Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Early Step on New Year Resolution

Before going on with my post, I'd like to thank everyone that supported me in the last week. It's been a very hard Holiday season, both emotionaly, and even mentally. I'm going through the occasional up-and-down phases, like my mom, but it's going relatively well.

After two days back at the office, I'm already on vacation again (two days for the new year, yay!). Since I'm off, I've decided to take one of my 2009 Resolutions seriously and take the first step into the right direction.

What are my resolutions anyway?
  • Exercice more
  • Improve my eating habits
  • Re-design the apartment layout (tired of living in a cube and I need to start decorating)
  • ...and finally, finish masteringMaya: The Fundamentals once and for all
I want to get MM:TF out of the way. I've been slacking on this for far too long (years!). I know that once I get on masteringMaya: Advanced Modeling that I'll be working on it non-stop, without much motivational problems. I want to model! Heck, I even believe that Project 3 is going to be very motivating for me.

So I removed the dust from my masteringMaya DVDs and continued from where I left off (which reminds me, I need to find a good video editor so I can edit and upload the Constraint exercice. I got the playblasts ready and everything. I saw Vegas for not too expensive the other day... I might go with that...)

I finally started the Project 2 Animation lesson. Before starting, I'm working on the starry-background for shot 2 (the backyard).

One of the other things I'd like to do in 2009, in Maya, is start and finish the classic Chessboard. It's a common exercice in many 3D Courses in universities and colleges. I did one in College (Strata 3D, rant on this scheduled for later), and I'd like to create one using the same principles but in Maya.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The loud alarm clock wakes me up from a very deep sleep. I feel I've been dreaming prior to waking up. I try hard to remember what I was dreaming about.

I felt like I was dreaming of a whole week. A very quiet Saturday, a music practice on Sunday that bared the sad news of the passing of an aunt, a stormy Monday, a traffic-driven Tuesday, playing music at Church on Wednesday, Christmas meals on Thursday, and being at the funeral home for most of Friday.

That was one heck of a long dream. I then think to myself that I have to start to open an eye so I can, eventually after what would seem like I would need a lot of effort, get up and go to work. If the alarm clock was set it was for work. Simple logic.

I was feeling glad that I dreamt so much and that I only had one more day before my Holiday vacation. I eventually gather up the strength to open one eye. I was facing my alarm clock. I suddently froze, confused. My digital alarm clock at my apartment displays blue numbers. This one is green. It's only then I realized that the whole week I thought I dreamt about wasn't a dream afterall. I was home.

Another day at the funeral home and the funeral mass was set for today. At the funeral home where my aunt was exposed, I was sitting there, motion-less. Staring in front of me. The cacophony of all the people talking was at a level right above white noise in terms of hypnotic-harmony. Time passed fast, but how fast is it really when everything feels like an eternity?

Then it's the final goodbye before they close the casket. Even my own emotions were putting me in an hypnotic state. "Relief" that she no longer has to suffer and "pain" from the sadness that I will no longer be able to see her or hear her laugh; both spinning inside of me, like the swirl of an ice-cream machine.

The day is already at an end. Eternity has passed. The hypnotic spell of the whole day is almost gone. Today, time, thoughts, emotions, dream, and reality have all blurred together.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No updates? What's going on?

I know I said I was going to post something at the beginning of my Holiday vacation. Something sadly came up during Sunday's group practice [church music group] and things have been hectic ever since. My mom's twin sister who was fighting cancer passed away.

This is my mom's third sibbling that loses the fight against cancer. Even though it's never an easy thing to go through, we're taking it quite well. For me, I'm very grateful that the direct family won't have to spend Christmas at the hospital. I'm also very grateful that she won't have to suffer anymore. It's hard, but why beat yourself over this? Nobody had any control over this.

She's going to be exposed and the funeral is all going to be during the upcoming weekend.

In the meantime, I'm still playing flute tonight at the Christmas Eve 7pm mass at the St-Jean Baptiste Church in Tracadie-Sheila. I'm kind of excited and nervous, which I didn't feel ever since I rejoined the group. I wrote some incredible parts on a lot of the songs, but one of them is very different in terms of technique and complexity. Everything is in C, A, G, D, or F [major]. Very simple scales to work with. They all use # (sharps) except the F scale. One of them though is in Bb (flat) Minor. A five flat scale where my brain has problem registering that when I see a G that I don't play a G or G#, but an F# (Gb) instead... same with another note.

But that's fairly at the beginning (before the mass) and it's right before Minuit Chrétien (O Holy Night) and my part there kicks ass!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Secret Project #2 Reveal

Finally, it's time! Here it is...

What's that 200 year old craft that I picked up? Crochet... yes, a 'yarn-craft'. I won't go in the details on how I randomly picked this hobby up. If you're interested to know, comment or send me an email.

This Snowman is a gift for my mom, who just loooooves Christmas decorations. I think she'll like it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday, Mouse!!!

