Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Animation Training

This whole week I will be busy at work with animation training from our animation director.

I've been animating professionally for four years now, and yet it still is a learning process. After one day's session with our trainor I could say I've found new tips and tricks on character animation. Hell, even the walk cycle we learned was something new for me. It's not as easy as my walk cycle, in fact it has more keyframes. But it does look smoother, animation wise. Plus this new technique of animating a walk cycle will be most beneficial because I can probably add more character to my, er, character with this. I've already seen the improvement in my walk cycle.

So today is another training day. I cannot wait for what we will do later.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fate? Luck? God's Will?

I'll try to make this short and direct to the point.

When I was in college in ADMU, during one of our computer classes (I think it was database) my friends and I were downloading small quicktime movies of Spiderman the PS1 game. The teacher, naturally, caught us watching and asked us what it was we were doing. She wasn't angry or anything. Just curious. So I told her that one of the reasons I took up Comp Sci was so I could get a foot into the gaming industry.

This was partially a lie. While it was true that I was into gaming, I honestly took up Comp Sci because of the millenium bug. At that time (1999) I had no idea what would actually happen with the bug but I was expecting that by the time I graduated the demand for programmers would be large thanks to the bug wreaking havoc worldwide. Boy was I wrong. Fortunately (?) I didn't finish my Comp Sci career and I moved to ADNU, where I shifted from Information Management to Digital Illustration and Animation.

Because during my first sem in Naga, I told one of the teachers I'd like to work in EA Sports sometime in my life. This was less of a lie than the Spiderman thing. Now I was seriously hoping to get into gaming because this was something I was enjoying a whole lot. If I could play games then I sure as hell could help create better games since I was a gamer myself, right?

Fast forward to February 18, 2008. I start working for Anino Games. One of, if not, the biggest game developers here in the Philippines. I've already helped in tweaking some assets for a computer game which will be released sometime soon (I hope) and while the games I've been helping out on may not be as technically awesome as the "next gen / current gen" games, I am in the gaming industry already.

Sure I may have helped in creating assets for Ladyluck during my stay in Holy Cow! Animation, but that was a different story. We were subcontracted to create 3D assets for the game that would turn out to be Terrawars NY Invasion.

Now I'm IN a game company. I create 3D assets and rig and animate them. I'm part of the team that creates games, not just some "freelancer" who's asked to create one object. Sure we got credited for our help in Terrawars (they got my name wrong - Isagani Nanangas when it should be Isagani Nañagas or Isagani Nanagas since most people don't know how to write "ñ"). Now I've actually opened new doors for me. I'm in the gaming industry.

I don't even know if this is ironic. I used to tell people I'd like to work in games eventually, without any concrete plans to pursue that goal. And now I'm in gaming.

I am one lucky guy.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008



It's around 5:23am on a Wednesday morning. Too early to be awake, much less surfing the internet. And yet here I am. Blogging.

It's not that I don't want to blog, or that I don't want to surf. It's just that I woke up too friggin' early. I was up by 4am, to be honest. And rolling around in bed for an hour did not produce the result I was hoping for. Maybe it's because I've got this nagging feeling in the back of my head.

That nagging feeling is called work. Yes, I couldn't sleep because of what I was doing at work. Deadline's today, of course. I know I can finish it, I just don't know why I woke up so damn early. What's even stranger is that this hasn't happened to me since my office moved to Makati. This is the first time. Seriously.

So now here I am, blogging. In a few minutes my early alarm will sound, signaling me to get up and perform my usual morning routine.

Then I head off to work, do the usual 9 to 6 and leave. Get home. Sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Not that I'm bored with work, mind you. I can honestly say that I am having a blast with game development. Working under more "limiting" requirements for 3D using a software that I am starting to become comfortable with has kept me on my toes.

Plus the rate of growth of my other 3D related skills has been a pleasant surprise. Rigging has always been my forte in Maya, and I am happy to know that it isn't so different in Max. Yes I can still rig and skin in Max as fast as I did in Maya, even faster because Max has better skinning tools.

Texturing has always been a weakness of mine but I seem to be performing quite well in that region too. I'd say my texturing skills have been average to above average.

But enough about work.

My alarm is going to ring in a while and I'd better clear my head already.