Tuesday, September 4, 2012

WEEK 1: Motion Studies (formerly Animation Direction 1)

Welcome to Motion Studies!

Please have a look at the outline for the course and familiarize yourself with the academic policies. Please sign in at every class - and if you can't make it, you can use this form to let me know.

Classes may need to be rescheduled from time to time - please fill out the survey at the bottom of this post so we can plan the best time for the most people.

We'll be doing a lot of drawing in this course so always bring sketchpads and pencils.  Later on we'll be shooting some video reference to guide the animation process so be ready to act in front of your peers.

story sketch from Limbo
Motion Studies gives you lots of practice at animating short sequences of human movement in 3D in preparation for working with more complex sequences using motion capture data.  

Choosing 2-3 brief actions from the list of 100 Animation Exercises, you're going to create  a short animated sequence using professional techniques like thumbnailing and storyboarding to plan the animation, then in 3D blocking, rough and finally clean animation. 

See if you can invent a backstory for your character to make the acting more believable. 

Storyboard pitch session Fairly Odd Parents
thumbnails from Ratatouille
We'll be exploring some of the key ways animation sequences are planned before ever opening a computer.

Story sketching, story boarding, and thumbnailing are all common methods of planning animation. We'll talk about the differences and see some examples of how they bring animated sequences to life.


ADIR1136 Assignment 1: Planning a simple animated sequence of between 5-10 seconds 
using storyboards and thumbnails
% of final grade: 15%
Assigned: Friday, Sept 7th
Due: Friday, Sept 21st before class

Please submit all work via DropBox (info to follow) SAVE your work uncompressed (PSDs recommended)
SEND me only JPGs
Please keep files under 2000 px wide, and use compression settings that will keep the file size under 2MB
Filenames:  

tdonovan_stbd_001.jpg
tdonovan_thumbs_001.jpg

Description: 
Plan a short animated sequence using storyboards and thumbails. The sequence should be planned around actions on the list of 100 Animation Exercises. The  character may interact with simple props or a basic environment. Drawings need not be clean but they should be clear, dynamic, and detailed.

Keep your ideas simple. The graphic style should be very easy to sketch.

(1) Storyboard sequence: Keep it brief -- 6 panels should be sufficient. Pick any section of the story you like and show the action graphically in clear, greyscale boards. Use text to further describe the action.
(2) Thumbnails: Draw some of the key poses for your actions. Keep the drawings loose and rough, in the style of the examples shown in class. Emphasize elements that help the action read well such as the line of action and the sillhouette.

Rubric:

Exemplary - Highly polished showing a unified style and an inventive premise showing a deep exploration of challenges presented by the original story. Detailed movement study of animation sequence showing all major actions with some personality.
Excellent - Detailed, well-organized presentation describing a clear and consistent design style well-suited to a creative premise. Simple study of most of the planned actions for the animated sequence.
Acceptable - Simple collection of required sketches showing key features and a solid premise.
Not Acceptable - Sparsely detailed and/or incomplete collection with an unclear concept. Contains only a few of the key poses of the animated sequence.




WEEK 1: 2D Digital Art 1 - Illustrator Basics, Part 1



Welcome to Digital Art 1!
Please have a look at the outline for the course and familiarize yourself with the academic policies.
Please sign in at every class - and if you can't make it, you can use this form to let me know.
Classes may need to be rescheduled from time to time - please fill out the survey at the bottom of this post so we can plan the best time for the most people.

This course is designed to introduce you to 2D Digital Art through topics like creating vector art in Adobe Illustrator, Comic Book Art and Level Design in Photoshop. Please bring your Cintiq pens to every class. Bring traditional drawing materials if you use them for planning later assignments.

Click here to download the materials for your first assignment: Vector Art in Illustrator


ASSIGNMENT 1 BRIEF:
TRACE ONE OF THE THREE IMAGES GIVEN USING THE PEN TOOL IN ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR. PRODUCE BLACK AND WHITE VECTOR DRAWINGS,
DELIVERABLES:
AI SOURCE FILE WITH AN ART BOX OF 1920px x 1080px
FILENAME EXAMPLE: (last name first initial) donovant_vector_000.ai
DUE DATE: Sept 19th, WEEK 3 - BEFORE BEGINNING OF CLASS
HAND-IN TO OUR SHARED DROPBOX FOLDER, IN "ASSIGNMENT 1"
HAVE AI SOURCE FILE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW IN CLASS
VALUE - 15%
HOW IT’S GRADED:
/4 MARKS - FOLLOWED BRIEF
/6 MARKS - ACCURACY (LINE WORK)
/5 MARKS - ACCURACY (COLOUR)







WEEK 1: Character Acting 1 - Motion Capture Demo!