That's right. 40 years ago, the mother of all tech-demos was shown to the world... the very first computer mouse!

On December 9th 1968 Douglas Engelbart used the first mouse to demonstrate novel ways of working with computers. Back then, it was made of wood and had one button.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Political Crisis in Canada - Part 3 (of 3)

Humiliating Harper Once More!

I can't pass these type of opportunities. I swear, this is the last political post for a while! I'd hate to make this a political Blog so I'll stop after these two points.

First and foremost, I edited the last two posts. Something that was just made officially clear, asside from the lies from Harper in an attempt to alter the public perception of the coalition, the coalition is not composed of the three opposition parties, just the two most important. The coalition is officially just composed of the Liberals and NDP, but with the support of the Bloc Québécois... that is all. There's no reason for Harper to continue calling to coalition a "seperatist" party except it do what he does best - decieve.

Now, this is what you wanted to see.
“Yesterday, as part of the culmination of the machinations of the leader of the NDP, we had these three parties together, forming this agreement, signing a document and they wouldn’t even have the Canadian flag behind them.

[...] They had to be photographed without it because a member of their coalition does not even believe in the country.”
---Stephen Harper, PM on December 2, 2008

Harper was technically right. There wasn’t a Canadian flag in the background — there were two.

Photo from the Canadian Press

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Political Crisis in Canada - Part 2

Quick history lesson

We see in the news throughout the country, representative of the new coalition all saying the same thing: "Harper can no longer lead the country". I pretty much agree with what they're saying... even more when elected conservative members of various regions of the country are saying the same thing about their own leader.

The coalition was bound to happen after Jim Flaherty's presentation of the Economy Statement last week. There's a problem when the government puts in the effort to attempt to destroy/cut ALL opposing parties. Last Saturday, John Baird said that the conservative were backtracking on their decision (cutting political party funding), however Stephen Harper denied the backtracking the following day.

It's even more revolting when the PM, Stephen Harper, deliberately lies about what the coalition is about in order to twist the public perception of the coalition and deceive Canadians about the facts. This is alarming since Stephen Harper is an amazing liar. Look what happened during the election. He exploited Stéphane Dion's weakness and slandered Dion's election platform. Dion had the best platform, but Harper twisted the facts of Dion's plan to gain votes... sadly, it worked.


Enough ranting, let's get back on what this post was about...

Stephen Harper is accusing the alliance of the three parties that are meant to overthrow him from power to be "Anti-Democratic"... May we remind him that in 2004, while the Liberals (lead by Paul Martin) were in power, the Conservative (lead by Stephen Harper) created an alliance with the Bloc Québécois in order to overthrow Paul Martin from power. Déjà vu?

Political Crisis in Ottawa...

Or kindergarten kids arguing during recess...

If you watched the chamber sessions yesterday, that's exactly what it looks like. As some of you may or may not know, the two biggest opposition party joined in a coalition in order to take over the power of the country. The current minority government calls this anti-democratic and accuses the coalition to be a "seperatist" coallition (even though the Bloc Québécois is not technically part of the coalition), and on the other side you have three leaders claiming wanting what's best for Canada.

Before going further, I just want to vent-off some steam. I don't agree with the "seperatist" comment from Harper. It honestly really pisses me off. I know Layton isn't worth much in Harper's eyes, but $%±# that's no reason to ignore him! The coallition is composed of two federal parties and supported by the Bloc Québécois which, in the past few years, by fighting for what's good for Québec, collaterally brought the rest of Canada great things. Layton may not be worth anything in Harper's eyes, but he would make a better Prime Minister than Harper for sure!

I don't want to make this a long-winded political Blog post, so I'm just going to ask this fundamental question...
Is the coallition really anti-democratic?
It sure would look that way. If you didn't understand Canadian politics, it would almost seem as if a group wanted to make a "coup d'état". But you have to remember this. Harper is a minority government. If you crunch the numbers of votes and his support, he has 12%-18% of the nation's support. There's over 82% that didn't want him in power and didn't speak their political voice. Harper is in power, but Canada didn't want him! And we feel the repercussions of this.

So, in theory, 82% didn't want Harper in power... even less support if you consider that some electoral-regions had no choice but to vote conservative even if they didn't want Harper to be elected. This happened in New-Brunswick and Alberta, and possibly other provinces as well. with this in mind, ask the question again... Is the coallition really anti-democratic?

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Phone

Those very close to me know that I've been struggling to keep my cellphone alive. A routine of taking the battery in-and-out just to get it to charge wasn't something that was convinient to do. Now that I think back on it, it was downright annoying to do.

But, no longer!

Ok, that was a bit dramatic. But yeah, I got a new phone. It's a Samsung Instinct with Bell Canada. I can already hear some of you: "Why didn't you get an iPhone instead? The iPhone ROCKS!" etc... I know. I love the device and does what it does great. The answer is quite simple...

