Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I've posted last.  I'm sorry to have neglected this blog for so long.  The fact of the matter is, I simply haven't had time for blogging in months, but now that I may have more time again, I intend to actively turn my attention back to this blog.

Many of you have comments that have waiting my response.  I am sorry, I have not ignored you; I have simply been away from Blogger.  I will get back to each comment when I can.  I appreciate your patience!

Meanwhile, here are some updates on what's happened in the last few months as I've been "away"...


1. I have continued my internship with Advent Film Group, and within that time, Advent has released a new film training site that I highly recommend: Advent Filmmakers.  Advent Filmmakers is a website that provides excellent training in all aspects of filmmaking for Christians, from the technical side to the artistic side, from business management to worldview, and from the craft of superb storytelling to education on the history of film.  I even had the privilege to write one blog post for them.

2. In August I had the exciting opportunity to work on another feature film!  I was a production assistant on The Senior Prank, a Christian anti-bullying film about a group of popular high school students who elect a girl with Down syndrome to be their homecoming queen -- as a senior prank.  See the film's Facebook page for more information, including behind-the-scenes photos and videos.

Digital art:

My interest in digital art has now blossomed into a serious passion, and in just ten days, I am moving to Winter Park, Florida, to study Digital Arts & Design at Full Sail University.  My program of study is intensively accelerated (four-year-equivalent degree completed in less than two years), allowing that I begin classes in my degree topic almost immediately.  I have started taking online classes ahead of time, and I already have virtually all my general education requirements out of the way.  I'm already learning digital art.  This allows me to already start populating my tutorial blog with posts on what I'm learning.

Upon graduating in 2014, I intend to launch a digital arts, photography, and videography business.  I will apply my newly-acquired digital art skills predominantly within the context of film (designing movie websites and DVD covers, working in special effects, doing on-set graphic design, etc.).  The company I launch on the basis of digital arts will become the foundation for my eventual film production company.  Lord willing, I would like to produce my first feature film by 2016.


Progress with my sci-fi/dystopian novel is still coming along slowly.  I've passed the 50,000 mark for word-count, but I've still got a while to go; perhaps another 10-15,000 words.  I do still very much intend to publish this book when it is completed, so I will continue to keep you updated about that.


In my previous blog post, I mentioned potential changes coming for both of my blogs.  After thinking it over, I decided not to change anything for this blog -- it will still continue as-is!  The only difference is that, now that I am officially studying digital arts, I have more valuable content to share with my second blog, but this blog stays the same.

Well, that's all for now!  Hopefully, you can expect to hear more from me soon.

God bless!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New horizons

Hello, everyone!  I must say, it's been a while since I've blogged.  I'm truly sorry about that.  Schedules have been hectic lately, and mournfully devoid of time for blogging.  I hope to change that soon.

I'm considering moving in some new directions.  There are exciting developments underway in my life right now that could soon propel me closer to my vocational pursuits, in terms of entering the realms of film, entertainment, and media arts.  As God seems to be drawing me to cross new horizons, I'm pondering a few changes that would accompany these developments. 

For example, there is the possibility that I may transfer this blog to a new website.  I may combine the two blogs I keep into a single site, which would also expand to serve other, newer purposes, besides blogging. 

As I contemplate these ideas, I covet your thoughts and opinions -- you, the faithful followers of this blog.  If this blog were to be transferred to a new site, which aspects of this blog would you like to see continued?  What have you found most beneficial, interesting, and useful?  Which aspects of this blog would you not like to see continued?  What are some things that you have enjoyed on this blog for a time, but perhaps would not serve a purpose on a newer, broader-purposed site?

I appreciate your comments very much.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

God bless!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

True beauty and the ethics of Photoshop

I just posted this on my other blog for computer artists, Completely Free Tutorials, and decided I might as well post it here as well...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I find it fascinating how fake the models are that we see in magazines and ads.  Most models look like ordinary people before the makeup, lighting, and particularly the Photoshop adjustments, transform them into these artificial and flawless... what shall we call them?  Gods and goddesses?  Angels?  Aliens?  Whatever they are, they are not natural and they are not real.  Here are a few examples I pulled from

(The original image is first; the Photoshop image is shown after.)

Is it just me, or do these pictures make you feel sick?  In each of these cases, I think the original model is physically attractive.  None of these photo edits make sense to me, with the exception of the blemish that was removed in the second picture (with a blemish that obvious, I think I'd remove it, too!).

