For the past 4 weeks, my teammates and myself have been working on the dreaded Train Project, the final assigned by the hardest 3D teacher the school has. And it has been a trainwreck indeed. System crashes, memory problems, renders that take half an hour a frame, vanishing geometry, broken lights, poor planning, wonky textures, the whole shebang. Our two classes doing the train project literally broke
the freshman-sophomore-junior-senior render farm yesterday with all our scenes. The render farm that every senior in the department abuses with all their thesis movies. This is all combined with my finals for my other four classes, all enormous and terrifying as well. My heart's been in overdrive since last Thursday, I've barely had time to eat properly, I was up from saturday morning to monday morning, and accidentally fell asleep for 4 hours last night and the night before, I've been seeing things that aren't there, and because every moment that I'm at home or at school I'm in front of a computer animating this train and when I'm not it's because I am riding the train for an hour in either direction, I've started to lose my grip on reality. This much adrenaline and stress really should've killed me by now, especially in conjunction with all the other ways this deadline has been destroying my mental and physical health-- emotional health isn't even an option at this point, I've been crying left and right and definitely much more than usual. I'm not talking "the Terminator gives the thumbs up and I shed a tear because this movie has destroyed me," I mean like crying in the fetal position in the shower, and soggy pillows on the bed. The only reason I'm still alive and typing this right now is because yesterday the school had therapy dogs and cookies in the student center precisely because it's finals week and there's a very real chance that it can kill us. Those dogs were the cutest things I've ever seen and one of my partners and another friend and I hugged and petted and played with them for a good half hour, and then we got the remains of the last box box of peanut butter cookies. It was the calmest and happiest I've been in weeks and I'm pretty sure it reset my blood pressure. Thank god for that.
Thankfully, on account of breaking the render farm, a few hours ago our teacher said that he's decided to move the deadline ahead from two days from now, to seven. Which is a whole world of difference. So I am obviously overjoyed. I'm gonna spend the next 22 hours writing an 8 page Film History research page paper and make either a portrait of my director or a video to go with it, and then by monday I've gotta edit and re-render 6 videos for VFX, go to a museum and write a report for History of Ancient Civ., and meet with my group to write up a big complicated script with accompanying GUI for our Python class.
Speaking of which, here's some samples of some of the renders and workspaces from different stages of our process; the video is about a regular subway train, just showing off the model and animation, and then the train's lights go out and come back on all colorful, a bars descend on the seats like a rollercoaster, claps fold out and hold the train onto the tracks, and it corkscrews out of the tunnel into an abandoned fair and it comes to life. It's gonna be wicked.
And here's some of the cute little doggies that saved so many lives yesterday
Thanks for listening. Good luck to everyone else doing finals or midterms!