Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011... Hello 2012...

As 2011 ends, I look back over the year and think that it could have been worse. Things started out on a high note, with getting a freelance graphics job that quickly ended. Then I started helping a friend shoot weddings for his video production business, which moved me over to helping same friend on a couple of corporate jobs in which I helped shoot and edit video, as well as create 3D graphics logos for the clientele. In September I was working with my old boss again doing DVDs and editing video presentations for one of his clients. Work that picked up again in November and that is on a continuing basis into the new year.

Around March, I was able to take care of my dental issues, which greatly improved my health. All in time to see my one Sister-In-Law's get married to her second husband. In August when school started, my son who turns 10 tomorrow was hit by a car while riding his bike. Luckily he was not seriously injured and just had to wear a splint and use crutches for a couple of weeks.

September, my brother came to visit from Washington State. First time we had seen him since our Father died in 2008. We didn't get to do everything we wanted, but we did pull the kids from classes so that we could all go to the zoo. The day I took him to the airport, I was heading home and my van broke down on the freeway. It still isn't fixed.

October 17th, my wife and I celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary. We decided we would invite our daughter, our oldest niece and their boyfriends to join us at a local amusement park. While on the way to the park, we had a tire blowout on the freeway and no spare (borrowed van). Spent 2 hours waiting for someone to bring us a spare on a rim that didn't fit right. 30 minutes later, after finding a tire shop to change rims and getting the "spare" back on the vehicle, we were enjoying ourselves. It was a fun time, and I still need to make copies of the pictures for everyone!

Halloween was a little different this year as we didn't have the van to take the kids to Grandma's house to go Trick 'r Treating around her neighborhood. So we went over to the Church and did their Trunk 'r Treat program, then I came home and my wife took the kids and went to another Church for their Trunk 'r' Treat program and then let the kids hit a few houses on the way home for some good old Trick 'r Treating. The older 3 kids hitched rides with Aunts to Grandma's house so they could go out with their cousins and then brought home some of Grandma's Halloween Chili that she makes every year.

Thanksgiving was the usual, seeing as how we always have it at our house, since we have the biggest house out of all my wife's family.

Christmas came and people that we know thought that it might not be a very good Christmas for us, but my wife had been planning since August, so Christmas was better than it was last year. Christmas dinner was the usual, since... See Thanksgiving. I ended Christmas day by watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special by myself. My wife went to bed somewhat early, because she had to be to work early the next morning. The kids went downstairs to watch the movies that Santa had brought them.

Heading into the new year, I'm making plans for a couple of things. One of the biggest things I'm planning is the release of a series of short animated films or an animated webseries. I've mentioned this plan before, here on the blog, and will be making an official announcement within the first 2 weeks of the year. If I decide to go the short film route, then I'm also planning to work on a webcomic/graphic novel to fill in some stories that I want to tell. If I go the webseries route, I might just turn those stories into episodes for the series. I'm still torn on which way to go. All of these plans are in addition to the continuation of the freelance stuff I'll be working on. Maybe even adding more freelance work to my schedule if I need the money.

Overall, 2011 has been a pretty good year. Here's hoping that 2012 is an even better year!

Happy New Year, Everyone!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lightwave 11... My precious...

Well, I finally got paid by a client and so I purchased LW11 today. Looking forward to diving into all it's instanced goodness!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The DVDs They Haunt Me...

Wow... What a month it has been. On top of Thanksgiving here in the USA and Christmas coming up, I was given 3 new DVD jobs to work on, as well as a couple of other clients projects.

Let's go back a bit though... Remember those DVDs from the beginning of September? (link here) After turning in the fixed DVDs, I thought I was finished them. Turns out they needed to add an whole new language subtitle to all 3 DVDs. Why they couldn't have done it back when I was authoring the originals, I will never know. So, I got to go through and re-author the discs. I saw this as kind of a good thing in some regards. It gave me the chance to go back and clean up the menus a little and fix some things that bothered me about the original authoring. Now the menu's are cleaner with the highlighted selection and the flow of the disc layout in DVD Studio Pro is much more readable.

The second DVD project was a straight forward, replace footage with new footage and remove certain people from the video entirely, then re-author the disc using a new menu. Simple, straight forward, no issues.

The third and final DVD project was supposed to be pretty simple as well, but it turned out not to be so simple... Client wanted video from the 3 DVD set inserted into a similar video for a different region. However, the video itself is of a different length, and wouldn't fit either the subtitled track, nor the voice over track. Unfortunately, the only way to move forward with this would be to use the video from the 3 DVD set and then redo the entire subtitles and voice over work.

The other client work was straight forward video editing and After Effects work. Nothing overly spectacular about it.

Right now, the only other client work that's on the horizon is set for late January or early February. So maybe I'll be able to work on some of my own stuff now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lightwave 11

Tonight Newtek officially announced Lightwave 11 at their VFX Minds Event.

While the event was very nice and I enjoyed listening to some of the guys whose work I have admired for years, the night was really about the new version of Lightwave.

Lightwave 11 has a bunch of new feature built in that I've been wanting for years. Instancing, Bullet Hard Body Dynamics, Fracture tool in Modeler and much more. Check out the features list here.

