August Madness

Heya

So it seems insomnia has been kind enough to come visit me again. Exactly what I needed after the craziness that has been this month so far. Heck the last month as well. It’s unfortunate I can’t turn my mind off and get sleep cause I really enjoy it! The poor thing has a ton of stuff whirling through it, both good and bad, and just needs a rest. So in an attempt to settle it, I figured writing a new post might help get things done and dealt with! Off we go!

I shall run this like a compliment sandwich – start good, throw in the bad and then end on a good note. First we will talk about my last post. The student showcase. It still makes me smile that I made it. It was something that I hoped would happen but didn’t ever expect it to. So to randomly come across my work in it makes me happy. I haven’t developed a swelled ego or anything from it. I tend to tear myself and my work apart seeing how I can do it better and faster the next time I sit down to animate. Seeing it rendered and brilliantly lighted causes me to look at it with fresh eyes and make me realize that I am not that bad lol. Also it has opened the door for more comments from people about my work. There has been a lot, both praise and criticism, and I love it. I like to hear what people think, what they like, how they process, and their ideas that come from it. It’s been an interesting and fascinating process and experience and I am still blown away that I get to live it.

With all good comes the bad. My hard drive just up and quit on me on Sunday. I just wanted to spend my rainy Sunday trying to get done some freelance work I am doing for a friend and the blasted thing wouldn’t fire up. Now this isn’t the first hard drive to die on me. Every computer I had a friend build for me has had a hard drive become crispy. Four dead hard drives and I still haven’t learned that I should back up every night or have a raid running. So that adds to the frustration. So I have a temp drive in there and trying to rebuild what I lost on the freelance and speed along on it. Now my external hard drive that I back up on decided to burp after eating a few files and tells me that I lost more than I think. The drive is apparently fine but I discover that the wrong folders were backed up. Gone are two animations I did. Well one completely and the second I have up to half completion – right before I did a big rework on it then finished it. So for the last month I was a moron and thought I was fine. Tough pill to swallow let me tell you. So now I have to be a non moron and do things right. Then if I am a good boy and get this freelance done before I have a meltdown I can start my new shot! Thank goodness I properly backed it up and only lost one character’s designed outfit file. I have the technology, I can rebuild it! Faster! Better!

Other good news I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog. In July I went down to SF! It was a blast! It was an AM Extravaganza weekend! The job fair, graduation and bbq were all held in one weekend! Of course I couldn’t miss that – being around animators is massively exciting for me! A friend of mine was kind enough to let me and another friend stay with her so that was super awesome. We actually had flights that landed within ten minutes of each other which was super easy to plan around. We got to hang out with some of our fantastic friends each day we were there so there was little time for sleep, just the way it should be! So the Friday was the job fair which had an open house at AM before that. Got to see some familiar faces there as well as new ones. Very cool to run into people I had either peer buddied or alumni tutored from the graduating class. Quite the family! The job fair was packed but I love it that way. You get to run into people and talk with people waiting in line with you. What better way to meet fellow alumni?! Had a couple good chats with studios which made my day and just had a really good time. Afterwards a group of us went out for supper and watched Ice Age 3. Great movie! I was surrounded by some temp animators on it so it was great to get to see their work on the big screen! One of them is a good friend of mine and she requested to sit next to me cause she knew I was going to die laughing in certain spots. Of course I obliged because for some reason my laugh is almost famous lol. And I didn’t disappoint. I was shrieking on the edge of my seat a couple times. What can I say, I love Scrat! Saturday was grad. Unfortunately it was a full house so I couldn’t sneak in as a volunteer. Instead we met up with a friend and a working former classmate of his. It was fun wandering about SF looking for a restaurant and talking shop. We also toured the Samurai Exhibition at the Asian Museum! It blows me away the details they put onto everything. So amazing! What still amazes me is the sword blades they had in a display case. They were several hundred years old but they were still sharp and looked brand new. Wow. We then met up with the animators for the grad after party. We ended up changing venues cause it was too packed. Much better for talking and good times were had by all. Few hours of shut eye and then the bbq! It was a blast as usual. Too many animators and not enough time to talk to everyone!  The weather was nice and you just wanted to freeze time so that you could get the most out of it. I can’t wait till I can be around everyone again cause even though we didn’t get to talk a whole lot, we had a ton of fun! One of these days I will buy a camera so I can take a slough of pictures and not have to rely on others! Caught supper and drinks with a smaller crew, napped, caught flight and slept all the way home. In a heartbeat I would do it all again!

So there it is in a sort of nutshell. I was true to the ramble urge and went into the trip a little more than needed lol. I got excited reliving it as I was typing and just babbled away! It served its purpose, I am getting sleepy and the stress is lessened on my mind. I have a bunch of things worrying me, but thinking of the good times eases it! Conclusion – animators make everything better! Someday I will have my Golden Girls house that are all animators and oi vey the good times! We shall gather our iced teas and adjourn to the lanai and just talk about anything at all. Picture it.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a  kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” ~Walt Disney

~Spilly

Animation Mentor Student Showcase Summer 2009!!!

Heya!!

Exciting news! The student showcase is out! You all must go look at it right now! There are some fantastic shots in there that won’t disappoint!

http://www.animationmentor.com/showcase09/

I happen to be a little more excited about the showcase than normal! If you happened to notice, I have a shot in it! My shot Respect (or Mommie Dearest as it has come to be known also as) was selected! I was shocked when I got the email saying I was selected. I couldn’t believe that they had chosen me! I was and still am deeply honoured that my work was chosen to be in the showcase and represent the school. For the last couple months it has been lurking in the back of my mind that I would see my work in amongst some of the most talented animators from Animation Mentor. Rachel, the highly gifted woman in charge of texturing/lighting/rendering, told me she was inspired to make it all noir and moody. I was thrilled because that was my plan for it. I wanted to have more severe lighting and use it to help tell the story as well. So I have been waiting on pins and needles to see her vision for it. I have to say, when I saw it I was taken aback. I couldn’t believe how amazing it looked! It exceeded my expectations tenfold. Her vision made my animation look far better than it is. She got the depth of field and light pouring in from the hallway look like I wanted and I didn’t even tell her a thing! My hat goes off to her and I am eternally grateful for her work. I also am eternally grateful to AM for choosing me to be apart of this. I am blown away and am finally finding words to express my gratitude.

What is also exciting is I have some friends that were chosen as well! Look for work by Stephanie Desforges and Tyler Philips! I love their work and they know that I am fans of theirs. I also peer buddied a few of the students so it was great to see their work up there as well! There are a lot of great shots up there and it’s one of my favourite showcases. Huge congrats to everyone who made it! Animation Mentor is one heck of a community and school and I wouldn’t be posting anything if it wasn’t for them. Love you all!

Watch it again!

~Spilly