1Q84 Book Review

1Q841Q84 by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Murakami does a great job of bringing you into the story. He seems to really go in to the background of the character and their motivations for what they are doing. I liked how each chapter focused around a character and how their stories would periodically get closer to each other until the end when they are finally together. I really liked this story overall and found it quite easy to believe in this world. I definitely started looking at the moon more closely while I was reading the story.

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Xpresso Task 10 Notes

It’s been a while since there has been a Xpresso task so when Robert posted that there was a new one I was really interested in trying my hand at some more Xpresso. The task he put forth was to create a Christmas tree that you could customize through used data such as height amount of branches or cones, width, etc…  I was able to complete that fairly quickly.

 

The next level was to at some decorations which found a bit tough and in the end only had a star on the top because i couldn’t figure out how to have enough control with my bulbs. I would be interested if any one else figure it out.

 

The last level was to setup a control for presets. Robert suggested using Python or C.O.F.F.E.E though you could do it with all with Xpresso. After some research on both languages I choose to do mine with Python even though c.o.f.f.e.e looked easier since I have programed in java and action script. I choose Python since that’s what Robert, seems to have more uses outside of cinema, and I could get help from friend who is a real programmer and knows python.


It took  me a little bit to understand the format since it is different then other languages I know but with a good site recommended by my friend and some example found on line I was able to hack something together. In the end my setup was more complicated then it needed to be but I learned a lot. Check out Robert Leger’s Result for the way he did it, http://vimeo.com/34013560. I will put my file below to download and the links I used.


G2B Xpresso X-mas Tree << I left some hidden controls in the file that didn’t quite work.


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Nutcracker Holiday Animation Notes

I wanted to make another personal project since I haven’t made one in a while and since it’s the holiday season I thought I would make one to fit the season. It just so happens that I made a model and had it rigged just for this occasion.

mecha nutcracker by kidchuckle

About 6 months or so a go I saw this image  by KidChuckle and thought it would be cool to model it in 3D and animate it. Since it was holiday themed I figured I would animated it finally for the holidays.  I decided to clean it up a bit and make it a bit more accessible to animate and tweak the rig a bit. I also change the color on the models to make it a bit more festive.


After my few tweak I built a scene using a simple infinity floor with some Christmas like trees to randomly in the background so that I could blur out the background  to indicate some depth. For the text in the foreground I tried a few options and came up with the one in the video that read the best though composition wise I like the one that had Holiday in the front better.  The ornaments  are from a pack that happen to be a free give away.


The audio is from audio jungle and drove most of my animation as far as a timing. I planed it all out a head of time then re-adjusted it to the audio that I edited a bit. My main goal was to show off the drill which spins a bit and the gun that shoots nuts.

I’ve notice now that I’ve seen it in full quality that I have some flickering issues. Not sure what is causing it exactly but its in my  light multi pass channel.

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Xpresso Lesson 10

My submission for Robert Legers Xpresso lesson
better quality on youtube due to using my one hd video a month on vimeo already
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Nutcracker Happy Holiday

Holiday Animation using a model I built a few months a go. Happy Holidays

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Golden Couch Logo Animation

Style_3Frame-Endv1_1280x7201_500x281

Recently I have begin to watch a lot of video on YouTube center around the game call of duty. These video seem be done just for fun or contests and deal with synching up music with video game play. I never really plaid the game but many of the videos are nicely edited and time with music and some even have vfx’s added as well.

I was contacted by one of these people to do an opening animation for their channel After receiving the initial brief and doing some research on the channel finding out that it’s main focus is video games and call of duty I designed some initial Style/Storyboards.

 

 

The client picked the the third version which was the on I like the best. They had a few remarks on the design so I revised the design and create three options and they picked the second version .

Then I proceed to turn the design into an animation. I wanted to try something different on this project and instead of using my standard 3d package cinema 4D I tried a go at using Photoshop 3d animation.

 

This not something I would do again since it move very slowing in aftereffects and in order to get to the full quality I had to do a bunch of work around other wise it would have been unrenderable on my machine. Having just the simple extruded text with full ray tracing took a bit to render in photoshop and once in After Effect was too slow to do anything. Even so I still had to render some parts out first then render the rest as a whole. The final animation was renderd at 1080p HD.

 

 

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Xpresso Task 9 + Pogs

pog 1

Well it seems I haven’t posted in quite a while. This has been partly due to my working full time at a post-studio in NYC and some freelance work that took up most of my free time. All excuses a side I think I have simply not been focused with my own personal work which I’m getting back into now.

Last week I finally made time to do Robert Legers XPresso Lesson #9 – Task – Custom Effector. This one was was a little bit tough at first to figure it out but I was able to complete it. My example isn’t that spectacular but I put together a little example that reveals some text. Still waiting to see the official results from Balázs and Robert.

Another project I’m working on is a personal project that I’m going to finish in some capacity by next monday. The idea is to a simple id spot using pogs to show a company logo. The idea for pogs just sort of came to me after looking at the recent vector designs from http://blog.signalnoise.com/, especially the circular ones. I plan to make a few designs using them as inspiration and some other cool pogs designs.

Not sure if scene wise this is what I will go with but it’s in the area right now.

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Legend of Korra Commercial Trailer

I have been waiting like many other fans hoping for another next avatar cartoon and when it was announced from rumors to officially a yes even more excited. I have been following a handful of sites and people who always like the show and keep up with the news. So when this trailer was released last week after being viewed at SDCC I was way amped!!!…

I watched it a bunch of times and did the twitter as well. Then I went to sleep thinking about the trailer and what I could do with it. I deiced to make a commercial spot for it, something that would be used on TV in either 15 or 30 seconds. This turned into more of a trailer spot eventually because that’s how my editing and planning lead me to. I also wanted to use a past pretty common motion graphics technique that I had never tried before.

I proceed to begin by getting the highest quality version I could get which my first source, http://www.lastairbenderfans.com/’s video was taken down. But of course something this popular could not be contained and I found a good alternative at 720 HD.

 

I brought it into Premier Pro and proceed to reedit it into 30 seconds. The beginning is essentially the same I just shorten it but after that I just took it as a puzzle and piece it together. I kept in mind frames I wanted to do my freeze frame effect in mind that I though would look cool. I also remembered John Dickinson’s (motionworks.com.au) breakdown on how he approached it, though I made bunch of mistakes anyway(but that’s how you learn).

Once I had a rough idea of how it was going to work I made the clips I wanted to do a freeze frame on a after effects comp with dynamic linking so I could edit it and have flexibility to change it. I sort of designed it half in Photoshop half in AE depending on the clip. Originally I wanted to 5, Korra, her two companions, Mako & Bolin, Amon of the Equalists, and Naga Korra’s animal companion. There wasn’t enough time and there not being good shots of the two boys I took them out.

After the designing the freeze frames I just had to animate them. I also did 4 overall textures that also have slight animations as well that change after a while. I was trying to make the trailer seem more grungy and steampunkish since that is some of the idea behind the series. I think I could have pushed it more but I think it works well with the trailer as is.

Lastly I re-edited the audio in audition, which is a lot better then soundbooth. There is a little click I couldn’t mask completely when I jump the sound the match the footage but I don’t think it’s too obvious if you into the trailer. There was also another beat I wanted to hit but couldn’t quite get it. I had really high hopes going to this and I like the way most of it ended up but there’s a bunch I would have like to do more so it was truly high quality.

So there you go my fan commercial trailer of the Legend of Korra can’t wait for the show to start!!!!

 

 

 

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Design Define

Day-1-canonical

This image is the first in a week series that I’m going to be doing this week. I’ve been following the word of the day from dictionary.com and I thought I would be a good idea to to use it to do the design a day thing that many people have been doing in the design world.

So my goal is to create a design in 1hr based on the definition of the word of the day. Then on the week end I will take all five days and make some animation out of it. The font’s i’m picking from either lists on http://www.digitalhitchhiker.com ‘s type Tuesdays or on http://abduzeedo.com/. Using this plus 15 min time limit to limit my obsessive font search tendencies.

 

This word means the following items below, I choose to interpret the third.

 

1.

Authorized; recognized; accepted.

2.

Included in the canon of the Bible.

3.

In mathematics, (of an equation, coordinate, etc.) in simplest or standard form.

 

In other news I created an animation inspired by turntable.fm that had an issue with some parts jumping randomly. I believe I found the culprit in my segmented rendering process based on this test that has no skipping anywhere. Just need to rerender and add the composite stuff I did before.

 

Lastly I created a quick edit of some of my 2d animation work. I did this a about a hour or so using premier to edit it all together without any crashes.

 

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Santa Maria logo animation

Santa Maria Logo Animation Pan (00150)

This is another logo I found online, I believe on http://www.logoopenstock.com/. This was a stock design so it is not attached to any specific organization. I choose the logo represent a hospital keying in on the cross and the mom with a baby in her arms. I took this think the hospital focuses on prenatal care thus the catch line of prenatal specialists. My other thought was perfect prenatal care, but I thought that might be to much.

My process for creating the animation was simply outlining how and what I wanted to happen and find some calm music that would fit the mood I was going for. The animation is fairly typical standard build up, but it works well with this logo. The design I think for this is simply yet clean reflecting my overall goals for it.

Overall I would say this is a good one, though could be better but I did learn a little bit more about particles.

 

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