Christmas Break.....

It's Christmas time, which doesn't seem possible. I can't believe where 2008 went, it completely flew right by! I'm on break right now from Animation Mentor and I sure am enjoying it. Seeing my wife, relaxing with her, and not feeling preoccupied with thinking about my assignment. It's hard to imagine a time before AM. I'm looking forward to the next class, and have already started working on an introduction piece for my demo reel.

I just bought a new computer, long overdue. I've had my last machine for 5 years. It's been a great machine with no problems what-so-ever but it's time for an upgrade. I found a local company here to put it together and they seem very competent. It's a beefed up machine so I'll be excited to use Maya to it's fullest capacity. 3 gigs of RAM (compared to 1) a new 250 hard drive and EVGA motherboard, with an Intel dual quad core proc, and a 1 gig EVGA super duper graphics card!! That baby's going to cook. I'm really excited to set it up and see what it can do!

Other than just going to relax for Christmas, my in-laws got a hot tub this year and live out in the mountains, so I'm really stoked to freeze my butt off then jump in the nice hot water.... then freeze again! Maddon's getting bigger, and I felt his first tooth coming in, up top. It hasn't broke through the gums yet, but it's close... OUCH!! I'm glad I don't remember that.

I'm the only one (in the graphics department) here at work so it's sort of nice, but quiet. We just got new 24inch wide screen monitors.... totally rad!


Outro to acting... time to move on!

Well, I officially made it through yet another class at Animation Mentor, my Mentor recommended me to move on.... so I'm off to class 4, Advanced Acting! Getting super excited to continue on my journey. The next class will consist of 2 assignments again, one is being carried over from class 3 and then the final is a two person dialogue shot. The only difference is they're giving us a full Bishop rig, with mouth and facial controllers. Yay!

I finally plunged and bought a new computer... money is definitely tight right now, but I figured after next class I'm starting on my short film production and need all the power and resources I can get my hands on. I got a new case, power supply, 250 gig hard drive, 3 gigs of RAM, and a 1 gig graphics card. It's going to be super rad, and like 5 times faster and better than my current machine.

Here's the last nine months of work at Animation Mentor.


3 down, 3 to go....

Well, class three is coming to an end... that means that I'm halfway there! I feel like I learned so much this class, and am feeling a lot more confident in my animation and my animation abilities. The one hard thing, that I kind of mentioned before is the fine line in animation. By that I mean 'avoiding the cliche' is something said in pretty much every lecture, being original, coming up with new ideas, jokes and animation. They also say to challenge yourself when learning animation, don't bite off more than you can chew, but have enough so you get full. Another contradiction is keeping it simple (KISS), and not over posing your animation and yet keeping your animation entertaining. The further along I get I realize that the fine line is something that comes with practice and perseverance.

At the end of each class you have to make a progress reel of all the work that you've done at AM from newest to oldest. So I went back to clean up a couple things in assignments from class 2.... I wanted to start them over. I went through and cleaned up the splines and not even knowing it, my 'style' has completely transformed in the past 12 weeks. It wasn't as if I were resplining the whole thing, but there were a lot of spots that needed some major attention. So going through that was good, and bad. Good because I'm learning and making my own style to animate, and bad because like I said I want to go back and redo them all.... starting from the very first assignment. But, I keep telling myself 'look ahead and take what you learned and apply it to new animations. My new goal is have a new demo reel by February. I already started designing the artwork and am working on getting pieces to put into it.

Another dilemma was solved today, something that is a lot more stressful than I ever remember. Buying a new computer. Talk about stress. With a budget this is not an easy feat. I was looking to spend around 600 on basically an upgrade to hardware. Seeing is my computer is about 5 years old now, it's completely obsolete, I isn't performing as well as I would like.... so it's time. I found it on tigerdirect.com for about 100 bucks cheaper than my budget, so that's a first for me. It will be about 5 times better/faster than my current machine. It's not that I'm not happy with my machine, I've never had any issues what so ever with it, it's just too old and slow.

