Introducing my work corner

I realized I hadn’t shown my new workspace here, so I figured it would be time to show it off a little.

Before, this room served the function of, well… a room for our guests and a room that I did some sewing in, sometimes. Then IGAD grabbed me by the ankles and started whacking me around like a pro wrestler, so I figured I needed to answer in kind!

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I am reusing the table I bought for sewing and left the other Ikea table downstairs when I’m trying to decide whether to move all of my computer paraphernalia upstairs or not. I did put all of my school books neatly within reach, and in the small drawer block I keep my drawing paper and cables (I have a LOT of cables!). The drawer I grabbed from Hema awhile back, and it’s a nice pop of color in the otherwise neutral room.

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A sneak peek into my pencil collection shows that I’m not that much into traditional drawing. A lot of this stuff was bought for school. I upgraded my compass because the previous one was very wobbly in use.

With so much table space I can also comfortably keep my tablet in a place where I can easily grab it and start drawing if I feel like it.  Win-win!

On the other side is my beloved drafting table.

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It might look old, but it’s very much in working condition and wins fiddling around with a T-square anyday. I like the extra “wall space” to put up works-in-progress and references. Though I have to admit I wasn’t planning on fitting something so large in the room, but luckily it works!

It’s quite luxurious to be able to close the door, turn up the music and work away on a blog post, drawing or a school assignment! And you know what it makes that much more a zen-moment?

A steaming cup of jasmine tea.

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Now… back to work on my assignments!

Clearing out the to-do list.

I am emerging out of my vacation full blown work week coughing dust and cat hair from being cooped up in my study room so much.

Good news is, I’m 99,9% ready to turn in a third of my workload this week. And a full week before deadline. Imagine that!

And this is what I’ve been working on for the past few days:

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And a lot of other stuff that isn’t very interesting at all to a casual observer.

Besides studying, I’ve managed to also tap into fun mode every now and then. I absolutely devoured the newest book from my favorite author, R.A. Salvatore, in a few sittings and was left wanting for more.

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Night of the Hunter was a tad bit too short for my tastes, in the 350-ish page range, but I suppose it’ll be alright since the next one will be released early next year if I’m not horribly mistaken. Which is cool, because I can entertain myself with books in short bursts. While sitting on the train, for example.

As a book Night of the Hunter was quite entertaining. I’m loving where the overall arch for the story is going where the world is concerned. It will be one epic showdown once the orc business is out of the way. I’m just loving the well-written action scenes R.A. Salvatore is so fluent in. I bet he went through a LOT of trouble to get it all choreographed so he could write it properly, bwahahaha!

But since I also follow some other authors from the corner of my eye, I could also pick up the newest book from Erin M. Evans and be thoroughly pleased.

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It seemed to have escaped me how brilliant she actually is in creating plot twists and building anticipation to the point I was holding my breath without realizing it. The characters are “stereotypical” but with very quirky and fun twists, and as a girl with a sister, I can relate with what Farideh and Havilar go through quite a bit. Also, it’s like the first fantasy book I ever read where there were 2 gay characters. Not just hinted at, but bluntly pointed out. While for some it might feel out of place, I felt it added to the characters and especially to the dynamics between the characters to the point where it would have felt WRONG if those characters were straight. Fun world, huh?

I will be staring at her blog (which you can find here) until a new book comes out. No kidding.

As briefly mentioned earlier, school year is trudging on. I made it through the autumn vacation, and now a few more squeezes for major project turn-ins and a small exam, and I should be good to go for the next block. Stay tuned to how my 3D illusion building will turn out when textured! :)

Chameleon Cancellation and fangirlsm

Is “fangirlsm” even a word, you might ask. But hey, it’s my own corner of the interwebs, and I’ve come to you bearing good news!

It’s almost the end of the first “block” here at IGAD (one of the four in which a school year is divided into) and it’s all looking fairly good!

Firstly, I will start off with a small sketch I did today during a break in Game Lab.

The person might tickle me to death if he saw this, but that is a risk I will have to take because AMAGAD I FINALLY DREW SOMETHING FOR FUN.

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It was amusing. I never draw from life, but because he was oblivious (and/or busy)  I could eyeball him to my heart’s content. Gotta love that.

Game Lab as such is going brilliantly for our team. Today marked the deadline for our alpha release, and to our great joy the presentation went flawlessly and the small bit of the game we presented was received with open arms and a multitude of quite nice compliments!

