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Showing posts from July, 2010

Blog Template

The blog template needs fixing & the members/years needs to be updated. Am I right in thinking that Liam is the only Administrator on here? If possible, could you make someone else Administrator in order to keep the blog up to date please Liam?


Alan's USA Trip - Part 5: Gnomon

The Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

The Gnomon School of Visual Effects has been in operation since late 90's/2000's. Founded by Alex Alvarz and Marcel De Jong its function is to train students in high end CG skills. Something that wasn't available at the time in US universities. It started life as one room of Silicon Graphics computers and slowly over the years its grown into a world leader in vocational CG and Art education. Now offering cetificate programs (both specific and generalist) to a worldwide audience.

When I studied there it was still in the early stages and had an excellent 'family / community' feel. Many of the staff, students, and tutors are still my friends today. Here is a quick tour of Gnomon today...

This is the main entrance to Gnomon. Glamorous huh? Like most things in this world its whats inside that counts. Gnomon is part of the 'Television Center' building which also houses, sound stages, processing labs, dance classes, and a gym (se…

Alan's USA Trip - Part 4: Siggraph Conference

To give a little background to the conference:

Siggraph started way back in 1974 as part of scientific research into computers. This was mainly comprised of University and Institute (eg MIT) research. However, during the late seventies and early eighties computers as an entertainment tool gave the conference a dual appeal - Entertainment and Science based Research. This year the conference was held in L.A but next year it will be in Vancouver. There is also a Siggraph Asia but sadly no Siggraph Europe.

The L.A Convention Center

An unfortunatechange in Computer Industry...

On the Apple IPAD you can download a game called "Osmos" (Below). In the game you move around absorbing orbs smaller than yourself in order to grow in size. The bigger you grow the bigger the orbs you can absorb until you are the only one left.

So why am I talking about an Ipad game. Well its this process of absorbing and overtaking that has contributed to the decreasing size of Siggraph. Companies are eating e…

Alan's USA Trip - Part 3: Hollywood

Well, it's been another busy week as you'll see from this soon to be very long post (i'll try and keep it as short as possible). To make it simpler I've broken my trip into three parts; Hollywood, Gnomon, and the Siggraph conference.


I thought I would take a little bit of time to show you all around what I consider to be the main center of Hollywood.

From the map above you can see the three main roads through Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard. When I lived here the first time to study at Gnomon these three streets represented a large amount of my time either spent, having fun, studying, or stuck in traffic (City driving). However, they also represent the main tourist attractions such as;

The Hollywood / Highland Mall is named after the two streets it rests upon. In the late nineties Hollywood went through a clean up to get rid of crime and bring back tourism. The mall is one of those additions and is just a short walk…

Bradley 'Class of 2009' Sturch Speaks!

Firstly, I'm thrilled CGAA won first prize at ND and makes me altogether even prouder that I was part of it last year. Here's a little something about Animate & Create and me for the CGAA blog: Walking out of university and straight into a recession I am not alone in saying postgrad life has been filled with challenges. The year following my graduation was quieter than I'd expected. There wasn't a red carpet laid out for me with a job at the end!
During Easter 2010, I gathered a list of addresses of animation and game companies based in London, printed out CV's, ordered more business cards and plenty of print outs of my work and relentlessly went door to door. Success was pretty limited but I would still recommend doing it as the companies that gave me the time of day were surprised someone had gone a step further than email or phone. I was simply in the right place at the right time when the Future Jobs Fund (part of JobCentre) phoned me about the Animate &am…

Alan's USA Trip - Part 2: Comic-con 2010

Ok, part two of my update: Comic-con 2010...

It was an interesting and fun few days amongst, fans, friends, celebs, and in some cases all of those rolled into one. I was really lucky this year in managing to score an 'Exhibitor Pass' via a freind who had a stall (more about him later). This gave me backstage access and in some cases the ability to queue jump (very un-British).

However, in that capacity its a little harder to take pictures. Here are the rules of backstage/ professionals:

1) No pictures backstage because all materials (movie props etc) are copyrighted and celebs don't like it either.
2) Talks are again copyrighted and show officially unreleased material. Some people do sneek cameras in and later upload to youtube, but its considered very bad form. In extreme cases studios have pulled out of comic-con because of 'abuse' of this request.
3) Its pretty common that when talking 'business' you don't whip out your camera.

With that said I was able t…