Monday, April 11, 2011

Jobs, Zebras, and Triangulation

It's been a while since I've updated, but I will try to make this brief. Tomorrow will mark the start of week 3 of my last quarter at SCAD. I got most of my hefty classes out of the way, and I'm taking this quarter to learn some things I don't "need" to graduate, but I think will help me in the long run.

The only required class I have left is VSFX 490 - or Portfolio. We're creating everything we need to successfully land a job, right down to a detailed budget of all expenses on a potential salary. Scary. This class also inspired me to get my recruiting packets together and head over to the SCAD Career Fair that took place this past Friday. I spoke with some great companies - RTT, Perception, The Mill, Click 3X, Method, and a few others. Hopefully I will hear back from someone. This whole "not knowing where I'll be living in 8 weeks" thing is a bit unnerving.

I'm also taking a class in Python, taught by the brilliant Ken Huff. I am certainly not a programmer, so it's been tough so far, but Ken is a spectacular teacher, and I'm much more focused than I was even a short time ago, so I know I will get something out of it. For now, we're working past "Hello World," and working in the Python Interpreter doing simple stand-alone scripts, like the one below.

For my final project, which I am working on a proposal for, I have decided to work with Data Visualization inside of Houdini (possibly implementing CHOP Networks). - But more about this later.

On top of Portfolio and Python, I am also taking the Visual Effects Supervision class, mostly because it sounded fun, but I figure I can use the opportunity to learn some things that would make me useful on set. This weekend I did an exercise in camera triangulation, which is actually insanely cool.

I shot a background plate.
Then I recorded data on the camera and it's placement according to an established baseline, which then dictated where this baseline would be in relation to an object I want to comp into the scene, in this case, my friend's car.

I could then composite the two shots together, and the perspective would be in tact, as you can see in my comp below. Cool, huh?

Here is a little diagram that shows the triangulation aspect a little clearer (maybe).

Our next assignment will be similar - only with a scaling element added. I'm pretty excited! It's nice to finally get away from the computer screen once in a while and actually get out to shoot something.

Anyway, that was my "quick" update! There should be more coming soon! Although, not many pretty pictures this quarter. :)