Author Archive: admin

rss feed

My Very First Review of Star Citizen

My Very First Review of Star Citizen

Monday, April 10, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

My Very First Review of Star Citizen

Hello again my fellow readers, tonight I am going to do my own personal review of Star Citizen.  I seem to have been introduced to this game a bit late, but those of you who don’t know about this game, let me give you a brief rundown of the game.  The game has been created by the acclaimed game designer Chris Roberts (who helped define the space simulation genre with his Wing Commander and Privateer franchises).  It is of course, set in an entirely different universe which continues to expand as production on the game continues.  The game brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen.  It offers a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlisted pilot.  A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allows players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish.  Immerse yourself high quality, cutting-edge visuals and technology, a virtual world that is massive and detailed, a sophisticated storyline that is wide in scope, and visceral space combat that will make your heart pound.

You can now play certain features of the game, however, the game itself is still in production, with the developers continuing to set deadlines which have not been met for its completion.  These features include the Persistent Universe Alpha, Arena Commander, and Star Marine.  The Persistent Universe Alpha is the full games universe where you can communicate with other players, access your hangar, and fly around space and complete certain tasks or contracts.  Arena Commander offers PVP space combat, PVE space combat, limited space exploration, and racing.  Star Marine is essentially the alpha first person shooter module of the game.

Squadron 42, which is the introductory first person module for the game is still in development and has not yet been released.  This module was originally intended to be the first part of the game where the player learns to fly and fight in a first person setting without the MMO features of the game, in order to gain citizenship for the games universe.  It has plans to be released sometime in the next year.

The game has beautiful graphics and very fluid and enticing game play.  In order to play the game, you must pledge, or sign up for the game on the developers website and purchase a starter kit and ship.  Ships range anywhere from $45 upward to thousands of dollars and new ships are constantly being developed for the game.

I will continue to post updates regarding the progress of the games development.  I plan on playing this game frequently and to blog my updates on the game as well.  So, until then, why not pledge, pay the $45, and try the game yourselves?  Have fun and I will return soon my space adventurers!

CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine

CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine

Sunday, April 2, 2017 | By | Add a Comment
Auto CAD

CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine

A CNC hot wire foam cutter is a computer controlled machine used for mainly cutting Polystyrene foam (also known as EPS foam) and similar materials, such as polypropylene (Known as EPP) and polyethylene (known as PE).  The machine consists of a wire running between 2 towers, which is heated via a hot wire power supply, thus melting and cutting the foam into the desired shape.  The towers can move in an X-Axis (right-left) and a Y-Axis (up-down).

Cutting the foam is done in 3 basic steps:
1. Drawing the desired shape to be cut.
2. Converting the shape into G-Code
3. Running the machine with the software to execute the desired shape.

Any CAD software, such as AutoCAD or Corel Draw can be used for drawing the shape, as long as the file can be saved in a DXF format.  There are various CAD files in the market.  More recommended ones include Instant Engineer 14, which can be purchased online for few dollars, DesignCAD, AutoCAD and TurboCAD.  Another CAD software is DevFoam, that combines both the drawing and the G-Code generation.  It is a user friendly application for cutting foam with a 4 Axis CNC machine.

Next step is to convert the shape into G-Code.  The G-Code is another name for the computerized tool by which we tell the machine what to cut and how to cut it.  For the conversion one can use software such as DeskCNC, DevCAD or FoamWorks.
DeskCNC was originally designed for a 3 Axis CNC Router machines.  It was later on modified to enable a 4 Axis foam cutters to run as well.
FoamWorks is known for its simplicity and being a user friendly software.  It is designed to drive a 4 Axis foam cutter via a parallel port of any windows based computer.  It can cut any shape, but works best for cutting RC wings.

For the last stage of running the machine, software such as Mach3 and DeskCNC can be used.  The Mach3 program is a G-Code reader.  It allows you to turn your PC computer into a 4 Axis CNC controller for machining and cutting.  It is an operating system for running the CNC hot wire foam cutter.  It was originally developed for the home hobbyist, and later modified for use for any CNC machine operation for industrial use.