I'm looking forward to class 4, and definitely not as nervous as I've been when starting a new class up till now.


Animation all around me....

So, it's official, I've become obsessed with animation! Not to a scary point, but I definitely know that this is my career choice forever!

Class 3 is flying by, I'm already in week 11! I've learned so much this class and want to keep trekking ahead, practicing and learning more and more!! My dialogue shot is getting closer to completion, at least till I'm able to add facial animation next class. I attempted to enter the 11 second club November competition, but unfortunately I only got to the blocking stage. I got too busy with school, and since that's my priority I had to put 11SC on the back burner. I think I'm going to attempt it again this month, I'm just going to keep it simple. I feel like the more practice the better, practice makes perfect!

We saw Bolt opening weekend and if you are into animation, or animated movie it's a must see! Definitely top ten animated films of all times for me! Action, funny, sad and the characters where awesome!

Next post I'll upload my assignment, till then.


Just when you think....

you're getting the hang of animating... Blammo-whammo! I received a very in depth, detailed eCritique this week for my dialogue assignment (that is posted below). Very insightful, and some what discouraging (okay, not really, just being dramatic) on how my acting choices were too similar, even though I thought that I was breaking it up and avoiding symmetry... looking at it now, he's totally right on. I'm going to regroup and redeploy my animation troops all over that assignment this week, so check back for an update.

I think the hardest part about learning animation is the back and forth. You're trying to learn something, that is ridiculously hard to begin with, then you have to be original and creative based on your limitations and animation abilities that are holding you back. It's frustrating and can be down right discouraging at times. But I guess that's all part of the learning process of the coolest art forms around. I do feel that with every assignment I'm gaining some sort of knowledge and becoming a better animator. I definitely feel more confident when coming up with ideas, so that's a plus.

That's it for now.....


Week 8 already... Only 4 more to go in class 3.

I can't believe how fast my time is going at Animation Mentor, it's week 8 today, that means I'm done with first acting class. Overall I'm learning so much this class it's insane. The entire 12 week class consists of 2 assignments, the Pantomime assignment and then a dialogue assignment. The character they give you for the dialogue assignment is the Bishop rig, which is super rad. However, it's a limited rig, with now facial controllers, so you're not able to do facial expressions, that comes next class.

I feel like I'm getting the hang of this whole animation world, now I want to go back and redo all of my assignments, I guess that means that I'm learning something. More and more with each assignment. For some extra practice I'm entering in the 11 Second Club monthly animation competition. Lately it seems like I want to do more and more animations for practice, because I learn so much from each animation that I do, and they get easier and easier. So it's true what they say 'practice makes perfect'.

Maddon's doing good, he's six months now, and has gained over 10 pounds. I can't believe how small he was when he was born, looking back at pictures is creepy. He's getting big and has a really big melon. I started call him 'Bobblehead'.... He laughs when I call him that. Other than, it's fall now and it was 70 degrees today. The basement's coming along slowly, I hung the cabinet bases today so we have tons of storage down here, it's so nice to start getting organized again!

Wall-E comes out on DVD and I'm super excited to buy the special edition. That movie was amazing, and I loved the sound effects all the robots make... Super cool, if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.

Here's my first pass for my dialogue shot:


Finally feeling comfortable....

Well it's week 3 of class 3... weird eh? Anyway, I spent a lot more time planning out my pantomime assignment than I have will all other previous assignments. And holy crap, what a difference it makes. I started by brainstorming 5 different ideas, once I narrowed them down to one idea I started thinking about what and how I want to show it. Acting and thumbnailing out ideas and poses. After I felt comfortable with my movements I filmed the video reference. After that I thumbnailed the video reference to get a better sense of the timing. Thennnnn, I cleaned up the thumbnails as best I could in Photoshop and brought them into a program called Monkey Jam, which basically helps you with the timing of your shot, bringing in the rough poses and using only the main key frames I timed out the shot, which was a little more work, but made blocking so much easier. After getting my first critique from my mentor Jay Jackson (who's been in the animation industry for 25+ years now, and worked on some of my favorite movies) I made some changes, added and took away from it.

