BUGS Christmas Gathering … We have a good time!

For those who missed out on the gathering, the subject title says it all.  Ching Ling brought along the SIGGRAPH ASIA 2009 Animation Theatre DVD and showed us the best of the best (in SIGGRAPH opinion), oh yes, and those scrumptious “maid cookies” too.  In about two and half hours, we talked various topic from the Blender 2.49 to 2.50 to 2.60, our experience this past year, what we are currently engaged in, etc. Everyone gets to know a little about the others a little deeper. Daniel and I talked about maybe a little project for the BUGS to engage in this upcoming year so as to showcase that the BUGS can do something.  We are in the visual industry and a portfolio is literally a required calling card. Do give me your thoughts on that and ideas on how we can proceed.

As we are at the end of the year, here’s a brief and debrief of 2009. I am quite amaze by our progress. It started with talks in March and a realization in April. We grew steadily and at a manageable pace. The best part is that we have unique people from different industries like Industrial Design, Instructors, Director, Studio Owner, Oil & Constructions, Architecture, Students in Engineering, Vjay, etc.  The members itself gave everyone a chance to share in a workshop with different point of view. Software Freedom Day gave us a good publicity and more people now know about us. Each of our workshop is a success and more to come in 2010.

For the year 2010, I am planning for more workshops and “show and tell”.  Some tentative topics includes “Things to consider when starting a new project”, “Architectural Viz workflow”, “Where’s the Fund?”, etc.  Beside workshop, There are sessions where each of us will be given 10 minute for a lightning show and tell to showcase what we have done or even work-in-progress.  There is going to be a fun competition to create motion graphics for our logo and that could be an individual or group project which would require time commitment (not a lot).  These ideas are not concrete yet but I believe its what will help us all move to better establish the Blender User Group as a credible and resourceful organization.

On the infrastructure side, I will be doing my best to engage a local university to support our effort by donating servers and space at least for an official blog site, mailing list, and an official meeting place.  The year 2010 will what I hope to be an “Engaging” year where we will engage as many people as possible to be interested in using Blender, joining the BUGS and most importantly, share and support everyone.

As a closing for this last mail of 2009, I would like to thank Weelian and Sim for their constant unwavering support.  Daniel Yam for constantly pushing me and providing me solutions to think bigger. Sacha for putting me into thinking about the Blender community in a global sense. Last but not least, all of you BUGS members, as well as Blender User Group worldwide for making Blender a growing success in each of your circle of friends and community.

I look forward to greater things and more dialogue within the BUGS and wish you all a Great 2010!!

Advertisements

MyGOSSCON 2009

On 5th November, I had the opportunity to be invited to speak at MyGOSSCON 2009 at the Putrajaya International Convention Center about Open Source Digital Content Creation.  The time alloted for all the speakers was unfortunately extremely short (20mins + 5mins Q&A).  All the speakers I talked to pretty much commented that its too short to give a good informational talk.  As I am the only speaker there showcasing creative arts side of open source, I choose not to use a “normal slideshow”.  Throughout my 20mins talk, I just let David Revoy’s Durian’s concept art video flow silently and I see it in the audiences’ eyes that they find it unbelievable that a professional uses Open Source Software to create art.  I focus a good 5mins on “its the human that makes the art” while the rest of it I talk about a list of software available in the Open Source world that is used for creative arts covering categories like drawing (raster graphics), illustrating (vector graphics), 2D animation, 3D animation, Audio Editing, Digital Audio Workstation, Music Sequencing and Notation, special purpose software for Guitarist and DJs, etc. During Q&A, I was able to sneak in a lilypond output example while playing a demo from linuxsampler.org. Feedback from the audience is that they were amazed by the quality the Open Source Software can produce.  I am not sure how well I do in the event but that’s not important. What is important is I pray that many, if not all of my audience, find my presentation practically useful and kick start their interest in exploring Open Source Digital Content Creation tools.

Lack of updates on the Blog but lots of things going on……

Since meeting #3 on 15th of August, quite a few things happen and some unexpected. If you are on the mailing list, you would be updated on quite a few things but here’s a summary……

Let’s start with some BUGS meeting #3. Our 3rd meeting talked about our next workshop and our BUGS’s Logo. The BUGS have been holding back our own workshop with the news that a major a Linux vendor and a local University wanting to engage the BUGS to do workshop training to participants of a Blender Competition they are organizing. However, due to series of logistics and legal issues, the workshops have been delayed indefinitely. Hence, we decided to go ahead and schedule one of our own workshops to the public on the 19th of September. Next, we talked about getting ourselves a logo. Its decided last meeting that BUGS members should submit a logo design and do a show and tell in this meeting. Weelian, Sim, Chingling, and I showed our design to one another and have fun telling how we got our inspiration. We also showed each other how we created a 3D version of our logo. As we have only 4 design, the BUGS members present that day agreed to extend the “competition” for a little longer. We later have Sacha submitted his design as well about a week or two later and the stage is set for voting in the mailing list.