And yet, it is these edited, counterfeit pictures of models that so many people -- girls and women in particular -- subconsciously look up to as standards for attractiveness and beauty.  According to a study in 2004, only 2% of women think they are beautiful (  This is a shockingly low number, but should it really be surprising, with the repulsive way beauty has been contorted by our media?

"I wish I looked like such-and-such an actress!" a woman may moan.  But I would plead in response:  "Please understand that you probably do!!"

If you haven't seen Dove's video "Evolution", you need to.  This is another excellent glimpse into the phony world of modeling:

Now, don't misunderstand me: I am not necessarily opposed to editing photos.  I've done it myself on a small scale.  I understand; sometimes the lighting of our photos isn't good.  Sometimes models wake up on photo day with big zits on their foreheads (GACK!!).  That isn't what I'm talking about.

What I am talking about is morphing someone into an unnatural, impossible non-human that no person could ever physically rival in real life.  I'm talking about making aliens into our standard for beauty.  I mean, you might as well make this our standard for beauty (I am talking about the left half of the picture, of course):

By the way, I have no idea what this book is about, I'm not endorsing it, and I couldn't tell you if it was extremely inappropriate or terribly written. I'm just borrowing the cover to emphasize my point... 
As computer artists, we have these questions to ask ourselves:  What is most important or valuable, as we make our computer art, or edit our photos?  What is our highest priority in this matter?  What should be our highest priority?  What power do we wield, as computer artists and culture influencers, and what are we personally doing with that power?  Let me be more specific:  Are we doing more harm or more good with that power?  And if we are doing more harm... what should we do differently so we are doing more good?

What do you think?

Writers' Block now THE SCREENWRITERS!

I have exciting news!  The film I interned on last October, previously known by the working title, Writers' Block, has now been given an official title: The Screenwriters.

Consequently, there is a new official movie site up:  Check out the site -- even though there's much more to come, the design looks really nice so far!  

The new site includes their latest 30-second teaser trailer; also, you can view the original teaser trailer (about a minute and a half long) below:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is Romney's campaign copying Obama?

While visiting Mitt Romney's and Barack Obama's websites today, I couldn't help but realize how closely Romney's campaign design resembles Obama's.  Their sites are nearly the exact same layout, and even their campaign symbols have suspicious similarities.  I wonder if this is a purposeful campaign tactic on Romney's part.  What do you think?

The campaign symbols

Obama's symbol

Romney's symbol

Opening web page

Home page

Here you can see another small similarity in their website designs:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Who should I vote for?

Undecided who to vote for in the primaries?  Here are a few resources that will get you started in learning more about the candidates.  In this blog post, I'll list everything I personally considered when deciding which candidate to vote for; perhaps this will help you draw closer to deciding, as well. 

For a list of general information about the candidates and their political views, click here.  

If you're looking for the constitutional leanings of the Republican presidential candidates, a good resource I'd recommend is the Constitutional Report Card issued by Vision Forum.

In this report, Vision Forum rated the answers of all the Republican candidates during the 9/12/2011 CNN/Tea Party Republican Presidential Debate.  Their answers were rated according to strict constitutional criteria.  

The final grades for the candidates that are still on the ballot today were:

Ron Paul: A
Rick Santorum: D
Mitt Romney: D
Newt Gingrich: D

For the entire report card, click here

Of course, there are other things to consider in addition to constitutionality.  Some Christians consider the religious leanings of a candidate to be important for determining whether or not to vote for him.  

There are also side issues about certain candidates, other than constitutionality, that bother many voters.  For example, a large number of Americans are disturbed by Ron Paul's radical foreign policy views.  

Other voters are so sick and tired of Obama in the White House, that they will vote for nearly anyone that can beat him; these voters' main concern is a candidate's ultimate electability
What should we look for?

As for the religious beliefs of a candidate, I wonder if, as Christians, this should matter in our voting decisions?  We are supposed to be "salt and light" (Matthew 5:13-14), and we should certainly be involved in politics as Christians, but should Christianity and politics be interwoven to the extent that we shouldn't vote for a non-Christian candidate?  In other words, is it appropriate to vote for the most capable political leader, even if the most capable political leader is not a Christian?  I am not sure I completely know the answer yet myself; I'm just throwing the question out there for pondering. 

As for some of the side issues, (I call them side issues, but for some people they are rightly much more than "side" issues), I just want to briefly say that we should compare the  various negative issues of different candidates, and measure what the worst thing is at stake.  Which issues are most important, according to your personal values?  For example, is foreign policy or the constitution most important to you?  Or, consider what other issues you may find pressing: Marriage, pro-life, economy, spending, etc.  Once you can answer these questions, you can decide which candidate represents the most risk according to your values.  

