Sunday, September 27, 2009

All I have to do is Dream...

Yet another week over with. I'm just trucking along, working on homework, keeping up on drawing outside of school, and going through the never-ending story battle for this year's film. On Wednesday, my friend Jenessa and I went to the LA zoo to draw. We didn't stay too long, the heat was too much and when it's about 106 at 1:30 pm, with very little shade---it's time to retreat to the air-conditioned car and head back to school. lol Jenessa posted her awesome zoo drawings on her blog, and here are my doodles from the day:

At 11am it was still breakfast time for the gibbons. They were going--bananas---over the goodie bags the handlers left behind:

There's a newcomer as well. For the past couple of visits the snow leopards have been impossible to spot---well they finally came out and here's the reason why:

CUBS! Two of them. Absolutely adorable little fuzzballs. They were still pretty awkward as they clambered around the rocks while big ol' Mom slept-in. I'm pretty frustrated that these pictures came out so blurry. I had to really zoom in for the camera to actually focus on the cub instead of the fence. Oh well, try again next Wednesday.

And some other pictures taken the same day:

The chimps were chillin in the shaded area right next to the glass.

On Friday my parents visited! We spent the afternoon touring around the school/area AND then that evening---attended an awesome lecture by the one and only Mark Andrews! He spent the time drawing storyboards--which was pretty mind-blowing. He would bust out big camera moves(3 point perspective for the heck of it! gah!), characters doing the greatest things, etc. while cracking jokes, making his own sound-effects/soundtrack, and answering all of our questions. I'll post my notes a little later. But anyways, it was a great night and my parents really enjoyed watching MANDREWS at work.
Saturday was spent in Pasadena with the parents. We drove around the area to see the neighborhood, had some lunch, did some shopping at this store that had the craziest things, and then hit this place called, "Dots" which was a small shop dedicated to selling the most decadent cupcakes.

YUM! We all had the Hostess one and it was like an actual hostess cupcake only on steroids. It was sooooo good(especially that lovely creamy filling). So hey, if you're in the Pasadena area anytime soon, be sure to check out "Dots."

Otherwise, I'm working on a film idea. I was sitting in my cube on Tuesday and *pop* film idea. So I'm slowly developing it---it has its fair share of problems right now...but hopefully by next weekend I should have a decent pass done so I can pitch it around. For now, all I'll say is that it takes place in Africa again...but completely different animals and much simpler storyline of course. haha Alright, well time for me to cook up some dinner and then go bust out a walk-cycle for my CG class.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Official Week of Junior Year

Woo! The first week of classes has ended....pretty crazy one, as I'm sure my fellow 3rd years can agree with. Anyways, here are my first impressions of my schedule this year:

Advanced Computer Animation: Pretty open class. The teacher is encouraging us to do actual short films instead of your usual collection of animation exercises(bouncing ball, walk cycles, etc.). Short being only a couple of seconds(I personally never plan on going over 30 seconds). I'm looking forward to what I'll be accomplishing in this class---first though, I need some ideas! I've been in such a creative rut this week....very frustrating!

Advanced Story Development: The teacher is so great. Lots of energy and is bringing a different take on story compared to my previous story classes. The first night we spent boarding out ideas inspired by a variety of music he played on his computer, then we pinned the drawings up in the room and we each pitched out boards. Laughs. Galore. The future classes also seem like they'll be really helpful with getting me to think more "creatively" about story ideas. One class that's coming up is based around Bumper Sticker slogans, while another is all about coming up with as many cliches as you can think of and putting a new spin on them. Awe-some!

Advanced Life Drawing: My teacher Corny Cole literally walked into the room, turned to all 35 of us and told us the phrase he's very well-known for, "DRAW, GODDAMMIT!" He then elaborated, "We're doing gestures today---10 seconds, 5 minutes, go!" And away we went---my gestures were absolutely grotesque and I felt very rusty on the 30 second or less gestures, but it felt great getting back into it all. Plus Corny's commentary during class was highly entertaining. Sadly, can't remember too much of what he said, but this Tuesday I'll try and remember some gems of his. haha

Advanced Traditional Animation: I'm not going to elaborate on this one. So, I guess, T.B.A?

Post Production: Simply put, so fully awesome. The teacher Chris Sonnenberg will be doing a lot of one-on-one and will be teaching us based on our individual needs for finishing our films this year. Right now we'll be working on every aspect of making a film---boarding, designing, color keys, making work-books, animatics, recording sound, etc. He wants us to experience every last step in the giant work pipe-line of producing an animated film. He'll also be going frame-by-frame on two of the projects he helped on(to show us how he approaches the "pipe-line" himself): Enchanted's opening 2D section of the film and the opening of Kung Fu Panda. Definitely looking forward to his class, but at the same time--I need to get crackin' on a film idea. Lots of loose ideas, but nothing whatsoever that's solid, interesting, and something I want to work on all year.

Directing for Animators: Another quite frankly, awesome class/teacher. The teacher is a huge library of knowledge, his background covers areas like directing independent films in Bulgeria to shows like the old Johnny Bravo/Dexter's Lab/Cow and Chicken era. I can definitely see why my classmates highly recommend this class and I'm really happy to taking it. He's assigning us mainly storyboarding homework and already the first in-class project has me hitting the ground running. I'm looking forward to his critique next Friday.

So those are my classes this year. Inbetween all that, I'm one of the department's Teacher Assistants this year and on Wednesday or Thursdays, depending on various circumstances, I'm out and drawing at the zoo. Should be a very interesting first now, off to rack my brain some more about this elusive third year film idea. Hmmm....

