Friday, May 20, 2011

Teaching and modeling the muzzle

These pictures were all taken by Thomas.

These drawings were done by one of the guys called Anthony - I think they're awesome.

Hopefully we may be able to put up the animations they made at some point.

Today was teaching day! Horray! About 9/10 kids aged 14-18 from Truro Youth Center and their mentor John came to Tremough house today and, Me, Joe, Thomas and George gave them a very brief insight into Digital Animation, along with two Graphics Illustrator students. The whole thing was set up by Olly West but we organized the equipment and the location.
Really no idea what to expect. We'd sort of sketched a short plan of what we were hoping to do with them but as is the way things kind of ab-libbed. They also had to go about 1 and half hours early so there was a lot we didn't get to explain to them.
Basically our idea was we'd say Hi and introduce ourselves, show a bit of our work for about a minute, then get them drawing for about half an hour because it was explained to us that a few of them didn't really know how to start with drawing or how to progress so I figured the basics of character design were the way to go. Then for the rest of the time we'd get them working with plasticine and produce some stop-motion.

However, it all go bundled into about an hour so it was quite hectic! Great fun though. They all seemed to really enjoy the plasticine which is what we hoped for because at school the best bits were always the practical bits. (At school - I only knew where the heart in a fish is because we dissected it and I threw it around the room not because I looked in a book :P) So that was brilliant. They're the kinda kids that feel let down by the education system, feel they don't have a purpose because they can't use a calculator or an essay so our main task was to basically say don't worry about all that anybody can be creative and it's way more fun than algebra anyway.
I talked to a few of them afterwards who said they'd love to come here and go to University but they were worried about the money or the grades, so I just said forget about the grades (you only need an 'E' at A level anyway) - sketch books are the important things and I told them what my mum told me which is don't worry about money, don't let it rule your life I mean yeah it's easy for me to say that with my loan all nice and secure but just chase your dream and the money will come - there's schemes and systems out there to support you if you show you've got the dedication just don't give up on something because of the cost.

Anyway they seemed encouraged by the whole session and they all got into it and the best thing was they produced two shorts that they could take away at the end of it (despite our pointing out it usually takes more than a few hours to produce a good quality second of animation). So we were assured of repeat business and agreed probably the most efficient way to go about it is for them to come to us with problems and queries rather than us try and guess and blabber on about this and that. Now we've got our toe in the water and met them a second meeting can be much more efficient and smoother and even more beneficial for them. I only managed to take 2 pictures though as I was running around like a mad thing trying to get everything set up, and helping them out.
Some of their plasticine models were actually quite impressive and they all can draw, I'm quite interested to push their drawing skills because it's always the thing that puts people off, I mean how many times have you heard somebody say "Oh I can't do Art, I can't draw". Utter bollocks. Anyone can draw and anyone can draw well. All it is is practice, Van Gogh proved that, everyone in the Animation Studio has proved that - that's always something I've been interested in preaching, but plasticine is the most accessible and it worked a charm.

Negotiated Brief - CGI Muzzle

So pointers/feedback and tips from Georg where positive. I was quite pleased considering this is about my 5th or 6th time modelling and this is by far and away the most complicated thing I've ever done.

So as you can see in this picture I've got to make nice smooth lines around the mouth - you look at the line immediately next to the opening you'll see it curves around the lips. I've got it going on this side.

I've called the whole area the muzzle, in case you were wondering what that was about.

But you can see on this side it hasn't joined up yet. As it comes with drawing in edge lines, it get's a bit messy so I'm in the process of cleaning it up, making it clear and easy for myself to work with.

As you can see here at the back I've deleted all the edges and vertex points that I'll never use - I could probably delete more of these too.

I've also enlarged the mouth cavity as it was one thing I didn't think; when you open the mouth really wide you need lots of room to work with so if you have a small mouth cavity and want to stretch the mouth a lot then it's not going to work.

So it's not looking to bad at the minute. still lots to do. I've got to extend the nose up to about midway through the bridge, define the cheeks and stress lines and define the lips some more. I'm hoping to have this looking pretty nearly perfect by the end of the week, leaving myself the last week to fiddle and tweak as necessary. My immediate job though before I get any further with this is to do some technical drawings and cross sections for reference. I also waiting on my retort stand (a piece of lab equipment but you can use it to hold your maquette and model it probably and not get fingerprints/holes and have it slipping and sliding everywhere) so I can get cracking on my Maquette

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