In Canada, Rogers Mobile has the exclussivity to the iPhone. It wouldn't be a big deal, but I did my research [reviews, CRTC, Rogers' website, etc]. Conclusion: Rogers Sucks! Okay, they're awesome for Cable TV [normal and digital] and outside of Atlantic Canada, their internet is awesome too. But when it comes to cellphones, there are far better choices for coverage area (49% less coverage than their competitors in Canada), network speed, and prices for the plans (voice and data). Comparing the plans and what they cover compared to competitive plans, it's just not a smart choice to sign up to Rogers Mobile. They have the iPhone, but can't back up the service.

After that out of the way, I researched plans and phones at the two other competitors in New-Brunswick and after three weeks, got my hands on an Instinct.

It's a great phone for me. It's no iPhone and isn't perfect, but really - the iPhone is far from perfect either.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Full Moon Show - Episode 36 Released!

Why is this episode so special? It's Insomniac Games first-ever video podcast!

Click here!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Poll Results - 3-way

Wow, I didn't expect that. A three-way tie between Maya Fundamentals, Photo Retouching, and "Secret" Project 2.

I had to go with "elimination" coin tosses. A two round process. First round I toss a coin for each results. The one that's different get eliminated. Second round is which ever gets head and the other tail, head wins.

Round 1
  • Mastering Maya - Tail
  • Photo Retouching - Head
  • "Secret" Project #2 - Tail
Round 2
  • Mastering Maya - Tail
  • "Secret" Project 2 - Head
So this week I tackle "Secret" Project 2. Here's another hint: It's a craft that is only about two hundred years old, while the 'sister' craft his over two thousand years old.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Not Much to Write About

My last Blog post was 16 days ago. Looks like I fell in the "forgets-about-the-Blog-for-awhile", but no. I just don't have anything interesting the say right now. For the sake of keeping this Blog alive, here are some random ramblings...

Some of you, I'm sure, were expecting a Resistance 2 Review or Impression. Truth is, nothing I would've written would've stood out or be any different from the good reviews out. The game is Epic. I'm not using this word as a qualificative word for "awesome". It truly feels big and large. The very first thing you see when you can control Hale you think you see something far in the background. You walk to an open area and *BOOM* that thing you thought was in the background is actually right in front of you. The story is fantastic, the gameplay mechanics are very smooth, and the multiplayer is simply awesome.

I honestly don't understand how some people can critisize the game. All the complaints have seen so far are unfounded, ignorant (wouldn't have worked in the game), or simply ignore the design-direction of the game. There is a reason for the two-weapon system, there's a reason why there's no narrator, there's a reason why there are no vehicles... I guess it's true what they say: "It's easier to hate than to love."

The only little thing that gets me in Resistance 2 is not about the game. It's about me as a gamer. You see, I'm not a big fan of FPS games. Even less on consoles. I hate horror movies, and even more horror games. This game is way outside my comfort zone... but Insomniac Games did such a great job with the gameplay, the atmosphere, and the story that it actually feels good to be outside my comfort zone. I just take my time a lot with the game.

Last winter, I injured my hand. I had to step aside from my dad's worship group (liturgical animation) during the Christmas time, which was one of their last for several months. The group started playing again during the summer and I just recently joined back. It's great to work with motivated and talented young people. It's also great to work in music again. I missed writting and arranging music. I'm hoping to stay in the group a while. They seemed to like the addition of my flute (and maybe soon an Irish Flute too).

And Now for Something Completely Different ((I love Monty Python, hehehe)) I recently continued masteringMaya: The Fundamentals. I didn't have time yet to do much, but I did finish the Constraint lessons. The end exercice was pretty sweet. I exported a Playblast of it, but I need to get a good video editor that's able to do some compositing. I think I found one that's not too expensive, I need to do a little bit of research first. I'll post it once it's available.

On a more personal note, Cancer struck another of my mother's sibbling recently. I feel pretty bad about it because I'm not reacting to it anymore... I'm sad about it, but I think I'm getting a little numb to the reaction of the news. This is the forth uncle or aunt at the rate of almost one-a-year. Cancer is ruthless. No one is safe from it. But news of it just doesn't hit me anymore. I'm asking my readers to have my aunt in your prayers or thoughts (if you don't believe in a "Maker", which is fine) on Monday. She's getting surgery and only has a 50% of coming out of it, and 20% of that 50% of being paralyzed.

Now my coffee is getting cold and I need to leave in an hour. Yes, I'm drinking coffee. As some of you may know, I have an intolerance to a certain (high) concentration of cafeine. It really sucks because I could live on coffee. I love the taste of it, the smell of it, the 'd'exture (Austin Powers in Goldmember reference). My body can't take either a high dose of cafeine (too much of it) or really concentrated doses (dark roasts, pure expresso, etc.). But coffee is too good for me to pass... I just have to drink it with moderation...

