Thursday, August 21, 2014

Siggraph 2014 Diaries - Vancouver : Thursday 7th August

Three CAA/CGAA students were accepted to the prestigious SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver, Canada as Student Volunteers. This is the combined 'Siggraph Diaries' of Nat, Earnesta & Kym

These posts are going to be very snap-happy to show our adventures.

Figure 01. Greenland

To start this adventure we all met up at Gatwick Airport at around 6.30am. The flight duration was around 10 hours and the only scenery was over Greenland, apart from that it was a blanket of white. 

Figure 02. Nat, Kym, Earnesta on the flight to Canada

Figure 03. Pizza

The flight had a meal which was a slight representation of food, then shortly before the decent we were given a slice of pizza, which actually kind of tasted like pizza (once you had scraped the cheese off of the plastic wrapping to place back onto the pizza).

Figure 04. 

This water feature was one of the first impressions of Vancouver Airport. It was a great indicator of the beauty of Vancouver to come.

Figure 05. Vancouver Airport

Figure 06. Even the baggage carousel was textured in stone slates.

Figure 07. Waiting for the Sky Train

After the long flight, we dragged our bags to the train station and figured out how to catch the Sky Train to the apartment. 

Figure 08. On the Sky Train

Figure 09. We got off the train at our stop and the first thing we saw was a man playing bagpipes outside a store called 'London Drugs'. I had to ask where we were as I thought something had gone wrong with our travels hahaha.

Figure 10. After dropping our bags off at the apartment we decided to go for a walk around to get our bearings as it was only lunch time in Vancouver (to us it was bed time, England is 8 hours ahead).

Figure 11. We had arrived in one piece, and located the convention centre ready for Nat's and Kym's shift the next day.

Figure 12. We took a walk through the convention centre to locate where the Student Volunteer office was, and the textures were amazing. The walls were covered in small individual pieces of wood placed next to each other. 

Figure 13. 

Figure 14. The Convention Centre entrance. 

After we had gathered our bearings of how to get to the convention centre, we decided to walk around some more and find a supermarket to get the necessities like washing machine powder, milk and cereal for the morning. 

Figure 15. A makeshift mud guard for this bicycle.

Figure 16. Earnesta likes sweets

Figure 17. Interesting looking tomatoes

Figure 18. Earnesta stopped a guy with a Boa to stroke the snake.

Figure 19. Returned to the apartment to chill out for a short while, and Earnesta tried on some new hair styles.

Figure 20. After a bit of relaxing at the apartment we went back out for some dinner (midnight snack for us) and by this time the tiredness was really starting to hit. The place had a lovely view though, an Italian place underneath the convention centre.

Figure 21. Earnesta was getting a little confused with how to eat her lasagne. Kym managed to eat her lasagne with a fork and ate it like normal people.

Figure 22. Nice pizza

Figure 23. 
That evening we heard word of a student volunteer pre-conference meet-up at a place called Steamworks. It was great to see so many familiar faces from last year. There was also a bit of mischief going on with the 'Penny in yer Pint' game where some people were constantly trying to get a coin in each other's drink resulting in the person having to down whatever they had left of their drink. 

Figure 24. 

Figure 25. Earnesta's 'Enjoy your Beer' face…. 

After this gathering we called it a night to grab a little sleep for the next day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Tune: The Night The Pugilist Learned How To Dance

Sometimes when you hear a song or a piece of music, a complete animation gets made in your head. Sting's The Night The Pugilist Learned How To Dance is one of those songs.  You'll have to go here to listen to it - and I encourage you to do so - because I'm willing to bet its classic 'fish out of water' narrative and evocative Parisian lilt will put you in mind of Pixar in an instant.  It feels like it was written for animation with its Paperman meets Sylvain Chomet-vibe. I've included the lyrics below where you'll quickly appreciate the elements that give this song the classic bone-structure of an animated film.   Much can be learned from Sting's sweet little story in terms of working-up ideas for animated shorts, not least the effect of putting cultural opposites together in the name of love...

"The Night The Pugilist Learned How To Dance"

In the streets around here there was nobody tougher than me,
I was quick with me fists and fast with me footwork as you can plainly see,
But while fighting was useful for getting your way,
Among the toughs of the town where you could hold sway,
There had to be something that was better than this,
I was fifteen years old and I'd never been kissed.

Well of course she'd ignore me, her friends would all sneer,
At me bloody nose dripping and me cauliflower ear,
For it's hard to convince in a romantic pose,
With a lovely black eye and a broken nose,
Where a girl is attracted to skills more refined,
Than the pugilist's art, and so I inclined,
To take meself serious as a modern romancer,
And I secretly learnt all the moves of a dancer.

Ye swing to the left, ye swing to the right,
Keep your eyes on your partner, more or less like a fight,
Ye just follow the rhythm, and ye keep to the beat,
The important thing's never to look at your feet,
Then a miracle happens, your mind's in a trance,
Though the strategy's subtle, retreat and advance,
It's all about attitude, all in your stance,
Attention to detail, leaving nothing to chance,
Which explains how the pugilist finally learned how to dance.

Well, I'd waltz with a broomstick and if I was caught,
I'd pretend I was sweeping or practicing sport,
But I really had eyes for your mother ye see,
Wanting her to acknowledge this new version of me,
But now everyone's watching, expecting I'll fail,
But there's fire in me belly, there's wind in me sails,
I knew it was risky and I was taking a chance,
I couldn't retreat now, I had to advance.

So I swing to the left, I swing to the right,
Keep me eyes on me partner, like I would in a fight,
I just keep to the rhythm and follow the beat,
The important thing's never to look at yr feet,
But a miracle's happened, and your mind's in a trance,
They're all laughing and cheering and looking askance,
On the night that the pugilist finally learned how to dance.

It's a three-minute round and you're back in yr corner,
You're licking yr wounds just like little Jack Horner,
Don't let your guard down try a jab with your right,
Or you're losing on points by the end of the night,
Then a miracle happens, and everyone's screaming,
You're pinching yourself just in case you're still dreaming,
You've taken the initiative, you've taken your chance,
It's the night when this pugilist finally learned how to dance.

In a bout where the strategist's bridges were burned,
Where it seemed that his fortune had suddenly turned,
'Twas the night that this scrapper was suddenly dapper,
And this poor fellow's heart was still going like the clappers,
The night that the pugilist finally learned how to dance.

The Supplement: Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Something rich and a little autumnal for this morning, as I showcase the work of artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins and his exceptional blog.   

Monday, August 11, 2014

CAA One-A-Day: Hybris

Some Jurassic Park-inspired VFX fun and games for you, and a making of too.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

CAA One-A-Day: Customtone

Pencil drawn music video for Fracture & Neptune featuring Martin Fieber.  Nice.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

CAA One-A-Day: Vigour

Some hand-drawn delight for you this morning, featuring a very appealing tiger!