Shawn Olson

shawn olson Art was always around me growing up. My father Donald Olson was a multi-talented wildlife artist whose skills and insight greatly influenced me over the years. Dad was a beautiful man full of love and compassion--and I try to share with my family, friends and fellows the joy of nature he shared with me for decades. My other great influences have been John Dewey, Thomas Jefferson, Carl Sagan, Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan.

I've spent most of my adult life working as a freelance writer, photographer, web developer and 3D artist. I spent three years as a staff writer for the Columbus Messenger Newspapers. After that I spent a decade developing database-driven web applications; since 2010 my main focus has been developing 3D scripts and plugins for 3ds Max. I'm most widely known for developing Wall Worm for 3ds Max.

When I try to describe myself, phrases like "jack-of-all-trades", "inquisitive" and "analytical" come to mind. Trying to learn something creative and new everyday is one of my little quirks... as is trying to teach something to others.

I am the father of five kids.

My professional experience includes journalism, 3D (design, programming), photography, web design, graphic design and web programming.

If asked what my most important characteristics are, my answer would be as follows: I am very diverse in interest and understanding, and I have a well-refined ability to bring together seemingly unconnected fields to find solutions and innovations. I am naturally skeptical, analytical and inquisitive.

My mission in life is to to learn as much as I can in the time I have; to raise warm and intelligent children; to leave something of value for this world that wasn't there before I came along.

My Professional Skills

3D Generalist
I have been dabbling in 3D since around 1998. I've built several maps for the game Counter-Strike and now focus on building levels and models for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Black Mesa. Since 2015 I've been a technical artist for the game Black Mesa. In 2016, Autodesk gave me Expert Elite status. Some of the software I've become expert in include:
  • 3ds Max (I am a Beta Tester and Charter Member for the 3ds Max development team)
  • Wall Worm (I programmed it)
  • Mudbox
  • Source Engine
  • Hammer
Web Development
The majority of my work between 2003-2012 was web development. I have experience in every facet of web development, from the back end to the front end. A list of specific skills:
  • XHTML/HTML5
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • Flex
  • ActionScript
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Web Graphics
Journalism
I was a beat reporter for a few years. My articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers in the Ohio region. Some of the publications:
Photography
I have been photographing my entire adult life. I started on 35mm but moved to digital cameras in 2001. Over a thousand of my photos have appeared in newspapers, magazines and college textbooks. I shoot with a Canon 30D and Canon 10D.

Other Skills

Cartooning
Although I've been paid for a few cartoons, I don't consider it a professional skill as it's mainly a hobby.
Maze-Making

I've always loved drawing mazes. It's mainly just a hobby. Some mazes I've made have made their way onto apparel, live theatre promotions and even the cover of the Sandiego Reader.

What's on my mind...

Education in the Digital Age

Posted on Jan 27, 2017 | Last Updated Feb 16, 2017

Essay on education in the modern digital age.

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education, society

Updating Custom Attributes to use AttribID

Posted on Jan 22, 2017 | Last Updated Jan 25, 2017

Discussion on using attribID in custom attributes inside 3ds Max, including pros, cons and solutions.

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custom attributes, 3ds max, maxscript, attribID, managing

Crazy Neighbor

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 | Last Updated Aug 9, 2016
Dana and the Skunkhayden and skunkchild plays with skunkdana carries skunkskunk

A little story about a crazy neighbor.

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neighbors, skunks, pole cat

Selecting a Percentage of a Collection Randomly in MAXScript

Posted on Feb 3, 2016 | Last Updated Feb 5, 2016

Example MAXscript for collecting random subsets of an array based on a percentage.

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maxscript, random, percentage, selection

Wrong Side of Bed

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 | Last Updated Dec 31, 2015
wrong side of bed cartoon

Cartoon about people with negative outlooks.

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negativity, outlook, grouch, cartoon, comic

Barry Childs-Helton

Pictures of a Minstrel-at-Arms
Posted on Nov 10, 2015 | Last Updated Nov 10, 2015

A short profile of Barry Childs-Helton from a fan.