My point is this, after living, breathing and learning animation over the past six months, I still have a long journey ahead of me, but I'm finally feeling comfortable and confident when doing animation. The school is great, everyone is so supportive and helpful, between that and my eCritiques it's a wonderful learning environment!

Tah tah for now...
Oh, I finally saw Ironman... very cool movie, I recommend it.


Week 2, class 3....

Man oh man, how time flies... I started working on my pantomime shot and am really excited. I feel like I'm learning a lot about animating and that I still have so much to go. Looking back to the beginning of class 2, I've learned so much since. I feel a lot more confident that I'm able to animate more and have it be successful and entertaining. For this assignment we're supposed to show two contrasting emotions in with no dialog what so ever. I had five options and went with the one where my character Stewie has a pet 'Tailor' in a crate that he adores. He picks it up and holds/hug it, and then hears something behind him and puts Tailor back in the crate, as he's turned away Tailor makes a run for it and hops out of the crate and runs away. When Stewie turns back around he notices that Tailor is gone, he panics, looks in all direction, see him and runs after it. It sounds simple, and that's the point, pretty much since the first week AM has been saying keep it simple, and that's what I'm doing, with a lot more planning. I took my sketches into Monkey Jam and timed everything out, to get a good sense of timing, to make sure that everything reads and is entertaining. It worked, they were right, the more planning that you do the easier it is once you get into the computer. Definitely a milestone for me and my animation world.

So that's about it for now. Busy as heck, I think Maddon's getting some teeth coming in... he's drooling everywhere. But overall he's a pretty happy little dude and a lot of fun to be around. He's rolling over, so we had to get him a 'baby-wedge' for when he's sleeping.

Till next time.


On break yo.

I finished class two, and my mentor recommended that I move onto class 3, Introduction to Acting.... so right on! I'm trying not to do any animation (other than work) on my time off. I know that I have soooo much that I need to learn and need to practice as much as I can to get better, but I also don't want to get burned out. I said when I started Animation Mentor that I wasn't going to compare myself to the other students, which is hard because there are so many great animators there. I guess that it's become my motivation to get better. I just have to keep working at it and getting better. It will take time and it's all about patience. I'm getting excited for the next class to start and like going to class 2 I'm a bit nervous. I've been animating at work for the past week or so, and it made me realize that this is it for me, it's what I want to do for money for the rest of my life! I guess I sort of knew that when I started the Art Institute back in 2001, but didn't realize how much fun it is. The case that I'm working involves a man being reckless and losing both feet, I'm animating what he did based on his injuries and what not. Working with a Bio Mechanical Engineer, two attorneys and an expert. So needless to say it's interesting.

I just ordered Eric Goldberg's new book Character Animation Crash Course, my buddy at work bought in and brought it in.... I looked at it for 2 minutes and went on Amazon and ordered one for myself. If you're thinking about getting into animation, or wanted to learn animation the 3 must haves are: the Animator's Survival Kit, The Illusion of Life and Crash Course.... there are a lot other out there that are great too, but those are the trifecta of learning books. So like I said, if you want to learn how to animate get those and read, read and reread them! I'm not saying that Animation Mentor isn't great because it, I've learned so much. But in getting started reading those books is a great first start.

Maddon's doing great, getting bigger. He's smiling now, it's such a cool feeling when I go into his room in the morning and as soon as he sees me he gets a giant smile on his face (unless he's hungry, then there massive screaming), but for the most part he's a happy little baby and I can pretty much always make him smile!

That's about it for now, I'm posting my progress reel, newest work to oldest work at Animation Mentor, so check it out, and please leave me any feedback that you want!



Inspiring Animations...

