dixon_green: (Default)
Well, the Oscar nominations are going to be announced tomorrow morning, so if I'm going to get my predictions in for feature animation,I'd better do it tonight.

This year only 15 film were qualified, so there will be only 3 nominations. This restriction is
making it a little trickier for me to pick the nominations than I originally thought it would be.

But, here are the qualifying films:

2010 Qualified Animated Films )
dixon_green: (Default)
I got started on storyboarding my animated short. It is now going in a new and better direction. I still have a lot left to do on it, but I got started, and now I will keep going on it.

Because I got the storyboards underway, I got to go to 12th Night. I had a very good time. I got to wear layers and layers of clothing, including my snowflake overdress with the full circle sleeves - more fabric in the sleeves than the rest of the dress. And the matching snowflake veil. I also got to wear my dark green wool cloak with the beaded trim. Most of the time, it is just too big and heavy to wear to events, but the nature of the site made it very practical to wear. I wish I'd worn my blue and purple hood, too - I was still kinda cold over the shoulders.

The highlight of the event (for me) was getting called into court for the Order of the Willow. I was not expecting that. Not even in the slightest. I was very bouncy for the rest of the night. I didn't get home until well after one.

Sunday was archery, which was low turn out ('cause of 12 night, and because I didn't say explicitly that there was going to be practice), but I shot ok. Then I went over to my brother's apartment, because he bought an X Box.

He bought it Saturday, and he must have spent much of Saturday and Sunday practicing Soul Caliber II. He'd definitely gotten better. I still beat him 4 times out of 5, and in one very memorable run, I trounced him 10 times in a row using *his* character. Sooner or later, he's going to get good enough to beat me regularly, but not yet.

My cat was sick yesterday. Acting like a heat leech, curled up tight against the radiator. Very lethargic - usually she makes about four trips across my lap while I'm at the computer, and she didn't even try once. And her ears were glowing pink - almost red. I know she was running a fever, and her body was trying to dump heat through her ears. She's much better today - still lethargic, but her ears are their normal white, and she is following me around the apartment again. And eating and drinking.

I might be next. I feel fine so far, but my throat is feeling swollen and slightly irritated when I swallow. Hope it goes away, 'cause I hate being sick.
dixon_green: (Dixon)
The Fellowship and Two Towers showing on Friday was fantastic.

Saturday, I skipped SUN to go to a group animation meeting. Each of us is supposed to be presenting a story for production. If we were on schedule, we would be finalizing 3D character designs. We're not. At any rate, when my turn rolled around, the group helped me beat my story into some sort of shape. I knew the characters, I knew the setting, I knew the conflict, I knew a couple of the gags, and I knew the pay-off. What I didn't know was the beginning and the how to keep it from being mean. Now, I have a much better idea of how it all works, and I should have most of my storyboards ready for the next meeting in three weeks.

And I spoke with my friend at Oops. They have my demo reel, they have not looked at it, BUT my cover letter and resume have been evaluated. The boss is looking forward to getting my disk of Flash stuff, which he should be getting today. I should call on Thursday. Not hiring right now, but it sounds like he might be within the next couple of months, so I should be persistent.

Afterward, I headed out rather randomly. I got some lovely amethyst seed beads, the realized I better head home soon, 'cause someone cut my strings and I was about to fall over. When I did fall over, it was about four hours before I got back up.

Sunday was busy. Archery, Terpsichory dance practice, and then dinner with my brother. I was shooting poor for scores (not that we were shooting for score), but my groupings are really getting better. Dance practice reminded me why I play the fiddle instead of dancing. The hoppy dances - and we do a lot of hoppy dances - are pure pain on my arches. My ankles were complaining, too, but strengthening them would take care of that. The arches, though, that's not going away. A year of four days a week ballet proved that.

Sunday was also my brother's birthday. We had dinner at Timberlodge, and chatted for quite a while. I also bought the tickets for Return of the King for Wed. night. A whole group of us are going, and hopefully this bit of pre-planning will save us lots of time on Wed.

