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I’m back from a week in Orlando, and as most Orlando vacations go, I’m in desperate need of a vacation from my vacation. A trip to the Walt Disney World Resort is always totally magical, but very exhausting. We got to stay in my FAVORITE resort, the Polynesian. I always feel like I’m home when I go to stay at the Polynesian. It just has a completely different and wonderful atmosphere than the rest of the on-property hotels. Can you really beat a 24-hour yummy quick service place like Captain Cook’s right in the hotel, or a view of Cinderella’s castle while taking a dip in the pool, not to mention being right on the resort monorail line.

Also, I got in the rest of my hours for the year at Kilimanjaro Safaris! I’ve clocked in exactly 41.5 hours for 2010, which means I get my little 2011 sticker as well as all the wonderful discounts that come with it for all of next year! It’s always so weird going back to work, especially because I know maybe two people that are still working there. Also, did you know that drivers are supposed to STOP on the ride path now? Yup. Ten different times for 5 seconds each. My first day I had no idea of this (because as long as you were there within the last six months, nobody feels the need to tell you anything), and was basically on the butt of every truck in front of me. The next day I came in and finally saw the sign explaining that trucks were now supposed to stop, and I spent the next two days at work completely mortified that I had to stop my truck. Old habits sure do die hard.

The rest of the trip was very magical. One plus of going to Disney with my aunts is that you’re always at the parks by park open. I saw the welcome show at the Magic Kingdom, and practically started crying when all the characters cam riding out on the train (including Tiana and Naveen!! Eeee!!). I also got to experience Captain EO as a more sophisticated adult, since the last time I saw it I was probably about two years old, and it was absolutely marvelous. Seeing MJ preform while he was still so young was incredible. Not to mention he had an awesome t-shirt on, that I somehow resisted buying, but will most likely own if I move down to Orlando.

Although Captain EO was life-changing, there were two even more magical moments. The first was at the Living Seas, where we were lucky enough to meet Leslie. She brought us up to the top of the tanks at the Living Seas Aquarium. It was totally awesome. I love being in backstage areas. Even as a cast member, I get seriously geeked out about being places that guests are not allowed. The second happened on our first day. We had taken the bus from the Polynesian to Hollywood Studios only for me to realize that I had completely forgotten my Main Gate pass. Total bummer. I felt so awful and I was so stressed out about having to wait for a bus to come get me from Studios and then wait for another bus to come back to the Polynesian to bring me back. By that point, we would have definitely missed our breakfast reservations. Then Maria came along, she was this saint in a Transportation role in charge of deploying buses. When she couldn’t get a bus to come pick us up to bring us back to the Polynesian, she told us all to pile into her van and she was going to bring us back to our hotel to get my pass. She was a complete life-saver. And this my friends is why Disney is so incredible. No other place has guest service like that. Especially no other theme park.

I got to experience Summer Nightastic as well. This was quite fun, although none of it was really new, just a bunch of old shows and parades from past night shows. Like the fireworks from the Pirate and Princess parties and the Main Street Electrical Light Parade. I especially enjoyed watching the parade. I think I liked Eliot the dragon the best! I took video of the whole thing, I will have to post it! I’m glad they will be keeping that parade around for longer than just the summer. I like it very much and think that kids these days really should learn who these characters are.

Anyway, now I am home, wishing I was still living in a world of fantasy, but there are more important things to worry about. Like getting caught up and back on schedule with Animation Mentor. I missed last week’s Q and A as well as a Toy Story 3 Q and A. Total bummer. But life goes on. I’ve got lots of work to do this week for class, like watching last week’s lecture. And on top of that it’s like crazy birthday week with my brother’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, and one of my best friends from college’s birthday. Crazy, crazy week.

Oh, and by the way, I fianlly found me on of those Mickey Key Lime Pies. Nevermind that they didn’t actually have a little Mickey Mouse made out of whipped cream, but it just wasn’t as yummy and satisfying as I would have hoped. Le sigh. I guess I’m just a cupcake and chocolate mousse kind of girl.

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As promised here are a few of my animations. How exciting! These are just from my last two weeks. Once I get some revisions done on my others, I will post those as well! I know you are all sitting on the edge of your seats!

We just had our Q and A for this week. Tons of fun. We talked about that pesky little Tailor guy who you can see in my second video, about getting jobs in the industry, and about how crazy/tired we all were from working full time jobs plus spending every other waking moment in front of our computer watching balls bounce!

So in just a few short weeks I will finally be finished with Class 1! It went by so quickly! The assignment for the last week will be to put all of our work into one file, and once I’ve got that all put together I will definitely post this, so everyone can see all the work I’m doing whilst I shut everything else besides animation and coffee from my life!

Week 6 – The Pendulum (Overlapping Action)

This video is actually a revision from my first pass. I had gotten notes from my mentor and improved it a bit.

Week 7 – Tailor!

This is the first pass of the assignment, I’ve already gotten notes and will be doing a revision in the next couple of days!

And just for fun! Here is my thesis project from my last semester at school, for anyone who hasn’t seen it. It’s just a silly little stop motion project that I did. Enjoy!

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!

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!

It’s gross, but true. Tomorrow I’m throwing out the rest of the cake. So that will stop me from eating cake for dinner again. Tomorrow for dinner, I think I will have a salad.

In other news, I have officially submitted my first real assignment for animation mentor! Woohoo! Exciting! I was pretty excited about this assignment, and had a pretty good time sketching from life. I need to do that more often, because 1. I am so entirely out of practice, so my sketching it really sucking and 2. I enjoyed it, and it will help with my animating skills.

So we had to draw a few sketches and choose the one we liked best or thought worked best and recreate it with the STU character we got from AM (Animation Mentor). I’m going to show you guys what I did for fun. Hopefully Thea likes it. I tried to convey some sort of feeling, although I don’t know how successful it was. What do you think?

One page of my sketches. I had three 🙂

And this is the pose I did in Maya!

Well, that’s that. Also, this week at AM, I participated in a short scavenger hunt. If I got all the answers right, I’ll be put into a drawing and maybe I will get to win some cool stuff. I am desperate for an AM t-shirt.

I’ve got work at 6:30 in the mo’nin, so I had better hit the hay. Where do you think that expression came from? I guess probably back when they use to stuff mattresses with hay, although I don’t know who’s genius idea that way. It could not have been very comfortable…

Goodnight! Happy Animating!

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