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theodosia: (Default)
OMG LoudTwitter is back! I've been a little on the dispirited side, so I haven't been manually updating here, but the automatic posting of the twitters have recommenced, so I'll feel obliged to participate again. (My mind is a strange place, evidently. But, if you've been reading here for a while, you're probably already aware of that.)

So, in short: still going to school nights, still unemployed, didn't go to Worldcon (must remember to renew passport), DID go to Vividcon this weekend and have a good time where I hardly even thought about my job search or school, which I realize in retrospect I REALLY needed to do.

Also, in the last two weeks I've watched both seasons of Mad Men which is just blowing me away. From the casual descriptions I've heard about it, I expected it to be all about the male characters in the 1960 setting, with the women all being refrigerator girls and arm candy. Instead, it's as much about them as it is the men, and how patriarchy doesn't give much real happiness to either side. So looking forward to discussing more about this series!

And what I twitter about yesterday?

About to leave for airport-not sure if I'll be able to get back online b4 I get home. Good breakfast w/ random fangirls, so con ends well!

I'm home! My own house, my own cats, my own lovely if overgrown little backyard, my little patio chair and laptop. ::is reasonably happy::

Watched Mad Men finally -- hotel didn't get AMC, but the TiVo picked it up fine. Now I have to wait a whole week until the next episode!

is turning on the bedroom AC and taking refuge there. Did not go to class tonight, on grounds of being exhausticated to the Nth degree.

Have shifted over to a much stronger decongestant. It zombifies me, but I won't have a sinus headache from sniffling.

theodosia: (wonderfalls)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:14 Evidently I didn't dream it, I did register for Vcon! Woo! #
  • 09:00 @chickwriter -- Just got the first few flakes here, too. I guess this is the part where March comes in like a white lion. #
  • 10:34 stupid iTouch got a corrupt iTunes db, needs total restore. FEH. Not disastrous, just annoying. #
  • 10:46 Somerville has Declared A Snow Emergency. Hide the children and small furry animals, snowpocalypse is upon us. #

I blame my inactivity for the extreme activity of Saturday, but the cold threatened to come back, so I went nowhere and did very little of note aside from laundry, wardrobe rearrangement and other mundane tasks. Had to skip out on a birthday party but I think they'd enjoy not sharing my germs.

The snow started almost precisely at 9, and it snowed but hardly accumulated, maybe three inches. But we're seeing much more coming down today, to make up for it, I guess.

On a brighter note, I did get my membership to Vividcon -- now I just have to hope that I still have enough $$$ to go when August finally rolls around.
theodosia: (never run towards a fire)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 08:16 BSG has all its plot ducks lined up for a shooting gallery which we didn't realize until the guns started going off. Frakking fantastic! #
  • 08:35 OK, time to go off and see if I can make this 'school' thing work again. (Leaving myself the option to leave.) #
  • 08:35 I mean, I'm coughing still, but not enough to affect my driving. #
  • 10:40 My final project program now updates and refreshes current statuses among three different sessions. Still needs work, but YAY! #
  • 12:11 realized I've been doing all this WITHOUT CAFFEINE today! Am almost finished with the project to an A grade. #
  • 13:02 I'm done! I can go home, hurray! #
  • 15:16 Ate lunch, watched Camels' Empire on Animal Planet. Now want a camel more than ever. Or just a little guanaco. #
  • 18:46 Got a very basic Pong game working in Flash AS3. Still needs scoring, clever graphics, et cetera, but hey -- it works! #
  • 00:04 Just registered for Vividcon, in the hopes that I'll get to go -- would need to have a job and et cetera. #
  • 00:08 Was able to stay up late enough to register due to reading The Graveyard Book -- thanks, Neil! #

Though there was still significant (ie more than once) nose blowing and coughing, I DID go to class, and once there, was programming away like a fiend -- just as well as I could want, picking up where I left off on Monday. Got the insert done, then cleaned up some user issues on the client program. Then I went back to the web service and tightened up Session ID issues, so that the web service itself was protected -- you can only get a session ID if you successfully log in, and none of the other web services work without that ID.

I was so hot that I had functions working right the first time, written from scratch! Then I came home, ate, relaxed, and went back to working on my Pong game, working out somewhat slower how to get objects to interact properly.