Today, though, just keeps dragging on. I'm not sure what I'm going to so when I get off work. I should draw, or animate, or storyboard, but I probably won't. I will be seeing Two Towers in the theatre tonight, so it will be late by the time I get to bed. Maybe I'll dig up a Maya tutorial and work through that - learn something new, limited time & duration, possibly be useful for a future animation.

Just realized I can't send out any more demo reels - I only have one left, and I need it to dub out more. Time to buy more hardware, or disconnect my VCR and take it over to my brother's and dub it out there.
dixon_green: (Default)
Well, that was...something, I guess.

I called one of the animation studios to check up on my blind application for a job. Yes, they had gotten my demo reel. The marketing guy forwarded it to the animation people. He gave me a name in the animation dept., got my name and number to give to the name, so he can call me back (yeah, right). And, oh, by they way, they use LightWave, not Maya.

So, they know I exist, and they have seen my work. But I probably won't get anywhere with them because I've learned a different software package. They've used this excuse before. Which is utter crap. Software packages change all the time. I'm versatile and smart. Give me the damn software and a manual, and I'll have characters dancing in under a week. With lights.

At any rate, I'll give the animation guy a call in the morning, because this is what you do when you are looking for a new job.

Anyhow, I finished re-tooling a Flash website I put together for my Flash class. I think it looks pretty darn good. I also grabbed a Flash logo I did, as well as the window cling design, and I'm going to burn it all to disk and mail it to the other studio I applied at. Seems almost a waste - the projects total less than 7MG, and the disk has lots more space than that on it, but, this is the best way to do it. I still have to write another cover letter. And I have to get the whole thing in the mail tomorrow.

Next week, dub out some more demo reels. Identify the next two studios to apply to. Send a copy to corp. creative services in San Fran, 'cause you know never know. They may actually decide that an in-house animator is just the thing to add to their staff.

And start looking at some of the internal listings. I have to move on, one way or the other, and most preferably without a patch of unemployment.
dixon_green: (Default)
I am so freakin' bored out of my mind. Very slow day at work, and tomorrow is not shaping up to be any better. Most exciting thing to happen was the planned meet and greet by one of the senior executives. "Hi, how are you doing, what exactly is your job?"

The walk home from work is not going to be pretty either. Well, visually it's going to be very pretty, but the sidewalks are going to be a mess. And the temperature is dropping, too.

Went to see Fellowship of the Ring with my brother last night. Quite enjoyed it, though a gentleman sitting in the same row as us fell asleep during the movie. His snoring was quite audible. David was tempted to throw candy at him. I already have our tickets for Two Towers next Monday. Not that the theater was packed (though surprisingly well attended for a Monday night), but I don't want to take chances. I just which it started earlier in the evening.

I am so looking forward to Return of the King next week. I'll catch the last show on opening day over at the Har Mar, after SCA and dinner at the Ground Round. My group has done this for the past two movies, and we saw no reason to break with tradition. Just need to remember to buy tickets *before* going to dinner.

Once I get home from this deadly dull day of work, I'm going to have to get my computer reinstated onto its shelf. I took it with me for the Boar's Head weekend, and spent much of Sunday at Master Haloti's getting it back up to speed. It now has all the critical patches applied, IE has been upgraded to 6, and I've downloaded Opera. Two programs that needed to be automatic have been toggled, and the bugcheck that was crashing my computer (damn BSOD) has been turned off. Those three things were buried DEEP within Windows, and I doubt I would have found them on my own. I can abuse the graphics card and it won't crash, and I can make After Effects run, even though it is still stubborn about talking to the dual processors. But it is much less likely to crash. I didn't update the video card drivers, though I do have the newest version. I want to see if I *need* to upgrade it first.

