Monday, December 1, 2008

Say Good Bye To Northrup Grumman

I just got done spending six months doing Effects work for Northrup Grumman in Rancho Bernardo. I was here on a contract job, testing out the corporate world, making very good money, and now that time has ended. I could have stayed longer, but felt that wearing a collared shirt and dress pants every day wasn't the life for me. The door has now opened as I walk into the world of Imageworks for one of their many cool animated films. I am now a Junior Cloth and Hair TD on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Beardelodeon Contest

The second annual Beardelodeon Contest took place at Nickelodeon on March 14th, and my biggest concern was if I could even grow a beard. Being in the Air Force years back I was so trained to not grow facial hair that I wasn't really sure if it would be possible, but I gave it a chance anyways. I was thinking I could win the 'Baby Face' category, but I had no idea what I was up against.

Oh I didn't mention the categories for this years contest: Mr. Density, Length, Baby Face, and a Mystery Category(Mr. Patchy Face)

On the big day of the contest I quickly realized I had no chance at winning anything, because I had an incredible ability to grow a nice even beard. By the day of the contest my beard wasn't to dense or long, and definately not a baby face beard, and at the time I had no idea what the Mystery Category was yet, but I was there to be a part of it none the less.

Below you can see some of the fun pictures from the event. It was a great way to end the week. In the end everybody that entered the contest won a $25 dollar gift certificate to i-Tunes which was very nice.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Internship with Nickelodeon Begins

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog entry. In this chapter of my professional life, we discuss Phase I of The Nickelodeon Internship. Keep in mind this entry is a summation of events in early January when things got rollin. I am reflecting!! Ya that's the ticket.

As some of you may know, in order to get to Nick I had to submit to the world of virtual pets, but my focus at neopets was clearly not in creating cartoons, so as you may have guessed I was overly excited to arrive and be at Nick, where Tak and the Power of Ju Ju was created.

My boss, Eric Swanborg is the Technology Manager at Nickelodeon, and his understanding of how things come down the pipeline is nothing but outstanding. He always has just enough work to keep me busy, yet of course he always gave me enough spare time to harass the lead artists with questions on how they did things.

The building I work in is called the Annex. The picture you see with Han Solo is a still, of what I like to think of as an evolving office. One week my desk would be in one place, and then the next week it would be in another place. This would often happen to everyone in the CG department, not just to me.

Oh that reminds me, one of the great things about being at Nickelodeon is they don't every have me run errands for coffee and food, which I really don't mind, but at least I don't have to do all these things.

After updating the corporate Wiki page I found myself helping Sponge Bog Artists migrate from paper to Wacom Cintiq tablets. The Cintiq tablets will ensure a paperless pipeline for the studio in the future. All prints will be made as needed. This is good for both the environment and the big cities that already have enough paper waste.

So lets not bore you to death, but rather talk about what a typical day is like at Nick. :)

First of all you have to come in and have a nice hot cup of tea or an espresso, perhaps along with that you need a toasted bagel or a donut, (maybe two) to get your stomach going.

I always liked to come in early, around 8:30 a.m. or so, and chat with the early birds like Sergio, see how they were doing, and go hit my email up to make sure there are no pressing issues. For the most part things are pretty mellow in the mornings. If it is busy, my tasks usually include helping Eric Swanborg with meeting setups or adding things to the Corporate Wiki. The rest of the day is spent working on mock-up shots using in house Effects to test out possible situations.

More to come in the next following exciting issues of Nickelodeon life....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Neo Pets - "Smug Bug Smite" Game Goes Live

That's correct friends, I actually created a video game for neopets. It has over a million plays too. Ya that's right! I can get a million people to play a simple shoot'em up game. I created this game during my first internship with Nickelodeon. Now of course a game with all the art, code and language interpretation doesn't come together by one guy. I guess it could, but that would defeat the work of all the people that slave day and night at neopets, so I would like to give credit where credit is due.

My role in "Smug Bug Smite" was to come up with the game concept, perhaps some concept drawings, which I attempted to do, and then write all the ActionScript for the game to make it happen. Since I am an artist I was dying to do some art, but of course my art skills are in 3D, therefore I let the talented guys in the neopets art department do all the magic.

When you write code at a larger company you always have someone looking over you, and I must say that without the help of a talented individual or two, I wouldn't be able to proof or integrate my code into the gaming system or language translation that makes a million plays possible. Props go out to Ollie, Manager of Games Production, who met me every morning with my ulcer flaring, and always asked me, "So Corey, how's that game coming along?" upon which I would always say, "Great, I think I can knock it out in the next couple of days!" Credit goes to Sam who allowed me to be ambitious and achieve my goals throughout my time at neopets, and last but not least Zim the talented animator who took the the flash drawings of the Bug Brothers and made them come to life. Zim is a talented man. Allot of props to him.

So how does that game work? Basically, you start the game and choose one of three weapons, a can of bug spray, a net gun or a fly paper roll. Any of these weapons pressed at the right time will capture you a Bug Brother. Now why do you want to capture these bugs? Simple, if you ever explore the world of neopia within neopets website, you may loose valuable points that can be used to feed your pet, all in part to these guys. The Bug Brother's steal points, their criminals! This game gives kids a chance to gain some of their valuable lost points back while having fun.

If you want to play the game just click this link Smug Bug Smite