The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. -Isaac Asimov

Dec 5, 2009

The Eye on the Mirror


Hi everyone! It's been almost a month since my last update, and I apologize for that. My Java classes are now much tougher and also more interesting, meaning that I haven't had much time to draw. Also, my inspiration faded out lately, although I'm already planning my next set, full of trance classics this time. And my video card just broke this week and now my computer is running with a 5 y.o. card I found on my old comp -good thing I kept the old boy safe. Anyway, today I felt like doing something creative, and since my usual source of wallpapers is getting slow updates lately, and my current wallpaper was getting old, I decided to make my own.  From a pen picture I made some weeks ago -yes,  in class-, I made some modifications to create a wallpaper, and then played with the kaleidoscope filter to create a second one. Nothing really special, but the kaleidoscope picture somehow gives me a good feeling, and I'm using it right now as my wallpaper. The pics are 1680x1050 pixels, if you want another resolution for your personal use, just let me know.

Cheers!

Nov 7, 2009

Elek Sessions November '09



Here it is, a new set I actually finished last week, but the animation for the preview took me more than expected. This session has suffered a lot of changes since I started to think about it, in fact I've had 8 different versions of it, but almost every day I discovered some new track or changed the order of the tracks, but there were always something that didn't fit so well, mostly at the beginning. Anyway, I think it's OK now and I hope you like it. A lot of house music, a touch of trance, and something else. :)

DOWNLOAD the full set HERE (mp3, 82MB).

Total length: 1h 11m 54s

Tracklist:

01. Röyksopp - The Girl and the Robot (Davide Rossi Suite)
02. Annie - Heartbeat (Alan Braxe Remix)
03. Io - Matin
04. Daft Punk - Face to Face (Demon Remix)
05. Alex Celler - La Palma
06. Edu Imbernon and Coyu - Burn Myself
07. Carl Richter – Launch Me
08. Rustler vs. Daft Punk - Around the World (Abel Ramos Versailles With Love Mix)
09. Odissi - Empty Vodka Bottles (Jon Gurd Remix)
10. Mousse T. & Suzie - DISCO (John Dahlbäck Remix)
11. Michael Mind - Gotta Let You Go (Michael Mind's In Love Remix)
12. Axwell, Ingrosso, Angello, Laidback Luke feat. Deborah Cox  - Leave The World Behind
13. Daniel Portman - Dark Is The Night For All
14. Satoshi Tomiie - Press
15. Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music (Solitaire Remix)
16. Roger Sanchez - Another Chance (Afterlife Remix)


Oct 31, 2009

Halloween

Many people seem to think that Halloween is some typical American celebration that has become popular all around the world thanks to their movies and the large cultural influence of US. all around the world. Me and my friends have always known/believed that it was actually originated in Ireland, and almost every year we celebrate it going to some Irish pub (yeah, we also like beer, so...). But I never delved into this topic further. Until now.

The word 'Halloween' comes actually from 'All Hallow's Eve', and it was largely established as a celebration all around the US. by Irish immigrants on mid 1800's. But the roots of this celebration go even further, to medieval ages and beyond, when Gaelic cultures celebrated the 'Samhain', the end of the summer and the harvest season, and the beginning of the new Celtic year. The word 'Samhain' comes from the ancient Irish "Samain", which is the equivalent of the month November on the Celtic calendar. The celebration lasted 3 nights and it was believed that during that time, the line separating the worlds of the living and the dead was shorter than ever, and so the spirits could walk freely. The people left food outside to keep the evil spirits away from their houses, and instead of pumpkins like we use today, they used turnips to place candles inside.

All of this could have roots even further in time, Gaelic cultures have been around for a really long time, and I guess mankind has always celebrated the end of the harvest season one way or the other.  But it shocks me how much things are pretty much the same as time passes by, and how different they are at the same time.

This week I made this quick drawing of a 3-fingered hand using a blue pen on white paper. I thought it could make a nice Halloween picture and I gave it some color using Paint Shop Pro Photo. I hope you like it.

Have a scary/funny Samhain!

Oct 27, 2009

6-pack


Hi everyone.

