Thursday, August 25, 2011

Un-Finished work: What to do with it?

Mozart- un-finished symphony

-Franz Kafka had unfinished writings published after his death,
-Mark Twain made THREE versions of the mysterious stranger..
never finished one of them..
-If John von Neumann never would of wrote that incomplete "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC" ---Computers would not exist as we know them to be today.    
-Geoffrey Chaucer never completed "The Canterbury Tales to the extensive length that he originally intended..
-Michelangelo left a lot of sculptures and paintings only partially finished to inspire others!
-JR Tolkien made 12 volumes of the History of Middle Earth, huge parts unfinished and in draft
-Edmund Spencer wanted to make 'Faerie Queene' 12 books long. He only made it to 6, and it's the longest epic poem in the English language. 

Un-finished work is no less better than most finished work.

     If you started a walk cycle, worked on it for two weeks, stopped, let 5 months go by.. do you go back and finish it? Would your time be better used if you would just start a NEW walk cycle instead of trying to fix the problems of the old? Wouldn't it be better to take what you learned from the experience of that un-finished walk cycle and pu tit towards a whole new assignment? Here is some work I did waaaay back in sophomore year of college. I cringe when I see it, but I find it healthy having this anthology of files that show a lot of finished and unfinished work. You end up seeing your progress. So if you are asking me, DO NOT go back and touch up every old piece of animation...

So here I'm sharing one of MY old unfinished piece I did in a span of 2 weeks. Hope you can make sense of it :)

Do not feel like you are wasting time by leaving your work unfinished, you ARE STILL LEARNING as long as you are animating. But FINISH your work when it counts. Nobody likes a quitter.

To further prove my point. Here is some unfinished work by John Lennon released in 1996, even recorded with a hand held mic, it still is a wonderful timeless piece.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Animating: Simple Presentation 101

Sooo sorry for not keeping this blog up to date. Here is an email of a quick critique that I did. Very simple and just touches on basic things. hope you enjoy, and thanks for every one who sends me work, and I also apologize to every one that I do not get back to you soon enough! I was too busy watching "Fistful of Dollars" for the first time and "Bad Boys" ("83) with Sean Penn. If you haven't watched them, well now you have homework..

August 2011-
OK. long overdue EMAIL!. I'll get right to business.
Nice to see a semi finished thing instead of just an assignment exercise.  I'll go through a few things. Starting with the TITLE. Center it or at least favor it to the center instead of aiming for the upper thirds. Why leave the open space? I expect something to show up there.. like your name or something, so I would just lose it..

Issue number one, your character's hand is in his pocket. No it's not just a issue, it is THE ISSUE of the whole piece. having his hands already in his pockets would be fine.. he wasn't about to USE HIS HANDS to get money out from his pocket. By having his hand in his pocket from the get go, we never get to SEE the action of reaching INTO his pocket for money. Your piece as it is right now, just looks like your character is looking off to the side because of a stomach ache but then gets happy bc gambling is the ANSWER. then a coin appears from god and so on and so on.. I never noticed he was reaching into his pocket... You must show the action ANY ACTION as clearly as possible. So it might work out better if you started the short with the character in a different pose with his hands outside of his pockets. That way you can animate and SHOW the action of reaching into the pocket.

(you're character design: Why are his pockets in his shirt?? any way, not important but c'mon your killing me.. )

Held frames- (Is fine, but it really hurts the animation if you are holding frames while an action is happening) another way it can hurt is...

Second 6: You bring up the coin to worship or whatever, but it happens so fast. Draw more in-betweens for this action. Before this action you hold frames and after this action you hold frames... It is very jarring to the eye to all of a sudden have to follow and register these frames that pass bye so fast after you set the tone of having so many held frames before and after... So thats another way held frames can hurt you. 

Second 15: When your character finally pulls the lever, it doesn't "give" as much as it should. It is not believable that he would lose his balance when the lever only budged (slowly) a very short distance. BUT not to take away from your pretty well executed flail with the arms. kudo's for pulling that off. 

Second 20: He reacts to the results of the spin. But in YOUR animation he doesn't REACT. reaction is when you see something happen, or hear something, and then as a result you react. Your character "reacts" at just about the SAME time as the Sound. It comes off as the character already knew he was going to lose and then ends up just getting mad on his own instead of reacting and getting mad. Solution? Just delay the reaction. will help out a lot. 

And another note with your timing, the ending gag. Hold off on the gag for at least one or 2 more seconds. It happens to soon and it just hurts you for too many reasons. One reason could be logical, another could be a technically etc etc. LOGICALLY.. the character would come back for his money, he did not walk far enough away to not of heard all that money fall. Technically: bc the Character had just acted and stormed off. You do not let that action set in before you bombard us with the gag. Like i said before, these things are NOT MAJOR things you do wrong, but they don't help out your short that you are doing them. 

