Octava awarded MII Phase 3 Funding!!!

Octava/BSO Space Travel!

Creating an interstellar musical spaceship with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra…:)

Octava will be present @ the League of American Orchestras National Conference this week, as well as enriching the BSO’s performances of Thomas Ades’ “Polaris” and Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé” this Friday night 6/10 @ the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Tickets can be purchased here!

Download Octava on App Store & Google Play

Octava @ NOI 2016

Octava will again be available during the National Orchestra Institute this summer @ The Clarice Smith Center on the campus of UMD on June 18th!

Octava @ BSYO Concert

May 15th marks the first public performance accompanied by Octava at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. To date it was our largest concert!

Octava/BSO Collaboration funded by NSF

Collaborative grant between Octava and the BSO was funded by NSF to explore science learning at orchestra concerts!

Smallwood/Dusman on NPR “Here and Now”

Interview on NPR Houston was picked up nationally on NPR!

Octava @ ROCO Again!

Octava returns to ROCO for a concert on April 9th!

Smallwood/Dusman on NPR Houston

While in Houston for the first public Octava performance with a professional orchestra, I was interviewed by NPR Houston’s Amy Bishop.

DusmanSmallwoodTo hear the piece, click here!

Octava @ ROCO

Octava will accompany the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston Texas on February 13th!

Octava@ppRoco Octava@Roco

Octava @ Boston University

Octava has partnered with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra…

Octava@BostonUniversityOctava has partnered with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra for an Octava enabled performance of Strauss’ Don Quixote this Thursday, February 11th, 2016.

For more information: click here!

Object Oriented @ BlackRock Center For The Arts

Come out and check out my most recent work and projected print/animation hybrid!


Opening Reception

ISEA 2015 Doc

Thoughts on Vancouver…and ISEA2015.

Design | Print/Publishing


Octava Awarded TEDCO MII Phase II

Marketing study funded by MII investigate potential for Octava LLC

Off to Vancouver!

Solo Exhibition @ BlackRock

Join me in Germantown this fall on November 18th for a solo exhibition of new print and animated work!


Octava @ NOI 2015

Octava was again part of the National Orchestra Institute sponsored by the School of Music of the University of Maryland, College Park.

For more information click here!

Smallwood/Dusman Awarded TEDCO MII Award

I am super excited to announce that the Maryland Innovation Initiative has awarded my self and collaborator Linda Dusman a Phase I grant to continue our work developing Symphony Interactive!

Over the next nine months we will work to upgrade Symphony Interactive to a fully functioning prototype as the first step in a the technology transfer process from UMBC. In addition, we will be producing annotations and art work for the the nations 30 most performed symphonies, as well as upgrading out WiFi communications.

What a great opportunity!

Octava @ NOI 2014

Symphony Interactive @ UMBC Orchestra

Come out to hear the UMBC Orchestra on November 24th, and you could get a chance to test Symphony Interactive for only our second public performance! Those interested in being beta testers can email me directly, or stop by my office during open hours to volunteer.

There will be pizza!

ART 484 – Facial Loop Geo Revisited

Professional Work

In an effort to clarify my method for easily creating proper facial geometry, I produced the following gallery of images. By following this guide, your model should end up with the core facial loops necessary for facial animation later on. Creating geometry for areas such as the nose, ears, and hairline are not included in this tutorial, as these regions are more subjective, and not as pivotal in establishing the core facial geometry needed for animation. By modeling these technical details into the face early in production, artists can focus on the aesthetic aspects of design such as proportion and characterization, knowing they will be able to successfully animate later on.

Tethered in the Weather @ VisArts of Rockville


Art 484 – Core Facial Loop Reference

Professional Work

This semester I am trying something new in both of the 3D animation courses offered by UMBC. Instead of doing a series of smaller projects, I am trying to organize each course around one semester long project, with the hopes that they will all have a chance to leave with a portfolio piece. The only trouble with this approach is that:

A) The course must move quick to cover all necessary topics.

B) Mistakes early will compound as the semester goes on.

To that end I am doing what I can to facilitate learning some of the more advanced techniques in the simplest ways possible. For my Advanced 3D course, I made the following reference video to help students understand the importance of core edge loop construction in regards to facial animation. Let’s hope it works.

Lungfisher, 2012 – Style Frame

Fine Art


The above image is a style frame from a new installation piece I am working on entitled Lungfisher. More Later.

Videopolis 2012 – Documentation

Fine Art

Guy Werner of the Metro Gallery once again did a fantastic job curating the Videopolis experimental video-art exhibition. Documentation of my piece, The Going Through, can be found in the video above (produced by Guy himself), and additional documentation of other works can be found here. A review of the show and an interview with Guy, published in Loyola’s student paper The Pound, can be found here.

WordImage/ImageWord Conference @:

Professional Work

Recently I began a research collaboration with artist, colleague and friend Yana Sakellion, to explore our personal notions of the role writing plays within creative practice. With writing playing a large part in both of our creative processes, we have long discussed pulling some of our ideas together in a research paper.

Coincidentally, the theme for the School for Visual Arts (SVA) 26th Annual Conference on Liberal Arts and The Education of Artists is none other than: WORDIMAGE/IMAGEWORD

The SVA website stated this conference will:

“…provide a forum to discuss the dialogues and encounters between words and images, historically and culturally from ancient to modern times.”

So we pulled together a proposal and submitted it! That proposal has since been ACCEPTED, so Yana and I will be traveling to NYC in October, to give a twenty minute presentation on our paper entitled: Looking Through Words: Writing As A Guiding Thread in Creative Practice

Asst. Professor of Animation and Interactive Media @ UMBC

Professional Work

I am ecstatic and proud to say I have been awarded a tenure track Assistant Professorship in Animation and Interactive media in the Visual Arts department @ UMBC! The above picture is about as close as I could get to capturing the expression on my face when opening the offer letter. This is a fantastic opportunity, so for once I’m looking forward to change!

Titan Update – Rough Composites

Just wanted to post a quick update to my research into the compositing process I plan to use for my animated short, Titan.

Just wanted to post a quick update to my research into the compositing process I plan to use for my animated short, Titan. The video below is the simple flat shaded rendering of my animated swim cycle. This sequence will be used later to transfer lighting and basic values of the background plate and whale model.
Then a wireframe version of the cycle was output of Maya, and printed out on paper. These paper frames would be the basis for the hand drawn contours produced next. Aside from simply tracing the wireframes, I experimented with adding details not found in the simple 3D model.

Once the contours were complete, they were scanned back into the computer and sequenced to create the following contour pass.

Finally, all of the passes were integrated. It is my hope these details along with the natural noise accompanied by hand drawn elements, will produce a 2D/3D hybrid that combines the flexibility of 3D animation, with what I see as the more interesting “flatness” of traditional illustration and animation.

The Going Through @ Videopolis 2012

Just found out that my piece, The Going Through, was accepted as part of the Videopolis 2012 experimental media exhibition @ the Metro Gallery.

Fine Art

Videopolis Poster
Just found out that my piece, The Going Through, was accepted as part of the Videopolis 2012 experimental media exhibition @ the Metro Gallery. Check out their page here to see clips from previous years.