Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 33

Sorry this Blog is a little late. Just got back from an amazing youth retreat. But thats another story! Friday went incredibly well, and any nervousness that I may have had immedietely left as soon as I opened my mouth. I really enjoyed working at the RIT this summer and saw this as a great way to try something new and use it in preparation for the future! Thank you so much for this great opportunity Joe Pow, Bob Callens, Jake Noel-Storr, the Insight Lab, Sando, and of course my intern buddies for such a great experience!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 32

The presentations went well! Now on for the big task tomorrow! Tali Ho! (Definitely need to remember a water bottle ha ha.)

Day 31

Today was spent mainly going over our presentations and proof reading them for tomorrow. The Hawaiian party was fun though! However I didnt have that much time to stay and party because I had to get back to my project.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 30

Sando was sick again today and didnt get a chance to look at the mars cloud system we had tampered with. Although we did get some more accomplished today. I texted Sando and he walked me through some steps on how to use "driven keys" in order to mark different changes in the star's life. For example: at this point of the star's life it will be this color and this size. That was definitely helpful and I was able to understand it. But I did run into a small problem: when I tried to key the star's color parameters, nothing happened. Sooo, i'm obviously doing something wrong there ha ha. I continued working on my space shuttle and gosh, it is lookin fine! (If I do say so myself lol.) Presentation is almost complete.

Day 29

Sando was sick today and we weren't able to get that much accomplished on our star simulation. Amy and I instead worked on creating earth and mars using the normal maps that Sando had left us with. Now we have a great looking copy of earth as well as a cloud system to enhance its looks. Mars is a work in progress, we were unable to get the cloud textures to come out as we intended. As the day progressed I began working on a space shuttle for our "Dynamic Universe" because I found that I was useless in trying to figure out what was wrong with mars. Sando is going to have to look at it when he gets back. I also continued working on my presentation, but for some reason its a lot easier to work on it at home. I get more accomplished at home anyway. Maybe because i'm less distracted by friends lol.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 28

Today I had the chance to watch some presentations of the undergraduates in their preparation for friday. Sando told Amy and I that we dont actually have to go up to present with him tomorrow. He said that we really wouldnt be doing any talking since its his project. Honestly I'm not really sure what he's going to be presenting because he hasnt even started his presentation! It worked out nicely because I have an appointment tomorrow and I wasnt sure how that would fit in with the time budget here, or if I would need to reschedule. It was nice to be able to watch the undergrads practice their presentations and take notes as 'what not to do' when I give mine next friday. Lol. It kind of alleviated some pressure as well, watching them made me realize I'm not the only one nervous about presenting. (Watching them stumble a couple times was nice to see, not to be mean or anything ha ha. But I didnt want to be the only one potentailly stumbling a couple times. Not to say I wont try to perfect it!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 27

Today we headed off to our last field trip :'( Oh the joys of riding in a limo bus. Those days are all but gone now. But it was fun while it lasted! We visited the Eastman Kodak House and learned about the early methods of photography that incorporated the use of metals and glass to preserve an image. This kind of photography is called daguerreotype and over time, the daguerreotype can tarnish from exposure of the elements, therefore they are becoming all the more sparse and have accumulated much value. We had the chance to see the effects that a small bug had on a daguerreotype after it had died within its casing, and its body moisture caused a tarnishing around that area of the image. After that we freely explored a small room of early cameras, and we were even lucky enough to see the very camera that took the "Flag Raising at Iwa Jima" photograph! (I think I butchered that name ha ha.) Anyways, it was all very cool and definitely worth while to visit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 26

After moving into our new computer lab, we were able to run Maya 2011 with more efficiency and get a lot more done today. The computers in this lab have quad processors, I think. Dont quote me on it ha ha. We noticed that as we expanded our red giant star, the shader that we applied for it completely went wack. It made our star look totally different and we then realized that we had to change our surface shader node to fit the size of the star. After some trial and error (actually we had to remake the shader quite a few times) we finally found an accurate star texture. I also worked more on my presentation, and to be honest I'm getting kind of nervous lol.. I hope it goes well.

Day 25

Well, my blog today isnt that interesting. I touched up my rover quite a bit today, and also continued working on my presentation.

Day 24

Today was a slower day than most. We continued working on the star's solar flares and flames, but much of it was out of our (me and amy's) league, so Sando took charge. Instead, I decided it would be a good idea to start working on my power point presentation, considering I have to have it ready in two weeks! The 20th is coming up way too fast! This internship has been a lot of fun and I'm going to miss it. Especially all the friends I made this summer. Hopefully we can plan things out and get together over the school year!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 23

Today we worked on transforming our star into its yellow and red stages, while still keeping the same level of quality and detail. We also explored ways to create the surface of our star so it looks as though it is actually burning by using particles. We also will use another set of particles to create the solar flares. We finally have a good idea as to how we will go about making these. I also (during some free time) started another project in Maya 2011 and began modeling some items from Halo 3 ha ha. It looks really cool and I'll have to post it to my facebook when its finished!

