Create\Polygon primitive\Cloverfield Monster 
This is some sort of a rant against those who thing that animators and their software are some sort of mandrakes, always with a trick under their sleeves.
It always gets me when people are excessively ignorant. I read something on the newspaper the other day, and the columnist was talking about how wonderful computer animation was, because with the click of a button you could create an army of tens of thousands of warrior. Mind me... I've been using Maya for several years now, and I still haven't found that button that creates the army.
That's the reason for this blog's entry title. People sometimes are so dumb they think we have some sort of infinite library of assets that allows us to pretty much drag-and-drop. Yeah, I know it's easy to have the Gollum and Witchking primitive inside Maya. I am pretty sure they must have been some real big time savers for Peter Jackson. And let's not forget about the Cloverfield monster and parasite primitives. I really have to thank Alias (and now Autodesk), Avid, SideFX, Newtek and such, for developing such amazing software that allows us to come up with the next blockbuster film in less than a freaking week.
It's amazing to have all those "create terrain", "create ocean", "create human", "create elephant", "create lion", "create hurricane", and "create army" buttons. It's because of all those buttons that we can create such amazing work with one single mouseclick.
"Some guy" told me he wanted a fully featured animated 30 sec commercial by the end of the week, but that he needed at least a 4 second shot by next morning... Well, easy, all I have to do is load up that Environment from my extensive library of pre-made assets, then load up the characters and then plug the USB to my nose so the computer generates all the animation on the fly by reading my mind.
Ok... rant's over.
I will only ask the next person that comes up with something that stupid to please show me where that "Create tens of thounsands soldiers" button is, but I can't find it. He/she can even borrow my computer if he/she wants, as long as I am told where that freaking button is.
This is just a quick post regarding something that has brought a lot of grief to my heart and mind and everything else.
I know it is difficult when friends take different paths and all, although sometimes we know we will be seeing them some day.
However when some of them dies, things are a little different. Yesterday I was informed that a friend of mine had killed herself over a year ago. The thing is that since she lived abroad, it wasn't till yesterday that I was told so. Not only me, but all of us didn't know till just a couple of weeks ago.
We would write each other from time to time but one day she just didn't answer anymore. That seemed a little weird but since she didn't answer anymore I didn't write anymore either.
Now I know why I never got any more messages.
And right now I am still just waiting to wake up because I just can't believe this actually happened.
"how Kubuntu made me a Vista fan"
First of all, I want to state that this post is not intended to bash anyone's choice of operating system, nor is meant to be a "switch to windows" campaign. This is more like a "Linux wishlist" hehe.
Anyway, I had been reading about virtualization and all, and I decided to try virtualization by myself. I've never been a fan of dual booting (much less triple booting) because I think I waste too much time by switching from one operating system to the other while I am working. So, I figured virtualization would make things faster and easier.
I had been interested on trying Linux for some time, so I figured this would be the chance to do it. I got my hands on Kubuntu, the somewhat youger brother of one of the most famous distros right now.
After 4 or 5 days of using it, I ended up deleting the virtual machine. It's that I didn't like the minimalistic design or the fact that pretty much everything began with a K. The thing is that the more I used it, the more I wondered if I was ever going to use the actual user interface. I needed to install the virtual machine tools and some other stuff, but I spent more time on forums and all, looking for "how tos" than actually working on the operative system.
That kept me wondering why they couldn't just use some self-installer instead of having to go through this confusing process just to install something. I actually found a frond end thing for RPM files (kpackage, or something like that) but it wouldn't work even after configuring it to use the flags, the "root user" commands and all that.
Another thing was the UAC-like thing that really got under my skin. People would tell me it had something to do with my permissions. However, I was supposedly the system admin, so havint the OS ask me if I was the admin, when I was already logged in as admin was less than amusing. I can understand the logic behind that, but that prompt would appear one after another after another. On Vista, I get 2 or 3 UAC warnings per week (no pun intended).
While working on the konsole, there is something that caught my attention. if I were on the "root" directory, I would need to use the "/" to switch to a different directory, but sometimes that one wouldn't work so I had to use the "\" instead. That's something I never understood.
I've heard good things about Linux, and I still believe them. However, personally I don't think that one should take 2 or 3 or even 4 months just to learn how to use the computer's OS. Maybe that was the case when we were all on MSDOS, but we're on the 21st century now.
So, Kubuntu goes back to my "to do" list. I think I will try it again when it becomes more mainstream. In the meantime, I stick with Windows. It may not be the best operating system in the world, but the upside is that I don't have to rely on the console half of the time because the GUI won't let me work.
New computer, new Wacom, new hand and new everything else
Well, long time no post...
I guess I should begin this post by saying that I haven't had any more wrist pains for the last months. I can pretty much say that the painful therapy (believe me... it WAS painful) and never using a mouse again did the trick. This brings me to the new wacom thing.
Well, it turns out that the tablet I had bought (a Genius PenSketch) was not as good as I expected it to be. We can say that after 8 months the damn thing just died on me. As you can imagine, that kinda made me rethink my life, so I ended up getting a wacom intuos. I keep thinking I should have gotten the intuos to begin with, but it's not like I can simply go back in time.
A couple of months ago, my old computer also died. It seemed like a signal to get a new one (actually, I didn't have a choice). I have a lot of new software in my hands, so I figured I should get a computer that would take advantage of all that. In the end I got a Dell Precision and it works perfectly.
I kept my old monitor so I am working on dual monitors now. The only "problem" is that the Sony monitor looks extremely uncool next to the Dell flat panel, hehe.
A few months ago, I came up with this "brilliant" idea to open an animation studio in my country. We are what you could call a "garage studio" (although we are still missing the garage...). However, even if we are small (3 guys and counting) we've come up with a few decent works. The difficult part is to sell something that few will buy, because animation is pretty new here. There are not even a handful companies that do that kind of work, and yet the amount of work is not THAT big (so no World of Warcraft Coke commercials for the time being...).
Another not so brilliant idea was me writing a book. Ever since I met James Faure Walker on SIGGRAPH 2006 I grew interested in writing. I've been working on that story for a little over a year, and after a lot of rewrites I am finally reaching a point where I DO like what I write. My word count so far is a little over 80 thousand words, and I still have 2 more chapters to go. Who knows, maybe you will see my book in a bookstore near you soon... or maybe not...
Well, that's pretty much what I have to say as a "comeback". See you around.
carpal tunnel almost gone
Well, I am slooooowly recovering my wrist. I've been able to be productive again for the last one and a half month or so. I also got myself a tablet, so I don't have to use the mouse any more.
It's a very large genius tablet and even if I am still getting used to it (specially because it's VERY large) it's proving to be very useful.