Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fireworks - Christmas in the Park 2015

Here's a montage of fireworks display last night in Hagley Park, as seen from the comfort of our front lawn.

It's so nice being able to see public fireworks displays without having to leave home (and fight traffic/crowds) to do so! The only pity are those two new lamp posts that they put in recently, which now get in the way!

Battle of the Chocolate Milk: Puhoi Valley vs Lewis Road Creamery

In recent months, there's been a battle brewing on the supermarket shelves for supremacy of the premium chocolate milk. The two contenders are:

Lewis Road Creamery - Fresh Chocolate Milk (Whittakers Chocolate)
Puhoi Valley - Real Belgium Chocolate Milk

This weekend, I've finally tried both, together, in the same sitting. Here is my review of how they stack up against each other.

(Full Disclosure: This was already the second bottle of Puhoi Valley (chocolate) we'd gotten, and the first Lewis Road (chocolate). We'd previously tried the Vanilla and Coffee flavours from Lewis Road too.)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stunning Hot-Day Sunset

The past two days have been sweltering hot here in Christchurch, with a high of 29 deg C yesterday, 28 deg C today, and remaining warm overnight (i.e. it was still 21 deg C at midnight, and is forecast to stay that way till morning). This has lead to some amazing sunsets again, as you can see below... From this evening:

 I was out and about watering the plants during both - which turned out to be both a curse and a blessing: on the plus side, I got to be outside watching the sunset and taking photos; on the downside, I ended up watering the plants in the dark! Haha... ;)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Siggraph Asia 2015 - Conference Notes

As promised, this is one of the longer posts where I'll go into a bit more detail about various topics from my trip to Siggraph Asia 2015 in Kobe, Japan. In this post, I'll be talking about the conference itself: highlights, insights, and general impressions.

So, without further ado, let's get on with it!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend Project - Pose Sculpting Rebooted

To get back into the swing of things, I set some time aside this weekend to resume work on a project I hold dear to my heart....

Pose Sculpting is back!  Bring on 2015/6!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Interesting Times... An Eventful Day/Couple of Days

What an eventful day it's been today, capping off one hell of a week.  A whole range of events right across the spectrum....

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Curse of the Forced Updates (Again) - VM Hosed

Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!

I just managed to completely hose/screw up my Linux VM while trying to fix issues with sound + clipboard + display acceleration being broken after upgrading VirtualBox to a newer version. The VirtualBox change in turn was brought about because of one of those infernal Windows Updates that forced itself on my machine, which ended up completely clobbering/breaking some of the VirtualBox bits and pieces (i.e. I'm guessing the WU ended up deleting/overwriting/"misplacing" some files VirtualBox needed to do its business) thus preventing the VM's from running at all!  Argh!  Damned automatic/forced updates!

Damn! Damn! Damn!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Siggraph Asia 15 - Photos Online

Phew! After Nearly 2-3 days of uploading, I've got most of my photo galleries from Siggraph Asia 2015 up. There's still a few bits and pieces I still want to get up there, which will show up in due course (i.e. a key missing album is "Japanese Oddities" - make of that what you will), along with some write ups on a few key things. Anyways, enjoy what's up there already :)

Note: Don't mind the dates... they're kindof messed up (Google seems to reinterpret everything as US time). Compounding the time/date problems was the fact that I forgot to change my camera's time (it doesn't really help for the videos though), and my phone was roaming (so was using local time). So, all in all, the exact times are kindof useless, but the general order should be clear enough.

Note 2: Having put these up, I'm thinking that I should've done this on campus, where I have heaps of internet allowance + faster speeds... dammit... it would've gone so much faster!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Silvereye Season

After some delays due to the rain storms we've been having over the past two days, today marks the start of the silvereye season for 2015!

 The first silvereye shot for the season!

This afternoon, several silvereyes dropped by for a snack on the bottlebrush flowers outside my window that opened on Tuesday. A silvereye had dropped by early on Monday afternoon, checking out my tree and a few of the flower heads, despite there not being any obvious flowers at the time; but, since the flowers weren't open yet then, the season only started today :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Siggraph Asia 2015 - Overall Trip Report

Last week, I spent a wonderful week in Kobe, Japan attending Siggraph Asia 2015! I was there to present my first paper at an international conference - "Grease Pencil: Integrating Animated Freehand Drawings into 3D Production Environments", staying at the Portopia Hotel.

The paper can be downloaded from the first link above. Please use the ACM DL version one, since that's the official one which keeps count of the download stats ;)

The conference was held in a mixture of venues around the hotel where I was staying:
  • Most conference talks/sessions were held in the International Conference Center building, which was located across the courtyard from the hotel, and accessible via a covered walkway.
  • Registration, Posters, and the Exhibition (i.e. trade show) were held across the road at the International Exhibition Hall No. 2
  • Keynote #1 and Reception were held in the Portopia Hotel (Portopia Hall, and Grand Banquet room respectively)
  • Computer Animation Festival (Production Sessions, Electronic Theatre) were held in the hall on the ground floor of the conference center (entrance off the courtyard)
Apparently this was the largest Siggraph Asia to date, with around 7000 attendees coming for the conference/exhibition. I don't know the actual figures as I don't think they actually released those, but this was the ballpark figure they were claiming in earlier press releases.