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barry childs-helton, filk, album, wild mercy, the summers behind you

Passion and Humility

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 | Last Updated Jun 7, 2015

Some thoughts on passion and humility.

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Chris Graduates

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 | Last Updated Jun 7, 2015

Photos of Christian Pugh, who graduated in June 2015.

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chris

The Dreaded -1.#IND

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 | Last Updated Jun 5, 2015

A solution for DOT products of two normals that result in -1.#IND when passed to acos().

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maxscript, geometry, trigonometry, -1.#IND

Fix for OpenCart Error: The security header is not valid

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 | Last Updated Feb 24, 2015

A solution for the error 'The security header is not valid' in OpenCart when using PayPal Express Checkout.

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opencart, paypal express checkout

Later Dude

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 | Last Updated Feb 1, 2015

Cringe Bassist Ryan Butcher has died.

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butch

Good Times or Better Stories

Posted on Dec 7, 2014 | Last Updated Dec 7, 2014

Random stories about some funny events in my life. Some became funny after the fact.

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My Wife Likes it Hot

Posted on Dec 7, 2014 | Last Updated Dec 7, 2014

A little story about when my wife made things a little too hot.

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Copy and Paste Object Properties in 3ds Max

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 | Last Updated Nov 19, 2014

MAXScript for copying properties from one object to multiple other objects.

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maxscript, copy, paste, property

Autodesk Moving to Rental-Only for Software

How a company made for artists is pushing a policy that promotes more starving artists instead of thriving artists
Posted on Oct 13, 2014 | Last Updated Oct 13, 2014

Autodesk is now making plans to stop selling perpetual licenses and move all future business to a rental-only model.

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software, sales, consumer, license, perpetual, rental

Leopard Frog

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 | Last Updated Aug 26, 2014
Leopard Frog in WaterLeopard Frog PhotoLeopard Frog PhotoLeopard Frog in FountainLeopard Frog PhotoMating Leopard Frogs.leopard frog basking

Photos of the Leopard Frog in Ohio.

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leopard frog, amphibian, ohio

Moments with Ethan

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 | Last Updated Jun 2, 2014

Photos of my son Ethan Olson over the last few years.

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ethan olson, photos

Dealing with Readblock Character Limit in MAXScript

Posted on May 29, 2014 | Last Updated May 29, 2014

MAXScript function to circumvent the limitations in MemStream.ReadBlock() that has a character limit of 5120 characters.

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maxscript, MemStream.ReadBlock(), readblock, unknown system exception

2013 in Review

Posted on Feb 26, 2014 | Last Updated Feb 26, 2014

Newsletter about 2013, including various losses in our family and other news.

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2013, loss, death, dad, dog, opportunities

Perplexing Things

Posted on Feb 6, 2014 | Last Updated Jun 23, 2014

Essays on perplexing and amazing aspects of reality that are often unintuitive.

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statistics, nature, mind, math, perplex

Comment

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Everton Henrique Balduino

Jul 11, 2006

Hi there Shaw. I'm from Brazil and a big fan of CS. I'm downloading your maps now... they're cool.

I'm seeing your site... It's a good site and there is good infos and arts...

Are there any site with weapons and equipments downloads for CS???

Can you info me about this?

Thanks pal and sorry for the bad english! I'm studying yet... hehe.

See ya!

Comment ignored.

Crys Latham

Jun 26, 2006

Hi, Shawn. This is Crys Latham from Westland HS. I am looking for Roxanne Gilbey and was hoping that you could put her in contact w me. Our 10-yr reunion is coming up in Sept and I would like to be able to give her the information she needs.



My email is ninasimone12@hotmail.com



Thank you so much. I hope you are well!

Crys Latham
Angry Teapot Level Design Awards
SMO Ghost
Ethan and Shawn

My son and I in the fall of 1997.

Creative Arts
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