Whew, all caught up!

Okay, I’ve migrated all of my previous “My Life At Runtime” blog posts from its original tumblr incarnation over to this shiny new WordPress home for the blog. I’ve included links back to the original tumblr blog posts, which will be handy to access the posts that have a gallery of pictures (I didn’t bring over all the pictures on posts with multiple pictures).

So, now we can start fresh and begin posting new entries on my adventures so far in 2014. More to come … stay tuned!


November 8, 2013 – Web 3D Graphics With THREE.js

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Web 3D Graphics With THREE.js

[ image source: screen shot of threejs.org site ]

As I’ve mentioned in the two previous posts, a better way to get started with doing 3D (or 2D) graphics in a web browser, as opposed to working with raw WebGL, is to use the THREE.js library/API.

THREE.js offers a really easy to use API and provides a great deal of convenient access to all the things you’ll need for doing 3D on the web.

And it is very extensively used … many of the Google Chrome experiments have been done with THREE.js, and there are tons of examples out, including professional web apps, that use it.

To get started I recommend watching these two videos:

        o  threejs_playGnd – 1 ( three.js / webGL tutorial video )

        o  threejs_playGnd – 2 ( three.js / webGL tutorial video )

… and then hopping over to this site to try things out with some live JavaScript/THREE.js coding:

        o  http://threejsplaygnd.brangerbriz.net/gui/

And Here are a couple of great tutorial posts on getting started with THREE.js …

        o  Treehouse blog’s “Beginner’s Guide to three.js” post

        o  Aerotwist’s “Getting Started with THREE.js” page

And, last but not least, here is a really great post with tons of links to examples, videos, and resources for THREE.js …

        o  How to Learn Three.js for Game Development (from gamedev tuts+)

Well, that should be lots to get you going. If all else fails, just do a web search on THREE.js and you’ll get a lot of stuff back.

Happy Friday!


November 8, 2013 – Working with raw WebGL

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Working with raw WebGL

[ image source: the Khronos Group ]

For anyone getting started with doing graphics coding on the web, I highly recommend looking at THREE.js, which is an excellent library/API that wraps WebGL nicely and makes doing web 3D a whole lot easier.

But for those who want to dive into raw WebGL (which will give you a much better understanding of what’s happening under the hood), here are some links to get you started:

( 1 ) LearningWebGL.com

( 2 ) Mozilla Developer Network’s “Getting Started With WebGL”

( 3 ) Dev.Opera’s “Raw WebGL 101”

And, of course, just doing a web search on “webgl” will turn up a lot more resources for you as well.

Okay, I’ll keep this post short as I’m going to give a bit more love to THREE.js in my next post.


November 8, 2013 – My “Diving In With WebGL” talk last night

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My “Diving In With WebGL” talk last night

[ image source: instagram.com/torontojs ]

Last night I gave a talk on WebGL at Bento Miso (the fantastic co-work space that I’m a member of) to the fine folks who came out for the evening’s Toronto JavaScript monthly meetup.

My thanks to the gracious host, Tasveer Singh (@tazsingh), who has been running this meetup for just over a year now, for giving me the opportunity to come out and give the talk.

In retrospect, I think I gave a bit too deep of dive into the topic with my focus on raw WebGL (not for the faint of heart). But there were a few people in the crowd that had some graphics background from pre OpenGL ES days who provided knowing nods to some of my references.

So, knowing what I know now from going through that presentation and meeting with and talking to the folks at the meetup, I would have focused the talk more on THREE.js (which is a most excellent JavaScript library/API that wraps WebGL and provides much easier access to working with 3D in a browser) and just mentioned some bits of WebGL.

I did promise all the attendees a follow up to provide them with  starting points and resources for WebGL. So, here I’ll provide those in the next couple of blog posts … I’ll start with a few WebGL links for those ambitious enough to work with the raw 3D graphics API. But, I’ll also post  a bunch of links for THREE.js, which is definitely the way to go if you are just getting started and don’t have a whole lot of experience with graphics programming.

Stay tuned for the next couple of posts for links to good reference & learning resources!


November 5, 2013 – Illustrating, WebGL, and the Marvin Impulse Buy

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Illustrating, WebGL, and the Marvin Impulse Buy

It is fascinating how fast time just flies by sometimes. I had an extremely busy summer (being an entrepreneur has been keeping a great deal of hectic on my plate) that went by in, what seemed to be, a blink of an eye. Then that busy summer turned into a busy fall. And now here I am, realizing that I completely neglected this blog for quite a number of months.

