SyntheToonz's Eye Candy and Demos
Below are some of the renderings I've done over the years.
They are presented in more or less chronological order.
The oldest pictures were done well before SyntheToonz
became a reality, but I always had the fantasy of getting
into 3D graphics and animation either in my own company or
The dates given indicate when the picture was originally
worked on. (In some cases even this is guesswork.)
Most work done prior to 1993 was originally rendered at 320x480 to
be interlaced HAM images on the Amiga that were assembled into
If the projects
were available, I re-rendered single frames at 752x480 to
facilitate showing the images on the Toaster.
In some cases,
improvements were made to the scenes when rendered at
The actual animations are Amiga
IFF interlaced HAM animations. I'm investigating ways
of converting them to AVI, MPEG or QuickTime. (I'm also
trying to find them all.) Don't
expect to see results anytime soon.
Some of the work downright stinks by today's standards, but
if you consider that it was done when the
only full-length movies in existence using significant
computer graphics were "TRON" and "The Last Starfighter"
then you'll see some of my work was really pretty neat for its day.
Though, in 2000 I visited the public portfolio display of
graduating students at a local arts university and I was not
impressed with quite a lot of their work compared to some
of my decade old work.
I am actually the one giving the hardest critique of my own work.
At the very end of 1993 Lynn did a demo reel
for me to showcase my rendering work for a job interview
with a virtual reality company in Louisville, Kentucky.
We had only just bought the GVRS-950 single-frame
editing deck, so there were no real animations to show
them. In spite of this, they loved my work and offered
me a job and an obscene amount of money (especially for
Louisville), so my low opinion of my renderings wasn't
shared by them. Unfortunately, Lynn was diagnosed with
cancer just as this happened and I had to decline their
1989 "IINCOMNET" Title/Logo
Back in the Air Force (1987 to 1993) one of my jobs was in
the Intra-theater Intelligence Communications
Network Project Management Office.
I did system administration, user training, and technical
support for our customers using PC class hosts on a military
version of the Internet secure for handling Secret level
information. (Remember what the internet was like before
the invention of the World Wide Wait?)
This is one of the oldest pictures I had saved. I couldn't
find the original project, so I couldn't render it again in
higher resolution. The picture was originally a 320x400
interlaced HAM picture for the Amiga. The Art Department
Professional scaled it up to high resolution and resaved it
as a JPEG which is why the picture has "chunky" looking
The picture may have originally been done in Turbo Silver,
the progenitor of Impulse's Imagine program. The letters
are individual objects from a library of 3D text I purchased,
so they had to be placed in their positions individually.
As I recall, the letters didn't come as extruded 3D
block letters which is something else I also had to take care
of manually for each letter. There is supposed to be a veined marble texture on
the letters as a bump map. I don't like the way the texture
wrapped on the letters. It looks like there's cylindrical
instead of flat mapping. At that time I was still wrestling
with how to get a good texture wrap done on objects like these
letters which have flat planes parallel to each of the X, Y, and Z
axes. It looks like there is one of the Power Textures
marble textures applied to the semi-reflective floor.
I think I just whipped this rendering together in an evening.
1989 "Follow Me" Path Animation Test
This is one of those projects that harkens back to the days
of Turbo Silver. One of the nifty features in
a later version of Turbo Silver was the ability to group several
objects together and attach them to a path, so that they followed
the path while still being attached relative to each other.
This is a single frame from an animation. The objects come out of
the tube on the right and arc over to enter the tube on the left.
The original version of this picture used just primary colors
on the moving objects and tubes.
When Imagine arrived I duplicated this project for Imagine and improved
the visuals. The geometric solids came from a package I
bought (I'll remember the name one of these days.)
Each of the objects has an Essence program texture
applied to it. The ground has a Power Textures marble texture
applied. The tubes have brass attributes and an Essence bump
texture applied to them.
The only thing I don't like about this is that I didn't do
enough with the environment: there's nothing
other than the ground plane and a sphere for the environment.
There also isn't enough light in the
scene which makes the shadows look too dark. Then
again, I was only testing an animation control concept and
everything else was just tacked on as an afterthought.
1990 "Neon Logo" day glow colors, glass, and reflections.
1990 "Organic Spew" a sarcastic revolt from technical perfection.
1990 "Pyramids" Rendering various gem and metal materials.
1990 "Bohica Jelly" A military acronym I'm not going to explain.
1991 "Win NT/X Window" a hoax background for our ultrix DECStations.
1991 "CMW Statistics" frequency chart of visits by the PHB.
1991 "Sunshine Apathy" CMW office motto. Designed for print.
1991 "The Boat" a frequently re-rendered scene.
1992 "Baumholder Bug" Mascot of the Baumholder Amiga User Group.
1992 "Baumholder Bug" Closeup of the B.A.U.G. Mascot.
1992 "Green Mountain" Terrain done in VistaPro.
1992 "Right Info" The improved version of .INFO magazine cover.
1993 "Saturn" Lightwave Tutorial
We bought an upgrade to the VideoToaster in late 1993 and I
finally decided to sit down and figure out how Lightwave
worked. Previously, most of my rendering work was done
Anyone familiar with the Toaster will recognize this as the
Saturn tutorial from the Lightwave User Manual. However,
there is a difference. Our upgrade arrived missing most of
the images used for textures in the tutorials.
So, while working on the Lightwave tutorials I would
fire up ToasterPaintand draw, paint, spray, and slather
pixels around to make what I thought the tutorial intended
for a texture or image. I didn't do half bad.
As this is done to the tutorial specs, most of my biting
critique would have to be aimed at the tutorial and not
myself. I don't
know if it is a problem with Lightwave rendering at the time, but
you can make out the flat rectangles (the vertical
longitudinal lines) that make up the sphere
of the planet. However, the edge of the planet is fairly
smooth without very noticeable facets, so I'm not sure if
this is an indication of a rendering problem or if
there just weren't enough facets in the planet/sphere.
Also, the color rings are a painted texture applied to a flat
rectangle that is morphed/twisted into a ring around the
planet. That's an approach I wouldn't have thought of. I would
have subdivided a disk and cut out the facets in the center
to make a ring and then used a flat texture map that already
looked like rings. My approach would have probably looked
worse than the tutorial. As it stands now, the rings in the
tutorial did not have nearly enough facets, so the different
angles from facet to facet are very obvious in the rings.
1994 "Channel 20 Eyewitness News" Flying Logo Demo.