Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, With Some Help From Woody and Buzz

Like Buzz says, "...all those toys you get for Christmas, treat 'em nice." Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009: My Favorite Short Animations

I mentioned the Computer Animation Festival in my previous post and feel like I need to share some of the best animations of SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 with everybody who wasn't able to make it. So, without further a-due I present a list of some of my favorite short animations from the Animation Festival this year. The reason I say "some" is because I can't find them online. Boo!

Enjoy and make sure to share this with anyone who also had to miss out in Yokohama, Japan!

[Best in Show]
by Lindsey Olivares

Pigeon: Impossible
by Martell Animation

by Alli Sadegiani

by Luke Randall

Our Wonderful Nature
by Tomer Eshed

Friday, December 18, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009: The Last Day

Hopefully some of you have been keeping up with my photo album on Facebook and my Twitter updates because I unfortunately haven't had any down time to write a full blog. If you haven't, go now! There's just so much to do in Japan and at SIGGRAPH that the time for other stuff just goes down the drain.

I can't really sum up everything I've seen. It's just too much! From highly detailed talks on the making of UP, to learning all about story development, the electronic theater screening (which is the best of the best animations and technical papers here at SIGGRAPH), emerging technologies, the art gallery, job fair, how to plan a short film, patch-based image vectorization with automatic curvilinear feature alignment and approximating subdivision surfaces with Gregory patches for hardware tessellation. Just kidding about those last two! I have no idea what they are, but those are some of the extremely advanced technical paper's names. Intense!

Anywho, I'll just let the pictures do the talking from here. Enjoy and if you have a question about one, just ask!

Monday, December 14, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009: The Arrival

Whelp, I finally arrived safely in Yokohama. It wasn't as smooth as expected, to say the least, but it was an experience I'll definitely remember for the rest of my days. Plus the other people waiting for me to arrive had a good laugh when I showed up at the hotel. I don't blame them!

Japan is beautiful, clean and modern. All things I thoroughly enjoy...a lot. Sounds like my kind of country! Everything is pretty small though. The rumors are true. My hotel room is tiny! 2 of us are staying in here and barely have walking room. Plus almost have to duck to go in and out of the door, which is saying something because I'm not that tall. Like the famous shirts say: "I'm big in Japan."

It was fun walking around the town all day and getting familiar with the culture. To better learn the ways of Yokohama, we went ahead and rode a roller coaster at the local theme park and went ice skating outdoors near the pier. It was a lot of fun teaching some of the other student volunteers how to ice skate. I'm pretty sure all of them were pros by the end of the day. I have that effect on people! Anyways, I'll let the picture speak for themselves.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my forst shift as a team leader, so I'm really stoked about that! It's great working with such a diverse, yet amazing group of people so closely for the entire conference. These people are some of the best in the world; just know that. I guess you could say SIGGRAPH just attracts that sort of crowd and the student volunteer program makes it that much better.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Adventure To Yokohama! (Take 2)

Unfortunately, it's just not my day today. Earlier I posted the story of missing my first flight. Overall and epic tale of me completely screwing up. Or should I say sleeping up? Either way, it's definitely worth the read. So here's part 2 of my journey to Japan.

I'd just like to start off by saying that I am still very grateful that I actually have the chance to visit Japan and be a team leader at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009. It's a real dream come true! But, hiccups like this happen and you just have to take the experiences as they come, whether they are convenient or not. After, you just need to figure it out and do the best you can to make the best out of it. That's what I'm doing now — enjoying the time and staying optimistic about everything.

In my case, I am able to hang out here in Chicago and stay in a really nice hotel (Crowne Plaza Hotel) for a discounted price, thanks to the distressed passenger discount with my airline! Not to mention, I can catch up on all that sleep I've lost the past few days. Like I said, though, it's not my day. Of course the hotel room I get has a broken heater, so the temperature is a whopping 63 degrees! Here's a sneaky picture I took of the Romanian dude attempting to fix it.

In the end, I had to switch rooms, which is pretty inconvenient. One plus to this is that I can complain in the morning when I check out and probably get an even bigger discount on this room! I better or else Crowne Plaza Hotels will not be getting this guy's business ever again. I'd like to thank a fellow blogger, Ricky Potts, for inspiring me to complain more on my blog in order to voice my opinion. Ricky has gotten corperate attention numerous times! Let's see if I can't get as lucky as him.

So, tomorrow will be my second chance to get to Japan. Let's just hope I get a good nights rest and don't sleep through the boarding process again! This king size bed and mountain of pillows will probably take care of that for me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tale of My First Missed Flight

So today starts the adventure of yet another SIGGRAPH conference. This year, SIGGRAPH Asia is in Yokohama, Japan — last year it was in Singapore. I'll be student volunteering as a team leader, which I was honored to have gotten accepted for.

I write to you now still from the Indianapolis airport. "Why?" you ask. "Didn't your flight from Indy leave at 6am?" Yes it did. Without me on it though! Yep, I missed my first flight. But this was more epic than your normal scenario of missing planes. I was completely on time and waiting in the terminal 30 minutes before the plane departed, so I took a nap. 7:30am finally roles around and my body finally decides to wake itself. Confused as hell, I consult the front desk.

"Um, yeah sir, you missed your flight. It left an hour and a half ago," the lady said. I couldn't believe it! I had slept through every announcement telling me to board my plane. Now, let me explain myself. I know there are no excuses, but I'll defend what's left of my honor. The past 2 days I have gotten a solid 2.5 hours of sleep total because I have been finishing final projects early so I wouldn't have to even worry about them while in Japan. I finished them, but that left me no time to sleep! Hence, my looking and feeling like a zombie right now and waiting on the next flight to Chicago.

So now I play the waiting game. My plane arrives in Chicago just 10 minutes before my international flight for Tokyo departs. That means I'm going to be that guy who is running with his luggage, scrambling to make a plane. Stay tuned to find out what happens to me.

Moral of the story: Don't fall asleep in the airport terminal when you've only had very little sleep recently. You WILL miss your flight!

Monday, December 7, 2009

@Animationators -The Newest Twitter Feed

I'd like to be the first to introduce a new Twitter feed that will become very popular over the coming months: @Animationators! "The #1 animation & film resource brought to you by the animators of Indianapolis!"

I created this to be a very popular and large Twitter feed, eventually putting Indianapolis, Indiana animation and film on the map. It will be completely run and authored by Indianapolis animators and film enthusiasts. I think this will definitely help the Indy area as far as computer graphics, web, interactive and film studios are concerned. Everyone's on Twitter now, so what a great resource to use! Plus this could eventually lead to really good advertising possibilities depending on the amount of followers we gain and publicity it gets.

The overall goal within the next 6 months is to launch a sister website that will emulate that of Smashing Magazine and Web Designer Depot, which just simply give inspiration and write outstanding articles about the world of design and development.

Interested in being an author? Contact me via Twitter either through @animationators or @joshcorken. Here are the criteria:

1. You must have your own Twitter account.
2. You must have experience in "tweeting."
3. You need to be able to find really helpful and awesome links, quotes, resources, etc and write about them enticingly within 140 characters.
4. It is preffered you are good at advertising and writing well-phrased tweets to reach a lot of people and get retweeted.
5. You must live in the Indianapolis, IN area.
6. You must be passionate and willing to sacrifice time to this feed.

Please follow us and spread the word to your friends, classmates, colleagues, professors and anyone else who may be interested. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me!