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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Site update & Spring '08 preparations

Just wanted to post a quick update. I'm still without a PC but the new one is coming soon. A friend of a friend is helping me putting one together and we settled on all the different parts. Now I just have to order them and put it together (in other words, someone else has to help me :) ). The moment it's up and running you'll be the first ones to know.

So my computer-less existence (besides an old laptop), plus overtime at work means that critiques and updates will be minimal. For those who sent me animation shots, I got them and will post a critique (or email it) as soon as I can. For those emailing about the workflow, same thing, I'll get to it as soon as I got my new machine. Hang tight and sorry for the wait.

If anybody from our Fall 07 class wants a formal critique concerning their performance (as opposed to just getting a grade without explanation), feel free to email me and I'll do so.

Just like last semester I'll put up a Fall 07 post summary for quick browsing. Spring 08 students should start going through the Spring 07 Summary post, the class F.A.Q., the resource links, etc. etc. Get prepared, soak up every piece of information you can get. Check out the "recommended sites" links as well.

I will again ask everybody to submit bouncing balls (light, medium, heavy - in one shot, with frame counter, quicktime) at the beginning of this semester, so you might as well start now. Spread the word to people you know who signed up for this class. Tell them to visit this site, since it's an essential part of class.

I also want you guys to think about specific questions concerning this semester (animation related or industry related, etc.). Think about what you want to accomplish this semester. What are your goals? What areas need improvement? What type of shots do you want to do? What would you like to get out of this class?

You should aim for 3 finished and polished pieces at the end of the semester. Organize your time so that you can submit clear blocking for your first critique in class. Next submission should be blocking-plus with major fixes done (depending on the shot this can take one week or two), last submission should be polish. Give yourself one week per pass, maybe two for blocking-plus depending on the complexity of the shot. Towards the end of the semester you can use the time to either attack a new shot or to revisit your shots and keep polishing. Just like the previous semesters you can of course email me during the week for more critique, you're not bound to just the class time. Links to your clips are preferred, but if you don't have your own website, then start the process of getting one now and email me your clips until your site is up and running.

I've been pretty loose when it comes to deadlines but it's obviously not good to see students who've only worked on one clip during the whole semester. There can be various reasons for that, please refer to this post when it comes to my thoughts about time management and class commitment. So for this semester I am going to re-structure the class a bit. I'm all for being pro-active and self-motivated, but it looks like a few people need firm deadlines in order to keep the creative juices going.

But more about that during the first class. Get some questions together and let's all talk about the semester in about two weeks!

Cheers
JD

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Animation Magazine 20 Year Collection - repost

[UPDATE - I just got the book and out of 320 or so pages you get about 50 pages of actual text, the rest is a collection of all the covers and animation movie statistics. A bit disappointing, so be warned, there's not that much to read.]

Jim Hill writes about the new 320 page book "Animation Magazine - 20 Year Collection", which includes essays by animation legends. A great quote that Jim Hill posts is this one by Peter Lord:

"CG is the darnest thing. What most people feel is that there are too many films being made that look alike. All these releases are too close to each other. It would be the equivalent of what would happen in the live-action world if everyone just made romantic comedies. Now everyone is making these kid-friendly films, while aspiring to catch older audiences as well. Sometimes (these movies) all feel alarmingly alike. How do we break out of this cycle? We can't keep rehashing the same formulas over and over again, because we'll kill the whole thing ... We should alll be careful not to kill the goose that gives us the golden eggs."


Love it!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Kung Fu Panda" Teaser

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cloverfield Screening

Update: as reviews trickle in, everybody complains about the battery life of the camera. How can it record all the events for so long, blah blah. It's not that long, it's as long as the movie, which any camcorder battery can do. It's all recorded in real time, there are no jumps in time and events unless the camera wasn't recording it, which means that the camera was off, which means no battery was used. Come on people!

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I obviously won't spoil anything until the official release, but I can tell you what I thought.

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Plain and simple.

The pacing, the acting, the action, the FX, the sound (oh the sound!), etc. it was just really really good. Once it's out, I can elaborate, but one thing is very important: find a theater with top-notch sound, you won't regret it.

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