Grad School Semester 2: Week 1

Geeze, what a week. So I’m taking two courses, and so far, one of them is already busting my ass. Try to guess which one.

Drawing from Imagination: Our instructor was (that’s important for later) an established comic book and storyboard artist, who in person, would have probably reminded me of myself, or more aptly, my favorite instructors from college. However, thanks to the wonder of the internet, he basically just terrified and infuriated me. It’s so hard to pick up on sarcasm, optimism, actual intent, anything, when you are reading it online. It took me the better part of the week to realize he wasn’t being an incredible jerk, but was actually just really enthusiastic and committed to making us work hard. He genuinely wanted us to get something out of the class, not just a grade. Unfortunately, he has cancer and is starting chemo-therapy, so he won’t even grade this first project he pushed me so hard on. I’m really disappointed by this. I hope he ends up being okay.

Here is the work, which was to create a 1 point perspective street, using grids (hate) and these four specific tools for creating correct placement, sizes, perspective, etc. The first two were part of my initial submission, but he made it quite clear that the buildings / windows were obviously C grade material, so I spent another day or so working it over and replacing all the buildings / details aside from the EL. Hopefully the new teacher will recognize the improvements (and see our discussion of how to raise my grade) and I will be rewarded accordingly. Anyway, I think it turned out well, but if you can imagine what it looked like in my head you’d realize how bothered by the whole experience I am. I learned a lot, the measurement tool was a very big revelation, but I still don’t feel comfortable applying these tools to a drawing I want to do. I can make a convincing drawing of a thing in one point perspective, but I still feel like a slave to the process, as opposed to a master welding his tools. Does that make hyperbolic sense?

The second course is Traditional Animation 1, which I am understandably jazzed about. I’m actually animating on paper, and compositing it together in this new (to me) traditional and digital 2D animation software called TVPaint. It’s french software, and it’s apparently the stuff all those badasses at Gobelins use. So far it’s great, and makes scanning and compiling hand drawn animation a breeze. Here are some exercises from week 1.

It actually took me four solid tries on both of those individual tests before I (and the instructor) were satisfied. But I never felt like I was lost, I always saw the mistakes and knew how to work around them.

Anyway, the instructor in the illustration course, the one whom I’ll never see again, really got me thinking about my teaching philosophy. There is a danger of alienating students when you are demanding of them, and I have to be careful to make sure I’m equally enthused and obviously passionate while also being a taskmaster. That’s something I’ve been struggling with mightily this quarter, and so I’m looking forward to the break next week (this is finals week) and getting ready to work harder on it next quarter.

© Copyright 2011 John Hill, All rights Reserved. Written For: Awesometania
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