Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm learning how to light!

Not my catchiest title, but give me a break - I'm excited.

For one, I am FINALLY taking a class with Bridget Gaynor. I've known her for some time now, occasionally conversing in the hallway and at SIGGRAPH this Summer. I've only heard great things about her teaching, and I haven't seen one person come out of her technical direction classes without at least one portfolio piece. With 2 weeks down, I've already gained a great deal from her tech lighting class. I'm finally starting to understand a lot of the different render settings and shadow types. It also helps that she's very approachable, extremely willing to help. I'm not kidding when I say I want to be her when I grow up.

Our first project was to create a composition with a simple object, and render with 4 different techniques - raycasting and raytracing with Maya Software, and photon mapping and final gather with Mental Ray. Here's my final result:

Our next project is a "match-to-live," which I am quite excited for!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.

... As Aristotle once said. Very true. Especially because there are no people in this city. Here's an update on how the modeling is coming:

We've completely revamped the layout - going with more of a rooftop view, before the next shot which is much closer. There is still some modeling to finish up, and a ton of texturing to do, which we will hopefully be able to get to soon.

Suggestions and criticisms are most welcome, especially at this early stage.

I think it's really coming together and is going to look pretty AWESOME when it's done. But of course, I'm a bit bias. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Studio 1 Project Update

Jackie, Leighana and I are shoulder-deep in production of our Studio 1 project. There is an early render of the city below. We are nearing the end of modeling and will hopefully stay on schedule with the texturing - and get to that this weekend. I can't believe this is only week 2 of the quarter! It feels like we've gotten a lot of work done, but at the same time it feels like we are going to run out of time any day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Twist of Something Awesome

Let me preface this post with an apology. I've been neglecting this blog for much longer than I would have liked, and I am going to try my hardest to keep up with it! At any rate, lot has happened since my last posting, so I'll do this in sections so that it makes more sense (hopefully).

First and foremost, a majority of my summer was taken up by an amazing internship at With A Twist Studio in Rochester Hills, Michigan - That's a little over an hour commute from where I live in Ypsilanti. At the beginning of the summer, I made the decision that no matter the inconvenience, this was something I needed to do, for my career and for myself. I got tremendous support from my family and friends, and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made.

My first day was a little scary; I had no idea what to expect, but walking through the doors to With A Twist was like walking into someone's house (someone that does a majority of their shopping at IKEA). It was easy to get involved and judge the atmosphere after spending only a few minutes with these people. It's a children's clubhouse, to put it frankly (except girls are allowed and there weren't any strange initiation processes... that I knew of). The amount of geeky fun that went on made for a fun working environment, and it was no surprise that the work produced there matched the enthusiasm of the artists, so much that it would jump off the screen (No, seriously, they did 3D stuff). Beyond the hilarious memories I now have, I learned an incredible amount during my time there. Not one person there found me even the littlest bit inconvenient (or at least didn't show it), and they were all more than willing to go out of their way to teach me something or help me out. They made it a collaboration, where there are no weak links, everyone is in it together. It's exactly the kind of working "family" I'd love to join one day, and I hope my experience at With A Twist has in no way come to an end.

My summer could not have gotten much better after having an amazing internship, but I did some other awesome things too! I was a student volunteer in Los Angeles for the SIGGRAPH conference, which lasted about a week. It was a lot of work, but I got to meet a lot of amazing people and see a lot of amazing things. The lectures were great, and I came home with a ton of free stuff. I'm definitely looking in to applying again next year. I need some more free swag.

Also, this quarter marks the beginning of the end of my time here at SCAD. I am already deep into production of my Studio 1 project, where I am doing a collaborative project with two of my good friends. We are keeping a blog about the whole thing, so feel free to check it out here. There will be more updates about it posted there, rather than here.

This year is already off to a great start. :)