|Hey! Ho! LEGO!|
This is the official deviantART page of Baron Julius von Brunk, an eccentric multimedia artist in New York City! Baron von Brunk is widely known as a master LEGO craftsman whose work has been published in multiple video game magazines, tech blogs, and has been showcased at an exhibit at Nintendo World Store's flagship location in New York.|
Julius is currently employed as a professional graphic designer for a sports promotion company in Long Island, and does freelance graphics for consumer electronics. Aside from being an overall quirky action figure aficionado and mutton chop extraordinaire, Julius is also a freelance burlesque promoter who aims to please the nerd girls of the scene! Join Baron von Brunk in all of his creative endeavors – from custom LEGO brick models to illustrations, paintings, and even promotional material for upcoming NYC events!
Alright, 3rd-person spiel aside. . .
I also own a minifridge. I'm a tall, reclusive, curly-haired, bearded, pale-skinned, mixed-ethnic, bespectacled Libertarian with a foul mouth, a hunger for Asian food and energy drinks, and a lust for short-haired girls with tattoos.
Check out my bizarre and amusing website full of LEGO bricks, art, designs, and sideburns:
Current Residence: Koreatown, Flushing, Queens, NY, USA
deviantWEAR sizing preference: XXXXXXXXXXXXL
Print preference: Gutenberg
Favourite genre of music: Classic rock and heavy metal
Favourite photographer: Hubble Space Telescope
Favourite style of art: LEGO dioramas
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: My 120 GB iPod filled with heavy rock
Shell of choice: The location on Kennedy Blvd.; they pump your gas for you!
Wallpaper of choice: The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!
Skin of choice: Nudity
Favourite cartoon character: A tie between Dick Dastardly or Krusty the Clown
Personal Quote: "Some people wanted champagne & caviar when they should've had beer and hot dogs." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The mask that was stolen from me. . . It is called Majora's Mask. It is an accursed item from legend that is said to have been used by an ancient tribe in its hexing rituals. It is said that an evil and wicked power is bestowed upon the one who wears that mask."
I took this photo of my Skull Kid figure in front of my Moth Nebula matte painting, and to create the lighting, I shined a red spotlight in front and a blue spotlight directly behind the figurine. The colors were then remixed in Adobe Lightroom.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Manhattan, I am coming! 🗽
February 1st: On this day exactly six years ago, I packed up my rustic station wagon, placed my dying cat in the passenger seat, and set forth from Lancaster, PA to a new life in the New York City metro. Initially I stayed in Jersey City, NJ for two months before moving briefly to Brooklyn, and ultimately settling in my attic apartment in Queens later in 2010. The progress I've made with my professional career in the past six years has been nothing but difficult -- tempered with peril and frustration -- but the important thing is, I never gave up and ran back to Lancaster to stock shelves at Home Depot! For everyone who had faith in my abilities to succeed in a big city despite a lack of formal education, I thank you again!
This photo in particular was taken at night in Liberty State Park in northern New Jersey. I constructed the small Viking ship in the last week on January, then on the 31st I drove to New Jersey specifically to take this shot — as Liberty State Park was the closest I could get to the statue without taking a ferry. The park was empty at night, so along the coast I piled up some snow, placed the ship atop, and framed the photo using my vintage telephoto lens. This shot was a long exposure (30 seconds), since I used my lens’ maximum aperture of f/22 in order to have the distant statue in focus as much as possible.
This is an electronic 3-D sprite of Mega Man, made using similar technology as my Super Mario Dry Bones sprite from summer 2015. Inside this model I’ve got a small circuit built with an Atmel ATmega328P programmed with Arduino to play polyphonic music. Unlike the Dry Bones sprite, however, I made improvements with the LED-music synchronization. The Dry Bones sprite used a flickering LED for an eye, but since then I’ve figured out to multiplex LEDs with the same output pins of the PWM audio signals. In layman’s terms, I’ve discovered a way to have the audio signals simultaneously control LEDs, by having the circuits split off in different routes from a common pin on the ATmega328. Thus, the three LEDs on Mega Man’s Mega Buster blink in sync with each audio pulse, which is split off in three channels. As you can see in the demonstration video, the three lights blink at different times and overlap according to the audio signals. The three LEDs are connected to individual pins on the ATmega328, and not connected together in a single parallel circuit.
