The One Thing – Recommended Read

Buy Here
(Amazon Canada)

The One Thing

Sometimes when I look around, I see people doing too many things at once. In Singapore, we have a word for it, kiasu. In the west it is called the Fear of Missing Out or FOMO for short. People don’t want to lose out on any experience in life. Some students can’t bring themselves to work without their favorite music or have their favorite tv shows playing on their second monitor while they work. They spend a good deal of time preparing to work, then working. And even when they work, they get distracted by social media and the news. Things that they have absolutely no control over and things that will be forgotten in about 20 mins.

Behind every successful person is their ability to focus on their one thing. If you can somehow manage to not be distracted and give all your attention to the task at hand, you will see extraordinary results.

This book, the One Thing, shows you how you can take control of your distractions and bring the much-needed focus into your life.

Even if you don’t read this book in its entirety, I recommend watching this video.

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be – – Recommended Read

This book, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s how Good You Want to Be, is in my top 10 all-time favorite books to read.

Self-help books are filled with filler materials. Like how Mary did this or that and suddenly saw incredible changes to her life or how researchers studied this one anomaly in a person who had an accident and found an odd behavioral pattern and by hacking this pattern, we too can achieve incredible results.

The problem with these books is, they are like 200-300 pages to read, with maybe 3 to 4 useful things to say and even less to implement in our daily lives. It also puts the burden on you to make your own notes about those topics and the exercises the author suggests you to perform loses its appeal or practicality after a week or two of trying. It is almost certain you will never read that book again because of its length or the tedious nature of its exercises.

This is precisely why I love this book. It is funny and straight to the point. Every page is fun to read. Simple to read. And also extremely short to read. You can read this book in 10-15 minutes. This means you are more likely to read it again and again and also you will remember each page more clearly because each page is accompanied by a unique and fun image.

And I have said this to so many students now, that it can now safely be called my catchphrase, “Change your words and it will change your life”.

What you say to yourself before you start something, and while you are doing it and how you talk about it after you finished it, determines your life.

This book is one of those books that will help change the voice in your head. Trust me, if you truly understand what this book is trying to say, this could be the best $10 investment you could have made for yourself.

The VES Handbook – 3rd Edition

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(Amazon Canada)

I always recommend my students to buy and read two books. This is one of them; The VES Handbook of Visual Effects.

I own both the 1st and 2nd editions. The 3rd edition is set to be released in Canada on July 17. I preordered my copy as soon as it became available on amazon.

To simply put it, this is the most complete guide to visual effects techniques and practices ever written.

Just buy it and read it!

I recommend picking up the Paperback version and leave it on your desk. Whenever you are waiting for a render, pick up the book and read a page or two.

Unshakable Freedom – Dr. Chuck Chakrapani

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(Amazon Canada)

Author’s Website

There is one branch of philosophy I follow more than others, that is Stoicism. It was designed for those of us who live our lives in the real world. It does not push any lofty ideals on you but instead teaches you how to navigate what is in front of you.

Stoicism has been a common way of thinking among some great leaders throughout history. Kings, Presidents, Artist, and Writers practiced it. For a more modern example, we can attribute its success to Entrepreneurs, Football Coaches, and Doctors.

I first chanced upon Stoicism when I was researching about Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

To fully comprehend the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius and what separated him from most of the past and present world leaders, we have to look at what he left behind. Today we know his legacy to us through a book called Meditations; the private thoughts of the most powerful man in the world, admonishing himself on how to be more virtuous, more just, more immune to temptation and wiser.

Trying to read Meditations in its original form however can be quite a challenge, for the style of writing is not what most of us are accustomed to.

So how does one learn about Stoicism? I suggest picking up this book – Unshakable Freedom : Ancient Stoic Secrets Applied to Modern Life by Dr. Chuck Chakrapani

It comes highly recommended as this book captures the basic spirit of Stoicism and how those same ancient teachings can be translated and applied to our modern existence.

Light for Visual Artist – Recommended Read

Buy Here (Second Edition)
(Amazon Canada)

Author’s Website

To be a great compositor, you will need to know how light works and how it can be manipulated to create realistic composites.

Throughout my years of teaching, I often come across students whom seemed to struggle with understanding how light works in the physical world. Everything we do in the computer is but a crude approximation of the physical world. If you don’t know how light works in the physical world, how are you supposed to create photo real composites.

Yes, you might have had some classes in physics class about the angle of reflection and refractive indices, but how many of you understand why things look like the way they do.

The book, Light for Visual Artists, aims to guide artists about the fundamentals properties of natural and artificial light. If you are wondering if this book is one of those dry physics textbooks, rest assured, the author has written in a manner that won’t put you to sleep.

This book is divided into 3 Sections:

Section 1 : The fundamentals of light are explained with a focus on taking the underlying scientific concepts and explaining them in an artist-friendly manner.

Section 2 : Those concepts are then deployed on common subject matter, and the book details how to light people and environments in depth.

Section 3 : The creative application of light are explained and concepts such as staging, mood, and symbolism are demonstrated in great detail.

I highly recommend this book because it covers everything from the technical to the creative and is the most thorough, and scientific book on lighting available for compositors.


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