Well, I am back! And I’ve got a bunch of posts coming, as there is a lot to catch you up on. There was a summer trip to Denver, Colorado, a recent trip to NYC/Brooklyn for the New York Comic Con, and a very cool project that is just kicking off.

But before I get into all that, I’m working on a couple of cool things at this very minute. The first is that I’m working on an illustration for an in-game “reward card” that’ll be used in an iOS game that my friends at Rocket 5 Studios are making. The second thing on the docket this week is a WebGL talk that I’ll be presenting for a JavaScript Tech Talk night at Bento Miso (the co-work space that I am a member of).

Doing the illustration for Rocket 5 has been fun, but it has been taking a bit of time as I really want to make it a great piece for their game. Along the way, I’ve taken a few photos of the work as I progressed on it … I’ll post some of those here at some point, but I want to check in with Rocket 5 first to see if it’s okay for me to post pics before the launch of their game.

By the way, the game is called “Phantom P.I. – Mission Apparition”. It’s really great looking (fantastic animations!) and it’s shaping up to be a very fun and entertaining game … I can’t wait for it to come out! Check out screen shots and the trailer for it here.

On the coding front, I have gotten back into doing more rapid prototyping again for my digital storytelling engine, and I’m do the prototyping using WebGL. And since I’m in the thick of things with that at the moment, I’ve volunteered to do an in-depth introduction to WebGL at a “JavaScript Tech Talk” night this Thursday. To be honest I’m a bit freaked out, as I haven’t given a talk in a long while and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty big turn out for it. But, I’m preparing for it and I think I’ve put together a good collection of information and examples that will be useful for those who haven’t done much in WebGL but want to get into it. Will do another post at the end of the week and I’ll let you know how my talk went over.

Okay, better get back to it! Lots to do this week!

Oh, almost forgot … the “Marvin Impulse Buy” … yeah, the little guy in the photo here is a USB key. I was in Staples one evening with a friend and I wasn’t intending on buying anything … but USB Marvin The Martian was on a shelf as we were approaching the cash registers and, well, just look at him! I so had to buy one.

Stay tuned … more posts are afoot.


May 15, 2013 – TCAF, Bit Bazaar, And Toronto’s Independent Spirit

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TCAF, Bit Bazaar, And Toronto’s Independent Spirit

[ image sources: http://torontocomics.com/ and http://bentomiso.com/ ]

This year’s TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) was pretty amazing. The festival has really grown in just the past few years that I’ve been attending (TCAF started back in 2003) and it has managed, very thankfully, to keep its strongly independent spirit.

The fact that it is still free to the public, that it supports independent comic creators and small publishers of independent works, that you can chat and have a great conversation with the artists and creators, and that having an artist sign something doesn’t cost you more money … is really refreshing in the midst of all the big commercial comic shows out there.

And the Toronto Reference Library is an amazing place to host it … the space is an architectural beauty, with a vast open main space with tons of light.

I was only able to attend one panel (on comics adaptations), but it was really great … genuine, honest, and interesting comments from all the creators involved. And the moderator was great, and who, I learned there, is “the other Scott” in Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim books.

Another round of the “Comics vs. Games” gallery (curated by The Hand Eye Society) at TCAF was very cool, this year showcasing indie games with awesome artwork from around the world (Australia, Germany, Argentina, and the U.S.A.).

An excellent new addition to the TCAF festivities was “Bit Bazaar”, that was generously hosted by “Bento Miso” (a co-work space for web developers and indie game makers).

Bit Bazaar is a showcase for independents … but from the digital gaming spectrum of things. I took some time on the weekend to head over to the Bento Miso space to check it out, and I was extremely happy to see that it was hoppin’! Saw some great indie games that are in the works, and saw some really great artwork, based on the games there and also games-related artwork from Toronto artists.

My friends Tim & Cathy from Rocket 5 Studios, showcased their latest build of the new game they are working on (code-named “Ghost Hunter”), which looked awesome and was fun to play! And I bought one of their super-cool looking Ghost Hunter T-shirts.

I had a really amazing time taking all of TCAF and Bit Bazaar over the weekend and it made me realize how great it is to be living in Toronto these days, with such amazing communities supporting independent comics and also independent games.

It’s really inspiring to be surrounded by a lot of indie spirit, and it makes things a lot easier to keep motivated on my own independent projects.

