Today started off quite rainy, but thankfully I had brought my umbrella.

I started off my day meeting two Wacom volunteers on the fancy convention chair benches. One of them let me play with her Cintiq companion, which is a $2000 something tablet that has the same power as my Lenovo computer with the added bonus of a touch sensitive screen and programmable buttons along the sides. I think it would be a fine investment for someone who does art as a career and finds him or herself frequently doing art on the go.

Afterwards I sat in a Maya 2015 session which had some really impressive features such as intuitive color coding during key framing and some really impressive Viewport 2.0 rendering for automatic feedback. Also using ramps for material composites seem to be popular and for good reasons.

I was able to catch the first bit of the Spiderman 2 production session that covered set location and filming challenges and green screening. Turns out Rochester NY is a good place for filming drag racing because they have fewer regulations in that aspect. Also it was cool to see how creative people can get in solving set problems and mounting green screens.

My first shift involved explaining some very cool Disney research to attendees for about 3 hours. I really love the enthusiasm people had; it made my long hours pass faster and more fun.

A summary of the research: LED lights that TALK to each other. LEDs traditionally only send light, but with a few tweaks, they can also send and receive information as photon detectors (not sure what the official term is). They had developed an app that used the audio jack for audio input and an LED as output. Using this, I was able to perform several demos.

One of the more flashy demos was to point a Cinderella wand that had an LED attached to a dress that also had LEDs, inducing a glowing effect across the entire dress dependent on the relative of the LEDs that was first pointed to. A different wand made the entire dress sparkle.

After that shift I worked as a door monitor for the Computer Animation Festival. I took turns watching the animations with the other students. Some of the clips were strange but all were well done.

After a quick dinner at the nearby food court, I watched HTTYD2 in 3d which was a different experience, as I was sitting amongst artists and VFX artists and animators and graphics geniuses who of all the people in the world could truly appreciate the work put into the film. I wonder if this is what it’s like to watch HTTYD2 for the first time with coworkers at DreamWorks.

Currently as I type this I’m sitting in the Electronic Theatre watching the best clips of animation and visual effects. I can afford to not pay attention because I’ve seen many of these during my shift Monday. Very good things. I’m glad I have a pamphlet to refer to for remembering what they showed.

Tomorrow’s the last day of the conference! I finished all my shifts so tomorrow I’ll finally be a full time attendee. Sweet stuff. Planning on checking out Emerging Technology a lot, Exhibition, and the Job Fair. Oh, and the book store.


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