I rarely update the blog when I have nothing to show and no news to tell, I can't convince myself that anyone wants to hear me ramble on nothing in particular. But sometimes I want to write anyway, so maybe this post (and perhaps others like it that follow) is for me.
I'm back at Aardman, 3rd innings. Commercials this time. Feels like real responsibility, more so than ever before, partly because I'm surrounded by people whose work may depend on me meeting my deadlines. Partly because CG dept can feel more serious that Digital dept, though no less fun, and partly because my go-to mentor and Jedi troubleshooter is off on paternity leave. So selfish.
After a couple of weeks getting to grips with the workflow behind Aardman's blend shapes- the (in this case facial) expressions created to assist animators in lip sync and unique poses, and practicing car modelling I'm now working a character for the commercial. This feels like a massive step up from prop and environment stuff and its really taught me another level of refinement and discipline in maintaining the curves in your edge flow. There have been some cool new tricks like flattening surfaces at odd angles by setting the scale tool to orient itself to the average direction of an objects normals, making sure to use symmetry all the time, transferring UVs using the correct settings so that the UV shell doesn't disintegrate (topology not component). The slide edge tool has, again, been invaluable.
See, I'm not sure why I include sections like that last paragraph, maybe someone reading knows what I'm talking about, but its not committed enough to be a tutorial, nor is it thorough enough to make sense to a layman.
I've been at friends and relatives the last 3 weeks, I'm just now looking at potential short term lets, to find my own place at least until mid April. I am essentially a very well connected and employed homeless person (so in fact nothing like a homeless person you entitled and privileged bastard), and it gets to me. Long commutes, no space, no time to myself. Though that's not to say I'm anything less than completely and utterly grateful for those you have been so hospitable, I wouldn't be able to do this without their kindness.
It seems there's an archetype for the bachelor seeking a tenant. Must be mid 20's, girlfriend abroad, studying for a PhD, whilst also working overtime/running your own business. And I thought I had no hours in the day. Habitat is new, clean, tidy. Probably because its barely lived in considering how much time is spent out of it working.
A genre has emerged in games, someone dubbed it the FPW: first person walker. I like this, it produces interesting games. Dear Esther, The Stanley Parable, Proteus, and to an extent Miasmata. I really want to say more about both of those last two, especially the latter. I'll save it for another post. Since the game jam the desire for design has been steadily burning. I read a quote about inspiration:
"Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work." -Chuck Close.And with that in mind, I'm going to stare at a blank page for a bit.