Cross country in a vintage Volkswagen Bus

Posted by Mark Schoennagel, 6 October 2012 1:15 am

I wasnt going to post this here initially but after having a rock shatter the front window directly in my face, AND have the rear wheel fly off, the bus trip is starting to become a pretty epic adventure.  I've spent the last 6 years restoring an old 1966 VW Bus, the 21 window sunroof edition to be exact.  After finally finishing it Im now driving it cross country on an epic 3.5 week adventure with my best buddy whos also named Mark.  I started a blog which I thought I'd share with all my Softimage friends.  Seems everywhere I go someone has a story to tell about a Volkswagen, so here's mine!!

Check it out at


DSC_7323-1600 DSC_2908


Hirazi Blue

Posted 6 October 2012 9:39 am

Well, it ain't "On the road", but it indeed looks like an epic undertaking and makes for an entertaining read. Thanks for posting it!


Posted 6 October 2012 10:56 am

Nice Samba! Glad I'm not the only one that spends his spare time under a bus!


Posted 6 October 2012 11:19 am

The old VW are the best, If I'm correct the body is made of steel ? Can you confirm this mark ? The new ones are made in Mexico and from what I've been told are garbage.


Posted 6 October 2012 12:09 pm

New ones are made of tin foil, unfortunately so are most of the replacement panels for the old ones. I was lucky enough to get hold of 3 original full height NOS panels when I was rebuilding ours.

Bov Restoration!

Bov Finished!!!!


Posted 6 October 2012 1:27 pm

Congratulations Mark!!!

You already know how I feel about anything airCooled.

Enjoy the trip and:-)


Posted 6 October 2012 11:09 pm

Mark you restored it, completely, on your own ? That is incredible, honestly it is. You could really "pimp" that ride Make some ICE nodes on the side of the vehicle, call it the ICEBus Just a wild suggestion, then drive around and do your blog from the ICEBus.


Posted 7 October 2012 2:32 pm

wau, looks great! the only thing missing is Softimage logo instead of that "W"
but seriously, beautiful car and probably amazing trip. have a nice time...


Posted 7 October 2012 6:05 pm

thats one sweet volkswagen veichle!
awesome job with the restoration! and better luck during the rest of the trip


Posted 15 October 2012 11:21 pm

Holy crap. Living the dream...


Posted 6 February 2013 3:06 pm

very cool... any news on SI 2014? been awhile.


Posted 7 March 2013 9:43 pm

This is nice but really what does this have to due with "Planet Softimage"... I learned all three packages years ago (SI MAX MAYA) when they were all separately owned (I used SGI workstations Whoa!). Even then I gravitated towards SI as I liked the tools it offered… but the school foresaw the future and since shut down the training in SI as so many other companies in the arts did… I am saying that to say…

Autodesk has been a long time competitor of SOFTIMAGE… and for some unknown reason (I mean a real reason) has purchased the company. I think that the acquisition was made to pilfer the technology and distribute it to 3DSMax and MAYA (due to their large market share)… and to ultimately kill the SOFTIMAGE software. While no AD rep will ever admit to that, actions speak louder than words.

The balance the SI Community is looking for in tutorials, marketing and so on, is bleakly hopeful. The SI community will never get the answer it is looking for regardless of what is promised. The reality is in the fickle world of business & industry, you can’t pledge allegiance to no one particular software package. I am a devout SOFTIMAGE user… but I can not say SI for Life… when the life of that package may not last as long. No trying to be a kill joy… Just looking at the canvas underneath the paint. So for however long or short the life of SI, hats off to the Original Industry Revolutionizer. For those who may have never checked it out, take a look at it and run a project through it (while it’s still here). You won’t be disappointed.


Posted 20 March 2013 7:37 pm

Helllloooo! Anybody out there?
Mark, any SI related updates and news coming?

Mark Schoennagel

Posted 20 March 2013 10:38 pm

Hey All,
Sorry for crickets on the blog lately, truth is just dont have much to write about. With Softimage development being moved to Singapore and me moved to a home office in Los Angeles I dont hear a whole lot of news that I can report as strange as that may sound. To be honest, the dozens of profanity laced comments a couple posts ago didn't help. I realize this is one of the only conduits for Soft folks to complain but the people who need to hear it aren't reading this blog so it doesnt do much but make us all look bad.

