Update on Ghost Town: I’ve been trying to finish up one shot before going back to work, and have finally roughed out pretty well all the models and everything. I need to texture everything and smooth out the animation, but you can check out the playblast here.
Interesting little tidbit that my housemate alerted me to: on the first Monday in March, Illinois celebrates Cashmir Pulaski day. It’s a federal holiday, and kids get a day off school.
What, you say, you’ve never heard the tale of Cashmir Pulaski!? For shame! Count Cashmir Pulaski was a Polish Revolutionary War hero who died in the battle of Savannah, after singlehandedly killing over thirteen million confederate soldiers with nothing more than a blunt piece of tinder and a case of fine china! Okay, one part of that sentence may have been a lie. I will fess up to that. But still, Cashmir Pulaski. Hero. Badass. Lover.
This is what America is all about — celebrating different random holidays wherever you go.
One other thing that needs to happen:
The Diarrhea of Anne Frank.
“The space stuff was dreadful. Iâ€™m not even sure if I can really express how shitty this stuff was. I mean â€“ it was so bad I was longing for MOONRAKER or SPACE CAMP. There seemed to be a haze over it all. It screamed rushed and under-financedâ€¦ except â€“ it couldnâ€™t really be under-financed, cuz you know they spent more money on the space effects in this film than 2001 cost in its entirety. It was just badly done.”
– Ain’t It Cool News on Fantastic Four
…the next time you say something like that, remember that there’s a team of a dozen or more people who worked 80 hour weeks in order to meet the movie’s deadline, just so you can tear it down and tell them how worthless they are.
I get home late tonight, and start getting set up to work on Ghost Town, when my computer stubbornly refuses to start.
Unafraid of data loss (seeing as how my files are stored on a 1 terabyte raid array, and backed up to two different computers), I go to my closet and dig out a spare power supply (one of three). Plugging it in and seeing that it works fine, I curse my old power supply for randomly failing, make a note to head out to Fry’s tomorrow, and continue on my merry way.
Then it occurs to me — if I were someone else, I would probably be on the line with Dell’s tech support about now, possibly in tears.
Sometimes it is good to be me.
Part of creating a CG character is sculpting what are known as blendshapes, or morph targets. Basically, you contort someone’s face in every way you can think of, and use those as alternate heads that you can morph your head into. It’s a pain in the tuchus. But when you’re done, you have a whole lot of heads floating around, which makes for some interesting screenshots.
Also mildly interesting: I have been building my own pose library tools, which basically allow me to save out facial poses and hand poses for use across multiple files. I had to come up with icons for the face and hand pose screens. They’re pretty small, and you may have trouble making out exactly what’s going on, so I’ll just tell you: the face pose icon is madonna doing her “vogue” pose, and the hand pose icon is someone flipping me off.
Nothing amazingly exciting, but I found it nonetheless amusing.
Let me tell you something about computer graphics. If anyone really understood how insanely difficult it was, how time consuming it was, how badly you had to twist your knowledge of reality just to be able to understand what the computer is doing, then we wouldn’t have any of this. No sodding researchers would spend their time figuring this stuff out. No movies would end up using it. No students would bother learning it in school. Instead, they would all get MBAs and spend their time trying to get laid.
The next fifteen times someone tells me that CG looks fake, I am going to punch them in the face repeatedly, while screaming about how I have to add bones that DO NOT EXIST IN THE HUMAN BODY in order to get arm rotations to work right. Did you know that a correctly rigged CG character should have 3-4 bones between the elbow and the wrist? Not side-by-side, like the ulna and the radius, but back-to-back?
I WANT TO FUCK EVERY ARMCHAIR CRITIC MOVIEGOER IN THE EYE WITH A RAZOR BLADE.
In my pain, I have made this image. There are too many things wrong with it to list. But it’s coming along.