Then, there is the issue of electability.  I can understand the desire for strategy, for choosing the most electable candidate that can beat Obama.  But should we ever compromise principle for so-called "strategy"?  As I see it, the act of choosing to vote for the candidate that is most popular or that is most likely to win, over choosing the candidate that is closer to your personal principles, sounds less like strategy, and more like caving into a kind of peer pressure.  Think about it: If we all voted purely for principle, would we ever have to worry about strategy or electability?  

I will conclude with this quote from John Quincy Adams:

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

Saturday, February 11, 2012

FREE! DAZ Studio Pro, Bryce Pro, & Hexagon!

If you're interested in getting started with 3D art, there are some excellent softwares being offered for free!  explain the whole situation in more detail in my blog post here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

When God Writes Your Love Story

I've read two books recently that I want to recommend. These are probably the most powerful books on relationships I've ever read (granted, I haven't read many, but these books were still tremendously powerful). 

If you are looking for authentic, highly practical, and radical books on Christian relationships -- or really, if you're looking for books on Christian relationships at all -- these are for you: When Dreams Come True and When God Writes Your Love Story, both by Eric and Leslie Ludy. (Eric Ludy is the same author of another book I reviewed recently, The Bravehearted Gospel.

When Dreams Come True is the inspiring, entirely true love story of Eric and Leslie Ludy. This book is a gripping read; it is written like a novel, and I found it impossible to put down. It chronicles a beautiful, emotional love story that "only God could write"; one that flies in the face of modern Hollywood's twisted misconceptions on romance. This book is an amazing example of how God can write a love story infinitely better than any fictional book or movie we could ever slap together. If you want to witness a moving, eye-opening romance that defies our culture, then read When Dreams Come True.

When God Writes Your Love Story is a perfect companion to When Dreams Come True. In it, the authors dive much deeper into the themes touched in When Dreams Come True. It is filled to the brim with challenging, thought-provoking, and practical advise, applicable regardless of your age, or if you're years away from entering a serious relationship. All in all, I highly recommend it; read it, and then let your friends read it. 

Learn more about the Ludys' books by checking out these links:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nightmare Academy

A couple days ago, I finished Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti.  I just want to briefly say that this was an excellent book.  It's been a long time since I read a novel and thought, "This is why I want to write!" It was also one of the best examples I've seen of how a story can be the best way to express a message

In Nightmare Academy, Peretti paints a disturbing picture of a society stripped of its standards for truth.  What would it be like to live without right and wrong?  Without good and evil?  With a morality that is relative?  Also, this book deals with a chilling take on communism and world domination.  And if you're wondering what the connection is between truth, morality, communism, and world domination... well, you're just going to have to read this book.

As with all Peretti's novels, Nightmare Academy is a thrilling and intriguing read, that will grip you and keep you turning the pages way past bedtime.  But, I wouldn't recommend reading it at night...

...Because this nightmare is real.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New blog!

For those of you that are interested in computer art, graphic design, animation, 3D modeling, filmmaking, or anything in between, come join me on my new blog -- "Completely Free Tutorials" -- as I embark on a journey to learn more about computer art! 

I'm more or less a "beginner" in this area of computer art, and I have much to learn. Nonetheless, as I traverse this adventurous road of learning, I'll share with you the skills I pick up along the way. And who knows; maybe you'll have nuggets of advice to share with me, as well! 

Visit my new blog my clicking the image below...

... or by going to:

*Note:  I'm not discontinuing this blog! "Pursuing the Truth" will go on as before. "Completely Free Tutorials" is just for tutorials on computer art; "Pursuing the Truth" is for everything else!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sherlock Holmes

A few days ago I saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I just want to briefly say that it was a good movie; I recommend it to anyone who enjoys action movies that are not polluted with unnecessary violence and language. I was able to thoroughly enjoy it, without flinching because of inappropriate content.

This movie was my introduction to Sherlock Holmes; I had not read any of the books or seen the other movie beforehand. It definitely was a good introduction; I really liked the character, the thrill of the plot, and the cool special effects (especially the slowing/speeding-up effect used whenever Sherlock solved a clue or remembered something crucial).

My favorite part was the ending, including the Chess scene and the very last scene. But, you'll have to watch it to find out what was so epic about it. :-)