October is almost gone, and I can't see autumn anywhere near my house. People even went to the beach today in Alicante, to have a nice, sunny day.  Winter-cold is what we need. If it doesn't start to snow soon this ski season will be a no-no! xD

Until that happens, I'm changing some things down here on Earth to celebrate autumn. My room basically. It was all messed up, but after two days of careful planning and execution, I must say that it feels much better now. Though I lost a couple of things in the process, probably on their way to the dumping site. Nothing important.

The good news is I also found things that were either lost or simply forgotten, like these 6 random pictures I made who knows when, all on the same sheet of paper. Actually I think I'm gonna use some of these for a wallpaper or something.

In the meantime, my latest music set is done, and awaiting for the new animation I'm making for the preview. I wanted to make it simple, but it's getting more and more complex every minute. We will see...

Oct 10, 2009

Notes


This has been a very productive pen-and-paper week for me. My Java classes are progressing as expected -that is, slowly- and when we are not writing some code, I'm wasting some more blue ink. In fact, I've already used up a pen this week, and the second one is close to end.

This drawing is called "Notes unleashed", I think it's pretty obvious why. I've had some fun with it and made a nice wallpaper that, maybe this time, I'm gonna use for real. Maybe you will too. Choose your size:

1024 x 768 (4:3)
1400 x 1050 (4:3)
1440 x 900 (16:10)
1680 x 1050 (16:10)
1920 x 1200 (16:10)


Have fun!

Oct 4, 2009

FallHorn

 Hi everyone. As you probably noticed -or not- I've been quite a long while without posting anything. Although I changed some things on the blog, there hasn't be any new posts. The main reason for this is that I've started a new course of Java programming, and I'm dedicating not only the course time but also most of my spare time to it, and consequently my hobby projects are stopped or slowly advancing -or should I say crawling.

But this week has been really boring on the course. And there's nothing like being bored, having a  pen, and a paper. You just make some stupid lines to waste some time while the rest of the class finishes the practice, and then your hand flows like it's alive -well, it IS alive, isn't it?- and a picture starts to pop out of all those lines, hidden amongst bunches of hand-written block diagrams and code blocks. I used to make a lot of this kind of drawings, mostly on Post-Its and on blank spaces of unusable sheets of paper. I liked this one so much that I scanned it as soon as I arrived home. Then modified it, just 'cause I felt like doing it, until I was happy with it. And then experimented with it some more and got this 'weird green thing wallpaper that I'm not using but maybe someone will'.


I'm also making a new music session, almost done but some of the tracks don't fit so well and I'm having some troubles finding a good balance between melodic an rythmic songs, to avoid redundancy. Hopefully I'll be updating again this next week with the finished session. Keep your fingers crossed.

Cya!


Sep 14, 2009

Testing

This is an animation test I made for the "Dark Office" project. It's made directly from the 3D view window, so you can see the rig moving and some "behind the scenes" stuff. This way is perfect for testing 'cause it's real-time, so I don't have to wait for hours to watch some seconds of animation. Of course there are no shadows, lights or textures, those improve the whole scene a lot, masking some of the rig flaws.

I've been doing some more testing too with Indigo Renderer, but definitely I'll be using Blender internal for the final animation, since it's going to be longer than I first expected and even Blender internal takes a lot of time to render each frame -at a medium resolution, medium quality shadows, no Ambient Occlusion, it's taking nearly 3 minutes per frame, meaning 1h15m to render a second of animation.

I'll have less spare time next months but I'm aiming to finish this before 2010. Wish me good luck.


Sep 2, 2009

En español

En vista de que el traductor de Google es muy malo, y por deferencia a los lectores hispanohablantes, a partir de ahora podéis acceder a una versión en español del blog, haciendo click en la banderita española que aparece arriba a la izquierda. Espero con ésto poder llegar a más gente y facilitar la comunicación lo máximo, que de eso se trata. :)

Un saludo.