Semi-Cosplay

Semi-Cosplay

Monday, February 27, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Semi-Cosplay

Semi-cosplay is what I like to call cosplay that can be considered more of a regular dress and activity than full-on cosplay.  It is not a movement, but just a term I will use to describe those of us who like to wear our favorite outlandish attire or pieces of outlandish attire on a regular basis without feeling too out of place or having to go through great lengths to dress up as well as fit in on a regular basis.

Although many of us who are into cosplay or semi-cosplay tend to have been originally heavy metal rockers, punk rockers, or rivet-heads/ cyberpunks that continue to wear their everyday get-up, some of us change our attire from time to time or have different costumes or looks we like to wear.

Heavy metal rockers and punk rockers are two examples of lifestyles of people who tend to dress with semi-cosplay articles on a regular, all-day-every-day basis, such as studs and spikes , shin and wrist guards, make-up, wigs, and designed pieces of attire.

Most of us like to dress up on our days and nights off when we are with our small group of close friends who partake in such activities while either just relaxing or indulging in some sort of gaming or partying.  Whatever the case, we do it to bring out our true selves, which most of us hide and wear our masks of conformity to adjust to our workday program.

Cosplayers obtain their apparel through many different methods.  Manufacturers produce and sell packaged outfits for use in cosplay, with varying levels of quality.  These costumes are often sold online, but also can be purchased from dealers at conventions.  A number of individuals also work on commission, creating custom costumes, props, or wigs designed and fitted to the individual.

Other cosplayers, who prefer to create their own costumes, still provide a market for individual elements, accessories, and various raw materials, such as unstyled wigs or extensions, hair dye, cloth and sewing notions, liquid latex, body paint, costume jewelry, and prop weapons.

With the advancement in robotic technology, robot or android/cyborg additions are becoming increasingly popular.  Semi-cosplayers or cosplayers often create add-ons that serve no useful purpose other than to make the individual’s costume look cool and unique.  That is the whole idea of being yourself and doing your own thing.

Take a look at the above video for a glimpse of creativity by a designer who created robotic spider shoulder wear and let me know what you think!

Dark Art

Dark Art

Monday, February 27, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Théodore Géricault Dois justiçados

Théodore Géricault Dois justiçados (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dark Art

In the world of dark art, if one can create a surreal piece of artwork that is creepy enough to have some or any degree of interest to their audience, then they should feel a sense of accomplishment indeed.  In modern times, with the advent of internet, mass media and advertising dedicated to showcasing and selling art in all its forms, it may seem like an impossible task to make a living or even to have a recognizable name in the world of art.

Art that gives us the feelings of foreboding or dread, or what I will call “dark art”, is meant to have the same effect upon people as it’s originators, although the theme is commonplace and the ability to turn heads and captivate people has become something of a miracle.  The underlying feeling that the artist is attempting to portray in this form of art is fear.  Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger.  If we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats.  But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason.  Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell.  Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.  Therefore, dark art can be used in therapeutic ways.

In an attempt to induce the feeling of fear, the dark artist transmits his thoughts in a very mysterious way and, occasionally, combining surrealist elements.  These horrible acts and macabre scenes make us stop and think about ourselves and this unpleasant, yet often overpowering side of the human mind that still arises in all of us from time to time.  But in order to create truly inspiring works it often becomes essential to have some instruction as well as inspiration to set as the foundation of the artist’s motif.

It is good to be inspired by historical artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Francisco Goya, Bouguereau, Caravaggio, Théodore Géricault, Salvator Rosa, Francis Bacon, Henry Fuseli, Salvador Dalí, Zdzisław Beksiński or H.R. Giger, among many others.  I have included above a photoshop tutorial on how to create a morphed image of a skull and a woman’s face along with some other dark elements included.  It is not particularly necessary to have or use photoshop in order to be inspired by this video.  My underlying goal is to show my audience some tools and tricks of the trade in order for aspiring dark artists like yourselves to begin or continue to create your own delightfully macabre creations.  So, please take some time out of your busy day and enjoy these morbid little tidbits to your bloody hearts content!  To the darkness!

Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

RKO backlot main hotel views

RKO backlot main hotel views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revit Architecture

Those of us who know anything about BIM or Building Information Modeling know how much of an oh-so-joyous happy dandy fun time Revit Architecture can be.  With its tendencies for the user to have to be highly accurate in the development of a structure without having the ability to adjust measurements manually, Revit can be an extremely time consuming and often excruciatingly painstaking program to design fully developed construction in.

Rendering can be a whole other monster to deal with in itself.  Any project with a significant amount of At the school where I learned my Revit skills, we have wonderful 2 core processor Dell desktops which pretty much are good for doing a percentage of the floor plan work and unless you have several hours to spare, then forget about rendering big projects.  Especially if animation or 3DS Max plug-ins are used, then you should really expect to be spending a significantly lengthy amount of time rendering your projects.

Of course, now we have cloud-based rendering with the experimental plug-in dubbed Project Neon, located on Autodesk Labs which is in the beta phases and allows for the user to render their images through their Autodesk account instead of locally through their own computers.  But rendering a project is still very time consuming and the use of your Autodesk account is not always available (at such places like certain schools).  It is because of the complexity of the program and the time it takes to create each individual aspect of the entire program that the program in its entirety is not always taken advantage of in the workplace.

Just imagine the incredible and beautifully polished 3D designs that could be showcased during potential project bids in any given circumstance if the software were to develop with simplified convenience in mind.  Nevertheless, Revit still is a remarkable program and it is improving dramatically by the year.  I hope to see the day when rooms are created and developed with much simpler methods and randomly generated components and furniture are brought into the program.  These improvements, including the ability to freely manipulate measurements would make Revit an excellent program to use regularly in the workplace.

Can we optimize Revit for interference checking?

Can we optimize Revit for interference checking?

Sunday, February 19, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Can we optimize Revit for interference checking?

Well, people who are not related to construction industry get confused when they hear that Revit can also be used for determining clashes between models.  The reason for that is, normally Navisworks is optimized by AEC professionals for executing clash detection services.  When client companies get to know that clashes between model elements can also be figured out in Revit they are often shocked to hear that.

But the fact remains that, Revit is the most powerful software developed by Autodesk.  It can perform many functions apart from modeling which is its specialty.  For example the software, helps architects and engineers in coordinating multidiscipline models, creating sketches and for providing realistic effects to the models by rendering them.  In fact Revit coordination modeling services have become very popular among AEC professionals now days.

However, its Interference checking feature is very important for design development teams.  Interferences between architecture, structure and MEP models can be easily figured out in Revit by BIM modelers.  First of all, when all the different models are developed by a same company, it becomes very convenient for the multidiscipline design development teams to collaborate with for determining clashes.

Revit users can determine clashes between their own model elements, as well as between multidiscipline models such as between architectural and structural model.

A quite simple method is applied by Revit users to find out clashes.  When clashes are determined within the model elements of a single model, its users simply have to compare the location of various elements.  By comparing their location, engineers can easily understand whether they are colliding with each other or not.  If in case location assigned for a model element does not interfere with the location of other model element that means there are no issues between them.  But if two or more than two model elements interfere with each other’s location that means there is a problem in the design. And hence clashes can be determined easily.

The same formula is applied when it comes to determining clashes between different models.  In this case Revit users are first required to link a model into the host model.  Once the model is linked its users have to compare the locations of the elements of a host model and linked model.  This helps in figuring out whether the model elements of host and linked model are fighting for the same location or not.  If in case they are fighting for a same location that means they are interfering with each other.

In this way Revit users can figure out all the clashes and can eliminate them in time before they could become a serious problem for architects and engineers.