Friday, 23 July 2010

VFS Day 4

Another early morning, and a brisk walk with a morning coffee to VFS's Animation building. Todays lessons where Acting for Animation and 3D Animation!



Acting For Animation

After a bit of room confusion we all bundled into the common room for our much anticipated Acting Class. By now we are starting to get to know each other, and can have a chat about what we expected of this class. Whatever each of us had thought acting was going to be, we where all wrong.

The guy teaching us came and sat down and made us each say what we think acting is. We all said variations of the illusion of characters or making an audience believe whats on screen. We where all right, but very wrong too. He taught us at speed the essence of characters in films and how and audience relates to them, and what it takes to convey emotion with characters.

From there we discussed how to construct a scene using specific examples from Ice Age and Shrek, and how each of them has different things to look out for. Im generalising here of course. He expressed distaste for acting classes that teach you to express yourself by acting as a tree, or a cloud or something like that. Not once has he needed to be a tree or a cloud. Or anything inanimate. Simplicity in the work is key. Something he didn't want us to forget in a hurry.

You could tell that he had years and years of different acting classes, and he had pulled out all the essentials and tried to cram in as much as he could in the 3 hour time slot. We each constructed a scene in pairs using the techniques he showed us, and we each had to talk about it. A fantastic exercise in writing. And I was itching to go home and start writing my own work!

3D Animation

After a sandwich lunch and a lengthy discussion about Pokémon with people, we made our way upstairs to the 3D animation room. Yesterday we learned how to make a fish swim, Today it was getting into making believable 3D animation using a simple bouncing ball animation. Having a bit of Maya knowledge already, I used this oppertunity to grill our tutor about some of the finer things about Maya, and any tips and shortcuts he can show me. Which he did. After then I decided to pick up a bit of zBrush in preparation for our lesson on it tomorrow. Something I really can't wait for! I got a small into to it from a guy called Logan on the course, and some of the stuff he had created was insane. Its such a more intuative way of making 3D models rather than staring with a Polygonal geometry in maya.

Overall I really feel like I am getting the best parts of a broad curriculum. I feel like I can go home soon and feel more ready than ever to get to work on my final year animation. I have a better understanding of story structure now to add to the mix. Its all coming together.

Inception tonight! Then my last day tomorrow! Including a trip to the VFS shop for some gifts for people back home :)

Oh, And a pixelated whale...



-Jonny

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