Chameleon Cancellation is a game in which you control Noodles the chameleon and harness his special powers of color-absorbing and mixing to make your way through the treacherous jungle.

Here’s a small teaser, the title screen. :)

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And there’s the mandatory in-progress shot for my illusion file.

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It’s grueling work but I’m getting there.Parts of the geometry have been rebuilt several times due to, well, reasons. Let’s say that I’m going to be busy with all of the work for this during my vacation as well. :)

The level of dedication most students display for their craft has deeply impressed me in the last few weeks. It’s not uncommon to find people still sitting at school, hustling away at their projects, at 6 pm or later. Some are planning on going to school during vacation as well! I might just have to do it to get some advice on modeling.

Life’s good. Now to finish off this block with honor!

3D and self-surprising attributes

The past week I’ve been running around like a headless chicken after being convinced I was totally on top of everything. Well, whaddya know.  Real life tends to get in the way of school sometimes, making my deadlines a bunch of unforeseeable I’ll-see-about-it-when-I-get-there happenings.

This is what I’ve been working for the past 10 hours on:

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It doesn’t look like much, but I needed a punching bag for about 5 times by now.

I hope it’s going to get easier from here. :D

I’m working diligently on my assignments this weekend though, so next week shouldn’t be such a headlong rush. There are 3 major tasks we’re working on now: this 3D illusion, drawing another illusion in isometric and orthographic, and a fictional iPad game complete with logos and visuals. And, well, I suppose our first game for Game Lab is also a major project, but for some reason it’s a bit less stressful for me than the rest. Go figure.

Life at IGAD is hectic but fun. I met some of the awesomest (that is OBVIOUSLY a word!) people, and so looking forward to writing and animation courses in the next block!

 

Over the hump!

It’s official. I’m over the first shock when it comes to school. I’m done gaping at the workload, teachers being the ones to laugh loudest at their own jokes, confusing lecture hall numbering, guys who smell like 3-day old fish and last-second lecture time and/or location changes.

Took me 3 weeks, but I got there. :) From how I see it, is that it can only get better from here.

My key takeaways from this process are:

  1. Plan! Plan your commute. Plan which materials you need with you (looking at you, drawing materials, which vary to an extent per lesson for us). Plan what you’re going to eat for lunch, otherwise you might find that the cafeteria is only open for about an hour and will close when you seriously need a sandwich. Plan to make time for extra planning.
  2. Don’t give up, ever. The first week I had a slight cold which meant that I sat in a lecture staring at the projection of the beamer like some kind of a mirage without really grasping what was going on. After the first week I felt like I was lightyears behind everyone in terms of skills and knowledge. But hey, I was picked for this programme for a reason! I could do this!
  3. Reward yourself regularly. It will make you feel better even about the smallest steps towards victory. (For the record, last Sunday I rewarded myself with a 5-hour session of Skyrim, and I must say that gaming never felt so good.)

The biggest hump for me has been drawing skills, I think. Mostly because I’m not really that great with abstract thinking. But hey, I can see my own progress with regards to quality!

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One of my first attempts at this technical drawing thing.

 

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Something I finished last week. Pretty nice!

I’m more precise now and have learned to plan out a bit better before drawing my lines, which is, I suppose, one of the main points of this course.

It’s worth being proud of myself for this. I was thinking that if I got an 8 for drawing skills, I should reward myself with a winter jacket from Desigual.

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IT IS FLUFFY.

I have my eye on this, but that stuff is expensive!

On that note, I’m hunting down second hand drafting tables, because kitchen table combined with several hours of drawing results in a mighty sore back. It’s kind of tough finding something that wouldn’t kill our budget, but Marktplaats has given me a few options –  now to see if I can secure me a handy, adjustable drawing table. :)

On 3D, Maya and McD’s burger box

Our first 3D assignment was folding a cardboard box in Maya. Pretty basic stuff, right?

You’d think. Hah.

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Behold my flat polygon with its n-gons.

As it turns out, the modeling world is just as perfectionistic about their polygons as the web world is about semantic CSS. Which I can understand, because I hate uncommented code and messy folder structure.

What I did not expect was the amount of fiddling it takes to actually put one of these burger boxes together. If you don’t trust me, go out there and Google it. I’ll wait.