While there is a vocal bunch on the Newtek forums complaining about this release and having to pay for stuff that was supposed to be in Core before it was dropped, I think that this release is pretty solid. At least as solid as any release from Newtek can be. Do the vocal one's have a point about having to pay for stuff that was promised to them in a prior release? Yes, they do. However, if you got in on the "ground level" of the Core incident, then you paid your upgrade fee almost 3 years ago for the v10.x release. I'm more than willing to pay out again for an upgrade. It could be worse, we could be paying every year for an upgrade/maintenance fee like some other companies. Of course we might end up paying for yearly upgrades now that Newtek seems to have steered the Lightwave ship back on course.

In the end, I will be upgrading to the new Lightwave 11, and look forward to using it. I can't wait to dig into some of the Bullet Physics stuff and make things explode. I just need to wait for my clients to pay me. Back to the grind.

FTC Disclosure - I was not paid by Newtek or any representative of Newtek for this post; I received no special consideration from Newtek; no material connection exists between Newtek and myself. I do however use Lightwave software in my day to day business operations, bought on the open market with my own money.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Canon Cinema EOS C300

Wow. From the moment I saw this camera, I wanted it based on looks alone. Now, after finding out more about it, I still want it, but alas it's price point places it outside of my hands.

Canon seems to be going after the Sony F3 market with this camera. At a list price of $20,000 I think they've missed it. If they had made this camera available at a price point of say $8,000 - $10,000 then they would have had a solid winner. At this time I could take that $20,000 and get an F3 with 3 PL mount lenses as well as an NEX-FS100 for B-Cam material.

So, until I win the lottery or someone decides to just drop $25,000 in my lap, I get to dream about the C300. At least I have an FS100 to keep me company on these long cold winter shoots.

Here's a pic of the C300 for you to drool over as well.

Canon EOS c300...

OMG!!!!!!! I'll have more later, but I want this camera!!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween 2011 and more...

Well, Halloween 2011 is over. Kids had a blast. I'll be eating the candy they don't want for the next 4 months (becoming 6 after the Christmas candy).

In other news, I've decided to start working on a new animated series. I'm currently debating over whether I want to make it a series of short films (Trilogy or Quadrilogy) or if I want to make it a web series. Either way it's going to be a lot of work. I've already started on the script and have been doing research work on a style I want to go with. I've also been looking at indie animated films and web series, as well as reading any Behind The Scenes blogs that the creators of such films/series have posted to see what they've experienced.

As I get further along, I'll update this blog with info and post a link here to the blog that I'll be starting for the BTS on my own project.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Classified Update...

Wow. Fun day shooting more scenes and pickups for Barlow's film. Will post some photo's tomorrow (later today since it is after 1am).

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Out helping my friend Barlow finish up shots for his short film CLASSIFIED. Should be fun. I'll update later tonight once we're finished.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blog Updated

Okay, I updated the blog to one of the newer themes. I like it a lot more than the old theme. If you come across anything not working properly, let me know.

You'll also notice that some of the posts from another blog site of mine have started to show up. They show under the first revival post.

Friday, October 07, 2011


So I've been thinking about reviving this blog as was apparent by the previous post.

This blog has been around since December 2005 and hasn't been used to its full potential.

It's time to change that. I'm starting to focus more on my videography and film making in general, so I should be posting more.

Over the next several days I'll be moving posts from another blog over to this one and removing posts from this blog that I feel are not relevant to what this blog is about. I'm also planning on changing the design of the blog.

So get ready for change and a Revivification (yes I made that word up, I think) of Vong Visuals.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Okay, so it seems that the reason the DVD’s weren’t working properly is because when you use DVD Studio Pro’s Story feature and you need subtitles, you are supposed to link the subtitle tracks to the menu items you want the story to use. Does that make sense? I don’t care, I know how to fix the issue now, and the issue is fixed!

Of course, I couldn’t find that info online UNTIL AFTER getting the fix from my buddy Chris Smith (in a round a bout way). Thanks Chris!

Argh!!! DVD’s…

So I burned the DVD’s and they seemed to play fine here. Take them to my client’s client this morning @ 9am. I’m thinking everything’s just fine when I get a call from my client saying that the DVD’s don’t work and they seem broken. Now trying to figure out what the hell happened. So frustrating when everything seems fine, but it’s not.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Laboring on Labor Day (Itself)

Here I am, working away on Labor Day. What better way to spend it than by laboring. Back to work!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Laboring on Labor Day Weekend

So, I picked up a couple of gigs for this weekend. Figured since the wife was working, I may as well too.

Gig 1 : Finish creating and burning the DVD’s for a client. My client was supposed to have them finished today for his client, but issues came up and he’s going out of town so he won’t be able to get them finished. New goal is to have them ready by Tuesday.

Gig 2 : Same client of mine, was asked to do a video for a company whose founder will be talking at their national convention on September 14. Got all the assets he had and quickly discussed the project. Seems pretty straight forward. It’s due Tuesday morning as well.

Money is money, and I could certainly use the money right now. Away to work I go…

Thursday, August 25, 2011

idc (2011)

Shot this short on the 4th of July this year and had an edit online for friends/relatives to see by the 6th of July. Finally got around to finishing it up in early August and posted for everyone to see.