Here is some work that keeps me inspired when I start running out of steam.

This animation called Oktipodi won best student work at Siggraph this year, so it now has the potential of winning an Academy Award for Best Animated Short.... When you see it you'll think to yourself 'Wow! There's no way this is student work'. But I assure you, it is....

This piece is called Sigg Jones, it reminds me why I love animation so much, there really are no rules or limitations with reality, just creative genius.....

Enjoy, I hope they will inspire you too.


Class 2 coming to an end!

Well, summer's officially over and my 2nd class at Animation Mentor is coming to an end (coincidence? I think not). I've learned a lot about body mechanics and realized how hard it is to convince your audience what you want to show with your animation. For my final assignment I chose the baseball pitch option, to tie into my first turn around assignment with the Yankee outfielder turning around to watch the ball go over the fence for a homerun. I have a new found appreciation for all animation now, I was pretty naive before not realizing how much work actually went into it. I feel like I'm grasping the concepts that I'm learning this quarter, the lectures are very intense and insightful and there's a lot to digest in each one. In the past I would watch the lecture twice in the week, one of the times taking notes on it and the 2nd time was just to pick up what I missed from watching it the first time. My new technique is to watch the lecture early in the week and take notes on it, then go back and watch the lecture from the prior week as well as review the notes. That seems to help not ingest soooo much in one week and make for a nice review after applying the lecture to the current assignment. I feel like as all I want to do is practice, practice practice animation. The lack of patience that I have makes it really hard to want to become a great animator right NOW! I know that it's going to take a lot of time, and it's something that I'm never going to master (back to my whole golf comparison). Every great animator till the day they die always talk about how they're always learning something new, or how they always struggle with their shots. It's kind of intimidating and exciting to know that I picked a career that will always challenge me and will always have new obstacles to overcome. Anyway, this post is all over the place, I'm not a very good writer, I'm just sort of writing as thoughts enter my mind. My pitch animation final is due on Sunday this week and then next week is a short one, basically making a progress reel of my body mechanics animations. So I'm going to have to go back in and adjust/revise my animations that I've already turned in, but with more of the knowledge that I've gained this class, hopefully it's not going to be too bad.... who knows though. Then light 'em and render 'em off..... sounds like a nice final week... Let's hope it is!!


I've been slacking on my online journal.

So it's been a crazy last few months, with a new baby and learning animation. I absolutely love Animation Mentor. It's so true what Bobby 'Boom' was saying in all of the orientation videos about how you'll get out of whatever you put into the school. If anyone is considering learning animation this is the way/place to do so. The forums are great, but it's the community that makes it what it is. Their motto is 'crit 5'... which means you should go to at least 5 students workspaces each week and leave feedback on their assignment. It's amazing how by doing this not only do they benefit from stuff overlooked when created their assignment, but it helps you by analyzing the animation and looking for the principles and other factors that the school has taught. Not only is the student body completely helpful, energetic, motivating and nice, they do a series of online QnAs each week. So if you're having problems with a character rig in Maya or trouble with the assignment, any of the student body can attend these sessions and participate and ask questions, or just sit back and learn some things. They're great to attend and so insightful. Not only do they have technical support QnAs, there are also professional animator QnAs where a profession animator talks about what they do in the industry, show some of their work and answer any questions that the students have. The last one was a Mentor who was one of the lead Animators on Iron Man.

Anyway, to make a long story longer. Not only is just the bare essential of the school so great, it's the extra curricular activities that really excel your learning process for animation. It's weird how one day you just look at work you're doing for the assignment and you think 'holy shit, I'm animating!'. My eye is so much more trained to really study how things move, and why they move that way. My latest assignment is animating a baseball pitch. It's coming along really nice and it's due in a couple of weeks. The spacing is really nice for class 2. There are only 3 assignments for the 12 week class, so you really learn how create animation. I compare the process to sculpting out of clay, you start with a big lump of clay (your ideas) and fine tune it, getting more and more detail the further along you go. The wallah!

