Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Light Saver

Don't worry, that topic is not result of bad spelling. This is not about Star Wars.
It's about politics.

I love my home town. It has some (but few) job opportunities that other northern cities cannot offer and it has a big heart.

One thing that I don't love is the policy how the city saves money in electricbills. Tonight I had to walk from my friends flat to my home and it's roughly 3km. It's dark and there are practically no streetlights on. So I had to wander in complete darkness and the Rovaniemi is building sites and streetimpovement sites promised land. Twice I almost twisted my angle on a loose rock and once stumbled to a small hole on the pavement.

Dear County politicians: Remember, people who walk, don't have dynamos and driving lights attached to their pants!

This is all I have to say for tonight and now it's time to get some sleep, because it's my first day at the job tomorrow...wish me luck and hope I don't suck. More tomorrow, over and out.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Revenge of the Next Generation

The other day couple of my friends from Turku dropped by. It's always fun when some of my geeky (I mean that in a positive way) friends visit me...that way I don't feel such a loner among my cool and hip friends (I also mean that in a positive way). I have couple of semi-nerd friends also so it makes life easier :D They don't fan scifi but you can't get everything.

Me and my Turku friend had some wonderfull conversations about differences in hyperspace speeds in Star Trek and Star Wars as my semi-nerd friend 'T' acted as chairman. I am a dedicated Star Wars fan and my friend 'J' is a total Star Trek lunatic ;) It's always fun to ask these 'contra-genre' questions and test the knowledge of rival Sci-fi fan.

What was the name of the guy who invented warp engine in Star Trek? Correct answer get's my sympathies.

Oh, well, they are leaving soon so I have to go back to my normal life where there are no-one to play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit with. It continues to collect dust and after forcing my friends watch SW trilogy several times in the past there is no hope they will get exited of my nevest idea "lets watch the old trilogy and the new one in one night?" either. I have to do it myself. *make a mental note to buy lots of cola and chips*

I have now exactly 6 days left of my unemployment oriented vacation and soon I must journey towards the mothly salary and early wakeups.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
Written by Bilbo Baggins of Shire, later translated by J.R.R. Tolkien for the book "Hobbit" ;)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Global Cars

I saw today the new pixar/Disney animation 'Cars'.

I think that pixars 'Finding Nemo' is untitled king of highend animation. And still is.

I cannot put my finger on anything that didn't or did work with 'cars' but I was a bit disapointed. Maybe it's just because I'm European and this American muscle car thing just doesn't fit in my head. It had of'coz some 'european' characters init and I have to admit that those characters were hilarious. It just seemed that it wasn't a global movie. It was made by Americans for Americans.

Finding Nemo also tried to please the global audience with some minor european flavors like the ever so exellent Jacques the french shrimp. I must also protest that he didn't get enough screentime damit!

In Cars there were these two italian "Ferrari freaks" who haven't never seen a actual Ferrari; Luigi and Guido. It just seemed that these two characters were added to please european audience and they did without a doubt but otherwise the movie was culturally North-America oriented.

Story itself was based on greek Narkissos-mythology. Sorry, but seen it too many times.

Ok. Now that I have trampled over the Pixar it's time to get to the positive things in Cars :)

At times this movie was just beautiful. Take a look on the fast paced little roadtrip that the main characters Lightning McQueen and Sally are taking at the middlepart of the movie. Total jawdropper! Mainly the car design is just wonderfull and the animation is flawless. These things bring points to this movie. Also the tractors are hilarious!

Cars isn't a great movie but it's not a bad one either. There are some annoying narrative mistakes and scenes that clearly build base for some future event but those events never actually happen.

oh, Michael Schumachers Ferrari in the end was day saver... It was almost as funny when my (male) friend mistaken some finnish athlete in TV for a women and made a sexually oriented comment...oh the embarrasment! Todays lesson: Go see Cars if you like and know that also men have ponytails nowadays :D

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Thinking ideas

I must admit that in the past I wasn't very good at thinking things thru. I always jumped to the phase where you start realising things. Results of this kind of working weren't never good and they always fell in the endless pit of 'averageness'. Sometimes they were simply awfull.

I knew I was not doing things right. I always felt that the most fun part of concept art or 3d modeling is the actual realisation. I always knew what I wanted but I had no idea how to get there. I said I knew what I wanted but I didn't really. I had these visions of mastering the techniques and wonderfull colorpalette and public aproval and so on and so on. I always lived in the future. I dreamed to make good art; when actually I was failing miserably.

You cannot realise anything that doesn't exist. It has to exist in your head and hopefully in some sort of written form also b/c human mind forgets things. Always write down your ideas, always!

