Night & Day

Tonight was a busy one: first the main Windows XP machine got a graphics-card upgrade from Quadro DCC (built on a GeForce3 core) to a shiny new GeForce FX 5600. Total change, and it's all about the pixel shaders. Instantly, all of my grooviest realtime shaders worked! So long, DirectX8. Or as the Japanese slogan for SGI used to read: "Hello Brain Performance!!!"

I upgraded the other PC (the game machine) a few days ago to a GeForce 4400 Ti, not only for games but to run the Maya Personal Learning Edition — tonight I was using the PLE to teach a small clutch of Cub Scouts how to animate on computer and to compare it against their previous animation projects, flipbooks and then stop-motion animation made using toys and the Canon G1. They were excited about making video game animation; but disappointed that we couldn't make an entire video game ("with zombies?"), there in the 40 minutes between start time and snack time.

Rebecca was my lab rat for teaching kids animation using Maya — and she's all over it! Of course, this is the girl who at four years old figured out, unattended, how to start up a nurbs modelling package and build vases and furniture.

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