Mommy went back to work (kind of) and so I get the little dude all to myself for 3 nights a week. It's a lot fun hanging out with him. He's more alert and started smiling. He's definitely more used to Mommy, because she's been with him everyday, all day for the past 3 1/2 months. He's getting more used to me and I can finally bathe him myself, which is a challenge in itself....

I probably won't post another till this second class has come to end.... till then.


Why did the 3D character throw the 3D clock out the window?

I'm halfway through the 2nd class at Animation Mentor and I can't believe it. I'm learning about body mechanics, which consists of, external/internal force, weight, timing, spacing, acting and strong poses. It's very intense, but oh so much fun. The lectures are about 3 times as long as the first class, but they fly by. The lectures now consist of individual animators going through how they would complete a shot, from shooting video reference, studying it and thumbnailing, to get the juicy poses and the timing down. They really help to break it down, but they make it look so easy, that part is a little frustrating. I feel like I want to learn as much about animation as possible as fast as I can and become an awesome animator. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because I'm in my 30s now and feel as I've missed out on this wonderful art form for so long. Or maybe it's because I see so many great animators all around and I want to be good like them. I know that I need to just stand back, take a deep breath and enjoy the journey as all of these amazing animators have done. I have to keep thinking that they were all where I am now when they were learning animation.... One good thing is that I can look back at my work and see how I can improve it.

As far as the home front's concerned, we got moved into our basement, and I have my computer set up, with my inspirational toys all around me! We still have some work left on the basement, trim, doors and the cabinets, at least we're able to enjoy it now, we got it carpeted and tiled also. It's very cozy and I love being down there, definitely worth all of the hard work. In Denver we just went through a record 22 days of temperatures reaching in the 90s.... too damn hot for me. I recently got an iPhone and one of it's features is a weather button. You're able to put in whatever city you want to around the world and when you hit the weather button you can scroll through the cities you've entered.... anyway, I have Vancouver in there as one of my cities and their temperature seems lovely this time of year, typically right around the high 70s low 80s.... perfect!

That's all for now... till next time.


Class one is ovah!

Man oh man, what a crazy few months I've endured... talk about insanity! I made it through Class one at Animation Mentor and I feel really lucky to have met the people that I have! First off, my mentor Paul Allen was absolutely amazing, his insights and critiques were so helpful and inspiring. He really took time and studied the animations/poses that I handed in, he didn't just say something to say it. I learned a lot, and definitely realized how much work goes into learning animation, I never thought it was going to be an easy feat, but damn I feel naive.... I know that I learned something, because for the final assignment (which is posted below) was to put together a progress reel of all your work for the class so the school can keep on file. Anyway, looking back at my past assignments I know I could start the assignment over and make something twice as good in half the amount of time.

I couldn't have been luckier with my classmates either, they spent so much of their busy time helping me, leaving constructive feedback to better my animations. They were all so helpful, and like I said, I made some really good friends in the process. Last night and my QnA session, it was really kind of sad, Paul went around pulling everyone up on their web cams and said his farewells, as did the class back. I know that everyone will stay in contact, but it's sad not having them in the same class as me.

On another note, Maddon's got so fricken big, he's at 6.5 lbs, that means he gained 9 ounces in a week! He's been eating tons and is much more alert now, not just eating, pooping, and sleeping. After he eats he'll stay awake. Looking around, studying everything around him. I think that his eyes are much more developed and he's able to see a lot farther than before. The expressions of curiosity that he makes is so adorable, you can tell that he's really trying to figure out where he is and what the heck is going on. The cutest thing is when he sleeps, and waddled or not, he'll always manage to get his arms up and over his head like he's riding a roller coaster. It's so fricken cute.

Another major milestone occurred over the past week. We finally got our basement sheet rocked! It looks so cool and we're going to paint it this weekend and hopefully have it finished up, at least be able to move our stuff down there temporarily by July-ish.

