June 2008 Archives
Some times we make difficult choices. This is one of those times. On one hand, there's this and on the other, this. But it's more realistic to think that it'll probably be this. A possible treat to the end of Mummy? We'll see.
If you haven't noticed, I think the views stats have been fixed. Excellent. So now you can see how many people care about what I write.
Seriously. I ended up buying the Offspring's Americana (mostly for The Kids Aren't Alright) and their latest album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace from Amazon the other day. I think the only album from them I don't have is Splinter. Anyway, after listening to Rise and Fall last night, I've gotta say that it's an excellent CD. It's a great turn back to their roots, with some excellent tunes. There's nothing like immersing yourself in a pair of headphones and blocking all the crap that's around you, listening to some blasting punk rock and yelling. Sweet.
Inspirational? You betcha. Check this out. The writers of most of the songs on the new album are by Dexter Holland and Kevin Wasserman. Dexter is the lead singer as well.
Holland (born December 29, 1965) was the class valedictorian at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California and was a Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California; however, he abandoned his Ph.D. in favor of focusing on The Offspring. He has a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Molecular Biology, both from the University of Southern California.
Holland is also a licensed Airline Transport Pilot and has made a solo trip around the world in 10 days.
So far my favorite track is "You're gonna go far, kid" followed by "Nothingtown" and then "Stuff is Messed Up". However, pretty much every track on the album is gold. Another artist I got earlier in the year was Talib Kweli's Eardrum. That was a great CD, but I prefer his earlier work on The Beautiful Struggle better.
In other fancy news, a coworker and I have embarked on an epic project. Siggraph LA 2008 is prolly too early to release it, but possibly Siggraph Asia 2008 in December in Singapore.Time will tell if we can get the underlying architecture to work well and seamlessly. We finally got releases from Digital Domain to actually work on it outside of work, so that's the first step. It's very similar to the disclosure I had to provide with my product patent when I started at DD. As we are both on the Mummy, we're waiting until the end of this crazy show to actually start work on it. I've had the idea for it for a long time now, over a year, and I've got documents and business plans for it, and a nice five year plus plan for a sequence of events, I just needed someone that had the same drive and motivation as I did.
You may have noticed that almost every entry on the main page has zero views, and that's basically because something broke in February, and I haven't had time to troubleshoot. Somehow I think I may have gotten it to work, so we'll be seeing Views greater than zero on these entries again.
I've got a fair number of new readers and subscribers, and if you haven't read any of the other entries I've created over the years, give the archives a read, at the bottom of this page! Unfortunately, a lot of the great comments for some of the entries have been lost to time, mostly to my persistent upgrading of equipment and hosts.
One of the recent comments that was not lost in the great DigitalGypsy blog revival asked, "If you could do it all over, what changes would you have made?" Suffice to say, we create our own futures, given the opportunities that we are presented. Often those opportunities repeat themselves, giving us a second chance at promotion. Other times those opportunities come and go. If you haven't read my bio, give it a read for a brief introduction into how I got into this crazy business. Continuing on this path, here are some turning points in my career, and how I chose to pursue them. You'll find that risk is its own reward.
Click the extended entry link below to read the rest!
The official Mummy 3 Trailer is now out, check it out on Rob Cohen's blog. Lots more vfx work, most seem final, and several little more in-depth story points.
Nothing like rocking out to Offspring's "All I Want" while working my ass off finishing this elaborate shot so you readers can be satiated when you see The Mummy 3 on the big screen.
My brother is in a different industry than I am, but very similar, given the crossover between the two. Check out his recent interview on IGN about his latest XBox360 release, coming this fall. He's the one that's interviewed that has a funky name like mine.
It's on all the major industry airwaves, but if you have not heard, Stan Winston passed away over the weekend. He was part of the original Digital Domain founders, along with James Cameron. Lots of news sites have it all over, so check them out.
In show news, Rob has a new entry on his blog about the visual effects for the film, and when we can expect the next trailer! It'll be in front of Wanted next week. There are total of 979 vfx shots, of which about 196 are left to go, split between the various houses working on it. Out of those, I've got three.
Finally.. After briefly being enticed by a 64bit machine to work with only to have it taken away from me, I once again have control of a 64bit linux machine. It's aptly named Chainsaw, after.. Well, a chainsaw. I was limited to 4gigs of RAM previously, but now I have 16 to play with. My comps are behaving a little peppier. I'm going to try out Nuke64 and see if it plays well with my scripts.
My previous machine, Bionicman, wasn't very Bionic. All sorts of problems plagued that sucker. Before that it was Thor, and that was a killer machine. It was the original machine that I started on years back which I started on Flags of our Fathers.
A couple days ago I was having lunch with a bunch of coworkers, and this blog came up. Several people read it at work, and wonder the same thing that I occasionally do. What in the world can I write about in visual effects that doesn't give away what I'm working on? There are a lot of entries here about vague shots and interesting concepts that don't fully get fleshed out in detail. And of course, there's the entire NDA aspect of the work that I do, in that I can't divulge what I am working on! I'll just forward you to a scoop page or IMDB or ComingSoon or VFXTalk. So here's a question for the reader-folk. What can I talk about? What in the vfx industry would you be interested in? What we had for lunch? Who caters at Rhythm & Hues? Who's not worth the money? How do I keep busy outside of work?
As you know, I'm still working on The Mummy, and we're slowly wrapping up. We've got a couple more weeks to go, and it's getting busier and busier. I think I have worked around 53 hours in the past four days. I'm not sure what's going to be on my plate next, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it! Today, Friday, a couple compers are leaving us, their contracts are up. I'll probably see some of them again, as it's a small industry, and DD is always looking for good talent. If you haven't already, check out the The Mummy HD trailer that is now over on Apple! There seems to be lots of good buzz about it.
Over the weekend I spent the cash to see the new Indiana Jones film. It's taken me a while to formulate my own opinion of it, but finally, I settled on a conclusion. I thought it wasn't as good as the previous three. The three stood on their own as a testament to the character and story. This fourth installment seems hokey and tacked on, and I just couldn't get into the story as much as the previous. There was just something more unbelievable about the storyline, and I don't blame the actors, I blame the delivery. There were many scenes that I was shaking my head inside, watching the horrific action unfold onscreen, and I couldn't get into the film. As such, I was noticing more of the greenscreen problems than I should have. Usually I can suspend my belief during a film like this, but not this time. Cate Blanchett was bad, Ray Winstone was worse. Shia? Eh.. He's got a good agent, that's for sure. From Indy to Transformers to Constantine, somehow he's the guy that everyone seems to want. I'll always see him as Shia. Much the same way I see Nicholas Cage as Nicholas Cage in every movie. Speaking of Cage, I preferred National Treasure 2 over this Indiana Jones.