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Posted by sampsoninc916 on

How Star Wars revolutionized special effects again. How can I evolve with technology?

Where I will be going next week

Next week at this time I will be attending Star Wars Celebration on Saturday.

Star Wars Celebration Logo

Yet as I make preparations, an ill wind blows in the film industry…

What CGI advancements have been made?

4 years ago, people were wondering how Star Wars would revolutionize special effects once again. Unfortunately, it has become apparent how they would. CGI actors.

You see, in Rogue One there were two cases where CGI were used to either resurrect a dead actor, or make an actor look younger. Peter Cushing’s character of Governor, or Grand Moff Tarkin, was resurrected using a body double and digital motion capture alterations to his face in order to make the actor on screen look like Peter Cushing. The same techniques were also used to make Carrie Fisher’s character, Princess Leia, look nearly 40 years younger, shortly before Carrie Fisher passed away.

After Carrie died, as a fan it left a big hole in my love for such an iconic franchise. I felt like that after what they did with Han Solo in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, they would do the same thing to Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. However, recent developments showed that this was only hogwash.

Carrie Fisher to Appear in Final ‘Star Wars’ Movie, Her Brother Reveals

Carrie Fisher’s brother gave the go ahead for LucasFilm Ltd to use Carrie Fisher’s likeness in Star Wars Episode IX. That means a body double and digital motion capture alterations to make the actress look like Princess Leia. These tactics, however, give me a feeling that LucasFilm Ltd wants to send a message to the industry that actors and actresses aren’t needed for movies anymore, that they could just animate everything. If you feel that way, then maybe you should just create more Disney animated features like Frozen.

Frozen poster

However, even though they have taken to using digital technology to recreate dead actors or making actors still alive look younger, they still are taking a much more grounded approach to these movies, using practical effects as much as they can. They may have ditched miniatures, but this time, the current Star Wars movies have more realistic special effects than those featured in the prequel trilogy, which went overboard with the CGI, as a lot of people claim.

Where I went irrational

I have also taken this to an irrational level in my thoughts, sometimes thinking that Disney (the company that owns LucasFilm Ltd.), wants to take away my full stack web development job at one of the largest retailers in North America and replace me with a robot. I then go back to reality, and find out that this is not true. I found next to nothing online about robots taking full stack web development jobs, only a bunch of job openings for full stack web development.

Then I talked about this with my boss, which she told me that robots have their limitations and are not designed for software engineering. She also told me that there will be a lot more technology jobs in the future. Recently, when I watched a NCAA basketball game, I saw this commercial:

Dad told me after we saw this commercial that there will be more tech jobs than there are people to fill them. That means that since America is lagging behind in science, people from other nationalities take the jobs. This is why many of the people I work with are from countries like India and Iran.

My boss told me that since there are so many tech jobs out there, it will be hard for companies to keep up. She also stated that there are regulations that have to be overcome to put drones in the air. Drones, of course, being something that people claim will take away jobs, can’t deliver large heavy items, and anything that flies in the air needs to be approved before taking off.

How I can become better

As technology improves and becomes more automated, I need to improve along with it. The Verizon commercial I showed you with Lebron James says something about where things are headed. The first kid in that commercial wants to be an actress, yet there is far more technology jobs than acting jobs. Acting jobs usually come by auditions. It’s the people working behind the scenes that usually have more job openings than the people starring in a movie or TV show, or promoting a product. 90% of show business people are behind the camera. These include any and all movie tech people, and that’s what this Verizon commercial is talking about. There is no animation button on a computer. The skills of the technology people make the animation possible.

As a result, I should learn new frameworks, learn new algorithms, and follow technology trends. This includes VR (Virtual Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)

IT forever, please?

Posted by sampsoninc916 on

Star Wars Celebration, here I come!

I am happy to announce that I will be headed to the Star Wars Celebration convention in Orlando, FL on April 15, 2017.

The movies have always been a special part of my childhood growing up. On the series 40th anniversary, this convention will be happening celebrating that series. More information about what’s happening at the convention and who’s appearing here:

I can only go on Saturday, April 15. I never got any 4 day passes because they’re all sold out. Saturday would be the best day to go to this convention. Also, since there are thousands of people attending, the best way to get autographs is through pre-sales. The website managing tickets for autographs and photo-ops can be found here:

I am getting autographs through pre-sales in order to avoid so much of the long lines to get to the autograph stand. Since there is a price for these autographs and photo-ops, I have to pay extra to get both an autograph and a photo op. I won’t be going Friday to see the trailer for the new Star Wars movie because I can easily view it online.

