Personal Branding

This is something I wrote up as a guide for a friend who wondered about how to create a web presence. I am by no means a professional, but over the past year or so, I've put a fair amount of time into my personal brand.

First off, create a very professional email address with the name you want to create। mine is orosz।rachel@gmail.com. it's easy to remember and makes me easy to find. I made sure my name is in all of my website domains as well, and that all my sign in names for all these site bears my name.

Then create a blog or other personal website. Update it with your best work. Did really well on a homework assignment? Figure out something cool to do with code? Blog about it. Progress on a personal project? Update on your site! If you can figure it out, have someplace people can download your most current version of your resume. Check your website for a way to be authenticated with google if you feel like bothering, it will make your website come up higher when people google your name.

Create a professional twitter. This is VERY different from your personal twitter. Your personal twitter should have a name that only you and your friends know. Update it about professional things. Some examples from mine are:

Staying up late working on a proposal, but I have a very cute cat distracting me.... must... resist... CUTENESS!"

"Spent the morning sick, I have a fever, and half of the material of the presentation changed last night.. But I can still rock the pitch!"

"Spending more time picking out a new hairstyle for this character than I ever do for my own."

Notice how they relate to my work, but still show my personal flair. I bring to my twitter what I bring to work, a good attitude and strong work ethic. It can be a VERY therapeutic break to tweet quickly about what your working on. Just remember though, people can see this.

Create a linkedin, use it like a very professional version of facebook. Get connected to all of your professional contacts. Upload your resume to it. Ask for recommendations. This is your internet resume. You have more flexibility here, but I promise you it won't be as pretty as your real resume.

If you have videos, make a youtube account to post them.

Make a personal logo if you have the ability. If you aren't really sure how to do it, try playing around with the letters of your name to make a cool symbol. This is how I made my logo, and I'm an artist. Pick a color scheme that looks professional. I recommend to non artists to use a website called Kuler, it will allow you to make a color palette that looks good without much effort.

Last but not least, now that you've made everything, go ahead and take your logo and color scheme and implement them in each of your websites where it is tasteful. As you are doing this, look for the appropriate places to connect all of you sites.

Make sure to pick one of these are your main hub for everything.

*TIP! If you have a business card you like, take the cue from that too make your web presence. If you don't, when you make your own business cards use the same logo and color scheme as a starting point.
**Use your logo in the header of your resume's and cover letters. It's a visual that differentiates you from the crowd.

So I hope this was interesting to some of you! This is all based on my experience with web presences and from what I've learned from professors and online.


Speed Modeling Challenge

My major had a speed modeling competition today, and we had 3 hours to model and electric guitar. This is what I came up with!


Attached Ear

I attached the ear to the head. Tomorrow I'm going to start working on the hair, and I am satisfied with the head (finally). Might do some more tweaking later, but now a new hair do is a priority.

On the left is the before, the right is after (after tweaking and repositioning ear).

For those of you curious of how most of this looks all together

I modeled this cool ear using this tutorial. It was easy to find his image reference online as well! Was pretty easy, took me maybe 2 hours following the tutorial very closely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​ =QcYrUHRIqsE


Siggraph Advice

So earlier this week I posted some advice in the SIGGRAPH student volunteers forum for a first timer to the conference. It was really well received, so I thought I'd share it with you, greater internet. This post was in response to some specific questions, but I'm modifying it to apply to any new conference goer.

1. What do you suggest I do in advance to prepare myself better?

MAKE A WEBSITE! GO NOW. An Electronic Arts Art Director I spoke with last year dismissed anyone without a website as not being "serious". So get one up now! Even if it's a crap one, have one. You will build on it later, even after the conference, and if you become a conference junkie like me, you'll build on it each time before a conference. Just have a short blurb about what you do, and some examples of your best work. Don't feel bad if you only have a few to show either, it's better to show 2-3 of your best than a whole bunch of crap.

BUSINESS CARDS. Spend time designing business cards, and get them printed. Even if you don't have the time/money to get them done, you can actually get business cards made for free, you just need to pay for shipping. The freshman on my game dev team got 250 and only had to pay shipping, and 250 is more than enough to last you through the conference. (vistaprint.com)

BUSINESS CARD BOOK. One of the best things my Dad did for me is give me his old business card book that he used to carry around to conferences, and a personal business card holder. In you business car holder, you'll keep enough business card to last you until you can run back to your locker to grab a refill. When you get a business card, give them one of yours, and tuck their's in the back of the holder. That way you have a safe place to keep them.
Be sure to write on the back of their card what you talked about and specific details about them and how you met.

