Saturday, January 26, 2008

Off-Topic #1

Is it a good idea for this blog to start hosting off-topic posts? James, please chime in with your thoughts on the matter. I see a number of reasons why it's no big deal if we drift into non-CG posts but I also see a few reasons why it's maybe not the best idea.

Maybe it's a question more easily answered with a concrete example. In that light, I present two tidbits in our first (and maybe only) "Off-Topic" segment:

  • How to "solo" layers in Photoshop.
Option-click the "eye" in the layers palette. On a daily basis I use Maya, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator. Each is a brilliant application in one regard or and a complete pile of c#$p in another regard. You sometimes wonder if the application developers even know that there are other applications out there with things that might be worth "borrowing."

On that note, one great tool in After Effects is the "solo layer" command. There's a small radio button in the AE composition window that, when you click it, turns off every other layer. It's a nice, simple thing that quickly becomes part of your workflow. It's great for troubleshooting and overall very nice at helping you figure out complex compositions. Well, why the hell doesn't Photoshop have this option? I mean, they're made the same company, you'd think that some smarts would flow between the two development teams, right? I've pined for a long time for this simple thing...

Turns out it's been in Photoshop since, like, version 4 or something. And it's just that simple, option-click (mac) on the eye in the layers palette to solo your layer, option-click again to un-solo. It remembers your initial state as well, meaning that if you have some layers turned off already when you solo a layer, when you un-solo that layer, the already-off layers remain off.
Nice job.

  • Evo and Proud
I've just started reading a new blog called "Evo and Proud." It bills itself as "Peter Frost's anthropology blog, with special reference to sexual selection and the evolution of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation." I suppose it is all that. To me, it's just interesting.

One of my best friends is anthropologist at Emory U and I'm kind of a pop-science nerd. Give me some Pinker, Pollan or Carl Sagan and I'm a happy guy.

Well, that's it for now. The weekend kicked my butt with MEL class and my re-cutting my reel so I've nothing at all good to show, project-wise.


1 comment:

James Kirkman said...

I have no problem with off-topic posts, but the thing I really would like is a way to organize information a little better. This may be something that is built in here, but it doesn't seem to be.

Maybe it is time to move this party to a bona-fide website - Something that allows for blogs, but also will allow for a layer of information design beyond chronology... It just isn't seeming to cut it these days.

Back to the off-topic thing - I have lots to share about my hacking my Dreamcast into a Linux box, but I don't know if anyone cares.

I guess we could try it and see what happens.. But I think we have almost enough art to squeeze into a banner or splash page or something. So a site could give people some idea of what we are up to. Then they could hit the gallery, go directly to a pre-production area, or see some off topic rants..

When people hear about the project the first question I get is what is the story. Now I think that info is here somewhere... but I cant send them to a specific place to get the goods..So I usually end up mumbling something about a girl and birds. It would be nice (even for our use) to have things more organized.