Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Updates from the Laughing Place
Various assignments. The Satyrs and Medusas are for Character Design--For the Satyr we had to base the personality off of Phil from Disney's Hercules. We didn't have to stick to his design though. Medusa was whatever we wanted her to be.
And for the weekly traditional animation homework of studying a character, I chose Pinocchio. After talking with the teacher, I studied an entire sequence rather than jumping around to various scenes like I did with Madam Mim. I stuck with the particularly traumatizing scene of Pinocchio turning into a Donkey after watching his friends' transformation.
Only a fraction of artwork though, I have yet to post my traditional animation homework of Daffy doing a sports' related action(2 week project though) or my layout assignment(still WIP). I've also been battling my storyboard homework. I finally figured out a story to fill 60 panels and have thumbnailed that all out. Just need to actually put them on notecards and prepare the pitch by next Monday. Our teacher is bringing in a co-worker/friend to hear our pitches as well, so pressure is on. This story isn't related at all to my film, it's just a 2-week project. Trying to stay on-top of my film schedule, going to do some major storyboarding this weekend and get a first pass finished for feedback. Still need that ever elusive ending though----I've been trying to come up with one since June! Not good!
Since school has been in session for a little while, I guess a review of my classes would be good:
Sound Design: This class has been a lot of fun. I've been learning how to use various recording equipment(418 and 416 devices). Assignments have involved running around the school and recording dialogue, foley, and ambient sounds. Learning a lot and will be very useful in the coming months. A voice actor is visiting in two weeks---he has also offered, on that one day, to record voices for our films. Too bad I don't have any dialogue.
Story: We've been reviewing various story techniques/formulas used in the industry. Your classic 8 archetypal characters in one film and then the far more original---Main character and Impact character. This second choice has been particularly interesting, pretty informative and should really help out with my film. We've got our first assignment due next week and he plans on doing theory lectures in-between the nights that are dedicated to that particular homework assignment. My second favorite class after traditional animation.
3D animation: Right now the teacher is making sure the class understands the difference between parenting and grouping, especially how each effects hierarchy in Maya. Last week we animated the solar system. Tonight we're getting our first homework assignment and he's placing importance on our thumbnails before we even touch the rig. Over the summer I really became addicted to thumbnailing so I'm excited to start something new, plus I haven't animated in Maya in ages.
MegaCities of Asia: It is a critical studies class, and it's pretty interesting. The teacher has been incorporating her personal trips to various cities around the globe, so it's a little more personal than solely text book facts.
Character Design: This class really works your drawing hand. We spend the first hour going over that week's homework assignment and then the rest of the time we're studying a wide range of model sheets while the teacher walks around and points out what needs improvement. The teacher is more than intimidating, but I do enjoy the class and all of the drawing time.
Layout: We've been going over effective ways of telling a story through visual means. The teacher shares a wide range of movies(both animated and live-action) to demonstrate strong compositions, etc. It's been really helpful and the homework assignments are pretty creative.
Traditional Animation: The teacher has spent the last class reviewing the principles of animation and quizzing us on the meaning of each one. He would then follow each principle with a clip from a film showcasing that particular principle. His critiques of the recent homework assignment have been really thorough and helpful. Again, lots of drawing and observation. The latest animation assignment has been pretty challenging---we have to study one sports action(baseball, tennis, football, etc.), find a good video reference, thumbnail the key poses, translate those movements to Daffy, and then fully animate him doing that action. Not rotoscope realistic, but not super cartooney. I'm on my 2 attempt because I "improvised" on the first try and that snowballed into one big mess. I had reference and thumbnailed, I just pushed it too far and it looked extremely weird. Anyhow, first pass is due on Thursday and then the final is due next week. 2nd attempt is going much better.
Lifedrawing: Lifedrawing is pretty much the same as last year. I'm a little rusty, but I think I'm catching up again. The teacher is also letting us visit the dance studio and sketch the ballet dancers(only 3 people can visit per week. I might get to go this week.) He also spends the afternoon on a long-term theme. This semester we're on the theme of "Hunchback of Notre Dame," not the Disney version, the teacher wants to push the truer/darker side of the story. So each week he's going to do something related to this particular story---dressing the model up to look like Quasimodo, putting images of churches on the screen, etc. Should be interesting.
Otherwise, the first Guest Lecture of the year is kicking off on Friday. Ben Balistreri is coming so I'm definately looking forward to his talk---until then, back to work, time to go hit Photoshop and finish that layout homework.