Thursday, December 29, 2005

V2 Shakes the Nation

This week we got a sneak peak of the newest version of Animation Mentor...V2!!! Since I won't officially be a student next term, I am trying to soak up all the V2 goodness while I still have access. The current students have been granted early access in order to beta test all the functions, making sure all will run smoothly in the Winter term. The design is beautiful and very easy to navigate through. It also brings back all the elements of Animation Mentor onto one site, previously we had different sites and web addresses for our workspaces, the forum, and the lectures. The AM player is now huge so we can see every detail of the training videos section that has also been restructured to allow for more detailed 3D training movies. The cruise the campus capabilities are now perfect and outstanding, I am soo jealous that I won't get to see it in full on action next semester. Another hugely dangerous feature is the 24/7 live chat room, I can see this already becoming an addiction for some, I could barely pull myself away. With hundreds of students from around the world attending there is bound to be many comings and goings and interesting conversations in there. Well done team AM! Next semester is going to be the greatest yet!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Return of the Kong

Peter Jackson has outdone himself with the stunning King Kong. More insane and disgusting creatures than you could ever imagine, and you thought you were having a bad day! Try fighting off dinasaurs, bats, overgrown crabs all in a days work. The animators did an outstanding job of conveying weight and force, those creatures looked so muscular and strong, and they even pulled off the feeling of weight in fast moves which is pretty hard. Great work!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Class 3 Over, a Sad Goodbye

I have decided not to continue into Class 4 of Animation Mentor. Having a full time job and adding on the extra 25 hours a week in homework time was just too much for me. I really want to devote myself to the professional opportunity I have right now, I may never get another chance like this and don't want to mess it up by having a split focus. I wouldn't feel right doing either halfway, it's all or nothing with me.

I am going to miss the great supportive community of Animation Mentor. They have truly created a special community for us as artists, a place where we can experiment and grow all while learning from and helping each other. I know for a fact I would never have improved without all the feedback from the amazing classmates whose critiquing skills have improved tenfold since the beginning of AM. Knowing that at any time of day, some student, somewhere will be online, and able to give you that mid week critique when you need it most. I am so going to miss the ability to cruise through the campus and take a peak at how each student is progressing, being able to look at their assignments and leave them feedback has been such a amazing thing for me to experience. I hope they will keep up with their blogs so I can still be a part of AM.

Good luck all my friends and class mates in Class 4 and beyond. I will miss you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Holiday Surprise

Yesterday was the big day, the day when all the secrets and lies finally paid off. Yes it is true, we had been lying to our beloved AM staff for months, but all for a good cause. When Bobby and Co arrived Monday morning they were greeted with a roudy gang of AM students bearing gifts and homemade wine. I would definetely been there if it was at all possible but alas, it was not to be. So I sent gifts instead, lots and lots of gifts. Some might say it became quite an obsession, first it was just one little gift which turned into 2 which turned into 6 gifts!! It was just so fun I couldn't stop myself. Rebecca made the best gift ever, a sculpture of our mascot Spike, complete with animation disk, it was so cool and Bobby was so surprised and excited. We watched the party from hunderds of miles away that was being broadcasted live via webcam and were able to chat w all our AM friends and party in spirit. I love this school!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Week 11... Final?

Woohoo!! The semester is almost over, well it IS over since I just uploaded my final assignment. There isn't anything due for week 12, but I will most likely make some revisions and make that version the absolute final and never touch this thing again!! Any crits and comments are welcome. I really want to make this one a keeper so if you see anything wonky let me know.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Why is Matt G so awesome?

Mr Matt G is just rocking this latest AM assignment. His work has always been terrific, when we were in Mark Behm's class first semester I remember calling him "the teach" cause he was taking us all too school. Well at the time it sounded funny. But Mat's new assignment is no laughing matter, this is SERIOUS animation goodness and I am loving every second.

LINK TO MATT G's 2nd Dialogue Assignment

Animation Mentor Week 10


I am still working away at this project but don't know if I am making it better or worse. I seem to hate it more every time I look at it. It is just not looking as "perfect" as it should. I changed the ending back to the original way I had it as per Jason's request. I guess having her turn her head and whole body was just toomuch movement so I went back to an earlier version on the ending. i haven't added any thing else to the end but I eventually want her to be brushing back a hair that comes loose during the frenzied "everything!" part. That will require some work in rigging and animating the hair, something I am not looking forward to.

I tried to take Jason's advice and "work through the pose", things were looking very poe to pose in linear, but now I feel like there may be too much motion and it looks distracting or swimmy. I guess it is a fine line betw keeping the character alive and having it look like it's drifting. I still haven't figured it out yet.

This week I was trying to work on my assignment at nights after I got home from work. That tired me out quick. But it was a good thing I got some work done because on Thursday at our Q and A Jason tried out a live dailies idea. A few of us pasted in a link to our WIP so far and the whole class viewed it as Jason gave a critique. That was also a great motivator to get some work done early in the week when I tend to be lazy Sun-Wed. Seems like there hasn't been much time for breaks recently. Yawn. But this semester ends in 1 week which is good news. That also means I only have 1 more week to finish this assignment, which is bad news.