Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Senior Year's first semester is over!

The Semester is over! But I’ll be on campus for the duration of the entire break working on my thesis film along side of some fellow roommates of mine.  We had our winter critique with positive feedback! It was amazing to see my fellow classmate’s films. Now on to bringing our animation to polish as well as finishing up models, texturing, experimenting with fur grass, polishing rigging, set dressing, contacting with our composer, lighting, rendering, composite. Ahh…. Yeah there’s a lot to do.

I just spent a weekend hanging out with friends. Some lovely underclassmen friends of mine threw the team and I a congratulations party for surviving this semester. It felt so special after being bashed and abused by the faculty to have people who reacted and enjoyed your work. I also realized we all have some sort of post traumatic stress. When my friends and I were hanging out,  many of our conversations reverted back to school, thesis, and work. I was talking to some friends back home in Louisiana telling them I couldn’t come home for Christmas because of work. I explained to them that even while we were working 10-15 hours a day for 7 days a week almost every day during the entire semester, we still have a shit ton of work to do.

Its been a great learning experience and I hope to continue growing in it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Senior year goes on...part 2.

    It’s the weekend after our First Pass Thesis Animation  critique. Last night, we celebrated and all went out to see movies. My group and I saw the newest Disney movie, “Wreck it Ralph” for the second time . Usually when I watch a movie for the first time, I don’t know what to suspect and I watch it with the eyes of a casual audience.. usually enjoying it.. The second time around, I start looking for design, lighting, and animation trying to deconstruct the genius behind the work. Even still, it was a tear jerker. I thought it was a very heartfelt movie. I loved everything from, design, animation, story, and lighting. And Skrillex.
    The seniors have about a month  left to bring animation to final pass... And that’s why traditionally most of the Ringling thesis’s animation looks like crap. There simply isn’t that much time. Single man thesis people have it the worse averaging animating 30+ shots in 2.5 months while fixing rigs for 1-2 characters and doing everything. My teammates and I have 17-18 shots each to do totaling around 52+ shots with one character each. I think I would have lost it if I did a thesis by myself.
     Maybe 40 of the 50 thesis that come out of Ringling every year don’t make it to best of Ringling and you never see them again. Now you know why. The scope and time is very challenging. Not all thesis end up well. Most end up being forgotten. Also, after each brutal Faculty critique (before a panel of 7ish teachers) we have to make changes and address notes while trying to push forward in progress. It’s important to keep a strong vision and not to please everyone or you’d destroy your thesis. Some people who try to address every note end up backtracking way too much and don’t keep up the strict schedule of daily progression.
      Maybe I sound a little intense. Well, if you can make it to your forth year as a CA student, its normal. No biggie. CA students are used to sitting 10-15 hours in front of a computer 7 days a week. No windows, no puppies, usually just the noise of humming SGI computers. We’re used to getting harshly critiqued by the 7+ faculty at the same time.
     Anyways, making a thesis film is an interesting learning experience. It definitely makes you a pretty ok generalist. By the end of it you can definitely say, I hate this and I love that. Or you might love it all! Or hate it all! Some people don’t want to be in the industry anymore… or want to never touch maya again after graduation. It’s interesting how pressure can make the diamonds…or totally destroy you.
      That’s just an honest observation. I look forward to the end of this semester. After that, we’re going to keep on polishing animation and transition into finishing models, texturing, shading, and lighting, rendering, compositing. (my favorite). I dont think most of us are going home for more than a week during christmas break. Lots of work to be done.
     In about 1 more month, we get to show our entire thesis animation to the computer animation student body. It will be a pass or fail event.
     Anyways, yep... thats senior year so far in a nutshell. Work, work, work, work, nap, work.work work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Senior Year!

Its been about 20+ days back at Ringling as a senior! It feels very different from all the other years as a CA student. I wake up everyday, knowing what needs to get done. I can anticipate how long generally things can take and I work from morning till midnight without question. I feel confident that I know what needs to get done to move on. I have the will power to work nonstop. Life is kind of boring.

 We had our modeling critique of our thesis characters last week and we're working at a steady momentum to get modeling, blendshaping and rigging done so we can finish layout by mid october. My roomates and I stopped cooking last semester during the intense semester of preproduction for our short films. Now these days, we're barely ever at home.