Try to stay away form held frames, draw your frames and in-betweens and that'll force you to develop and think more about the drawings that people over look: the non-action drawings. If you want to test yourself, do a 'waiting' assignment with NO held frames.  

As for some animation assignments you asked.. 1 is hard 2 is medium and 3 is easier

head turn.. NOT A REACTION, just a movement. (just show upper body)3
a fist slam 2
waiting 1
get up from a chair. 2
animate a smile 3
animate a person waving 3
animate a walk 1
animate a blink 3
animate a PIANO falling on a person 2
Animate a sneeze. 1
animate drinking a cup of water 1
animate a stomp 2

This should help you out for now. These are simple but I guarantee no one will do them 100 percent right

Good luck with everything!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

INTERNSHIP SEASON: When does it start?

"It starts in the spring Danny, thats when we all send our demo reels to-"

You do not want to be trying to finish up your ONLY animation assignment during the spring season, two weeks before you are to send it off to a studio. (and p.s. If you're only going to have ONE animation piece on your demo reel.. then IT BETTER BE FRIKN PHENOMENAL.)

     Internship season starts now. Summer is over. Everyone is done partying and is now going into work mode.  That gives you 7 months to do some animation exercises or pieces. If you are not a noob you know that 7 months is hardly time to even do two finished assignments.  If you ARE a noob, 7 months goes by faster than you might think.
     But time only goes by fast because you do not notice the small things that end up taking a great chunk of your daily life. If you are SERIOUS about providing yourself the best shot you can, you need to buckle down and exclude all the non-necessary things that take time away from your work. For example.

Enemy # 1: Food
-"You want to go grab some sushi real fast? we'll get to go and come right back, plus you need a break"
     NO. You don't need a break. If you are hungry, you have some bread in the fridge and water from the tap eat that.. You will not die! (do at least take your vitamins though!) If you take breaks to go grab food, think about it.. you spend 10 minutes driving to the store. Then you have to wait for the order, drive 10 minutes back. By this time you already lost about half an hour and you haven't even began to relax. (Do not eat OVER your work, your fingers get messy and sticky and nobody likes a sticky keyboard or a greasy Syntique) All said and done, you lose an hour of work for a "quick break"
     Solution? Stock your fridge up with non-perishable food. I hate to say it, but microwavable food might be in your best interest if you are on a budget. BUT I would recommend an apple, or a packet of ham with a loaf of bread. quick sandwiches are the way to go :)

Enemy #2: Friends
- (Your in the zone) *knock knock "Hey man! It's just me, Dirk and Brock. We brought UNO and some beers. AND GUESS WHAT! haha We have the N64. Can you say MARIO CART?!"
      -How can you say no? HOW?? You can't, so unless your friends are helping you out or have to study as well, THEY DO NOT EXSIST. Hang out once in a while so you can stay sane, but protect you routine of work, protect yourself when you are in the zone. Unplug the internet so you can't get on Facebook. Do what you have to do.
     It is very hard to study or work while other people are working because sooner or later, some one will take a break.. come over and look over your shoulder, ask you something and then you guys get into a conversation and are tangenting! Before you know it you are showing each other youtube videos or fighting over what was worst: Captain America or Green Lantern. So working with people is very dangerous situation but it can be more rewarding than working by yourself. Surround yourself with the right people is all I have to say.

-"Damn I know I have to walk my dog..." why do you have a dog when you are in COLLEGE?
-"Family is coming to visit me all the way from Guam.." Well, No site seeing for them! Give them 20 bucks for the subway and a map. They'll be fine.
-"I really should wash the dishes" your fault for not eating of paper plates in the first place.

*-"My grandmom lives 20 minutes away and she wants me to visit.. She said I could use her computer.. sounds like a good idea!"
     haha This one is tricky. On one hand this situation might get you away from distractions at home, like friends or shark week, etc. but on the other hand, do you really think your grandmom will accept you to be 24/7 on the computer and not give her any attention??? If she wanted that she'd just stare at your picture instead of inviting you.
Stay focused and avoid family, they suck the time away from you like leeches...

There are many enemies and obstacles you will come across. Common ones are the internet and TV. But it is up to you to finish your work! It is also your job to stay motivated. It's not suppose to stay with you magically, you must know how to trigger it and stay inspired as you work. Just please remember, if you do anything OTHER than work, please find what is the fastest way possible to do it and stay alive. Or conclude if you REALLY must do it. 

In 7 months, you should be able to finish AT LEAST two pieces of work. If you are ambitious and smart, you might be able to pull of more. Just remember Internship season starts now. Not in January. Do not spend 2 months rigging or planning you short. START NOW. period. If you don't finish the work you wanted to, you have no one to blame but yourself.. Unless there's like a World War or a Zombie Apocalypse.... 

-Daniel Gonzales