Monday, September 21, 2009

Class Thoughts

Hey everyone!

Today was the start of the second week of schooling at CalArts. Thought I'd give a quick review of all of my classes after first impressions.

First off, I'd like to say that people weren't kidding when they said there'd be a workload. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw myself staying up on average to 2am every night, especially if things just get worse after the first week. If you're planning on coming here, be prepared to work. Get into the habit of sticking to a schedule. Otherwise you probably won't survive.

Basic Perspective
I actually really like this class. Perspective has always been something that I've struggled with, so it's cool to be taught by someone who's worked with layout on many Disney films(Dan Hansen) as a teacher. I can't wait to start learning the more complicated perspective rules, so far we've only covered such things as a single vanishing point. I'll need to remember to keep all of the notes he's given us together for the sake of reference in the future.

Beginning Story Development
So far I've actually been a little disappointed with this class. Don't get me wrong, Vandergrift is a nice guy and all, but he hasn't really talked about story yet. So far we've just gotten handouts, no lectures like the other department teachers. Perhaps I'm judging too quickly, but I really hope this class picks up soon. I've heard from other students about already getting assignments based around composing a story with very specific elements from other teachers. I just hope I don't get left in the dust.

Intro to Digital Production
I can't really make an opinion on this class. Metzger seems nice. I only had an hour in this class because there was a department meeting all the character animation students had to attend, so I can't really say much.

Color and Design
This is one of those classes I get excited over because 1) design is one of my interests for jobs in the film industry, and 2) the teacher(Hobaica) seems to really know what he's talking about. Supposedly this is the class that really piles on the homework, according to others. All I can say is, bring it on. :)

Beginning Traditional Animation
Another amazing class! I honestly wish this class wouldn't end. The teacher(Nguyen) is so quirky and passionate about what he does and it's so exciting to listen to his lectures. I so badly want to animate after hearing them. Seriously, this class is the one that reminds me of why I wanted to get into animation. Fantastic.

Contemporary Literature
Offbeat from the normal animation line-up, but nonetheless I am excited about this class. I love reading, and the list of books looks interesting. It'll be a nice break from the regular draw-draw-draw homework.

Sociological Study of Art and Culture
I hope I have the attention span to stay interested for this class. My teacher has a French accent, so some of the stuff he says I can't even understand. It's an interesting subject, but I'm not really all that excited for it. It more one of those classes I took to get Critical Studies credits.

Beginning CGI Animation
This class definitely looks like it will be interesting. I've always been curious about Maya, and now I finally get to learn. My teacher(Aquino) is currently employed at Disney and has worked on Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, and as of now, Rapunzel. Very exciting. :)

Beginning Life Drawing
Well, it's life drawing. That's about it, haha. We're encouraged to try other ways of approaching the model, but for the most part it's whatever we choose to draw. It's a great atmosphere because everyone is so skilled at figure drawing, so it really encourages you to try harder in your own sketches.

Well that's about everything. Also every Friday night a visiting artist comes to give a lecture. This Friday Mark Andrews from Pixar is coming, and last Friday was Tina Price, an animator who inspired the 3D animation for the carpet in Alladin. It's amazing how many connections are available here, and I have to make sure to take advantage of every one of them. My friends and I got free tickets to the CTN animation expo just for being one of the first 25 people to come! There's going to be some really big designers/artists there, I can't wait to go!

So there you have it. Just for fun here's my Color/Design homework from last night:

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Hey guys!

Classes start tomorrow! All I can say is FINALLY. I've waited so long for this. I can't wait to see just how I improve in my classes and such.

Here's my schedule. I have classes every day Monday through Friday.

Basic Perspective - 9:00-12:00 - Hansen
Beginning Story Development - 7:00-10:00 - Vandergrift

Intro to Digital Production - 9:00-12:00 - Metzger
Color and Design - 1:00-4:00 - Hobaica
Beginning Traditional Animation - 7:00 - 10:00 - Nguyen

Contemporary Literature - 10:00-1:00 - Viegener

Sociological Study of Art and Culture - 4:00-6:00 - Plot
Beginning CGI Animation - 7:00-10:00 - Aquino

Beginning Life Drawing - 9:00-4:00 - Brown

This is so exciting! There's so much to learn from everyone around. Every artist seems to be amazing at something, I just can't wait to soak everything in. :)

In other news, I went to go see 9 on Friday night. I really enjoyed the look of the film. The characters had a unique way of portraying themselves, with little characteristics that differ from each and every "puppet". Though I went in believing that having characters based on the same template could prove difficult and cause confusion, the little quirks in every puppet were recognized and successfully caught our attention in a more subtle way.

I liked the movie, but I felt more could have been done with such a deep story. As many have been saying, the film seems too short to explain the backstory and fully do it justice.

And of course, character development. The characters all appeared to stay the same throughout the entire course of the movie. I would have liked to perhaps see a change in 1, maybe slowly showing his acceptance of 9's adventurous pursuits. And many of the characters, such as 6, 3 and 4, weren't given enough time to shine. I would have loved to see more.

So yep, there's my update. Here's a few life drawings to finish off the post.

My family came and visited and we went to a dog park, so I took my sketchbook. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All Moved In!

Well, I'm reporting from my CalArts dorm room at the moment. :)

Today orientation began. There were a few activites required for 1st years to attend, such as a luncheon and something called a "1st year experience activity". It was basically a general introduction to the school.

Last night I did get to meet a few other character animators. It's amazing how easy-going and comfortable everyone is in introducing themselves. I just hope I can remember everyone's names.

Classes don't start until next week, I can't wait to get started!

Well, just wanted to update from CalArts. Have a nice day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yellow Yoshi!

It's yellow Yoshi! Two of my favorite things mixed into one. :)

Anyways, I'll be starting CalArts soon. I'll be sure to update as frequently as I can with my experiences. I'm sure it's going to be a blast. :)

I got my schedule, it consists of 7 animation-related classes, and then the rest are critical studies, basically the CalArts form of GE classes. I have no idea how many of those I'll have, but I'm going to be BUSY for sure. I'm going to have one crazy year.