It’s been another few busy weeks but things are coming together and I will have a little more time to spare soon, but I hope not for so long! It will be stressful until I get my first job. Meanwhile I’m developing some Nuke tutorials for a course in my old university Kingston. I’m very happy to do this and give the students the chance to learn and little more and hopefully motivate them to do more on their own.
I’m going to upload my masters project here today, this is the first time it’s going online officially and only here in my weblog! It’s been different experience and I’m not sure how much I’m satisfied with it, but what I’m really satisfied with are the things I’ve learned from it, have it look!
Still working on the DE Techniques, the third term project. Have made some progress with designing the environment but the fluids are still making trouble! It’s a bit tricky to make them float up!
Global Illumination is such a magical light! although on its own it can never really deliver a complete result but the level of the reality that it brings into the scene is fascinating!
The first effect project of the Digital Effects course at NCCA (Bournemouth University) was to create an underwater scene. It was pretty interesting and I think I did an acceptable job although at the end I got sick of it so didn’t finalize the project as good as I should have been!. There’s still a lot left to do and I’m hoping to find time and go back to make some improvements. Here is the final render plus the making of;
I shot the backplate in Christchurch a small town near Bournemouth. The model and some of the underwater effects were made in Houdini and the rest were recorded live in a small aquarium. Apple shake was used to do the comp; a very powerful package which doesn’t attract you in the first look. I quiet enjoyed using the acquisition elements shot with a black background for this project, I painted a cocnout black and used it as the proxy. I think now and for the first time, I can call myself a compositor!
I’ve been working with some of the students form different master courses in the Media School. We have our group as well and made a short film a month ago about student life. For that I was in charge of the visual effects and did the title sequence plus the old film look effect. It felt pretty good to be only in charge of one thing as opposed to my personal film projects that I did in the past when I was responsible for everything;producing,filming,directing,sound,light etc.It was pretty exhausting! Here is the film we made; it’s a documentary type inspired by the news reel of 1940s;
Last Thursday I helped out a group of MA Directing students with their work and I realized how much I miss making films. I was to happy to try the Sony EX3 camera for the first time that can record directly on memory cards(sadly not just any memory card; only SxS Express Cards). This term of my course has been absolutely crazy and left me with no time to do any extra work. I don’t really understand why does it have to be too intense when it could have easily benefited from a better timetable. Hopefully I can develop a few ideas for a short film in the coming Christmas break and start something before I lose my touch !
The other day I was thinking that there are so many things I need to do but there’s not enough time,made me wonder if even there’s any point in starting something, say a book, since there won’t be any time to work on them. In times like this you start to organize your time better and discover the time slots that you’ve been wasting doing nothing.
One of those times that goes to waste for me is when I’m on a bus or any other kinds of transport, usually I just listen to the music or day dream! and my imaginations are usually entertaining enough to keep me occupied during the journey , but the truth is that’s one of the best times to get some reading done! even when you are waiting for the bus (especially if you are waiting for the university transport which takes forever to come!), you can read a few lines which makes waiting less painful!
The other one which I recently discovered as well is when I’m cooking! last night I realized I spent 20 minutes just hanging out in the kitchen looking over my food! I didn’t feel I’m wasting my time but surely I could make a better use of it.
I’m sure there are other times during the day when we can make them useful as well, but if reading in toilet is one of the things you are wondering about now ! it’s not really recommneded since it might raise some health related issues. Check out this article from BBC websites which outlines some of them.
The course had a good start, very well organized course with timetables arranged for every week of the first term plus a big one for the whole year showing the teaching programmes. Everyone has a dedicated computer which is how it supposed to be! and they seem to be pretty decent systems. Computers are Linux based (Gnome Ubunto released) which is something new for me. The Graphic interface is pretty much like windows and it’s always good to learn something new, so after Windows and Mac now i have a chance to get my hands on Linux after about 10 years.We also learn shell scripting for Linux which apparently will be useful for the Houdini later on. It will be a challenge for me since I’m not a big 3D fan and hate programming! but the truth is there’s no escape from these two! Shell commands (programmes) are very similar to DOS but much more flexible.
They seemed unorganized and obviously they hadn’t prepared for this meeting and just showed up thinking they know what to say, so there were a lot of pauses and they looking at each other! The first meeting with the academic team of the media school didn’t make a big impression! but maybe I’m expecting too much. The course starts next Monday and according to Philip Spicer the Programme Leader of MA Digital Effects, it will be really intense! he suggested we get as much rest as we can this week and repeatedly said “I kid you not!” when the students didn’t take him seriously! Although just by looking at the timetable you can see that he’s indeed not kidding! Main software taught are Houdini, Nuke and shake, although they emphasized that this is not a software based course and they teach “transferable skills”. It’s a very good approach but to what extent they can actually execute it remains to be seen.
A new city, a new university and a lot of new things to discover or to ignore! the first day (21/09) in the campus was overall a good experience. The day started with a presentation for international students which was short and to the point followed by a very boring sideshow of the cities where they are arranging some trips to take students. Next we had a brief campus tour and then headed to the information fair which was OK, nothing too special. Free lunch was provided for the first day and the tours to Bournemouth and Poole was the next plan. It wasn’t really a tour! and felt more like a transport! since they didn’t let anyone to get down and have a look at some of the interesting sites.
In the evening everyone was invited to the welcome reception which was a good chance to see people from different schools and join them to dine. There are many other programs arranged for the students (ISOP) to make sure there’s always something for them to do! although most of them are presentations which could be a bit boring. I’m hoping to have my personal issues sorted out by the end of this week and then start exploring the city properly. So far there’s a good mood in the air!