Welcome to Character Acting 1!
Please have a look at the outline for the course and familiarize yourself with the academic policies.
Please sign in at every class (except when we're not at our desks).
Classes may need to be rescheduled from time to time - please fill out the survey at the bottom of this post so we can plan the best time for the most people.

This is primarily an introduction to Motion Capture with the emphasis on creating great acting performances!


We're kicking things off this week with a special guest who will do a live demo of motion capture performance using our snazzy new XSens system. 
Dan Maendel is going to help out with our MoCap set up.
Please note that you will be quizzed on being able to use this system - take notes, and read up!




We're going to do lots of drawing, acting, fighting (!), and other fun stuff in this class. Please dress for action & always bring your drawing materials.
We will also be shooting video reference. There are some cameras & tripods available to sign out from GBC but you may use your own equipment, even your phone if you like. Cheap tripods for mobile devices like this Gorillamobile Tripod are widely available.

3 key components of this class are going to be Gesture Drawing, Acting, and Stage Combat.
You can get more training in all three areas -
  • Gesture Drawing: try out the fun and exciting "Toons on Tap" or attend  open figure drawing classes nearly every day of the week in Toronto, such as at the Gladstone Hotel, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto School of Art, and The Academy of Art. See my list under "Resources" 
  •  Improv Acting: drop-in classes are held on Saturday nights at The Black Swan (blackswancomedy.com) or other local theatre company such as Impatient Theatre or Second City.
  • Stage combat: try an open drop-in class on Monday nights at Rapier Wit.

Want to know how valuable all this training will be to your future hireability? Checke out this advice to new recruits put together by EA:
http://insideea.com/2009/07/08/recruitment-advice-in-a-recession-part-three-a-killer-showreel/

http://insideea.com/2009/07/08/recruitment-advice-in-a-recession-part-four-delving-deep-into-animation-showreels/


WEEK 1: Texturing & Shading 1 - Applying texture maps to a model

Welcome to Texturing and Shading 1!
Please have a look at the outline for the course and familiarize yourself with the academic policies.
Please sign in at every class.
Classes may need to be rescheduled from time to time - please fill out the survey at the bottom of this post so we can plan the best time for the most people.
This course requires a lot of hand-painting in Photoshop.  You will require a Cintiq pen at every class.
We will also be shooting our own texture reference. There are some cameras available to sign out from GBC, but if you have your own camera that would be even better!

-------------------------

Many people think Texturing is just a matter of finding the right photos to stick on to their models.  A quick look around any AAA game or high-end production environment will quickly dispel this idea. Texture artists are skilled in painting both digitally and often practically. This course will give you  proficiency with necessary technical tools while increasing your skill at hand-painting richly-detailed texture maps any style from realistic to abstract.

Today we'll explore the power of Texturing to make simple geometry appear to be detailed and complex.  We'll look at some examples of game environments and their texture maps and go over basic types of texture maps and their uses. Read through the article, "Texturing for Dummies" by Leigh Van der Byl to make sure these concepts sink in.

Next we'll practice applying pre-made textures to a model and operating 3DSMax's relatively new Slate Material Editor.  Click here to download the materials for this exercise. Please complete this activity for homework. If you need help, just ask! If you find it super easy, find someone to help!


Assignment 1: 5% Intro to Photoshop
Due: Wed, Sept 12th in class
See the verification code here
For homework, please complete the following Digital Tutors course in the Basics of Digital Painting in Photoshop. You must pass the test and receive your certificate to receive full marks for this assignment. Each certificate has a unique number which verifies it belongs to your account (see left).
Click here to fill out the form with your certificate number.



For people who need a little 3DSMax refresher
Click here for a video on the 3DSMax Viewport
Click here for a video about the initial preferences

Next week we'll start on the technical process of UV unwrapping, beginning with Digital Tutors "Getting Started with UV's in 3DS Max"