Friday, December 31, 2010

The End of All Things- I mean 2010!

Okay, so my New Years resolution is to start off 2011 with an updated blog! I have NO IDEA how long this will take, but I am going to try! So here goes! MEGA-UPDATE 2010!!!!!

*looks back* Gawd, I didn't get much past Cube Sign-Ups! *gasp* I have a ****-ton to tell you! ACK!

Okay! *deep breath* I hope you guys are ready for this...

The first week of classes were UNBELIEVABLE! I STILL can't believe that we have such amazing teachers here! There are two sections of Freshmen- first half of the alphabet and the second. I am in the first. And I will tell you right now, I will never be able to live down the feeling that I will never get to know the second half as well as I will know my own... My only major beef- but as there are almost SIXTY of us, there is obviously no way that they could put us all in one class at one time. :(

My Monday starts off the best with 2D Character Animation (my favorite class!). Our teacher is Scott Wright. The guy used to work at Dreamworks! He's worked on some AWESOME films- including my new fav, How To Train Your Dragon! He completely changed the way I look at some of my oldest, favoritest films! Our first class all we really did was look at the basic principles and definitions of animation- keys, breakdowns, inbetweening, spacing, timing, timing charts (x-sheets), weight, arcs, anticipation (I think this is one of his favs...), straight-ahead and pose-to-pose. It was truly a clarifying experience! Stuff that I sorta knew about, I now felt like I had a real explanation of!

We broke for lunch... pushed our tables together (a Character Animation trait and tradition!) and went to our second class of the day. We have Digital Methods with Fran Krause. At first I didn't know what to think about Fran. But after a whole semester, I can clearly say that this guys KNOWS HIS ****! A couple of the classes were a little silly for me, since I knew Photoshop and how to scan stuff, etc. but a LOT of the information was nearly over my head! We covered stuff like Flash and After Effects. WHOA! Seriously! I think one of my favorite things about Fran's class is how he would show us fun videos. He would explain things you can do in the programs, which always led me to ask- "Now what would we USE this FOR?!" Fran is so awesome, he would actually answer me, every time! Even though it was probably a stupid question for most- I'VE never made a real film before! I want to know under what circumstances that I would need to know this stuff! It just really made his class that much more awesome as the semester went on. The very last class, he arranged for us to bring in a single drawing of a red cat with a squarish head and a green backpack. We drew numbers and learned we would be making a 20 second segment of a film. Our drawing was the starting point of our segment and we had to somehow end up at the first drawing of the person behind us. OMG! When we are done, we are going to have a 20 minute long film, done by 60 artists!!!! Needless to say, I am scared but HIGHLY excited about this project!

And that is pretty much my Mondays. We have the evenings off, but I usually spend it on homework. That first day was just dreamy! That night we had the cube sign-up, which I kind of already posted about. Basically, it was kind of awesome. I got to talk to a lot of kids that I can't even believe that I didn't know them then! We are so close now, it seems like a weird bad dream or something. We watched movies. I knit and read. Then people slept. I made it almost the whole night. I slept like 2 hours. At 8:30 AM-ish they handed out our number then it was time for Tuesday and we all ran to class! XD

I actually showered because I felt disgusting, so I was a smidge late to my first Tuesday class, CG Foundation with Andrew Bac. Again, at first I was a little unsure of Andrew. He's a very quiet man and if you don't listen 100%, you will MISS IT! But as the semester wore on, I realized that Andrew, too, knew his ****!!!!! I watched in AWE as this guy would create a 3D model of something in nothing FLAT! I blame my lack of progress in the class on my bad learning curve, as I'd never even TOUCHED Maya before his class.

Sadly, this picture is NOT from the first week, but rather November. He's actually drawing ON HIS HAND to show us how Maya works with joints. Talk about Dedication!

After lunch, Section 1 has Color & Design with Brooke Keesling. Brooke is not only a CalArts graduate, she won the Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards for her film Boobie Girl. Yes- she is AWESOME! She currently works at New Deal Studios in special effects, I think. Basically, they make models and get to BLOW THEM UP! ZOMG!!!! XD She showed us not only her film, Boobie Girl, but her studios demo reel. WOW! Brooke took over from the Color & Design teacher from HELL- Leo Hobaica. I only say that because the incoming freshmen were well aware of his reputation for being HARD! His class was all gouache and required more time than almost all the other classes! When I heard he WASN'T teaching for fall semester, I was actually disappointed! I had pumped myself up and everything! But then he went to France on creative leave! WTH?! So we had Brooke- and Brooke was awesome! And just as if it HAD been Hobaica (who is coming back for Spring semester), Color & Design was where I spent most of my homework time... XD

GAH! And I just realized that Brooke is sitting directly underneath my self-portraits! *GASP!*

After dinner break until 7 PM, we have Story I class with Jennifer Skelly. Usually the Story class is taught by both Jennifer and her husband, David Skelly- a Pixar STORY ARTIST! Sadly, Sections 1 & 2 got one Skelly each. The upperclassmen (and eventually Section 2, since they nabbed them both for one class) say that the two of them together are a POWERHOUSE at Story, but separately, they are pretty good too. I just wish we could have them both. Story really kicked our butts for the first few weeks because we had the GARGANTUAN task of making an animatic in THREE WEEKS! Just 21 days! "You know, I've always liked that word... "gargantuan"... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence..."

Our very first night in class, we had to come up with a story to pitch to the class. I made four and pitched the worst one! XD And that is Tuesdays!

Wednesdays for me, start with History of Character Animation with Maureen Furniss.

Yes... that IS a movie theater inside my school- you may all be jealous now! XD

This class was AWESOME because not only did we get to be in a movie theater for 3 hours, we got to watch MOVIES! Our syllabus listed what we would be covering, the projects we would be doing (FLIPBOOKS FTW!) and it was just AWESOME! (And HARD!)

Wednesdays are a little funny, because most people have Critical Studies. I have Work Study. So immediately after Hist. of Character Animation, I ran to the Registrar's office for my first day of work study. The ladies in the office are SUPER nice and my work is really easy. Basically, I get to do fun office-stuff for 5 hours, twice a week and if I finish my work early (which I do a lot), they let me work on homework!

After dinner break, our Wednesday night class is Character Design with Rik Maki. Now, of all my teachers, Rik is the HARDEST! But let me just say this: His imdb page is the stuff of DREAMS! He's worked on things not just stuff that has come out recently, but stuff from my CHILDHOOD!!! This guy is the real thing! And even though he's REALLY hard on us, I think I learned the most from his class. I was CERTAINLY not in the top rung, but I feel like I made significant improvement. While many people got out of his class, I stayed late every night after class to hear him talk and ask questions and get input. I am even emailing him over Winter Break to get advice on my designs for my film.

Whew! Okay, there's the first half of my schedule. New blog entry.

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