I added a Poll for the weekend. I'll let you, my dear readers, decide what I should work on this week. Poll is on the left above my Twitter.

"Secret Project" Hint
The secret 'snowflake' project is now put on hold for several reasons. I still have a hint for you!

I have another 'similar' "Secret Project" in queue for Christmas. I didn't start it yet though. It's much smaller (in terms of time) than the first one.

If you have any ideas on what my Secret Skill is, please post in the comment (Arista, you know it already - don't spoil my fun plz!?!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Final Waiting Stretch of Resistance 2

Resistance 2 is right around the corner... quite litteraly if you think of the weekend as a "corner".

Reviews and videos are pouring in. It's promising to be one of the greatest games of 2008.

I've been playing the Private and Public BETA for a little while. Not as much as I would've liked (damn you real life!) but I have to say that I'm damn impressed. I'm not going to go in the details of the BETA... it's all stuff everyone knows already. What I'll say is that it got me to reserve the Collector's Edition of the game... it's that good.

Reception is good so far. One of my favorite reviews for now is the IGN Review. I am, however, a little shocked at the 1up Review of the game. It's Thierry's opinion and I respect that. But there are a lot of weird border-line ignorant statements, as if Thierry Nguyen played for no more than 5-10 minutes in total (look for what he says about the FarEye) and for that the review unfortunately feels 'rushed out'. But what really throws me off is how can you call it one of the best games on ps3 and give it a B+?
"'s certainly one of the best PS3 exclusives I've played."
Regardless, it's about Resistance and can still be worth a read (if you don't mind reading that feels rushed). It's Thierry's opinion and I got to respect that.

On a totally different note, here are some awesome videos that Gamersyde uploaded. Be forwarned, these are full of spoilers.

Gamersyde Resistance 2 - The First 10 Minutes (and much more!)
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Kudos to whoever finds out the very obscure Insomniac Games reference in the video right before the first level starts.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twitting Twitter

As you can see on the right side bar, I succombed and joined Twitter. It's pretty cool. If I know you in real-life, with very few exceptions, just follow me.

Oh, and for that secret 'snowflake project', it's turning out bigger than I expected, so don't expect anything before next week where I'll reveal a first hint for those who haven't guessed what it is yet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


You're not seeing things, this is snow... in October...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's this snowflake pattern for?

Why did I spend two hours designing a pixelated snowflake? Find out this weekend or next week...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Canada Voted 2008

Isn't this disappointing? Our worst Prime Minister of all time (officially through political analyst and political studies) got re-elected.

I don't want to get too political. It's my Blog after all and it's not meant to be. I'm just extremely disappointed of going through another term with the worst PM we've ever had. The one that had the weakest campaign platform and that will destroy the tax payers, the population of this great country, by giving our tax money to polluters.

We've gone through $300,000,000 of our money for absolutely nothing. YES, this election cost us $300,000,000 of our tax money, and for what? For nothing really. Harper is still a minority goverment, the Bloc Québécois still has more than half of the chairs in Québec, Yvon Godin is still representing Acadie-Bathurst...

Danny Williams had the right idea. He wanted to get rid of all the Conservative chairs in Newfoundland/Labrador... AND HE DID!!! Quite easily too if you looked at all that was done. He kept his word by not giving up and not get intimidated by the threats from Harper himself (and a death threat from Harper's communication agent. Google it)

How could this happen? There's one answer. Only 58% of registered voters actually voted. This is the lowest of all-time. There are over 35 regions where the conservative should've lost, where they didn't have a chance, when only 10% of registered voters of that region actually vote, what's the point of having an election?

There's 42% of you now that cannot, for four years, complain about the government or Canadian politics what-so-ever. Voting is a privilege. We're lucky to live in a democratic country. If you don't vote, you can't complain about the crappy politics.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Season 9 Premiere

Insane episode... Very promising when it makes you scream 'OMGWTF' in the first 3 seconds of the episode.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The "I-have-too-many-freegin'-hobbies" Cycle

I know some of you can relate to this. We live in a world where we work a third of our lives and sleep another third, with only a remaining third of our lives to do other things.

We also live in a world where 24 hours seem to not be enough anymore. Which is sad because that lifestyle our society seems to force in on us counters my life philosophy.

I'm caught in an awful bind. I have too many hobbies. Attempting to further my skills in one brings me to the brick wall of 'Time'. The bigger 'bind' is finding which one to drop. Each of my hobbies (gaming, multimedia, music, magic, card manipulation, and more...) have or add very valuable or rewarding elements to my life. Sitting down and trying to think of which hobby to drop is a confusing and hard cycle in itself. Each one I hypothetically eliminate, seems to create an hypothetical void in my life. One is the best stress reliever I've ever did, another thought me valuable social skills; while another goes hand-in-hand with my career, and another is my best form of artistic expression.

