I have no brain. I changed my template, but I didn’t republish, so what I copied and pasted was still the old, outdated version. It’s times like this that I wish the RSS feed didn’t prevent me from editing entries!

So that’s:
house — 9/5
studio 60 — 9/18 (pilot now available on Netflix)
heroes — 9/25 (pilot on iTunes 9/1)
vm s3 — 10/3
bsg s3 — 10/6

Also, Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things comes out 9/26, making that week even MORE awesome!

Apparently almost all of my season/series premiere dates were incredibly off. Thanks to Will for bringing them to my attention and supplying me with the correct dates! They can now be seen in the sidebar, pasted here for those that read the feed (with a need for speed).

house — 9/5
heroes — 9/18 — pilot available for free download on iTunes 9/01!
bsg s3 — 9/24
vm s3 — 10/3

And speaking of the teevee, the assistant at the cooking class my mom and I attended tonight was a dead ringer for David Tennant. Well, in profile he was. It was fun. :D

Woo! Weird Al’s next album, Straight Outta Lynwood, comes out September 26th!

That’s going to be the best week ever.
Sunday the 24th: BSG Season Premiere
Monday the 25th: Artemis Fowl #5
Wednesday the 26th: Weird Al!
Thursday the 28th: Terry Pratchett’s Wintersmith
Friday the 29th through Sunday the 1st: PhauxCon
Sunday the 1st: A Series of Unfortunate Events #13

Plus my mom’s birthday on the 21st and the season premiere of Veronica Mars on the 3rd. If my professors assign any homework at all, I will weep.

Prompted by a haiku vs. limericks challenge on McAnally’s, I wrote some Dresden Files limericks. I amuse myself far too easily, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

There once was a wizard named Harry
Who fought against monsters quite scary
‘Til he cried out “I’m done!,”
Tossed his staff and his gun,
And picked up Little House on the Prairie.

The sexy reporter named Susan
Was the lady of our wizard’s choosin’.
But one vamping later,
Her strength is much greater:
More suited for bringin’ the bruisin’.

There once was a copper named Karrin
(One half of my favourite pairin’)
Though she can be quite kind
She will sure speak her mind
When asked “How is your love life farin’?”

There once was a spirit named Bob
Remembering things was his job.
Like how to make potions
From calamine lotions
Or flee from a ravening mob.


Highlights included:

  • The 20-minute Effects Omelette presentation on the creation of 1933 New York for King Kong. I was blown away. And the presenter had so much material, he could have had a half-day course devoted to the subject. The huge amount of research coupled with a phenomenal new automated building generation system coupled with droolworthy crowd-creation tool Massive = GUH.
  • ILM and Rhythm & Hues both taking credit for creating the creature construction kits for Narnia. I can see why they’d want to! It’s an amazing piece of technology that allows riggers to near-seamlessly apply rigging dynamics from one animal to another or even combine existing animal rigs to create hybrid rigs.
  • The admission that the basis for Aslan’s facial expressions is Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • ILM’s presentation on creature creation for PotC, described in the previous entry.
  • The Penn students and grads lunch, in which we grilled my friend Paul (now working at Pixar) on how Cars procreate.
  • The Zbrush demos. I’m emailing Amy and begging her to get some licenses for Penn, because OMG WANT!
  • Hobnobbing with the Laika folks and fishing for info on Coraline. I kept hearing conflicting info (that it would be a mix of stop-motion and CG, that it would be mostly CG with some stop-motion, etc), and now the story is finally straight! To my glee, it’s going to be entirely stop-motion with a touch of CG effects (smoke, etc). Originally, they’d planned to make the Real World CG and the Other World stop-motion, but after a few animation tests, they felt that Joe Average Viewer wouldn’t be able to distinguish between them and wouldn’t particularly care. Three cheers for stop-motion!
  • The Electronic Theatre, a showcasing of the best of the best of the best of computer animation (3d, 2d, and hybrid). Personal favourite: Guinness “noitulovE”, by Framestore CFC (who also brought us the Golden Gate Bridge scene in X3. *hearts*) I’ll have to see if I can rustle up any of the other great animations I saw.

And now, to lunch!

(This was mostly written Tuesday night, though I’ve since made minor changes)

There are not enough EEEs in SQUEEE! to describe today. While the courses and panels and such at SIGGRAPH are intriguing, it’s difficult to compare with the sheer emotional drive and sensory overload of the Exhibition, which started today. The event began with the traditional mad race to the Pixar booth for posters, which resembled a toy store at opening time the day before Christmas. Then, swag-lust abated somewhat, we started winding around to nearby booths and basking in the electronic glory. Many of the larger companies set up teaching centers and/or demos. It was hard to decide where to go for each scheduled tutorial! There was just so much stuff going on, all at the same time. WILD.

One constantly bustling venue was the AutoDesk (publishers of the industry standard 3D software Maya, for one) fortress, which ran demos of all its latest products, including MAYA FREAKING 8. And here I was, dangerously close to upgrading to Maya 7! Truly, God smiles on the procrastinators.

My most frequent repeat visits were the displays for ILM and The Art Institutes. At ILM’s huge display, I fist saw a demo of the next-gen A.I. for the upcoming Indiana Jones game, which is SWEET. Then I got a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the CG creatures of Pirates of the Caribbean II, specifically on the the tentacle effects for Davy Jones (effects aside, Bill Nighy is even more my hero than he was before), which was fascinating. They also spoke briefly about the matte painting and rotoscoping used in the film, which was far more extensive than I’d thought. This seems to be a theme for me in a lot of effects films. I was equally thrown by the amount of background augmentation in King Kong and HHGTG, to name a few. Anyway, the tentacle effects thing ran short, so they showed a short blooper reel, which I captured on my digital camera and will hopefully share with you tonight. [Edit: Here it is!]

At the Art Institutes, I took a tutorial in Avid, where we learned a few of the most common features, plus some of the editing tricks used in 24 like splitscreening. I’d never used the software before, so it’s nice to get some brief experience, at least. Who knows when it’ll come in handy? Then I squeezed into the tutorial on Matte Painting, which presented an approach to photo manipulation in Photoshop completely different from my experience in the past. I’ll have to see where I can implement these tricks in my own work!