Sunday, September 02, 2007


In June I had an interview with the talented people at the Austin studio of Bioware. It was a great visit and I was excited to finally get to meet some of the people in person there that I'd only spoken with on the phone or chatted with on the web. The job opportunity looked great and my wife and I really enjoyed the area. We decided to accept the position and move the family to Texas. My start date was August 20th.

We stayed in a hotel for the first 10 days or so while we waited to close on our house. Five kids and 2 parents couped up in a hotel room for 10 days made for an interesting experience! We went swimming a lot and looked for other ways to get out of our room as much as we could. Of course there were lots of things to take care of related to moving that kept us busy. Now we're moved into our new house (mostly) and enjoying the final hot and humid days of the Austin summer.

I'm really enjoying my new job. Bioware is a great company and my coworkers are all really cool. I've already started scripting tools - which is something that I really love to do - so I'm quite happy.

While I was taking care of job hunting, interviews, finding a house, and moving, Kees managed to finish up a new point release of ShaderFX - version 1.8! In this new version, we added the ability for ShaderFX to export different flavors of the FX shader format. For now we can export to FX Composer, XNA, and Quest3D - all which require slightly different syntax. In order to get this to work, we've redone things under the hood quite a bit so it's now much easier to add support for additional formats. There are several others that we're working on that will be released soon. These exporters will allow artists to export their ShaderFX shaders directly into their game engines - whereas before the shaders needed a bit of hand-tweeking before they would work in external engines. In addition to the new exporter, Kees also added several other features - the ability to preview the alpha channel of a texture, and the ability to build shaders with multiple techniques - just to name a few.

Take a look at the cool demo videos that Kees made to show off the new features here:


Blogger Christine said...

Looks cool Ben. We're happy that you love it there, and we're happy you all are in your house! We love you all!

September 03, 2007 9:48 PM  
Blogger Lianne said...

Hey Ben! Thanks so much for forwarding my friend's email along in LinkedIn. Just wanted to say congrats and good luck in Texas! You'll be missed back in VCS.

I'll be visiting your blog more often now to get updates :)

September 11, 2007 11:12 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Hey Ben! Just stumbled across your blog on Google. Congrats on the new job and good luck. I'm sure you'll make everyone's lives easier at Bioware because you've certainly made mine easier through your work and valuable support on ShaderFX! Talk to you soon.

October 03, 2007 2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i've used the images of the cement. Thanks lots.

October 06, 2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry, not reading the blog, but I might use the hand picture you have in your resources. As it says to send an email or put something in your blog, I went for the easy option.

Thanks for the reference!

October 20, 2007 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I used one of your tree picks on my myspace page.

November 20, 2007 5:06 PM  
Blogger jedi said...

Wanted to say thanks for the photo textures. I've used several for a project I'm working on (as yet, I'm not able to disclose details). Congrats on Bioware while I'm at it. Great game company that I've not only had the pleasure to work with in the past, but of playing my share of games from.

November 27, 2007 5:40 PM  
Blogger divdav said...

Thanks for the textures, I'm an architecture student and they are proving very useful!

December 12, 2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ben, it's a nice idea that you put your textures online for people to use, there are some good images there and I took one of the metal ones to use on a medieval prop I have modelled. Thank you very much :-)

December 14, 2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ben!

I found your website with bark textures. Im doing a forest so, thanks a lot! i used one of them :)

Congrats with the Bioware!

January 04, 2008 8:39 PM  
Blogger Match said...

This mail is to thank you for the textures, as you asked for. I'm a scenography student, and sometimes is so difficult to find high resolution textures! Thanks a lot, and best regards.

January 12, 2008 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another post thanking you for those great textures, they're proving invaluable to me in my coursework. If only more places offered them freely eh?

January 17, 2008 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi -

Used your cement textures on a PowerPoint presentation. Thanks (c:

February 11, 2008 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google pointed me here, just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to upload the tetxures and for making them available to everyone.


February 17, 2008 9:23 AM  

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