Memories of Softimage

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With the recent announcement of the EOL for Softimage XSI, it brought back memories from many years ago, when I was initially learning 3d Animation. Back in the late 90's, while I was working in advertising, producing TVCs, I was getting extremely interested in learning how to create the magic of CGI I had seen in Jurassic Park several years earlier. After convincing our production company we needed to get on the bandwagon, we eventually came back to the office with a beautiful Xmas present. A copy of Softimage 3D. The very software that created the T-Rex. (for some additional memories of the t-rex, see this article on fxguide.com http://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/remembering-softimage/ )

At the time I was really developing as an editor, but I spent countless hours learning Softimage, and thought I would eventually make my living creating CGI. My career eventually went the editor/producer route, but to this day, I still spend a good amount of time keeping my 3d skills up-to-date. Today my software of choice is Maya, but there is a soft spot for Softimage. So much so, that I saved my copy of all the original software and documentation, as you can see here in these pictures. I entertained the idea of finally discarding them this past summer, but I am so glad I decided against it. I may do very little 3d animation on a professional level anymore, as I just do not have the time, my love for these software packages has not dwindled at all.

Return of the Return of the Jedi

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The day started innocently enough, doing some editing and After Effects work. Next thing I know, I am on Amazon, buying books published in 1983 about Return of the Jedi. Best part about this book, I used to own it back in the day, as a 12 year old Star Wars fanatic. I knew at the time this book really interested me, but didn't quite know why. I thought I liked the idea of behind-the-scenes stuff, although I most likely just wanted to look at the pictures. 

Through the years, through numerous moves, the book became misplaced. For all I know, its sitting in a box in my attic. Not matter what, I own it again. Isn't the internet great. You can find it here on Amazon brand new, for a cool $70. I went the other route, and bought a used one for $2. 

Amazon Link (lightsaber not included): 
http://www.amazon.com/Making-Star-Wars-Return-Jedi/dp/034531235X/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266584726&sr=8-6

Its got photos, scans of call sheets, shooting schedules, and all the things you would love to have for todays movies in the watered down extras disk on DVD's. They talk about how Lucas found his director, and why. Walter Murch makes an appearance. Hopefully work is slow today, I am going to start reading it.....again.

Handcrank Film Test

Shot with a Brevis 35mm adapter on an HV-20. Ran through Stu Maschwitz' HANDCRANK After Effects project for the old time film effect. I shot it at 60i, imported it into Final Cut, did some minor editing, and exported to After Effects. To get this Project, please have a look at Stu's wonderful book, "The DV Rebels Guide" 

You can find that here: amazon.com/DV-Rebels-Guide-All-Digital-Approach/dp/0321413644 

For more information on Stu Maschwitz, you can find his blog here:http://prolost.blogspot.com/  or his IMDB listing here:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0556179/