Day 22

Today we made so much progress! Well, Sando made a lot of progress while helping me. I watched, learned, and gave advice. We finally configured our star to look like the real thing in space! And from a distance it loses its detail and turns into a glow, which was perfect. We have a youtube video of it so others can actually see what I am talking about. Here is the link:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 21

Today Amy and I worked on our star project and focused primarily on shading the star's transitions between its phases. I know I have blogged about this like three times, but its a long process ha ha. There are many ideas being thrown around as to what features we should include in this star's simulation, including "should we include solar flares?", "should we use particle systems to envelop the star for a realistic look? (this would make the surface look as though it is moving and made from magma)", and many others. We have already put some good ideas into practice, but now we need to fine tune them.

Day 20

Today I worked more on shading my star project. Sando actually needed to help me a lot because there were some problems in figuring out how to give the star solar flares through shading techniques. Its going to take some time to figure out how to shade the star correctly, even he is having trouble figuring it out. I also went back to my Mars Rover and added some more gadgets here and there while I was waiting.

Day 19

Today I worked more on my star simulation and tried to create different realistic shading textures for when the star changes its color throughout its life. So far I have its blueish state, which represents its birth, and its yellow state, representing the middle of its life which resembles that of our sun.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 18

Today we worked on shading our star, which was incredibly difficult because of the many different shaders that needed to be applied.

Day 17

Today we worked more on the star project that Sando has required us to do, except we basically calculated the different sizes that the star reaches as it goes throughout its life. After figuring this out, we also had to calculate how long each of its phases were and try to sync. this with our 3000 frame project within Maya 2011.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 16

Today Sando started us on a new project that involved the evolution of a star. We were instructed to create a simulation in which a star is birthed, goes throughout its life by expanding until it becomes a red giant, and finally collapses on itself and dies, in which it creates a black hole. So far Amy and I have created the expansion phase up until it becomes a red giant star. Also, earlier today (during our 8:45 am meeting) we were all instructed to sit in a room with the lights out for ten minutes, while Bob waited outside. After ten minutes of us sitting playing games, (which was pretty fun btw lol) Bob opened the door and we were instructed to cover one eye with our hand while we walked around in the lighted building. After we circled the building once, we came back to the dark room and opened both eyes again. Apparently when we did, one eye could see very well in the dark and the other could see nothing at all! The eye that was covered could see as if it hadn't been exposed to light (which, it hadn't so go figure) but it was really crazy. The feeling of being blind in one eye and able to see in the other! I think this has to do with the retina and the photo electric effect. Maybe the electrons on the retina take a while to come off once you go into a dark room, whereas the eye already used to the dark doesn't have any electrons on it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 15

Today was spent working on more parts to the Mars Rover, mainly objects on the solar panels. Today I started and finished one major object on the panels (im not sure what the name of it is actually) and it feels great to look back and know that my time was well spent. I personally think it looks awesome and cant wait to have the whole project complete! I have been posting my progress on my facebook page under my 3D photo album, if anyone was at all interested.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 14

Today was spent working on the breast plate of the Mars Rover and the sides of its front area. I successfully modeled some parts that connected the wires to other areas of the Rover. Sando unfortunately wasnt here today, and i felt bad for amy because she wasnt sure what to work on after having completed her assigned task. My Mars Rover is coming along nicely, but its taking a long time and its almost disheartening. I dont want to get careless and stop adding detail, but I really just want to see it completed lol.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 13

Today was spent on finishing up the wheels for the Mars Rover as well as starting the new camera and camera arm for the front side of the rover. My old camera was disappointingly made from the original image and now must be re-made with much more detail. I am actually pretty much done with the camera, and will soon be working on the wiring that flows across mostly every area of the rover. (Actually I have a confession for all my fans out there. I havent been keeping up with my blog recently due to some forgetfulness of mine lol but I have gotten them up to date as of today! I will work on remembering to blog every day.)

Day 12

Today we went on the U of R field trip and visited the bio medical lab. It was very interesting to see first hand the experiments that they were conducting. Their main task is to successfully create a system of human cells that will hopefully someday be used to produce living tissue and organs such as a liver or heart. This was very exciting to hear and witness how advanced in technology we have become. For some reason an emergency alarm was set off and we had to temporarily leave the building. Unfortunately we actually didnt find out what the emergency was, but it must've been pretty important because the fire department arrived with their axes ablaze! Haha maybe it was just some secret plot to wake us up from the lectures. Honestly they were pretty interesting. Once I got back to the scube room at the RIT, I had just enough time to start the new wheels for the Mars Rover, which are much more intricate than the originals. I am actually doing some work at home in order to get ahead.

