TotMs Past and Future

TotMs Past and Future:
Themes of the Month (TotMs):
If you haven’t been involved in any B-PDX meeting recently, then you’ll want to know about one of our more successful learning formats, suggested by Rhett.

TotMs are excellent opportunities for exceptional interactive learning. As individuals, we tend to gain a greater appreciation of others’ different approaches, techniques and such when we ourselves have concurrently endeavored on the same topics, features or themes. Develop your TotM entry in 5 minutes or however much time you want. Tap into any/all resources you can (e.g., Blendswap, CGTextures, etc). It’s not so much about originality, as it is about creativity, style, concept, and learning Blender.


monogram-mPast TotMs:
September’s Monogram TotM:
Some at last month’s meeting didn’t make the opportunity to have the group work on their personal artist signature ideas. If you ever want the group to work with and for you on your initial monogram design, bring it to the next meeting(s) that you can attend, similar to everyone’s show-n-tell.

If ever you really wanted to do any past TotMs you missed, you are still welcome to do them and present them at future meetings you are able to attend. Such would be a nice on-topic refresher.

Future TotMs:
Proposed Chained TotMs:
For the last couple of meetings, we’ve been brainstorming ideas for 2017’s TotMs.

One hot idea was that each month’s TotM feeds off of the previous months’ subject, but on a different CG aspect.

So, the first month (or two) would be modeling a certain subject. Then the following month(s) would be adding your ideal materials and textures to that model. Then rigging that model, and so on. Until we ended the year with a very short, GIF-like animated mascot.

With 6 fundamental CG aspects (listed below) and 11 monthly meetings (no December meetings), we’ll have some flex-time for most of the more challenging aspects &/or for those of us less flexible free time in between meetings.

Modeling – January, and maybe February
Materializing/Texturalizing – February or March, and maybe April
Rigging – March or April or May, and maybe June
Animating – April/May/June or July, and maybe August
Lip-Syncing – May/June/July/August or September, and maybe October
Audio-Tracking – June/July/August/September/October &/or November

In the last two meetings this year, we’ll brainstorm backgrounds for the mascot. Doug suggested the group develop a brief paragraph storyline for the mascot. We could/should also come up with a classy, publicly presentable name for it at this time, too.



The Mascot Chained TotMs:
The hottest subject for the 2017 Chained TotM is a mascot for B-PDX!

The mascot can be just about anything, and the background info maybe shouldn’t limit candidates. BUT, as many or most of you may recall, Alex did some initial hard work and deep thoughts in proposing a duck billed platypus mascot for us a couple years ago.

It’s going to be difficult to beat Alex’s mascot that ties Oregon’s two college football mascots (Beavers and Ducks) and our water symbol into one. But, we’ve got a pretty creative bunch that’s not limited to just Oregon. So, be dauntless. This is the brainstorming stage, after all.

Preceding Primers & Support:
If you’re like me, all aspects are still challenging, even modeling. So, please give a VERY BIG THANKS to Sam, who has offered to facilitate a primer on each aspect in the meeting BEFORE each month’s 2017 TotM. That means that in this coming November 2016 meeting, Sam will conduct us in modeling with emphasis on organic modeling. So, look forward to bringing your favorite tips, tricks, add-ons and the like to supplement Sam’s guidance.

And, we should not overtax Sam just because he has experience teaching children how to use Blender. Doug, with his BA in theatrical sound design, engineering and acoustics, has offered his support on the Audio TotM! Even no one else among us can offer exceptional support like these, you won’t want to miss any of this!

The Bennies:
Not only will this Mascot Chained TotM give us all each others’ combined experiences in the CG fundamentals, but it will also give us a variety of mascot renditions to adorn our BlenderPDX site, here! We can also compile a new ad that AiPD may run on their facilities’ plasma screens!

We’ve also discussed that each participant’s full works on their mascot rendition can be “chained” together in a collage with all other participants’ mascot renditions. So, no one loses out on any kind of popularity contest. We could also feature each rendition on our site, rotating monthly… proudly and with full credits.

It has also been discussed that, since not everyone can make every meeting, we might pick-n-chose from the pool of submissions made by those of us who did make it to the meetings we missed. So, join in when you can, as often as you can. The more participation pool, the better our mascot will be.

There are many opportunities and benefits in Blending our CG experiences. So, join in. Get involved.

Reminder of the coming months’ TotMs:
October, Cloth/Clothing Simulator
November, Fruit

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2 comments on “TotMs Past and Future
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