Ringling has changed a bit since my freshman year. Now we have a clinic currently being built on campus. The freshman curriculum changed last year. Now the bullshit classes are replaced with some real classes that actually pertain to the major. Amazing teachers I keep hearing about like Keith Osborne , Ron Zeitler and Tammy Zeitler left the computer animation department.  I believe a bit over 25 people in my class have dropped out of the CA major  since freshman year. Some of them left for different reasons such as health, money, or just failed. Its always sad to see people who you have worked with for so long and shared the same dream since freshman year not be here anymore.

On the bright side of things, the people that are here in my year seem to have really grown together! A lot of people got internships in my class last year. People went to large studios as well as smaller studios. Each of them brought back really interesting stories of their experiences and/or examples of their work. I really am proud of everyone and proud to be part of such a hardworking amazing graduating CA class of 2013!

Last summer, I had the oppurtunity to be a Lighting Intern at a commercial studio called Superfad located in Seattle,WA. It was probably one of the most fun summers of my life. I was fortunate to work on 3D commercials for Nike, Shoe Carnival, Aleve, and College football. Here are links to some of the works!

Nike Women's Trainers from Kevin Lu on Vimeo.

Aleve Bowling from Kevin Lu on Vimeo.

ShoeCarnival from Kevin Lu on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Animation Demo Reel 2012

1.Sillhouette- Responsible for Animation, Character by Ringling
2.Warrior PushPull- Responsible for Everything. TSM Rigged
3.Emotions Test- Responsible for Everything. TSM Rigged
4.LipSynch- Responsible for Everything. TSM Rigged
5.Waiting in Airplane- Responsible for Animation and set. Character by Ringling

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lighting Demo Reel 2012

1.Gravestones (Maya, Renderman for Maya, Nuke, Photoshop, Premiere) Responsible for: Everything Except Modeling
Additional Notes: Set provided by Ringling College.
2.Battlefield (Maya, Renderman for Maya, Nuke, Photoshop, Premiere) Responsible for: Everything
3.Kitchen (Maya, Renderman for Maya, Nuke,Photoshop, Premiere) Responsible for: Everything except Models.
Additional Notes: Set provided by Jeremy Birn.
4.Plane Ride (Maya, Renderman for Maya, Nuke,Photoshop, Premiere) Responsible for: Everything. Character by Ringling
5.Creepy Kid (Maya, Renderman for Maya, Nuke,Photoshop, Premiere) Responsible for:Everything except Character
Additional Notes: Character provided by Ringling College.
6.Self Caricature (Maya, Renderman for Maya, Mentalray, Nuke,Photoshop, Premiere) Responsible for : Everything
7.Color Pitch Storyboards (Photoshop) Responsible for: Digital Painting in Photoshop
Additional Notes: Line work/Layout by George Haney.
8.Color Keys (Photoshop) Responsible for: Digital Painting in Photoshop
Additional Notes: Line work/Layout by George Haney.
 9.Forest Digital Painting (Photoshop) Responsible for: Digital Painting in Photoshop
 10.Photography (Photoshop) Responsible for: Photographing, Post processing

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Break Junior Year

Time is flying by and the year is almost over. Im exhausted. Here's a WIP render from Pushpull...Over the break i decided to rework the textures/lighting/comp. I felt like I learned a lot.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

JuniorYear Semester 2: PrePro!!!

It was a great Christmas break! I guess I lied about posting more work. Over the break I worked on many projects and fixing older projects for the demo-reel/portfolio and modeled stuff for this semester's projects. I felt that break was over too fast. But on the brightside, this semester I'm part of a 3 man team for Preproduction for Senior Thesis!

So far its been a blast! I remembered my boss at the studio where I interned this past summer was really into group projects. Its one thing making your own thesis, but when you add more people, it really teaches you about communication, direction, optimization, management, teamwork, plussing work, etc.

I'm hopeful for a fun exciting semester and maybe one day I'll post more work. It gets harder b/c all the work we are doing now is for our senior film... and why spoil the film by posting it?