Your Eyes Are Lying To You

I wear glasses/contacts as do a majority of people in this cg and vfx field; comes with the package as we sit around in front of our computer all day. (I actually got my glasses from reading too much as a child.) With our prolonged diminishing eyesight, sometimes we forget that what we see isn't how the world really looks and other people don't see the world in the same way.

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Animation Show of Shows Kickstarter

The Animation Show of Shows is one of my favorite screenings. Ron Diamond travels around the world and takes impressive short films that may not be easily seen due to lack of distribution and shares them with other enthusiasts of the animation medium. It is always eye opening to see what others are doing in this field, not just with narrative storytelling but also with just using animation as an art form to purely express

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Checking in...

Hey all! It's been super quiet which I apologize for. It's been super hectic for me as I just decided to update my reel last minute-ish so I can apply to some amazing opportunities. For some reason I always do this. I think my reel is all good and ready to go then suddenly I get hit with inspiration and decide that I should change out so and so to make things even better. It is better but it's always super short notice and has my always super stressed out.That is almost done and CTN is this week so after this week is over I'll finally have to time to make more posts. Lots of things have happened and have been happening!

In addition to all the posts that I owe you all, I've decided to move my website off of Wordpress.com and over to Squarespace so there's a whole new revamp to look out for! When I first got this site set up, I thought I was getting Wordpress.org and when I realized the difference I was sorely disappointed. Since my bundle expired, I thought it was a perfect time to make some much needed changes.

Soar IndieGogo Campaign

For the past year I have been involved in the creation of a short film, Soar, starting with some surfacing and then moving into lighting and compositing. As we are attempting to finish up the film and have it wrapped up and sent out to festivals in the summer, the IndieGogo campaign has been launched to help fund things such as festival submissions and live recording of musicians. Come donate, help spread the word, and follow along our journey of creating the film! [vimeo 90036881 w=600 h=337]

IndieGogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/soar Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SOARfilm Website: http://soarfilm.com/

Some great perks that the IndieGogo campaign offers some great perks from T-Shirts and post cards to the DVD of the film and 3D printed models!

Autodesk Maya 2015

Maya 2015 features have started to be revealed! I haven't even really used 2014 yet. I'm still back on 2013 due to VRay not initially being supported on 2014 until recently and many of the projects that I am on decide to stick with the 2013 version. Looking at all these new features I'm excited for the 2015 version and maybe will just skip over 2014.

First up is the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator which can be used to creature hair, fur, or feathers and is the same tool that Disney and Pixar uses. Hair has always been difficult to groom and to groom nicely, even with the Shave and Haircut plugin and from the images that are posted, I am looking forward to this tool. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl6vkIx2RBQ?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

ShaderFX. Primarily described as for generating game effects inside Maya but it will be interesting to see how this can be used as a base to use for more high quality textures. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CXNdfjCub0?rel=0]

Viewport 2.0 will now have Ptex support and displacement map visualization. Yay! [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT_FYRP7kqI?rel=0]

I'm one of those rare few people who like to do UVs and to do it in Maya nonetheless. Now the UV tools have been updated for a more streamline and efficient workflow, such as the "distortion shader" which is similar to the red/green/blue in Headus' UV Layout program. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jgJLIon_cw?rel=0]

Nickelodeon Animated Shorts Program

This is somewhat late as the even actually happened last Friday, January 31st, but Nickelodeon's Jill Sanford (VP of Animation Development) and Sherley Ibarra (Manager of Talent Outreach and Development), came to share what the Nick Shorts Program is all about and exactly what they are looking for in 2014. Nickelodeon's Animated Shorts Program was started back in 2012 to find and assist the development of a new generation of content creators. Now, going onto its third year, the program has seen well over a thousand pitches and produced a total of 22 shorts for Nickelodeon's website and app.

The Animated Shorts Program is looking for comedies that target children ages 6 to 11 with entry points for both boys and girl -- Nickelodeon feels that this demographic is right at the core of the company; they prefer to focus on making cartoons that are character driven, warm, and playful. They aim to be silly and 'smart funny', while still being immature (in the way it is to be a kid); unique, exciting, and surprising stories with kid-relatable issues. What Nickelodeon is not is weird for weird's sake, stories that are too traditional and safe, trendy (as it crosses over into the teen age group), or looking for stories that are predictable or oriented around gimmicks.

Your pitch should be limited to two minutes, primarily in one setting, and with a total of 2 or 3 characters.  Materials to submit include:

  • Concept treatment (a writeup of who the characters are, what the story is about, and where the setting is)
  • Character descriptions - written/and or drawn with a preference to have both
  • 2 minute rough story boards or outline/script (more info is better)
  • Signed submission release form which can be found on the website

The short can be produced in any medium such as  2D, 3D, and/or stop motion. What is important is that the shorts must be comediccharacter driven, and have kid appeal. You do not have to do everything yourself; the pitch submitted can be a collaborative project with people working on concept art, storyboards, character designs, etc., but ultimately, if it's your idea, you should bring the pitch yourself. There is no limit to the number of pitches that can be submitted and this program is open to everyone. Don't try to guess at what Nickelodeon wants to see. They want to hear your voice! Authenticity and uniqueness is what makes a story stand out and often times that comes from something personal.

The deadline for submissions is March 14th, 2014. The winning pitches will be chosen approximately 2 weeks after the closing. Once the pitches are chosen, preproduction begins immediately with the goal of finished shorts by the end of the year to be delivered.

As the story creator, you will be working with Nickelodeon's production team to realize your vision and be able to give feedback and suggestions as the company seeks to support the creator. While working with Nickelodeon to produce the short, you will not necessarily be at the studio. There will be check-ins and meetings that may happen over the phone, Skype, or e-mail, but you mainly only shows up to the studio for key check-ins, such as voice recordings. While you are paid a small amount, you should not consider this a full-time job. Of course if the short does extremely well and gets picked up for a series then you will be working at Nickelodeon full time to produce the show!

Don't be shy about sharing your stories! It can be intimidating to think about how many other people are submitting ideas or feeling that you just aren't good enough. Don't let the "they will never pick me" mentality take over. Probably everyone thinks that, and that means there are even less people competing and even better chances that you will get picked.

In addition to sharing all this amazing information with us, Nickelodeon brought in "care packages" for everyone. These are super special boxes filled with limited edition posters, stickers, and artist cards that are not available anywhere else nor to anyone else but students that Nickelodeon visits.

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