You would think that I should get a job doing these kinds of things that I enjoy so much, no? (Now if I can just convince just one hiring manager....)

After I made myself exit Flash and go downstairs to eat there was a History Channel Modern Marvels show on exotic weaponry, which led into their showing of Goodfellas which I initially left on while I started to read the Neil Gaiman book that I got from the library on my way home from class, and one thing led to another and I started watching despite myself. (I'd never seen it before, since I don't like "gangster" movies in general.)

Which meant I was awake much longer than usual, and happily I managed somehow to remember that Vividcon registration was starting at 12 midnight, so I read more of The Graveyard Book and managed to register well within the increasingly narrow window.

Now I just have to work on finding a job (or hitting the lottery) so that I can afford to go. But you know, it's in August, and so much can happen between then and now, right?
theodosia: (art!)
These are my raw, transcribed and somewhat expanded notes from the Building A Kiss presentation at Vividcon on Friday afternoon, which was run by the ultra-capable [ profile] astolat who despite some frustrating technical difficulties, took us through the process of masking two separate scenes together to make a very convincing-but-noncanonical kiss between two characters.

This post is a work in progress -- I intend to put together a couple screenshots to illustrate what [ profile] astolat was talking about -- but I thought getting it finally posted shouldn't wait any longer. And if you read it and have questions about any points -- especially if you attended the presentation and remember information I don't -- I would be happy to explicate and/or correct.

Building a Kiss -- After Effects )
theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
Not really a vidding post, but I found myself mildly outraged during one of the vids I saw this weekend.

No, not one of the political ones or the incest one, or anything like that. It surprised me because it was a button that I didn't know I had. I'm as prepared as anyone I know to accept perfectly nice songs being used for humorous intent in vids, but then this one came around in the last round of the Auction Vids, and it was a funny one set to "I Ain't Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You" by Aretha Franklin -- yes, the original.

I mean... I mean, it's a SERIOUS song. Not only that, it's a classic, it's one of the finest performances of the Soul era, it's one of the premiere female compositions in popular music history. Had I not been in a darkened room full of rapt fans, I would have sputtered.

I very suddenly found myself being viscerally outraged -- really just a flash, but in that moment I fully understood how a veteran must feel when the flag is trampled, a capital-C Christian feels when there's blasphemy, et cetera.

So I do have an unwritten rule I was previously unaware of and it's this: You Don't Make Fun of the First Lady of Soul.

There's not many vids that hit me this way, for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if I was the only one in the audience who felt that way, from the laughter and general attitude on display, either. Maybe this is just another example of my descent into old-fogey-tude?
theodosia: (dead like me)
I'm already in NH -- at the airport baggage claim, waiting for my luggage. I finished off my V-con experience with dinner with [ profile] nestra, [ profile] vonnie_k and elishavah, so that was nice, and made my shuttle to the airport, security, and the terminal, my flight boarded right on time, and all went swimmingly.

But good ghod, did that con go by fast or what? I feel like the days were full, and the nights were fuller, if anything -- last night was the Premieres show, the Karaoke (with vids as background) show, and then up to a hotel room to watch the whole of the Also Premiering tape with a sprawling bunch of fangirls. Good times, good times.

...I'm still waiting for the bags to arrive, and I strolled to the claim area, et cetera. When you consider that it's past midnight and I have to drive an hour back home from here, this is verging on annoying. Especially because Manchester is not exactly a BIG airport. I could probably walk to my car from here once I get my bags (although I'm going to be safer and wait for a shuttle....

Oh good, the bags are starting to roll out, so wish me luck on the way home!
theodosia: (perfect! (by heuradys))
Vid shows seen:

Joy (vjayed by Our [ profile] katie_m) with many great familiar and un- vids, such a great thematic liftoff to the convention programming. A good reminder of Why We're Here.

Club Vivid -- the dance vid party, with big projection screen at either end of the room, a big dance floor, mood lighting provided by tiny lights overhead, and AC/fans at full blast, and great sound. Plus a bar and lots of or-dervs (too early for anything but phonetic spelling right now) and lighted rooms with lots of chairs and tables to sit at. Lots of pretty dresses, outfits, shoes, jewelry and makeup. And, of course, vids, many of which were made specifically to be danced to.

I ran out of gas about an hour in, alas, and watched happily from the sideline chairs for another hour before I packed it in. Not enough sleep over too many days!