I had to rebuild my model several times, due to mishaps like a badly traced polygon (man, all those little nicks in that box were driving me insane) as well as an interesting bug in Maya 2015 which, when the normals were hardened, caused my box to collapse in on itself like a festive balloon pricked with a needle.

 

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This one didn’t collapse.

In the end my box wasn’t perfect, but I had to turn it in since I was running out of time. Pity for that bonus point for my grade, but some other priorities need to be considered as well. A lot of lessons were learned, and I need to focus on the stuff ahead of me. :) And for the next time I know to not use such a complicated box.

For next week I will need to start looking into optical illusions and how to build a structure incorporating these things in it. I already found lots of reference material I will be using! So look forward to my impossible object assignment! :)

First week at IGAD – complete!

This has been one exciting but hectic week for me. I got the first touch on how it is to study at NHTV, and I soldiered on despite a cold that is creeping up on me.

In the first “block” we have a couple of subjects (Art theory, drawing skills, modeling, game engines for artists and game lab) that are taught by lecturers with widely differing methods. Some lecturers are not worried about your attendance, while others have taken a more strict approach. Most subjects are difficult but fun such as the drawing class where we got started on the fundamentals of technical drawing, which I never did before. Hey, it has been YEARS since I touched rulers, set squares or a compass last. I can’t even remember us doing as technical things in art class, ever, so it’s a quite big difference. :)

It feels odd to be surrounded by people that much younger than you , but it’s quite refreshing dealing with people who have the same passions as you do. To be able to throw a joke that doesn’t cause blank looks of “What the heck is she talking about?” is amazing!

What it feels like to talk with people who understand your weird jokes.

What it feels like to talk with people who understand your weird jokes.

The workload feels a bit heavier than expected right from the get-go, and now I have a bit better understanding on just why 50% of the visual arts students will quit within the first year. We’re being challenged left and right while walking the tightrope of balancing our priorities for the different classes. Once I get rid of this cold I will feel better about it, I’m sure. :)

AND I ALSO CUT MY HAIR.

It is glorious.

From long to short~!

From long to short~!

Stay tuned for my first technical drawing bloopers. There will be plenty.

Cats galore

Despite me swearing off the usage of the word “galore” previously, I realized it might be very appropriate sometimes.

We have 4 cats in the house right now (instead of the usual 2) due to our friends’ vacation and it remains a challenge to get them (cats) all get along. They can be quite skittish. BUT THEY’RE SO FLUFFY. I want to hug them!

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The Doctor knows what’s up. And no, I’m not a Whovian.

Regardless!

Yesterday I received my schedule for school and OH BOY AM I GOING TO BE SCREWED. I will have absolutely amazing subjects in the first semester (Art Theory! Modeling!  Drawing Skills! Game engines for artists!) but the schedule is fairly spread out and at least a few days will last until fairly late, which means that I will probably be at home closer to 10 in the evening due to my commute.

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My first week, ladies and gentlemen.

Since I have almost everything I need with me (laptop to pass the time playing FFXIV: ARR, or Guild Wars 2, and a sketchbook to draw away in!) so I can get comfortable as long as I have somewhere to sit.

Ahh, this is going to be interesting. Be sure to return next week for some first-week impressions and appraisal of whether I will stay sane the coming 4 years – as doubtful as that is. :)

Exhausting vacation

Oh, yes.

There are two kinds of vacations: one where you get to truly relax and kick back, and another one where you’re too busy doing Useful Things because man, this vacation is too short.

I’m in the middle of the latter.

To our credit, me and N have managed to do almost everything on our (my?) to-do list so far, and nothing calms my nerves like clearing out a mile-long to do list. I even managed to sneak in a lunch yesterday with another Finn who lives in the Netherlands for a few hours of relaxation (granted, the weather wasn’t on our side. But it was, as the Dutchies say, “gezellig”.)

Yesterday I also picked up my art supplies for this year from an art store in Breda.

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Oooh. What’s in here?

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… um, wow. Will I seriously need all of this?

 

Holy moly art supplies. It’s not very lightweight either, so I’m already dreading for my old back with the books (Animator’s Survival Kit says hi) and my beloved laptop.

Oh, yeah. I also bought new books. Yes, of course.

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Books and a furry arse.

“All’s well in the well” as Cynosure would say.

Now, a few more things to arrange, and maybe I can just relax the whole next week. And play FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. Maybe get my fishing class to 50. The simple things in life.