Sunday, February 26, 2006

Disney Research Vault...

IGN has a sweet little article on a tour they took of the Disney Research Library. Check it out. I'd like to spend a few days in there....

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Greasy Virtual Pencils...

My buddies told me about this script for Maya a while back and I'd forget. However, I saw a link for a video of the creator (Jason Schleifer) demoing and now I'm sold. Now, why is it called a Grease pencil script you might ask? Well, a lot of animators would draw their arcs and timing data on their crt monitors, then erase it and do it again shot by shot. I'm not sure what folk do with LCD's as I imagine they don't respond so well to heavy rubbing. Either way, Jason has solved that. VERY cool. Here's the vid. Why did I leave my Wacom at work!?

Ode to a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino...

Saturday has come again and I have no idea where last week went. I think that Time's brakes are loosening up a bit- need to get that checked. Wonder who you see about that... It's been a pretty good week all in all. We have a almost daily game ritual at lunch at work of squeezing in a few minutes of Guitar Hero in. My buddy Mike is the greatest hero of our sorry bunch but I successfully completed my first song on expert on Friday - so yeah, I'm pretty much guitar soloist material here as long as you give me a guitar with 5 buttons that is preprogrammed with the songs we'll be jammin too. Maybe I should stick to my day job. I've discovered my new favorite cereal - Yogurt Burst Cheerios. I got Strawberry and they're mighty tasty. Of course that means that they'll discontinue them once I get to rely on them. Sorry, I stopped by Starbucks today to get a Frappuccino and was reminded again why I don't go there. They used to make the epitome of drinks that was the Mocha Coconut Frappuccino. This delectable beverage was a mocha frappuccino with a shot of Coconut Syrup and delicious toasted coconut shavings mixed in. However, they pulled the drink off their menu a few years ago. For a time they still had the syrup and would make a regular Mocha one with some coconut syrup but when their on hand syrup supply was gone, they ordered no more and my love affair with Starbucks came to a rapid halt. Today I walked in, looked at the menu and saw nothing that sounded appetizing. I looked at the geek chic cashier and asked if they had any coconut syrup and he gave me a glassy eyed look and shook his head and asked his manager if he remembered a time when they stocked it. I remember. Every six months or so, I stick my head in to check. Maybe this summer the time will be ripe for a reprise of that special summer drink I know and love. least it gave me something frivolous to ramble about for a bit:)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


A buddy and I were talking about God the other day - he believes there may be a God, he just isn't so sure he wants to have much to do with Him. Hearing his church experience, I can understand that. Churches are comprised of broken folk trying to allow God to work in them and through them. A lot of the time they either don't come across that way or sometimes they just actually aren't. Someone whose only experience of God is through a church of "happy plastic people", I can understand not exactly being enthusiastic about signing up. Heck, I've left them myself. That being said, it's hard trying to follow Jesus. As many times as He's proven Himself, as many times as He's lifted my head in the depths of the darkest night, I have a short memory. It's easy to get wrapped up in the day to day. Somedays I just don't want to do what's right; somedays the words of Andrew Peterson's song playing on my CD player say just what needs to be said.

It's taken me years in the race just to get this far Still there is no end in sight, There's no end in sight 'Cause I've carried my cross into dens of the wicked And you know I blended in just fine Well, I'm weak and I'm weary of breaking His heart With the cycle of my sin, of my sin Still He turns His face to me and I kiss it Just to betray Him once again Well, I've got oceans down inside of me I can feel the billows roll With the mercy that comes thundering O'er the waters of my soul So, Amen Come, Lord Jesus Amen Oh, Amen Come, Lord Jesus Amen

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Potter Updates...

When it rains, it pours:)

  • I found out this past weekend that The Potter got first place in nontraditional animation in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation College Television Awards. They're going to be so kind as to fly me to LA for the ceremony. It's gonna be a lot of fun. I've never actually spent any time in LA so I'm hoping to see a few things while I'm there. Sadly, I gotta rent myself a tux, but it's a small price to pay for something so cool.
  • I also noticed the Animex 2006 awards list on Cg Society and took a peek and saw that The Potter got the "Animation Stills Prize".
  • I've had numerous reports that the article is in the March issue of 3d World. I'm gonna go try to find a copy today.

A couple weeks in the life of...

Wow, things have been a little crazy round here, I've got a lot of catching up to do. A couple weeks back I went and saw Andrew Peterson in concert up in Rockford. It was excellent. However, I have to take issue with the state of Illinois having FIVE tolls over a span of 80 some odd miles. However, I then ended up sitting with a nice young couple from up north who had driven about five hours to be there. This put my measly toll paying in perspective. This past weekend, my cousin Jon and his girlfriend Tabitha came in to town and stayed with me till Thursday. They're moving up here in a few months with some friends to take a shot at Second City. Speaking of which, on Tuesday, Jon got us some tickets to go to the show. So, they picked me up after work and we headed downtown and had a great time looking for a parking spot for thirty minutes. Our wait was rewarded with a broken meter spot 50 yards from Second City. Score. When we got to the door, there was a sign on the door that said there was a panel discussion on "Censorship" going on with Dino Stamatopoulos and some guy from Cartoon Network who's name I can't recall. I remember Dino's name because Tabitha and Jon both were about as excited at seeing his name as I'd be to see Glen Keane giving a paneled discussion on character animation. We had some time to kill before Second City started, so we went to it. They started off by showing an episode of Moral Orel - Starmatopoulos' creation. This one hadn't made it to TV yet because they needed to ease the audience into ever increasing, what could be called, sacrilege. I could understand why they needed to wait. Jon and Tab had showed me an episode the night before which I tolerated rather than enjoyed so you may understand why I wasn't exactly excited about the discussion. However, I enjoyed it very much. I wish we could have stayed longer. After listening to Dino speak, I wasn't so much offended as sad at some of the honest commentaries buried (though rather deeply) in his extreme satire of the Christian faith - or more poinently, Americanized Christianity. One of the things he said was that Jesus would be appalled at the"f@#%$d up mess" Christians had turned Christianity into. On that point, I can't honestly disagree though I would probably phrase it a little differently:) Through all of Dino's gruffness, deep down I saw a frustrated guy who desperately wants to believe in God. I maybe wrong, but that was my impression. Sadly, about forty five minutes into it, we had to leave. All that being said, I wouldn't want any kids I was raising watching it. Definitely a satire for adults (though not this one). Second City was a sketch based 2 hour comedy show that was a fun ride. The humor was a little more blue state heavy then balanced, but this is Chicago. I'm looking forward to going back and seeing Jon and Tabitha up there one day soon. Things have been moving along slower than I'd like on my current freelance gig so I'm hoping to make up some time this weekend. Work has been a lot of fun this past week. Scott and I are developing our own facial rig and it's challenging work that is a lot of fun as well. It's a heck of a lot more enjoyable than cleaning up motion capture data:)

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