Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Spring 06 Work - Level One

Since everyone else is doing it I guess Level one will show some of our work too. Level one starts out with the bouncing ball, walk, jump, some other stuff and then at the end we start doing some acting assignments with no dialog. Well enjoy hopefully this will get more of our students wanting to share their work.

Dr. Stephen G

Chris Turner
Carlos Jay
Joon Yang
Venece Lyman

Monday, May 22, 2006

Spring 06 Work - Level 3

Hello, Scott here to share what my class did last semester as well. I teach the Animation 3 (Pixar 3) class at the Academy of Art University. Usually I co-teach with Angus MacLane but he's taken time off from teaching. This time around I had the very talented and experienced Adam Burke along to help me out.

Because each semester is only 15 weeks long it has been very hard to get a filmmaking class going. Students simply need more time (like a full year) to truly develop a film/thesis project. Because of this time limitation, I decided to try something different and put together a "scene workshop". The idea was to give students a chance to work on a scene from a movie; to simulate the actual work environment of a feature animaiton studio. The hope was to force students to collaborate on the scene in finding the proper acting across the arc of the scene. I intentionally picked a scene that had clear characters, some fun dialogue, and a buildup to a climax and resolution so that it would be fun to watch out of context of the movie. The students were not told what movie the dialogue was from and were discouraged from seeking it out. Each student was given 2-3 shots and was responsible for all characters in the shot. Adam Burke and I acted as the "directors"; inspired by the students' best ideas, we steered them in a coherent directrion.

This scene represents 10 weeks of work. It was not nessesarily important to us that all the animation get finished/polished, but that the ideas and acting ideas make sense and be fun as the scene played through. It is my opinion that all too often, animation students worry too much about the details, movement, and polish in their animation without really thinking about the content. With this assignment I wanted students to think like actors and filmmakers. I was very pleased with the outcome and will continue to experiment with this idea for future classes.

For this first experimental class a scene from the movie "The Imposters" with Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt was chosen:

Download File Here

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Spring 06 Work - Level 2

As usual, this semester we had a great class. All three levels did some great work. In our level two class we focus not only on the assignment, but the character. We really want the characters to be very different from each other. This gets the students to think more about the acting and the situation, than some canned animation assignment. Using the Norman model, our students made everything from Old ladies to little kids. Great Work! Look for updates with more work from level two and the class project Level 3 did. They turned out a 3 minute sequence! You may need to download a media player for linux to view certain movies....


KC Roeyer

Chiwook Han

Tun Veerapatra

AtSushi Kojima

Aaron Koressel

David Fong

Rini Sugianto

Al Cimino

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cal Arts Update

Here is a link to the Animation gallery on Cal-Arts website. They have last years producer show and the year before. Thanks to Brian Brantley for the link.

click here to watch some fun stuff.

Dr. Stephen G.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cal Arts producers Show!!!!

Hi All just got back from Cal Arts and what a great time. I just want to thank all the students for showing us such a good time.

For those who do not know what the producers show is at Cal Arts, it is where the faculty scores all the student films for the year and compiles the highest scored films into an hour and a half show. Then they invite all the studios in town to the show! It's an awesome event for not only the students who get to share their films with the industry but also for all of us in the industry who are able to share this great night with the students.

It's so nice to see a school still dedicated to teaching character animation. Most of the films are done in 2d pencil test form some colored most not, which is great it's all about the animation. Most students ask us about there only being 2d films, even though a few CG films were in the show. Wondering if that is still applicable in today's world. Now I understand PIXAR is a little different than some places, go figure, but we don't care if it's 2d or 3d we're just looking for great animation and great storytellers. The pencil or computer they are just tools they don't make the animation come to life or tell a story that still comes down to the talent of the student. We'll spend the time to train someone on the computer if they have great acting and storytelling abilities.
One moment that stood out form me last night was Glen Keane on stage telling a story about him showing some of the current CG work to Ollie Johnston one day. Glen was excited about all the detail work they have been able to do now using the computer, great cloth, hair, textures, and lighting, and Ollie looked back and said something like "Well yeah that's good but, what is she thinking?" This stood out to me and most of us there because when character animation gets boiled down to it's essence it's about what the character is thinking and how to communicate that clearly, and that has nothing to do with a computer, pencil, clay, or sand, etc. Animation exists outside of the tool used to create it.

I wish there was away for all of you to have seen and be inspired as much as I was last night. Unfortunately I don't think Cal Arts has any web venue for it's shorts or students. Some students have websites and one group of students has some of there great films on their site. I suggest looking at them all but JG has some funny films. All the films are so well done. If any of you Cal-Arts kids are out there and have your films on the web maybe you can post links in the comments section for this post.

now I'm rambling, anyways thanks again to all the wonderful students and all their hardwork to put on such an enjoyable evening for all of us who were able to attend. I hope to see you all next year!

Dr. Stephen G.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Guest Lecture Next Week and News

- I just wanted to alert any of our academy students that we will be having Carlos Baena, fellow Pixar animator and co-founder of Animation mentor for a lecture next week. All three classes are invited.

- A bunch of Pixar guys are down at Cal Arts for the producers show. Hopefully Dr Gregory will post some good stuff.

- Stay tuned for more postings of our students work coming in the next few days.

- I am hoping to interview someone from the Story department for another SplineCast. Things are rockin over here so be patient.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Gear Change

Well, Its getting to the end of the semester and our students are doing really great work. One of our assignments is a gear change. A Gear Change is having a character change from one emotion to another. We ask our students to use the Norman model which was created by Morgan Loomis and Leif Jeffers for our classes. We want the students to really explore the character they are creating. The who, what and where are just as important to us as the assignment. By really getting into the character, the students can create a character with depth as opposed to using the generic model. It also lets them practice design. Here are a few examples of the gear change exercise. I'm going to start posting more student work in the next few weeks so stay tuned for some really great stuff. Our 3rd level class is doing a great series of shots that Dr Clark will get up when its finished.

Han Cho - Car Wash
Veerapartra Tun - Cheating
KC Roeyer - Electrical Worker