Ahh the good ol ball bounce exercise. Man, this was so much harder than I remember, I got to block this pretty quickly but made about a million passes at it to get it right! And I turned it in, and still had to make revisions! Ah well, done with it for now, then I'll come back later find something else to tweak.
Here is a pass at a drawing I'm making for Cheryl. Really inspired by some prints I bought recently from Chris Appelhans. I want it to be nice so I'm hopin' to tidy it up and to color it soon. Just, gotta get better at......... not sucking with color.
The assignment is to pose out Stu in an excited pose. These are some crude ideas. Hopefully I can keep comin up with better ones later. I've been "sitting in" on some e-critiques Randy Haycock (Aladdin, Clayton from Tarzan, Kida from Atlantis) has for his students and the things he's always mentioning he wants from drawings are a sense of what the character is doing, and how he/she feels about what they're doing. Damn! I dont know why but that just completely struck a chord for me, just then. Like, why did that just completely make sense to me, only now? The hell if I know. So alright, I'm going to push TRY to get that in my drawings from here on out, wish me luck.
So the very first assignment we had to do was to go out and sketch people, pick our favorite and pose it out to Stu. So those are the sketches I've been posting here recently. I'm having to get used to Maya again which is not as bad as I thought it was gonna be.
Ray got his critiques in early so I've gotten my first e-critique. The cool thing is that you have access to any student's critique, which is where I think you can still learn tons.
The pose the chose.
Ray goin over my work.
The Stu pose translated! Yeah it's a bit different than the sketch, while translating the pose exactly , I could get the right arm from not intersecting Stu's head, so I swung it out the other way instead.
...For this week's AM assignment. B-ball and Ballet.
This reminds me of one of the few things I remember from Art School was when a student in my Anaylsis of Form class asked our teacher Bill Cumming ( who is also quite the prolific local fine artist), how to get motion in your drawings, and all he said was to throw the figure off balance. I guess I semi- agree, but hey he would know better than I.
So I've been cruisin the campus alot recently, checkin out mentors critiques of students work, and by far the one thing that is brought up the most is simplification.
"You these 4 main poses, narrow them to two." "Stay in this pose and work in it." " You have too many ideas in the shot, narrow them down to two, so that you are just going from idea a to idea b." " That movement doesn't need to be there."
So tonight we had a Q & A session with Shawn Kelly, co founder of AM and animator at ILM. I went into the Q & A session and there were TONS, tons tons tons of people already there waiting. I'm thinkin it was mostly everyone in Class 1.
Shawn is real energetic, amiable and seems ridiculously happy to be alive. Like this Q & A was going to be the last thing ever he did on this earth. I mean, the session officially was 9:30 to 10:30, I left midway through the session to take Cheryl to work, came back at 11:30 and he was still answering questions.
He wanted to keep it casual and said he didn't come with any agendas so I fired off the first question. I asked how much motion capture he has to work with versus hand-keyed animation. I can't retell his answer verbatim but I quickly jotted down some bullet points, I'll type them exactly as I wrote them so they are a little fragmented, but you get it right?
-Barely uses Mo-cap, out of about 14o shots he's animated, maybe 4 were motion capture. -Transformers? Not much mo-cap. -Much like Gollum from Weta, The Hulk had very little of it, most of it was tossed. Thinks its just good PR and newer technology is always sexier to the public. -Directors don't seem to care much if you toss it, they just want it to look good. -Proudest scenes he's done are of Yoda.
Aaaaaaand so that was it for my question, actually that last one wasn't even my question. There were hordes of students there, so I wrapped it up quick. Anywho, super generous, elated person despite being super busy. Good peoples that Shawn Kelly.
Rose Rushbrooke: gawd everyones teeth so white.
Also in attendance was Albert Ao, who is only one of two students from the Philippines, RAD!
So we had our first meet & greet /Q&A session last night, super exciting. Like I had heard, Ray Chase is just super cool, laid back, casually tossing off funny quips. Super courteous, acknowledging everything being typed in the chat window. I felt bad because the session started at 9:00, and while for me that was perfect, there are people in the class comin from the midwest, east coast, and even ENGLAND. So most people seemed really tired. That, or a bit shy. I was really blown away by how much people are doing to get into these classes, one of the students has been delivering pizzas to pay for tuition. And at least one other had some pro experience working in features prior. But overall a wide variety of experience levels.
Ray works at Reel FX now but came from DNA, where he worked for about 6 years or so. So he talked a little bit about the differences between the two. He had about 4 minutes of footage on the Ant Bully, holy crap. After Ant Bully, DNA went from about 100 some odd people to 4 . Wow.
He mentioned working on more of a variety of projects when he went over to Reel FX. Recently they worked on a few scenes from the new ninja turtles movie coming out. Buck Cluck from Chicken Little came up when singling out great animated modern scenes. Nik Ranieri is the man.
Speaking of disney rockstars, because I sighted the animation in tarzan as a huge influence, he mentioned Ken Duncan when he came up to work at, was it Reel FX ?, maybe DNA. Anyway his animation reel was up on the network, including that suuuper long scene, no cuts, of Jane going off on a tangent about seeing Tarzan for the first time, and how that blew everyone away.
Introducing my geeky self to the class, and a Blu Ray Chase top window.
So I've decided to put myself through Animation Mentor, starting this Monday! I've actually been wanting to join since it's inception, but didn't have the financial means. Needless to say I'm pretty stoked because A) I've never been in a Mentor/Mentee learning situation. Which,besides just sitting down and doing it, I think is the best way to grow. And B) And this might sound a little strange, it's gonna be nice to get into a "classroom type" environment again. I'm all about that good stuff, continued education with a bunch of other students, gettin your work critiqued, I kind of miss it AISeattle was only two years man!
My mentor for the first quater is Ray Chase, Presently of Reel FX, he worked on Ant Bully and Jimmy Neutron amongst other films. So I'll be posting the stuff I do for AM, and all the stuff I learn, here, so brace yourself!