Thursday, August 27, 2009

Favorite Twitter Tweets #5

First, I'd just like to say that this is the most occurring series of posts I have ever done. Seems to be quite helpful and convenient.

This is a post of my favorite tweets from the several people I follow on the wonderful world of Twitter. I've chosen ones that are very inspirational and have great resources for you, the graphic designer, artist, animator, and 3D enthusiast!

Enjoy the tweets, follow the authors of the ones you like, share this post, respond with some of your favorite tweets, and become inspired.

Oh, before we begin, go follow me on Twitter!

@joshcorken "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." -Forest Gump

@nishanjoomun "Any designer can do SOMETHING. A great designer does the RIGHT thing"

@AnirudhBhalotia If at first you don't succeed... welcome to the club. Almost everyone has been a member of this club at some point of time, so relax!

@tweetmeme @smashingmag 6 Simple Ways For Freelancers To Increase Productivity

@AnirudhBhalotia Every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute, every second, every moment...should be a celebration of life.

@johncmayer I wonder if someday when I'm married I'll have sex with my wife and then out of habit check to make sure she didn't steal my watch.

@nolanhudson Jimmy Johns is the worlds best hangover medicine


@AnirudhBhalotia The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.

@OfficialEmery Just walked out store and accidentally forgot to pay fo something I put in my pocket. Oh well it was only an iPod and some xbox games no biggy.

@joshcorken "Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you'll hit a satellite and those are kinda cool, right?" -Topher

@rainnwilson Dear TV cops, when using a flashlight on one of your shows make sure u don't hold it in the regular retarded way, but sideways, Ninja style.

@fishgun Typographic #tshirt

@theknightsurfer Today is the day to make that phone call you been putting off.

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Networked Our Senses

So, this is a bit late, but needed. A conclusion to the wonderful conference we call SIGGRAPH. Why so late, you ask? I answer you with this question: Have you ever heard of life and its many surprises? We'll leave it at that. But, we won't let that get in the way of saying a few last words about it.

The week started off with a bang and ended with an even bigger bang. They freakin' threw us a parade! Yes, this is New Orleans, but do they always give big conferences a parade to their receptions? What accommodating hosts. As you can see from the picture above, we filled the streets. There was a marching band and a float that lead us right to Marti Gras World where the final party was. Good food, drinks, and people there. An end to a great week.

I will never forget yet another wonderful student volunteer experience at SIGGRAPH! This year there were about 400 volunteers from all over the world, but that didn't stop us getting to know a lot of them. Amazing people you will find here, says Yoda. I'll agree with him. That was really random, sorry. But, I seriously cannot wait to hear if I got accepted to be a Team Leader in Yokohama, Japan which is the host of SIGGRAPH Asia 2009!

As always, IUPUI (and Indianapolis alone) held a very big chunk of the seats here at SIGGRAPH. I believe there were close to 20 students and professors from IUPUI and around 30 (that I know of) from Indianapolis! That's dedication right there. You can expect even more of us to be back time and time again!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

200 Custom Postcards Giveaway has done it once again! Letting me post a simple blog and letting two lucky readers win more free stuff. Does it get any better? Probably, but we take what we can get.

So, let's get down to the juice of this post. Two (2) readers who leave a comment on this post saying how they will use their prize will win 200 Custom Postcards (choose your size: 4x6, 4.25x6, 5x7"); 14pt gloss or matte, 13 pt uncoated. Full Color on both sides (4/4). Shipping must be paid by the winner. Offer valid for United States Shipping only.

There are a lot of ways to use postcards and I don't think it's necessary for me to name a ton, but I will name a few just in case you need some inspiration. Don't we all? Use these custom greeting cards as an extra special invite for your next party or event, as large business cards,portfolio examples, bulk picture printing, or even printed compliments to hand out to strangers on the street. Whatever floats your boat.

