were great. and the eyes are so intense, maybe not the first, because their eyes are just cute and in an odd way friendly even with the teeth baring.

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Hsi Lai Temple Buddhists Monks.

There little statues of monks were everywhere and that were the first thing we came across as we entered the temple grounds. They are supper cute and funny though I must question what exactly some of these sculptures are doing…

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Hsi Lai Temple

The temple it self was pretty amazing. It is apparently the largest in the western hemisphere. Though I have never been to the forbidden city those that I was with said it reminded them of it and could easily be something you see in the east. I intentionally am only posting photos where the crowd can be seen because I felt like it was a great distraction from the temple it self. Though I did enjoy the juxtaposition of the temple and certain modern artifacts like the satellite dish and the roof construction. I really wish i could have photographed the interior but it was of course not allowed. The span on the interior was super impressive with such great height. The temple at the top of the hill was far and away from the rest of the crowd and was quite, small and peaceful. The temple was interesting how certain aspects of the building seemed very authentic and then you would see certain areas that would take you away from feeling how really authentic the building actually was. I choose not to show these images, I only wanted to show what I thought were its best attributes without the clutter of people.

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Hsi Lai Temple Volunteers

I personally never really been the volunteering type of person. So for me to see someone stand and do the same thing for what seems like hours a day is a little over my understanding. I for one am not the personality that can be in any one given place almost stationary for anything. It would drive me utterly mad. I can not sit and relax pool side for example and do nothing without feeling anxious about feeling the need to do something more than just exists in some place.

To see these people helping the temple on their saturday made me think what there motivation. The temple it self has been around for 25 years and there are some volunteers there that have been there as long as the temple has been around. The individual running the museum was this person. Though I must admit I felt a little bad for him. As he told us the history of the temple and his history with the temple we came to realize how utterly lonely this person was. He volunteered on a regular basis here during a time of the day were there really was not visitors and in a place where he really did not see, meet or speak with any of the monks. It is crazy to me how you can spend 25 years of your life dedicated to place and the people there do not even know who you are. That is some level of insanity that I could not do.

Seeing the people prep food for the kitchen made a lot more sense to me. Cooking for others is something I can relate with and something that brings with it real meaning. Feeding others is a worthwhile causes. I guess history has its place and need and value but it also something that is not nearly as sustaining.

There are times when I see people in positions l can not understand why they really need to be there. The man at the road sign seems like a job that may not really be needed. especially when there were so many police/ sheriffs around that seem like they should be doing more traffic duty. The sign itself is so enormous as well. It is not something that can be missed. It just seems so boring and tiring. Then again I guess I might be a horrible type of person that just does not want to be used or give my time up becoming a human statue as some sort of prop. At the same time I do recognize the need for people to devote their time to something that is not selfish or self serving. I admire the dedication though sometimes I think a lot of volunteers are mismanaged, not that I really have any proof or experience with this, its just my observations of people doing little to nothing beyond just existing in a place. The other bit I do not understand is why do people volunteer and are basically useless and apathetic. Why would you spend time in a place that you wish not to be and can seemingly care less about.

Rant aside I really like candid photos of people. I would say that it is the only type of photos I feel comfortable shooting of people. It sort of is a bit voyeuristic but theres something about capturing people in a more natural state that I like because I feel these images have greater perceived sense of being more factual than truth, I mean this in the sense that when someone is aware of camera they consciously or unconsciously alter their habits/ behavior. I really dislike when people pose.

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Hsi Lai Temple Drive

Not much to say other than that I wish that more cemeteries were more like this one where there are large old headstones with some magnitude and look as if they will sustain time and not be easily over grown by weeds and tall grasses. I just really love how dense the tomb stones are, so much that one can not see the ground beneath them from this perspective. The other attribute that I quite enjoy are the color of the trees against the grey stone.

