sky_hye: (003)
Captions have been the bane of my life. They drove me so crazy, I had to take a break and sew for a while. Perhaps this was helpful, because while I was sewing, I thought of a new way to attack them. After getting a couple garments finished, I started back on them. Before, I was attempting to hand write them into the printed manuscript under the illustrations. No room. I tried typing them into a separate document. For some reason, my brain did not let this work. There is something about reading the manuscript, then looking at pictures, then trying to write something about the pictures that simply didn't sync up.

The solution I found was to create a template in Filemaker Pro that allowed me to identify every illustration (there are hundreds) and dictate the captions with Dragon Dictate. Talking about the illustrations was easy. At first I thought I could hand the dictation off to Max and let him work out how they would be referenced in the manuscript. To make everything easy for Max, I printed the captions to display on pages opposite of the manuscript pages with the illustrations -- In other words, every page of the manuscript. With everything all nicely organized, I sat down and looked at my handy work, and realized that I was the best judge for modifying the manuscript. I found it quite easy, although time consuming, to insert changes and improvements, move a few things around, and polish the caption writing. Page by page, I worked through the manuscript until finishing it a few minutes ago. Well, okay, there are a few more pages in the extras sections, but their illustrations are not settled yet. They should not be too much trouble when I am ready to get to them.

With captions and manuscript more resolved than ever, I can now establish and standardize the presentation of the manual. That is what I will dive into the next time I sit down to work. The change will be welcome.

Orthodontic update:
I am still in braces. It's been over three years. There are an unknown number of months to go, yet. The psychological misery around braces subsided when I totally gave up on attempting to speak or grin for long periods at once. I also figured out that I have a sensitivity to the latex in the elastics that must be used. They caused horrible painful raw welts in my cheeks and inflamed my gums wherever they touched. Once I figured this out, I was switched to plastic elastics, which was a big relief. Right now, I am dealing with a hideous sharp bracket that was placed on the tongue side of a tooth last month. It rips at my tongue as I eat. I can't wrap this story up with a string and a bow yet. I'm sure new horrors await, but I agreed to this project and I accept whatever consequences it brings.

So, in case any of my former students still read this journal, I want to assure you that the dvd project is happening. I am making progress as fast as I can, and I cannot do public things around it for a while. I still hope to see it finished this year, but it is starting to look more like not until next year. I can't stop now. It will be finished.

sky_hye: (009)
I wish I could report great progress since my last post, but for some reason, three stupid paragraphs have me completely stymied. They transition into the encore section of the dvd. They highlight a new topic/step that follows measuring. They explain how this topic is distinct from measuring. They tease that measuring is a mere tidbit in a full course of study. One of these days I will finalize this [under 2 minute] speech. What a relief that will be. Meanwhile, I breezed through several entirely new and illuminating animations that support the encore section. It is an important ending. It must be right. I only wish I could be a better writer.

It does seem like I am on the home stretch with my braces. My bite is getting closer and closer. Perhaps I will be done in a month.
sky_hye: (014)
I've reached the most difficult part of the dvd. I didn't know it would be difficult until I started it. It's the section about capturing and marking the features of the face. Getting this right is likely key to its salability. This section is full of animations that jump between the model and drawing. In action, it takes seconds to set up the face, but it's taking weeks to piece together for this dvd. I'm suffering excruciating resistance to it. Earlier this week, I found a distraction to obsess about – a sewing project. The last thing I need is to sit at a sewing machine, but I found some extremely cool designer coating that I had to have, so I ordered it. Now I'm designing the coat. I promised myself it will sew up quickly, and besides, I deserve a little recreation. Nevertheless, this dvd needs to finish, so I can get my life back.

My teeth finally mesh enough to chew more foods. I still can't manage thin stuff like lettuce, but I can process most foods at a normal speed. No more 1 1/2 hour dinner ordeals. I was able to visit with Max's relatives without fear of having a meltdown over inedible foods this Christmas, so that's progress. I haven't been doing anything social for over a year. Even at this point, social contact remains less than ideal, as I don't like complaining about the hideous contraptions in my mouth. I don't mind being seen with braces, but the pain and the several infections they caused so far end up as subject matter when I'm explaining why I haven't been around. People are wondering if I don't like them, because I've been avoiding them. So uncomfortable.

