Alright...this is it! Class 2 is over. I can't believe we've been doing this for six months already. It's been an awesome joyride so far and i'm now, more than ever, sure of that this is what I wanna do for the rest of my life! I can't imagine a more rewarding task than creating life to dead pixels and evoke feelings in an audience by doing it. Hopefully soon I will be able to do that.
A summary of my thoughts of this term:
The term was about learning body mechanics and developing a workflow that we're comfortable with. I feel that I'm almost on track regarding the bodymech part. My mentor said that I have pretty good weight in my animations and that the body mechanics feels ok. I think that the first two assignments, the 180 turn and the boxjump went ok, but the last assigment turned out a little bit...i dunno....blahh i guess. I'm not satisfied with it at all and it's bugging me like crazy. My mentor thought it had good weight and okay body mech, but now when we're on our way to acting, he thought it lacked some entertainment-value and crispness. I totally agree. I'm kinda angry with my self that I didn't pulled it off in the very end (Don't worry - i'll be happy again soon)
I'm still experimenting with my workflow. The Jason Ryan approach (block in linear - playblast in stepped) worked pretty well on the two first assignments, but on the last one it kinda fell apart. Too many bodyparts and IK/FK switching, made my graph editor a mess and several times I felt that i had no control over it at all. But thats ok :), now I'm trying a slightly different approach and we'll see how it works out.
My mentor, Pixar animator Robert Russ, is awesome. The e-crits each week was stuffed with great suggestions and thoughts. The Q&A's every Wednesday night (PST) was several times a lecture on it's own. He took whatever questions we had and elaborated and explained in detail what he thought based on his experience (which spans from Toy Story 2 to the upcoming Ratatoullie-movie). And what a nice guy!! Fantastic mentor!
Overall I've learned sooooo much during this term, about animation and how the human body behave in different situations. And this is only the beginning. Next up is Class 3 - Introduction to Acting. Thats gonna be tough, but also tons of fun! But first.....a week off from school! YOOOHOO!!
To my fellow classmates/students that read my blog:
THANKS FOR AN AWESOME TERM, HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY AND GOOD LUCK IN YOUR NEXT CLASS!!
Here's a collection of all the assignments in class 2:
The revision of Session 211: