Two Steps Up, One Step Back

Last night was dark and wet and cold. I drove out to Alhambra / West Covina in slick traffic while Lauren and the niblets had an old fashioned night at home and Shane went to see Michael Gondry at a signing at Virgin Megastore. I got the stuff I needed to get done, though – working on music for the podcast and other projects.

This post’s title means I’m making progress but the thing I’ve learned about progress is that it’s never as fast as I’d like it to be. It sometimes feels like a test, though, and I’m only vaugely positive I’m passing. Trying to get caught up in bills and stuff is just a constant grind but I guess that’s just real life. But it seems like a lot of stuff is converging this week – some exercise stuff and making the some intial steps towards the podcast thing, I think.

New Math At Pixar

Tony DeRose, a resident computer nerd at Pixar, said today that much of their work while creating new films requires the creation of new math. The problem is that human skin, for example, goes through extreme deformations when it is being animated. Because of that the Pixar team needs to figure out new ways to represent complex geometry. Otherwise, a character’s skin could fall apart, tear, or melt off their bodies when the images are rendered.

WIRED Blogs: Wired Science

Read the whole thing but I hope some of this new math gets out to the world, like through a SIGGRAPH paper or something.

HD Shoot

So I went out last weekend and produced a little test shoot with the Panasonic HVX200 camera, my first HiDef shooting experience after years of film followed by years of nothing at all. I detail the shoot over on my media blog but it bears mention here, too.

Sony Vegas & Ultimate S

I’ve owned Sony’s Vegas (formerly Sonic Foundry’s Vegas Video) for years but I’ve never really done much with it. I guess the main reason is that I never exactly had a project that I really needed to finish. Now that I’m trying to get my filmmaking shit together, I’ve dusted it off and despite the render times of outputting a project, I like it. I especially like it now that I’ve added a giant plug-in / script thing called Ultimate S 2.0 that adds and fixes a lot of stuff to Vegas that was driving me nuts – like the ability to clean up gaps in the timeline or to do a photo montage. The montage feature is totally worth the price of admission and I’m putting it to immediate use. Plus it does some neat and very fast film look / colorizing functions. If you use Vegas, really – check it out.