Just read this summary of the Two Acre Shaker party we were at on Saturday night. Was a great party, despite all the hurdles listed, which included us getting there late (11pm). DJ Woody is one hell of a turntablist.
We had lightning, we had fire, we had a full power outage that stretched all the way to Whistler, and we had the worst plague of mosquitos that the locals had seen in over a decade. A Llamapocalypse was truly upon us! I haven’t seen that much drama since Degrassi Junior High went off the air, and I’m just happy that we all made it through unscathed – hangovers notwithstanding.
For quite a few reasons, I will probably never forget this night.
Dan Laczkowski returned from Paris, France with a large collection of beautiful photos. I’ve seen many photos from Paris, but there’s quite a few shots in here that capture elements that I have never seen. His gallery has many many more photos here.
The push to tour Europe has gotten even stronger, if that’s possible.
On August 20th, 2011, Vancouver was plagued by an army of the undead. I managed to survive the claws of the maggot invested fiends with my recorded footage.
What’s this on my arm? Aw nothin. Just a scratch. *cough* *cough* Really, I’m fine.
In about 4 days I will be in Vancouver attending another Siggraph. I have not been since… 2006? This will be my 4th Siggraph and the first time it has been held in Vancouver. Luckily I have a light laptop this time around. Damn am I excited.
Below is a video that I recorded from Siggraph 2004 in Los Angeles. I finally put it online.
Tickets acquired and RSVPed for parties.
This calendar should give you an idea of all the parties I plan on attending. That’s right, I have my priorities in order.
After Siggraph, I’ll be attempting to get things organized in Vancouver before heading off to Burning Man.
Seems I was smart to purchase my ticket far in advance, because they are currently sold out.
Vancouver has a seemly infinite number of woodsy mountainous places to explore. I’ve hiked in Lynn Valley and up the Grouse Grind… but that’s really about it. My largest complaint is that I’m not sure where to go, or what I can get to via public transit. Lame excuse, I know.
Recently I joined an outdoor Meetup group and through that I discovered VancouverTrails.com. On this website you can even filter search results that will show you trails that are accessible via public transit! Awesomeness that has destroyed any excuses that I might have.
Who’s wants to go mountain lion hunting with me?
Last week I spent some time in Vancouver. An important trip, to say the least… and I got tons of great photos. Unfortunately, I left my drive back in Vancouver, so I only have the photos from the end of the trip.
Here’s a couple I took while walking with Angus to and from Commercial drive.
I just returned from a week trip to Vancouver. The house was being worked on (painting, etc). I bought a car ($1800 SAAB), so it was time for a Vancouver road trip. The 3 hour trip was smooth and sunny. On the way back down, I noticed a familiar shape being pulled up Interstate 5.
Checkout the video.
Cecilia and I went to The Whip for Jenn Brisson‘s art gallery showing. As always, the walls were covered with dreamy/freaky characters. I couldn’t resist getting one to take home! I bought the red puppeteer in the middle.
The bus ride home was comfy. We both looked forward to catching up on sleep. However, once home I realized that I forgot to pay my bill!! I decided to take advantage of the non-rainy day we are having and rode my bike back to The Whip.
I stepped inside for less than 10 minutes, paying my bill and saying quick hellos to those that missed during my first visit. I came back outside to see that my unlocked bike was taken advantage of. No, it was just taken.
This is the second bike I’ve had stolen. First bike was my mountain bike which I managed to track down (thief posted it on CraigsList.org ROFL). My mountain bike sits in the garage and I primarily use a “beater” bike that I picked up for about $100.
My mountain bike was locked up, but I left my beater sitting there because I thought I would be in/out. Jeremy just stopping in somewhere quickly? Hah… HAH! Idiot.
Alone for 10 minutes. Gah.
Lil puppeteer trivia for ya. You know the plant in Little Shop of Horrors? Ever wonder how the lip sync of the plant looked so great? I just found out that they would film the plant talking and singing in slow motion, 12 frames a second. Later they speed up the film to 24 frames a second to return it to normal speed. More info on Fast-Rewind.
District 9 was a significant film for me for a few different reasons.
- Efficient use of effects. It’s not just what you can do, but how you use it.
- Story with meaning. In a time where films rarely follow their core message… it’s refreshing to see an exception (including Pixar).
- I was almost lucky enough to work on it. Almost. :\
- Oh yeah, and it’s got aliens!
The film was directed by Neill Blomkamp, a Vancouver Film School graduate who is a VFX veteran from The Embassy, who directed the popular Citroen commercial.
Long story short, Neill was supposed to direct the Halo film, but that was put on hold (indefinitely?) and so Peter Jackson assisted Neill in turning his short film, “Alive in Jorberg“. into a feature film. District 9 was green lit with a budget of $30 million.
On September 29th I attended a Siggraph talk with Image Engine, where spoke on the making of District 9. Image Engine was one of a handful of studios in Vancouver that worked on the film. While Image Engine focused on the creation of the “prawn” characters, The Embassy was working on the large robot and little critters. Goldtooth Creative worked on some of the 3D user interfaces shots and WETA, since they were busy with Avatar, was only able to contribute to a few shot elements, including the mothership.
The original intention was to use prosthetic suits for the alien prawns w/ CG face overlays. Peter Muyzers recommended that Image Engine be allowed to create the creatures entirely in 3D. In the end, about 300 alien shots were created by Image Engine. The aliens were acted out by a grey suited actor and then replaced by a CG double, which was created in Maya. It was noted that the grey suit provided a great reference for lighting. Nuke was heavily used in the production as allowed for much of the CG lighting to be adjusted in real-time.
People at Goldtooth and Image Engine both noted how the use of the “Red One” camera sometimes produced warping of the frame during fast camera moves. This was often difficult for the tracking software and forced them to fully recreate the scenes in 3D in order to do touchups. The warping effect was referred to as the “rolling shutter“.
The 300 alien shots felt like a lot more. This and many of the other tricks, including filtering footage through VHS recorders, were testiment to Neill’s efficient use of FX. He understood that 3D is expensive and when some shots were pushed through the pipe, he was quoted saying that the cost was “a snowmobile or 2“. Like Fight Club, Neill used used FX to help tell a story, not a story to show off pretty effects. The crew at Image Engine expressed how much of a benefit it was to have someone directing that spoke their language.
I hope to see more movies like this and nearly everyone who’s seen it agrees. Would Neill be able to produce double the quality with 60 million? Anybody ready for a District 10? We’ll see.
FXGuide has a very detailed breakdown that includes before/after shots organized by studio.