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. Dad, along with his best friend Harold Pennington, deeply affected my approach to life. My other great influences have been John Dewey, Thomas Jefferson, Carl Sagan, Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan, Stephen Covey and Robert Fulghum.

I've spent most of my adult life working as a freelance writer, photographer, web developer and 3D artist/programmer. I spent nearly 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, web programming and product management.

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

Product Management
I spent several years managing the development of Wall Worm before coming to Autodesk. I now work as a Product Owner for the product management team for 3ds Max and Maya.
3D Generalist
I started dabbling in 3D around 1998. As a hobbyist, I built several maps for the game Counter-Strike before changing focus to 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 spent decades using it and now work as one of the product managers for Max/Autodesk)
  • Wall Worm (I programmed it)
  • 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:
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Web Graphics
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:
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 currently shoot with a Canon R5 and a Canon 6D Mark II.

Other Skills

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

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...

Adventures with Del

In Memory of Delwin Olson
Posted on Jul 22, 2023 | Last Updated Aug 1, 2023
Olson family photo 2023A Meal in MedoraAt the Medora MusicalCorrine flies a droneDel Drives DuaneDel and DuaneDel Fuzz and DuaneDelwin Laughing as Corrine gets SakeDelwin Secures BoatDel on BoatDel teaches Hayden how to run a riding lawn mowerDriving Lessons from DelwinEating in MedoraDog jumps on DelDelwin with HadleyDelwin and Jim at GardenDelwin and Kent Goof OffDelwin and PamDelwin and PamDelwin and ShawnDelwin and Shawn on Old BaldyShawn and Delwin on Old BaldyShawn and Delwin on mountain.Delwin OlsonDelwin Driving a BoatDelwin on PhoneDelwin climbs a rockDelwin on TractorDelwin on Killdeer MountainDelwin on a HikeDelwin on Killdeer MountainsDelwin sitting on mountainsideDelwin on Killdeer Mountain.Delwin Olson on Old BaldyDelwin and GranddaughtersDelwin rescues the kidsDelwin Scans the DistanceDelwin raises armsDelwin at StoveDelwin Cooking BreakfastDelwin with GranddaughtersDelwin with Kids on QuadOlsons in Medora 2022Delwin, Duane and ShawnDuane and DelwinFuzz and DelGroup photoDel and CorrineIce Cream in MedoraJim and Delwin with metal detectorLast hike on Old BaldyMeal at BuckskinMeal at BuckskinOlson Family PhotoShawn and Delwin on MountainShawn and DelShawn and Del on BoatShawn and Delwin in a truckShawn, Ethan and Delwin on Old BaldyThumbs Upfamily hike

Photos and tribute to my friend and cousin Delwin Olson.

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delwin olson, del, killdeer, north dakota, tragic loss

Birds and Other Denizens of the Outer Banks

Posted on Oct 9, 2021 | Last Updated Oct 9, 2021

Photos of birds, dolphins and sites in the Outer Banks.

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outer banks, north carolina, nc, birds, dolphins

Good Memories from the Badlands

Posted on May 31, 2021 | Last Updated Jun 1, 2021
Shawn Hiking in Killdeer

Photos from my trip to Killdeer and Medora in Western North Dakota.

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killdeer, medora, badlands, north dakota, photos, animals, landscape

Choosing the Right Pesticide

Posted on May 6, 2021 | Last Updated May 6, 2021
Cartoon of Rat using Disease as a Pesticide.

Cartoon about pesticides and plagues.

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plague, pesticide, cartoon

Moving to Montreal

Posted on Feb 29, 2020 | Last Updated Jan 25, 2024

I took a job in Montreal to work as a Product Owner for 3ds Max.

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montreal, 3ds max, moving


Posted on Dec 14, 2019 | Last Updated Dec 15, 2019
Shawn and AliceShawn and Emily SaulShawn and ZoyaShawn in San FranciscoShawn Laptop BedShawn in a SuitShawn in MontrealGoofing Off with NursesRinging the Bell

My fight against cancer.

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cancer, lymphoma, chemotherapy, hope

The Catheterized Cat

Posted on Nov 22, 2019 | Last Updated Nov 22, 2019
catheterized cat

Cartoon about what can happen when you don't listen well.

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cat litter, catheter, cartoon

Adventures with Chris

Posted on Apr 26, 2019 | Last Updated May 31, 2021
Catan at Chris'Chris at DeskChris on BeachThanksgiving 2018.

Slideshow of Photos and a little about my cousin and dear friend Chris Himes, who died on April 26, 2019.

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chris himes, photos

Echoes of the Lost

Posted on Apr 23, 2019 | Last Updated Apr 23, 2019

Poem about loved ones lost.

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Reflections and Infections

Posted on Jul 10, 2018 | Last Updated Jul 10, 2018

An essay about the need for more philosophy (love of wisdom) in an age of growing xenophobia.

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wisdom, philosopher, leaders, tyrants

But Words Will Never Hurt Me

Posted on Jan 6, 2018 | Last Updated Aug 12, 2021

Editorial on negativity and entitlement amongst online communities.

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entitlement, negativity, trolls

A Little About John Dalmas

Posted on Jun 15, 2017 | Last Updated Jun 16, 2017
john, jim, misconjohn dalmas, donald olsonJohn Enjoys a mealdalmas, stanleyjohn, poetry

A short overview of the life of my friend John Dalmas.

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john dalmas

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 Aug 26, 2019

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

GED Online

Posted on Nov 9, 2015 | Last Updated Nov 9, 2015

GED Online

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Passion and Humility

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

Some thoughts on passion and humility.

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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

Thank you so much. I hope you are well!

Crys Latham
Wall Worm plugins and scripts for 3ds Max