The Calm

goals, school

Happy New Year, whoever reads this! I hope the holidays were good to you.

After almost three weeks of doing nothing* I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. I have a few little projects/experiments to share here (coming soon) and I’m bracing myself for what will assuredly be the most challenging and rewarding semester yet.

I’m trying to graduate by fall 2012 and in order to make that happen, I’ve had to pick up the pace, in terms of my course load. For the past few years I’ve been a part-time student taking, at most, three classes per semester (with the occasional fourth not-so demanding course thrown in) because I’ve also been trying to get as many hours at work as possible to continue paying bills and such. This semester, though, I’m scheduled to take five courses and each one of them is a pretty big deal. Here’s the course list:

1. 3D Modeling: This will be my second course that involves 3D work, but it’s the first I’ve taken that’s devoted solely to 3D work. And, just to specify, by “3D” I’m not talking about 3D stereoscopic image making, but rather the use of a computer to create and animate three-dimensional models. I feel like I have to make that clear because I’ve talked to people before who were unaware of the distinction.

This should be a great class. I’ve toyed around with 3D modeling and animation before, thanks to the shockingly powerful and, most importantly, FREE, open source software called Blender, but this class will force me to get a bit more serious about it. We’ll be using Maya, too, which is pretty much the industry standard for 3D work (ie. it’s what Pixar uses).

2. 2D Animation: That’s hand drawn animation, folks. Again, this is a discipline I’ve been studying on my own for a bit, but now it gets serious. Can’t wait.

3. Storyboarding for Multimedia: This will sort of make up for the Sequential Art class I wanted to take (it wasn’t being offered this semester). I’m really looking forward to it. I love drawing storyboards. Plus, I’m in the process of storyboarding my capstone project – the animation equivalent of my graduation thesis – so this class could very well contribute to that.

4. Anatomy for Artists: Big thanks to Kevin for the heads up on this class. Since I’m not a Herron Fine Arts major I had to get permission from the professor to enroll. I’ve been in correspondence with him and he seems like a great guy. Also, I found out that Kevin and I aren’t the only New Media majors coming to this class seeking some more traditional artistic guidance. I’m looking forward to meeting the others.

According to the syllabus, “the semester will start with a study of the bones and muscles of the head and neck. Later lesson units will focus on the trunk, the arm, the hand, the hip and leg, and the foot. Following a systematic and step-by-step examination of the skeletal and muscular structure of different  portions of the human body, new knowledge will be put to practical application in creating anatomical studies from a model to reinforce what has been learned.

Bring it on.

5. The “Spore Grant” class: Last year, IUPUI received a $40,000 grant to create a game called Creatures Classified! using the Spore game engine. In order to get into the class, students had to submit a portfolio, which included 2D art, 3D art, or even game design, depending on what role in the production process they wanted.

Well, on a whim, I submitted a portfolio and was accepted late last semester. According to my acceptance message, my primary roles will be “2D Visual Artist, Game Designer, & Supplemental Design” and my secondary roles will be “Spore Asset Creator and Spore Game Playtester.”

This should be a great experience and, most importantly, yield some great portfolio pieces. This is the kind of thing I would’ve loved to have had on my resume when I applied for the Blue Sky internship last year.

So, yeah, I’m pretty excited for all this. Last year I got my feet wet in the job market, checking out internships and potential jobs, and I did it, knowingly, with a very weak portfolio and resume. It was worth it, though, because I needed to get a glimpse of what things were like out there. This year, the chances of making something happen are much higher, though, admittedly, I’m a little unclear about what exactly that something should be. I want to animate, I want to illustrate, I want to design characters and creatures… for stories… in stories… that’s as clear as I can make it.

For now.

—————————————————–

*nothing = all the non work-related things that happen over winter break, including:

– Spending quality time with Lori and both our families

– Introducing my Dad and brother to the third season of Breaking Bad, and reminding myself why the wait til season four is excruciating…

– Discovering that Avatar: The Last Airbender is actually not just a shitty kids show but probably the best animated series this side of Batman: The Animated Series

– Sleeping in/going to bed “early”  (before 1am some nights!)

– Spending gift card money (mainly at Half-Price Books)

– NOT using the computer (I love being able to use it to keep in touch with people and do my projects, but I must say it is so awesome to not even look at it for days at a time)

The semester will start with a study of the bones and muscles of the head and neck. Later lesson units will focus on the trunk, the arm, the hand, the hip and leg, and the foot. Following a systematic and step-by-step examination of the skeletal and muscular structure of different  portions of the human body, new knowledge will be put to practical application in creating anatomical studies from a model to reinforce what has been learned.
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2 thoughts on “The Calm

  1. I have an upcoming trip to Cape Town for my brother-in-law’s wedding and I’m looking forward to two weeks of digital detox myself.

    Good luck with the courses this year, my man!

    1. Thanks, dude! And yes, a little digital detox is always welcome. Enjoy your time away. We’ll keep the internet nice and warm for you.

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