Sep 1, 2009

Still-life

When I first started this scene months ago I didn't expected it to be such a useful scene for me to learn so many things about Blender and rendering. It all started with a glass of wine, a common newbie practice lesson. Then came the bottle, the fruits, the milk and the clothes. Then the window. And it laid untouched until yesterday. Some days ago I started experimenting with Indigo, an external unbiased renderer that calculates the real behaviour of light when rendering the scene. And I decided to use it on this. The result, as you can see in the final image on the left, is significantly much better and realistic than when using Blender internal renderer. Of course, it takes a lot more to complete (the final picture took more than 3 hours to render, while the previous version at the right only took about 20 minutes). I wanted to test mirrors and understand materials on Indigo, so I added a bunch of news things like the bottle holder and the curtain. In the end, I'm quite happy with the image, despite the obvious texture issues caused by my inexperience with UV-mapping. And doing it helped me understand cloth modifiers, mirror and transparency, UV-texturing, particles system, some modeling tricks, and materials setup.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I'll use Indigo for the Dark Office animation, because of the long render times that would make the project a pain in the ass. I need to play some more with it, and if I manage to find a good compromise between render time and image noise, then I'll go for it. Meanwhile, I guess I'll just stick to Blender internal.

Cheers!

Aug 21, 2009

Back from black


After a very, very long day without power at home up until midnight, I'm back to duty -actually, back to hobby- updating the "Dark Office" project. It's been slow lately but I'm learning about rigging and animation, and it's harder than I thought, and I admit I'm just a little bit lazy. The room has received new equipment, some of it arrived today. Now it doesn't look so empty, but I still miss something and I don't know what it is (no, not a computer). Anyway, most of my focus is now on the main character, who I am proud (kinda) to present in this little tiny video I just made (Edit: I'm not happy with tinypic videos, so I'll just use YouTube):

I still haven't decided a name for the character, but I did decide that it's a "he". Any ideas? Actually, this little animation is just a test; rigging so far seems to be working nice, but it still needs some tweaking, mostly on the legs. Next step is that and making a "walk cycle" animation. The shirt is also a work in progress, but actually is a bad first try and probably I'll make a new one from scratch. Maybe some pants too :P But that all goes to the end of the list.

I just hope the power doesn't cut out again anytime soon. I need my computer for a whole lot of things. And my fridge too. It's hotter than ever outside (Update: 41ºC at 18:00. No kidding). I'll go for a cold drink now.

See you!

Aug 14, 2009

Dark Office

I have been working on this scene for some days now. Actually I made the basics weeks ago, but I've been improving and adding a bunch of new elements to it. It's not finished yet, and I'm planning to make a short animation with it, but I'm having trouble designing the main character (and probably the only character). I've been trying a lot of different models but can't find the inspiration to come up with a good one that I can use. If anyone want to share his/her ideas, I'll be right here!

Cheers.

Aug 8, 2009

Committe - Esperanza (Elek Remix)

An old remix I made for this song, a perfect excuse to play a little more with Sony Vegas Pro. A wallpaper and a bunch of effects so it doesn't look like the typical slideshow or still image video. Enjoy.

Aug 3, 2009

Elek Sunrise Session - Summer 2009

Hi everyone. Finally I was able to complete the new session; it's full of uplifting, happy house and dance tunes, some new, some old, but all of them catchy! For the YouTube preview I also made this 3D animation with Blender, it's not very complex but it's far more complex than any other animation I did before. The animation is composed of several different scenes that I rendered separately, so I could have more material to work with when editing. Then I put them all together with the music using Sony Vegas Pro (my first time using it). I hope you like it.

You can download the full audio session HERE.

And please stop by YouTube to watch the 11 min. preview. Comments welcome.

Full session tracklist:

01. Spiller feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Groovejet (If this ain't love)
02. DJ Luck vs. Bob Marley - Jammin' (Olav Basoski Remix)
03. Tom Novy - My House
04. Martin Solveig feat. Jay Sebag - Rejection (Ian Carey Remix)
05. Mario Ochoa - Habla con la Luna (Dr. Kucho Remix)
06. Stylus Robb feat. Mattias - Sensation Shot (Marcos Rodriguez Remix)
07. Armand Van Helden - My My My (Klaas Mix)
08. Rasmus Faber feat. Linda Sundblad - Everything is Alright (Richard Earnshaw Main Mix)
09. The Rah Band - No Way (Main Vocal Mix)
10. DJ Cam starring Anggun - Summer in Paris (Montilla's Dub Mix)
11. DJ Tekin - Sunrise in my Soul (Carlos Gallardo Disc Doctor Remix)
12. Joey Negro - Make a Move On Me
13. Delerium feat. Sarah Mclachlan - Silence 2009 (DafHouse Remix)
14. Wez Clarke - Someday
15. Michael Woods feat. Inaya Day - Natural High (Out of Office Full Vocal Mix)
16. Röyksopp - Happy Up Here (Breakbot Remix)

Total length: 1:09:02

Some high quality renders of the animation:





Cheers!

