Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Feb 12, 2011 (wayyy late)

Well, a lot has gone on lately since moving in.  As you can probably see I havent updated much!  Apologies on that one!

Things are going really well.  Kyle just got a job and started on Monday with a company called Blue Barn.  Funny, all the time he spent searching for companies and contacting them... and having no on e get back to him for an entire month and a half... now that he took a job, he is getting phone calls and emails every day from companies that want to interview him!  How great is that?  Haha, funny though.  It would have been nice if he had had those options before!  I don't know what it is about New Zealand, but they seem to go on a freakishly extended holiday...  I heard that January wasnt the month to be look for work from a book I read before coming here, and apparently they were right!  Too many people traveling and taking holiday, etc.  Funny.  Oh well, it doesn't matter now!  He is going Civil Engineering too, so it is within his career.  Awesome!

Work for me is good, been swamped lately though, we are an entire week behind on shots.  Making it difficult to keep up.  Lately I have sworn off working weekends / overtime really (well, I still work about 10 - 11 hrs a day regardless), which has been good for me, but it doesnt help the work load.  Not to mention being the Queen of the Snake character, Savio, at work, means all of my shots take that much longer.  There was some crazyness with some of the shots... just REALLY difficult and time intensive with that character, not to mention the other characters interacting with him.  He was rigged to be a "B" character, but of course then Nickelodeon decided they liked him, so they used him as a feature character in this new special.  I love animating him as I said before, he's really fun and challenging, but his rig just doesnt allow for any quick animation.  Not to mention I just feel like things take me forever anyway.  Its difficult.  But I do love it still.

This one difficult shot, the Infamous SH90 of the episode, was FINALLY chopped up into some more managable chunks, and with some re-framing and whatnot, I think I can finally muscle through them.  I went and sat down with Rob, because I was just getting SO behind in my shots because of this one... not that I was in trouble or anything, I had made it known that they would take me a while early on, and I had spoken to Fraser about how behind I was.  He knew full and well that Nickelodeon had just overloaded us on this one.  Plus the week behind.. just put everyone in kind of a bad spot.  Anyway, Rob wanted to know just what it was about the character (since he hadnt been told directly from an animator)  that made it so difficult and time intensive.  So, I sat down and told him, and Sean, one of our Comp / TD guys at work, sat in on the discussion, as well as Myke.  I went through everything, and explained that not only was the rig just difficult, but he required a lot of counter-animating to make him look like he's not jumpy / jittery in every shot!  So once Rob was on the same page, he understood, and we went to Nickelodeon to explain the situation.  Fortunately, these shots will be easier on me than originally thought, so I have some leeway.  Its not that the shots couldnt be done as they were, I definitely could have done it.... its the amount of time we had to do it!  I felt kind of crappy because it made me feel incapable... when realy I am, but theres a schedule and a deadline, and we needed to work out what was best for everyone.

its funny too because I showed Myke where my shot was after an entire week straight of working on it, and he came back laughing saying "ya, we cant do that.  Its way too much for what we have time for!"  SO fortunately it wasnt just me thinking it was a lot of work.

At any rate, things have been plugging along.  Im doing well so I hear... though I was worried that I wasnt working fast enough.  Apparently I was wrong, and things are all good!  I am still behind schedule because of that mess with changing around the shots and whatnot, so some of my shots have been taken off of me so that others can do the secondary characters, and then will be handed back for me to do the snake, in the interest of time.  But still, from what I have heard, I am doing alright.  One thing I have to say about Oktobor, at least in my experience, is that the higher ups are going to tell you if you are doing a good job.  So that makes me feel good, and makes me not doubt my abilities, or worry so much about being behind.  I will catch up.  I get faster all the time, but you know, still not where I want to be.

I wish I was as fast as some of the other guys.  Kate cranked through a double - quota the other week and managed to get it ALL done, submitted, and approved.  AMAZING.  Jealous of her speed.  She's really productive when she has to be.  She had Pete too, which Im sure helped a lot, and didnt have her pulling out her hair.  Myke is an amazing director, and you always end up with some money shots, but it is much more difficult to get things approved.  He looks at the little nuances right away, and wants to have them in there, where Pete is a lot more on top of the technical side of things.  Both are great, but it is more difficult at times to get a shot past Myke.  A good way to learn though.  This is my second episode with Myke, and though sometims he makes me want to pull my hair out with crits, I know my shots are getting good.

Aside from work, life has been cool.  We bought a car, a nice one that we got for cheap.  We bought bikes, both for a steal!  We have yet to ride them just because of how busy we have been, but we have them for sure!  Kyle having a job makes things for us easier for sure, and him happier.

Catching up more later :-)

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