Thursday, July 27, 2006

Scary as Hell

Today I nearly lost 2 weeks of work as my workstation hard-drive gasps and wheezes in its death throes. I should have seen the warning signs that the day was going to go awry when I left my iPod at Tinseltroos' flat. This meant that I was going to be subjected to the vagaries of the studio's radio and since I had a lot to get done I wanted to shut myself off in my own little world.

After a reasonably fruitful morning's work (despite the horrid music) I borrowed Tinseltroos' keys and went back to her flat to collect my noises. This in hand I headed back to the office ready to get properly stuck into the afternoon's task at hand.

I started to get an inkling that something was wrong as the directory structure on my machine began to misbehave; then I decided that a reboot was in order and all hell broke loose. The hard drive had corrupted itself. I suspect the shockingly bad power supply in London's West End this week may be partly culpable but the end result was no data, no bootable machine and potentially a lot of art work lost. If I'd spent the last fortnight coding, or doing more technical tasks I don't think I'd have felt as sick. Granted it would be dull to have to redo it all but I would be pretty confident that I could recreate everything exactly as it had been before. But the last two weeks I've been engaged on creating concept art for a key sequence of HPatOotP. It's been the most amazing fun, as I actually get some say in how the sequence will be designed and I got to do some painting as well as 3D CG work to create the concepts that were sent to the clients. Fantastic. The problem is that it's a very organic, creative process and as they say, lightning doesn't strike twice - there's no way I'd be able to recreate these pieces of design again. I could do something in a similar style, but it wouldn't be the same and it's very hard to motivate yourself artistically if you know that you're trying to retread old ground.

Fortunately, the Tech Droids at work were able to (temporarily) rehabilitate my drive. I now have to keep my fingers crossed that it can survive the night till a new drive can be fitted tomorrow. Whatever happens now I won't feel as bad as I did at 4 o'clock today when I first thought I'd lost it all.


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