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Computer skills


Placing an invention
in a commercial setting

Project Description:

The journey between an invention and a commercially viable product is long, time consuming, and capital intensive. 3D modeling can radically reduce the capital requirements of a start-up.


In this case, the product was a chair that could be fit to the various sizes of the human form with millimeter accuracy.

My goal was to show how such a product would look in a commercial setting by creating a photo-realistic model that would be composited onto footage of a real Mall of America (MOA) storefront.

back quater

In addition to creating beauty shots of a possible retail setting, this video touches on subjects such as market size, marketing strategies, possible medical benefits, etc.

How this was done is explained next.

Sitting Pretty


Sitting Pretty describes an invention that enables the manufacture of a truly custom-fit chair.

A virtual MOA store (5.9 mb)
How a chair should fit (2.9 mb)
Why chairs often don't fit (2.3 mb)
The "slip-slide" (445 kb)
Not enough adjustments (2.3 mb)
The custom-fit alternative (2.0 mb)
How to fit a chair (2.8 mb)
The commercial implications (5.3 mb)

These video clips are formatted using H264 and need Quicktime 7 to play. The players can be had here.


These videos demonstrate a wide array of animated graphics and digital compositing techniques uniquely suited to scientific and technical consumer education.

The "raw material" for this video consisted of 14 moulds and 17 pictures.


Creating a virtual store

How it was done. Using digital techniques to illustrate a possible future.

Why create the illusion? (4.0 mb)
Modeling the chair (2.4 mb)
Capturing the MOA (5.9 mb)
Creating a sign (3.1 mb)
Redoing the store window (1.4 mb)
Building an interior (818 kb)
Digital repairs (1.9 mb)
Final assembly (5.1 mb)


Valley Grove Preservation Society

Project description:
Create 3D interior and exterior models to illustrate to financial contributors
how a restored 1862 Valley Grove church will look.

The church pre-restoration:


Note the truncated steeple and deteriorated stonework.

(A 1280x960 picture can be loaded by clicking on any of these thumbnails.)

A model of the church restored:


The 3D model of the restored church has been inserted into a photo showing the trees and grave markers as they are today. The model’s near-perfect stone texture was taken from an 1872 photograph of the church.


How it turned out (06MAR08)

The church interior pre-restoration:


This space will continue to be used as a reception hall post-restoration.

A model of the church interior restored:


The interior is where the most significant changes will occur. Note the opened ceiling, balcony, ornate carved arch, chandeliers, and spindles.


Model of the gas chandelier:


Two re-created chandeliers will hang in the restored church.

Cutaway model of the interior:


Cutaway model illustrates the components of the restored interior.


Science only SEEMS difficult.
With animated illustrations, science comes alive

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Project Description:

Controlling runoff is one of those difficult policy issues that affects millions from northern farmers to Gulf fishers. Investment is on an 80-year cycle. Changing established practices is a matter of demonstrating a better alternative to very careful people.

This animation was featured in a video discussing differing strategies. It was a perfect application for an animation--comprehension increased by 9-fold over a simple static drawing.


Download Movie LoRes (2.2 megs)
HighRes (19.3)

Cisco Training

Project Description:

This was an attempt to illustrate what an information packet would look like traveling through a fiber-optic connection. Of course, such a thing cannot be seen so this was not even speculation. These brief animations were used as scene transitions in a training film and were considered VERY cool.

So like most things cool, it is about 6% science and 94% show business.



Download Movie (9.9 megs)

This animation was made to better visualize the incredible NASA photograph composite of the Earth at night. Shrunk around a sphere, it provided an incredibly accurate view of the world looking at the dark side.

Of course, the rotation speeds are not to scale, but this is a very accurate representation of the earth from space in many respects. The daytime view of the earth is also based on photographs and the background starfield was generated by an astronomy program.

Because the NASA photos were so detailed, very high resolution versions of this animation were possible. This sequence is quite spectacular on a high-def plasma screen ;-)

435 frames per revolution
Camera angle: 40° North of equator



Tying a bowline

Desktop video is so much more cost effective than printing. Here the point is made with a simple video that teaches how to tie a bowline knot. (3.1 mb)

Video is especially useful for explaining the world
Some examples



Energy for Everyone

This ten-part series originally aired on WCCO Television as part of their commitment to science education.


Linked to this site:

Chapter One:
Introduction--from where does energy come? (5.3 mb)


Chapter Four:
Hydrocarbon Kids--how do we use so much fossil fuel? (5.4 mb)

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