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Topics - Atcote

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Games / D&D 4th Edition
« on: June 09, 2008, 04:57:28 PM »
Well, it's hardly a secret here that I'm a total geek, and that means that I probably enjoy a tabletop game of some sort.

In my particular line, that's Dungeons and Dragons, and the 4th edition just exploded (very quietly) onto the world on Friday.
Cuddled up with my new bedtime reading, I've got to say, the game's been very streamlined. What makes most people avoid these games are two things: Complexity and Cost, the latter of which has kept me out of many games (that, and the whole horror of being branded 'geek', something I don't think many animators and multimedia people should fear). However, D&D's new core system for 4.0 has managed to make the game far simpler and quicker to play (as with most editions), but still retains most of its original depth. It's getting closer and closer to what could be (you know, if it wasn't for all the industry bias that D&D goes through) a consumer game.
However, I understand if people aren't ready to relinquish their good ol' 3.5 game, what for familiarity and price (I never did buy the 3.5 books, so 4th edition seemed good enough for me).

Well, I imagine this topic may become lined with ideals of why people don't play it, but if you can relate at all, even if it's another tabletop game, go for it. :)

Music / NIN - The Slip
« on: May 19, 2008, 07:02:50 PM »
Okay, okay, we've all heard that NIN's new album The Slip is happily free for sexy download (just a few months after Ghost, too). (If you didn't know this, then you probably don't read random music news sites or aren't a fan of NIN, which is fair enough.)
What hasn't quite broken through with the media is that it's pretty bloody good (at least by my musically starved ear).

Give it a download and tell us what you think!

Also, I think it's also getting the super Vinyl package too at some point.

For Sale / Book Specials!
« on: May 07, 2008, 02:38:13 PM »
Just a happy thread for local book specials that you've seen around.

Today I came across 'Special Effects: The History and Technique' by Richard Rickitt in Angus and Robertson, for $25.

I was skeptical about its quality, despite a foreword by Ray Harryhausen, however, it's fantastic. It's not an indepth analysis into every technique ever made, but it's got very clear and concise information on a wide variety of techniques, including HDRI photography (which, thanks to around 600 words, I now understand a lot better), and many, many examples from film. Even quite a lot of useful information about practical compositing. I certainly suggest those in VFX201 picking up a copy before they're gone.

Anyone else know of any good deals?

Free Stuff / 3D World's 50 Short Films DVD
« on: May 02, 2008, 04:49:10 PM »
Well, it's sorta free stuff...

3Dworlds this month as 50 short animation movies (The Indie 50) coming with it. While I usually pick up the magazine for tutorials and news in the 3D industry, this month I got it almost purely for the short films.
We've seen quite a few of them before, such as Birthday Boy and Kiwi. Some of them I believe were even in the animation festival last year.

Go pick it up! I seriously think it's their best deal yet.

Mac / The Apple 'i'
« on: April 17, 2008, 05:14:29 PM »
It'll blow you away.

PC / Windows 7 in 2009?
« on: April 06, 2008, 01:40:27 PM »
Welp, Microsoft aren't letting the five year gap of XP get them down with Vista, as Windows 7 is highly expected to come out next year.

I don't know if this is to be another NT or 2000 coming up, or something genuinely meant to replace Vista on the general user's interface, but I believe I may be sticking myself with XP for a while yet.

Mac / One of Them!
« on: March 27, 2008, 03:43:58 PM »
Welp, it's happened.
Not the downfall of civilisation due to global warming. Not the second coming of John of Arc. And not the tumbleweeds taking over the accommodation side of the hill (although that is gradually taking place).
I've finally bit the bullet and bought... a MAC!

(Incriminating photos as taken by a private detective)

A MacBook Pro to be precise.
So far it's been working fine. As any computer without needed software, it's more or less a glorified metal box. However, I'm enjoying it a lot. Just playing around with some of the iLife features is decent for an afternoon, and setting up all its preferences and making sure everything works (as yet nothing seems broken). Adobe products are on order as now.