Attended [ profile] astolat's After Effects panel, which went into much detail about how she used AE to create a quick but believable kiss between two characters who did no such thing in canon -- conceptually Photoshopping in video. I made a bunch of extensive notes that she suggested that I write up, since I've got enough AE (through school) to follow pretty closely. I'd better get to work on it before the memory of it gets too fuzzy!

Also, part of a panel comparing writing with vidding which was lively and interesting

Before Club Vivid there was a dinner break and cocktail party, and I got to hang out with such wonderful people as [ profile] katie_m, [ profile] vonnie_k, [ profile] nestra, [ profile] batwrangler, and many more fannish acquaintances.

One small problem: I suspect vidding fans are some of the most tech-savvy in fandom and every one of them here has a laptop, all trying to use the hotel wifi at the same time. So connectivity is v e r y s l o w.

Other than that, no complaints, and much anticipation here about another cool day ahead!
theodosia: (art!)
Huh, even though I had a Vividcon membership, I've been waffling on going what with the airfare and all, and school, and unemployment and all that. But I may be approved for an unemployment extension, I finish my penultimate course on this Friday and HAVE A WEEK OFF before the remainder of the course I abandoned last spring starts up again.

And then I managed to find a quite-decent airfare to Chicago -- out of Manchester, which means driving there in the predawn hours, but then again, I don't have to worry about taxi fares and I don't have to worry that if I get in too late the T won't be running, et cetera, or leaving my car parked on the street in Somerville.

So.... I now have reservations in hand, and I'm ACTUALLY going! I didn't realize how much I'd miss it (I had to drop out from going last year, though if I'd only known I was going to spend the next year in SCHOOL I might have changed my mind) but now that I'm committed, suddenly I'm all but counting the hours.

I've made a deal with myself to make LOTS of effort to Find A Job in the next week to justify the time out and the expense, et cetera. This is what savings are for, right?

3 Items

Jul. 7th, 2008 08:44 pm
theodosia: (reading)
* The Video Editing class has moved through After Effects and motion graphics, and now we're into a unit on Sound Booth, which allows some basic sound-editing -- enough to clear up some pops and clicks and background noise, nothing really fancy like multi-tracking. Today was nearly all lecture, though: one of the things I love best about these classes is that we get hands on pretty quickly.

One of my B.Org buddies is a professional sound designer who does work not just for theatres but also amusement park rides. Previously, I pretty much thought that he was a genius and all around clever guy... but now I'm really IN AWE.

* I sat down this weekend and did a very little clipping of a Pushing Daisies episode with an idea to actually Vidding it. Such a beautiful, dayglo-bright show, is my first thought. And my second -- how the hell am I going to keep 30,000,000 clips (my honest estimate of how many I'll have when I'm finished) organized? I don't think my brain is big enough to hold it all.

As I've said with movies: it's a bloody miracle that a bad one ever gets made, let alone a good one -- they're COMPLICATED. And it's that way with vids, too.

But still... I have TEH PERFECT SONG, or at least one that would do magnificently -- the Ditty Bop's "Growing Upside Down". Maybe I need to listen to it another ten or twenty times

* Just finished Kage Baker's The Sons of Heaven, and right before that Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and right before that I plowed through Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad Trilogy, 2/3rds of which I hadn't read before. And that's just in the past week, folks.
theodosia: (perfect! (by heuradys))
[Error: unknown template video]
Here it is -- fresh off YouTube!
theodosia: (perfect! (by heuradys))
You know, I keep meaning to update, and then I start reading LJ meaning to catch up and by the time I'm done -- skipping over way too many entries with a guilty glance, too -- I'm all tired and decide to put off posting for another while.

Clearly this is not working out too efficiently.

Especially because currently I'm having some wicked nice afternoons where I can sit out here in the backyard patio in the shade and actually relax for a bit. I've read TWO WHOLE BOOKS this week, which is like unto my speed of reading in my younger more carefree days. Who knew that if I just dropped back to one class, I could start reading again?

In other news, the video editing class is going full blast and we've even had our first project, a one minute "trailer" for a film. Had to be exactly 60 seconds, no more or no less, and we had some .WMV files of films, although we could choose our own, since this was a student project.

