This site will be undergoing dramatic maintenance, mostly because I hate php and don't want to continue to support the hybrid php/python implementation I have running, so be forewarned that the site (which has extremely low traffic since I'm not allowed to post anything fun anymore) may be down from time to time over the next week or two. (Sep 15, 2013)


import awesomeness as awsm





Dude… WTF Happened?

So I kinda fell off the face of the earth this last year. So why? Well, firstly I got a job down at Reel… [more]

Dude… WTF Happened? Dude… WTF Happened?

Maya and PyQt on OSX Snow Leopard and Hating It

So this post has been sitting in my queue for over 2 months now. Why? Well, because it was a lot of trial… [more]

Maya and PyQt on OSX Snow Leopard and Hating It Maya and PyQt on OSX Snow Leopard and Hating It


Let me preface this by saying that I love the Open Source movement. I love Linux. I ran it for almost… [more]


She sells cshs by the cshore.


awsm.get_single_post('Dude… WTF Happened?')

Posted at: June 25th, 2012 by: John Neumann

where_the_hell_ive_beenSo I kinda fell off the face of the earth this last year. So why? Well, firstly I got a job down at Reel FX in Dallas as a Technical Director. The days were longish and I was really focusing on learning what I needed to learn to be as good at my job as I could. And the move down here was hard on both me and my family and so we were dealing with that as well. Basically, I was coming home after work burnt out and not ready to share what I’d learned that day. Which blows. Not just because I love spreading the knowledge around, but because it genuinely was rough not being able to reach out to the community and actually show folks what it was I was doing and how they could do it and learn from it.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty of everything that went on, but the long and short of it is this: I got hired; I worked on the VES nominated Humbugged: Rockettes to the Rescue; I then rolled onto an unannounced project with the same team and started supporting the Houdini pipeline that we had in place more often; That wrapped and I asked for a raise; Then I rolled into a new role as the Lead FX TD for our first feature film – I’d like to point out I’d only been there for 9 months and came in with minimal Houdini experience (and I’m still no guru, but I am a quick learner and performed damn well); Then I got the raise, but was told my time would end in August – guess the raise pissed them off; Then I rolled onto another unannounced project that already had a team in place so I was helping in a limited fashion; Then I got rolled onto another unannounced commercial project; Finally I found a new job that I’ll be starting at in July. The list is not exhaustive, but it’s close enough. The last few months have been kinda hectic with being on three projects and looking for a job, so I was having a really tough time finding time to relax or share anything. So I picked up a piano since one of my goals for the year was to learn an instrument. It helped immensely to let me relax and it’s been a lot of fun.

My time at Reel FX was both good and bad (as it is with any job). I learned a TON and have gotten really good at writing good clean python and utilizing it’s built in awesome. PyQt I regularly destroy and I love making sweet UI’s for our artists to work with. It’s been an extremely amazing learning experience and I’m going to miss a lot of the folks that I met during my time there. My CG Supervisor for my first two shows (Mike Fortner) is the best boss I’ve ever worked for. Not only is he smart as hell, but he really encouraged me to branch out and take on tasks I wasn’t ready for – thus making me force myself to be ready. He was extremely encouraging and really pushed me to be better at my job. He made me feel at home – on both a personal and work level. He also allowed me a ton of creative freedom in how we solved problems and we absolutely killed the shows we worked on. They looked great and we had so few “big” issues that we rarely worked late. We had a great dynamic and really played to each others skills. And we did two shows with just a CG Supervisor and one TD – just saying. He was an amazing mentor and I would HIGHLY suggest working with him if you ever have the opportunity. I really can’t say enough about how great my time working with him was.

So what’s next? Well, I’m kinda getting out of 3D. I’m going to WMS Gaming on their web team as the Principal Software Engineer (holy shit right!?!) writing Django applications all day and making cool shit there (As an aside, if you haven’t played with Django I HIGHLY recommend it. My site is still running on PHP currently, but I’ve been slowly migrating things over to Mezzanine/Django as time permits). Plus it’s back in Chicago so that’s a HUGE bonus for me because Dallas has been… Not what I expected nor what I had hoped for. I’m also hoping to get back to school and get my Masters in Computer Science since that would probably be a good thing since I’ve never actually taken a programming class (not that seems to have been an issue). I’m hoping to still play around in 3D and level up some of my skills in both Maya and Houdini and continue to do some cool stuff and try and hook folks up with information. I may do a big data dump at some point to see what I can remember and pass back to the community as well. I’ve also had a few requests for both an update to my quickPlayblast script (which is in dire need of an update) as well as some tutorials for artists with Python. I’d love to do both, but time is going to have to permit for either. I’d be more interested in doing the tutorials to be honest, but I’d like some feedback from some of the artists that are interested in it so that I could tailor it to something useful rather than “Here’s how you make a PyQt UI and populate it with data from your scene.” because while it’s useful I’d much rather tailor it to an actual need that’d be fairly generic in its context. I prefer writing lower level stuff, because there’s enough high level stuff out there for folks to get confused about already. :)

Until next time I actually write something, I bid you all adieu. Thanks for reading and leave some comments on what you’d like to see from a python tutorial. Till next time! :bloody:

Posted in News | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. No Comments

awsm.get_single_post('Python List Comprehension')

Posted at: December 7th, 2011 by: John Neumann

So it’s been a while since I updated anything on here. Part of that is because I don’t have the time anymore. The reason I don’t have the time is because I am now gainfully employed as a Technical Director at Reel FX. It’s pretty awesome and rewarding. Now all I do is write tools all day for the artists. :) Onwards. So Python is an amazingly awesome language. One of the reasons it’s so awesome is because you can do really hard things really easily in it. One of those things are list comprehensions. A list comprehension is basically a way of creating a new list based off of another list and a subset of qualities you’re looking for. Here’s an example:

# Input
my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
new_list = [num for num in my_list if num > 3]

print new_list
>> [4, 5]

Continue Reading…

Posted in Knowledge, Python Scripts, Scripts, Technology, Tutorials | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. 2 Comments

awsm.get_single_post('Redirect Maya’s output To stdout')

Posted at: September 20th, 2011 by: John Neumann

This is gonna be a quick post to get this information out there, however, I wanted to let all of you know I’m not dead (if you follow me on Twitter or G+ you know that though). I’ve just been busy at my new job at Reel FX as a Tools TD and I’ve got some awesome stuff in the pipe on here that should be coming out in the next few weeks. Hopefully a redesign of the site will come about as well, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for that. :) With that said, here we go.

So about a week ago I asked if anyone knew how to redirect Maya’s script editor output to the shell – because I was having some scenes crash on me and wanted to pin down exactly which line in the .ma file was doing it. Continue Reading…

Posted in Knowledge, Linux Scripts, Maya, Scripts, Tips and Tricks | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. 5 Comments