Monday, 26 July 2010

Day 5 at VFS

Last day! The early mornings and inspired late nights were starting to catch up with me. Nothing a coffee couldn't remedy though! And onwards towards my last day. Today we had 3D animation and character modelling!

3D Animation

When it comes to teaching 3D in Maya, the lines are so blurred between different disciplines that often the teachers go over things we had already  covered in previous lessons. But rather than a carbon copy of yesterdays character animation, this one took the basics of animating with Maya and reiterated it until we where at least confident using Maya by yourself. For me, going over the basics was just what I needed. After being pretty much self taught in 3D through trial and error, it was great to have professional tutoring. 

Our lesson consisted of a basic bouncing ball animation. But concentrated on getting that ball to bounce the best it could, applying the squash and stretch techniques we used in classical animation. We where all told that nothing is perfect, and that to make our future animations look more authentic, we had to distort the animation curves slightly, once you had the perfect ball. It was very satisfying getting it looking great! Then we did some texturing to get it looking swish.

Last lunch of the week was some more sandwiches. Lovely.

Then it was Visual Effects time! You could tell that some people had been looking forward to this one all week! The first half of the lesson was a lecture on everything that goes into making modern visual effects. And breakdowns of every aspect of the industry. After that, we had quick fire Maya tutorials! Starting with basic dynamics, texturing, modelling, shading, rigging, animating, cameras and lighting! Was amazing to get that level of teaching in just a couple of hours!

Then, towards the end, our course rep came around with our official VFS course completion certificates! Was hoping I would get something like that, going straight on my wall when I get home. 

They had one last treat for us, we went to the modelling room and where introduced to Zbrush! I have never used a program like it. It's more like sculpting in clay. And I loved it! We only had half an hour on it, but the introduction was massively helpful. Really can't wait to get home and start playing with it. A massively more intuitive way of modelling characters that need a lot of detail. 

Thus completes my week at Vancouver Film School! I'm so happy I had the opportunity to go. I met some massively inspirational people that have changed the way I approach animation and film. Who knows, hopefully I will end up back there! Even if I don't end up at VFS, Vancouver is such a beautiful city, I might just move there once my degree is over! Thanks for having me Canada!

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