So, leave a comment and WIN now! Winners will be chosen within a week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Digital Room Poster Giveaway Winner

It was really easy to enter this past contest and it looks like a few people took advantage of it. Unfortunately, some decided to leave out their contact information. Not a smart thing to do when you need to be contacted about winning a contest!

Oh well, more chances for you to win later, right? So, let's get right down to a fake drum roll. And the winner by random number generator is...


Thanks to all who entered! Make sure to check back for more contests, prizes, and free giveaways because there will be more.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Favorite Twitter Tweets #4

This is a post of my favorite tweets from the several people I follow on the wonderful world of Twitter. I've chosen ones that are very inspirational and have great resources for you, the graphic designer, artist, animator, and 3D enthusiast! These are heavily related to SIGGRAPH 2009, which recently happened this past week.

Enjoy the tweets, follow the authors of the ones you like, share this post, respond with some of your favorite tweets, and become inspired.

Oh, before we begin, go follow me on Twitter!

@joshcorken From WIRED Magazine: "if we eliminate cash, it cod put drug dealers out of business, but don't worry pot-heads; you can grow your own"

@joshcorken Twitter tip: If you're collecting unemployment, don't tell people that. Instead say you are "between opportunities!"

@TheLogoFactory Off to buy new wedding band. Lost mine a few weeks ago. Have enjoyed my temporary bachelorhood. *smack!* Not enjoyed. NOT ENJOYED!

@siggraph RT @monaism: Great sound design begins as part of a film's DNA. - Randy Thom, keynote speaker #siggraph

@AnimationMentor The Student Showcase Summer 2009 just released! http://www.animationmentor....

@smashingmag '30 Fresh and Inspirational Portfolios With A Twist'

@styletime I don't care if you gave me a High Five or a Hug the only thing you're getting back is an unfollow!

@joshcorken Just overheard a little boy say "I already have a gambling problem, mom. I play the claw machine every day!"

@AnirudhBhalotia "Any kind of relationship is a 2-way street. If its not a 2-way, you better change lanes before its too late. "

@joshcorken Window Pains may be one of my favorite short animations I've seen in a long time!

@joshchambers RT @avinashkaushik: What does the future hold? Five Futuristic Interfaces on Display at SIGGRAPH:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Will Wright, Partly Cloudy, Robots, Cyborgs, and the Final Frontier

Tuesday, the Exhibition opened. The line started to form at least 30 minutes before the floor actually opened, but we were able to watch Autodesk's demo reel from where we were standing. Autodesk always has one of the best spots at the exhibition. Probably because they dominate the 3D software world. No big deal.

What was the first thing we did when they let us in? What do you think?! We rushed to the Pixar booth to get in the already enormous line to get a poster. They give posters and teapots out every year and you will NOT understand how crazy people are for them until you stand in a line that weaves through the entire exhibition floor to get one. This is no joke. I bet if you search Pixar teapot line in YouTube, you will find some footage. Here's the line (we are literally at the front of it too):

The exhibition is always awesome. Free stuff and plenty of big company recruiters to talk to. But, that didn't keep me away from the keynote speaker of the day, Will Wright. Some of you may know him as the creator of The Sims and Spore. An extremely talented man and one funny speaker. This was the best keynote of the whole conference, in my opinion. I think everyone can agree. He spoke about perception and how we react to certain things in the visual world.

(Photo courtesy of CGSociety. People like myself can't take pictures at these.)

Many of you have seen the latest film from Pixar and very popular Box Office sensation, "UP." If you saw that, you must have seen the beautiful short animation featured before called "Partly Cloudy," by Peter Sohn. He spoke about the struggles he went through while directing this film and how he managed to convince the big boys at Pixar to let him do it.

Really an amazing success story by one of the nicest, most modest speakers at this convention. Probably one of the best I've ever been to in my time at SIGGRAPH. Congratulations to him and the team at Pixar for such a beautiful film.

That last part of this title will make sense in a second. Some of the coolest stuff you get to see at SIGGRAPH comes from the production sessions, where they invite artists who work on features such as Terminator, Transformers, and Star Trek. They show behind the scenes footage and breakdowns of exactly how they put certain shots together.

