Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Break Summary

Winter Break is wrapping up and I should probably make a post(though it's a long one. Lots of words ahead. Ye be warned.). I start the 600+ mile drive back to Valencia on Thursday and should be right back to working in my cube by the weekend. Being back home has been amazingly relaxing, and I can't believe how ridiculously fast the time has gone by. However, while I'm back home, I haven't taken too much of a hiatus from le film and had a little "lockdown" this past week to make sure I got some work done. I literally had nothing before Christmas, and then starting on the 26th I hunkered down. As of last night at about midnight, I can officially say I'm ready to animate! Which I'm very jazzed about. I still have several other film-related tidbits to attend to, but those can wait til March.

That's some of the work I've done towards the film. Trying to get some color ideas worked out(super simple, nothing "flashy"--and I have no idea what this looks like on other monitors. My Macbook can sometimes be wacky with color.) But like I said, I'll give these types of things more attention in March. Also, as you can tell, that stringy green-bean isn't an elephant. I had a change of film ideas towards the end of November....and I've gone with a completely different character/environment. I actually was developing/boarding this idea and the elephant idea at the same time--and ultimately I chose(with the help of some great critiquers) this lil story. It' s even simpler then the elephant idea and the animatic is coming in at a delightful 2 minutes--with plenty of room for animation. And I can't wait to start moving this lil guy around. Enough film-talk--with only 104 days remaining that's all I'll be talking about in the coming months....

So, just a quick re-cap on last semester. Fall '09 was a very full semester--while I didn't have that many classes and technically I didn't have as much homework as first year or even second year, this semester definitely kept me working some long hours. It has really been more about pushing myself and trying to conquer a lot of artistic hurdles. I've always struggled with drawing in general, and then when it came to animating just about everything was up for a re-do. This year I made sure to leave lots of time for my animation assignments and kept trying to always push-it more--sometimes spending an entire weekend just animating and breaking it apart trying to improve it. Thanks to my animation teacher this year, I definitely feel like I've improved since Sept. which makes me even more eager to get started on my film and apply everything I've learned to this year's moving-picture.
This past semester has also just been interesting from a film standpoint. I've boarded a lot of possible ideas. During the summer I had one floating around, but dropped that one once I realized it was getting out of hand. In late September I had that epic film idea I posted about earlier---obviously after realizing what I was getting into, I had to shelve it and start from scratch in early November. Which eventually led to developing this new idea with the "stickly green-bean" character. In the previous two years, I had a pretty final film idea by the end of the summer. So I certainly had my moments of panic whenever I thought about how "behind" I was compared to the previous years. One thing I do have to comment on is how everyone around me has really had a hand with helping me stick with the goal of "SIMPLE film, with every focus being on the character animation".....both faculty and friends have pitched in and it's really this group that has made this year really awesome/enjoyable--definitely helped keep my head when I would have to start from scratch. So a big thank you to those guys. :)
Otherwise, not much else to say. The semester had its fair share of ups and downs, but overall it was a darn-good time and I'm certainly looking forward to returning for round 2. Just am still dazed at how fast the time is whizzing by, it's very slowly sinking in that I'm graduating. And at the rate this year has gone, it'll be much sooner that I thought...

Well that's pretty much it. A good part of Winter Break has been spent up in my room getting all this film work sorted out. But I did get out, spend lots of time with friends and family, and even do a little drawing at the mall. I also saw Avatar with some friends---as a quick review, I went in with not exactly the highest of expectations and came out of the theater very entranced by the film. While the story has certainly been told before(*cough* Pocahontas. Fern Gully. Atlantis...I like how I went right for animated films. ha *cough*), the visuals set a new bar. The motion capture was really seamless and showed, how in the right hands, it really can avoid uncanny valley(Peter Jackson/WETA team are also fantastic at this. Gollum/King Kong are reigning kings of good mo-cap). Also, the way James Cameron used the camera in 3D was very eye-opening. So fairly cheesy dialog, pretty "safe" storyline, and kind-of stereotypical characters's a really enjoyable film. I certainly would be up for seeing it again and encourage anyone to go see it.

Can't make a blog post about being home without including Annie. She and Kiwi were my two sidekicks while I was in film lock-down last week. The picture above is literally what she looks like from where I work. This is also the most flattering angle--she looks about 5-10 pounds lighter in this photo. Kiwi and Annie will also be contributing their voices to my film. I got a nice videocamera/recorder for Christmas and have taped a few trademark noises these two are known for making, they'll probably be mixed quite a bit in the final sound track...but they're there.

This photo just makes me laugh. It was taken on the very first day I was back. I had gone outside to grab the last bags from my car and as I rounded the corner to go upstairs, this greeted me. A very classic Annie sighting.
Well, this post is long enough. I hope everyone had a Happy Holiday/Merry Christmas and are off to a good New Year. Until the new semester starts...ta ta for now.

1 comment:

Miranda Tacchia said...

You have the most adorable cat!!!