Within our division of Autodesk things have been a bit of a mess the last year or so. As of January we have a new general manager for the division in place so there is a lot of change happening. I'll be at GDC next week and have a one-on-one meeting setup with him so hopefully I'll learn some answers then. If so I'll be sure to post.

Im hoping as things stabilize I can find someone in Montreal and/or Singapore to help out posting news, I realize this isnt ideal.

Hirazi Blue

Posted 21 March 2013 8:40 am

Thanks for the clarification. But why didn't you simply post this as a new blog entry, instead of burying it deep in the comments of an older post, that only the select few still visit?

Mark Schoennagel

Posted 21 March 2013 3:28 pm

I was responding to a question. When I have some news I will write a post, hopefully soon.


Posted 21 March 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks for the reply Mark, however bitter and saddening it may sound - especially after re-reading your euphoric August posts...
Hopefully you'll post some good news soon!

Mark Schoennagel

Posted 21 March 2013 4:21 pm

Sure Brudney, I didnt mean for it to sound sad and bitter though. I just wanted folks to understand why I havent posted much lately. 2014 is just around the corner so hang tight for that. Our Softimage buddy Adam Sale did the new feature videos and training tutorials this year which will be out soon as well! Hopefully you all enjoy the update!

Mark Schoennagel

Posted 24 March 2013 8:02 pm

Hey me again,

Just getting home from a week in San Francisco doing a 3D "Reality Capture" of AT&T Park, the SF Giants baseball stadium! Pretty cool week considering we were using these awesome "drone" octo-copters to capture it all. We basically took a bunch of photos and then used Autodesk Photofly technology to create a 3D model of the interior of the park! I havent seen the final result but cant wait!

With that in mind I wanted to clarify my comments I made earlier because yeah, it sounded a little sad and depressing after I re-read it which was not my intention. One thing that is very different with my role at Autodesk is the reporting structure and my responsibilities. Believe it or not I dont reallly officially report to the Media and Entertainment division, I report to the large Technical Specialist team which in the Americas is about 150 people. My peers are the AutoCAD demo guy, the Inventor Demo guy etc... While all of us specialize mostly in one product we all also have to take on additional products to keep us productive. For the last year or so I have focused alot on Smoke and Mudbox since I pretty much know all I need to know about Soft. I still do all the Soft demos and all, I just dont work all that hand in hand with how the software is developed. In fact its been a long long time since I influenced dev all that much. The Reality Capture shoot I did was with the "demo guys" from the Civil Engineer team who wanted a little M&E expertise on the stadium shoot so I was asked to go. Call it cross pollination.

Just so you all know, it's not just me either. The Max and Maya guys are in the EXACT same boat. They all are toting MacBooks around and are learning Smoke, Sketchbook, Mudbox and Mobo. It's mostly so we can show off the suites more effectively.

I think I have found some folks who will help re-energize the Planet Softimage blog with some good info coming from Montreal and Singapore. I'll also try to post a little more too. Guilty as charged on letting it go stale! Im heading to the Game Developer Conference in San Fran tomorrow, hopefully I'll see you all there. NAB is 2 weeks after that which I'll be at as well.
Thanks again everyone for your patience.



Posted 2 August 2013 10:48 pm

Hey Mark!

I know this is a year late, but at Siggraph of 2012, you were such a good presenter of the ICE and crowd systems, I went home and upgraded my Maya Entertainment Bundle to the premium just to have Softimage. I am glad I did. It is now a year later and I find doing particle systems for clients far better in Softimage than in Maya. Our studio does alot of work for the automotive industry but I am discovering a love of characters in Softimage. I just wanted to throw you a little love since it was you that convinced me to migrate to Softimage and now I am a happier animator. Thanks so much!

Michael Harants
CG Strategy and Production
TBWA Designory

David Wigforss

Posted 14 August 2013 11:19 pm

Missed seeing you at Siggraph Anaheim, Mark.


Posted 28 November 2013 10:15 am



Posted 11 February 2014 7:40 am

Mark...Wake up!

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