I can easily afford these autographs and photo ops because I’m a software developer and I make good money so I can afford fun vacation stuff. I will be arriving in Orlando on Friday morning, where I will drop by DisneyWorld. Disney happens to be the company that owns LucasFilm Ltd, the company that makes the Star Wars movies.

Going to this convention will make me feel like I’m in one of these movies. Seeing all the people dressed up, it will make me feel like I’m either a Rebel Alliance person or an Imperial soldier.

Tagging along with me is my Dad, who will help pay for the hotel and the plane tickets. Even though he’s paying, that doesn’t leave me out of paying. I will pay for the convention passes and the single-day passes to DisneyWorld, along with some of the autographs that I want.

I am such a big Star Wars fan, I really can’t wait to go to this convention with me. May the Force be with me, always!

Posted by sampsoninc916 on

Jordan White’s last post for 2016 – Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Jordan White

My last post of 2016. The big question on my mind is this. Why have I had such a spectacular year this year while the world around me claims it was a terrible one filled with death and violence and unsettling outcomes? Death is horrible, but it was my last semester in college in Fall 2015 where I experienced it personally when three of my closest friends and family died in that time frame. 2016 was different for me and my family.

After I graduated from college last December, I moved on to a prosperous career in computer programming. My first job didn’t work out like I planned, so I left for better opportunities. I started my current job this December, and so far it is working out.

How I’ve Grown this Year

Over the course of this year, I’ve grown in so many ways that other people would find it hard to believe that this could happen to someone with autism like myself. I learned about preventing distractions, workplace etiquette, knowing what is socially and age appropriate to talk about, staying focused on the task I am doing, and finally learning new languages and frameworks that will come in handy when I develop applications.

The only thing I feel sad about from this year is my generation and how often they turn to hate and violence to express their feelings, often becoming online trolls. They whine about events that aren’t relevant in their life, and I make that mistake sometimes too because of irrational thinking. Some of these dead celebrities they’ve never even met. A new Republican president is not the precise end of the world. It is not worth committing suicide on. 3,000 people did not die when the new president was elected. 3,000 people died on 9/11.

How do I feel about this?

To me, a mass death is worse than a new king taking the place of an old king. If something does not turn out the way I want it, I do feel sick to my stomach, sad, and nervous, but I never commit violence or rant harshly on social media because I have good parents who have taught me this year to control what I put on social media and to help me better control my emotions.

On one of my last year’s New Years Resolutions, I have brought my weight down, but it is usually the holidays where I gain weight because of all the good food they serve at family gatherings. In 2017, I want to value life more than these other people who like to whine and complain on social media. I want to have amazing things happen and I want to always know that God is in control and nothing is a mystery to Him. Here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. They always come in 10s:

New Year’s Resolutions 2017

(EDIT: Dad suggests better options for vacation time other than Los Angeles or San Francisco because I can only do 2 weeks of vacation at the moment.)

(EDIT: Dad told me to prioritize my New Year’s Resolutions.)

1. Pray that the Holy Spirit will assure me that my faith in Jesus Christ as Savior for my sins is real and that when I die, I will go to heaven.

2. Make new friends.

3. Stop thinking irrational thoughts.

4. Be able to take better care of myself.

5. Get good at full stack web development.

6. Bring my weight down to 165 lbs (I’m not a football player).

7. Go to Star Wars Celebration Orlando for Saturday and Sunday.

8. Go to a place for a White Christmas (Jackson, WY being the most likely place).

9. Make a Super 8mm home movie of a family event.

10. Be a walk on extra in a big movie.

What do I think about these resolutions?

2, 9, and 10 I feel are the most important. I think 2 would be the most important to me right now because I want to be able to hold on to life. When I make new friends, I get to treasure the lives of those around me, and not have to feel sick to my stomach about some celebrity dying. Also, when I make new friends, I gain more supporters for my own success in life, as well as future endeavors that I want to be a part of.

10 would be important to my parents because they want me to be totally independent, and because they want me to be independent, they are helping me to make better choices with what I buy and how I take care of the place I live, and how I control myself and my emotions in tense situations. So on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day of 2017, I really should thank them. From me and my family to yours, Happy New Year and I wish you a prosperous 2017!