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labs: RenderQ_v1.2.1. . .

RenderQ_v1.2.1 with new preference system, default flags saved per application, some bug fixes, and a simple addition to sleep…mode.

RenderQ_v1.2.1 download page. . .

[2010.10.28 – v1.2.1]:

-ask for actual path for each render engine
-checks for current preferences and resets if required
-fixed localization issue related to file type naming
-ask to save default flags for each renderer
-adjusted render_fin sound volume and added sleepmode sound


iPad: light table! . .

After using early morning sunlight and a window as a light table to polish up those final frames, an iPad with a white image is a whole new world. Even better, with iOS 4.2.1 released today you have built in Brightness control with a simple double-tap of the Home Button and a swipe to the left.

Not being one to do things half-assed I present to you:


light table!

A glorious new web app for the iPad (maybe the iPhone if you’re in the flip-book mood) that displays an incredible white background image as far as the eyes can see. Just visit the above link (or type “”) and add this to your home screen:

light-table homescreen

Visit the site using the home screen icon and you will see this:

iphone lighttable

Find a nice chip clip, and you pretty much have yourself one of these:

real lighttable



labs: fn (Universal language). . .


After getting a few different requests for the “fn” app in different languages than English, I put together a universal version that should work with all the standard languages included in OS X’s “Language & Text” System Preference pane.

fn languages

If there are any other questions for other languages, just let me know…

Download: fn download page…

[2010.11.21: v1.2]
(Universal version) localized for all standard listed languages of OS X 10.6

Enjoy! If there are any issues, concerns, or requests please contact: It is quite possible there could be a few little bugs or improvements that could be made so don’t be afraid to contact me. This app is free, no donations allowed on this one. . .


labs: Maya x_x. . .


Maya is an application that can sometimes crash. It is always due to user-error of course, but for those moments when your pathetic human brain is unable to keep up with the technology, Maya x_x is there for you.

Maya x_x is an AppleScript application based off of a fantastic shell script written by Dave Girard to easily open the recovery file Maya generates when it crashes. The clever bit of this app (the shell script) takes a look in your /var/log/system.log file for “Fatal Error”, a string of text that is common to all recent versions of Maya when a crash is detected and a recovery file is saved, and pulls out the proper path of the newly generated recovery file. LIke this. . .


. . .not exactly any easy file to find if you have to go digging around yourself. Maya x_x also checks that output to see which version of Maya generated the crash log, and opens the recovery file in the appropriate version of the app. It also gives you a simple app to throw in your utilities folder (or wherever you like), that you can easily call up from Spotlight by typing Cmd+Space, and “maya x”, and pressing return.

maya x_x spotlight

This is designed to work with Maya 2009-2011, and as long as Maya actually generates a recovery file, all should be well. While this won’t automatically close any scene you currently have open but it is a good idea to just use this app right after the crash occurs, and always make sure to give the recovery scene a once over to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary.

Download: Maya x_x download page. . .

[2010.11.21: v1.0] – released!

To answer some questions in advance, After Effects and Nuke have pretty decent crash recovery and automatic save systems build right in. After Effects will even put up a pop-up showing where the recovery file is saved. There is a great tool called AE Suicide that will force AE to crash more elegantly and hopefully generate this recovery file. Nuke’s built in autosave system does the job just fine, and Nuke rarely crashes.

Enjoy! If there are any issues, concerns, or requests please contact: It is quite possible there could be a few little bugs or improvements that could be made so don’t be afraid to contact me. This app is free, no donations allowed on this one. . .

[andoru.labs] | [dave.girard]

sandbox: RenderFarm with character. . .

macbook farm

Not only does this MacBook look happy to be rendering frames, it is happy to be alive at all. Having a steady not-for-profit job is just icing on the cake. Although battered and bruised, this little guy is perfectly functional and can help get the job done.

macbook farm 2

Just using OS X’s built-in Screen Sharing functionality, some AppleScript tools, and some clever render setup it is easy to get renders offloaded from the main workstation.


Look how happy these frames are!

So, not really a “farm”, but I can guarantee this MacBook puts forward more effort per frame than other nameless render farm nodes. . .

(Peter Moxom wisely points out its closer resemblance to a garden rather than a farm)


labs: flashy! . .

flashy_enabled flashy_enabled

Upon realizing that the latest update to my favorite Safari extension (YouTube5) now supports Vimeo embeds, I realized there was no longer a reason to have Flash enabled on my system, at least not my main workstation. As many have mentioned, and John Gruber explains well on his site Daring Fireball, it is pretty simple to enable/disable Flash by just moving the plug-in components from the folder that Safari (and most other browsers) expect to find them. This way you have an easy fallback if you want to enable the plug-in, without going through the trouble of downloading anything.

As a person who is in front of a computer a lot, I need to ration my clicks, I am in my twenty’s and I just don’t know much clicking this right hand’s got left. . .

flashy! is an AppleScript applet that makes the simple simpler by automatically enabling and disabling the Flash plug-in by moving the appropriate components from their normal directory, and placing them in a “.disabled” directory for safekeeping.

From this:

To this:

And that pretty much covers it. The app will check for the files in their original location, disable them if they are there, and try to put them back if they aren’t. A simple toggle switch. If flashy! can’t find any of those files it will politely inform you. . .

Download: flashy! download page. . . (319KB .zip)

[2010.11.04: v1.0] – released!
[2010.11.10 – v1.1] – restarts Finder after disabling Flash to avoid errors when re-enabling

Known Issue v_1.0: When using flashy!_v1.0 for the the first time, after using it to disable Flash, you actually need to go to “/Library/Internet Plug-Ins.disabled/” and select the Flash Player.plugin file, just select it, or you will get an error message when trying to re-enable it (also make sure to Reset Safari for the change to take place in your browser). You should only need to do this once, but I am looking into it (see v1.1 above). . .

Tip: Most browsers (including Safari) have an option to Reopen Windows from Last Session in the History menu. Also, put flashy! in your Utilities folder or wherever, and just run it from Spotlight. Cmd+Space, type the first couple of letters “fla…” and press return.

Enjoy! If there are any issues, concerns, or requests please contact: It is quite possible there could be a few little bugs or improvements that could be made so don’t be afraid to contact me. This app is free, no donations allowed on this one. . .

[andoru.labs] | [youtube5] | [daring.fireball]

andrew hake | reel | twitter-andrewhake
one man thinktank