Archive for July 2008

Movie opening in Tokyo

Early Saturday morning I went to see the public opening of the new Pokemon movie. There is something special about watching the kids reactions, so much different from the creator's preview I viewed few weeks ago.
It was great, the cinema was at capacity filled with kids all trying to hold on for 91 minutes without peeing themselves.
Here is a shot of all the mums and dads waiting inline, (unseen) below the adults is a sea of Japanese kids.

It is Tuesday morning now, on the way to a meeting in Sangenjaya.. I have been at the office since the Saturday screening, got the new Pixar implementation working properly with my new code. Had to divert from using the Yamanote line this morning. What I could pick up was a rescue was being attempted in Harajuku, which usually means someone had been hit by a train there.
So I got to use the new Fukutoshin line which was packed with the rest of Tokyo which was diverted as well.

Finaly got it started!

Finally got the basics to the feather procedural working today. Isn't it funny how a couple of days of thrashing with code inspiration will kick in, then it all seems easy. I wonder if there is some way I could quantify this perspiration to inspiration ratio, it would definitely help with time estimates.
After work went out with the OLM Digital team to a lovely Taiwanese restaurant. We were celebrating the months anniversary of the new workers Kinoshita and Marc. It is always refreshing to work with new faces, both really bright and fun people to be around. Funny thing about the people around Mr. Anjyo they are incredibly smart and a barrel of laughs - the best combination.


Yesterday I started unsuccessfully to write the new python snippets for our new project. Around midnight I tried to get the new RenderSan site up. Ajax wasn't the problem, making the site multilingual gave me the biggest hassle. Went into ViPlus today (Tuesday) to check out our new schedule. It looks so full I had to call family and friends to cancel every appointment from now till mid April.
Left ViPlus early today, it's great to work as a team, but at the moment I just need 2 things shared time and quiet coding time.
No need to apologize too much, as I think they understand this is my next months focus.
So I am about to return to the office for another Python punch-up.

Sunday goes real quick

After work yesterday, I went out to a barbecue with Leonard and friends. Came home about 7pm passed out. Woke at midnight feeling like I had slept for a week. Of course trying to get back to sleep was fairly worthless.
Found some security holes in a clients server this morning and freaked out, inevitably those kind of things will happen when administration is shared amongst a few people.
Anyway fixed the holes revoked some ssl keys. Today I feel incredibly refreshed so I think apart from checking the FinePix server I intend to tackle some Python problems I couldn't solve last week.

stuff, thanks

Finished moving the servers for FujiFilm, so I came back this morning(Sunday) 11am home. Took a couple of hours off now back into the research project, I always thank god (hehe) I have no religion -Sundays for me is rarely free.

Haste makes waste!

A good example of why you shouldn't run around like a headless chook.
Last night I stayed back at the office to try and finish the manuals I am writing for the research I am doing, had a quick nap, then realized today was the deadline for paying corporate tax (ransom).
So I had to wait inline behind other people also who left it to the last minuite, yes there was a very long queue of tired looking people with same forms in our hand!
Now if I hadn't been in a rush I would have planned this out so any one of my business colleagues could have helped. But noooo I looked like Mr. silly shatcho (boss) waiting in line.
Anyway got that painful payment done, arrived at the research room late - which I do not need, as the deadline for the manuals are tomorrow!
Not only that, I left my encryption key behind - AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH. That means I could not read ANY data.
I wasted time in a sweaty train for that!
I explained kindly I will have to go back to get my key but I just do not have any time to spare so I worked virtually with Yosuke today.
The good thing is I was determined not to panic, calmed down and actually wrote reams of pages.
Well its midnight and I am halfway through, anyone wan to bet if I will get it done?
The moral is - calm down Bernie!

So far my Siggraph schedule is piling up

It seems like I will have my hands full at next month's Siggraph in LA.
Pixar asked if I could give a couple of talks, apparently they have a 100 seat theatre available this year at the Pixar booth.
I arranged to do the talk with my good friend Yosuke from OLM Digital.
So far if you want to catch up with me in LA, apart from the usual papers, discussions, dinners and parties I will be attending from 8.30am till 3.00am you can catch me at:

Tuesday 1pm-130pm at the Pixar stand I will be giving a presentation in Japanese.
Tuesday 20:00-1am Softimage SIGGRAPH 2008 User Event
Wednesday 1pm-130pm at the Pixar stand I will be giving a presentation in English.
Wednesday approx 17:45-19:45 at the film festival watching a film by OLM which was created with in-house tools we created together.
Wednesday 19:45-21:00 Pixar Renderman 2008 User Event
Thursday 13:30-14:00 in room 307 at the LA convention center I will be running the RenderMan® community of Japan BOF.
Friday approx 10:30-12:30 at the film festival watching a film by OLM which was created with in-house tools we created together.
There are a couple of other talks and events I may be doing and some are still secret so keep your eyes on this blog for any new updates.

Yearly Sumo backyard party

Just getting over the weekend barbecue. Each year the entire Satogatake team is over for the backyard barbie. Here is a photo near the end of the party with me and two champions Kotomitsuki(琴光喜) and Kotooshu(琴欧洲) in the kitchen -eating, of course.

The first RenderSan meeting.

On Saturday I hosted the first RenderMan® Community meeting of Japan, with much appreciated help from Yoshichika Shimamura and Naoki Kondo. It did not go entirely as planned, it was way better than I had expected!
I was expecting the usual unresponsive crowd, so I had 2 hours of blurb ready just in case.
Most of the group gave ideas, even disagreed at points so we ran out of time. In my wildest dreams I did not expect such reaction, it felt like a real community.
A lot was not voted for, but the main thing is the main structure was basically sorted out and I hope not to bore anyone too soon with much voting.
If you want to see what our group came up with look at the minutes at, I will be putting them up later in the morning.

Basically we voted on the name, structure, goals, and workings of our new community.
All three main RenderMan® vendors were there, and gave excellent input.
I was happy that everyone agreed it will be an open community, only restricting positions of power to vendors - in the interest of fairness.
An excellent point was made that my idea of allowing vendors to have some commercial input for hosting the group seemed a little cold.
Actually most people seemed happy to allow some commercial input if it was for the benefit of the community.

I may have been a little too much of a hippie in thinking the users would create a totally non-commercial group.

So we will be allowing vendors to add anything to our community. After all they are RenderMan® users too. The users also agreed that using a commercial venue was alright. Even when it came to funding people agreed a small fee was fine.

I had planned to give a small instruction on illumination loops and message passing, but time was against us. In the end we exchanged cards and about 20+ of us went out for a small after drinks party.
It was here over a few beers I got to explain a few of the tricks in the shader I handed out earlier. Everyone, agreed the party was the best thing since shadow maps!

After the party, the real hardcore amongst us went to a nearby darts bar. I think next time we shall plan the after party as it seemed like such a good idea.

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