"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Catch Up Time

Its been quite a while since I posted what I have been upto in life in general. My last post was when I was wrapping up my Class 4 - Advanced Acting here at Animation Mentor(AM) and getting ready to begin Class 5 - Short Film Pre Production.

Well now I am wrapping up my Class 5 and getting ready to start my last lap here at AM and finishing (hopefully!) my own independent 3D Animated short film by June 2009. Its amazing how fast these last 3 months have passed. This class was definitely a huge learning for me and I enjoyed every bit of it. Being an Animator doesn't mean restricting ourselves to a mechanical way of working, where we just get our scenes, storyboards, direction from Animation Supervisors/Directors and just get on with it in order to meet our deadlines ! Its an extremely lame of working as an Animator and to be frank I am myself guilty of indulging in it for a long time not so long time ago.

As an Animator its extremely imperative to see the scene as one of the pieces/building block of the entire movie and not see it in isolation. Yes we have to meet deadlines and do justice to the scene given to us, but having knowledge of the entire process till the time it comes to us for Animation can be so much more helpful and venture us into new unexplored but extremely enjoyable territories.

Class 5 - Short Film Pre Production was exactly one such territory for me, where we had to brainstorm ideas, make it into a interesting and entertaining story which doesn't exceed 30 seconds, then do a video pitch, make storyboards, then 2D Animatic from the story boards and finally 3D Layouts translating all our visions from storyboard into 3D and in my case in MAYA. Whew! On thinking back I still wonder how I managed all this (and I would like to believe not too bad at that.)! 

On looking back my biggest fear was making the storyboards and the 2D Animatic since my drawing skills are worst than probably a new born baby ! But thanks to my wonderful mentor Cal Brunker, my wonderful classmates and the awesome community at AM, I was able to sail thru and to get the idea that its not the draftmanship that matters, its how easily the main essense of the story is getting communicated. By no necessarily means I would say its the best 2D Animatic, but I am quite satisfied considering I was so apprehensive when drawing for the first time. Thank you Cal

All these times during Class 5, my entire approach to Animation has seen a new and positive change where now I am not only concerned by the scene I am working on but the story on a broader level because thats what the audience is concerned about. Learning how to develop a story, what all aspects to keep in mind, whats the main essence we are trying to convey, what are the elements absolutely necessary to move the story forward, keeping the audience glued to what you are trying to show them, directing them to specific points on the screen, camera angles, framing, composition, so as to present the story in the most interesting way...I can just go on and on ! In short it was just awesome ! 

So in coming days I am quite keen to post my Class 5 work and to give you an idea in stages as to what all goes from story to storyboards and to the final 3D Layout before entering the Animation aspect which I will be doing in Class 6 - Short Film Production in around 2 weeks from now. 

I am also in the process of starting some new sections on my BLOG, a quick list of what I have in mind - 

  • Book recommendations, to start with Animation related and in particular the bigger picture : film-making, composition and story development
  • Showcasing AM Student Short Films and also having a conversation with that Student and getting some insights on their process of making their Short Film, Animation or life in general. 

So loads of interesting stuff coming out here, so make sure you feed my blog to your RSS/follow my blog/subscribe to updates thru email. 




Josh Corken said...

It's wonderful to hear that you're doing so well Ani! Good job on working through the 2D storyboard and animatic stage of your short film. I know that was tough for me, but very rewarding once I was finished.

It seems like you have really learned a lot at Animation Mentor and I'm glad to see you're so happy. That, in turn, makes me happy dude!

I hope you get posting all of your work. I'm eager to see it.

@b said...

thanks Josh ! Yeah I have having a ball of a time, nothing like doing something we enjoy.

Keep watching this space for my Animatic/Layout.