After some serious thinking it's time to do some serious sketching. We are still far away from actual realisation and actual final piece of art. This is the part where you do most of the work. Thinking is important but you can do it usually pretty fast compared to this second phase.

I have spent recently at least one work day sketching. Making several dozens of variations of one idea gets you in the zone. Next is selecting couple of best and improving those and then finally I realise that oh, I have all the 'hard work' done and it was fun, even if I had always thought that this part is not necessary, because it's boring and so time consuming!
I found out that in the past I have skipped the most important part of creative process. I skipped over 90% of stuff that needs to be done so that you can do the rest 10% that is the end product.
Skipping the first 90% is like reading only the last 10 pages of book.

Make sure you think things thru and test them over and over again. Only then you can achieve something good and original. Don't waste time saving it. Save it by spending it!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

ABBA

I'm so exhausted. And this doesn't have anything to do with either 3D or 2D.

I was fishing with my dad today..he turned to 69 so it was kinda birthday fishingtrip and it was just wonderfull.

My father has fished over 60 years and he said he'd never seen anything like this before. We pulled fish to our boat constantly for two hours. It was crazy. I counted in the end that we had almost 300 perches. It means that we gaught more than one fish every minute per person.

Finally after two hours of constant pulling and "re-baiting" the hook we game in to our senses and after a fast calculations decided that we had so much fish that it would be hard jorney back from the boat to the car carrying such a weight. One fish alone weighted about 200 grams. This just over 1 kilometer trip to our car was nightmare but when I sat on the bench it was worth it.

So without a doubt this day was one of my top 5 days so far.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Megaman is a mummy

I visited today my parents and my mother had bought needlepoint materials (canvas, needle and various colored threads) from the local sewingshop.

She also had some books about needlepoint(-ing). I'm not so big fan of needlepoint sewing (Youngish manlymen like me tend to dispice that sort of thing) and I was pretty bored with the whole idea of 'needlepoint'.

Then it struck me, as I browsed some of the books about needlepoint. I - do - that - almost - everyday!!
Technique is not the same, but basic idea is pretty much identical. I do sometimes isometric pixel art or sprites. Basicly needlepoint is oldschool pixel art! It's the equivalent of sculpture compared to 3D modeling. One you do with your own hands and the result is concrete as the later is done with computer and the result is digital.

Suddenly I felt great urge to start needlepoint. I was in the primesource of pixel art and I felt blessed by Gods! Could this be where it all started? Obviously not. The same limitations were present during the invention of needlepoint as it was when first pixel art was created. It's laborous task to place thousands of pixels (or points) to canvas and computer (or human brain) have limitations of colorpalette that gives the pixels/points it's distinctive hue. So in the dawn of computers for example MSX had low processing capability and couldn't handle more than 16 colors and 256×192 pixels. Pretty much the same standards as needlepoint has had for many many years. My mother uses in this current needlepoint 23 color palette and the canvas is 170x120 squares.

I had to admit that pixel art is old news. It was not invented by the generation X...(sadly?) it was invented thousands of years ago by ancient egyptians.

Megaman was a mummy.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Divided by Four

Here's the thing. My life is divided by number 4.

Everything, and I mean everything seems to be devided by four. I sometimes find myself walking from my 2nd floor flat to my car.
It's four steps from the door to the stairs. It's 4 x 4 steps to the first floor (via stairs) . It's four steps to the staircase and 4 x 4 steps to the backdoor of our 4floor building. It's then 4 x 4 steps to the car.

So I'm finally inside the car and everything seems real cozy. It seems that my car is the only place that I don't run into my 'divided by four' problem.

You might say it's an obsession...I say it's a sum of small insignificant things.

I sometimes count steps. I don't dodge the seams of tiled rocks on street. People with obsession do this.

Oh well, maybe I'm obsessed. My work revolves around the number four. I create polygons and polygons are four sided things (or they should be if they are done properly). They are the primitives that create the whole. I also create images on computer that hold inside millions of pixels. Images themselves are four sided. Four seems to be the ultimate number and a standard to base everything upon.

Everything is obviously divided by one. But that is just too simple. 4 is a number that is high enough but small enough to divide things. Almost everything people do requires at least four steps to accomplish. Eight on the other hand is too high number. If you count the actions of your doings it's most convinient to divide those by 4.

Try it.

Fine day beside the brown grass

It's been dry...infernally dry past 2 to 3 months. All grass is dull brown and leafs are falling from the trees even if it's not a 'real' autumn yet.

But how can I be upset when I just opened my first official Blog? I can't! life is smiling...or grinning at least :)

About 1 week ago I also got a job (My first real one) and I'll start there in the beginning of september. I plan to let you know what happens in the coffee breaks...it should be exiting! :D...or not!

Following posts will be lot longer I promise...this was just a tip of the iceberg.