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Ik was in Rotterdam, hier is mijn report, maand drie

This, like two posts from before this one is also copy-pasted from my personal blog. Link bellow.

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Last Friday was Playgrounds festival in Amsterdam. We were supposed to be there at 9.30 in the morning, but I can tell you, at 8.30 I was already wide awake on the train, admiring the rising sun on the horizon and watching the fields through the tiny window, while traveling at 160 kilometres per hour.

It all started about 45 minutes before. I just received text from Marina that she and her sister will be late to the train and they are boarding the next one. I never traveled by train in the Netherlands, so I was still going to wait for them. And that’s where the fun started. This train station is much bigger than the one in Ljubljana, for example, so 10 minutes prior to the next departure we were looking for each-other, without luck. They already got the tickets when I still didn’t know where and how to buy them. “Where are you, Dex?!” “I finally found that ‘service station’ thing, and am waiting to buy a ticket…” and when I heard a distant “Fuck…” in reply I knew that’s not good. I did notice a machines in front, but I normally prefer human interaction when buying stuff like that – at least when I’m doing it first time – I figured… The next moment I noticed there’s a spot, and approached the counter. “I’d like to have a ticket for Amsterdam. Will I still catch the train at 8.25?” “Yes, just go to the platform 7.” That’s pretty interesting thing to hear, when the watch says it’s 8.23. I jumped through the first door on the train, and 20 seconds later we were moving. This is gonna be a good fucking day.

Nine artists/studios presented themselves during the day, some of them pretty damn famous. BUF, Polynoid, Psyop and Pixar would probably be considered the bigger players in the fields of animation. All of them were interesting in their own way. I loved how Julia Pott has a good sense for talking and explaining, it felt as she was talking exactly how she felt. Polynoid guys have their VFX skills above the clouds (at least for me), yet they seemed just like any of us during the presentation. On their slideshow, amongst the big achievements was a “bad ass coffee machine”! Moniker showed their cool internet mouse tracking project. I took part, backthen, it’s interesting thing. BUF was a little more official, but I still admired the footage they have shown. Then FIELD, I didn’t really know what to think of that, but they do have nice programming skills I think, though it wasn’t really my taste. Psyop guy was interesting, he looked like the biggest badass to me, but he seems to have good sense for emotions and feel. One of the most jaw dropping things came next, when some guys who make animatronics displayed their projects. I didn’t know much about this, but animatronics are basically robotic visual effects. They showed us how they made the head in the Prometheus, the one that explodes in the lab. Rex Crowle is the game maker, they make one cool game for PS Vita (or something), with really nice twist to it but I don’t remember the title. In the end, there was a lady from Pixar. She showed us nicely how Pixar works, but she seemed to have a cold so she had some problems talking. It happens. Still, if I had to chose my favourite presentation there I think I’d pick Polynoid or Psyop; because even though they are really really good at what they do, they seemed down to earth.

On the Monday, Roberto (another Erasmus schoolmate) and me went to take a look around the location of filming our trailer. It was cool experience, we walked around school finding interesting places. I was really impressed, and glad, that he seemed very excited about the project. I like that kind of people in my team. On Tuesday they presented us next assignment, which will be making a(nother) promo film. This is gonna be an interesting project. Everything I saw, seems to be exactly the opposite to how they want to present themselves. More or less… but the purpose is good. Now I just wonder what can we, the animation students do about it. In the evening there was a group of my Erasmus schoolmates and I asked them, if they feel like participating at the filming of the trailer. Many of them were in and I was impressed. For the last week I couldn’t get many people, but now in a single evening I got entire team. So it turns out, if you have a plan, people are more likely to be interested in. Gotta keep that in mind.

Anyway, this Monday, we’re filming the trailer. If everything goes by plan (that basically means nobody finds out the last moment that they can’t participate), it should go well. I’m looking forward to it. I like to change my mediums I work with every now  and then. So switching to Video after several months of being limited to Animation.

Apart from school… It happens every once in a while that here, in Rotterdam I really feel down. That happens after extended period of raining, and lack of sun. Just a few moments ago I told my friend “Now I finally know how you girls feel during the PMS. I want to die and I want to kill everyone and I want to cry and I don’t know what to do with myself.” I’m not sure if that goes for all of you, but she said that kind of sums it up. So if it happens that during that time we also suddenly have a lot of work to do for school I start to doubt if I will actually pass this exchange. But sometimes everything falls in place, and I feel very excited about everything.

So far this exchange is basically giving me what I came here for. The production kind  of knowledge and  experience. And it was doing it good.

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Second Month – van Rotterdam

This is the first week of second month in Rotterdam. It’s copied from my personal blog, where I was writing full report (before I knew I have to do it here). Enjoy… link to my blog bellow if anyone’s interested.

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Yeah,  of course I’m 10 minutes late, I always am. Unless I’m right on time, there’s almost no way in between. About an hour later I realised that I’m not 10 minutes late, but actually 2 hours. After an hour or so I remembered that we got an e-mail, saying we start at 13.00 and that we are supposed to bring our demo reels with us, which I didn’t. Of course I didn’t, I always start like that. We only had this class for the second time, and atop of being 2 hours late I also failed to bring what I was supposed to. At least the rest of the day went a little better, the logo I made for another class turned out pretty good so the Monday itself wasn’t all failure. When I came home, I mostly modeled for the rest of the day.

On Tuesday a teacher showed me how to make UV maps in Maya. Pretty useful but I don’t think I remembered all of it. I asked him what does “UV mapping” stand for. He explained me “These are the coordinates, and since X, Y and Z are already taken…” I had to laugh for a minute afterwards. All hyped, I didn’t leave the class even after it ended but I kept modeling. Another group of students had a 3D lesson afterwards, and after them another one… I had to leave then, since there wasn’t enough computers for all of us. So except for the theory class later that day and a dinner I was modeling most of the day.

And so I was on the Wednesday. The first time this year I skipped a class so I could work on the project instead. The very project this class was about. Again, I was so into modeling I missed another class for 40 minutes. I had to wait for 2 hours to film it since there was no computers left. Until the class finished actually. Now I’m to bring my animation on another day. But not bothering, there’s another project to finish… so I also modeled for the rest of the day.

I brought that simple animation for the motion graphics class, but in general I was working on the one minute project. The guy who is basically in charge for the classroom helped me more than a decent deal about the topology on my character’s head. After that class I went home, did some modeling, and later I went to a small roof party that Erasmus classmates organised. I brought a bottle of Smirnoff and Monster to go with it. I finished the Smirnoff by myself and felt no effect. Only halfway through I noticed it only said 4% of alcohol, so it was a great pleasure answering the question “Did you finish that bottle all by yourself?!” with “Yep!” We went to a club afterwards, and I was riding shotgun on the bike (if that goes for the bikes, too). The downside of the 4% there was that – I have to admit – I was a little bit bored, as I might have been the only sober person around.

On Friday I went to the Dutch Language Course I enrolled. A girl that came about 5 minutes into the class asked the teacher if she can pay the tuition fee the next time and she answered there’s an ATM right around the corner. The girl said “OK I will be back in 10 or 15 minutes” but she never showed up again… Right now I have a hard time learning the combination of letters, as my head wants to pronounce them in German way. Probably with some studying it will get better. After the class I returned home and basically modeled for the rest of the day.

Today is the Saturday and did nothing but model all day. More than ever hour our after our work is never over. The tip on my Wacom pen is getting flat, I’m starting to think about the edge loops as I go to sleep and different ways how to get quads from the triangles and pentagons or change topology in general. I also started to think how I’m going to render this, and how after I’m done modeling I’m gonna need to bind it and look there’s a fairy coming.

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Copied from http://blog.quitreality.com/

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First Month – via Rotterdam

Here bellow is a report of my first week in Rotterdam. Copied from my personal blog. The link is bellow.