One of them was Plan 9 From Outer Space, which I felt I knew well enough to be able to move quickly through it, and just awful enough that I wouldn't have to agonize too much over gemlike scenes that I couldn't bear not to use.

Also, if you Google "plan nine script" the first hit you get back is a transcript, which helped me zero in on the scenes that I really wanted. But, anyway, I ended up watching the entire thing as I made clips, thinking all the while about how Ed Wood would absolutely have LOVED the class I'm in. He would have been in at 7 AM each morning (the class starts at 8:30 which is damn early enough) with questions for the teacher and delighted in each and every transition, cutting technique and special effects as get demonstrated.

(It doesn't hurt that I'm also a big fan of Ed Wood, the Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp in the title role -- my icon here comes from that, BTW.)

The thing about Plan Nine that makes it more special than your run of the mill awful film is that it's not awful because nobody who made it cared enough to do a good job. Wood CARED like crazy, and had just enough talent to make you see that he meant it to be good, and fun, and totally transcend it's $1.98 budget.

And he did manage to do one thing really right, which was picking Tor Johnson to be a zombie, because I think that image really has transcended the crappiness of the movie it came from. There's a scene of Tor rising from the grave that's almost chilling with the lighting and the slow movement and even the music... that is, until Tor has trouble hauling himself fully up and then it's a kind of struggle. For those few glorious moments before reality set in, Wood actually had something going.

Once I have dinner, I'll see about getting my 'trailer' up on YouTube or whatever for your viewing pleasure -- the one done for class is a 212mb AVI file, but I should be able to cut that down some....
theodosia: (art!)

TC Logo 2
Originally uploaded by moxie58
And we're starting out with "Photoshop for Video", as it turns out that there's a lot of tools that I didn't know about that lets you turn out some accomplished-looking AVIs and whatnot.

I think the quality of what's been uploaded is pretty crappy, but it should give you an idea!

3D Update

Apr. 6th, 2008 05:07 pm
theodosia: (art!)
Here's a taste of what we worked on this week in 3D:

Biped with a Sponge

Mostly, it was freeform Biped animation. The 'Biped' is a pre-programmed skeleton/model that comes with the 3DS Max program, with the bones articulated in a pretty fair imitation of the way bones relate in the real human body, i.e. they hinge where bones connect to each other, in ways that mimic the limits of human anatomy. You can't swing a biped's head around 360, for instance, because real necks don't twist that far, and in addition, if you grab a biped foot and raise it up, the ankle, knee and hip will compensate for the movement, because there's a Center of Motion that will stay in place unless you specifically move that.

It's terrifically complicated, but really slick and I've really enjoyed working with it -- this is exactly the kind of animation that I wanted to try!

I wish the Flash Video that I output was better quality -- we're going to cover how to transfer stuff to viewable media very soon. Suffice it to say that the AVI and SWF files were both clearer, but also humongous in comparison, as in too big to upload to YouTube or whatever. Perhaps I'll learn enough to make better versions available. (I can't ask anyone to download 182 megs of a 6 second clip!)

Our next unit is on Physics and Effects because that's an entire subsection of the program that we haven't even begun to explore yet. After that, we're into our final section, where we work on individual 60 second animations, which will be due on May 7th.
theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
This is not who you think it is, not singing what you think they are.

Also, I found out that Hugh Dillon is going to be second-billed in a CBC series with Enrico Colantonio. Talk about worlds colliding....
theodosia: (Default)
This made me laugh and laugh this morning -- I got email from Sweet Charity reminding me to pony up for the auction that I won, so I went to Paypal and did the necessary. And when my confirming email came back, it said
This credit card transaction will appear on your bill as "PAYPAL *CHARITYHO".

I haven't been feeling great for the last few days, and even if I wasn't in my body and feeling physically down, I could tell because not only did I win my bid for [ profile] yhlee making a vid with input from me (and I have the perfect song/subject for her that I know she's very sympatico with!) but there's also Muskrat Jamboree this weekend, which I've taken Friday off for, which should be filled with a ton of really incredible people and lots of sharing about some of my favorite subjects.

Still, I feel like a limp noodle right now. But at least I'm a fully dressed noodle who's ready to go off to a not-too-stressful day of work, and a noodle who's got a load of future Fun Stuff to look forward to. The feeling better will follow, surely.


theodosia: (Default)

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