Jul 31, 2009

July is over, heat is not


So finally August is here. Ok, not exactly yet, but it's Friday and people will just leave to wherever they're going on vacation. That's one of the good things about August, the city is emptier than ever, though I'd still like it even emptier. Empty city means less noise, less polution, no queueing, more place to park, etc. There are also not-so-good things, like the super-hot weather that will probably last until mid-september (Southern hemisphere ski down some cold, snowy mountain for me please! :D) and the oh-so-great habit of doing every major city work and repair on August, which partly thwarts the less-noise, more-parking-space side of things.  Unfortunately, the financial crisis is noticeable and it's no secret that people won't go on vacation as much as they'd want to. Me included. I might do some trip to who knows where, but having a job first is a must or I won't go too far. Walking is out of the picture, mmkey? Anyway, news say that today there will be more than 3 million car trips, which is not bad at all in a country of 46+ million inhabitants. Expect heavy traffic on the highways if you are in Spain this weekend, mostly to and on the coast zones. And by the way, sunsets are cool at the coast, but seriously, watch a sunrise, you won't regret it.

My picture here could be either; your choice. I drew it with Corel Painter IX and a Wacom Bamboo tablet, and adjusted tone, brightness and contrast with Paint Shop Pro Photo. Actually it was my first drawing with Corel Painter some time ago, I never intended to draw anything at all, I was just training with the Wacom, but inspiration came and this was the result. 

Now I'm focused on other things anyway, the new session is more or less planned, and the 3D animation is on the oven, right now taking a lot to render every frame, but things will go faster as soon as I finish the session 'cause the animation will follow the music. Or at least that's the idea. It's gonna be a while till it's done I'm afraid...

Happy August y'all. Just don't melt.

Jul 24, 2009

ReAnimated


I don't really listen to the radio that much. If you ask me what's going to be the summer hit, I say "who cares". Almost all of my music updates come from the Internet and music TV stations. I have a ton of music CD's, but I realized that I have nothing really new, and everything I bought the last year or so is mostly ancient stuff (ancient = 70's). I find myself much confident buying good old music than doing a leap of faith buying any recent release. Specially this last year, everything sounds so similar... I think they're mostly going for the "ka-ching"! Of course, not everything is like that, but it's hard to find a really good album worth it's full price (well, having not a job makes things even more unworthy). And don't tell me about buying song by song on iTunes or whatever, I like to have the physical thing, touch it with my hands, read the booklet and smell the plastic. And here I am, downloading all the "summer hits" just because I want to make a new session, but secretly hoping to find a gem among the garbage.

In the meantime, I've been rather busy trying to make something really cool (finally) with Blender. In the picture you can see a little part of what is planned to be a fully animated scene that will serve as the video for the new session -that, of course, assuming that I really make the session, cause I haven't even started to select the songs. I'm starting to use armatures and paths and IPOs and a lot of other things I just discovered, but I still lack some modelling skills. Whatever, I have lots of time. For now.

Jul 20, 2009

Elek Session #2 - House

I guess I'm quite musical lately, so I decided to upload this Session #2 that I made years ago. You can see the 10 mins. preview on YouTube or download the full length session HERE.

It's a short session, less than 40 minutes, but I hope you enjoy it.

Tracklist:

01. Simply Red - Sunrise (Love to Infinity Club Mix)
02. Röyksopp - Poor Leno (Silicone Soul's Hypno House Dub)
03. ??? - The beat goes on  (I'm not sure that's the real name of the song)
04. Tim Deluxe feat. Sam Obernik - It just won't do (Club Mix)
05. Kult of Krameria - Voodoo Drums
06. Laguna - Spiller from Rio
07. Boris Dlugosch Feat. Roisin Murphy - Never Enough
08. Schiller - Das Glockenspiel (Tiesto Remix)

Total lenght: 37:08

Jul 19, 2009

Elek Session Summer 2009

A brand new session I made for this summer. A couple of classics but mostly hits from 2009, I hope you enjoy it. 

