AXIS, Now in Portfolio

Axis controller built for the design sprint @ CCA. 

Many of you have asked us to load the AXIS online. Axis is a gaming controller we designed for the "CTRL+S" workshop. What started as a quick 2 hour CAD exercise. Mainly for talking points about our model making process. Turned into a fun little portfolio project. We're super stoked about this, because we've been MIA from blogging for awhile. Sorry. 

We're going to refine the model making presentation used @ CCA Saturday, and will upload it here in the next day. 

Tackling Cinema 4D

We've always been an advocate for not falling into complacency. One way to avoid that is to continue to learn new things. Well, we're about to take on the bold task of learning Cinema 4d. Its capabilities are super attractive for both graphic and industrial design work we do. It'll be a long journey but we're excited none the less. 

Starting with what we know best. Building a highly detailed pair of headphones, so when we start to animate its construction, every detail matters. We're done building the headphones. Next up is throwing it into Cinema. 


Those wondering about our process, here is a peek at Minus 8's intro video. Remember to spend some time in silence to sketch and map out ideas that initially comes to mind. This helps track your thinking for when you start implementing. As you can see here, sometimes we do very little sketching and a lot more writing.


The brand lends itself to the details used in the animation. The ticking sound from a watch was our starting point. Originally we wanted to time all graphics on a 5 tick count but turns out the tick audio alone was so lame. Design is about improvising, we added Kanye's Jesus Walks to the mix and it was the the perfect combination, the tempo matched the ticks and the track meshed nicely giving an organized & military feel.


We wanted to capture the different faces Minus 8 has to offer from their collection. Conceptually the animation should capture everything watch related. Emphasizing on sounds, visuals and the offerings from the first collection. We wanted to also end the animation with a bang. The smoke and "boom" sound effect acted as the stamp of approval, verifying this company means business.



As most of you know, CS is our little passion experiment. Hoang and I both have daytime design gigs so it doesn’t take much to get us bitchin and moaning about how freaking busy we are! Anyways,  with the crazy amount of projects we’re handling I feel like I haven’t done my part on the blog, so I owe you guys a little bit of content. Here’s a little sneak peek into what’s cooking! Please stay tune’d and thank you so much for your patience. Super rough and under major progress, I promise nothing but sweetness coming your way! #RARE creativesession designlife designcreativesession designlife designcreativesession design creativesession designlife design

creativesession designlife design



Lens Whacking

I stumbled upon lens whacking while spying the inter-web for the new Black Magic camera. Lens whacking is such an awesome technique to add flares and light leak to your videos. What is lens whacking? Lens whacking is filming with a 50mm lens or lower not attached to the camera body. As you're filming you shift your lens in various angles allowing light to hit the sensor. This is a great way to add flares manually without doing it in post. I prefer this technique because the video feels very dreamy and the light leaks are consistent with the light source on location.

Particle Play

I've been toying around with this plug-in called Pluxus 2. I must admit before learning about plexus I was animating particles per dot. What a bummer that I didn't find out about this sooner. Anyway hoping to be good enough to apply to it in an upcoming is a sample video:

Discovery in Experimentation

Recently we were approached with a potentially lucrative project & business opportunity. Lets just say its something as demanding as cake sales on birthday anniversaries. Always guaranteed right? Our initial thought was to design everything in house and outsource what we aren't able to-- to an expert.  Typical Creative Session thought process, right? CS_SewingMachine_CreativeSession

What started as a night of prototyping, spontaneously turned into a bunch of grown ass men geeking out over materials. Instead of properly prototyping what we needed, we designed products that the materials could potentially become. Wallets, Key Chains, Sweaters, Aprons, Hats ect. Spontaneity is what drives Creative Session and we love it. You're never restricted by deadlines or boundaries, and are able to design freely. (Best mindset to be creative in.)


The best part of the night was that we generated many more ideas than we had anticipated just by taking the initiative in prototyping one single idea; therein lies the beauty of discovering new ideas through experimenting.





Spent sometime after work knocking out a pair of Nixon headphones. These quick exercises are doctor recommended in keeping your skills fresh and relevant. I know most of us designers spend all damn day in front of our computers whipping up awesome designs. The last thing we want to do is come home and sit back in front of another monitor and re-up. I've had this idea for a pair of headphones with all its connecting mechanics removed between the cans and the band. Only connected through a magnetic plate and a simple customizable metal band, allowing the user to adjust through friction and band tension. The concept is to consider the manufacturing process, by deleting the connecting mechanics and replacing it with a magnetic bridge we're saving $$$ and engineering cost.

Here is a quick rendering I did- Stay tuned for full TUTORIAL on how I rendered this in Keyshot then post editing in Photoshop.


Lighter koozie

While scrounging around for bottle opener this weekend I grabbed my roommates lighter to pop open a few beers to quench our thirst. After popping a few tops my eyes dropped down to various leather scraps sitting around the shop. Jokingly I suggested, Lets design some lighter koozies for your bic lighter. Sketching a few ideas I realized that the leather sleeve will be ruined if the design fully enclose a lighter. A potential could quickly shorten the life span of the leather koozie if using the leather surface as leverage in opening a bottle. The next logical step was to aesthetically design in an opening to accommodate bottle popping. This is our result. Quick. Fun.

Shoe Molds?

This goes out to all you shoe gurus. What are these called, I mean the technical term for these. I did a simple search for "Shoe Mold" I feel like there is an industry term for them and I've probably heard it before. We're looking for a unit for the office to design some shoes.


Rough Cut for a friend name HENRY

A year ago my co-worker Henry started a Kickstarter Project called "Solid Watch" the watch was a departure from having the formal wrist watch by being just a solid wrist monument, celebrating the idea of a watch. The "Solid Watch" was simply cause his friend had watches with piece of shit movements and wanted to do something different. Long story short Henry ended up being funded 130k for the project and now has over 500 hundred watches 6 different styles to fulfill and send out to his buyers. This year Henry is back and hungry for more. We recently filmed him working on his latest KickStarter project the "Cable Block" here is a rough cut. Ignore my voice in the second half of the video- I added it to inspire Henry to write his own script for the rest of the video since he was too shy to do it day of shoot.


Thoughts in the New, Year

This article about the Dalai Lama when asked"What suprisied him most about humanity" is old. Yes, but it totally relevant. I stumbled upon it again on Instagram through a friend and it struck a nerve somewhere in the work ethic aisle. It is true we are stuck in a society were we work so hard, being busy, being overwhelmed, having your plates full or flooded is seen as such a positive connotation. This posting is somewhat a reconsideration.... This year I want to find balance. I want to work smarter not harder. Be selective where and whom i deposit my energy and efforts to. Will it be work, family , love or life?


Shocker lifestyle

"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet."  -- Plato

Passion, inspiration, & ambition are attributes that drive us in doing the things we love. Unconditional effort to achieve more, to want more; is my main vehicle moving forward in life.

In light of National Breast Cancer Awareness month we're showing love with a design that literally spells out "Love", and what better way to spell it than some caring hand gestures.


Last week on a ride home I thought of my friend Dennis Truong's brand Shocker Lifestyle. His brand lends itself to really interesting graphic hand gestures. The best part is- for both of us, the common goal is success. Our tickets are booked, we're traveling at a different pace, but our journey will come with many blessings.  We're all creating our own movements in hope that our ripples turn into waves.  It's all because of Love that drives us forward, and this very word LOVE is what I thought will be perfect in designing what you will see here:


 (thanks for the package Dennis.)

(reminds me of the plaques that come with Lids hats.)