I have officially survived my third week in Character Animation. I can feel the rhythm picking up now and I am trying to follow.
Between life drawing, 2D, TVPaint, Maya, movie project, student presentation and blog, I am trying not to loose myself. It is so many things to learn at once. I take notes, I stay attentive, I plan and I practice.
The hardest for me was to survive the 3D Maya class. I came here with no knowledge whatsoever of animation, and even less of computers. I was truly lost like I had never been before. It is new for me. I am usually on top of things, I plan perfectly and I dont stress about my work.
However, I felt distressed during this week’s classes. I wondered if I fit in this program after all. And what if I fail? After everything I gave up to come here. Thankfully, I am very lucky to have incredible classmates who nicely agreed to help me. Those with a TVPaint and Maya background helped giving me advice and tips after classes on how to use those programs. But that is not all, they also gave me comfort.
I believe that if I work hard enough, and if I ask for help when I need it, I can make it.
The first Wednesday of the term, wednesday 4th of october, we were put into groups to deliver a shadow puppet animation in a few hours.
Very challenging project although very interesting. Trying out different forms of animations gives ideas, inspires and develops new skills. I also really enjoyed collaborating with people, exchanging ideas and creating with them. It’s like we are good separately but deliver stronger work together. We directly got our story into path and everyone created a character that would appear in the story.
We got along so well and everyone was adding beautiful ideas into the project. I think that is why the final result, even though short and hurried, was interesting and visually attractive.
Working on my first piece of animation was very challenging. Being very passionate about character design, I decided to try an easy head movement and insert some emotions into the animation. This meant moving different parts at the same time while creating a character.
I started making researches about bears and how their emotions can be expressed. I also researched head movements.I wanted to make sure I would correctly portray what I had in mind. I enjoy creating cute and funny characters, so next, I created a character sheet with how I though the rough key poses would be. My idea was a fat bear moving his head from left to right, going from depressed to happy.
I estimated this movement would take one second.It is then 24 frames and I will try animating on twos. I then timed it, and separated the frames. As the head goes down when it moves from side to side, I estimated my breakdown would be at frame 20. The head will move slowly at first, faster in the middle and slowing down when reaching the other side.
Ready to start, I put down the first frame and drew.
That is when it got real. You do not understand the difficulty of the task as much as when you start doing it. Stress. Stress. Mental distress. Drawing, erasing, throwing away, flipping, flicking, dying. But I want it right and fluid, so I go back and forth, I put in the hours and hopefully it works. The more I practice the more I learn. Research and practice. Keys.