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What a glorious last couple of days I’ve had.

This is Week 12 of Basic Foundations, Class 1, at Animation Mentor. The last three months have gone by SO FAST. I can’t even believe it. I’ve had such a great time and I’ve learned SO much! I cannot wait to begin Class 2, the Psychology of Body Mechanics. So fancy! I did well in this first class. I got all my assignments in on time, some better than others. I need to submit a progress reel of everything I’ve done by tomorrow at noon. I will eventually put it up here, but I’d like to get a lot of revisions done on my work before I do. And that’s what my week off is for! My goal for my next class: Become even MORE of a hermit (if it is even humanly possible). I spent about 10-15 hours every week on average on my work during Class 1. My assignments turned out good, and there were definitely a few that some students were impressed by, but I know my stuff could have been a hundred times better if I had just spent more time doing them! So, the goal is to try and hit at least 25 hours of work every week. I really want to squeeze EVERYTHING I can out of this class!!

Yesterday, Chuck and I did a tour de Bellport. We drove out to visit his grandfather and my aunt, who coincidentally live about six blocks away from each other. Small world. We got lunch at this place called Spicy’s. Now this place is basically a tiny hole in the wall, with a HUGE cardboard chicken on front beckoning you to come on in and have some fried chicken. It’s right next to the railroad and on the wrong side of them, if you catch my drift. The boyfriend SWEARS by their collard greens, so in we went to buy us some chicken with “spicy” sauce. Now, the sauce wasn’t at all spicy, but it sure was yummy. After 23 years of driving by the place I sure am glad I finally stopped in. Next time we go, I am gettin’ the wings!!

We met up with his grandfather, a self-proclaimed “hustler”, and heard some interesting stories about his dancing days in the Navy and meeting Frank Sinatra in a club. Old people sure are great and full of wisdom. Haha.

Today is an altogether INCREDIBLE day because it is the eve of the US opening of Toy Story 3!!! It has been 11 years since the last Toy Story, and tonight at midnight I will be going to see the third installment of this beloved trilogy in IMAX 3D. I think I just wet myself. For real.

Our plan tonight is to stop by Buffalo Wild Wings and then head over to this movie. This make me think of all those nights at B-Dubs with my CP friends, and about when we saw At World’s End at midnight the day before a bunch of them left the program. I miss them.

Anyway, I’m sure I will be back soon with a raving review of the amazingness that is Toy Story 3. For now I’m just gonna hang out with one of the big guys himself until it’s time to get moving!

Chillin' with Buzz. It's ok to be jealous.

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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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