Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring "Break"

So, I'm sitting here in the computer lab at school during Spring "Break"...which really isn't a break at all as I'm spending it catching up with all the work I couldn't do regularly. x_X
Figured I'd blog as I work.

This week I'm making two trips down to the base for a lengthy physical regarding the job I'm assigned in the Air Force. They're doing extensive testing on things like my sight, hearing, heart, breathing, blood, dental, body fluids, and women's health stuff. So far so good! My eyes are pretty damn good, but, unfortunately, they aren't perfect. SO...I will have to wear my glasses full-time on the job. It's a job that requires perfect vision no matter what. Glad I already have them so I don't have to buy new ones, and also glad I'm not going to be a pilot - they HAVE to get corrective surgery if they're not perfect already. ...But the glasses are still not something I'm looking forward to.
I also found out I'm blood type O+. Finally. I've had blood drawn several times before, but never pushed to find out. ^_^ I'm totally okay with this.

This week, I was also able to wash my car for the first time in several months. It's finally starting to get warmer outside! I love it.
And speaking of my car...I'm still having major problems with it. The engine light has been on for at least half a year now, and we've just barely pinpointed the problem. I've had the spark plugs replaced, switched my fuel to premium, cleaned out the fuel system twice, gotten a new battery, and now it looks like we've narrowed it down to bad ignition coils. LOL Fuck. After all the other diagnostics and fixes, I can no longer afford to do anything else. My finances have dwindled to almost nothing. I have just enough to pay rent and bills through June, then I'm fucked. >_> I had to take out a loan and quit my job last year due to school work loads - I took out what I thought was far more than enough with emergencies in mind, but...I had NO idea all these emergencies would come up one after the other. It's like something is fucking targeting me, because I can't get a break. My friends and family are is going on with you?? 'Cause really...this is beyond ridiculous.

It's not just my car, it's my cat and school, too. Cat's gotten sick THREE times in the last few months with killer allergies and fleas. $100s down the hatch. I don't have enough to get his shots renewed this year now. Then school demanded much more than I was expecting. What with all these required museum trips and lab fees. Luckily, via super awesome (and quite legal) ninja methods, I was able to save $400 on textbooks this semester. p:

One thing I found out this past weekend as I was getting my car oil changed was that my two front tires were bad. ...And not just bad...we're talking like...the tread had worn down to the cord, and I wasn't even aware 'cause it was on the side hidden by the wheel well. If I'd kept driving on those, they would have blown. Dad told me to just get them rotated to the back, but Firestone was like, "Uuh...yeah...not an option. Those things are bald. You need new ones."
WELL FUDGEMONKEY. What am I supposed to do?? Spend money I don't have or die?? :V
I chose to spend money I don't have...just sayin'...y' case there's a chance I can still do cool shit in this life.
So. I'm now like $300 in debt with the tire company, but hey...I get to live a little longer. ^_^ And they did some alignment work, too, so my car doesn't pull to the right when I let go of the wheel for a bit like it used to. It's nice.
Things that still have to be repaired:

-restore headlights (I'm doing this slowly over time with a spray)
-fix squeaky breaks
-replace lighter fuses
-fix stuck driver's seat
-lubricate back shocks??
-replace blower motor
-renew paint/dents??
-lubricate and clean steering wheel
-replace ignition coils

Ugh...y'know this car is a year 2000 and has over 200,000 miles on it. It's fricken been places...I dun even know. Bought it used. When I go active duty, I'm just gonna sell it to some poor college student and get a new one. LOL But I do love it as my first car. :3 could be a lot worse, ironically.

In the midst of all this, I've been trying to find time to clean my apartment...but...I have a confession...
I pre-ordered Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon last year for the 3DS, and it was just released on Sunday...sooo...^^; I've been spoiling myself a little. I regret nothing.

I was finally able to finish some wedding gift art for a couple colleagues of mine that I started back in January. It felt good to do some CG illustration again! (sample below)

But, in the process, my version of photoshop stopped working. I can't reinstall it for some reason, so I'll be looking to get a newer version ASAP so commissions can continue. For now, I'm on the trial version for CS6...x_x 28 days remain...halp.

As for homework, over break I'm working on catching up with 3D animation (both various exercises and major projects), video art (a music video compiling 3 movies, demonstrating successful juxtaposition), Intermediate electronic art (an abstract animation in After Effects) contemporary art (video and reading assignments with response papers), and research papers for both of my art history courses.

