Less than 30 days to go

Sunday, February 27, 2011 0 comments
I am getting more excited and a little nervous now that AM will start in less than a month. On Friday, I got my official enrollment notification. I now have access to more of the student AM website which includes a bunch of orientation videos and links to student discounts on software other services.

It is really start to feel more real. I am going to shift my time back to doing at least 4 hours every day 5x a week. I'll be focusing on working through "How to Cheat at Maya 2010" and probably rework through the Digital Tutors course on Introduction to Maya 2011. I just want to focus on getting faster and more familiar with using Maya. I also want to really focus on getting used to always working everyday even when I am not feeling into it, so I can reestablish some discipline.

The rest of my time will be spent continuing to work on my drawing and anatomy studies in both 2D and in ZBrush (3D sculpting).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

AM friends

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 0 comments
AM is getting closer and I am starting to meet people in the Spring 2011 group (that is the term I will be starting AM).

Met some great people so far. Last night, I joined a Skype group for our class. It is cool how many people there are from around the world. Chatted with someone from England and another from Russia.

BTW - check out my friend Adam's AM blog:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, February 21, 2011 0 comments
I've been practicing basic drawing exercises such as 1, 2, and 3 pt perspective and endlessly practicing drawing freehand ellipses, circles, and straight lines. I am really enjoying getting a chance (and having a good excuse) to draw again.

One interesting and actually fun thing I have been doing is switching to left-hand drawing (I'm right-handed).

My goal is to get comfortable enough drawing that I can more easily sketch out characters and plan animation.  If you want an awesome book on drawing for animation, make sure you check out Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert.  It is not long but it is packed with great stuff.  I ordered my copy from his website:

While I wait for AM to start

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 0 comments
I am cramming for Animation Mentor by working on 3D projects every day to get comfortable using Maya (despite having used it off and on for over 8 years). When I am not trying to tackle Maya, I am usually playing guitar, spending time learning to draw, and right now diving into digital sculpture with ZBrush. I am finding ZBrush to be an amazing program that is really fun and powerful. ZBrush is basically a 3D digital sculpting package. If you search for ZBrush images on the web, you will be amazed at the detail and realism of the characters people create. For me, this is a great opportunity to expand my creative outlets and also learn human anatomy through sculpture and drawing. I am pretty sure that understanding the human form and the details of the muscles and structure of the body will make me a better character animator.

Here is a turntable movie of a human skull that I made out of a single polysphere  in ZBrush. This is the first part of tutorial I am doing from Scott Spencer’s book, ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting.  Each part of the lesson I am working on will add more form (muscles, skin, etc.) to finally create a male bust. This skull is the base layer.

Click here to watch video in a larger size or play the video inline below

Character Animation, here I come!

Monday, February 14, 2011 0 comments
Its time for me to join the wonderful world of blogging. Check back frequently to follow my experiences as I learn 3D character animation from Animation Mentor (AM).

For people curious about Animation Mentor, this is my stab at sharing the excitement and the day to day "grind" as I work my way through AM.  Hopefully, you readers considering the program can get as excited as I have been reading other students great blogs.

For those of you who want to keep tabs on all of the cool stuff I am working on, check back regularly to see examples of my animation assignments during the coming 18+ months.

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