Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New iPhone Camera App

Along with my friends Andy and Brian at FunnerLabs, I am proud to announce the release of our newest app: Slit-Scan Camera for iPhone. Slit-Scan Camera will create some seriously trippy images on the iPhone 3gs and higher and the 4th Generation iPod Touch and higher.

While standard photos give you a full frame image of a single moment, slit-scan photography captures the world one line at a time. You end up with a two dimensional image where one dimension is continuously and chronologically displaced. It is not a warping filter or effect applied in post. You have probably seen the effect in movies like when the Enterprise stretches into warp speed, or the final sequence of 2001, but you can see it in action in our trailer.

We had a blast playing around with it and hope you do too. The basic version is free, with a $1.99 in-app upgrade to the higher resolution, ad-free version with additional controls. We can't wait to see what you do with it.

It has only been on the App store for a few hours and is already featured as the "App of the Day" on Gizmodo!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas for procrastinators

Everyone knows at least one. You know, the organized, artistic people who plan their holiday cards weeks or even months in advance. They design beautifully laid out typography and hand drawn illustrations, perfectly evoking the warmth and glow of holiday cheer. Then, with flawless penmanship, they hand address each envelope, a carefully selected 100% rag paper stock that is crisp enough to take ink well, yet feels silky in the hand. When you open the card, you notice the paper is just that perfect shade of white to conjure memories of the first snowfall that year when you were 6 years old. Remember? It was when you woke up before everyone else. Before the sun came up. You tiptoed to the window, pressing your face against the cold glass, squinting into the dim twilight, as delicate flakes floated from above. The snowy landscape had an almost luminescent glow. It looked like someone had redecorated the whole world while you slept. Then you noticed the quiet. It was a new kind of silence, not a lack of noise, but a vast space brimming with possibility. Yeah, opening their card feels just like that. I envy people who are organized and creative enough to make cards like that.

It turns out, I am just not one of those people.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My iPhone app

Well, I am officially an iPhone developer now. For the last three months or so, I have been working on a little math game with my good friends Andreas and Brian. It has been one of the most enjoyable projects I have worked on. I just love that the iPhone has enabled so many indie developers to create content. It is a great platform to work on and there are so many possibilities for it's use.

I'm ecstatic to announce that Alien Equation is now available to all of the iPhone (and iPod touch) using world.

Here's a link to the iTunes store:

and our website

Alien Equation is a math puzzle game with a silly UFO theme:

You are aboard an alien interstellar spaceship, when the artificially intelligent autopilot system is damaged, reverting to the intelligence of a 3 year old.

Can you train the computer to do math, so it can plot your course home?

Create enough valid equations before a space virus shuts the system down, stranding you on a planet inhabited by bipedal, hairless apes.


Alien Equation iPhone App Trailer from yeoldebrian on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. Two Christmases ago, my wife and I made a bunch of chocolate truffles to give as gifts. They turned out well, but ended up being much more labor intensive than I had expected. After that experience, I cast aside the idea of making truffles again without the help of a chocolate tempering machine. Somehow, completely unbidden, an idea popped into my head of how to make some really unique truffles and I couldn't seem to let it go. I am a sucker for a good concept and even though it would entail an elaborate process, eventually, I just had to make them. Walnuts have always reminded me of tiny little brains, so coated with candy and set inside of miniature chocolate skulls, they would make an irresistible Halloween treat.

To pull this idea off, required quite a bit of preparation. First, I sculpted little skulls out of polymer clay and molded them in food grade silicon. Then, I made bittersweet chocolate ganache, froze it and rolled it into little balls. Finally, I molded the white chocolate skull truffles, fitted each one with a bittersweet center and topped it off with a candy coated walnut "brain". They looked appropriately macabre, packaged in black tins lined with red velvet. No one expects a Halloween gift, so the recipients were amused and delighted.

Now that I know the process, I have quite a few other ideas for unique truffle shapes. If anyone wants to try making their own food molds, I described the process in detail here.
It was a lot of work, but fun and I now have a mold I can use for years to come.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Life changes

Well the last 18 months have been the most challenging in my life. My wife passed away due to breast cancer at the end of October 2008. Her dying at only 31 years old has radically shifted my view on life. It is no longer acceptable to push off the dreams I have to a future that may never come. I have always wanted to travel and so far this year I have spent 3 weeks in Germany and Switzerland, a week in Hawaii and am just about to go on a month long road trip across the USA.

I haven't really had the energy or desire to paint outside of work, so this blog has languished in the meantime. I am feeling better every day, so I hope to get back into the groove of it soon. I really want to feel inspired again and I am hoping the fresh perspective that travel can bring will help.

One of the games I did some work for has come out and another one is due to be published in 2010. I did a lot of background paintings and prop design for them, but I can't show much yet. These images have been published elsewhere, so I can re-post them here.

Here is the cover of A Vampyre Story. I painted everything but the characters, which are 3D with some touch up by me.(.. and the bats, which my boss Bill Tiller added in)

Here are a couple screenshots with backgrounds I painted. The game is Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island which is due in 2010.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I am trying to improve my environment painting abilities. I finally got around to completing a painting. I really struggled with this one, but partway through it took on a life of its own. I like parts of it, and if I did it over, I would simplify it a lot, but it was a good exercise.

a detail:

another detail:

Monday, March 10, 2008

John Singer Sargent studies

I discovered the work of John Singer Sargent in my late teens and he has remained one of my favorite painters ever since. I am still awestruck by his ability to express complex and nuanced subjects with just a few expertly placed brush strokes. I remember saving up to buy the Carter Ratcliff Sargent book and spending hours studying the images. As my painting abilities have improved, I have grown to appreciate his mastery even more. I was lucky enough to see an exhibit of his work in Seattle in 2001 and prints do not do his paintings justice. You need to see the paint handling up close to appreciate how amazing he was.

Here are a couple of studies I have done of his paintings.

Closeup of the face.

Here is an image of the original Lady Agnew of Lochnaw:

Here is another study I did of Dr. FitzWilliam Sargent:

Here is an animation of the process. Although it is digital, I tried to approximate Sargent's process. It is interesting to see how flat and two dimensional everything looks until the highlights are placed.

Here is an image of the original: