Friday, March 27, 2009

SCAD's visit from Pixar

A few weeks ago, we here at SCAD had the wonderful opportunity of having a presentation, followed by a short Q and A with some important people from Pixar Animation Studios. The experience overall was delightful in itself. I went with my friends Alicia and Courtney , and I know they enjoyed it too! Courtney and I have decided that we WILL be working at Pixar one day, and a good 5 seconds of eye contact reassured us that they would love to have us in the near future. 

Ellen Lee (above) was one of the Pixar...ians that presented to us. She talked about the use of graphic design in their films. Since animators need to create what is essentially an alternate reality, it is important to have fake "real-world looking" logos that saturate this alternate world as equally as our world is bombarded with insane amounts of advertising.

Becki Tower (above) also gave a brief presentation. Becki is a recent SCAD graduate, and now full-time animator with Pixar. She explained her experience as an intern there. In light of Pixar's latest movie, "UP", Becki joked about how the interns were treated like scouts, and even had to earn badges! Sounds like fun!

Jason Johnston (above) is an effects artist for Pixar. He explained what it meant to be a good effects artist, and also shared his experience of working on Wall-E. Blowing things up is FUN!

We also heard from a few others, including Danielle Feinberg (Director of Photography). 

Everyone that works at Pixar appears to have an electric personality. Even during the presentation they mentioned a "Pixar Mentality" that is required for the job. They are all excited and extremely passionate about what they do, and work well with the people around them. Pixar really stands out against other similar companies. I'd really like to be apart of something like that one day.

Who knows, maybe sometime in the near future it will be me visiting SCAD, talking enthusiastically about my Pixar experiences. :-)

Happy Animating. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Practically Precarious Programming Project

Alliteration aside, I'm just glad it's finally finished.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tracking Project

Here is my cinematography project. The goal was to use "tracking" with Shake. To achieve this, a tracker must be placed on a piece of footage, which will then track individual pixels and simulate movement.  It is easiest to achieve this by determining during filming where you want to place the tracker, and place a brightly colored object of some sort in that spot. In this case, I used a red chapstick lid. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Life in Miniature

Heading to class in the 30-40 degree weather wasn't so bad, knowing that I was going to spend the next two and a half hours inside, hunched over a computer screen trying to pay attention to Mrzowski's lecture slash random tangents. Instead, Mrzowski had different plans, and informed us last minute that we would be holding class outside. We all stocked up on hot coffee, pulled together what layers we could, and headed out to the back of Montgomery Hall to see what Mrzowski had in store. Long story short (and believe me, it was long), we learned about miniatures, and how they are still used in film today. 
It was hard to tell that the footage would look this realistic until after it was finished. I think it turned out pretty cool! At first look, it looks entirely real. It's rather interesting to think that this simple technique is still used in movies made today - Titanic, The Good Shepherd, The Aviator, and many others. It's quite flawless. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Facebook Graffiti

Inspired by Sarah Riser, a taste of my Facebook graffiti.

Inuyasha I think, for my friend Ana
Shadow Heartless from Kingdom Hearts
Some abstract stuff

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adventures in Bash Scripting

This quarter (which is thankfully two weeks away from being over) I am taking Intro to Visual Effects Programming. We spent the first half of the quarter attacking MEL Scripting, which is challenging, but somewhat understandable. The second half of the quarter we attacked Bash scripting in Linux. Bash is a lot more forgiving than MEL, but equally as hard to understand. I completed my final bash project, and I wanted to show it off a little. 

When you run the script in the command line of the terminal, a window pops up, asking the user to select a visual effects related site to launch in Firefox. The user then makes a selection of one of the radio dials, and it opens the corresponding site.

This script is rather simple, but I am proud of it anyway. Here is the actual script.

I was having a lot of trouble, and ended up hitting up the Ubuntu forums for some help. They introduced me to the zenity commands, which seem really useful for basic UI functions. I originally tried doing it with an if/then statement, since that's what I knew, but a user on the forum showed me that a case function would be much more effective.

Anyway, once I get my MEL project up and running, I will be sure to post that, since it will be much more interesting. Off to work on more finals.... woo?