Subject to Change Without Prior Notification
A short intro to ... well, me.
by, 12-25-2010 at 09:01 PM (834 Views)
I am a 65 year old 100% disabled vet living on a VA pension which allows little room for disposable income - you know, money that would be used for paid software. With that, I am an escapee from the Home for the Terminally Weird and am constantly on the dodge from the keepers there who seem bound and determined to try to fit me into the jacket with the too long sleeves. They won't catch me, you know. The Voices keep me safe from them.
My hobbies include but are not limited to photography, flying (real and R/C aircraft), steam and electric engines, electronics (including ham radio), home machining, trying to make old Timex watches run again, causing my psychiatrists to seek professional help, and looking for boxes to think outside of.
My artistic background is very limited - a little video production, live theater, music including composing using trackers (I prefer orchestral music which is a bit more complex than what was/is normally found in tracked music.), sketching, wood chip carving, AutoCAD 1.25, Generic CAD before Autodesk bought (and ruined) it, writing science fiction and ... ummm ... other work I won't go into, and model making (mostly wood).
Software on hand includes virtually every bit of freeware (like DAZ3D & Bryce) and open source/GPL/LGPL software I can find. It also means downloading all the free addons et al available then making them fit together. I know I'll have to buy some things but through careful selection I'll be able to minimize that.
Since I have a single goal in mind, some of the sorting et al will be fairly easy.
A little background: My daughter is 33 years old and will live to see 40 if we're lucky. Without going into what she has beyond saying it's not cancer, she is terminally ill. As a last ditch effort to prolong her life and possibly ease some of her pain, she will be undergoing chemo treatments that will last 2 hours each. While I would like to be with her (She lives on the mainland.), this isn't in the cards in the foreseeable future. [Name withheld but let's just call her Kim] has never been to Hawaii; she stayed on the mainland when I moved here because she's terrified of ships and airplanes. At the same time, we both want to be together and I'm setting up so she'll have videos & MP3s to play when she needs Daddy close. Once I have wheels again, I'll also be going around the island shooting pics and videos of various places to send her as well as use as a backdrop for my videos. (I'll be using chroma keying for that.)
While I was planning out the videos, the thought crossed my mind that there's no reason why we can't be together here in Hawaii in digital form. This would involve a lot of rather unique cinematography to include shots from her perspective, combined live action & 3D animation, creating both of us as 3D characters at several ages (I want to go back to earlier times for some things including when she was a child.) and a seabag full of other advanced and ambitious - probably overly ambitious - processes.
Since I'll be focusing on two people I know extremely well, some things will be fairly easy. (Somewhere I saw software to apply real faces from photographs to 3D characters but I can't find it now.) One thing I'm changing with Kim is that the effects of her illness won't be duplicated but rather I'll present her as a healthy 33 year old girl who's just as active - and feisty - as she was before the symptoms started showing.
One thing I need to duplicate is her voice. Once I have a decent set of samples of hers, I think I can manage with a few of the available voice changing packages then pacing my own speech to hers. After that, apply lip synching and we can talk to each other as well.
Yes, yes, I know. This is ambitious and complex and way past anything an amateur should be considering. If I reach this goal, I'll be quite ecstatic but if I don't it won't be for lack of learning - or trying. I'm already reading & watching the tutorials and building a list of questions that I may have for the folks here or I may find the answers for myself. (I'd really rather the latter since I likely will find associated information I'd not thought of along the way.) My little girl is worth the effort; she's the very center of my universe and I don't know what I'll do without her.
As a side note, I'm twice divorced (but looking anyway because I'm a slow learner) and adopted Kim as a single parent after she was put up for adoption while in foster care. She'd been badly abused and I had to go through a lot of hoops to achieve that end (and continued to do so afterward for quite a while) but it was worth it. Compared to impressing the folks from Child Welfare Services, this should be a walk in the park.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it ... unless I get a better offer.