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Hsi Lai Temple Bus Ride

The bus ride to the temple and back was not necessary anything special though it was something that I probably have not done in decades. I as a child never really had to ride the bus. The only regular bus rides I had was in preschool when I was taken up the block to the local elementary where they had a pre-k program. After this I was lucky enough to not have to take the bus when we moved to the desert because my mom was a stay at home mother while my father commuted to LA on a daily basis, at least until that got to be too much for him and he started just spending the week in LA and would come home on the weekend. After our time in the desert was over I lived within walking distance and that was how I spent the rest of my school day mornings and afternoons.

Suffice to say the only time I really took the bus at school was for field trips. So i guess in some long winded way what I am saying is that I did not have any sort of flash back or nostalgia riding the bus to and fro. At the same time usually I have no problem finding things to photograph that I though were interesting but in the bus I felt a bit stunted and uninspired. I do not know if this had anything to do with the location in which we were, which was an Asian suburbia where everything is different but similar and there is nothing that really stands out.

Another problem was that the bus was so bumping it was extremely hard to photograph anything that did not turn out to be a blur or too soft. I increased the ISO in hopes of getting something interesting but this did not quite help at all, I just got clear photos of nothing interesting. I actually ended up liking the blur photos out the window. I really liked the color I got out of them and the fluid looking movement.  I also ended up enjoying the contrast of this and the few still that I liked from the interior. My favorite being of this girl in a white furry coat tired from the days adventures and probably can not wait to get home and rest, just like all of us.

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Morning Apocalypse

I woke up to the oddest morning I think I have ever woken up to. The sky was a reddish orangey hue. I at first thought why is it so bright so early. So I dismissed it and went back to sleep. I woke up 30 minutes later and realized the time was still relatively early and what should be a blueish morning light as usual it was still this reddish orange glow. I was so confused. When I finally rolled out of bed, got ready and proper for work it was only then as I walked outside that I realized what was happening. A enormous fire that covered the sky above. The smoke so thick that it block all wavelengths of light shorter than RED. Just crazy. The streets and the whole area was cast in a red hue. It felt like red planet or some film with a dystopian future after a fall out. It also did not help the feeling with the streets being completely empty. I only managed to get one shot because I had to make my long commute to work. I really wanted to take time and get high and take a series of photos. As I drove westward the sky and light conditions became more normative. This is something I will not forget, this feeling of something serious off and eerie real when waking up.

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Bench + Coffee v3.0

The finished product. Not much more to say then what was said in the previous posts. I can not wait to make something else. Thinking of a foot stool from this broken block of wood I have and some 1/4″ piano wire. Who know what will be next though, there is too much I want to do.

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Bench + Coffee v3.0 Process

What may have felt like years ago, perhaps it was, I made a bench / coffee table for a couple of friends. It took a day to complete and I gave it to them unfinished. No stain, wax, or other protective coating, I left it raw for them to do or not do as they saw fit. Suffice to say it stayed that way and over time with parties, food and drinks it got super dirty and eventually broke. It broke because I wanted the legs on one side to look as if it should not be stable or attached and likely to fall out. eventually they did with all the wear and tear. Eventaully I took the bench back with intention of cleaning it, fixing it and protecting it. The goal was to make it better than new and stronger than ever.

the key issue with the design was that there was no lateral bracing and the leg was mounted and in one direction. The solution was to add steel tabs to the legs and notch out the wood 90 degrees to the legs so that it can resist movement from either side. Tabs were cut and welded. The welds were ground down as low as I could. Next I marked the locations of the tabs on each piece of wood and proceeded to drill and notch out the wood. The goal when doing this was to not make them larger than it needed to be. The tighter the fit that more resistance and stable the legs would be. It took a couple of days to get the job down to satisfaction. Once everything was fitted I disassembled and set them out til I got to protecting them with a finish. The finishes were rather straight forward, the wood was finished with a polyurethane and the metal with a matte clear enamel. A few coats of each and it was set. I ended up also counter sinking the screws so that they would be flush and unseen when looking under. By the end it looked better  than before as it got a bit darker and more defined. IT also needed up looking better in my friends place as it was closer in tone to their floors. The tabs worked great. There was no way the legs were coming off. The process it self was in total 4/5 days. but finding time to do this took months…but it all came out and its back where it belongs better than ever.

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