To wrap things up, I thought I’d put a list of links together for my previous (and separate) blog posts (that I’ve just posted) on the different things I happily spent money on at TCAF, if you want to check out any of them …

Part 1: Artwork & Story by Renee Nault

Part 2: Artwork & Story by Kenan Rubenstein

Part 3: Books & Bag from Koyama Press

Part 4: Comic Artists from Melbourne

Part 5: “The Nao of Brown” by Glyn Dillon

Part 6: Artwork by Willow Dawson

… really great finds, and I am happy to be supporting independent comic creators! Hope that you find some of the artists above interesting and hope that you pick up some of their work also!


May 15, 2013 – My TCAF Treasures, Part 5: Artwork by Willow Dawson

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My TCAF Treasures, Part 5: Artwork by Willow Dawson …

I am lucky to actually know Willow personally, because she’s a really awesome person on top of being a wonderfully talented illustrator.

She was super busy throughout TCAF, so I only had a chance to briefly chat with her there.

But, I did stop by her table at TCAF and picked up this absolutely gorgeous print by Willow (on left side in photo above), and got some free post cards as well … yay!

For more great work by Willow, check out her website, her tumblr sketch blog, and follow her on twitter at @WillowDawson


May 15, 2013 – My TCAF Treasures, Part 5: “The Nao of Brown” by Glyn Dillon

[original tumblr post … WITH MORE PICS!]

My TCAF Treasures, Part 5: “The Nao of Brown” by Glyn Dillon …

I’m very happy I came across this book! The artwork is absolutely gorgeous … I love Glyn’s watercolour illustration style.

Also glad that I stuck around to get my copy of it signed by Glyn, as he did watercolour illustration for me right on the inside cover! And he was a super nice guy … my friend Tommy and I chatted with Glyn about life in London (where Glyn is from and where Tommy and I did a work stint a few years back).

I’m looking forward to reading Glyn’s book! For those of you interested, here is an in-depth review of “The Nao of Brown”.

For more on Glyn Dillon and for more of his work, check out his website blog and follow him on twitter at @NaoBrown


May 15, 2013 – My TCAF Treasures, Part 4: Comic Artists From Melbourne

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My TCAF Treasures, Part 4: Comic Artists From Melbourne …

In one section at the Toronto Reference Library was a set of 4 tables with artists that all travelled to TCAF together from Melbourne, Australia.

I picked up a couple books from these fine folks …

One book called “Hidden”, by Miranda Burton, is about her work doing art therapy (which is an interesting topic to me, as I have a cousin who does similar work).

For more on Miranda Burton, check out her website.

The other is “The Silence”, by Bruce Mutard, that beautifully illustrated and has an intriguing story premise (art dealer and artist partner travel to Northern Queensland in search of an unknown artist for breathtaking artwork they have discovered).

For more on Bruce Mutard, check out his website.


May 15, 2013 – My TCAF Treasures, Part 3: Books & Bag from Koyama Press

[original tumblr post … WITH MORE PICS!]

My TCAF Treasures, Part 3: Books & Bag from Koyama Press

As with previous years attending TCAF, I made my stop at the Koyama Press table to chat with the awesome and amazing Anne Koyama (a.k.a. Kick-ass Annie), and to check out all the great books they had available this year. By the way, click on this comic mini-bio on Anne (by Dustin Harbin) to see why many of us think she is awesome and amazing.

Of course, I had to buy one of the Koyama Press bags … great color, awesome Kick-ass Annie logo, and a heavy duty, well made bag to boot (perfect for holding lots of books purchased at TCAF!).

I picked up Julia Wertz‘s “The Infinite Wait And Other Stories“, which I’m really looking forward to reading (have heard a lot of good things about it and it was nominated for an Eisner award!). And since it was previously known as “The Fart Party”, how could I not get it?!

Check out Julia’s website, and follow her on twitter at @Julia_Wertz.

And I was really happy to pick up a copy of Jane Mai‘s “Sunday In The Park With Boys” (a winner of a MoCCA Arts Festival Award of Excellence this year!). Jane was at the Koyama Press table, so I got to meet her and she signed my book for me. She’s super nice and very sweet. I was wearing my signature Nike baseball cap, hence her drawing the swoosh and “Just Do It” with her signing.

Check out Jane’s website, her tumblr blog, and follw her on twitter at @janemai_

Such great books once again from Koyama Press! Thanks Annie!