At then end of the day, take all of your business cards and put them in your book. You should take this time to review info you wrote on the back of the card, and maybe add some more information about them. This will help you write follow up emails after the conference, which are crucial for retaining these contacts after the conference is done. Keep your book at the hotel, and your holder on your person. If you have the former on you during the day, you might misplace it (happened to me one at GDC, thankfully I traced back my steps in time to find it). With the latter, it is extremely handy to keep your cards neat and crinkly free and right at hand.

RESEARCH THE CONFERENCE. Look at the schedule, find out which events your REALLY want to attend. During the conference, you won't have time to see everything so you need to maximize your time. Other SV's are pretty good about swapping shifts, but the earlier you do it the better. If you know exactly what you want to see BEFORE the conference starts, you have a leg up when it comes to swapping shifts.

Also research parties, if you are able. This really help me at GDC. I got me and my friends invites into parties BEFORE we even go there. Look up forums like CGsociety, or online place where industry professions go online to chat, they tend to have some of the latest party information. Also keep an eye out for facebook groups that focus on party conferences. The Fellowship of the GDC parties group was a god send for me, and my main source of party information. There previously wasn't a specific group for SIGGRAPH, so you know what? I made one, League of Siggraph parties. If you've been to a conference a few times, chances are you can make one of these groups yourself as well (Props to Oded Sharon, mastermind behind the fellowship). If you don't have time to do party research, don't worry, just keep your ear to the ground and ask around at the expo floor, and you can find parties.

SLEEP! Get plenty of rest before the conference. I am the type who like to run around like crazy before and sleep on the plane before the trip. DO NOT DO THIS. While a personal leisure trip can handle you being exhausted the first day, from the first moment of SV orientation you want to experience EVERYTHING. So sleep.

FIND A LOCKER. Having a locker at the conference is AWESOME. As SV's at SIGGRAPH you have access to lockers in the SV lounge. I brought a lock that had a changeable combination, and my roommates and I shared it. At least one of my roommates would have an early shift, so we had a locker every day. If you aren't one of the lucky few to be an SV, try calling ahead to the conference to ask about what storage they have available.

2. Are there other rookies at my level that attend?

Yes. There will also be people who haven't TOUCHED maya yet. People come from all different backgrounds. Some may be game designers, others programmers, and then there are the animators and computer graphics artists. You probably know more about something than somebody else there. Plus plenty of rookies attend, and it's better to get to the conference as early in your career as possible, the experience just makes you grow in your craft so much. They even have special session JUST for beginners. The main thing you need to attend is a love for Computer graphics and everything around it. You'll fit in just fine.

Most importantly, just enjoy the conference, every minute of it. It's a great experience that will make you appreciate the field your entering into even more.


Summer Project

So life seems to have settled down finally, so I'm getting back to some side projects. Most of my former projects from this year have been wrapped up, and I'll do a post later giving an update on all of them (I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seat with suspense.

Right now I'm revamping and old model, affectionately called "Swashbuckler chick" or sbc for short. She is meant to be rigged and used in a kinect motion capture system a friend of mine is working on. Currently though, her upper body was not suitable to be rigged, the edge flow is terrible. So today my task was to improve it. Heres how I started:

The main goal of this task is to have the pectoral geometry flow over the shoulder and into the back so it will deform properly. This is the result after a light afternoon of work.

Mission accomplished! There needs to be some changed made to the form, but the massing model I used to create this mesh will make getting it back to the form I want fairly simple. I used a combination of the split polygon tool and collapse edges to get this result, and some techniques I learned from a gnomon disk way back in my first year, I believe it was high poly creature modeling?

I would like to add more muscle definition to the abdomen, however, it will work for now, and trust me, the face is in more need of immediate attention. But that's tomorrows task.

*model created in Maya 2011



So I have gone a little MIA on this blog recently. Continuing to work on the paper for Production Pipeline on the RIT special effects project. Writing it is giving me alot of time to reflect on how the project progressed through the year, and I've been able to pin point my mistakes.

I should have gotten in touch with the major studio sooner, and sought out faculty to serve as a spokesperson to give the project more legitimacy and authority than a lone student. We where well into preproduction of the project before informing them that it had even started. I was definitely overconfident of receiving a mentor from the company.

Another issue on my end was over delegation. Initially I had planned on being involved in a limited capacity, as I was already deeply involved in 2 other projects as well a being President of RITgraph. Kirk did a wonderful job on the project, and went above and beyond in his position as technical director. But I feel that some tasks that I ended up relegating to Kirk I should have retained so that I could do my tasks better. My contributions became redundant, and I worried that trying to get involved would be cumbersome to my teammates rather than helpful.

I have learned alot from this experience. Communication is key to a projects success. When ideas aren't communicated properly, work is done incorrectly, which can be a downfall to a production if it isn't caught on time. This isn't the only lesson I have learned however, but to write them all would be well, the paper I'm working on.

Quick Update on Golf

Imagine RIT went well, and a full update will come later.


Soon, soon I will update. So much has happened.