Cycling, Canals and Cheese

November 5th, 2005 . 0 comments

And now, for a little update to break the recent drought of entries. Yes, I’ve been quite busy. A lot has been happening here in Amsterdam but I’ve only got so much time to spend writing, so here’s a brief run-down in point form.

  • We spent a week or so madly putting together the Elephants Dream teaser. It was rushed very quickly, the artwork is still in a preliminary stage, and none of the shots will be in the final, but it gives a nice preview of what we were aiming for.
  • Blender conference came and went. With the combination of insanely long nights (mornings) during the week leading up to it working on the teaser, the constant excitement of meeting old and new faces, watching their presentations, then going out afterwards each night to eat and drink until the small hours, it was a fantastic weekend. You can download videos of all the presentations, including the ones that we did: artists tutorial sessions and the small behind-the-scenes session we did about our project (yes, you can see how silly I look up on stage). I also did a little write-up on the event with photos over the at the Orange blog.
  • We’ve just finished our first ‘real’ animatic, with our final-at-that-stage broken down script, with low detail proxy models and sets, and rough animation. It was a bit of a push to get it done, and it’s good to see it all together, but I think seeing it has also been the catalyst for our collective dissatisfaction with various parts of the script, dialogue, etc to come to a head and cause a bit of a panic. It’s our last chance to really change this to make it much less bland and more exciting (not just for viewers, but for us as well), and I have faith that Bassam (working on it today) will help get it in a better shape than it currently is.
  • As part of the deal that secured our studio at Montevideo/Time Based Arts, we did a Blender training workshop last Wednesday, for 15 third year visual effects students from the Netherlands Film Institute. We were a bit worried, having spent our time on the animatic and not preparing our tutorial sessions, but it worked out pretty well in the end. Although they’d been taught Maya in their course, it seemed they hadn’t gone into much detail or complexity, so they were quite grateful that we were showing them more advanced 3D concepts, even if it was a lot to take in at once. I think they found it interesting, which is great.
  • Life in Amsterdam is continuing pretty nicely. I think we’ve seen the last warm days gone now, but maybe we’ll still be pleasantly surprised. It’s getting quite chilly as I bike to and from the studio – definitely jacket and scarf weather.
  • A few interesting things going on these days. Tonight is museumnacht – all the museums in Amsterdam are going to be open till about 2am, with parties and events happening at them too (DJs and dancing in from of Rembrandt paintings at the Rijksmuseum sounds like fun!). But even better, since Montevideo (of which our studio lives at the top) has exhibitions and is technically a museum, they’re involved too, and apparently there will be a DJ/VJ event outside on the Keizersgracht canal tonight. I will be there and hope to document the occasion.
  • Like I always try to (but now, more than ever), as things happen, pictures will appear in my flickr photostream. So you can keep checking it or the little image log box in the top left of this page to see what’s been happening in photographic form.

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