The beauty of animation is the capability of expression beyond still images and without words.
Lately I have been struggling with how to move forward on my senior project. I still love what I am doing – I’m just a little lost on the execution. And for various reasons I am desperately in need of distractions.
With so many things on my mind and a little bit more free time than last quarter, I’ve decided to really buckle down and work on some personal projects. The first you can see above, it’s a really short animation of our family dog, Misha!
My sister had drawn this picture of him:
And I could not get over how cute/funny/quirky it was (and it really captures him physically and personally, ha!) so I had no choice but to animate it!
This was my first time attempting a walk cycle animation of any kind, so I referenced some walk cycle drawings from the Internet. First I made a hand drawn version that took about 4 separate attempts before I got it right (My family likes that version better – I’ll post it later). Then I took it into after effects.
It was great to get some more practice animating shape layers in AE, which I haven’t done in a while. I’d love to do a series of these with this image, or make some of our other two dogs!
I’m super excited to have started Senior 1 class! I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do for my final project for a long time, and it wasn’t a hard decision. I knew I wanted to do a music video from the get go, and I knew the band I wanted to work with.
It’s been another great quarter at SCAD! I thought this quarter was going to be easy, but I think it was the hardest one yet. Never in my life have I operated so consistently on so little sleep. That’s okay, though. I look to rappers for sentient life advice, and have taken Nas’ philosophy on sleep to heart. Anyways, here are some of the highlights from Spring 2013 quarter!
I nearly died whilst matte painting.
My first ever demo reel!!!
And portfolio site!
Snowstorm Nemo found me in New York…
And I almost made a logo thingie.
Spring quarter starts in a mere 10 days -__- Bring it on?
Above is one of my very first motion media projects – one of my first ever stabs in the dark with After Effects. It’s not bad I don’t think, for a beginner, but I’ve come so far since then.
When I first got to SCAD, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I knew I didn’t want to go back to Painting because I could not bear the thought of being alone in a studio for the bulk of my professional life. I know myself; I know I can’t be trusted to be motivated enough when left to my own devices. So I chose Production design, thinking this would be an opportunity to paint [sets] on a grand scale in a collaborative environment. But it just wasn’t the right fit.
A friend suggested Motion Media. It was both an alluring and scary proposition. I wanted to animate, but with a background of working in only two dimensions, I didn’t think I could do it with four (line, shape, volume, time). I entered college with pretty developed skills in drawing and painting. I skipped right into the advanced classes freshman year. I was used to being one of the top students in class.
But I also was used to being frustrated, as I witnessed the leaps and bounds by which my less-experienced classmates improved, while my work stagnated. I grew at MICA freshman year, but admittedly, I had less ground to cover.
That’s a huge reason why I chose motion media. I knew nothing about animation going in – about any program other than Photoshop, really – and nothing about how to design for things that move. How do you come up with transitions? How do you sync image with audio?
Starting from scratch. Having nowhere to go but up.
A full year after my first motion media techniques class, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. A full year after the above animation was made, and I’m already in the process of interviewing and applying for internships. I’ll be graduating in two quarters. It’s kind of unbelievable, but very, very exciting. It’s really hard sometimes because I still think I don’t know enough, and there’s not enough time to learn it all. But I try to see any and all shortcomings as an opportunity for growth, rather than just a gap in my skill set. To me, learning (and seeing the results of what I’ve learned) is way more fun than just practicing.
Next up: a Principles of 2D Animation class in the Spring, some self-tutelage in Cinema4D (3D graphics program), a senior project, a Summer internship. I can’t wait
I’m so excited and honored that my teammates and I won our category in Battle of the Boards!!! Our team won for the best book in Network Branding, and Jason and I tied for best Network Branding boards This was such a fun and rewarding experience and I cannot WAIT until the next MOME workshop!!!
Previously: Battle of the Boards! Part I
Above is our profile page from my team’s process book. (A process / pitch book is a glorified powerpoint presentation that packages, sells and explains a design pitch). I was so happy with my team! Jason, Krystal and I have all been in Design for Motion together this quarter. And Lexie was one of my team members for the Carlo Vega Workshop in October. So I knew everybody. Not gonna lie, having a graphic design major in our group was a huge asset. I have to thank Jason for helping me learn InDesign a whole lot better from this workshop!
For the past five years SCAD has organized an event called Inspire for the Motion Media department. For the 2012-2013 year, however, the department has decided to try something a little different.
Rather than holding a singular, 2-day event (as a bookend to the Career Fair), they decided it might be more beneficial to give students the chance to actually put their skills into practice. They decided to invite some professional designers to come and lead 2 or 3-day workshops over the course of the year.
The Carlo Vega workshop I wrote about a few months ago was the first of these workshops, and it was an amazing success. All of us MOME students were begging for them to do it more often, and we were very excited when we heard the next one would be a design workshop with director/designer Greg Herman.
This rotoscope animation video was just released last week for the rap artist Joey Bada$$. Not only do I LOVE this sort of style (talkin’ bout the animation, though I love this song too), but I’m happy to say that some SCAD motion media alumni designed and animated it:
I wanted to write a bit about the current VFX industry debacle that came to everyone’s FaceBook awareness last week. Though not a VFX – visual effects, Mom, Dad, if you’re reading this – major, in motion graphics we deal pretty often in compositing and chroma-keying (green screen), which both fall under the VFX domain. I have a lot of friends who are VFX and 3D animation majors. A few of them have already graduated and are working in the industry for companies like Disney and DreamWorks.
VFX, which includes compositing and 3D modeling/texturing/lighting/animation, was one of the money fields. So we were told. Yes, the hours are long and grueling, and the work is highly technical and requires a great deal of instruction, learning, and experience – but if you make it out with a VFX degree, you’ll make money. At least, that’s always been my perception. So it’s very very disheartening to see all these VFX houses closing. Especially when it seems like a new VFX-heavy blockbuster film or jaw-dropping video game is coming out every month.
Even television has been stepping up its game, with higher and higher production values being seen on premium cable channels like HBO, AMC and Showtime.
With the film, TV and video game industries this busy, how can it be that Rhythm & Hues (the company behind VFX-Oscar-winning Life of Pi, The Hunger Games, X-Men, 300, The Lord of the Rings, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc…) is bankrupt?
If you do a bit of Googling, you’ll come up with lots of articles about the situation. But I thought this Reddit post did a really good job of summarizing the problems faced by the VFX industry today. I think the first point – the most important point, according to its author – is the most interesting (below). I wasn’t aware of the role of foreign subsidies at all before this crisis.
“The most noticable, is that other countries offer tax subsides that do not allow even competition. If a VFX studio in California bids on work for a set price, then a VFX studio in Vancouver can bid that very same price AND offer a 30-35% (not sure of exact figures) tax rebate on that work, but the VFX studio doesn’t get that money, the movie studio does. So they (the movie studio) automatically get 30% of their VFX paid for by tax payers instead of out of their already wealthy pockets. The California VFX studio therefore cannot compete with this situation, so fair competition is impossible.”