It's brilliant and quite depressing when you see how talented the teams at the major studios are. I wasn't able to stay for the entire session because the Pixar presentation was halfway through this, but I got to see so much about the making of the new Terminator Salvation! It was funny to hear how much work went into making a CG Arnold Schwarzenegger and getting his permission to use him in the movie. You know he's the governor of California now, right? How weird!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The SIGGRAPH 2009 CGTalk Meetup

Every year CGSociety's forums decide to pull together at SIGGRAPH and plan an event to plug the user names from the forums to the real life faces. Not everyone uses their face as an avatar. Actually, come to think of it, a lot of the users decide to hide their faces. I'm not sure why. Scared of the internet stalkers out there? I dunno.

This year's Meetup was held at New Orlean's Acme Oyster House. Now, granted I am too afraid to eat oysters (No, not because I'm literally afraid. I'm allergic to shellfish.) because I don't want to have to make a trip to the hospital. You understand, right? Regardless, the place was great! We had the whole second floor to ourselves. Not too mention the jambalaya was amazing!

And, from what I heard, the oysters were pretty good. Here's some of the group taking oyster shots. Not sure how that works, but I found it interesting enough to snap a picture of the action.

Here's a picture of everyone who stayed for pictures. That's one good lookin' group! I wonder why half of them have goofy avatars? Shows their creativity though, so I don't mind. Plus, those aren't too hard to remember, but a little awkward when you have to ask when they are the one with Iron Man as their picture.

To add to all the excitement, I woke up the morning after and navigated to the CGSociety home page only to see my face as the most recent news picture! Now that was cool. I was so excited, I decided to take a screen shot of it. Why not? I'm not there anymore, but it was my day claim to fame.
To sum it up, it was amazing meeting the guys behind the forum and the owners/creators of the entire CGSociety website. They were kind enough to bring a few books to hand out for our contributions to the site. That's community right there! Thanks to everyone involved for pulling it together and coming out to one of the best nights at SIGGRAPH 2009! It was truly a blast!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Benjamin Button, Randy Thom, and Much More

Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Talks, FJORG!, Keynote, Birds of a Feather, Geek Bar, Emerging Technologies, Posters, The Studio, The Sandbox, Posters, Panels, Game Papers, Exhibitor Tech Talks, Technical Papers, and the Exhibition. These are the names you hear most throughout the entire week of SIGGRAPH!

There is now way I'm about to explain them all because, let's be honest, if it's too long, you won't read it. Thought I didn't know, eh?

Today was busy. And when I say busy, I mean BUSY! That's pretty much the whole week in a nutshell. There is literally just too much to see, so you have to run from one event to the next to cram as much information into your brain as possible. Mentally draining? Yes! Fatigue is setting in already and it's only 10:15pm. Here are some photos I took of the conference and even a sneak peek at the Exhibition floor, which opens tomorrow morning!

So, what did I see today? You're going to like this. Maybe it'll induce a bit of jealousy. (Rant in the comments section)

First, to start off a wonderful week of learning, the Computer Animation Festival held a Production Session covering "Building Benjamin Button." I must say that Digital Domain did an absolutely incredible job bringing this character to life! They even showed us a 50 mega pixel picture of Brad Pitt's face and zoomed in so close on his face we could see his pores in extreme detail. Gross, but how many people can say they saw that?

Next, the first Keynote speaker of the week, Randy Thom, gave a talk on "Designing a Movie for Sound." He worked on such films such as Star Wars, Forest Gump, The Iron Giant, Cast Away, Harry Potter, The Incredibles, and Coraline to name a few. This guy knows what he is talking about! This was a really insightful and new type of talk that I think gave the whole conference a perspective on designing sound for film.

I was able to see a little bit of a panel on "Getting a Job in CG for Entertainment," but had to leave early because I had student volunteer duties to attend to. The red vest continues to call my name. You would have to know SIGGRAPH to get that one.

