SKY App for Android TV Ad

Taking a break from the usual flying 3D logos to bring you a project I wrapped up last week while at Brandspank, an ad for SKY TV's Android app. It was an interesting project to work on, involving keying, tracking, and a bit for 3D for some of the character movements and phones but my proudest moment has to be the fingernail replacement around the 10 second mark Putting that on the CV!


SKY App for Android - 45 second TVC from Brandspank on Vimeo.


Dramatic Performance [Encore]

I recently upgraded to Lightroom 4, I had not downloaded the beta so I was keen to give it a try. After playing around with it for a bit, my opinion is that it's Lightroom improved. It will still be an essential piece of my kit. That being said it be nice if overall performance could be improved, especially got a major new reelase. I'm on a HP 8440w laptop (core i7 M620 at 2.67ghz with 8gb or ram) running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

Below is the same photo, one treated in Lightroom 3.6 and the other after updating the image processing to 2012 in Lightroom 4.

Dramatic Performance [Encore] processed in Lightroom 4Dramatic Performance processed in Lightroom 3.6It seems I could control the shadows better in LR4 and that by just updating the image processing the photo got brighter and more contrasty. It makes me hesitant to go back to old photos and revise them as I would need to take the time and really tweak my adjustments. I still need to spend more time with LR4 to get familiar with all the changes but so far, so good.

2011 Year in Review

2011 was a year of big changes in my life, mainly moving from Toronto Canada to Auckland New Zealand. I thought it be interesting to put together a collection of photos covering the year.

Have a look and enjoy. There's no single subject matter, just photos of scenes I found interesting. There photos taken with my 7D as well as one's taken with my cell phone. In the end there photos I like and I hope you will too. Comments and feedback are always welcomed.

You can check out the gallery here.

Learning Cinema...

The breakdown video above is a good motivator to looks past my annoyances with Cinema 4D and embrace it for motion graphics work. You can view the completed piece over on Vimeo.

Turns out here in Auckland, a lot of production studios use Cinema 4D. I had heard it was geared towards motion graphics and this week I did my first bit of work in Cinema 4D and it was... fine. Coming from 3D Studio Max, it is obvious how some things in Cinema are much easier to do. What had me a bit frustrated at times were the really basic things. Gizmo/pivot points seem to be a bit illogical once you start building up splines or add modifiers. Extrusion and bevel controls feel a bit limited. Either I'm missing something but why can't I create proper dummy objects?

It's still early days for me so my opinion isn't final, and I'm sure in a few weeks I'll be raving about Cinema. Until then I shall do right by the Internet and bitch about the learning process!

Stock camera apps are for suckers...

Pixlr-o-matic Auckland

I had downloaded Autodesk's Pixlr-o-matic Android app to my Samsung Galaxy S a few months ago but never really used it. For some reason I decided to have a go with it tonight and it's not too bad. It's not subtle by any means in regards to post-processing but it's kind of fun.

Not sure if it will replace my main camera app which is Vignette for Android but it's a nice app to have on the side along with Snaptastic.

You can download Pixlr-o-matic for your Android or iOS device, it's free. You can also use it through your browser by going to

UC Berkeley researchers reconstruct images from brain activity

This is nuts, being able to reconstruct what the brain is thinking via fMRI examining brain activity. Right now it doesn't look like much and can only be used on what the subject is actually seeing but researchers hope to be able to recreate memories or dreams with this method.

I don't know if I want to be able to see what some people dream or are thinking about, but imagine this technology being used in a trail. Who needs witnesses if you can extract the memories of the accused.

Childhood Memories

I'm going through a bunch of boxes my mom has with ALL my stuff from when I was a kid. My mom kept all my school work, all my toys, anything we gathered from trips we took - my childhood is packed away in boxes. I've gone through two boxes so far and it was so bizarre to see some of this stuff, some objects surprised me while others felt like I had them in my hands yesterday.

I have to say the school work was kind of amazing to go through, especially what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had forgotten that I wanted to be a photographer, guess I had it in the back of my mind this entire time.

I've been taken some quick snaps of stuff I find amusing and posting it to Flickr. If you're an 80's kid you may remember most of this stuff. Have a look and enjoy.


My first camera...

Kodak Medalist 1

This is the first camera I ever used - a Kodak Medalist I which used disc film. This was my mom's camera which she used for taking family photos but I always thought it was the coolest looking camera. It was so small compared to what everyone else was using.

I ended up getting my mom to pull this out of a box for me. The memories of using this, even the places I visited as a child that I know I have photos of because of this camera came flooding back.

I still think the design is cool, still compact. If I could find disc film and a place to develop the photos I'd like to take this for a spin.

Camera info:

Kodak Medalist I Disc
Produced between 1986 - 1987
Lens: 12.5mm f/2.8 Ashperic
Shutter: 1/100, 1/200
Film type: VR Disc
Picture size: 8 x 10 mm

Original Cost: $70

I was an '80's kid...

If you're earliest memories of video games include the words Tiger and Game & Watch then brace yourself to have your mind blown and a smile put on your face. Pica-Pic is a great site that has some of these old retro handheld games emulated online. What's really impressive is the presentation, it's about as close to holding one of these in your hands. I still own a couple of the games emulated on this site but just looking at the images of these old handhelds brings back memories. The Internet has outdone itself once again!


A Little Canadiana - Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe


A short while ago my wife and I headed up an hour or so north of Toronto to Innisfil Ontario, to Lake Simcoe. This is a popular spot in the winter for ice fishing. I don't fish, let alone ice fish but it was interesting to see and made for some interesting photos. We arrived a bit late in the day but the light was fantastic.

You can view the Flickr set here.

The Future of the Book

Interesting ideas on how to enhance and enrich reading on a tablet-style device.


Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?