I wonder what life will be like when this dvd is done and my braces are off? It's hard to imagine.

sky_hye: (005)
As I wait to work again, I've been previewing an incredible list of new capabilities my next machine will allow. I'll finally have an up-to-date Adobe Creative Suite, and the latest Final Cut Studio. My current Photoshop is pre-3D texturing capable. I'll be able to import obj files, then paint, apply image textures or bake-on lighting right in Photoshop. This will save all kinds of time. There is also an insane new command in Photoshop that can read surrounding image content, make astute calculations, then fill a selection with data to make seamless repairs. Illustrator's new drawing tools are very slick. And InDesign now includes mind blowing built-in animation and interactive features that scream to be played with. Final Cut Studio will finally have certain basic features I needed since starting my project, and I'm sure other features I haven't thought of will find their way into my animations, too.

On top of that, Second Life has finally developed a way to import mesh objects, including the ability to replace our avatar meshes. This is incredibly exciting. Mesh import is still in Beta, but my friend Transparent and I have been checking everything out, and it looks good. I can't experience it for myself yet, as my poor bumbling computer lacks the right architecture. Some day soon (I hope) I will be able to test mesh import. As yet, there is no information about how to replace one's avatar that I can find, although it may be in the forum -- another thing I am blocked from using. With any luck, I'll get to celebrate Halloween in Second Life -- but if I miss that deadline, it doesn't matter, because every day is Halloween in Second Life! :D

Update: I found something about rigging a mesh

Meanwhile, on the orthodontic front, my teeth continue to drift into place. Although I still can't chew, it's getting close. One of these days...

sky_hye: (007)
One thing I notice about not being able to chew is, my appetite is completely different. Before I started braces, I worried about cravings for my favorite foods, but I haven't had any. Instead, I find smooth bland foods utterly delicious. Every morning, I make a big bowl of oatmeal with honey, fresh ground flax seeds, a spoonful of slippery elm bark powder and a little milk. Pre-braces, this would have been okay, but these days, it is deeeeeelllllliiiiiicious! And you know what is really tasty? Big, fat lima beans with cottage cheese. Lucky for me, previously yummy stuff, like pizza or crispy cookies, are completely unappetizing. Last week, I had a new adjustment at the orthodontist. He was shocked by the warp to my lower teeth. Now I have an elastic pulling them back where they belong. Anyway, I hope that's what it's doing. Meanwhile, I still can't chew.

Nuttn' much

Sep. 4th, 2010 05:30 pm
sky_hye: (009)
I was making big strides forward for a few months, but it's been a rather frustrating time since my last post -- best described as a two-steps-backward sort of time.

Mainly, it's two things.

I'm still unable to order that new computer. There is no news on the extra features, yet to come out, even though one of these is promised for September. Hello! It's September now!

The other thing is, my bite has been getting progressively worse for the last two months. Things drifted after my teeth meshed for the first time in years. The mesh lasted only about a week. I explained this to my orthodontist during my last adjustment, but whatever he did, it did not reverse this maddening drift. Chewing is just not possible. I am so sick of this.

On the bright side, as long as nothing else goes wrong, my bite will eventually improve and the new computer will someday arrive. Meanwhile, I am rewriting the script, and then rewriting that. It's not busy work. It had to be done no matter what, so I may as well do it now, while I wait for the new computer.

sky_hye: (013)
I had an adjustment at the orthodontist yesterday morning. I woke up this morning to find that my teeth mesh! This is the first time in at least 3 years that they fit together! Mind you, it's not perfect, but omg! I have up to another year in braces, but this is major! What will I eat, what will I eat, what will I eat? Decisions, decisions....




sky_hye: (Default)

June 2013



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