It's not an easy choice, even less an easy cycle to be in. It's a vicious cycle: the more you try to think about it and solve the problem, the bigger and more confusing the problem gets.

The worst (and sadisticly funnier) thing is that trying to solve this hobby-crisis takes a lot of time in itself...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Plugging my Flickr Again...

New pics... I know, I'm a whore.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


[]Jack Thompson Permanently Disbarred
* it's possible that the link above doesn't load. GamePolitics is getting HAMMERED because of this news.

It's official. The Florida Supreme Court today affirmed a referee's recommendation to permanently disbar our dear Jack Thompson.
The action, which takes effect in 30 days, means that Thompson will no longer be licensed to practice law and may not apply for reinstatement. Ever.


Some of these [offenses] include findings that Thompson made false statements and accusations, repeatedly harassed those he considered opponents, and, while falsely accusing others of "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors," himself attached pornography to court filings.
  • [Thompson] made false statements of material fact to courts and repeatedly violated a court order

  • [Thompson] communicated the subject of representation directly with clients of opposing counsel

  • [Thompson] engaged in prohibited ex parte communications

  • [Thompson] publicized and sent hundreds of pages of vitriolic and disparaging missives, letters, faxes, and press releases, to the affected individuals

  • [Thompson] targeted an individual who was not involved with respondent in any way, merely due to "the position [the individual] holds in state and national politics"

  • [Thompson]falsely, recklessly, and publicly accused a judge as being amenable to the "fixing" of cases

  • [Thompson] sent courts inappropriate and offensive sexual materials

  • [Thompson] falsely and publicly accused various attorneys and their clients of engaging in a conspiracy/enterprise involving "the criminal distribution of sexual materials to minors" and attempted to get prosecuting authorities to charge these attorneys and their clients for racketeering and extortion

  • [Thompson] harassed the former client of an attorney in an effort to get the client to use its influence to persuade the attorney to withdraw a defamation suit filed by the attorney against respondent

  • [Thompson] retaliated against attorneys who filed Bar complaints against him for his unethical conduct by asserting to their clients, government officials, politicians, the media, female lawyers in their law firm, employees, personal friends, acquaintances, and their wives, that the attorneys were criminal pornographers who objectify women.
The Court also upheld a fine of $43,675 against Thompson.

Monday, September 22, 2008

CSI: Miami Season 7 Premiere

On right now on CTV

Insane episode... 10pm Eastern on CBS for the rest of you guys (about 2.5 hours).

Regular blogging will start again soon... promise!

October 9th EDIT: I just realized I put Season '9' instead of '7'... fixed!

Friday, September 5, 2008

What are you Playing this Weekend?

Wow, I haven't done this for a while!

It's my birthday weekend. Going to spend it back home with my parents. Bringing my PSP with me. I'm going to concentrate on a few games...
  • Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
  • Patapon
  • N+
So, like ol' times sake:

What are YOU playing this weekend?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Project Calendar - Month-View Generator

Here is the code of the function that generates the calendar, passing two variables (static or user generated).

function renderCalendar($strMonth, $strYear) {
$date = mktime(12, 0, 0, $strMonth, 1, $strYear);
$daysInMonth = date("t", $date);
$dayOffset = date("w", $date);

$calendarWeeks = ceil(($daysInMonth + $dayOffset) / 7) - 1; //how many weeks (rows) in the month

echo "*****HTML Code for Table *****";

for ($rowIndex = 0; $rowIndex <= $calendarWeeks; $rowIndex++) {
echo "*****HTML Code for Table Row *****";
for ($colIndex = 1; $colIndex <= 7; $colIndex++) {
$currentDay = ($colIndex - $dayOffset) + ($rowIndex * 7);

if ($currentDay < 1 or $currentDay > $daysInMonth) {
echo "*****HTML Code for empty cell *****";
} else {
echo "*****HTML Code for date cell *****";
echo "*****HTML Code for closing Table Row *****";

You can check the result here.

Project Calendar - First day of the month...

For quite a while, I have been doing some research on simple algorithms to find out what was the first day of the month, defining the offset. But then it hit me: "What if I just generate my date variable at the first of the current month?"...

Yes, that's all I had to do. Use mkdate(); using the current month and year (or user selected month and year) and make my date variable with the first day of the month. I can check the day of the week of any date variable with PHP...


I now have a working calendar that, by default, shows the current month. Users can then select a month and year (within certain ranges) and the calendar will change, with the correct number of days and the right starting day.

I'm cleaning up the code a little bit. I will upload it later and post the renderCalendar() function.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Project Calendar - In Goes Functions!

This is not an elaborate post on complex algorithm I just found out, no. This is just an update saying that I'm starting to put functions in my PHP code. For the sake of prototyping, I was putting my code directly in the Body (the linear way), but it's time to clean up before I start working on the offset (first day of the month) algorithm.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

[Random] Is "Telekinetic" correct?