Yep, I've been won over. Whether or not I use Boot Camp on it is as yet up in the air, but as far, I'm happy to be a Dual User of Mac and PC.

Community Projects / Introduce Yourself!... Again! (2008)
« on: February 15, 2008, 01:54:10 PM »
Yep, it's this topic again. I know there's already a 'Introduce Yourself!' thread up, but why start a whole new one?
Well, simply because I think a lot of us, those of us in second year especially, have changed a lot over the last year. So here's our opportunity to introduce ourselves all over again. First years are of course encouraged to participate. Just give your name (don't have to give your real one), where you come from, what interests you in animation, and so on.

Well, my name's Alex Mason, although I'm fine if people call me 'Atcote' (as quite a few do). For the sake of the first years, I was your O-Week leader during the tour and your introduction to the lecturers. I come from Wangaratta down in Victoria. My interests in Animation extend to my lifelong enjoyment of the medium (ranging from Disney to anime to stop motion, all the way to Beast Wars). I've been drawing my entire life, although what really got me into a post-childhood love of animation, I must admit, was Dragonball Z.
I plan to spend this year experimenting with all sorts of animation, and hope to give stop motion a good go. I admit to liking to stick to 2D, but 3D is also of great interest to me, and want to experiment with sound effects. (You know, as in, do everything that this course is here for us for).
Once I've completed of this course, I plan to travel to England and try my hand at work there.

Okay, so I haven't changed all that much, but I look forward to reading everyone else's entries! Welcome first years!

Subjects / Subject Texts
« on: January 30, 2008, 01:10:26 PM »
Just making a thread that can serve as a text book Q+A.

I was wondering, which text books should we get for VFX201? I know we're meant to get the 'Learning Maya: Modeling and Animation' handbook, but does it matter if we get Maya 2008, or should we get Maya 8?
Just wondering as the bookshops in town seem to have had the Maya 8 books disappear off their systems (but goody goody gumdrops, they still have Maya 5 available).

CSU General / Symposia Aftermath
« on: September 10, 2007, 11:03:51 AM »
And thus, Symposia (I do hope I'm spelling that right) has come and gone, but what did everyone think of it?

Personally, I enjoyed it a lot. I admit that I originally wasn't going to go due to its cost ($60 for one day, $90 for two), which seemed kinda outrageous at the time, but to make use of a good ol' cliche, it was worth every penny. I didn't know exactly what to expect from it; being in the Playhouse I expected a speech format, and that's pretty much what it was, but everything actually managed to be pretty damn interesting. Despite not everything being directly related to the animation course, it was great to hear some perspectives from people all over the design, illustration and advertising businesses, and seeing some of the artist's styles; in particular Christopher Nielsen, who's icongraphic and kinda Mexican (Day of the Dead) style work was very unique and appealing, and the views that Morten Rowley gave on the 'Motion Designer' business made the whole event worthwhile on its own, at least from my little animator's persective.

I can say that I found the two days to be totally and utterly worth it. What does everyone else think they got/didn't get out of it?

PS. It was mentioned that we should contact a head of school in support of making the event CSU funded (in otherwords, free for us); any idea of how to do that?

Community Projects / Introduce Yourself!
« on: June 01, 2007, 04:58:53 PM »
This is about introducing yourself to the entirety of the forums; it's just like what we said on our first days at the uni, and gives us a chance to give a brief description of ourselves for the forum to familiarise themselves to. You don't have to state your real name or certain things if you don't want to.
While I know that we can still get a feel just viewing posts in the forum, I think this'll help us get used to ourselves online.
Anyway, I'll get started with myself then.
My real name's Alex Mason, and I'm a first year in the Animation and Visual Effects course (obviously). I'm from Wangaratta in North East Victoria, so if I seem uneasy around anything to do with rugby, that's why. The types of animation I'm interested in creating are 2D digital animation, and I'm also interested in doing 3D backgrounds and stop motion. I'm straight out of high school, andI don't have alot of knowledge in animation itself, but I guess I'm here to rectify that situation. I'm a huge fan of most types of animation (claymation, other stop motion, hand drawn and digital 2D, 3D, anime, ect). My goal in this course is to one day work in a company like (or IN) Aardman. Once I finish the course I plan on traveling to the UK and trying to get work there, at least for a while.

