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Hello stranger. Do you even remember me? It has been SO long since I last updated. I have been very busy with work and this class, and the last couple of weeks sleep has taken priority over my usual hours of surfing the internet.

So I’ve gone through weeks 3 and 4 at AM, and we are already on to week 5! Almost half way through the first class! It’s going by so quickly, but I am soaking up so much! I’m like a big fat sponge. Loves it. I promised I would post my video from week 3 but I have to get them on YouTube first before I can properly post them here. Boo. No worries though, I still have a fun Stu pose for you! Week 3 we learned about Planning and Blocking. Our assignment was the animate a basic bouncing ball the weight of a basketball and also to pose our character in a pose of excitement! It was, to say the least, very exciting. When I originally posted, my video got screwed up and was only playing at half the speed, so Thea couldn’t really grade it that well, but for the most part she said it worked well and only complained a little bit about trying to fix the framing, so overall not a bad critique. Thea also liked my pose quite a bit too. Of course she wanted me to try plus-ing it a bit (a fun new animator term got kickin’ it up a notch! BAM!), but I got pretty good reviews. So here is the Stu pose I promised!

Last week, we learned about Timing and Spacing, and our assignment was to animate TWO bouncing balls, one very light and one very heavy. Again I got an ok critique from Thea, but with a lot of suggestions. I don’t really mind when I do things wrong, I feel like I learn so much more that way. I will post this video when I get it up on YouTube!

One of the BEST things at AM is that you can also watch everyone else’s assignments and their critiques as well, so we all get to learn from each other’s mistakes. I love collaborative art! So fun! AND you get to watch not just the people in your class, but all the assignments from the other classes at your level as well as all of the other levels too! So you can check out stuff that you’ll be doing months from now, and give feedback and get feedback! Such an awesome learning environment! ( I feel like I’m using a lot of exclamation points… sorry, I tend to get excited! haha)

The only downside to this class is that it is very time consuming, and I really need to start buckling down and making sure I dedicate enough time to my work. I’m very nervous that I’m not spending enough time working on it, and I really need to just face the fact that I am just gonna have to become a hermit for the next 16 months. It will all be worth it in the end. At least, I’ll be sitting in my room alone doing what I love, and working towards a career that I’ll really love too.

I have lots more to talk about, but I think I’ve rambled enough. I promise I’ll update more often with more fun anecdotes, etc. And not just silly little play-by-plays on my class! haha

Until then, lots of love and Happy Animating!

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Lots of things to talk about. First off, a public service announcement. If you haven’t see How to Train Your Dragon, please proceed to drop EVERYTHING and go to the theatre, right now, and go see it! It was so incredible. By far, Dreamwork’s best film yet! The art direction was amazing; the story was heartwarming, funny, and had a great lesson; the animation was inspiring.

The dragons were done so well, especially Toothless. He was like a cross between a cat and a dog with a little bit of horse in him. I LOVE animated characters that don’t talk. It really just shows what animation is all about. Be able to tell a story and convey feeling and meaning without words is what all art is, so it’s really amazing seeing that in real life, especially in the medium I’ve chosen and hope to one day work in. Anyway, even if you aren’t geeking out over the animation of the dragons, or the way the water splashed up against the rocks, or the fabulous hair/fur on the vikings, this movie was still the BOMB and needs to be seen by everyone.

Next order of business: I got my first eCritique back from Thea. She liked my sketches, but she really didn’t like my pose. I’m glad she had things to say about it though. It’s how I learn. And I’ve been learning a lot from other people’s eCritiques too. I’m LOVING Animation Mentor. I am learning SO MUCH, and it’s so exciting.

Week 3 is almost done. We had to animate a bouncing ball and also sketch out a few poses showing EXCITEMENT. The bouncing ball isn’t so bad, we’re starting out very simple. The excitement poses proved a lot more difficult than you would think. Everything just seems so cliche with excitement. I will be posting all my sketches and the bouncing ball once it’s all finished, probably tomorrow.

Lastly, I am upset with Autodesk. Autodesk is the company that makes Maya which is the software that I use for AM. They have not stayed on top of their game with the new Mac OS update, and Maya doesn’t like to cooperate with Mac OS 10.6.3, but of course, I have a new awesome super computer that updates on it’s own, so now Maya is not cooperating with my computer. Bummer. If I had my CDs, I could do a completely new install (luckily there is a way for me to do this without losing the files on my computer), but my CDs are no where to be found, at least they won’t be found in the next day and a half before my next assignment is due. So, I am going to have to put Maya on my sister’s computer and do the assignment on her computer. Hence my aggravation with Autodesk right now.

I think I’ve rambled long enough, and I should probably hit the sack since I have to open in the morning (major bummer). Why are all the little sayings that mean go to bed have to do with hitting? So violent. Anyway, good night and happy animating!

Hello again. Just finished my first Q&A. Met everybody in the class. I am so excited about starting this program and can’t wait to share all the fun stuff that I learn with all of you!

I was just watching Julie & Julia last night and in it, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) wants to be a writer and decides that she is going to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook in one year and blog about it and I thought, “I could do that!” Well, maybe not cook over 500 recipes in only 365 days, but I mean do something new, exciting, different, worthwhile, and then blog about it. Silly me forgot that I was actually already doing something totally courageous and new and all I needed to do was start a blog about it!

So for the next 18 months, here I will be, sharing all of my highs and lows while reaching my goal of becoming an animator.

For those of you not familiar with Animation Mentor, let me break it down for ya. AM is an online course where you are learning 3D character animation with people from all over the world from mentors working as animators in the industry. I’m so excited to make some great new friends who geek out just as much as I do over animation and childish things! I just met my mentor Anthea Kerou (who has worked on Shrek 4, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Bolt, and Horton Hears a Who!) and all of my classmates and everyone was so great and interesting and I can’t wait to see what everyone can do and start learning!

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