Matthew Dickens

Character Animator

Women Running the World - Rough Blocking

The shot that I am working on is just something to add to my reel. It’s another ten-second shot to an audio clip that I found from a movie. The audio is from In Like Flint, and it’s actually one that I’ve been hanging onto for a while. I’ve had it laying around since one of my classes at Animation Mentor, for a monologue assignment, but my mentor didn’t like the idea, so I went with another one.

"There’s nothing to worry about. By this time tomorrow, women will be running the world! And then you’ll see how quickly everything will settle down."

In the original scene from the movie, the woman is an adult and she has kind of a deeper, older-woman sounding voice. When I was trying to figure out what my shot was going to be about, I decided that the best way to make the the shot entirely different from the movie was to turn her into a little girl, and instead of Flint, I was going to have this little interrogating her teddybear.

After a couple minutes in Audacity, I was able to change the pitch of her voice (and trying not to make her sound too much like a chipmunk), and after a couple hours in Maya, I was able to piece together a pretty decently looking teddybear and set. Next, I whipped out my video camera and tripod, and shot some reference video — which will never see the light of day.

Here is the (extremely) rough blocking of my shot:

Over the weekend, I’m going to add a lot more keyframes, moving into the "blocking-plus" phase. I will post more of this shot as soon as there is something to show.

UPDATE: Here is a new version of the same animation. The only thing that changed was the camera.

NothingFancy CMS v1.0.0 Released

This morning I finished up NothingFancy CMS, and I have released version 1.0.0 to be downloaded!

NothingFancy CMS Screenshot

It's not perfect yet, but it's good enough to be put out there to used and tested. If you decided to download it and try it out, please email me if you run into any bugs, or if there are any changes that you think would be nice.

I already have a few things that I'd like to add in the near future, including an "install" file to make this process easier, a general overview of your website on the admin panel's homepage (like a dashboard), and a simple file upload/management system. That way, every time you wanted to upload a file to your site, you don’t have to pull out your FTP client.

NothingFancy CMS Launched

I've been working on creating a content management system from scratch over the past couple of weeks. I was tired of how bloated Wordpress is, and I was having trouble finding a smaller CMS that was easy to customize. (If you suggest CMSs to me that you've used and enjoyed, I'll appreciate it, but it's a little late at this point.) My confidence in my PHP/MySQL skills got to a point where I decided that this was a project that I was ready to tackle.

The back-end of the script – the admin panel – isn't fully completed yet, but I decided that enough was ready that I should start using it to run my website, and that it would be appropriate for my first blog post to be about it.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to the aptly named NothinFancy CMS! You're looking at it.


Like I said, it's not finished, so I'm not releasing it to be downloaded just yet. I would expect version 1.0.0 to be available here in the next couple of weeks.

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