P.S. Here's the Kung Fu Panda segment in its HD glory.
3 months--about 6 people working on it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This Past Week....

Classes begin tomorrow! I'm very excited to start, but still can't get over the "I'm a 3rd. year." feeling. It's especially weird now that the new freshmen have been running around...ahh! I need to kick myself into gear and get working--before I know it I'll be a 4th year and then going out into the big grown-up working world. Anyways, last Wednesday the department greeted the new freshmen--myself and some of the other upperclassmen descended into the main hallway and welcomed the very bright and cheery faces.

A photographer was above us and snapped this picture(I grabbed this photo from the CalArts' online photo site I just found). The upperclassmen are, for the most part, on the sides while the incoming freshmen are all in the middle(I'm on the right side, a couple rows back in the white.) Here we go guys!

After the hallway greeting, everyone filed into the Palace to overhear the freshmen meeting. All those heads are freshmen(minus the two people closest to the camera, they're two of the third year animation teachers).

Friday was the busiest day of the week. Arrived at 6:30 in the morning for cube sign-ups which started at 8 a.m. Surprisingly enough, a couple other people were there doing the same thing. 9 a.m. was the ever chaotic class sign-ups.

I got all the classes I signed up for and am really happy with my schedule:
POST PRODUCTIONSonnenberg, ChrisW 7pm to 10pm
ADVANCED LIFE DRAWINGCole, CorneliusT 9am to 4pm
ADVANCED LIFE DRAWING (JUNIORS)Hormozi, MarjanTh 9am to 4pm
ADV COMPUTER ANIMATION JUNIORSGriffith, GregM 1pm to 4pm & T 4pm to 7pm
DIRECTING FOR ANIMATORSPetkov, RoumenF 9:30am to 12 Noon

Tuesdays will definitely be the hardest(classes literally back to back from 9 a.m. until 10 at night!)And yep, I'm taking two life-drawing classes---gotta work on my draftsmanship this year, along with a plethora of other things.

Over the weekend I've been busy turning my new cube(number 25 to be precise), which is gigantic--it's like 3-4 times bigger than both of my previous cubicals---from this:

To this:

The colors got all messed up in this photo. The next photo does the cube a lot more justice color-wise:

I went the extra-mile and actually painted the walls--so much better than white.

Well, that's all for now. Next post will be all about the new classes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

End of Summer 2009 Report

So I basically fell off the face of the Internets and have been spending the past couple of weeks making the most of the remaining summer. However, I still occasionally had time to draw:
My last batch of characters from Southern Oregon. Starting with the lady decked out in a charming watermelon-print dress and literally ending with the guy on the bottom right with a baseball cap that was precariously balanced on his large scalp. The cap didn't touch his forehead and looked like one breath of wind would knock it right off.
To the Oregon drawing crew: He was occupying The Black Sheep. Hopefully you guys will see him again. :)

I also visited the local fair that took place shortly before I had to move back for school. 102 degree weather made conditions tough, but overall it was a good time. I love me some carnies, cankles, and cows.

And so I've since packed up my car and made the long 680+ mile trip back down to Valencia to begin a whole new school year. Ever wonder what dawn looks like while driving down Interstate 5 in California?

Now you know. Last Monday I had to hit the road early after spending the night at my Grandma's house. I left at 4:30 in the morning(still dark)....not planning on doing that again anytime soon. Way too early to be conscious. At 10:30 am I arrived in Valencia, met up with my roommates, and we all started moving into our new apartment. This was adventure too, living on the third floor with no elevator made moving very difficult--particularly when it came to the things we moved from storage like the couch and various boxes that weighed way too much--it was also 99 degrees and hazy from the fires far south of us(driving and moving all in one day! I was dead to the world by 9 pm). Anyways, that's all done with and we're all settled in.
Now time to welcome the local Valencia peeps. I spent some time at the local mall and spotted a couple characters. However, the female subject on the bottom right was not anywhere near the mall---only 5 people(myself included) know her story and her impact on our group's outing. All's I'll say is she was a Grade-A cougar, and that's the "classiest" summary I can think of for her. The End.
Today, myself and a couple friends headed over to the LA zoo to get back into drawing. School doesn't officially start until next Monday(14th) so we're trying our best to get back into the frantic pace of CalArts. Anyways, fun drawing day--very nice weather(upper 80's and no smoke!), animals were a little more active than the last time I visited, and we even saw some chimpanzees go on a rampage! Basically the one dominate chimp decided to put another chimp in its place by tackling it(on the lower left area of the chimp drawings...that's basically what they did). Both went tumbling into one of the area's pits(several feet!) during the climax of the brawl. They came hollering and screaming back up, the dominate male strutting around and swinging his arms all manly-like. He even went so far as to pick up a piece of cucumber and hurl it over the exhibit's walls and into the crowd of human onlookers---no one was hit, myself and my friends were about 10 feet away from the cucumber's impact(it exploded and chunks of it went flying in every direction). Very, very entertaining and nothing could ever top that temper tantrum.

Anyways, tomorrow the character animation freshmen have their orientation in the department and I'm looking forward to peeking in on all the new faces(it's really surreal to think back on those first few days on campus...just feels like a month ago I was moving into the dorms and getting ready for my first year. Time is flyin' by.). Well, I sign-up for classes and a cube this Friday. Just from looking at the online schedule, this year should be pretty intense, but can't wait to get started---bring on Year 3!