So some drama happened out in the Wilmington office – a copperhead snake got in the building. They’re in a building were they can’t kill snakes, so they had to remove it alive somehow.
I whipped this up for them on the fly.
I randomly feel like quoting Gross Point Blank. TEN YEARS, MAN! TEN YEARS! Nothing as interesting as John Cusack’s character, but at least I haven’t killed anyone.
The only thing I’ve spent longer at is being in a relationship with my husband, which also is kind of mind-blowing. That includes pre-marriage time too – I’ve been at this job longer than I’ve been married.
Crazy. When I started working here, we did EVERYTHING out of photoshop. This was pre-VizRt, pre-Chyron and pre-Curious Maps. We made all our maps as they were requested. A couple months after I started I made a monstrous photoshop master map that was easier to just pick a an area from and turn around quickly. All those maps have long since been deleted. I got a lot more use out of my 3D skills when I first started, but have been called on less and less. Everything was done from Photoshop templates and animated or non-animated layers in Premiere. Now we have Chyron and a much more set in stone guideline book to how things are supposed to look on-air.
My favorite things have always been being able to do something different- the 3D stuff, sometimes animated web banners, animated printed pages, getting to work on the animation for our coverage of the final shuttle launch a few years ago. The time I got a complement from the Animal Planet people for an open I did-that was pretty awesome.
Getting free cable and internet all this time has been pretty nice too.
As of today, I am up to four weeks paid vacation- I’d been putting off taking any vacation most of this year because I wasn’t sure what the move to Charlotte would mean. I think I’m supposed to get a block of plastic at some point as well. Woot.
Today is my last day in the Raleigh Newsroom. One of my coworkers celebrated 12 years with News 14/Time Warner Cable News today. My 10 year work anniversary happens in August. I’ve been here to see the station change names, go from 4:3 and giant backup tapes to 16:9 and digital HD. When I started, we made our traffic maps ‘by hand’ in Illustrator and Photoshop using templates that we modified. Not too long after I started, we switched to Curious Maps (thank the gods). When I started we only had the one building, and now we’re in Charlotte, Greensboro and Wilmington. I don’t even remember what software we had before we moved from VizRt to Chyron, but it was a pain in the butt. Sometimes the only surface indication that something has gone wrong was the sight of a news director dashing past the cubes, but even that hasn’t happened in years. We went from burnt coffee pots to a k-cup machine and I kept going with my “Last Pot Brewed” dry erase comics, which people liked more than I first realized. On top of that, no one I’ve talked to here even feels like they could ‘take over’, which equally surprises me. I’m sort of happy to be with the same company for 10 years, but I’m looking forward to the next adventure.
I applied for a contract job that needs 3D models pumped out. They want Maya and Max, but I’m hoping Lightwave could work for them too. (crosses fingers)
My boss had my regular workstation/computer moved to Charlotte and it’s going to be all ready for me when I come into work Sunday at the Charlotte Newsroom. My office decorations are all packed up and ready to go with me out the door today. I have a box of duplicate markers that I’m leaving here just in case someone wants to draw on the board too.
It’s pretty awesome that my bosses were not only willing to do this for me, but they moved it along pretty fast. The new drive won’t be much longer than the old drive to work, and I can still miss the rush hour because of my crazy schedule not changing.
We move the cats this weekend too. This will be interesting. I hope life continues to be interesting.
This was a really cool and fun project that has since been retired, as we no longer use VizRt. A little while after North Carolina got the lottery, someone thought it would be helpful to have a template with changeable numbers in an interesting format.
I built the billboard in Lightwave, in layers. One of the fun things about VizRt is that when you are importing 3D objects, they have to be divided up into multiple objects if you want to use more than one image for any given part of it. Viz will not accept more than one surface image on any one object. The other fun thing is that it does not import objects to scale. If you import a space shuttle and then import the shuttle bay doors and drop them in the same project, they’re both going to be the same length and one has to manually re-size the doors down to match the shuttle again, which may or may not lead to being able to line them up correctly. I had to import my football in 5 sections, one for each quarter and one for the laces. When I last used Viz, it did not do a good job of bending images, so ball objects required quite a bit of arranging to get images to line up right.
I imported the board, walkway, number border box and pole separately so I could modify their colors. The dollar sign is a permanent symbol, and the the others were rectangular planes that you could choose which number to display. Or you could type it in, I forget which. I had some help with the VB script. The background displays a moving video loop of traffic on I-40, and the rotating ’14’s. The billboard image was originally a .jpg saved out of photoshop.
For my local D&D group.
For the past six months or so I’ve been running a 3.5 D&D group. I had only attempted to DM once before, and frankly, I was terrible at it. My husband had run the 3.5 Ravenloft module a few years back, and since I had so much fun with it, I thought I’d give it a shot myself. So far I feel like I’m doing a much better job at running games in general, and my players are actually enjoying themselves, despite the repeated deaths of the barbarian. In my defense, he really aught to stop bashing down every door in sight. Every tool is an axe and every problem is something that needs to be killed with said axe. Dwarves, I swear to god. Where was I?
In about 2 weeks, the game will be over, for two reasons. One, my party is finally right outside the lair of the master vampire, and two, I’m moving to Charlotte on June 13th, or there about.
Hubby accepted a position just outside of Charlotte some eight months ago, with plans for me to move there eventually. My boss has okay’d me working from Charlotte, so there I go.
I’m excited and terrified. I knew change would have to come sooner or later, and I’ve had quite a bit of time to prepare for the move. Gods willing, we’ll be packing up all three cats and migrating them to our new primary residence in a few short weeks. I’m sure they’re going to love the trip. Cats love trips. (no, they really don’t). Okay, I’m not really terrified, but it will be interesting.
I’m also sad because I just found a new barn to ride at, but we’ll be back from time to time so hopefully I’ll have some time to squeeze in weekend lessons.
So, sometime in the past, News 14 asked for a Gas Station sort of virtual set. The reporter that requested it wanted to be able to render out a short animation that showed the entire gas station from a distance and then zoomed into the pump. My boss okayed the project, and then never told me to stop working on it after I finished what the reporter asked for. For a few extra weeks between other projects, I added a bunch of extra props to flesh out the scene. I added dumpsters modeled after the ones in our parking lot, a phone booth and air/vacuum pump, some basic shelves inside the store, wooden pallets, the ice machine, and a few other bits. They finally got around to telling me to stop working on it, or I would have flattened the curb in front of the store to make a wheelchair access, and improved the lighting rigs. I made or modified all the textures in Photoshop, and took some of the texture photos myself from a local gas station.
Close up of the pumps:
further back, older file but shows more.