Thursday, August 19, 2010

Siggy Shenanigans and Bish 2.0

Wow! Well Siggraph was indeed a blast, I have the great fortune to have my reel reviewed by both Disney and Nickelodeon, and they were able to lead me in the direction to where to take it next to push it to the next level. I've never felt so close at this point, however juxtapostionally still far away. My lack of industry experience is still a hindrance, but that's just another hurdle to overcome. I also moved downtown after returning from Siggraph and moved in with my belle, a bit of an exhausting month but back at it.

My new shot is still a work in progress, but after watching a documentary on the world's tallest man I felt inspired to try and animate a guy with crutches. This was also a good excuse and first test with Bishop 2.0. A bit of backward working, but I chose an audio clip from Firefly that I thought made for an interesting character; A physically weak man and yet quite clearly powerful. we'll see how it comes along in the next few days but as it is...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

For Some Reason I'm Being Commented With Japanese Erotica

And for that I sincerely apologize so do not click on those links. I have no idea why I've been targetted for this, but I'm at a lack for not caring enough to astutely do anything proper about it. Maybe later, but I have bigger fish to fry and more important concerns.

My biggest accomplishment for the last couple weeks was revamping my demo reel, updating my resume and format of my website. I can start to reapply to studios I have applied to before in the past, but largely this is all in preperation for Siggraph. I will be down there for 4 days, mostly for the job fair, so I'm making sure I am absolutely prepared. Feel free to check it out at I would like to get one more shot that I'm happy enough with to put on my reel so I will work on that. The later half of July is becoming increasingly chaotic, but I'm sure I can make it all work.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

Soo I've decided to tackle a new dialogue piece and over the past week and a bit it's coming along quite nicely. I chose a clip from Best in Show that I became obsessed with and decided to use Kyle Balda's rigs from 3D World for a change of pace. All in all, I quite like them, tho no rig is perfect, but it will add some nice variety to my reel as well.



The shot still requires a fair bit of finesse, that's where I'm at now and will be a fair bit of fun to add. At present, it's my plan to finish this, my werewolf shot, polish my other dialogue and short film pieces and create a new reel lickety split, as even though my old reel isnt that old, my quality is improving beyond what I think it accurately depicts. A fair bit of work left to get this done, but I'm motivated and working hard at it so indeed it shall!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Updates, Updates

Where to start. I worked on the Kools for about 3 weeks and did my best to bang out 5 shots. Unfortunately Lightwave did not like running in particular on my computer and I was suffering from many graphical errors. I made good progress on those shots, but I wasn't able to polish anything as it was literally impossible to add that kind of finesse. I know Lightwave is a frustrating piece of software to begin with, but Newtek could only offer upgrading to a better graphics card as a viable solution and I wasn't prepared to do that. Nonetheless, it was much fun and Mr. Bazley was an excellent director to work for.

I moved on to another NDA project which helped get me my XSI legs back. Unfortunately, scheduling problems may call for them needing me in the future as to right away, but I'm rather stoked about that project, it's very neat. On top of that, this gives me the opportunity to go back to completing my short film. With those other two projects, I got distracted and neglected to finish my submission for the spline doctors contest, I did spline it, but I didn't give it that level of polish I wanted and thus, did not enter it. I will wait for the next one. Sooo thusly is my plan to really finish my short film now. With a few months hiyatis from it, I've come back with a set of very fresh eyes and am able to apply the new things i've learned from the new shots I've accomplished. Progress so far is promising.

This is my immediate plan: finish short film, accomplish new dialogue piece and polish a new reel for Siggraph at the end of July, not necessarily in that order. I feel rejuvenated and, although the job market is less than ideal at the moment, I just have to keep pushing forward and something will come my way. Every week I can feel my eye and skills improving just a little bit, so at least I know I'm moving in the right direction.

