Photography, Travel

My Trip to Guatemala

¡Hola! ¿Qué Pasa?

We got back from Guatemala over the weekend. Wow. What a fantastic trip!

I took TONS and TONS of photographs throughout the trip, and I would love to share some of them. This was my first time to Central America, and I had a great time. We worked hard every day that we were there, except for the last day when we got a chance to see MAYAN RUINS and Antigua. These are photographs that I think are the most worth sharing.

A week in  Guatemala City through my eyes:

MOCAP: Let’s start off with the actual work. I can’t share much, but this is what *I* was doing most of the time that we were in Guatemala. Monitoring the motion capture process and making sure that all data recorded was as close to perfect as possible. If you’re not sure about how motion capture works, feel free to ask me or look it up online. It’s an awesome process and the technology we use is cutting edge.

Staring at screens: This is what I saw for 9+/- hours a day for 7 days!

A shot of the Motion Capture Process in action!

MUSIC: Without going in to too much detail on this either, the music in the game will be made using these Mayan Flutes. We were able to hear a historian and musician play almost all of these incredible flutes. Each one has a completely unique sound, many are inspired by the actual animals that they are supposed to sound and look like. The Murciélago (or Bat) was the most interesting, mysterious, and beautiful. I wish that I had recorded a video with my camera.

Ancient flutes. Some are thousands of years old.

All of these Mayan flutes were made by hand and are originals or replicas. Each has a different sound.

God of Maiz (corn) Flute.

The City: Never being to Guatemala, but hearing many stories before I left, I thought that the entire Guatemala City…and likely the whole country would look like this. Although there are many people who live in poverty, there is a large middle class that lives in homes and apartments that, from what I’ve heard from the young men and women working at the studio, are not too different from where myself or my friends live in L.A.. True there is a disparity between the classes, but it was good to know that the standard of living in Guatemala City seems to be improving for many.

Homes of some of the poorer residents in the city.

Residential. Visible on the drive between where we stayed and where we were working.

Farmland on the way to Antigua.

I thought this is what most of Guatemala would look like. On our way to Antigua.

Radio Stars: One evening after work, we were invited to be on a radio program that is very popular in Guatemala. The host Phantom, the gentleman wearing the skull mask and Darth Vader shirt, was a pretty funny guy. We were all interviewed about what we do, why we are in Guatemala, and more. There aren’t many companies doing what we were doing, so this was a first for the radio show. Our contact at the studio has been on once or twice, though, and he translated for us.  We had a great time. We were instant stars.

Radio Stars

Downtown: We spent most of our time in Guatemala City. The city is like any other metropolitan city I’ve been to. I was pretty impressed both with the architecture and the roads. There were few stop lights and very few road markings (lines, lanes, etc.) but we saw very few accidents. Here in L.A. accidents are a dime a dozen. I was amazed that we only saw two cars broken down on the road, and it looked like one had a flat. The other seemed to have engine trouble. Maybe we just missed the accidents, but I was impressed that, despite the lack of lanes and “rules” that we seem to have in the States, everyone was driving along just fine. I was terrified, though.

I love this blue roof on this large church in downtown Guatemala City.

A lovely garden on the front lawn of a municipal building in downtown Guatemala City.

On the grid! This has to be a fire hazard!
An amazing view from the glass windows and ceiling at our hotel.

There were things that were the same, but different. Take stop signs for instance:

Traffic light and stop sign in downtown Guatemala City

A lovely urban garden. Look at all those plants!

Thank you for viewing the work/travel photos I took while in Guatemala.  Coming next: ART AROUND GUATEMALA!

Stay tuned for the next post!

Freelance Work

Going to Guatemala

SO I’M GOING TO GUATEMALA! I’m sure you’re thinking: “But why are you going to Guatemala?” I’ll tell you:

The studio that I’m working for does motion capture. I’ve helped with this in the past. We are using a NEW technology for motion capture, though… It’s not the balls and sensors motion capture that you might have become familiar with.  We’re using a motion capture suit by Xsens. It’s a WIRELESS, CAMERALESS, Bluetooth suit that you can literally take ANYWHERE. And we’re taking ours to Guatemala!

The motion capture suit in action!

There is an animation company in Guatemala that is creating an innovative video game for the Play Station. They have great resources, but need help with motion capture for some of their animation sequences. They are one of the few animation studios in Guatemala and the only video game studio. Unfortunately for them, there aren’t any resources for motion capture there yet, so that’s where we come in. Our studio offers some good rates on motion capture including offsite motion capture (because our tech works so well for that). They hired us and I’m going to assist with the motion capture with one of the company’s owners and a translator/personal assistant. My technical skills with the software AND my Spanish speaking made me a good candidate, and I’m going to Guatemala for a little over a week.

Fortunately my other job is flexible and one of my co-workers needs some extra hours, so I even got the time off work with no problem. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and let y’all know how that goes. I’ve heard some really wonderful as well as some scary reviews of the country, but I’m sure it will be a really good experience.

How exciting! I leave on the 13th!!!