Sunday, April 13, 2008
Oh, Mighty Isis!
Somehow, the other day at work, the conversation turned to Saturday morning TV shows of our youth. I mentioned that I'd seen that SECRETS OF ISIS had recently been released on DVD. The reaction of one of my coworkers was "Secrets of...what?" I explained the premise of the show to him, that a pretty school teacher stumbles on an old Egyptian amulet that gives her superpowers and transforms her into the goddess Isis. I found a picture online of the actress in costume and he said, "Oh, of course she's hot. I wonder what the show would be like if some stodgy old archaeologist had dug up that ol' amulet." We had a good laugh and went back to work but it had already started my drawing hand itching. I've been really preoccupied at work and had been "drawing" a blank on anything to sketch for the blog. But, I thought, this was gold. So on my lunchbreak, between bites of Boca burger, I sketched this out. It didn't come out nearly as funny as it was in my head but it still makes me chuckle. Oddly, I remember when I was a kid I didn't think the actress was all that pretty. I don't remember what I didn't like about her. But looking at her through adult eyes now, my God, that woman was stunning. Absolutely beautiful. Weird.
The preoccupation I've been experiencing at work has to do with the 3D stuff I've been doing. When we first got the Lightwave software at work, I assigned myself a pretty ambitious project right out of the gate. The UPS truck. We do their advertising and it's hard to get decent shots of the truck for presentations and ad comps. So I thought a 3D model would come in handy. (It has.) But when I did it, I was still a novice. At a glance, the model looks fine but a professional modeler would look at the object file and laugh. Or throw up. So, three years later and with a ton of modeling under my belt, I've decided to redo the model as a a pro would do it. Lean and clean. So far, it's looking reeeeally good. I tend to obsess over little details. This drives my 3D cohorts crazy but in 3D modeling, it's sort of a virtue. There are three of us in my department doing the 3D stuff and I usually get the modeling work while they're better at lighting and camera work. When we needed a model of the agency for an internal project, I was the one who made the model (over the course of two months) while they did the "set decorating" and lighting. (Which I just find tedious.) Anyway, I'd like to post a render of the truck when I'm done with it but I doubt I could get permission. We'll see. It's taking up all my "down time" at work but it looks better on my timesheet than "blog sketches" would. And despite having done it already, once before, it's been a gas so far.
One last thing. They had an electronics recycling pickup in my neighborhood (well, five miles away, but that's close enough) on Saturday so I was finally able to dispose of our old G3 and monitor. They both worked fine but were so outdated they were useless to me and had been sitting on our living room floor for the last two years or so while I tried to figure out what to do with them. I hated the idea of just throwing them in the landfill but I couldn't find anyone who wanted them. The same guy who sparked the idea for this week's sketch suggested I check the recycling group's website. I did and it was just in time, apparently. As it turns out, though, I ended up taking something else to them as well. Mike's scanner. Mike had a large-bed scanner he used to scan his pages to send to his inkers. I'd wanted one for years but they're so expensive and while, for him, it was a necessity, for me it would just be ridiculously self-indulgent. Last year, when we moved Mike's stuff up here, the scanner sat in it's box for months. I couldn't bring myself to hook it up. I've used this comparison before, but it felt like I'd rubbed the monkey's paw. Like I'd wished for a big scanner and got one but at a terrible price. Every time I looked at it, I felt sick to my stomach. But eventually, I ended up needing it for something Mike-related and went ahead and hooked it up. Strangely, after three scans or so, I noticed a strange blur on all the scans I was doing. Turns out that's a typical problem with this particular scanner and it just got worse. It eventually became unusable. Friday night, when I came home, my office was filled with a horrible smell like the one we got when the transformer on our old electric racetrack used to overheat. The scanner's power supply had gone bad and I suspect we're lucky the house didn't burn down. So I took the scanner to the recycling pick up Saturday morning. It would have been handy to have around and I'll probably buy a cheaper model after all but I can't say I'm really sorry to see it go.
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 6:28 AM