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.