So, most of my friends will tell you, I love the movie Groundhog Day. I watch it every year on Groundhog Day.
What I do love about it is that it demonstrates how someone can change for the better. So, I always find a great way to check up on my recent New Year’s Resolutions from a month ago. Am I staying on track or have I already fallen off the band wagon.
This year I started using the App/Website Evernote again. It’s had some great updates to it. I made tons of lists and started pages for projects. All to make sure I stayed on track this year. The basic version is free which is great. It’s web based so you can check your lists anywhere.
Here my home page. You create pretty much any document. You have a little notepad to jot down notes for that moment. You can create “To Do Lists”. Once completed you check them off and it crosses it off the list (which always feels great).
You create Documents (Notes) for whatever you need. I began using it to create cliff notes for new applications/tutorials I go through. This one is from Artstation using Blender for Sculpting.
It really helps, I can type down the hot keys, mark up screen captures, etc. I use a Windows machine, so I found clicking the Print Screen button a little cumbersome. I have dual monitors, so I have to download the image, bring it into Photoshop to crop it, then save it. There are other ways to do this and I’ve tried them. I found LightShot a free application to be great. Once installed it takes over your “Prnt-Scr” button. I always you to quickly marquee your screen, make a note, and then paste it. It works on Mac and PC.
Having this note is so much easier than going back to the video, and you can paste weblinks to go back to the videos if needed.
There are templates you can use or create your own. I have found this very very useful to keep track of my projects, to do lists, and organize my day.
“Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ‘ cause it’s cooooold out there today.”
Well, we can all say we are very VERY happy to be rid of 2020. But for all of 2020’s misery and pain, it did show us how interconnected we all are still in this day and age. One person’s pains and hardships can have ramifications on so many other lives. It made me think back on one of my favorite Christmas movies (and actual all around movie), “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
It’s very appropriate now, it deals with hardship and mental health along with happiness and realization your life isn’t as bad as you think. A quote from it came to mind:
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?“
This has tremendous meaning in 2020, we’ve lost so many souls this year around the world. Many have suffered unimaginable heartache, mental, physical and financial loss and fatigue. But we have gotten through the year by leaning on friends, family and kindness of strangers.
As we embark into 2021, let us not forget that everyone around us is still reeling from an incredibly hard year and it will still take some effort to get 2021 going in a positive direction. We’ve learned that even the smallest gesture of gratitude can brighten someone’s day; from a clerk ringing up our groceries and risking their health to do it, to a first responder caring for our loved ones, our mail carriers delivering packages and to us trying to shelter in place and following safety protocols to keep others from harm.
Put good out in the world and let’s have some good come back. Figure out what you can do in 2021 to help others. There is no gesture to small.
As my favorite line from the end of the movie, we need to lean on those around us, to then have them lean on us when they need it as well. Be a friend to all. Happy New Year everyone!!
I don’t have much to report this week but I wanted to give a plug for a new tutorial that hits the virtual shelves. If you’re looking for something awesome and inspiring, check out Pablo Dominguez‘s new Learn Squared course: Vehicle Concept Art. Check it out soon, it’s marked down 40% as an Early Bird Special.
Pablo’s work is amazing and it’s awe-inspiring to see his workflow and thought process as he tackles his design.
I’ve been following his’s work for awhile now and very excited to see his workflow up close. Needless to say I’ve purchased it and will be tinkering with it ASAP!
I have to admit it was so seamless and fun. I love meeting artists in real life and catching up with friends at conventions, but considering Covid-19 didn’t allow it was a great alternative. Plus, we live in Pasadena where Lightbox was held last year and it’s completely covered in smoke from the Bobcat Fires up in the San Gabriel Mountains.
The upside, no waiting to get into the lectures. You could easily watch a lecture later, so you could see other lectures at the same time slots. Working remotely where everyone has had to get used to Zoom or Google meetups it made it a real snap.
The artists alley was completely virtual and pretty darn impressive.
Check out each link below by clicking on the Short’s poster. Each short has wonderful breakdowns of how the students created them. Unfortunately you can’t still watch the short in there totality but you do get to glimpse everyone’s outstanding work. You can reach out to the school if you’d like a private link.
At the end of each project’s website, you can look at every student’s Artstation links for more information on each student and they’re work (as they all are looking for jobs currently and want to join us as peers in our amazing profession).
I had the incredible honor of being part of VFX Graduation Projects 2020 for the Senior Projects at New3dge school. It was supposed to take place at the school in Paris, France, but with Covid totally makes sense to cancel the in person gathering. The school was able to allow us access to the students’ work, breakdowns, and face time with the groups. The Senior Projects are a bunch of shorts that a small group of students work on as team replicating a mini pipeline as they execute a highly caliber of work. The students of VFX/Animation graduation projects for 2020 were very impressive and produced really outstanding quality! So much great work and inspirational to see!
It was a great pleasure to interact with each team and talk about their projects and questions. The excitement of each team was infectious and reminded me of my days back at school. New3dge school is doing an amazing job teaching their students to be ready for professional careers in VFX, Animation and Games.
Unfortunately I can’t share the projects that the students worked on yet. The School has them submitted to various festivals. Once I am allowed I’ll share the works with links.
What I can say is these shorts are worth checking out when I do! Below is a demo reel from the school with a sampling of what the quality of work the students there produce. You can watch previous Projects on it as well.
Sincere thanks to Fabien Roumazeilles and New3dge for allowing me to be part of this experience, and my friends Ryan Prestridge and Brian Lafrance for recommending me.
There are a multitude of ways to build up your own Cinematic Reference Library. I’ve talked about created your own cinema library. I’ve been using Evan E. Richards website for years. My VFX/concept artist friend, Adam J. Ely recommended it to me long, long ago. It’s been a phenomenal resource and has been a trusty go-to tool for me. Whenever I’m looking for inspiration or to do composition/lighting studies.
There is now a newer website called SHOTDECK. It’s in Beta mode now but you can email them to be added to their website. It has an amazing catalogue of films and search parameters. I first heard of it from Jan Urschel. Here is a link to his free youtube link talking about it in more detail.
Both sites are great for you to search out key cinematographers and top visionary films.
Wishing that everyone is a safe and well during these troubling times!
This image also announces my CGMA Matte Painting course will be all NEW starting this summer!! Registration just started. Hope to see many of you joining us! This is one of painting I did for the new course.
There have been tons of great courses, programs, etc on sale to help those cope with our current lockdown. I have started to put together an Artstation store. If anyone would like some brushes and some tutorials please take a look. Some are free and I have a coupon for 30% OFF now thru Summer. The CODE is LOCKDOWN2020