Monday, 13 June 2011

Evaluation of Year One and Plans for this Summer :)

I’ve already completed my first year as a CG Student which is hard to believe. I remember a year ago working on my summer project and feeling terrified with the idea of presenting my crappy 101 thumbnail drawings in front of a class full of strangers. But soon enough I got really attached to my coursemates and tutors and managed build up great relationships with them which I think will last for a lifetime. I am loving the small CG community ‘hiding’ in the base room J. Everyone’s happy to help one another and all second years and third years have been a great support throughout the year (and I am hoping to build up the same relationship with the first years in September). I’ve had good and bad moments in that area but one thing’s for sure: I am willing to take those experiences with me and make my Second Year better.
Going back home after 5 months since Christmas has been a major change for me. Catching up with friends and family again has helped me clear my mind about the past year in the UK. Everything is more relaxing here considering that I live on a tiny island, packed with tourists from all around Europe accompanied with glorious weather. I’ve been a lot more physically active here compared to a few months ago. I am trying to be in front of the computer screen a lot less so I can prepare myself for the Hard Second Year. The course is mainly computer based so what I am going to try and do for this summer is use reference from real life instead. I am aiming to go back to basics with ‘real’ art materials and sketch my surroundings a lot. I will be carrying my sketchbook with me as you never know when inspiration may strike. I have discovered a method for free life drawing classes on the beach. I hope no one notices I am drawing people is swimsuits :P. Photoshop and Maya will also be included in my daily activities as I am not very confident with them and I feel like I should improve a lot more. During the course there were a few Maya Exercises I left out as I ran out of time and some I found harder than others. I am hoping to complete most of them and repeat the ones I found hard. I’ve learnt that if you keep repeating something it will surely take a lot less time than the first time and you do learn more.
Thinking of what I have accomplished in just 30 weeks has made my jaw drop. I came across so many different kinds of software that I’ve never used in my life and have produced work that I would never have thought I could achieve. My professional skills have improved a lot, including my time management (if you don’t include the last project which was disappointing). My writing skills have showed a big improvement thanks to the endless film reviews and the constant essays which were a bit of a pain but a great help for my writing. And most of all I got to go back to Art again which I missed so much while being at school here in Corfu. This course has taught me a lot about how art works, how art can improve people’s lives and how art can bring out so many messages to the world. This is a quote I made up while on this course: “Art is no imagery, but images that take place within you and being brought out in their greatest way.”
So good Art is not something which is done because it has to be done but is something that is bound to happen if you work on it hard enough. Art is not easy which is what makes our course so hard. Satisfying the audience visually requires a lot of work and is a combination of a lot of components together. Great animation is not just the visual outcome which makes it attractive, it’s also the storyline, the music, the characters, the style, the editing and the messages it brings out. If any of those components are left out then an Animation cannot be successful and this can be proven by looking back to some Animated stories (hand drawn and 3D) which are known worldwide for their success like Pixar’s Toy Story or Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. I grew up obsessed with animated stories and have been looking back to them and try to find out what was it that made them so appealing to myself .  Going back to my childhood stories and animated films has helped me understand about their chemistry. 
So this Summer I will have a walk through my childhood and do what I mostly like: making my own characters. But to avoid concentrating on my comfort zone I will be doing what I am not very confident with which is texturing, Maya exercises, environment concepts and maybe some animation. Oh and of course try and finish my Commission Project-if my computer is friendly with me and decides to work with rendering. I am planning to improve this summer but simultaneously I will enjoy myself and get ready for the next round. For the mean time I am off for a relaxing swim J
Bring on Summer  Whoo hoo!


  1. What a lovely evaluation :D Seems you've learnt a lot, and I love your 'free life drawing' idea - CUNNING! People watching is fun too.

  2. Hey Andi - you sound about a million times more positive than you did, which I'm really pleased about. Can't help but profess some envy at the thought of you 'going for a relaxing swim' as the weather here hasn't been too clever - lots of rain, it won't surprise you to hear! Anyway, I'm loving the 'can do/will do' vibe going on here and I predict you're going to have another very busy, very 'hard', but hugely rewarding Year 2! And, when you're ready, I'll email you your soundscape so you can get working on your summer project ;D We'll 'speak' again no doubt! Happy hols.

  3. wicked! :D aounds like you're planing to experience some balanced summer ! :D