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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Day Made of Glass 2

Here's one of the biggest projects that I've ever had the pleasure of working on at Westernized Productions.  A ton of tracking, compositing and animation from a huge team of us with many different specialties.

I tracked the glass "iPad" device for the young girl in the beginning and in the car sequence.  In the morning sequence, I also came up with a way to hand-track the mirror shot, plus supervised another artist when the task was passed off to her when I was called onto another project.

I hand-tracked pretty much the entirety of the classroom Light Table scene.  All the circles being manipulated are hand animated based on the original footage.

The doctor scenes were pretty fun.  I tracked the tablets that the two doctors are holding in the hallway and animated the elements that they are discussing.

When the Chinese patient hologram is activated on the table, the brain slices that the doctor slides thtough and eventually pulls out of the hologram's head are actually mine!  I even needed to sign an actor release agreement for my brain scans.
Hello all, it's been a while since I've updated this blog.  I have a good amount of time on my hands at the moment so I figure I might as well share what I've been up to for the past several months.

About two years ago, I developed a macular edema, or a swelling in the central part of my retina.  This made reading and using the computer extremely difficult, and it came down to the point where I couldn't even make out peoples' faces.  Unless you were 5 feet away from me, I wouldn't have been able to recognize you.  Life got quite frustrating and I had to take a 7 month long hiatus from work.

I started seeing a vitreoretinal specialist at Stanford Hospital.  He couldn't determine the cause of the edema, but started treating the symptoms as they arose while figuring out their origin.  Topical steroids and other drops didn't do much for me, but got my vision back to a stabilized state so I could at least get back to work.  We decided to get more aggressive with the treatments and started doing Avastin injections directly into my eye.  I had to get an injection every 4 weeks or so, and each one was painful and traumatic.

I ended up developing an infection inside my eye near the end of 2011 after repeated injections and treatments, and I eventually had to go in for full-scale surgery in January of this year.  Since I only have one eye, it makes vision-compromising decisions such as surgery very stressful.  Luckily, the surgery was a success and I my vision came back to the clearest it has ever been since January of 2009.  I went from a constant 20/60 to 20/25.  My mood cheered up immensely, and I happily dove back into reading and other things that I had been unable to do for over two years.

Suddenly, on February 17th, my retina detached.  I had to go in for emergency surgery that weekend to get it fixed.  Scleral buckle, vitrectomy, retinal lasering to "weld" the surface back down.  My vision quality was snatched away in an instant as they filled my eye with silicone oil to hold my retina in place.  Recovery was long and frustrating, and my vision is back to being a consistent 20/50.

This held for a little while, long enough for me to get back to work for a month or so.  Now, I am suffering from a detachment yet again, as the surgery didn't work.  I'm currently waiting to hear back from new doctors at West Coast Retina here in San Francisco to figure out a way forward.  Thankfully, they seem a lot more confident in their abilities than my doctor from Stanford, and there may possibly be a non-invasive fix to the cause of all this.