PPJ #2 – Cali Chesterman

Keywords: PPJ, cac398, Cali

Good

  • Got work done for the man’s concept art and orthographics.
  • Organized presentations and did all the busy work for them, like sticking speaker notes on slides, and making a stand-in Gantt chart that’s easier on the eyes.It’s important to have our presentation looking nice. 
  • Worked on main Gantt Chart more. I’m not taking out our task items because we work from this document.
  • Spoke with team leads from the other animation teams. We’re trying to communicate so our teams aren’t overlapping with rendering later in the term. We doubt the school will have enough VRay licenses to accommodate us AND the underclassmen.
  • Set up meeting with the animation professors this week. We were disappointed that the ones we wanted to hear from didn’t show or say much. So we’re going to them.
  • We participated in the 24-Hour animation jam as a team-building exercise.
  • Anna is super organized, she’s good at co-piloting when bad things happen (read “Bad” below). She’s also more than halfway done the dog rig, which is impressive. 
  • Aviva is a very good, speedy storyboard artist. She’s great at getting emotions across. Good visual storyteller.
  • Will is good at simple models. He’s already started the ship. His background in game art is helpful for that.
  • Aidan is fast and efficient. She made dog orthographics very rapidly and took out the detail work (like scales, spines, etc.) so we can focus on the base model, which she’s working on.

Bad

  • It’s been brought to my attention I’ve not been telling enough of a narrative story. To me, there’s little story without conflict/ obstacles. Here’s all the (uncensored) obstacles that I’ve been facing during these past two weeks. Enjoy.
  • Our team worked on the grueling 24-hour animation jam during Week 3’s Friday – Saturday. Drexel represent! We thought it would be a marvelous team-building exercise. It was quite the experience, but it put us behind on some school work. We ended up placing a whopping 124th place out of 135. We got beaten out by Drexel freshman. I want you to realize that we want to make a career out of animation, and placing so low in a competition has put a heavy damper on my mood. Why wasn’t I born in California to access their tech schools? I chose animation because its magic brings happiness to people. I am not happy. Are real animators happy? Real animators, if you’re listening, SOS. Send encouraging messages via note in a bottle, messenger hawk, or smoke signals.
  • Oh yeah, the minute the animation jam kicked off, I got a phone call. The apartment I live in was robbed. I don’t like being robbed. I had to leave the team for the first few hours to get this taken care of and file a police report. I’m now very uncomfortable in my own home. It’s a side effect of living in and growing up in the city – never be comfortable, not even in your own home. I guess coming to college has made me soft. I wonder what it’s like to live in the suburbs? The person who robbed us sure as heck was lucky I wasn’t home.
  • My first laptop, which was only 8 months old, was stolen. All my backup footage/pictures from China are gone. So I lost both the originals and the backups. I’ve lost my means of working from home. All my artwork and commissions that were in progress? Gone. Sigh. 
  • My psycho-nut English teacher gives zeroes for assignments to force students to redo work. It is already both a reading and writing intensive class, and I’m burnt out from having to do assignments twice, even when I did them correctly the first time. (It says so in her feedback!). I though the class would inspire me about stories, but it has just ended up being unreasonable busy work, which I have to attend to. I would take a B or C and deal with it, but it’s unacceptable to flunk. She’s crazy. It’s eating into my time.  
  • I can’t wait until next term, where I don’t have busy-work classes or PhD teachers. I can finish my fine arts minor. Really want to do matte paintings that are real paintings for our environments.
  • This has been a terrible past two weeks. I was not as productive as I could have been for Senior project. I’ve had to redo a lot of stupid work. I feel like an inefficient team lead. Two steps forward, one step back.

Upcoming

  • Man rig needs to get done. I’ve started the base this week. The models for man are due ~ Week 6. We’ll bind them together by the holiday break.
  • We have meetings with three different professors this week, Tuesday-Thursday. They’re going to give us crits on our new (version 5 of the man-dog story!) storyboards. We need tips on maintaining scope.
  • Our team has decided to start trickling Renderman into our pipeline for upcoming animation assignments. We are anticipating Sneakernet for rendering, with high doubts the Renderfarm will be usable.
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