Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nightmare in Class 3 - Dream Warriors

No rest for the weary here at AM! The break between Winter & Spring terms was about 72 hours, and I probably animated most of it. Class 3 started yesterday and my mentor this term is Mark Pudleiner! Holy crap!

I spent my Week 12 & break animating & hashing out ideas for my AnimJam. AnimJam basically means all my Class 3 assignments will have the same theme. What is that theme you ask? Well ... let's just say having Mark as my mentor has thrown a slight wrench into that. I'll explain more in the future. (Ohhh...look who's trying to get more traffic!)

Alrighty, that's it for now. First class is tomorrow, time to get back to work. Here's a classic one for ya!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Class 2 Wrapup

So another term is pretty much over. It officially ends on Friday but all my assignments are in, grades are received, last Q&A is over ... I'm done. Some people get bummed at the end of the term that it's over. Not me. I mean, I get that the journey is the destination and I'm having a blast on the journey. But the destination here is Disney World and I wanna ride the teacups dammit.

The class was fan-freaking-tastic. I had a blast working on my shots and getting the feedback from my mentor and peers. I liked Class 1 a lot, but I liked this class much more. Being able to actually spend time on shots and incorporate feedback into the final product was much more satisfying than in Class 1.

When coming up with ideas for shots, a clear and simple idea that is just beyond your skill level is the goal. And make a solid plan on how you're going to achieve that.

My first assignment was kinda fun, but the point of the whole thing was to do a 180 turn. The turn turned out to be the easiest part, with some of the other movements I put in being the hard ones that I pulled my hair out over. My second assignment was Parkour and this was incredibly fun. I think I had a pretty solid plan going into it so it went pretty well for me. I got some great feedback early on and it just went pretty smooth. The last assignment was the dance and that was a definite challenge. It was still really fun to animate, but man it was a challenge, which was great.

If anyone reading this (not likely) is wondering about having Rich Fournier as a mentor, all I can say is you're good to go. He's awesome. Great guy, great critiques, and really fun Q&A's. In our class he almost always knocked out critiques really early for us which is really a bonus. He's also really good about responding to email quickly and spending a few minutes with you after class if you have questions. So yeah, if you get Rich, consider yourself lucky.

Other than that, everything else was good. There were a lot of workflow lectures in Class 2. I think I would have preferred more mechanics lectures, but I'm sure there were plenty of people who appreciated the workflow ones as well. The site held up pretty good this class. Little bit of bandwidth issues trying to watch lectures, but nothing horrible. I still went to Alumni Q&A's several times a week, but I found myself leaving earlier on as it really became the same faces asking for feedback every Q&A. I'd like to see more animation related chitchat than straight up work review (keep that too, just not the whole time). The Tangled Q&A was probably the highlight Q&A for me (MegaMind was damn cool too).

On to Class 3!

Class 2 Progress Reel

Aaaand it's that time of the term again. Here's my latest progress reel. Even less fancy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 11 - Dance Polish & Final

And here's the final shot! This is probably the hardest shot I've ever worked on. I didn't keep track of my hours but I know it's far over 100 hours on this shot. I'm happy to say it was quite a challenge, but it didn't beat me. It's not the best dance in the world, but I'm not ashamed of it either so... (I'm sure I'll say differently in a few weeks looking back on it.)

Week 10 - More Dance Refining

Here's the shot after 3 weeks. Things are getting tighter and tighter.

Week 9 - Dance Refining

Here's 2 weeks in. This is the first refining pass. There was so much work I didn't perfect it all this week.

Week 8 - Dance Blocking

Here's my dance after blocking it for 1 week.

Week 7 Pt. 2 - Dance Planning

And in true AM fashion, we all had to plan our next shot our while finishing our 2nd one. I decided to do a dance (a horrible idea really). After much searching and freaking out I settled on this clip (edited for time). This was from Youtube and some yearly Charleston Dance Competition.

Here's the thumbs I created from the reference. You can see that I plan on changing up the ending already.

And here's a rough layout/staging planning.