Don’t forget to BACKUP (VLOG)

Here are some thoughts about importance of having a backup. Digital data is so fragile because once it’s gone, it really is, and there’s no way to get it back. I had a bit of issue with my WordPress site yesterday because I ended up making a mistake and overwriting the data. I was able to recover from a backup but this really reminded me how important it is to have one.

I recommend to have automated solution such as Time Machine, which doesn’t require user intervention. Just remember to verify the backup every now and then to make sure it is safe.

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Data Matters, Vaultpress

Since this blog is so important to me, I decided to invest into Vaultpress backup plan. I had my own home-brew system in place but it is cumbersome and restoring a backup is very slow since it basically depends on moving files via SFTP, and is really quite a hassle to recover.

I had a bit of a glitch today with the site and this was offline for couple of hours during the most important business hours. Granted this glitch was my own fault, I kind of accidentally managed to overwrite data. The worst thing that can happen to a data basically is to be overwritten. Luckily I could recover from my backup, but thought, oh, why have I not made a better backup plan.

What Vaultpress promises is a real peace of mind, plus they also scan the site for security threats, and even throw Akismet key on top. For 9 dollars it isn’t too much I feel, and now I can just fully concentrate making content.

Basically, streamlining everything including the production schedule is always something to think about. We should be able to focus in creating new content and have peaceful rest in between. This is the ideal state of matters. So I think jerryrigging a backup solution might not be something I am interested in doing.

Anyway, setting up Vaultpress was straightforward and fast, so far I have a very good experience with them. I will report more later.

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zBrush Summit 2016 and thoughts on zBrush

Are you going to join 2016 zBrush summit? I can’t make it to LA, but I’ll be there virtually. I’m mostly curious about zBrush Core. Is this a lower cost alternative to the full zBrush or something completely different?

I have been extremely glad about my zBrush 4 investment. It’s been so many years since I bought it and there have been so many upgrades that have been completely free for me. And now there is even 64 bit version. Seeing the difference from the version that came in the cool Anniversary edition metal box is quite something. It feels like I have been part of this software’s development.

zBrush prop modeling

a prop being modelled using zBrush sculpting tools

If you are a sculptor or someone who comes from traditional art school, zBrush is definitely a worth to check out, even though recent versions of 3D Coat gives it run for it’s money . It all comes down to the very 3D sculpting tools built into zBrush that just are the best thing there is at the moment.

You can stream summit in http://pixologic.com

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Apogee Element

Apogee Element introduced

Apogee Element Series Thunderbolt was just introduced for mac with multiple inputs and outputs.

I love Apogee products. Especially my Apogee One for iPhone and Mac. Its the best audio interface I have ever owned what comes to sound quality. According to their announcement they have featured some of the best A/D and D/A converters so far. This got to sound good. They also have a solid looking clock source aboard to sync the AD/DA process.

The devices look solid and cool as ever. Apogee website says “Built like a beast. Not like a beauty”. But I think their design is quite beautiful and simple.

Element has has full Logic Pro integration and iOS controllers as well as the dedicated control remote.

Entry level model Element 24 starts $595 while the high end Apogee Element 88 is $1495. Even the entry level model has professional features like Word Clock IN/OUT via BNC connections for syncing. Like Apogee One, even this one rocks mighty.

What do you think of Apogee Element? Please feel free to comment below.

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Primitives in 3D Coat Tutorial

Introduction to primitives in 3D coat

Here is a free tutorial I did on using primitives in 3D Coat voxel sculpting room. It’s quite incredible how complicated shapes can be created with these when they are combined and merged with other shapes. You can also bring objects from other 3D packages to voxel room to merge and subtract with your shape. I like to have special set “cutter objects” that I use to build things like panels. Nice way to quickly create detail is to use radial symmetry.

You can use add and subtract and other blending modes. When in voxel mode the shape tries to blend into one seamless piece. Primitives can also be added when in surface mode. Think of this as like equivalent of zBrush’s dynamesh. If the result is too coarse it can be smoothed later.

It’s also nice to have things like nuts in the primitives section which are surprisingly versatile.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. If you like, please feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel and share these.

Some parts of this ship were modelled using primitives in 3d coat

Some parts of this ship were modelled using primitives in 3d coat

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Lightroom RAW Processing Video Tutorial

Introduction to Lightroom RAW

In this Lightroom RAW tutorial I show my most common steps to deal with RAW images in Lightroom. I like to use the Library module to put metadata to the images and sometimes also use the presets or quick edit tools (as I show in the video) for batch of images. This is quick way to correct images which are series.

I also like to flag images by hitting p in the keyboard for Pick and x for Reject. It’s nice non-destructive image to mark images, plus the rejected images become faded so that the good stuff will stand out more. (Hint, if you activate caps lock, you will automatically move to next image, so you can just keep hitting either x or p and move forward like in a slide show. Just pressing two buttons! Try it!)

Develop module

Lightroom RAW Image Processing settings

Some of the Lightroom RAW Image Processing settings.

Develop module has similar controls to Camera Raw in Photoshop. You get to adjust Exposure, Tone Curve and Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation settings. Being subtle is the key when adjusting these settings because relatively small adjustments can make a big impact to the image. Same goes for sharpness, I don’t usually like to do it too much here. I rather sharp during export.

Noise reduction is a big feature of Lightroom. It can really reduce noise quite significantly. It’s good to test the settings and see what is best result. I usually like to be aggressive with the color slider which controls the colour noise reduction, but I’m rather moderate with the main noise reduction slider.

There’s also a setting for Lens Corrections which is very nice, it automatically detects the lens you use and comes pre-loaded for presets for each lenses. I forgot to mention about chromatic aberration removal in this window, its very effective way to get rid of the purple fringe.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Please subscribe to my channel and feel free to share my tutorials in social media.

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Do you remember how Apple was like?

Oh gosh I miss Steve. Can you remember when did they release a new laptop and did it from this level of dedication and passion for pro users? Don’t even get me started about the state of the Mac Pro.. Oh boy.

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