Saturday, March 19, 2011

Change is in the air

Spring is a wonderful time of renewal and rebirth. It's a glorious...

Yeah, fine...get to the point already!


I just finished my last set of Animation Mentor campus crits...not just for this term, but possibly for good. That's the change to which I mysteriously alluded in my Facebook status earlier this week. I will not be returning as a campus mentor in the spring, and it's possible that I will not do any more mentoring with AM in the future.

My five-and-a-half years as a mentor with AM have been quite an experience. I've learned a ton, met a lot of amazing people, and enjoyed the opportunity to share my meager knowledge of animation and the entertainment industry. It's also been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, particularly during the past three years after I set aside animation in favor of programming and TD work at Reel FX. The decision to step away from mentoring at AM is partly because of that roller-coaster, and partly because of other things happening in my life right now. While I will miss the regular interaction with AM staff and all the aspiring animators in the program, this change really is for the best.

To everyone at Animation Mentor -- staff, students, and graduates -- I express my deepest thanks for an amazing experience. While I won't be on the school site after the end of next week, or walking in costume across the stage at future graduation ceremonies, I hope to stay in touch with as many of you as possible, and wish you all the best in your animation journey.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Maya/Qt posts delayed indefinitely

I probably should have posted this some time ago, but the reality of the situation is that I have no idea when I'll get back to the Maya/Qt materials. I haven't done any further work with Qt at Reel FX since I initially wrote about it. Part of that is because our current projects are all using Maya 2010, but the biggest issue is that the majority of the Maya tools that I develop at Reel FX need to work both in-house and for our ever-morphing collection of remote animators.

While the crew at the studio have set up an efficient Maya/Qt workflow for internal use, setting up a home system to get Maya and Qt talking nicely appears to be a bit of a chore (to put it mildly). It's tricky enough troubleshooting the problems that remote animators sometimes encounter while setting up their systems to work with our pipeline and tools. Putting them through Qt setup process on top of that would be asking a bit too much.

Once we have a project that will use Maya 2011 and I dive back into Qt work, I may bring this back up, but the remote situation is the key factor. Without a way to ensure that our remote artists can *easily* get the same Qt UI results that we do, it's not worth the development effort.