Trying Dynamics and Staying Busy

Posted: May 16, 2014 in update
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This has been, in typical fashion, a very busy spring. In between work on my thesis, I have lended a PA hand on a short, worked very hard to help get our student org The Animation Lodge fully integrated, recognized and formidable, and started to experiment with 3D Dynamics in Maya. All of which has been challenging.

My thesis continues to chug along, although I do feel it’s time to step it up a notch. The rigging of the main characters is proceeding slowly, although I guess it is best to do it right the first time around. Weight tests should be doable soon, followed by animation tests. The backgrounds are floating in limbo a little, but I will bring on extra hands on for that soon as well. I am surrounded by talented and eager people at DePaul, and although production coordination can always be ‘interesting’, I never feel that anyone isn’t putting forth an effort.

As Secretary/Treasurer of The Animation Lodge, I have really been pushing to organize and lift it up to one of DePaul’s largest, most well-known student organizations within CDM. The org was rather quiet when I originally came on, which I felt was a huge shame. We went through one leadership change and had some great times, but when those folks started to leave for the ‘working world’, we went through another change and I got the jobs I have now, along with a new President and VP to work with. They were hungry to do something, so I jumped on the opportunity to really push our org with them. We are now building a website, having guest speakers and gaining publicity, collaborating within the school and organizing a program-wide animated short – dare I say feature-length? 😉 – production by the students and faculty! With continued guidance by the new leadership after I graduate, I have no doubt the Lodge will do great things.

And graduation is coming up on me quickly, but not just yet. So I took a class in 3D Dynamics this spring as well, since it is not something you see a lot of instruction on and I can foresee some applications for my thesis. I am amazed at how frustrating and fun particles, ncloth and fluids can be at the same time. They are very picky in Maya, but once you get them working, the effects can be fantastic. They are VERY system-intensive, though. I am grateful for the amped-up hardware I put in my self-built computer, since I don’t have access to a render farm. 😉

So here is a bit of what I’ve done with dynamics so far. Mostly pretty basic (although I would have to write a fairly long blog post to explain the process), and not stuff I would put in my portfolio, but fun nonetheless. Some have audio and some don’t. I will work to make my final project portfolio-worthy, so we’ll see about that one.

I think that’s it for now. More exciting stuff in the works, but I’ll have to comment on that later. Stick around!


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