I'm getting nervous and excited for class two to begin. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm up for the challenge. Now that we've had Maddon and the basement won't consume so much of my time, I'll really be able to focus on AM and make some sweet animations, and grow as an animator.

Till next time....


Walk cycles are upon me!

This post as far as I'm concerned will catch me up to current status at school.... or at least be a new starting point to have more consistent posts.

Anyway, this weeks assignment we're doing 'vanilla' walk cycles. It's just your basic every day run of the mill walk cycle (2 cycles actually). I really like how much thought Bobby, Carlos and Shawn put into the curriculum for teaching animation. My Mentor made a great point last night at QnA about how we're all on this very gradual ramp learning animation, getting the basics down and really how important they are to know, and also how much they're used throughout your animation career. Back to the curriculum, the thought process that they put into it is amazing to me. They start you off so basic with a bouncing ball and then they just wooosh you through and next thing you know you're doing walk cycles, not realizing how you use what you learned the prior week and apply and then what you also learned the current week and apply that. Almost like building blocks. It's so cool. We also have to do a STU pose portraying strength. My sketches sucked that I attempted, which was at 130 in the morning, so I was probably just exhausted, so I'll re-attempt it tonight. I'll try and post something for the blog later this week.... till then.


... already it's week eight.

Man, I can't believe it's already week eight, the first session of Animation Mentor is flying by. I'm learning lots and realizing how little I know about animation, and secondly how much goes into animation. I guess you could say I have a new found respect and love for the art, which I was anticipating when I started.

The last couple of assignments have been difficult for me, mainly because I'm trying to break my old animation habits and unlearn what I've learned (to do it the right way basically). They've consisted of using overlapping action, path of action and arcs. Arcs I'm okay with, it's the overlapping action that's killing me. I understand the concept of it, I just don't know exactly when to apply it. On my assignment I applied to probably only 25% of where it needed to be. After watching my eCritique (where my Mentor goes through my assignment and tell me what's wrong with it) it totally made it clear and explaining when, where and why to use it. I guess that's why they call it learning animation. Needless to say I'm a bit more intimidated now then when I started.

The lectures still intrigue me and are super insightful and inspirational. They go around and discuss the current week's topic with animators who have been in the animation industry for some time, and there was one animator that really put things into perspective, as far as what you have to go through to learn animation. He said (I'm paraphrasing) 'I would've put as much work as if had I gone to law school, but this is way more fun'. It really made me think how much work this is really going to be, a much bigger commitment on my part. I'm not afraid of more work by any means, it just makes me realize how naive I still am in my old age.....

I'm going to start posting my assignment that I'm talking about so you can see what the heck I'm talking about.

Till next time....


Tired and sleep depped...

Well, I'm as week seven of Animation Mentor comes to a conclusion. Our son has blessed our home. It's true what they tell you about when you have a baby, you instantly fall in love. Maddon Clifford Smith was born on May 9th, 2008. Birth weight was a whopping 3 lbs 15 oz and 17 inches long. He came early and we initially heard that it was the placenta that wasn't working properly and Maddon wasn't getting the nutrients that he needed to grow in the womb. Come to find out that it wasn't the placenta at all, it was the umbilical cord that was too short, our Doctor said that it was only 10 inches long. Their length varies from pregnancy to pregnancy, but 10 inches was the shortest our Doctor and all the colleagues she told had ever seen.

Here's how the story goes: we moved out Dr. appointment up from Friday to Wednesday because we feared preclampsia/toxemia when we were there the Doctor measured the uterus and it had shrunk from the previous visit. Typically the uterus grows about 1 cm each week, so being that we were 36 weeks, the uterus in turn should've been 36 cm... oh no, it was 31 cm, definitely a cause for concern. She scheduled an ultrasound for later that afternoon and requested that we get some bloodwork done for the toxemia. We went in for the ultrasound and they found out that the baby wasn't getting the proper nutrients and we needed to deliver.