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Either I’m gonna love it or I’ll die here. That was my first thought, when I stepped out of the car after a 20 hour drive. The drive that was following a 3 hour sleep. After 20 hours of almost constant rain. At least I got to be the navigator and I still admire the driver, how he managed to take it. The navigation thing was a challenge itself, since we only had a Adriaroute on the Garmin (though it still had major roads throughout the Europe) and my mobile phone had European maps only partially loaded – but the locating didn’t work for some reason… Anyway, after we pushed ourselves dangerously close to our limits, we finally arrived to a city that only had to offer, and we only had to take. How the hell did we end up here? It’s real, isn’t it? So, Rotterdam will be our home for the next 6 months (myself) or maybe even 3 years (Miha, the driver). So much stuff that’s going around us now, when we finally reached the destination, and we didn’t even get to sleep yet.

The next few days were mostly in a matter of the trivial things. Getting mobile phone up and ready, inquiry at the city hall about the registration, eating all the sandwiches I didn’t on my way here, surviving and such. Coming here out of a country where probably more than 98% of the people are exclusively Caucasian I – though I hate to admit that – was pretty honestly scared. There are so many people… so many different races… different cultures… someone’s gonna see a weakness in you and you’ll wake up with one kidney less… No, wait. It’s Rotterdam and that’s how it’ll be thorough the next 6 months. If the rest of them are not afraid, why should you be? So, that’s how I became one of them, too.

Tuesday was a day to hit the well-known (and apparently well crowded as well) market and meet some of my future schoolmates. The market is more than enough big to find about anything you could possibly need for the week to come – except for the pasta it seems. Instead of it you can get all the other kinds of dough-based products, dairy products, fruits and vegetables; also some textile and other daily needed stuff. In the evening we went to a party meant for the international students. In my manner I left at about 2 o’clock in the morning and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Probably my head, my liver and my wallet are all grateful. And I don’t listen much to the other parts of my body anyway…

Wednesday was a day off for pretty much all of us. Since some had to get themselves together from the day before and the rest of for the day to come, that seems reasonable. In the end, I was still suffering the consequences from the Sunday torture. I’m not that young anymore, it seems.

So, the Thursday, the big day. We were all summoned to the school. Of course a few of us were late (Olek – my schoolmate and my flatmate – and I, we blame it on the girls!) otherwise it won’t be in our style. A trip around the school. I don’t really have much experience as I still haven’t been on so many schools yet – much less outside Slovenia – but Willem de Kooning is enormous if I was to judge. Consisting of two buildings linked together by a bridge or a few, 3 stairways up and down it’s plenty of space for its scholars. Or so it seems, since I did not see many of non-erasmus students there yet, in the end it might turn out to be crowded as well. At the end of the forthcoming week I’ll be able to tell. In the evening we went to a jam session in a jazz bar, but since I’m not a fan of jazz music I didn’t stay long.

We had a trip around the Rotterdam on the Friday. We got to see some remarkable buildings which we would get to see eventually anyway, but it was still good to hear the history about them. A few rather interesting facts, but I guess every city has some of them.

Today Miha and me went to a market again (it’s every Tuesday and Saturday) to get some everyday products and in the evening I went to the open air cinema with schoolmates. We saw the film Argo, and it was fairly cool. Or maybe I just thought it was, since it was my first open-air cinema experience in life. It was also the first time in R’dam I felt cold. So, the autumn is here… And for the first time after 5 years I get to start school in September.

And we basically finished our first week, so, this is it as far as it concerns my first blog post. Well, I know many of you want to know more about my schoolmates (the erasmus students are mostly girls on our school. By far),  but let’s just leave that part for the next post, okay? It’s not like you get to choose…

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More from Rotterdam: http://blog.quitreality.com/

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The Irish Rotterdam

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Galway – Irish West coast

 

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Temple bar – Dublin (a classic)

 

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Guinness lake Wicklow mountains

 

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The Irish Experience

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Giant’s causeway

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Cliffs of Moher

 

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Dublin

 

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