Day 11

Today I continued work on the Mars Rover by creating the axles for the wheels as well as hinges and fine details including screws and bolts. Tomorrow I am hoping to finish these axles and complete the new wheels that I intend to make. The older wheels are not up to par with the new high definition picture that we found online.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 10

Today during our lunch break we headed out to the mall for a quick bite to eat. The subs at the food court were actually very good! Aside from that little trip, I was able to complete more of my Mars Rover, including the gears that attach the Rover's wheels to its body as well as the gears connected to its front camera. These gears will actually be more time consuming because of the high level of detail that they have.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 9

Today I successfully completed every solar panel on the Mars Rover. Not including the detailed features protruding from them, such as an antenna and the like. But I love how it looks so far! Today we had a free luch once again, but this time it was because one of the students at the insight lab had a lot of money to spend on his lunch card before he headed off to china. Therefore, he offered to so kindly buy us lunch. Hey, I thought it was a pretty good deal! Next week I will be applying parts to the solar panels.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 8

Well today I worked more on my rover once again. Its definitely taking a little longer than I expected, but Im making progress. Today I completed four solar panels out of its six. Today I also forgot to pack a lunch (*smacks head* could've used a V8) but fortunately Kevin King felt moved to let me borrow some money for a good ol meal. Nothing like friendship :) still have to pay him back though haha.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 7

Today was pretty much a free day in terms of working at the RIT. Instead we had the privilege of visiting JML optics for a field trip in order to more fully understand the lenses that are frequently used in imaging science. We were all shocked and excited to find that our mode of transportation would be a limo bus! While we were there, our supervisors showed us around the facility and gave us first hand accounts as to how their lenses are created and processed. It was really interesting to witness physics that I learned in school being applied to real life scenerios. After the field trip we stopped at a sub shop called Ameils (i think i spelled that right? lol) and scarfed down 9 inch - 14 inch subs. Of course i bought the jumbo sub! it was really good too. No of course i didnt finish it, i only had 1/4 of it haha. After we returned to the RIT we later met up outside for a volleyball match for our team building exercise. Thankfully we'll be having a match every wednesday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 6

Today we learned more about particles, but not as much as yesterday. We were introduced to fabricating a ground layout of the mars surface. Learning about different texture and design techniques, we created a landscape for mars, complete with a mountain range, haze, and sunrise over the horizon. Its really a great experience to watch this simulation come to life piece by piece. Next we are going to learn how to animate the mars rover over the mars surface!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 5

Today was much more of the same, which was program objects in 3D. However! It was pretty cool once again as well. We learned how to work more with particles and the awesome special effects they can have on any simulation. We worked with glow effects, spirals, collisions, and newton fields (which influence the particles in such a way that they gravitate toward a selected point). Free Lunch Tomorrow!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 4

Today was solely based on the Mars Rover. Using the fundamental shapes I learned to manipulate yesterday, I was able to successfully create the neck and head of the Mars Rover, as well as the wheels. Tomorrow I will be working on adding much more detail to my project. Today I chose to stay and work in the lab instead of attend the breaks that were offered. Holy crap I am not doing that again haha. My eyes just about fell out from staring at a computer screen for 6 hours straight.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 3

Well so far today we have been learning about how to manipulate objects in a 3D environment. Our instructor taught us how to create various objects using fundamental shapes (such as cubes, triangles, and other polygons) and manipulating them. I'm still not sure what exactly my project will be, but so far the whole 3D aspect of our program is amazing! I cant wait to use this 3D program somehow in the future for game development! The time and energy put into making simple objects in the lab really makes me appreciate the hard work that goes into creating stunning graphics and interactive environments in video games such as Halo or COD.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Today was the day I realized what an awesome group I have! From the moment I walked in to find Jake Noel-Storr (who walked out 2 seconds later. Hopefully i'll see him around soon?) and the rest of my astronomical group, I found the atmosphere to be very inviting and laid-back. After introductions and receiving our RIT ID's, Chris Fallon took us down to the first floor to observe their second lab, which contained this really neat walk in cube named the scube. (As I remember?) Basically, we were told to walk inside the enclosed cube and experience a powerpoint which was being displayed on all 4 sides of the cube. This powerpoint was made to enhance the learning experience and give the feeling of an environment which encompassed the individual inside. I couldn't help but think about how awesome it would be to somehow merge this idea with an interactive game, such as Halo or COD! After this, Chris instructed our intern group to research something based on astronomy, such as black holes, dark matter, and the like. After this we were told to write a summarized report on what we gathered. Hopefully tomorrow we will begin working more in-depth on astronomy as well as the scube. I was given the option to work either more on astronomy or the scube, and I chose to work on the scube.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 1!

Wow! Well today was the first day of the RIT internship this summer, beginning the eight weeks spent in astronomical imaging (although I never did any work on the subject today). Today was all about team building skills. Our task today was to go on a scavenger hunt that involved walking throughout the entire campus! They couldn't have picked a more perfect day either. I mean, it was only 95 degrees out, so no worries. But it really was a ton of fun! After capturing as many requested objects on video as we could, we uploaded the files onto a computer and edited them into a DVD. (Oh, and i forgot to mention that we were all split into 3 groups of 6). Aside from the difficulties of a MAC, i think we did alright. After the intense beating we received from the heat and a heavy dose of sore feet, we all kicked back and relaxed with some pizza and ice cold drinks. Heavenly! (Compliments to the chef). Although i didn't get the opportunity to meet with my instructor today I will hopefully be seeing him tomorrow and begin Astronomical Imaging! I hope they're prepared to teach me along the way because i really don't know a whole ton on the subject. But I'm definitely looking forward to it.