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Basic Foundations Week 1-2

Animation Mentor has been quite the journey so far. I’m already in week 4 so I’m a little bit behind on relaying my experience. And it has been the most amazing experience thus far. The first week for the Summer 2012 crew started June 25 at noon PST. Our facebook group had a countdown post where everyone was counting the seconds. Of course, like most servers the AM server wasn’t as punctual as we would have liked, but it was probably due to all of us trying to log in at the same time.

I was excited to learn that my mentor was Guido Muzzarelli. He’s an animator at Industrial Light & Magic. He’s worked on movies like The Avengers, Rio9, and much more. Every week I get to spend an hour talking to Guido with 9 other classmates. They call this a Q&A session and for our first session we basically introduced ourselves and got to know everyone on webcam. It’s amazing that you get to spend time with someone that’s actually working in the animation industry!

The first week was mainly getting around the campus and meeting new friends. The second week had an assignment to pose a character based on sketches of people in real life. With rather poor drawing skills I went out and drew stickfigures of people in the park, at a shopping center, in a busy building lounge, and a resteraunt. My goal was to find a pose that read clearly and had a strong line of action.

I started with this:



And finally ended on a more reverant note:


Almost as if the character is sacrifiing the little ball racoon. The character’s name is Stu and the coon is called Tailor.  All along the way I had so much helpful feedback from my peers and especially in our Summer Crew facebook group. After I turned in my assignment I also recieved feedback from my mentor. I learned that there are shoulder joint controls to the rig so that the rotations could be adjusted. (For future AM students: make sure you re-download the Stu rig for this assignment. The rig available during orientation didn’t have the shoulder controls.)

After adjusting the pose according to my mentor’s feedback my final pose looks like this:

I’m actually not 100% happy with the left arm quite yet but I’ll have to revisit the pose at a later time. Mainly I was told to rotate the left arm up to create a counter arc to the spine, adjust the shoulder joints, and rotate the right leg in just a tad. I had originally had both arms up but was afraid of twinning, but since my director (my mentor) gave me the ok I was more than happy to raise the left arm up as I had wanted.


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