More importantly, I need to get the 'puter up and running so I can rebuild a Flash tutorial to submit for a job application. It's a neat tutorial on how to make a beaded veil, but when I created it for my class, I did not include controls beyond start, pause, and rewind to beginning. As a demo within the web site, that's ok. But as a stand alone (I've had some requests from SCA folk to have a copy of just the demo), it needs more controls. Which means a lot more programming. It's not difficult programming, but I still have to do it. Since I need to burn and mail this on Friday, I need to get started last week.

I'm not all that confident that my first round of job applications is going to be all that successful. I'm doing all the "right" things, good cover letter, resume, demo reel, will call dates, etc., but my reel is short and kind thin on the computer animated stuff. I've seen my demo reel so many times now that I KNOW where all the problems are, and they make me wince. Some of it is damn good, but as a whole it screams "student work." I don't know when the next version is going to be ready, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get it compiled and dumped out to tape. AE is not designed for that, and Final Cut Pro is not available for PC, and I DON'T have the funds to buy a G5, much as I might like to.

Ah well. These are problems for the future. I do need to find new employment, one way or the other. Right now, I do what I can - a little modeling, a bit of animation. With the box getting onto the 'net, I'll be able to register and start working through some of the tutorials for spiffy stuff, like particles and dynamics and such. Spend a bit of time learning MEL scripts. Maybe figure out how to make camera movements work for me - I suck at moving camera. Definitely start drawing some more. Maybe a series with my gryffin, for Northwatch covers.
dixon_green: (Default)
Didn't get any animation done last night. I did bind the skin to the skeleton, and started to play with the weighting on it, but I was completely unsatisfied with the results. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start over and try a variety of different techniques to get this right.

I'm not going to SCA tonight. I will try go get more animation done. I'm also going to spend some time beading - I finished a veil last night (three in the last week!), and made a good start on a new one. I also need to take care of some household chores - taking out the garbage, laundry, that sort of thing. I hate having to do that sort of thing. No nap - tried that yesterday and all I did was make my head fuzzy and muzzy for the rest of the evening, which is probably why I didn't have much success with animating or modeling.

Tomorrow, dinner with friends and family, and the final prep for the demo reel and cover letter/resume I'm mailing on Friday, dammit!
dixon_green: (Default)
I mentioned yesterday that audit (work) is being fussy. I found out exactly how fussy today.

Because of the widening discovery of mutual fund industry problems, my employer has decided it needs to prove that it hasn't been doing late night trading. Proving a negative, how lovely. For the manual stuff, this is already proven. So now we have to do it for all the automated stuff.

We have to verify that every IP and FL traded for the correct trade date - no back dating allowed. By hand. Back to the start of the calendar year. By Friday.

We had had to recall tons of stuff from offsite storage, and temps will be coming in to help. Anyone with spare time is expected to pitch in and help.

This is mind-numbingly tedious. BUT, it means I can work as many hours as I want to for the rest of the week. Any extra income is welcome, so this is how I will spend my afternoons for the rest of the week.

I picked up my copy of Two Towers last night. I looked over the collector's box set (I bought the collector's edition last year, 'cause I wanted the National Geographic disk), but decided to give it a pass. A statuette and a DVD detailing the creation of the statuette were not incentive enough to shell out another $35. I picked up some other DVDs as well, the proceeded to confuse the hell out of the cashier. Coupon for 10% off up to five regular priced DVDs and CDs (so not Two Towers), and 85 Best Buy Bucks from McDonalds. Because of the sheer number of Bucks, a manager had to be called over, at which point I also pointed out that my coupon was for four of my items, not just one (I paid attention when she scanned everything in). After getting everything corrected, I ended up paying about $6 total.

I think I've fixed the skeleton for my CG puppy, and tomorrow I'll beat my head against the weighting issues. Tonight, SCA, business meeting, and it sounds like it could be unpleasant. I'm still far enough out of the loop that I don't know how bad it might be, but as a past autocrat, I know it could be uncomfortable.

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