Anyway, let's get on with this, shall we?

Games / You Don't Know Jack
« on: May 23, 2007, 11:02:18 PM »
Anyone remember 'You Don't Know Jack', the PC quiz show game that would insult your intelligence but have incredibly intelligent questions?
Well, now it's online!
I used to play this game BEFORE I could read or type, but it and the spin-off game 'Headrush' are two of my favorite comedic games of all time. I'm happy to see it revived in this day and age.
All it needs is a multiplayer option and I'll be complete...

Community Projects / Post-Animation Festival
« on: May 20, 2007, 11:19:10 PM »
And it was on this day, Sunday the 20th of May, in the year of 2007, that the Australian International Animation Festival of Wagga Wagga, ended.

And what did people think of it?

Personally, I enjoyed it immensely. Many of the films were entertaining and inspiring, some horridly less so, but the opportunity to see so many films that otherwise I would've been completely deprived of definitely made the entire weekend worthwhile.
My pick of the festival was, to go with something predictable, the glass-painted Russian (I assume) animated film. Though I can't remember its actual name, nor its creator (yeah, I'm horrible like that), it was the most inspiring thing I could've hoped to see; after all, how often do you see an animation where every frame could be considered a work of art?
Also enjoyable were the workshops, which were nicely informative (as, you know, you'd expect). >_>

A big thanks to Andrew, Damian, Forum 6 ect ect for putting on the festival.
[/praising rant] :)

Comparisons / The Laptop Choice
« on: May 17, 2007, 06:39:33 PM »
Okay, lately I've been having a craving.
While most people would manage to subdue this with a coffee or perhaps a large amount of chocolate, I'm afraid that the only thing that will rid me of this is a very expensive laptop, of who's cost would destroy my budget.
At least, this would be the case if I didn't have a large pile of money saved up from three years of work.
My problem, however, is what type of laptop to get.
Should I go with a random PC brand of laptop, or get a shiny new MacBook?
Pretty much the OS is the only real concern, and while I know I can dual boot using a Mac (though the specifics have kinda eluded me).
Just wondering: If I were to step into the darkness and get a mac, would I need to purchase all new copies of my software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash, or would the copies work over both formats? (I haven't purchased the Adobe Designer suite yet, though due to my main workstation being a PC, it'll indefinitely be a PC version).
I do mostly 2D work in Flash, Photoshop and Illustrator, though I do play around in Bryce occasionally for backgrounds (though I'm admittedly not very good).
Anyway ideas, thoughts, past experiences or so on would be greatly appreciated.

Community Projects / Animation Festival Promotion
« on: May 17, 2007, 01:56:37 PM »
Righto, this is probably a bit late, but it's better now than never.
Tomorrow morning, I believe we should gather about down the main streets of Wagga, and advertise the hell out of the festival.
Basically, anyone willing and free of classes (as all of us VFX101 students should be) tomorrow morning, that's Friday, the first day of the animation festival, and try to hand out as many pamphlets as possible.
Of course, all are welcome to attend.
We'll do this until sometime before 1 pm, as that is when the first of the festival starts.
Anyone with good ideas of where to fling our pamphlets to the masses, please say so.
We'll meet out of the front of Forum 6 cinema at 10 am, and make our way down to the main streets from there.
I'll attempt to get as many pamphlets as possible from Hages beforehand.
Please, please come. Our festival wants you! *Points finger*

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