Book, song, site: Jeremy Baker
When he’s not navigating the world of teaching art via Zoom, Animation Assistant Professor Jeremy Baker builds digital worlds and objects for freelance clients.
Baker, who received a bachelor’s degree in Art and Technology and a master’s in Digital Animation and Interactive Media (both from The Ohio State University) creates work that primarily revolves around 3D modeling, animation and rigging, virtual reality games, augmented reality mobile apps, and motion capture research. In late 2020, that included “some pretty cool projects,” he says, including recreating Uncle Eddie’s RV from the holiday classic National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Another project saw Baker working with others to create virtual spaces for real-time real world production environments. “Basically, we created 3D environments that could be projected into real world spaces for actors to act in and studios to shoot in, kind of like the green screening process in major FX films, but compositing the environments into the production spaces in real time,” he explains.
We recently asked Baker to share his favorite book, song, and website. Here’s what he said:
Unfortunately, most of the books I read are either technical or “the making of” books, but I am huge into podcasts—they are full of amazing content, like deep-dive science programs, interesting person-to-person interviews, and pure comedic relief. Since I spend most of my free time on the water, fishing, or just relaxing, podcasts have become my main source of pursuing knowledge and entertainment. A few of my favorites are Reply All by Gimlet Studios, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and The Joe Rogan Experience. I’m drawn to all three of these because of their openness to discussing difficult topics and a vast range of ideologies and beliefs. It’s nice to know that long-form media is alive and well and that there are outlets out there willing to focus on all sides of an argument or idea rather than a narrow and singular point of view.
I love storytelling in any medium, and music is no different for me. I’m all over the place with my musical tastes, but I’ve really been into a group called The Dead South, and specifically a song called The Recap. It is reminiscent of an older song called Bad, Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce, in both tone and tempo. My father was a big Jim Croce fan and used to play his music in the car on our long fishing road trips into northern Ontario. Perhaps I find comfort in the music while subconsciously reflecting on those trips!
I don’t do a lot of web browsing, and don’t partake in social media too much, but when I do it’s always in the pursuit of two things: knowledge or pure brain-mooshing, knowledge-less entertainment! I will lump three big ones together in the “knowledge” category: YouTube, Gumroad for tons of amazing tutorials, and LesterBanks for following industry trends and cool tidbits relating to all things 3D.
For entertainment, I turn to Rhett & Link (Good Mythical Morning)! It’s upbeat, silly and a great way to waste some time watching two guys try and figure out which fast food franken-sandwich they are eating or throwing darts at a giant map trying to guess which country a certain food is from.