Last night at 12 AM I had my 2nd first Animation Mentor Q&A, and it was awesome. The mentor, David Weatherly, was great, as were the classmates. The mentor’s actually from Virginia and went to Virginia Tech, one of the universities I had been accepted to and was thinking about. He’s currently at Dreamworks, which is a bit envy-inducing (in a good inspiring way) when he mentions how great the working conditions are.

Anyway, it’s so far shaping up to be a fun semester! Then again, I haven’t started doing any of the work yet, so I hope I don’t stink too much…

I also bought a couple things yesterday. Bought a new camera, the Canon PowerShot SX130IS. It’s not nearly the super-fanciest camera in the world, but for my simple purposes, it will work wonderfully. It’s great at auto-adjusting to almost any lighting conditions, whereas my cheaper camera can’t deal with lack of light very well. It’s also great at focusing on very close things; you can put something up to almost the lens, and it can get it in focus. It also shoots video in 720 HD, which will be great for shooting animation reference. My only complaint is that it seems to suck up battery life, especially when shooting videos. None of that may seem all that impressive to those of you with very high end cameras, but I’ve only had much cheaper cameras up until now.

I also bought The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition on blu-ray. They had a good deal for it at Best Buy, so I cancelled my order for it and picked it up. Testing it out, it looks fantastic. It looks a little too good, in fact; you can notice some special effects mistakes. For example, when Gollum gets the ring at the end of RotK and the camera zooms out above him as he’s happily looking up at the ring in his hand, his feet wobble unnaturally in front of the ground; you can really tell how he was inserted digitally into the scene. There are also plenty of scenes in which you can really get that blue-screen effect, in which the edges of the characters are strangely blurry and the lighting doesn’t quite match. Actually, that happens on the DVDs too, but I think it’s even more noticeable on blu-ray. But I don’t think anything is so bad that I won’t be able to enjoy it. Overall, it still looks fantastic. I can’t wait until I have time to watch them… I’d love to try watching all three right in a row, though I know that will take all day.


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