They admitted us in the labor and delivery where they started to try and induce labor. First was trying to soften up the cervix, the whole first night every four hours was done using suppositories, when that didn't work that whole first night they tried using a stronger drug and started the oxytocin, which is used to get the uterus to start the contractions. Basically everything they tried failed and had to perform a C-section. Which if you've ever experienced birth, isn't the optimal situation. Having the Doctor give the disclaimer that if we kill you during this whole ordeal it's not our fault and you can't sue us.

We went into the OR around 0635 and had little Maddon at 0705. That was a Friday morning and we were in the hospital till Tuesday, which was great for us. The nurses were so helpful and anytime you needed something you just called the nurse in and they brought whatever we needed. Maddon stayed in the ICN (intensive care nursery) until Mother's Day. They wanted to make sure that he could maintain his temperature. He's doing great, we had our first Doctor visit with the pediatrician, who is great. He's gaining weight and is strong as ever.

As far as juggling Animation Mentor goes. I was able to take off from work to help with the little guy, so school has been manageable. I've been getting my assignments done and still learning lots. I'm still loving animation and am glad that I committed to AM.com.....


Week 5 is upon me...

This week's assignment: to animate a ball through an obstacle course... it sounds a lot easier than it is. Man oh man, I spent the entire week planning the path of the ball. The object is use anticipation and squash/stretch, which is this week's lesson. Anyway, I got the first stage in Maya done, and came up with some good ideas. I think that I bite off more than I can chew on these assignments... not sure why I do that. Bobby 'Boom' Beck says to 'keep it simple'... I should just listen to him. Maybe I feel that I'll become a better animator if I push myself a little on each assignment. We'll see how that works out for me.

In other news, we got the basement all framed up. 120 2x4s and about 17 hours of labor (give or take). It was a big job, but man, was it rewarding. We still have our work ahead of us, but it was a huge step. Also the baby's room is almost ready, we got it painted and the crib all assembled (which was a bitch of 3 hours)... It's all coming together.

Till next time.


Team Fortress 2 taunting animations.

Some great in game animations from Team Fortress 2. If you haven't watched all the intros to the different characters, check them out on youTube.


With the new arrival that's going to bless the Smith clan comes rearranging of our home. We're currently in the process of finishing our basement. This is to also act as a catalyst of chain reactions to accommodate our baby. It goes like this: we need a room for the little one (crib, changing table, etc.), right now we don't have one. Soooo, we're rotating rooms around. The, what's now, guest room will become the little one's room. What's now my office will become the new guest room.... so where am I going to animate you ask. That's where finishing the basement comes in. Once the basement is finished we'll have a giant family room which will contain my office. Until said time though I will be tearing down my office, all my toys, pictures, files, computer, movies and CDs will be in boxes so we can rotate rooms. Once my computer and office is down I'll be working from the living room, or where ever my laptop can be plugged in. One thing that's freaking me out is that I have all my school stuff, music, side jobs, etc. on my desktop, so I have to make sure that I have EVERYTHING off it and transferred to my laptop or I'll be screwed.... talk about careful planning. Anyway, that's what lies ahead of me tonight, so I thought that I would share it.


It's already week four...

It's true what they say: 'Time flies when you're having fun'.... man. I'm already in week 4 of my journey through Animation Mentor. So far I've learned basics; the 12 principles, timing, and planning. The lectures are so wonderful and inspiring. To hear all sorts of animators from the biggest studios talking so passionately about what they do, animation. Carlos Baena, Bobby 'Boom' Beck and Shawn Kelly are the founders of the school, and in my opinion are considered the '3 Young Men', these guys are truly amazing animators of our time.

The school itself is the epitome of 21st century school. It's very technical, web cams, forums, uploading, downloading, chat rooms, eCritiques, software/hardware support... amazing. You can check it out at www.animationmentor.com. Anyway, that's enough for today, I'll go more into my life and about the school next time..... 'til then.