Sunday, November 22, 2009

Elliot's first video

Elliot's first video:

Mia's first video

Raeleigh's first video

You can find more videos of Raeleigh and Mia here

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Elliot David Epperhart

Elliot came into the world at 2:30 AM on November 21, 2009:

This rest of this weekend will be spent bonding with Elliot in the hospital. Videos and updates on Monday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Head of the House - Jump spline

After "finishing" my Get Out shot (I shall return!) I have moved on to my next shot. This one is from my animated short film which is at the top of my "projects I started that I must now finish" list. Considering how much time has passed since I last worked on this, I look at the animation and see amateur work. I bit off more than I could chew this past week for my assignment since I decided that instead of polishing my animation I would start it from scratch (plus I had to rebuild most of the scene since my files didn't survive the 2 years of transitioning from computer to computer). So while I am not at the polishing stage, I am very excited at where the shot is heading!

Here is the newest update:

Changes from the last shot:
  • Man's preparation before the jump is new
  • Feet hit the ground in sync with the music
  • The dog's walk is entirely new, no key was spared. More emphasis in the hip rotations and shoulder shifts
  • The man's head and arm arcs flow better
  • Man lands with front foot and runs to the next jump faster
  • Added more feet and spine movement in the end

Even though this shot is literally 1/3 the length of my last shot, it is more difficult. For one, I have 6 feet, 3 hip pairs, and 2 hands I have to deal with which are constantly moving on every frame (my previous shot has some nice breaks and rests when I didn't have to focus on them). But, in the end, that's the entire reason I chose this shot to work on. If my entire reel was just acting shots of a guy from the hips up as he stands around and spouts some random dialogue... well not many studios would hire me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jay's playlist: Dexter Soundtrack

Welcome to my playlist, where I discuss the music which is currently entertaining me. Below you will find a video, press play to begin the song and then read my feelings on the album.

One of the best written TV series of recent years (along with Friday Night Lights) is Dexter. The show is fascinating and macabre, and showcases some fantastic acting from Michael C. Hall. Much of the Dexter soundtrack accents the shows atmosphere with its somber, haunting melodies. These are mixed with lively cha-cha-chas and rumbas to match the show's Miami setting (and its large Cuban influence). While the Cuban flavor is a nice touch, it is the eerie piano themes and dark ambiance that I love in the soundtrack.

Not to mention the title theme, which may almost be to "peppy" for the series, accents the brilliant visual opening sequence that focuses on Dexter's perfect morning routine.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The power of a good discussion

This has been an interesting week for many reasons. Unfortunately, I have not been able to keep up with each of my Seinfeld calendar task this week due these reasons that have a higher priority. I will update the October results soon, though.

One of the nice aspects of this week was talking with good friends and family. Almost everyday this week I have spoken to a friend, some of whom I haven't talked to in many years, and have enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not sure why everyone decided to call this week of all weeks, but I've decided to call this week the unofficial "let's check in with Jay" week (although I have been playing phone tag with some for a few weeks and we finally connected this week). One of my friends I literally hadn't talked to (or seen) in over 10 years yet we had a discussion like no time had past at all. The conversation surprised me at how people in completely different environments and chosen career paths can end up with so much in common.

A lot has happened in the past year and the results of the events have directly led to the purpose of this blog (improvement in all aspects of life). For many years I was pretty much incommunicado to everyone around me, even those closest to me, for needless reasons. One of the positive outcomes of the year's major events has been the reconnection with my friends from different times of my life. As they say "no man is an island" and a life without friends is no life at all. Thank you to everyone who called this week (and to everyone else, call me)!


Friday, November 6, 2009

The animation month begins

This month a new animated film is released every week: A Christmas Carol, Planet 51, Fantastic Mr Fox, and The Princess and the Frog. To my knowledge, this has not happened before and is a great sign of the state of the industry. Usually we get one or two animated movies every few months with a few more in the summer. But with four films released in four weeks, the animation industry is truly growing. Which is awesome because it means more jobs for my friends and coworkers. If you haven't seen an animated film this month (or a special effects film like Twilight or 2012) go treat yourself now to some fine entertainment.

Another strange fact, not only is this the first month four animated movies have been released but it is also the first month movies with 3 different mediums of animation have been released: 2D, 3D, stop motion, and motion capture.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Raeleigh makes the call

Raeleigh is growing up so fast and doing so in such a cute fashion. I called my daughters today to talk to them about their day and say goodnight to them. Raeleigh seemed distracted as we were talking (as most 3 1/2 year olds are) so I wished her a goodnight and told her we would webcam tomorrow. Five minutes after hanging up with Raeleigh I get a call from her mother's phone which usually means we have some family business to discuss. But when I pick up the phone I hear Raeleigh laughing and yelling "I did it, I did it, Daddy look, I did it". She successfully figured out how to call me using her mother's phone and couldn't be happier. I have no idea how many people she called before reaching me, but when she did reach me it made her day. And mine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Raeleigh in Cali: pt 4 Angels

On the final full day of Raeleigh's visit we took her to the local Discovery Museum and enjoyed the exhibits. She had a blast but that was just the beginning. That weekend was Fleet Week in San Francisco and the Navy hosted an air show. While Raeleigh enjoyed seeing all the boats and few military planes, it was the Blue Angels that really caught her attention. Sadly they did not fly too much due to limited visibility from the fog, but Raeleigh didn't care because she got to see the Blue Angels!

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to Train Your Dragon

The next Dreamworks feature has a new trailer and it is looking good!

Finally, Dreamworks chooses an actor who fits the lead character instead a marquee actor who draws in the viewers but has no actual voice acting talent. Most people don't recognize Jay Baruchel by name, but he has starred in cult favorite shows (Undeclared) and movies (Tropic Thunder)and even had a role in an Oscar winning Best Picture (Million Dollar Baby). He sounds perfect for this role. We'll see how it turns out in March!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween photos

Halloween has come and gone and this year had another great turnout of costumes at work:

And while note from my work, I love this costume is from a friend and former AM student. He just nailed the look!

Jay's playlist: Pride and Prejudice

Welcome to my playlist, where I discuss the music which is currently entertaining me. Below you will find a video, press play to begin the song and then read my feelings on the album.

In companion to this week's costume, the playlist is the soundtrack from Pride and Prejudice

The music from the 2006 movie is fairly simple yet one of the most emotional pieces I've heard. The majority of the soundtrack is performed by solo piano with an occasional orchestra accompaniment and the theme is actually performed in the movie by the characters themselves (being trained musicians trying to impress the men). The entire soundtrack hearkens back to a simpler time of the Regency era and the few non-piano pieces convey special events that were common for the era (balls, military march, etc).

Honestly, I don't have much to say about this soundtrack beyond that I absolutely adore it. If you haven't seen the movie yet and tend to enjoy your soundtracks based on the emotions they invoke then I highly recommend watching the movie before listening to the soundtrack as it is very emotional and the music accents this.

Finally, if you love this music as much as I do you will be glad to know that piano sheet music is available.

Bonus song
This bonus is from the same album as the others but it is a full orchestral arrangement of the main theme linked above.