This training is not for the faint of heart. You have to know you want it with all of your being. You have to be willing to learn, take harsh criticism and ready to grow.
Since this is the first week, I've spent a little under 40 hours here taking classes working on assignments and meeting some amazing people (and animals).
We started on Monday with an orientation, meeting the other students, learning the ropes and settling in to our work stations.I received the best warm welcome when I walked into class and was given a giant hug by the other token girl in the class, exclaiming "Oh My God Another GIRL!". By Tuesday my desktop is personalized, my desk is covered in nerdy plushies, note books, text books, pens and pencils, and of course a box of Scooby Snacks hidden behind my monitor for a late night snack.
But you aren't reading this to hear all the warm and fuzzy experiences, you are here to learn about the training!
First day of classes we endured through, production, drawing and animation. Learning the basic hierarchy of how the film industry works and where, as an artist, you fit in. After a quick break we dive right into drawing. Now this is not your typical art class of "this is a pencil...this is how you create a line..." this is observational drawing. We were given a white mug and told to draw what we see. Not draw the mug, but draw what we see. If you've never taken an observational art class before let me tell you, it's a challenge. Fun, but challenging to find all the shadows and highlights that gives the object it's 3-dimensionaliity. Finally to finish off the day we had our first animation class. We covered the basics of the Maya user-interface and how basic time and framing work. Having some knowledge of Maya, I was asked to animate a ball bouncing, from there being taught how to create the perfect bounce with the graph editor.
Our second day, one of our short days, consisted of rigging. This is one of my favourite things to do. Being given a model and making the controls to allow it to come to life. We learned how intensive rigging can be, and how it needs to be created to the needs of the animation not for accurate anatomical purposes. We practiced set driven keys and moving a camera rig.
We started our third day off with lighting class. Having our minds blown at being shown a whole new way to look at the world. All we see is light, not things. We see the light reflecting off objects creating a reverse image at the back of our eye giving our brain the information, flipping it around so we can see. Seeing how different light is in reality vs a 3-dimensional world. Following lighting we had photography class. Learning how to use an SLR Camera properly. Being sworn to never use AUTO mode ever again. Once you learn manual mode, you can master any camera. As well the golden rule of photography: Balance between ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperature.
For our fourth day we learned all about compositing. What it is, the history of it and the program we will be using to do our compositing: Nuke. Nuke is a node based program, allowing you to add, subtract and make film have that final shine. Compositing has been around since the 1800's with the first use of "mattes" to bring in special effect.
Our final class, particles & dynamics, was awesome. We learned how to use Houdini and what a powerhouse program it is. We built simple special effects such as fireworks and learned how the major special effects are created.
Now with homework from every class and new challenges ahead I'm super excited for next weeks lessons!