Saturday, January 7, 2012

Note Taking During Critiques 101

NEW names on the right hand side! check them out if you haven't already, they are friends such as Alex Alvarado, Jeffrey Engel, Andrew Chesworth and more.

   Staying organized Mentally while working on something is hard for some people. Sometimes things can distracting and take you away from your work: such as friends, internet or even yourself! There are times I feel that I have been working on the same part of my assignment for 3 hours and have gotten NO WHERE...

      This is a bad thing, and the solution (my solution) to avoiding such a situation is keeping your mind organized and being aware ON WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NEXT.

     Everybody takes notes differently, but the bottom line is that everybody SHOULD be taking notes when their teachers, mentors, or even some friends are critiquing their work. At work we have dailies every week (When the animators and us get together to look at everyones work they have done during the week.) When it's my turn for my work to be reviewed everybody, they just start shouting things out or go into a very detailed explanations one after another. Before you know it, someone else jumps in with an EVEN better note... If you could imagine, it can go pretty quick and nobody will wait for you to finish taking a note.
      So my strategy is to write EVERYTHING I hear down really fast and messy. By the time every one has commented on my shot, my 2 pages of notes look similar to what a nasty, one legged, charcoal footed chicken would look like tap dancing on my sketchbook... But as soon as I get back to my desk I reread my notes and rewrite them. If I don't do that right away I will not know what these notes mean later.

The page thats cut off, thats my regular handwriting, the big writing would be my messy handwriting :P

    I do not know about you but I get excited after I get some really good notes, there's an energy to knowing you just got information to make your work even better. Some animators use this energy to dive right back into their work and others bask in it and take a break to clear their mind to start fresh later.

      When I rewrite my notes I make a list of things I have to do so that I have something to check off. Not that doing this is necessary but it's a way to keep track of your progress and it feels good to cross off a note with a big fat marker and feel like a boss bc your TO-DO list is shrinking.

     (organizing the priorities on the check list: you are not going to fix your finger arca before you fix that major major hitch in your hips. So aim for the things that stick out like a sore thumb and is killing your shot.)

     This is how I stay mentally focused..  everybody needs their strategy bc we all could get stuck noodling the same nose arc for 3 hours.. The Circle is something I came up with that visually breaks down what I need to do and what I have done (while showing me the time I have spent doing each task)

 -How does it work DANNY???? ok here is a step by step of how I do this:
You draw a clock, and you plan your day on this clock with general words.

Then as time goes by you shade in the appropriate section on the clock when ever you can.

      Then when you actually finish a task that you aimed for you mark how long it ACTUALLY took you to finish that task.

     Then you continue and adjust the rest of your schedule accordingly (like cancel those movie plans you made that night!!)
     With the circle I can easily see what is taking the most time to accomplish and where my time is going. I like the circle visually much more than a linear system like a bullet pointed list. This is how I get my work done when I am in crunch mode. I do not do this all the time. Here are some of the circles from my sketchbook so you could see how they really look (unlike the fake one I used to demonstrate above)


     That's all I got for today. hopefully it helps out who ever needed the help and If you didn't need the help, I hope you enjoyed the insight. Happy NewYears! Oh and one more thing...

     REMEMBER to not compare how fast you do your work with how fast your peers do theirs. Some peers might be insanely faster than you naturally but like wise do not take comfort if some peers are a little bit slower than you. Do not think that means to slow down and start to take comfort that you are a little ahead. work hard ALL THE TIME.