This is just a random post. Normal blogging should start back in a week or two.. Something that started to bother me a little while ago is the constant, and popular, use of the term "telekinetic" and "telekinesis" to define the super-human ability of moving objects with your mind.

What bothers me is the use of the prefix "tele", which means "distance". A remote-controlled car moves ("kinetic") from a certain disance ("tele")... is playing with a rc car Telekinesis?

Let's think purely in terms of Prefix-Suffix. "Kinetic" is the right suffix, but what is the prefix for mind?... simple: "Psycho".

The world of performance magic (correctly) uses the term "Psychokinesis" to define the ability to move objects at a distance with your mind.

Does that mean using "Telekinesis" is incorrect? Not necessarly. The pop-culture of comic books, video games and cartoons frequently use the term and is recognized by the readers, spectators, and gamers. It may not be the right word, but who am I to change how the mass-population recognizes a word? ;)
By the way, I recently got my hands on N+ for the PSP. I, so far, made two levels that are pretty well rated among the community. If you want to try them just go in the community mode of the game and search for the level ID 1563 and 1872.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vacation coming to an end...

Well, today is my last day of vacation before going back to work. This was a pretty cool vacation even though I didn't do anything special (no trip this year).

This last week, two of our greatest friends came over and spent a few days with us. Mel and Geo (no, they're not a couple). Friday, before Geo left, we all went to Pabineau Falls. I've never been there before even though it's so close to where I currently live.

I took a lot of pictures there... check 'em out.

Remember to check my Flickr.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More New Pics on Flickr

Using my vacation time to take a bunch of photos. Here are some new photos on my Flickr.

Ship Yard Shippagan Fountain Lonely Bench

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Pics on Flickr

I just uploaded new photos on my Flickr.

That is just a sampling of the 12 new photos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Eden of Vacation (Filler, really!)

I really don't have a lot to say.
  • I still love my new laptop
  • The government is presenting the new Health Authority organisational structure to the employees on the 30th (possible news on my job)
  • I'm on vacation
  • If you have a PS3 and have access to the PSN Store, you have to get the PixelJunk: Eden Demo!!!
I was serious when I said I didn't have a lot to say...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Kung Fu Panda - Art Book

As a fan of 3D Movies (and anything 3D Related since I started playing around and learning Maya), and as a Multimedia Designer; I owed it to myself to get an Art Book. Kung Fu Panda being my all-time favorite CG Movie, I had to get The Art of Kung Fu Panda.

It's an amazing Book. I've read and looked at numerous Movie and Game Art Books and this is one of the two best I've ever seen (along with the Okami Art Book I got Stéphanie for her graduation).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My New Baby!!!

It's official, I have a laptop. I got myself a Dell XPS M1530. Great specs for the price I wanted to pay.

Basic Specs
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 (2.4GHz)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB Hard Drive at 7200RPM
  • Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT (256MB Video)
I did reformat the laptop already to take control over the factory-partitions and get rid of the Bloatware. I'm currently tweaking vista and then going to create a disc image and I'm good to go.

I love this laptop a lot!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer of Booty

It's official - Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is coming out... this summer for $14.99 off the PSN Store.

Following the events of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, we're going to see Ratchet's search for Clank in a game that focuses on platforming, exploration and puzzles.

The game will contain answers about Clank's "abduction" by the Zonis.

...and yes, it's made by Insomniac Games!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Project Calendar - Calendar Rows

I don't have a computer, but it doesn't stop me from thinking.

Something I hadn't done in my prototypes was to have a dynamic number of rows (calendar Weeks) depending on the number of days. When I was developing the prototypes, I tried to come up with a logic for this but couldn't find it. I wasn't in that "mode", I guess.

For some reason, while playing [PS2] Ratchet: Deadlocked, it hit me. You know when something is too simple or easy that it becomes hard? Well, this is one of those instances.

calendarWeeks = rows in the calendar.

calendarWeeks ← ceil((daysInMonth + offset) / 7) - 1

I'm using "ceiling" and "-1" to be as logical as possible, without logical-shortcuts. If you think about it, let's say you have 31 days in a certain month + an offset of 1, devided by 7. You end up with 4.5714. You can't have half of a row, so you end up with 5 rows, which works. But, in my algorithm, the Rows loop starts at 0 for the calculation of currentDay, therefore the logic behind "-1" (from 0 to 4 is 5 rows).

Friday, July 11, 2008

LocoRoco 2 and Patapon 2

This is the month of great gaming news. Two of the most unique PSP games are making a comeback. That's right, SCEJ, through Famitsu, recently revealed Patapon 2 and LocoRoco 2.

Patapon 2
Expect bigger battles, new units (at least one flying unit), and even multiplayer with up to four players.

LocoRoco 2 and Screenshots
New challenges, new music, new bosses, and new abilities.

