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.