Thursday, September 20, 2012

Understanding Classes in Python

I love Python, but there are some things about Python that I've really been struggling with.  Mainly I'd been struggling with classes, __init__ and the use of self as an argument.  When I saw something like this:

class Introduction:
    def __init__ (self, name): = name

I had a small stroke.  What does that mean?  What is the purpose of a class?  Why does "self" keep popping up everywhere?!  I just didn't get it, and every explanation I read was so technical and hard to understand.  Well, I'm an auditory learner so I went to YouTube to see if anyone had explained it.  When I heard this man's tutorial, everything clicked.  If you're having trouble like I was, I think you should take the 12 minutes to watch and listen to this video.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is my life

I feel like this right now.

I hope that one day I'll make it, in the meantime I'll keep brushing up on my Python.  I love Python.  Once I get the hang of classes, I'll be unstoppable!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Rock in the Road - Animated Short

The project in my demo reel is Rock in the Road, a 12 minute animated short that I had the pleasure of working on when I was in college.  It's finished and available to view.  I hope you'll enjoy it in HD and share the link with your friends and family!

In a faraway land, a king governed his realm so well that his people were in want of nothing. As the years passed, the king noticed his people had become lazy and selfish, so he devised a simple test to show them the value of others. As a young boy unknowingly faces the challenge, the future of the kingdom is built on the strength of his character.

In the fall of 2007, Southern Adventist University’s animation students set out to create a three-minute short film based on a simple parable. This artistic venture, intended to be completed during one year, turned into a five-year journey. The result is the twelve-minute animated short, "Rock in the Road."

The scope of the project grew as the team became interested in telling a longer form story. But as students who started it graduated, and other projects were begun, finishing the short became its own “rock in the road.” However, professors and students persevered, realizing the completion of the film would benefit everyone who was involved. A small, dedicated crew worked on it between other projects to finish the film at the end of the 2012 school year.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Brave thoughts [rant]

Yeah, I'm a copy cat.  A friend reviewed Brave.  I'd been meaning to do the same, but I didn't put fingers to keys until she did.  Oh well.

Brave was a fantastic, beautiful movie that everyone should see.  More talented people that I have reviewed this movie, so I'm not going to.  But I had three issues with the movie that I haven't seen anyone else mention.  Maybe this isn't the place for it, but here we go:


1) I never felt like Merida was the star of her own movie.  Just when I was getting comfortable with her character on screen, Queen Elinor stole the show and never gave it back.  The best example of this is the ending.  Merida doesn't get to have a showdown with Mor'du, the movie's antagonist.  Queen Elinor is the one who fights and defeats him.  I would have loved to see the two take equal part in the battle, but it just didn't happen and I HATED that.

I think Brave could have been a better story if it focused on Queen Elinor from the start, or if the creators of the movie put Merida and her mother in a situation where they both had the same risks/rewards.  As it stands, Elinor had the worst of it.  If Merida didn't reverse the curse, Elinor would remain a bear forever and Merida would have one heckuva guilty conscience.  So fairly early on in the movie, I feel more sympathy for Queen Elinor and I'm mad at Merida for putting her in this situation.  I don't think this is what the creators were going for.

2.  The creators didn't take advantage of this huge world they created.  We get sweeping views of a vast country and we hear about other clans yet Merida never travels more than 10 miles from her house.  (Ok, that's a random number I pulled from the sky, but you get my meaning).  It would have been nice to see Merida and her mother travel to more places than the cabin and the ruins.  It also would would have been nice to see more from Merida's three suitors and their clans.  To those who would argue that you can only get so much into one movie, I call BS.  Look at how many unique locations they had in The Incredibles, or even A Bug's Life.

3.  Mor'du is the most random, USELESS antagonist ever.  I don't think his character was integrated into the story well.  In my opinion, his presence in the movie wasn't needed at all.  If the witch who gave Merida the cursed pie said, "to break the spell, you need a tooth of Mor'du!!" or something random like that, I'd get it.  As it stands, I feel like he was just there to add an element of action and danger to the movie.  That in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but I just felt like he was tacked on as an afterthought.

Nitpicking issue 3.5:  Why is it that whenever a woman is a lead in an animated feature, there's an issue with marriage/a man (i.e. Jasmine, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, [I can keep going]) .  Why couldn't the issue be something more interesting?  Leave behind her dreams of freedom and leading the clan?  Not wanting to go through a rite-of-passage ritual of killing a bear (which, by the way, would have been a fun way to introduce and explain Mor'du).  Heck, I could have settled for Merida not wanting to take up tap-dancing.  But no, the straw that broke the camels back was the thought of an arranged marriage.

Shoot me.