I need to start a new LocoRoco game now ;)...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Hate Arount Diablo III's Artistic Direction

For years, Diablo fans have waited for any signs of a sequel to the amazing Diablo II. Proof that you cannot please everyone, now that we know the game officially exists, there are some "self-proclaimed" Diablo-fans that are complaining about the color-palette of the game. I'm serious...

There's an Online Petition with over 17,000 signatures already. Funny thing is that there are a few "counter" Petitions, such as this one.

The "complainers" claim that the artistic direction of the game is not faithful to the serie's

I am quite disturbed by this, as a Multimedia Designer, a gamer, and a Diablo fan. My first remark is that the game is still a "Work in Progress". Not a lot of people remember the pre-release screenshots of Diablo II in the desert... I do... It was very bright with saturated light/spell effects. In essence, the petition is for Blizzard to finish their unfinished game. Not very smart.

Think of this other thing: Have online-petitions ever changed anything? Uwe Boll anyone? Blizzard has a company/community Forums, they have various email addresses. It's not impossible to contact them. An online-petition is not the best way to be heard. It's one of the best way to get humiliated or ignored.

The thing that bothers me the most is they don't even stop and think of why there are brighter and more saturated colors. As a designer I know this fact: "Bright colors are your friend!" I'm not the only one that knows this. Pretty much any designer or artist with a basic color theory course knows this. Keith Lee, ex-Insomniac Games employee and currently the Lead Producer of Diablo III at Blizzard, was recently interviewed by Tracey John of MTv Multiplayer. My favorite quote of the whole interview is this:
“One of the things that we considered when we were working on the visuals for ‘Diablo III’ is the fact that color is your friend. We feel that color actually helps to create a lot of highlights in the game so that there is contrast. A great analogy is like in ‘Lord of the Rings’ — not everything is dark. It allows you to see what a creepy dungeon can be like but if everything is dark it doesn’t allow you to have a lot of contrast.”
The main claim of the petition is that they want the Diablo III Universe to be "Gothic", "Cryptic/shadowy dungeons". But if you think about the use of color and the application from a design point-of-view, you need contrast. Especially for the kind of gameplay Diablo offers. Devil May Cry is "gothic" and "shadowy", but still makes a good use of lighting and saturated color. It's a must-have if you want a playable game. Not everything needs to be dark and brown, just look at Lord of the Rings.

It makes no sense to me that with the very first screenshot ever released of the game that there are some people already complaining, especially with the number of years Diablo-fans had to wait for an announcement. Regardless of the humiliation or waste of energy the "petitioners" are going to face, I know one thing. Diablo III looks delicious (yes, delicious) and I will be buying the game on day-1.

No Computer = More Gaming Time?

I officially sold my computer Saturday. As a result, I've been playing a lot of video games (consoles) since. I purchased Secret Agent Clank in the weekend and rented Resistance: Fall of Man. I won't be getting a computer before mid-August for sure, so I have quite a lot of gaming time on my hands.

I thought back on my "gaming commitment" post and thought of my gaming-backlog and things I would like to complete. In no perticular order (except for the first few):
  • Complete 1st playthrough of [PSP] Secret Agent Clank
  • Complete New Save File of [Wii] Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  • Complete [PS2] Ratchet: Deadlocked 100%
  • Complete [PSP] Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters 100%
  • Complete [PS3] Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction 100%
  • Complete [PSP] Secret Agent Clank 100%
  • Finish [PSP] Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
  • Unlock Bloody Palace in [PS3] Devil May Cry 4
  • Finish Hard Career on [PS3] Guitar Hero III
  • Progress in [PSP] Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
I don't have months of free time in front of me, so it's fair to say that some objectives won't even be touched, but it's going to be fun. I have three weeks of vacation somewhere in there.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Computer and masteringMaya Sprint

Well, the sprint wasn't that much of a success. I definately bitten off more than I could chew. I forgot that 40 minutes of video means about 2.5 hours of work. I had 13 hours to go... you do the math.

It was still an awesome experience. I managed to have an intensive Maya week and cleared a few hours more. I'll calculate the progress so far to update the tab on the right.

On another note, my computer will be leaving the apartment today. My friend is coming to pick it up.

There's no turning back now!

Diablo 3 Announced

That's right. For the last five days, there has been a lot of speculations about what the daily-evolving Splash Page on Blizzard's Website meant. Clues of Starcraft 2 mixed with WoW: Wrath of the Lich King... but Diablo fans speculated and insisted on Diablo 3 clues... they were right!
Official Diablo III Website
[Kotaku] Trailers and Gameplay

White Knight Chronicles Coming Financial Year 2008

This is one of the PS3 games that caught my attention before the PS3 launched. Level-5 working their magic on the PS3. During Sony's corporate strategy meeting, Shirokishi Monogatari (White Knight Chronicles) was announced to be released this financial year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals - Project 2 Sprint

I previously mentionned (and ranted) that I was selling my computer. I may have found a buyer. Being the type of guy that likes to be safe, I'm not confirming anything before the computer leaves the appartment—possibly this Saturday.

