Archive for July, 2006

I’m considering a move to "Blogger".  Any thoughts?
Here’s my "toe-in-the-water", so to speak.  So far, I’m impressed — it’s much faster and much more open-frameworked. 
Note: It’s not finished.  It’s not even started.  I just wanted to see how things like comment-tracking and content control work.

Hello all. This is just a test. Feeling the waters, as it may be. More soon… perhaps.

Red Rubber Ball
Here’s a video we’re making right now to learn kinetics and transfer of energy.  Sounds very scientific, but we were told explicitly NOT to do it scientifically.  We are to do it artistically by feel.
It’s not entirely tuned yet, but it’s pretty close.  The first ball (red/white – medium sized) is like a kickball.  The second (gray/dark gray – small) is like a marble.  The third (green/white – huge) is like a shotput shot.
I’ve done this numerous times in computer programs, where you tell it the dynamics of the ball, and it’s not too hard.  In this exercise, you put the ball where you want it to start and end, then adjust the speed characteristics to move between the positions realistically.  It’s more difficult than it seems.
We’re given the environment and balls and the rule that the balls must simply roll off the "shelves" (no up/down inertia to start).  Aside from that, they just need to move realistically.  Interestingly, no two videos in our class are even remotely the same!
MPG Format (1.7MB) - Better motion
QuickTime Format (1.2 MB) - Better picture quality
If you want to understand the title of this blog entry, read the next one entitled "Simple Family Video".  To understand even better, watch the video!
Over the past week, I’ve been pretty good about getting off my butt and on a stationary bike.  Just three workouts so far, but they were like this as I try to find my current level:
  • 7/20 – 7 minute warmup and 20 minutes "manual level selection" varying from levels 3 to 8 of 20 on the bike.  5 minute "manual level" cooldown.
  • 7/23 – 7 minute warmup and 20 minutes "random mountain" at level 7 of 20 on the bike.  5 minute "manual level" cooldown.
  • 7/25 – 7 minute warmup and 35 minutes "random mountain" at level 9 of 20, 5 minute cooldown on treadmill.  Later, a 2.5 mile walk with the family.

I heard it took the "Supersize Me" guy over a year to lose what he gained in 30 days.  Knowing the disparity of gain to loss, I decided it’s time to act — before I’m "supersized".

So, I know it takes three weeks of a desirable behavior to create a habit of it.  I’ll use that time to find my workout level and to make a habit of getting to the gym.  When I’ve shaken my recent sedentary period completely, I’m going to start the weight circuit.  In the meantime, I’m workin’ on it! 

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Simple Family Video

OK… FileLodge finally got their act straight, and as promised, here is the video of our vacation at Vero Beach.  I’ll warn you, it’s quite large (17 MB), but I wanted the folks at home to be able to see it clearly.
In case you didn’t know who’s who, I’ve captioned the video with that information.
Note:  This is not in the embedded media player.
P.S. – Yeah… I noticed that gut… I’m working on it!
I have video I want to upload and share with everyone.  Unfortunately, for quite some time now (over a week, at least), FileLodge has had some issues.  First it was maintenance that disabled all uploads, and now storage constraints are limiting upload file size to 2MB due to some delays receiving hardware.  As of this moment, the site is entirely non-existent.  Earlier it was just the uploads page that yielded a "missing page" error.
So, while I sympathize with FileLodge for their woes, — I’m certain many other bloggers have blasted them, and I’m sure the tension level there is quite high with their primary product severely impaired — I am also experiencing my own frustration at managing to get only one video up before basically losing the service.  But, it’s free… how much can I complain?
As soon as I can, I’ll upload my latest demo reel, my vacation video (despite my larger-than-life gut!), and whatever else I can think of for your enjoyment (a bouncing red and white ball we just did in class?).
Until then, please enjoy the existing content.  UGH!

One last pose.

The Green Flash does "Bullet Time"!

Today, we submitted our poses for grade. The three in my previous post were included, and I tried to improve on them, but really couldn’t — every tweak I made to the model made the joints look worse instead of better! So, I decided to take what I had and make another pose. Other students were using props, so I added some of my own… bullets with trails. I like this shot a lot!


btw… We got some birthday vacation video.  I’ll get that up as soon as I can get it edited and uploaded.  I don’t want to completely lose the personal touch here!


What a poser!

We’ve spent the past few days adding a skeleton to the character we’re building. This allows him to be easily posed and animated. It’s quite time consuming and intricate to add the "bones" and tell them what they influence. The creases between the bones almost always come out funny, and you have to then map out levels of influence so that you don’t balloon-animal joints.

Now that he’s got this skeleton, we’re required to make three images with the hero in different poses which show the different joints in various positions.  We were told to be creative, but realistic.  Note that there is no environment in these pictures, just a makeshift backdrop.  This is also part of the assignment.  It allows the teacher to make a silhouette of the character during grading.

So, the next step is to take this new skeleton and use it to make a "walk cycle". These images aren’t due until Thursday morning, so I’ll probably be tweaking them and making improvements tomorrow.


Green Flash!

Here he is at last — The Green Flash! We’ll be posing him tomorrow and making a "carousel" picture (a video rotating copy of him for inspection). This is due Wednesday morning.
For those who don’t know, the emblem on his chest is representative of a phenomenon called the "green flash" (who’da thunk it!).  If you are above the horizon (i.e. top of the Empire State Building) and looking at the sunset, you can occasionally catch a glimpse of a green light atop the setting sun.  The pictures I saw of these events showed a yellow sun and black sky, giving me the color scheme.
Late Edit:  I made a video of the character rotating in this pose.  Click Here for the video in a larger, separate window, or press "Play" in the media player to see it there.
Image and concept ©2006 EricAtRandom
Here he is again, with and without the glasses. But only without  the clothes. Gotta get to work on that costume!
I also have to fix up those fingers.  Maybe some eyebrows??