Around August 27th, Weelian sent email to the BUGS saying that a Darrel Chua is organizing Software Freedom Day in Singapore at the National Library Head Quarter and has contacted him to have a Blender presence during Software Freedom Day. With that news, I went ahead and contacted Darrel for booth to showcase Blender to the public on Software Freedom Day which coincidentally happens on Sept 19th as well. As one of the goals of the BUGS is to promote Blender locally, the workshop on the 19th is postpone and all efforts is set on promoting Blender on Software Freedom Day (SFD). It is the BUGS first marketing attempt!! In the mailing list I even suggested we put the BUGS’s logo to a public vote! But that did not happen as a few days before SFD, it is very clear which logo is a favorite among the members. With our Logo at hand, we set sail for SFD 2009 with Weelian, Sacha and me. What happen at SFD 2009? Read the next blog……

B.U.G.S. Meeting #2 report

Firstly, I would like to welcome two new members, Chin Ching Ling and Bryant.

We are looking at trying free mailing list, most of which introduced by Sim. Then there is commercial request for BUGS to give workshops which the BUGS has pretty much decided on who will be teaching it and further information will be available later. Last but not least, to get the BUGS something fun to look forward to, we have decided on a small activity to design the BUGS logo and render it in 3D.  The deadline is by the next meeting for a show and tell.  It will be a fun meeting next time.

Though the meeting is not short, but it is surely a sweet one.  Thanks Blenderers!!

Until Next Time … …

Eve of SIGGRAPH 2008

Oh what a day!! In the morning I get to meet Ton and the other Blender Guys: Sacha, Andy, Nathan, and Bassam for breakfast!!  Talked a lot about Blender, the guys current personal projects, rigging, animation, questions my own group of Blender user have and a little about Blender and Asia Animators and company in general.  After all the talk and a good breakfast, Ton had to go back to the hotel to pick something up and drives to the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC).  The rest of us prefer to walk there and hang out for a while.  We talk seriously fun topics like Blender and some nonsensical happy stuff like crap.

Walking to LACC

Walking to LACC

From Left to Right: Bassam, Sacha, Andy, Nathan

More walking to LACC

More walking to LACC

Behind: Bassam, Sacha
Front: Andy, Nathan

After a 30min walk, we arrived at the LACC but was a bit too early for registration.  The registration starts at 13:00hr so we went to Star Bucks and entertain ourselves for two hours.  Ton is putting more pretty stuffs in his presentation while Nathan and Bassam were talking about rigging, animation, workflow,  and pipeline.  We talked quite extensively about version control in the line of CVS vs Subversion vs Bazaar.  Nathan says would test Bazaar as a central server and create a simple quadped rigg for my group of Blender Animators to play with.  Thanks Nathan!!!

Ton unpacking the merchandise

Ton unpacking the merchandise

Working on presentations

Working on presentations

Andy and Nathan checking out Bassam Latest work.

Andy and Nathan checking out Bassam Latest work.

Around 13:15 we all went to confirm our registrations and got our badges.  Its was a long queue but highly efficient nonetheless.  After that, I went down to pick up my merchandise which includes 4 DVDs, 2 books, and 1 T-shirt.  There are other advertising stuff that came with it as well but none worth mentioning.

After all that exciting happenings, I called my cousin who is suppose to call me earlier.  Shockingly, there was no connection but the signal is strong!?!  No wonder I did not receive any phone call.  I called and apologize for the problem.  He came and fetched me and we went to eat some Japanese food in Little Tokyo and some famous frozen yogurt from Korea which even celebrities of Hollywood would rather get a parking ticket than not being able to get a cup of that sourish frozen treat.  Upon finishing our food, he drove me to Hollywood Boulevard to check out the Kodak Theatre and the Chinese Theatre beside it.  We went for long stroll and talked about our lives, the world around us, families, and each others future.

Chinese Theatre

Chinese Theater

Kodak Theatre

Kodak Theater

Hollywood on the Hills

Hollywood on the Hills

Time for dinner and we hop over to iHop.  I have forgetten how big the portions are and man are they too much to eat even for a simple order of Straberry and Banana Pancakes.  Sheesh!!  After dinner, my cousin sent me back to my hotel where I say to call him maybe Tuesday to confirm on Tuesday schedule.  Upon going back to my hotel, I discovered that I will be rooming with another person for the rest of my stay here in LA.  Its quite shocking to me as I was not expecting roommate.  As I have expected, this is a high class back-packers hotel.  My roommate is a student and seems to be looking for a job during SIGGRAPH.  I wish him well.

Seems  like I might be coming down with a cold.  Got catch some Zs now.  Hope I could get up by 0630hr.