For numerous reasons, I decided to get a powerful laptop. Smaller size (I am in a smaller appartment), portability, power upgrade from this desktop - it wasn't a hard decision to make.

Something came through my head during the evening. I'm currently in the middle of project 2 of MM:TF on Maya 7 PLE... what if there are compatibility issues with my file and the more recent versions of Maya? I checked and there shouldn't be any issues... but that still gave me an idea...

What if I finish project 2 by the time the buyer comes to get the computer? A final sprint for the last 13 hours of this project. Stéphanie finished her classes for the year and I'm not supposed to do any overtime what so ever this week (except another hour, long story). I figure that if I can run through it intensively and pull an all-nighter Friday night that I can finish it. Thirteen hours of video, and maybe five to ten hours of work... I think this is possible.

I haven't been working on Maya a lot. A lot was happening at work and in my personal life. An intense sprint to finish project 2... very motivating!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Life Philosophy

Imagine that you have a bank account that had $86,400 every day. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. To really appreciate this account, wouldn't you take out every cent every day? Making the most of each dollar in the bank account so you don't lose any money?

Well you do have such a bank account - it's called time. We all have 86,400 seconds every day. If we don't make the most of it and treasure every second, you failed to "invest" in a good purpose in that day. Every new day, we get another 86,400 seconds—A new chance to do something good.
A few years ago, this analogy changed my perspective of life. It changed the way I live every day.

I just arrived from the movie theater with Stéphanie. We went to see Kung Fu Panda. There's a quote that rekindled this philosophy, my fuel for life.

Yesterday is history;
Tomorrow is a mystery;
Today is a gift;
That's why its called the present.
---Alice Morse Earle in "Sun Dials and Roses of Yesterday: Garden Delights" (1902)
Eleanor Roosevelt used this quote so much that she's sometimes wrongfully credited for it.

The quote and the analogy focuses on the importance of treasuring the present, the current moment in time of the very breathe you just took.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Official Award Picture

As promised, here is the official picture of the CPRS Award Gala from last week.

Myself, Marc Angers (ARP), and Lydia Dupéré

The picture is owned by the Canadian Press, explaining the small size (for you guys, I have the original) and the watermark.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Heads Up

Just a little head-up on why you haven't seen updates.

I'm still "recovering" from the hectic last week (with the prize and work). On top of that I think I may be catching the flu that my "honey" had two weekends ago.

There should be something posted, about anything, later this week. In the mean time, enjoy what was just posted on

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


((Written in the night of June 10th))

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to a very special event on June 10th. It's time for me to let the cat out of the bag.

I went to an award gala with Marc Angers, ARP (my director (Public Relations) and Lydia Dupéré (Communications Manager). It was a national award ceremony hosted by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). We recieved the Bronze award in the Print Projects category.

I will have the official pictures in a few days. In the mean time, enjoy the only pictures of me in a suit.

Me before the event and group picture of Céline Cormier, Marc Angers, ARP, me, and Lydia Dupéré

This was a pretty exciting event and a prestigious award. The "crème de la crème" of public relations and communications attended this ceremony. The whole evening (including the Champagne Reception where I met a lot of interesting people) was an amazing experience that I'll never forget, and I have an award that will follow me, professionally, for the rest of my life.

This project was a lot of work. From the "embryonic" stage to design, then development, up to the release; a lot of people were involved on a lot of levels. It was a team effort and this won't be forgotten. Thank you Marc for this amazing opportunity.

It's now close to 11:30 pm as I'm writting this in the hotel room. Halifax is not that close to Bathurst... we still have another 5-6 hours to drive to get back home tomorrow.

My setup while this was written, and my souvenirs.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What are you Playing this Weekend?

I'm still at my parents this weekend. Portable consoles FTW!

This time I brought my DS. I randomly turned on [NDS] Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon in the middle of the week and got hooked on it again.

If anyone wants a Chaos Blade, contact me ;)...

So, what are YOU playing this weekend?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals - Alien Rigging

is now complete!

((Note: the two previous posts were published last night. For some reason, they appeared this morning with a timestamp from this morning... probably a little bug))

I finally finished rigging the Alien from Project 2 - The Abduction. This took a while with life and work getting in the way.

I attempted in the last few weeks to video capture the rig and comment over them so I could show it to you guys. For some reason, CamStudio doesn't like Maya. The Audio is perfect except when Maya is open. There are some serious sync issues that I can't even fix.

All I can do is show you the two Channel Boxes and let you trust me with this. You'll see in the Animatics that they do some pretty cool stuff.

Ship Control Rig Alien Control Rig

Now that I'm done rigging, it's time to present to you the Alien. I never posted images of it when I completed the shading because I wanted to create a pose first. For that, I needed the rig to work.

The Alien 1 The Alien 2