Tony's artwork Page

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Radial Basis Function Surfaces       12:01 PM - May 15, 2005

This is the current culmination of my research work for the CS department at the U of I. It's an implementation of a radial basis function surface (RBF). The big dots are the control points - they define where you want the surface to go. The code solves the system and generates a function throughout all space. Then another program goes through and finds all of the points where that function is equal to zero - the "zero set" of the function. Then it draws it, and you get these nice smooth blobby surfaces. Here is more information about RBFs.

The colored blocks in the background are unrelated, except I wanted to see how easy it was to do.

Lightsabers!       12:01 PM - May 1, 2005

From my slow tinkering with most things Star Wars, I realize that I've built a small arsenal of fictitious weaponry. The upside of it is that it's very shiny, which is usually a good thing. These are my 6 lightsaber models. The 6th one is under construction. From left to right, numbers 2,3,and 4 are all or mostly my design (one came from a friend's quick sketch). The other three are models of physical lightsabers built by people for a design contest at www.thelightsaber.com.

More detailed pictures of my lightsabers can be found on my saber gallery page. More pictures of my favorite designs from thelightsaber.com can be found in my star wars rpg section Bigger Versions: 1600x1200 800x600

The Smart Pencil       12:01 PM - Apr 30, 2005

When an artist begins to model things, usually he ends up staring at his pencil and a blank piece of paper for awhile. As a result of that, I've done some examination of my pencil. From examination comes the urge to model this pencil. Among other things, this pencil has faithfully taken through me my whole undergraduate degree, and looks to be taking me through my master's degree, as well. I've changed the text to protect the innocent - or at least the trademarked...

Dice Rendering       12:01 PM - Apr 25, 2005

I decided to try modelling a 'complete' set of rpg gaming dice. I have fun making everything the right size, and bevelling out the edges.

This is a rendering of the whole group of dice together. I think the part I like best about the dice models is that I made the materials so well. There is a base shader that is the main material, and one material for the numbers.

Each face in these polygonal models that has a number on it is a blend of the two materials. There is a set of b/w bump maps that also act as the blending function for the two materials. The practical upshot of all of this is that I can change the look and feel of a whole die by changing only two materials instead of, as in the case of the d20, 21 shaders. If I were just using textures, I would have to redo the whole set of textures for each set of materials.

To see a dramatic change of materials, click the image to follow the link to a very different result. The change between these sets of materials took about 5 minutes at most.

On a totally different note, I like the soft shadows from the left side light. For contrast, I left the top light casting hard shadows. (If you're unfamilar with the terms, look at the edges of the shadows from each light)

Automatic Maps       12:01 PM - Apr 18, 2005

The Spring semester of 2005 I was involved in a contest to design and implement a program that used the unique data infrastructure of the Siebel Center for Computer Science to provide some service to the department community. I chose to use the touch-panel information panels around the building to provide mapping and directory information to visitors to the building.

This project won 2nd prize overall in the competition, and will be implemented as part of the official department building directory.

Here is the web site for that project.

LEGO Modelling       12:01 PM - Jan 17, 2004

I've been tinkering with digital building blocks. I've developed some methods to rapidly do physical simulations on low-resolution variations of these blocks, then program Maya to rapidly replace them with the high-resolution meshes. There is a huge library of very accurate lego models, but they don't translate well into Maya-usable meshes at this time. My buddy who is also working on this is using Lightwave, and there is also some motivation on my part to root for the capabilities of my favorite 3-D program over his.

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