Happy Holidays!

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Oh. My. Goodness. It's been a month since my last post! That's just crazy. Well, there's a reason for it. The deadline for the show is quickly approaching, I've got a huge shot to complete, and lots of work on both Industry Wages and at Digital Domain. Like my previous hugely long post, I'll start with the most recent! Christmas and last week.

On Wednesday morning, I finishing preparing a package for Jason Calacanis and members of the Open Angel Forum. This event will take place in the middle of January, and will give five start up entrepreneurs a chance to "hawk their wares" towards angel investors and VCs. Apart from being published in print and having a press release, I only hope that we'll be selected for the short list, and given a chance to present in front of technologically savvy investors that can see the potential of Industry Wages. I'm also still preparing several smaller packages to send out to local VCs in the new year. My days have been long and tiring, from a 7am wakeup to a midnight crash, the days are numbering at almost 16+ hours a day, of solid work, split up between my time at Digital Domain and my hours writing and rewriting proposals. After a certain amount of time, I should stop and be happy with the proposals I've written, and send them out already!

Close Up NeytiriOn the 20th (last Sunday), I took some time off from work and saw Avatar in IMAX 3D. It was excellent. If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend seeing it in IMAX. I will most likely see it again in 2D just to view the environments and character work in detail. I would caution that those that think this is groundbreaking refrain from thinking that once in the theater. While there is some EXCELLENT work, it shows what a real stereo movie should be like, not hack 3D (multiplane, faked geo) like we've been subjected to in the past. The character work that WETA did was amazing with all the Na'vi, as well the environments and locations of Pandora. Top notch work. I can already see them getting an Oscar. There is nothing else out there this year that competes for visual effects. My only concern is the amount of 3D that is present in the film. Does it become an animated film? Regardless, I think it's place is warranted on the short VFX list.

Two Fridays ago, December 18th, was the last day that my intern, Tom, would be helping out on the show. His internship, as well as the rest of the interns, was over. He's spent the last three months or so learning the inside of Digital Domain's compositing department, and how to effectively start off as junior comp where ever he goes. He will most likely be back in LA in the near future, but unlikely at this time for DD, simply because most of our compositors start fresh elsewhere and become tenured, or are brought up from within as roto/paint.

HomeRun.jpgDuring the latter portion of November, Thanksgiving weekend, to be exact, we travelled out to Phoenix once again to see my brother. Those several days were spent relaxing with family, playing a bunch of video games, and also taking a quick peek at Max Blastronaut! His game is progressing at an increase rate, and there are some nifty new items in there, which I share with this quick video we shot. Make sure you check it out in HD! And as always, for more information and lots of screenshots and video, head on over to Coin App.

I'm trying to remember what else has happened more than two weeks ago, and for the life of me, I can't recall. It's a true shame, as this blog is both a record of what I've been doing in visual effects, as well as how the rest of my life is going. This is the drawback of working 16 hour days, you really don't want to start writing stuff at the end of each day, but you should, lest you forget! As it currently stands, I've completed around 24 shots for the film, fairly low, but a couple are pretty massive. You'll have to wait until President's Day to see them! If I don't write next week, have a wonderful New Years, and see you in 2010!


Wow that sounds overwhelming, but all very interesting. This may seem like a silly question but how come DD doesn't get more junior/mid tempers to ameliorate extra work that you seasoned workers have? -Given my slight bias of currently looking for work.

I'm also wondering which movies you are referring to that have fake 3D because I've heard that several times. I thought all the new 3D movies are basically true stereo 3D. Especially because it seems like 90% of the 3D movies have been made either all mocaped or animated.

Good lucks with your shots, and Industry Wages.

Hey Paul! I'm not sure why we don't have more junior/intermediate compers.. We do have those positions available for other departments, but for comp here, we don't!

In terms of fake 3D, I'm simply referring to some movies that do simple planar 3D, taking a 2d plate, and simply offsetting in X and Z. Here's a good example from VFXTalk. You can see that there are three distinct layers; Buzz, the little girl, and the background. Each layer looks flat. The girl doesn't have a protruding nose or hair, and Buzz's helmet isn't rounded out. The way to fix this and get real looking 3D is to project on 3D geometry and render from another camera to simulate the right eye. Most 3D movies, pretty much everything from Pixar and Dreamworks Animation and Imageworks Animation, is real 3D, as they have the 3D assets to just render the other eye and get the accurate 3D viewing experience. Any movie that is not acquired through 3D means, and is posted by a facility to create the 3D, is usually multi-plane reprojection.

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