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Stayin alive

Well, it’s over. My Thursday at midnight mantra got changed along the way to “Friday at 3am”, which is the time to which the deadline for my final project in Graphics got pushed back due to general complaints. The final product won fourth place in the class-wide exhibition and vote this morning, which was both a disappointment and a redemption for the venerable Disco Hand. After the prizes had been doled out to the winners (I got a flip-book of A Bug’s Life, valued at $4.99 Canadian, for my pains), I seized one of the TAs by the lapels and told him that Disco Hand demands a recount, but I was actually pretty happy with finishing in the upper 17% of the field (24 entrants total). The video, accessible here, is the product of countless man-hours of programming and animating.

Actually, let’s count them. My partner and I created Disco Hand for the Modeler project much earlier in the quarter, which I would estimate I spent about 18 hours on. My partner probably spent around 14. We reused and expanded the model for the Animator project, where we dedicated much more time. I built the particle system and added the floor, which took around 16 hours, and my partner spent a comparable amount of time getting various animation curves working. Then the animating itself: we both spent at least 20 hours on the process for our 38 seconds of video. Conservative estimate for total development time: 100 man-hours. I spent fifteen of those hours holed up in the lab from 11:30 am Thursday to 2:30 am Friday. This is to say nothing of the strife and panic which raced through the lab like wildfire as the deadline loomed – my partner from the last project nearly suffered a very public nervous breakdown an hour before the first deadline. My current partner was similarly distraught when a server mix-up deleted twelve hours of his work, although he handled it much better (this mix-up is the reason for the clunky transition between his Billy Jean scene and my Stayin’ Alive scene, the reasons being too technical to delve into). Was it worth it? Maybe not, but I get the respect of generations of Graphics students to come, at least until the staff needs the space on the servers and wipes the contest results. And I have this flip-book.

In other news, I am done for the quarter – well, there’s that Graphics final, but that will take care of itself for the most part. Want to hang out? Let’s hang out. Marta is having a party at her place in Wallingford tomorrow night, and Kelly’s band is playing in Belltown the following evening. I’ll be attending both events, and you should come too. Give me a call. I’ve got nothing but leisure to burn.

Posted in Musings.


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