Lastly, I was able to check out the Technical Papers Fast Forward event. Now, these are the kinds of people who innovate the programs you are using this very instant. Technical Papers cover the most detailed of new techniques that have been discovered by researchers from all over the world and it is stunning some of the work they produce! As you can see from the picture below, it was a full house. They even had to open another room for crowd overflow.

That is the first day very briefly. There is no comparison to actually attending this event. Reading about it just doesn't do justice. My advice: come next year or fall behind! This community is by far the most inspiring and motivating in the entire industry and possibly the world. No other place will provide all of these resources and opportunities like SIGGRAPH does!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What NOT to do at SIGGRAPH New Orleans: A Continued Post

Planning to travel to New Orleans soon, are you here for SIGGRAPH, or have you ever been to the Big Easy? Well, whatever the case, these are things that you should not do or just keep in mind while you are here. All tips and tricks are provided by myself and friends experiences and stories I hear throughout my visit.

This post will be updated day to day, as I retrieve more suggestions based on the mistakes of others. Enjoy, share, and keep checking back for more!

What NOT to do at SIGGRAPH New Orleans:

1. Watch out for man testicles in Bourbon Street.

2. Don't take shots out of test tubes and loose your credit card.

3. Watch out for bachelorette parties.

4. Don't walk alone through dark alleys.

5. When you see beads flying from the sky, don't look up!

6. Don't drop glass bottles off of balconies on Bourbon Street.

7. Make sure your hotel is the right address. You don't want to have to walk 8 blocks or so to the next one.

8. Take taxis. don't walk after dark. Don't stumble into cars thinking they're taxis! People look down on that.

9. "Be careful who you talk to. I wasn't here more then 20 minutes and I had a female bartender telling me about how she was going to kill her husband and get away with it."

10. If you see a tall homeless guy around Canal Street and he lifts his shirt, look the other way.

11. Strippers and computer graphics don't mix!

12. Do not cut in front of anyone in the Pixar teapot line.

13. Don't be late for the bus. The drivers show no mercy.

14. You probably shouldn't go into random SIGGRAPH people's apartments and get stoned. They encourage it on Bourbon Street though.

15. Don't give away your beads to a woman who asks for it. They need to work for them.

16. Do not look into the eyes of the club bouncers. They might steal your soul, and your cash.

17. Don't pat someone on the back, for they will ask you, "Does it look like I need a cookie?" Your answer to this intriguing question will want to be "no", however it would be fun to see how fast a CG artist is compared to a local.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Running on 3 Hours of Sleep Without a Care

First, I would like to make a suggestion: Never go to a theme park the day before you leave for an early plane ride to a week long computer graphics conference. Let's just say, if my feet could talk, they would be cursing my name and more. I guess the $2.50 flip flops from Old Navy wasn't the best footwear choice either. Blame that one on me.

As a student volunteer, we start working way before the conference even begins. From setting up the store, hauling boxes through what seems to a mile long hallway, and filling 10,000 goody bags for attendees. We really know how to get things done though. Can anyone say assembly line? I'll thank Henry Ford for that one. Here's a shot of the gang behind the scenes. Fascinating what a few student volunteers can accomplish together! I know what you're thinking; "that's a lot of boxes!"

New Orleans is new to me. Never before have I seen such busy night life! Well, maybe Poland competes, but I would definitely put this towards the top. Every pub has a live band playing in it and on every balcony are people eagerly throwing Mardi Gras beads down to the drunken street dwellers of Bourbon Street. I'm actually looking at my pair of purple dice beads that I earned just a short hour ago. Don't worry, no skin was shown. Get your head out of the gutter!

Tomorrow begins registration and another wave of SIGGRAPHers pouring into the already packed city of New Orleans. Will we all fit? With an expected attendance of around 10,000-15,000 geeks, they may need to make some extra room. Watch out 'Nawlins,' SIGGRAPH's in town!