Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stu's Concerned

Not sure I completely nailed this pose because, like my mentor said, he could have a headache or was nailed on the head by something. The bummer is, he liked the "praying hands" drawing I did in my sketchbook (look for the circled number 2 in the pic) and I was afraid it was too cliche. Oh well, a few minor tweaks and this will be OK.

Concerned drawings with experiments for each pose.

Panhandling maybe?

I've Been Waiting To Hear These Words All Session...

I was bound and determined to pour my heart and soul in to this assignment, the Vanilla Walk. There was no way I was going to have a knee pop, a slipping foot, an unbelievable bob to the hips. I stayed up late the night before (5AM to me exact!) polishing and tracking each knee, adjusting, retracking, readjusting, retracking... you get the point. I knew I did fairly well, but I also knew Mark had an eye that would catch those things I couldn't and he'd make sure I was aware of all the little things. Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset that he critiques me that hard. In fact, quite the contrary. If he picked apart my work on a higher level, it would mean I didn't even get the gist of animation instead of the minute details. Anyway, I turned the assignment in and waited. I knew when the iPhone dinged at 9:15PM it was him... "You have received a new critique!" A click later, I went straight to my grade instead of the critique. There it was, the holy grail and man, I drank from it with a huge "WAHOO!" I raced to the critique, listened to his ideas on my Stu pose and watched the time tick by. The critique was only 7 minutes long and 3/4 of the way through it he hadn't looked at my walk. After he finished (with great information, by the way), he said he was going to check out my walk. One loop of the animation.... he stared.... second loop... "Nice"... third loop... "All right" - a little more excitement... fourth loop... "Man, I think you nailed it." That's all I needed to hear. I was stoked. The words that really hit me were his last few, which made it worth staying up until 5AM and making sure I was hard on myself about the details...

"You know, for a Vanilla Walk, this totally works. I wanna see how you did it (animation gibberish I won't bore you with). The knees aren't popping or anything.. All right! Sweet! He he. I'm so happy to see that, that's great. Cool man, well, I got nothing to say. Nice job Micah." I'm speechless too. Thanks Mark!

"If you don't walk on 12's, you're not normal." - Richard Williams

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vanilla? But I wanted CHOCOLATE!

So, this weeks assignment is a Vanilla walk. Yep, the old common and ordinary walk with zero attitude or style. It makes sense since we need to know the basics before we exploit them and I'm totally on board with that. So, here's my first pass at Blocking (Key poses and Breakdown Poses). It stutters because I left it on stepped keys, which means the pose will hold until I create a new one.

Ballie is taking a 4 step stroll through Maya

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tailor Assignment and the Need For an A

This past week was a great assignment on overlapping action and drag. The basic idea behind this is how do things react, like a tail, when the object they are attached to moves. They don't all move at once, but, instead, move in succession. It's amazing when you "get it" how good the animation looks.

So, I was bound and determined to get an A (close, B+) because I wanted to impress my mentor and also feel like I was getting this principle. I struggled a bit with the pendulum (haven't uploaded that yet, still working out the kinks) but concentrated on this one to really nail it. Other than a few spacing issues, Mark thought it was really good.

Speaking of mentors, I stopped and thought today about my mentor and the e-critique's I was watching from him. I kept getting frustrated about what I hadn't achieved (an A) and how I missed something to keep me from being the best. I don't mean to sound like I have an ego (I do), but I'm not used to not achieving what I want. The A is the holy grail of grades. It would mean, what I created is good enough to be a final shot in an entry level position at a studio.

During a simple conversation with a buddy I work with today, I realized I was missing the best part of these critiques and what my goal really should be... I was learning animation from the best AND I was impressing a guy who animated Buzz Lightyear and Woody. So what if I wasn't at the A level (not sure anyone in the class was getting them), when he would stop and say that the scene was really nice and how I was only a few tweaks away from something great, THAT'S what really matters. I'm learning and from the best and I'm getting better with each assignment. I'll get there, I just have to keep aiming for that A.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Devastated Stu

So the assignment was to create a pose where Stu looked devastated. Not sad. Not slightly inconvenienced by an unhappy event. Completely, and utterly devastated. Not an easy task and the hardest assignment of it's kind so far, in my opinion. I wanted to nail this one so I made sure I researched a ton of reference. I looked up events from the past few years that I knew would show imagery of people completely wiped out mentally and on the verge of letting go. It was a pretty emotional investigation, but I feel like the sadness that these pictures were showing, came right through and in to my pose.

I'm not sure if this dude was in battle or his girl just left him, but either way, he can't keep himself on his feet. Poor Stu...

Squash and Stretch

Kept it simple and I think it paid off. Believe it or not, I worked on this for 4 days just to get the timing, spacing and trajectory right. Whew!