Monday, June 01, 2009

Cannonball... Less Ouch... and Up!

So the good news is, I don't COMPLETELY suck. :-)

I jumped back into Maya tonight, just for a half hour, trying to reacquaintance myself with the AM character Bishop. As mentioned in an earlier post, after 8+ months of working in XSI with a different character setup, I felt like a total noob coming back into my old workflow. But, 30 minutes got me this catcher's type pose, not great but much better than the confused looking soul that was staring at me last time.

I'm getting slightly faster at navigation and don't anticipate that to be a major problem. Frankly though, I have fallen in love with XSI shortcuts. I really never bothered with shortcuts before because I used to pride myself on just being able to do the posing and animation without getting too hungup on software specifics. Professionally, though, that concept didn't last long, because shortcuts are just so helpful and efficient. So it's taking some getting used to.

One thing I had completely forgotten about is channel box animation. We don't have much of that with our rigs at work - our characters simply have controls on everything you'd ever want to possibly move. There are some channel type controls but mostly they are for toggling visibility or IK/FK and the like. I forgot how much AM rigs provide as far as inside the channel box. However, the one thing I'd like to do is be able to scroll through the min/max limits on each control and I've forgotten how to do that. Another night.

Consistent complaints: I really do need to improve my workspace. Probably the easiest thing to upgrade would be my mouse, which is still a little stiff on middle-mousing, which is very limiting. I would love Love LOVE to have a second/bigger monitor and be working on a desktop. Animating on a laptop is something I used to do fine, but now that I've been spoiled at work a with bigger better setup, it is truly hard to return to my former groove.

Improvements: I re-familiarized myself with how to pose Bishop in Maya and set keys on the control curves. I have yet to learn if I can animate within a character set too, or if such a thing is even set up for Bishop. If not, oh well. I'm just going to have to remind myself to set all the various character keys that I'm currently accustomed to automatic keying during blocking. That was a mouthful, but at least I know what I mean.

And now for my fangirl update...

Up was phenomenal. Truly amazing and deserves its own post later. It could possibly be my favorite Pixar movie, with a couple of iffy spots (whereas I am still completely in love with Finding Nemo). And Wall-E. And Ratatouille. Okay, don't get me started, it's REALLY hard to choose. ;) Up did have some very different character arcs, a couple of which had me scratching my head a bit (and I found out that my boss' young kids were actually a bit scared during the end, for good reason). But I will say that it really offered me some perspective on my current situation, reminding me to take life as the adventure it truly is, and when one chapter closes, be willing to open a new one. Terrific storytelling, as always. Bravo, Pixar.

More later.. Good night.

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