Saturday, November 10, 2012

Senior year goes on...part 2.

    It’s the weekend after our First Pass Thesis Animation  critique. Last night, we celebrated and all went out to see movies. My group and I saw the newest Disney movie, “Wreck it Ralph” for the second time . Usually when I watch a movie for the first time, I don’t know what to suspect and I watch it with the eyes of a casual audience.. usually enjoying it.. The second time around, I start looking for design, lighting, and animation trying to deconstruct the genius behind the work. Even still, it was a tear jerker. I thought it was a very heartfelt movie. I loved everything from, design, animation, story, and lighting. And Skrillex.
    The seniors have about a month  left to bring animation to final pass... And that’s why traditionally most of the Ringling thesis’s animation looks like crap. There simply isn’t that much time. Single man thesis people have it the worse averaging animating 30+ shots in 2.5 months while fixing rigs for 1-2 characters and doing everything. My teammates and I have 17-18 shots each to do totaling around 52+ shots with one character each. I think I would have lost it if I did a thesis by myself.
     Maybe 40 of the 50 thesis that come out of Ringling every year don’t make it to best of Ringling and you never see them again. Now you know why. The scope and time is very challenging. Not all thesis end up well. Most end up being forgotten. Also, after each brutal Faculty critique (before a panel of 7ish teachers) we have to make changes and address notes while trying to push forward in progress. It’s important to keep a strong vision and not to please everyone or you’d destroy your thesis. Some people who try to address every note end up backtracking way too much and don’t keep up the strict schedule of daily progression.
      Maybe I sound a little intense. Well, if you can make it to your forth year as a CA student, its normal. No biggie. CA students are used to sitting 10-15 hours in front of a computer 7 days a week. No windows, no puppies, usually just the noise of humming SGI computers. We’re used to getting harshly critiqued by the 7+ faculty at the same time.
     Anyways, making a thesis film is an interesting learning experience. It definitely makes you a pretty ok generalist. By the end of it you can definitely say, I hate this and I love that. Or you might love it all! Or hate it all! Some people don’t want to be in the industry anymore… or want to never touch maya again after graduation. It’s interesting how pressure can make the diamonds…or totally destroy you.
      That’s just an honest observation. I look forward to the end of this semester. After that, we’re going to keep on polishing animation and transition into finishing models, texturing, shading, and lighting, rendering, compositing. (my favorite). I dont think most of us are going home for more than a week during christmas break. Lots of work to be done.
     In about 1 more month, we get to show our entire thesis animation to the computer animation student body. It will be a pass or fail event.
     Anyways, yep... thats senior year so far in a nutshell. Work, work, work, work, nap, work.