The YouTube video is a 10 mins. preview. You can download the full session HERE.

Full session tracklist:

01. Francois K - Time & Space
02. Syke & Sugarstarr - Ticket to Ride
03. Spankox - To the Club (Highpass Club Mix)
04. Axwell, Ingrosso, Angello, Laidback Luke feat. Deborah Cox - Leave the World Behind
05. Francois Dubois - Blood
06. Fedde Le Grand feat. Mitch Crown - Scared of me (Extended version)
07. Chris Lake feat. Nastala - If you Knew
08. Le Vernissage - Je T'aime (Bodo Turner Remix)
09. Inna - Hot (Play and Win Club version)
10. Eric Prydz - Pjanoo
11. Faithless feat. Cass Fox - Music Matters (Axwell Remix)
12. Gadjo - So many times 
13. Junior Jack - Da Hype
14. Farolfi & Gambafreaks vs. Moloko - A Style Suite
15. Bob Sinclair feat. Sugarhill Gang - Lala Song (Extended Version)
16. Salif Keita - Madan (Martin Solveig Remix)

Total length: 1:16:11

Jun 22, 2009

Faces


Today maybe you heard about these news. I was having dinner with my mother and watched it on the TV News, and inmediately we had a debate about it. My mother, understandably, says that the burqa should be banished as it represents the oppression on islamic women, and that it cannot be accepted in a democratic country. I, on the other side, think that besides the meaning a piece of cloth could have, it's just a piece of cloth, and it may be an instrument used for oppression, but it's as guilty as a knife for stabbing someone. The clothes are not the problem, and all that oppression and abuse is already regulated, by French laws in this case, and banning some clothes is a solution to nothing. And, seriously, it would be ridiculous and way beyond the logic (my logic at least) for a democracy to ban a specific piece of cloth. What if radical islamists forced women to wear sunglasses? Should we ban sunglasses then for what it means?

 Anyway, my mother pointed out something that surprised me: if you happen to talk to a person wearing a burqa, you can't see her face... how can you know who are you talking to? Well, don't we use phones to talk to people without ever seeing them? What's the problem then? Obviously the problem is our perception of things, we feel comfortable talking to a machine that transmits our voice across the world to other person, because we're used to it; but talking to a real person with the face covered... it's another thing.

Mathematician Douglas Hofstadter said: The main question about AI (Artificial Inteligence) for me is: what in the world will allow us to turn 100 thousand retinal points into a single word, "mom", in just a tenth of a second?

It's really important for humans to see people's faces, being able to recognize them. That's one of the main problems for robotics these days, making artificial faces that seem natural, otherwise people feels uncomfortable with them. It's one of my problems too, in my never-ending learning process with Blender. First attempts were simply awful, but I think I'm doing better as of late, and finally getting some good face/head structures. Texture is another thing, tho...

Jun 15, 2009

Dreaming

Lately I dream a lot. I can't remember the dreams, but I know that I did. It's kinda weird. My REM phase must be a complete chaos.

This drawing is, like some dreams, recurring in me; a girl sitting on a bench with a skirt. I've made endless variations of that, but this one was different cause I added a new actor: a little bird passing by right below the girl. Originally it was drawn with pencil, but I photoshopped it -not with Photoshop- to give it this old engraving touch or whatever.

Jun 4, 2009

It's HOT!

Summer is right here.

Last night was so hot that I couldn't get some sleep until long past 2am. So I was watching some videos on YouTube, and ended up watching Daft Punk's "Fresh" , one of my favourites from the French duo. And I thought "that's a nice sunset at the beach". And then I made this 3D picture using Blender. I borrowed a sky texture, modified it a little and made everything else from scratch. Let's be honest, the beach part sucks, but I think this is the best looking water I've made so far. I made it all pretty fast, so I guess the result is not that bad after all! Hope you like it! :)

May 19, 2009

Elek Sessions #1

[UPDATED 04 June]

Some years ago I made a couple of sessions, which I think are pretty good considering they were not prepared at all, I just made them on the fly. I thought it could be nice to upload them on Youtube for everyone to enjoy them, but what's the point of using a video service if you are only uploading audio? So I made a video-session. :) Here you can see part 1 of 5 (damn Youtube and their 10 minutes limit).

Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD SESSION AS AUDIO FILE (MP3, 49MB)

DOWNLOAD SESSION AS VIDEO FILE (WMV, 483MB)

PS: The audio and video tracklist:

01. Gala - Keep the secret
Video: Gala - Come into my life / Gala - Faraway

02. Watergate - Heart of Asia
Video: Watergate - Heart of Asia

03. JFK - The sound of blue
Video: Chicane - Saltwater / Trance Energy 2008

04. Laava - Wherever you are
Video: Laava - Wherever you are

05. Cosmic Gate - Mental atmosphere
Video: Cosmic Gate - Mental atmosphere

06. (Unknown title)
Video: Bedrock - Heaven scent

07. Mauro Picotto - Komodo
Video: Mauro Picotto - Komodo / Mauro Picotto - Proximus

08. Dj Quicksilver - Trance emotions
Video: Dj Quicksilver - Free / Dj Quicksilver - Ameno

09. Miss Shiva - Dreams
Video: Miss Shiva - Dreams

10. Delicious Delight - Forever mine
Video: Lacquer - Behind

11. Energy 52 - Café del Mar
Video: Energy 52 - Café del Mar / Café del Mar 20th Anniversary

May 15, 2009

Playing with Blender


Last few months I've been trying out Blender. It's my first real approach to 3D modelling, and though I'm going slow, I'm learning a lot by just trying. The nearest I've been to 3D modelling before was years ago making maps for Counter Strike -they must be somewhere in a backup CD or something... and I wanted to go more seriously with it. I'm still learning the basics, playing with lighting, textures, sculpting... it's fun and an awesome time-waster. Let's hope I waste enough time with it to make it worth!

While learning bezier curves, I made a butterfly and I thought I could make a little animation for testing. This animated gif is the result. Not much, but it moves! Yay!

May 12, 2009

Björk


If you look to the left sidebar you'll see a YouTube player with some videos from icelandic artist Björk. Go check them out if you haven't yet. This woman really knows what she's doing. I'm not very sure how I fully discovered her, but I think it was around the date she realeased her 3rd studio album, Post. Anyway, I first bought Debut, her first studio album as Björk (formerly she was on the Sugarcubes). The lyrics shocked me from the very beginning, but the real strenght for me is in the passionate and intense voice, and how she just makes music with her voice. Shortly after, I was drawing this, her face as seen in a picture on Debut. As usual, I had a paper notebook near and that's what I used for it. Since then, she's been a source of inspiration for me, and a really good medicine for my imagination.

Enjoy. 

May 11, 2009

The Internet is weird


The Internet is so vast it just boggles your mind. There's so much info, blogs, news, pictures, music, porn, games, spam, forums, software, shops...you know. But sometimes we forget the most important thing on the web, what's behind all that. People. People who feel, cry, laugh, smile; people with problems just like everyone else. We look at the screen and tap the keyboard and that's all we see, and then the words come and they might hurt. The "virtual world" is not virtual, you know. People is real.

Here is a pencil drawing I made ages ago, of my old school people. There were 5 minutes between classes, and I was sitting by the windows. Looked to my left and grabbed my pencil and notebook, and watched. Then started drawing. Time was not on my side so I had to be quick. No time for details. I could've finished it, but... I like it as it is.

May 10, 2009

The beginning


I guess more or less everyone has been drawing since childhood, that's what kids do after all. They just draw with their imagination. They don't care about technique, and couldn't care less if their drawings look real or not. They just draw, because it's FUN.

I remember being in the school, maybe at twelve y.o., we made a trip to some museum of History; everyone around was bored (ok, not everyone, but most of them) just looking at the stuff and hearing at the monotone voice of the guide. Good thing I got my notebook on me, I just couldn't stop drawing with my pencil anything cool enough to get my attention. I specially remember this aztec calendar (or whatever), it seemed huge to me, and I made this fast sketch of it (i had to drawn pretty fast, since the group had to keep moving, of course!).

I wish I had some of my baby-drawings... could I watch those paintings and understand my baby-me? 

Draw, guys. You'll be happier. :)