Cool Things I Found On the Net This Week: Back to School Edition

Animator's Journal, Sheridan

Mark Mayerson, an animation professor at Sheridan College in Toronto, created a personal blog chronicling his opinions on animation. Even more interesting to me – he also created a Sheridan Animation blog with links to students’ work. This is a great resource for anyone interested in attending Sheridan, as you can see the types of work that the students did for class, and their own personal projects.

Included in that blog is a link of the Sheridan Portfolio Review where you can see the admission portfolios of two students, Jonathan Coit and Jamie Metzer, who are now students at Sheridan.

There are also dozens of blogs of current and recently graduated students from the animation program. My favorite blogs are from fourth year students Jinny Liang, and Stacey Chomiak.
Jinny’s work has been featured in ImagineFX magazine and Stacey worked for five years in graphic arts before becoming a student at Sheridan. Both of these ladies are clearly ahead of the curve with their work and are people to watch in the upcoming years.

Hats off to Mayerson and the students who posted their work for prospective students like myself to see. These links allow me to see what Sheridan wants from students and have enabled me to improve my own work.

Hand Studies

Animator's Journal, Life Drawing

So for my art school portfolio I have to draw my hand participating in some kind of motion.

For practice I drew my hand holding various objects. I don’t often draw hands so this is good for me to get started. I used to think that drawing hands and feet was hard so I didn’t draw them that much. What I’ve found though is that if you don’t like drawing something, or have a hard time with it, you should draw it even more often, and then it won’t be so bad. Like drawing hands all the time, for instance.


Tuesday’s Fundamentals of Life Drawing Class

Animator's Journal, Figure Drawing, Life Drawing

We had a male model pose for life drawing class tonight. Score! In New York we had both male and female models pose all the time. I’ve been in Colorado for over a year now and this is the first male model I’ve had the opportunity to draw. And he was a sub to boot.

I’m glad he was there though – I know how to draw women but men are more tricky – more angles and rough edges, less curves. It takes me longer to draw men, hence the man without a face in the first few drawings. Our teacher helped us out with a great demo though and said that I have perspective down, which is awesome. Glad to see I’m improving!

Teen Titans Storyboards Intro

Animatic, Animator's Journal, Storyboards, Videos

Back in 2003 a phenom known as Teen Titans emerged on the cartoon landscape.

I absolutely adore this show. I watched Season 1 several times over the past month while I had the flu. And for Christmas I nearly completed my collection by purchasing Seasons 2, 3 and 4 (thanks Mom!)

Why do I love this show so much? First reason, the animation. It combined both American and Japanese style in a manga hybrid that I found absolutely captivating.

Second, the characters are fabulous. You have Robin, the Boy Wonder who is not afraid of making hard choices. You have Starfire, the kick butt alien girl who at times wonders if she truly fits in. You have Raven, the ultimate witchy misfit who uses sarcasm as a cloak to hide her dark past. There is Beast Boy, the changling who desperately wants to be liked and uses his powers to bring down the baddies. And last but not least, Cyborg, the happy-go-lucky guy who doesn’t mess around. Great characters, all around.

So it was natural that for my first storyboard project, I decided to board out the intro to my favorite show. Disclaimer – I did not work on the show (oh how I wish I had!) so in order to do my boards I watched the intro frame by frame and drew what I saw. It was quite a tedious process, but doing so enabled me to understand timing and motion, as well as the effects of great camera angles. Over 70 images went into the making of my 1 minute intro, to give you an idea of how long it took to do this.

I’m currently working on boarding out the intro to Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and will post that up here as well next month.

Until then, enjoy the intro!

30 Days of Cryptids Day 21: The Sphinx

30 Days of Cryptids, Animator's Journal

Here lies the majestic Sphinx, creator of riddles, challenging Oedipus on his journey.
According to Encyclopedia Mythica,

The Greek Sphinx was a demon of death and destruction and bad luck. She was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. It was a female creature, sometimes depicted as a winged lion with a feminine head, and sometimes as a female with the breast, paws and claws of a lion, a snake tail and bird wings. She sat on a high rock near Thebes and posed a riddle to all who passed. The riddle was: “What animal is that which in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?” Those who could not solve the riddle were strangled by her.Finally Oedipus came along and he was the only who could answer that it was “Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age with the aid of a staff.” The Sphinx was so mortified at the solving of her riddle that she cast herself down from the rock and perished.

Friendly sort, wasn’t she?

Tuesday’s Fundamentals of Life Drawing Class

Animator's Journal, Figure Drawing, Life Drawing

Last night we drew one pose for the entire time in my ASLD class. I enjoyed drawing Jessica. Usually I dislike long poses but working on one pose for two hours forces me to take my time and get the proportions and the likeness right. So it’s good for me. Like taking vitamins.

I like how my drawing turned out – it looks like her. I also learned a little more on how to create better lighting.