In terms of the new dialogue clip; I wanted to do something Fred Willard at first, but in my search, I came across this awesome piece from Best In Show:

Since I have legit copies of the Kyle Balda rigs from that issue of 3D World Magazine, it would be so rich to use them for this piece and offer a lil extra diversity to my reel. A nice little bit of more subtle acting, I can't do the whole thing obviously, but I am in the process of narrowing it down. I will let you know what I choose.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Platitudes and Shenanigans

A super busy couple weeks as I keep pushing forward and honing my skills. So far, I've done 3 weeks of alumni tutoring, and results have been much better than expected. Far more students in attendance and classes go far in overtime, it's been a great experience. As well, the Werewolf shot evolves and somehow gets somewhat closer to completion but so much more work to do on it. I changed the ending since I didn't like him jumping down a cliff so now it's over a crevice. Since the whole thing is a quadraped body mechanics exercise, it's a little more suited, but I can't explain enough how much I've learned from doing this shot. More polish yet to comes, I stress THIS IS NOT FINAL:

As well I started working on a new shot for the Spline Doctors competition, and I have 6 days to whip that off. It's far more achievable so I'm sure I can do it, but still quite challenging. Basically it's a stylized walk, and there were many different themes to approach it with, I chose the 1970s theme and decided to go with a pimp strut. Lot of fun pimping up bishop and managed to get a pass done on the blocking, I'll see what I can do to finish it lickety-split.

More importantly though, I'm on a project!! Yea that's right, I am working for Bazley Films in the UK on a Kool project (The Kools) for the next little while. It involved learning Lightwave and so far so good. It's been and interesting experience, but I don't have too too much to report yet, and doubt I should release any WiPs from that so I won't. Progress! :D

Also super recently I was able to attend GDC Canada with an awesome press pass courtesy of VancouverAnimation and the work I do on the webcomic for that site. I guess I have somewhat of a fanbase but GDC was an amazing experience. I'd like to think I did a lot of good networking, but only time will tell, hehe.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hello My Nugglets

So started P9oX last week, sticking with it and feeling great, exhausted but great. This is exactly what my sedentary lifestyle needed at the moment, I could literally feel my legs atrophying. If anything, it's entirely possible it's helped my focus a little more too, but maybe that's cuz i'm also eating healthier or seeing some things animationwise I hadnt seen before. Either way, it's progress baby! And that's all I can do at the moment, is really hone my skill.

With that said, I've decided to start working on my creature shot finally; now that I've managed to become solid on an idea. At best this is really a body mechanics test, but nothing beats a nice wolfie run through the forest. Some mild humanoid elements but I think they shall be minor as I learn some of the limitations of the rig. So in the blocking phase and really trying to understand the mechanics of quadrapeds, it's simply a fantastic exercise for that, if not daunting and occasionally mind bending, but I have good hope on my success with this.

Progress continues on the development of my new super live action/CG short film; I forgot how much the conceptual phase could be; and sooo thankful I actually decided to read McKee's "Story" book. I did my second proof of concept test simply to have a better understanding of the technical challenges I'll be needing to overcome, as I've never really done any live plate animation before. I can't thank my wonderful girlfriend enough for allowing me to shoot her and use her as the subject matter for this test. 3D matchmoving, marker removal and animating to a live camera... mostly successful.

And in other slightly related news, I had my first alumni tutor session last week... that's right, as a tutor! Yes, the powers that be deemed that I am mature enough to aid the students once a week via webcam with my own hour of awesome QnA, and all I can say is that it was a blast. It went on for 3 hours and there were 15-20 people that stayed for the whole length of time... who knew. Maybe the current students are just really really bored but I'm glad the alumni sessions are growing in popularity and it's definitely a nice way to give back to the community that helped me out so much. :D

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Cherry Blossoms Are Out!

Just a quick update; it's been a month of computer problems, sprained wrists, emergency family trips, apartment relocations and new girlfriend so I guess I got caught up with life. With that said, I did manage to enter my animation in the 11second club for March, though not quite as polished as I would ideally have hoped, but here it is;
Made the 22nd percentile, woowoo! Had I put a little more TLC into it who knows how much better it might have done. I've decided though, not to do the 11 second club this month and instead spend my time testing out new shorter acting pieces I've been wanting to try. First up is a Sammy Davis Jr. piece that's still in blocking.

Also, considerable work and development has begun on a new short film (I know, what about my old short film) but this will be a live action/CG hybrid in conjunction with an actor friend of mine. The nice part also is that I'll get to try a bunch of things I've never really done before like animating to a live plate, etc. Without going into detail, I've had some good fun doing some rudimentary concept sketches, here are but a few.