Thursday, November 29, 2007

Max is The Terminator!!

Here's my second go at a walk cycle. I'm still going for the T2 walk. I just text my best friend to loan me the DVD so I can study the walk. That's manily for the eye movements at the end. I'm then going to try and work in a camera angle in Maya. I'd like to position the camera low then pan up to his face.

But for now, here's my second pass.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My first few Maya tests

I downloaded the Personal Learning Edition (PLE) of Maya from the website. Since then I have been practicing and starting to get the feel for it. I'm starting to see the possibilities of what I can do. I then watched "Meet the Robinsons" and "Ratatouille" and started to see them in a completely different light. I was now seeing them from an animator's perspective. Before when I would watch CG animated movies, I always thought it was impossible for me to be a part of that. Now, I feel it is within my reach. I am nowhere near the caliber of those films, but I definitely now feel I am on the right path. I've been viewing several blogs from different animators. A few of them are currently enrolled, or have completed the Animation Mentor course. So I am able to see what lies ahead.

I've put together a clip of some of my animation tests. The first clip is to try and convey natural and fluid movement with a pendulum. The rest of the clips are a basic walk cycle. I even moved the shoulders and swayed the body to help push the action. The last clip, I added head and eye movements. The walk seemed very similar to the Robert Patrick walk from "Terminator 2".

The cycles are a little fast because I realized later that I was working on them with the frame rate set at 12 frames per second, not the standard 24 fps. So that's why it's a bit fast. I'll correct that next time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I'm IN!! I got the word the other day from my contacts at Animation Mentor and she said "everything is a go." There appeared to be a few snags, but she assured me everything will be taken care of. WHEW!! That is such a huge relief.

Now all I have to do is learn the software program Maya. I have already downloaded the Personal Learning Edition and purchased a book about it from work. If I can get a basic understanding of it before classes start, everything should be fine.

I'll get it.

The other cool part of it is I already have the "textbooks." First is "The Illusion of Life" by Frank & Ollie. The second is "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams. This is great!! I already own both books...and a whole bunch more!! So I am GOOD TO GO!!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Almost there!

"Just a few more seconds!"

Well, since my last post everythings been happening so fast. I took the test for Animation Mentor. They received it and I was accepted! Then came the student loan. I always get nervous about stuff like this. I applied and that got approved as well! So I mailed off my submission packet Wednesday and they should be receiving it today (Friday). This is so exciting. I am still in a state of anticipation. Once I get the word that I am officially in, THEN I will be jumping for joy on Cloud 9. Right now, I am on Cloud 6.5.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm broke! WOOHOO!!

I got 'em all!

Today was the release day for "Ratatouille" and "PIXAR Shorts"! The PIXAR DVD has an early history of the studio that runs 23 minutes. Very informative. I also picked up the book "To Infinity and Beyond" that tells the whole history of PIXAR.

My only complaint is that there are not enough special features. Since the release of "Cars", they have not been releasing that many "special" DVDs. has an excellent article why this is. Why?! The general public doesn't care how these features are made. Sad but true. So we, the animation fans/students, are made to suffer. Hopefully, they will release the "Super Genius" editions soon. And yes, I will probably have to purchase these DVDs again...and I will.

A nice unexpected bonus was the release of a book called "Nicktoons." It is about all the cartoons that started out on Nickelodeon. It has everything from "Ren & Stimpy" to "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and beyond. It was written by Jerry Beck from Thank you, Jerry!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Step two...

And then I wait.

I just took a quick admissions test for Animation Mentor. It was a quick eight minute exam, one shot only. They appeared to be simple IQ type questions. After looking at my scratch paper after the exam was done, I realized I definitely got one of the questions wrong. AAARRRGGHHH!!!! It was a math question and I read it too fast. My original was wrong and I soon realized the correct answer. GRRRR!!!! Oh well, hopefully I got the rest of them correct.

I was linked to an advisor, Victoria Tripp. I should be hearing from in about three weeks with the results of the exam. THREE WEEKS!! Oh, the torture! Oh, the agony! AGONY! AG-GO-NEE!!

And now I'm ok.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One small step for Reenie...

I have taken the first step towards seeing my dreams come true. Today, I applied to the online animation school Animation Mentor. This is what I want to do with my life, make animated films. This is where I can learn how. I have seen several blogs from students currently enrolled in the program. It looks like so much fun. I know I can do this. I just pray that the review board reads my application and give me this chance. I pray my words will grant me favor with them. Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.