The Hess Report


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Secret Is Out 

Sometimes I don't blog things simply because the pressure of writing a good post about it, one worthy of my genius comedic stylings, requires more time than I have. That's a bad approach, because it means that if I'm even the slightest bit busy, nothing at all gets written.

Well, no longer! I'm now going to catch things up by writing short, stupid posts. I'm sure it will be way better.

Clearing out the blogstipation:

The "secret" thing that I mentioned last month turns out to not be that momma!Joy is pregnant. She isn't, but someone who reads this thought that's maybe what I meant. Wrong.

The secret was that I got to have one of my dreams come true... specifically the one involving a baker's dozen of midgets, pint-sized Dallas Cowboys football gear and a steamroller. Well, not that dream, but the one of working in 3D animation. For five days last month, I worked full time as a texturing and materials artist on the Dutch short animation "Elephants Dream", produced by Studio Orange in Amsterdam.

Did I get to zoom to Europe for a week? No. But, due to my previous connections with the producer and technical director (I've worked on software projects they've been involved/interested in like Blender, and, of course my own BlenderPeople crowd simulation software) and my previous artwork (which, incidentally, you can see here), I was asked to help them meet their quickly approaching deadline.

They were able to come up with enough scratch to compensate me for taking several days off of work, so I was able do it. The blog detailing production of the short animation, as well as some still frames from it, can be seen at the Orange Blog.

I worked at home for five days, which was an absolute blast, although I don't know if FedUp!Joy would agree, and communicated with the guys in Amsterdam via IRC chat and by sharing files on our respective web servers. I certainly put in more hours working for them than I do at real work.

The final product was premiered in Amsterdam last month, and received kudos such as "visually stunning", etc. Of course, these guys are mostly European artists, so the concept/storyline isn't your run-of-the-mill fare. A bit avante garde, but my history as a creative writing major at a seriously liberal university prepared me well.

DVD's for the project ship sometime in early May, I'm guessing, and when I get mine, I'll put up some nice shots. I have access to a bunch of stuff already, but they want the people who bought the DVD to get the first look, as it was the pre-purchasers of the DVD who mostly sponsored the project. I'm happy to respect that.

And that brings me to the "secret" part. They informed me that all information about the animation, including production, was strictly confidential. I wasn't sure if that extended to the mere fact that I was working on the project, but they hadn't announced anywhere that they had a hired a few fortunate souls to help make deadline, so I didn't feel it was mine to share at the time.

And look, this got really long! So it's almost like a real Hess Report, although I didn't swear or say that anyone was an idiot, so I suppose it doesn't quite qualify.

Oh well. It's the new regime, and you're just going to have to live with it.

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