An Important Announcement

Recently I have been accepted into an apprenticeship  as a way of getting income in as well as something I can add to my portfolio. However, this is a full time course and as such, I will be unable to attend lessons at the regular times. I am however, planning to complete the first year of the course and will be using whatever free time I have to do the necessary work for my portfolio and tests.

Updates to this blog may be less frequent than before and at different intervals as such, not to mention I will have to rely more on self teaching as such. I still plan to work at the same level as I have normally and hope that I can pass the course regardless of the change in the circumstances.

About the Portfolio

This is a somewhat late post but better late than never I guess. I set up a portfolio a while ago and I got feedback on it and my general performance in what I did over the past few months. It was a weird experience but I got through it as a whole so it seems to have gone well I think. I’m still not confident in my abilities but then again when is that ever going to happen.

I made the portfolio in a fairly quick manner and it wasn’t flashy or anything so it looked basic, but I don’t mind. I sorted it out and went in on the day I was supposed to, it went fairly smoothly. I was honest about what I did and they gave their thoughts too, which was mostly positive. It made sense to me and even though I still don’t feel good about myself at least they think of something good with me.

The general explanation was how I was doing fine and was on target for what the course entailed, and how I was only seemingly bad because I was in the older class so it was natural that others were going to be ahead of me. Compared to other classes I was on par with them apparently, so it was all good I guess. Just got to keep on going and do my thing some more.

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The start of something big

Another project is coming up and it’s all about planning it today. Animation has been a pretty important part of things for the past few weeks and it’ll be no different here, as I have a upcoming project to animate something proper for the first time, a big feat but I feel like I’ll be able to handle it, mostly. I won’t have my own personal rig but I’ll take doing this over not being able to do this.

Like was said it’s focused all on planning today, getting a synopsis, a story board, a asset list and generally getting everything set up properly for when we actually come to do it. It’s been okay so far, I had an idea before I even did any research so I’ve been essentially working backwards from here, but I don’t think that should be a problem as long as I have a solid concept of what to do for this.

In terms of research, when it comes to short indents, I don’t have anything I could really say spurred me on to do what I’m doing here, though I have always enjoyed the Cartoon Network City indents that were played in the early 2000s. It was a unique and original concept, and I guess it counts if it was a point for me to try and strive for something as creative as those indents.

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Everyone’s favourite lesson

I think everyone has been looking forward to this, the one lesson where we finally get deep into the fundamentals of what makes animation work as well as it does. Today is all about the 12 principles of animation, a general set of rules created by some of the greatest minds that ever animated as essentially a guidebook to how one would animate. As we were told, the most remarkable thing is how this covers all realms of animation, not just the hand drawn 2d style.

The principles do a good job of balancing out between something being cartoonish and something being realistic, like both aspects are equally important to the process of animating. It is expected to get the most out of animation, one must put a level of exaggeration, to get the most of how anything is possible when animated. At the same time, to get a proper understanding of how to exaggerate, one must learn how realistic movement works so they know what to do when it comes to animating something zany.

Each one of the lessons is something I’ve mostly known about before hand, but there really is something eye opening when you see them explained and dissected down into a way anyone can grasp and understand. The amount of care that goes into a professional animation is a lot more respectable when you understand all the thought processes that would come into making something as good as it looks, with any kind of animation. Below I’ve got a list of examples to show off some of the key principles in action.

Wario sneezing and shivering in Wario Land: Shake It!

An example of both Anticipation and Slow In and Slow Out. As can be seen, there is a build up to the sneeze before it actually happens. giving that brief moment to prepare for the sneeze. There is also the slow build up of the sneeze, followed by the fast sudden action of the sneeze itself, finished with the slower animation of the reeling to the sneeze. Despite being a fast paced animation, the slow and fast movements can still be seen.

Image result for skullgirls gif

An example of both Arcs and Secondary Action. Notice the way the arms move, following that arc pattern almost like a semi circle with the way they bend. It gives a good sense of flexibility whilst still looking like a realistic movement. Also take note of how despite the focus on the movement of the lower body, there is still attention given to the upper body, like the fluttering of the ribbon, the bouncing of the hat and the slight sweeps of the hair.

An example of both Exaggeration and Appeal. The rapid movements combined with each other make the scene look hectic for something that only lasts a couple of seconds. There is a lot of movement to account for, like the facial expression, the arm, the torso and the feet, all giving off a very goofy air. This combines well with the Appeal aspect, as it makes the character humorous in their manner, matching well with the cartoony art style.

Presentation Pressure

After a week of work and planning, we did a presentation on the media companies or people that inspire us. Doing this I’m pretty disappointed in myself, all that work I did trying to make it good and it just seems like I did it pretty badly. I’m even sure that I did something wrong, like I misunderstood what the hell I was even doing. This is pretty poor of me and I’ll really need to do better next time.

I did about Valve and their games at a visual design standpoint. There was some interesting stuff to learn here, like how focused Left 4 Dead is in regards to capturing a movie style in the game or how exactly Half Life was inspired with Sci Fi. Even though I found some great information, I don’t think I presented it well or even spoke clearly about it. I’m pretty sure I alienated the class over the games with how I did it. It was an utter mess to say the very least, and I over went the time limit too.

Worst of all, I did it wrong I’m sure. Everyone else explored the history of their companies and what made them tick. I didn’t, focusing entirely on the visual stuff. It was a stupid thing of me to do and I’m going to be sure to handle it better in future. I suppose I can take away that I at least have presentation skills in my voice to back up my flaws, but really I want to aim for much higher merits.

Here is the link to the presentation in question: valvepowerpointpresen

Good Morning Starscream

This is the first post of my blog (Obviously)

I’ve just started the course and I’m at least hoping I’ll be able to prove myself as a fairly competent person with all the tasks at hand. If I’m good at least one thing I’ll take that as my greatest personal victory.

I have high hopes for the course, less in my ability and more in what there is to offer and what there is to do. Knowing what there’ll be in the future gives me a lot to look forward to, and should be very enjoyable to take part in.

Whilst I’m here primarily for the gaming side, like most of the people in the course, I’m interested in the other sides too, mainly since the more I can learn the more opportunities that’ll be open to me by the end of this.

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