One of the major problems I ran into with the previous Dry Bones sprite (as well as the DL-44 Blaster) was having wires and components come loose from the circuit board. This is because I dislike permanently soldering certain components, so that I can make replacements or repairs if necessary, but by doing so, I risk the possibility of pieces coming loose from shoddy header pins. In this model, I’ve soldered male header pins on the circuit board instead of female ones, and this made sturdy connections with female jumper wires. This means if an LED burns out or if the speaker gets damaged, I can just disconnect the wires and install new ones (kind of like a car stereo).
The design for this sprite was pretty straightforward, and was initially conceptualized in LEGO Digital Designer, similar to the previous blinking sprites I’ve built. The inner circuit is powered by three AAA batteries, and for sound I’ve used a small 8 Ohm speaker from Radio Shack. The speaker is pushed up against a Technic plate with grille tiles on the outside (the sprite’s right eye), in order to allow the sound to escape. To activate, a small tactile button is suspended atop the head, and when pressed, it plays the “Game Start” theme music from the original Mega Man series. I constructed this project especially for a birthday/Christmas gift of one of my best friends Skot Shaub, as he’s always been a Mega Man fan since childhood! Suffice it to say, Skot was utterly amused at this when I presented it to him outside of Brendee’s Pub in Downtown Lancaster on Christmas.
Project and photo shoot created on June 23, 2015
Using similar technology of my electronic LEGO Super Mario power-ups from fall 2014, these new 3-D sprites actually play polyphonic music using a new Arduino code! This new code was written for converting MIDI files into binary code – and then being split among multiple AVR timers for three sound channels. The code is known as Miditones, created originally by Len Shustek. Len’s code generates binary music from MIDI files, so the particular song I’ve chosen was the Fortress theme from Super Mario Bros. 3, naturally (composed by Koji Kondo), and any song can be used.
Along with the music, the eye blinks with a flickering red LED. I wanted to use a standard LED to blink in sync with the music, but alas I wasn’t able to achieve this due to the ATmega’s timers being occupied with the musical score. Unlike my previous power-ups, the Dry Bones model uses four AAA batteries along with an ATmega328p, rather than two coin cells and an ATtiny85. The construction for this project was pretty straightforward, as I used the same LEGO engineering as the previous Mario power-ups, only with a different, more elaborate design. I constructed the LEGO frames first with the intention of using the same speakers, batteries, and circuits as the previous Mario power-ups, but unfortunately when I was unable to use an ATtiny85 and coin cells for the desired Arduino code, I had to upgrade to the larger ATmega328 along with the barebones Arduino on a breadboard circuit. This new setup required 5.5VDC to power — along with an 8 ohm speaker, rather than a tiny piezo transducer. When I made the upgrades with electronics, I had to hollow out the innards of the Dry Bones structure in order to securely house the new manifold of wires and components.
During the photo and video shoot — like the DL-44 Blaster — some of the electronic components malfunctioned. I had to troubleshoot and soon discovered that it was the female header pins for holding the resistors to the speakers: the resistors were coming loose, due to the header pins being shoddy, and the resistors being very thin. I dislike permanently soldering components into my circuits, so that I can swap out faulty parts and make easy replacements. When I build circuits, only the header pins, terminal blocks, circuit paths, and IC sockets are permanently attached: this is so that I can remove/insert new resistors, capacitors, LEDs, speakers, and/or switches in the event of a damaged piece. After I made the repairs by using larger, thicker resistors, I sealed up the innards of the model, did a quick shock test for durability, and went ahead with recording the YouTube demonstration.