Thursday, 4 April 2013

Final Thoughts on Program

As student mentor for the Wolverhampton side of the program, I can say that I found it incredibly inspiring and engaging throughout from start to finish. I was amazed by how well the group of students managed to bond so quickly and closely with not only each other, but also the teachers which made the course run even more smoothly. The students were very confident in asking questions and interacting with each other but also to give new techniques a try in animation. 

I very much enjoyed being able to network with the various guest speakers to learn more about them myself and their tricks of the trade. Being on hand for every session allowed me to keep track of the students and help them better as I began to understand their various strengths and weaknesses. I even managed to learn some new techniques myself which I was able to use to help out the students sessions later. There was no issues with the students wanting to get my aid or contacting me and vice versa. Students were happy in being honest with me for giving feedback for the course and any advice they wished to share. The only main criticism was the timing of the sessions being in the evenings for 3 hours.

The group picked up on everything very well. Many of them wanted to use the software after hearing about it and some students even managed to find their click, for instance, one student learned that he very much preffered hands on approaches to animation such as stop-motion or traditional rather than digital like Flash. Where-as another got to liking simply building objects up in 3D or Photoshop and using puppetry. They all had the opportunity to experience a hand at many forms of animation with the more enthusiastic seeing particular techniques through longer than others. The students learned most of the major production timeline, from brainstorming and storyboarding to full on animating and post-visual effects. 

The only main criticism from some was the timing of the sessions being in the evenings for 3 hours. Many students wanted more time to develop an animation from start to finish (from pre to post) rather than small pieces of animation and the time to play with certain techniques for longer after learning about them. They all really appreciated the all day drop-in sessions that were available and some used them to the fullest as they could but the timing was awkward for others (happening on a weekday when they have school/college).

However, I am proud of what they have achieved and so are they. They have picked up on new techniques and learned about the industry from several proffesionals. Working as a team or alone, each student has accomplished something and enjoyed the constant practical approach. It was a great, no, fantastic experience for them and myself. I have picked up some new ideas, new friends and an insight into the world of teaching. 

Thank you for the opportunity! 
Jamie Cartwright

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Feedback Session 19th March After Effects


What Jenny made in Maya after the introduction
Jenny's quote after using Maya for the first time:
"I'm really amazed at how quickly and easy Maya is to use with just the basic tools. I found it very appealing to use and learn more about."

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Feedback for 12th March - Post Production & VFX

In this session Gavin's approach was to start an idea for an animation by gathering random images and backgrounds from various sources and to compile them together to make a new character and it's environment.  The students really enjoyed this session and gained some valuable skills.
The students used Photoshop and After Effects.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Drop-In Session March 8th Friday

March 8th Friday

For this drop-in session, the students and I worked between using multi glass layers stop motion animation (Laura and Phillipa) and then capturing a photo, splicing up the image in Photoshop and animating the object puppet style in After Effects (Hakan and Tom).

(Phillipa's character replacements)

(Laura's scene in progress)

(Phillipa's scene in progress)

(Tom practising puppet animation with his character in After Effects)

Feedback for Thursday 28th Feb - Sound

February 28th Thursday
Sound and Music
Teacher - Ross Winning


For this session, Ross showed and made the students understand how important and the impact sound can offer to pieces of film and animation. The lesson structure involved multiple examples from Popeye to Oskar Fishinger's "Allegretto". Further explanations dived into dope sheets, model sheets and the impact "Disney's Steamboat Willie" and "Oswalds Trolley Trouble" had in synchronised sound.

The class task involved the students listening to an animation with their eyes closed and then writing down and drawing what they think happened in the story before finally being allowed to see the animation and see what actually happened.

  • The majority thoroughly enjoyed the class task as it led to some very in-depth and humorous discussions into what they think happened and what stories they could come up with. 
  • Some students didn't realise just how much sound can change the personality of a film. 
  • Two students (Cameron & Oliver) agreed that the variety of films shown was excellent and really sold the lesson plan. 
  • One student (Phillipa) was more interested into incorporating sound into their own film now after the session.

  • Some students (Hakan, Phillipa, Laura and Rachel) would of liked some more practical hands-on in the session. They found it a little odd that there was no time for doing some recording or using some equipment. 

Phillipa drawing an image to sound