Right now in the lab, I'm working on rendering an abstract 3D animation I've been working on for a couple months now. It's a slow process as we learn new things and apply them to our own custom scenes. We didn't have to make an abstract piece, but my professor has always pushed us in that direction. I know she loves that kind of work, so...just to make life easier in the classroom this time around, I went for it. But it's compiled of objects I like. I modeled some things from scratch that I like to illustrate in 2D to make it more fun. I'll share some stills below, but would prefer to keep most of it to myself until its finished.

Lots of color, composition, camera, and animation experimentation involved. Many, many hours-worth.
Rendering animations takes forever as well. We have this program called Squidnet that puts the projects through a "render farm" where it uses every machine in the lab to convert the animation into a high quality movie file. It's been having lots of issues for weeks. 
The person we call for tech assistance also teaches GPHD 10 (Intro to Digital Art) in the graphic design department. I had to ask him to come to the lab for assistance this time around as the software was acting up, and asked if he was tired of hearing Ms. R's voice all the time asking for help. lol She's literally calling for him multiple times a day for this kinda thing. Technology's a pain in he ASS sometimes. He, bluntly...said yes. :] 
Then I let him know that he was my very first professor in college about 5 years ago, and he got a kick out of it. He just teaches that one class, so I never had him again. But he's a great instructor! One of the best I've had. Very easy to follow, and is very helpful with the assignments.

Aaand speaking of modeling...I don't think I shared my final project from last semester. o.0
Don't remember all the details of the assignment, but we basically needed to create another surreal composition. Below is what I came up with - Ms. R ended up liking it.

So, yeah! Good stuff...
I clearly have a lot more to learn about the 3D world, but I've gotten some good insight about the processes so far. If I had more time, I'd probably be working on much more elaborate/well-refined works, but with the workload I have right now, that just can't happen. It's just like...learn it, show it, move on, rinse and repeat.
In class we're now learning how to rig models with bones, joints, IK handles, control curves, etc. That HARD. It's no wonder companies like Pixar employ individuals just for that step in animation. Complicated. As. Hell.

In other news...
One of my works from last semester's Senior Seminar made into an art show on campus. This would be the...2nd show I think...that I've made it into. First one was a couple years back with my Women & War photo manipulation. That one was kinda cool, 'cause they basically made my piece the icon of the entire show and put it on the pamphlets and signs all over campus. 

And I almost didn't enter this next one.
Ms. S had pushed me to enter a couple photomanips and one of my giant drawings in a show back in January/February. All three were rejected, and I had just kinda had it with that whole thing. I've noticed that the artists at this school are very biased and picky about what kind of art is desirable. Specifically professors and other higher-ups. Works done in a traditional medium and abstract works are the most celebrated kinds of art here. Mine were neither. Ms. R got upset when she found out that not even my digital works got in, and is now on a mission to create an all-digital art show. lol Even when I'm graduated and gone, she's going to extend the show to people like me. :]
But anyhow...
she pushed me to enter this last one, and I said no, that I'd had it with the bias already. But...she was very persistent. >.> She had me pull up my senior project from last semester and picked out her favorite one: "Fragile Moments."

It depicts a visual of the emotion I feel when my inner strength breaks apart and is consumed with fear, darkness, and despair. It was the 8th piece in the story from the project. The image of me in black was taken when I was about 15 or 16 years old (2005 or '06). And the one on the right was taken in 2012.
The world is shattering to reveal a bloody mess as what was supposed to be my light of hope dissolves into nothing.

Well. This one was accepted.
A few classmates made it in, too, so Ms. R let us all skip the beginning of 3D Animation class to attend the reception a few weeks ago. So much good free food!! :3
Aaand the show ended a few days ago, so I'll be retrieving the work after spring break. :]
It was a nice pick-me-up after all the shit I've been through this semester.

Lol and speaking of art shows...
I almost completely forgot last semester a couple of my friends had their own personal display in one of the campus galleries, and I was used in one installation. The artist did a series on censorship, and it was all stuff that talked about how censorship is ridiculous and used famous quotes about it.

Also, random...!
When I visited my uncle's dental office this past winter, I got to see the logo I made for him in action. It was cool. :P

Anyway, I'm gonna get back to work. Shit ton of stuff still to be done...I can't believe I'm about to pull an all-nighter on break, but...AUGH. 56 days.


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