Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SIGGRAPH & Animation Mentor - Class 2, Week 5

Oh buddy! What a week! This week was a true test of work/life/school balance. I'm in the middle of relocating back to San Francisco, fairly busy at work, and have to get my first blocking pass together for this weeks new assignment. As if that weren't enough, I also attended my first SIGGRAPH.

Let's start with that shall we? I wasn't planning to go this year as I'm only in Class 2, and hence have nothing to show recruiters but some super sweet bouncing ball reels, but my good buddy Jason convinced me that it was A: Awesome, and B: worth my time. Plus he hooked me up with discount tix and free hotel.. so really I'd be just stupid not to go. For those of you who don't know SIGGRAPH is a huge computer animation conference. This includes VFX and all that too, but the point is every major studio is there with recruiters and once i graduate AM it's gonna be a mandatory first stop in my career hunting.

I was lucky enough to be tagging along with an accomplished Pixar dude, and that most certainly got me into some pretty sweet parties including the ILM Lighter/Darker party and the infamous Blur Party (both were fricking awesome!) AM also had a host of rad events to check out. I started with the coffee talk on tuesday. After that i scooted over to the Iron Man 2 panel and got to check out some unreleased footage from the film. Also checked out the AM animation blockbuster breakdown panel, which was really a treat. What else... hmm. Saw a How To Train Your Dragon panel which super cool, and my buddy Jason was part of SIGGRAPH Dalies where he explained how he rocked the Fire at the end of TS3. The AM Happy Hour was also pretty boss. Got to meet a lot of people in person for the first time, and some new people as well.

SIGGRAPH was pretty awesome. I met a lot of really great people, and saw lots of really cool stuff. I look forward to next year in Vancouver when I'll have a more complete reel at hand!

So anyhoo, that took a good chunk of my week.Monday-Thursday. I brought my laptop along thinking i'd be able to squeak in some animation time, but all i really brought along was a heavy paper weight. I got absolutely no animation done during SIGGRAPH. I flew back Thursday morning, and with no work thought I'd have a good shot at making a dent in my homework, but with very little sleep over the SIGGRAPH days i pretty much coma'd out Thrusday once i landed. That left Friday. I took Friday off work and busted serious ass to pound out my pencil test for timing and basic blocking. Here's what i finished up Friday:

video


I did a lot of experimenting on this one and ended up taking a bit longer than normal for a pencil test. I tried a lot of different ways of getting into poses and tried to stay a little more on model (rather than using straight up stick figures) in the hopes that would speed up blocking in maya. In the end i think it did. Even little things like paying attention to the shoulders (which i wouldn't have done as in depth had i used stick figures) really helped speed the Maya Blocking phase.

Saturday, as if my week hadn't busy enough, was spent apartment hunting followed by a late afternoon lunch at the in-laws for my sister in laws Birthday. Got home in the evening and jumped into Maya. Pulled a late night and managed to squeak this out:


video

And now it's time to sleep! Catch you next week y'all!