“Masterpiece” is the final short film produced by my team of classmates for the first course of ANI440 Collaborative Short Animated Film. ANI440 is one of the courses for the first cohort of the Master of Arts in Animation program in DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media. Our professor Meghann Artes grouped the class into teams based on our animation and creative interests. My team mates were Christal Charlery, Deborah Mathis and Petra Sobers and this is our final production.
My roles included drawing some of the first storyboards and creating the first draft of the animatic with those storyboard drawings, animating a couple of scenes (scrolling wall near the beginning and the reveal at the end), creating some of the character’s scene props (chisel, hammer, table, cardboard boxes, box of nails, picture frames, ruler) some of the foley (tools dropped on table, horse sculture tossed onto the floor, the box dropping on the floor, the sound of the wood touching against clothing, the sound of his hand stuck to the wood and popping off the wood) and some voice over in (the form of various vocal expressions including my French impersonation, “Bee-yue-tiful!”).
There was plenty for the four of us to pack into ten weeks and it was hectic. Our 3D software crashing on a regularly random basis didn’t serve to help us keep pace as we wanted to but we juggled the pieces amongst ourselves and brought it home. We got an A (and it gave a nice little boost to the GPA) and we’re down to the last two courses over the next two quarters in the Master of Arts cohort.
So what do think of our short film? Leave a few comments. I’d like to tell you more about it.Read More
Here are my two papers on each of those films in flip book form.
Since I got so much practice using Flash in my Animation Mechanics course I decided to use it for my graduate seminar final as well. Lisa makes sure that we are ultimately producing some work even in her lecture classes and this one was no different. Check out my final project below as I get into my head and look towards the future.
Some of our professors talked to us as well. Had a roaring time from Devin Bell who told us about his start in school. He showed his old student project Crank Balls that landed him into a career at JibJab. Meghann Artes shared some of her work with us including student film from her days at U.C.L.A. She’s worked at a bunch of places including Sesame Street. Jo Derry not only shared her unconventional, don’t-plan-it-all-out-before-you-start approach to animating her work, she answered the all important “How much do animators charge for a project?” question (thank you Jo, I’m revising my pricing structure as I type).
We did lots of reading and wrote a paper a week. One of the more interesting pieces of reading was Colourful Claims: towards a theory of animated documentary. It’s a philosophical take on animation as documentary tool, whether animation can be considered legit documentary since the characters portraying the action aren’t actual living beings.
We had a variety of animation related events that we could write about as well. One that was particularly interesting to me was the CartoonInk!: Emerging Comics In Context exhibit at one the the Art Institute of Chicago’s galleries in the Loop. It was an exhibit of alternative comics with a variety of subject matter, artistic styles and methods of print publishing. I have never seen such a wide variety of book styles.
One paper was an out our comfort zone paper focusing on an artistic style that we didn’t work with. I chose a recent mosaic Reaching Back; Moving Forward, Lest We Forget the Song of 47th St. Its a bricolage mural dedicated to the African American history of the neighborhood. Here are a few pics of the piece. Listen to the lead artist, Carolyn Elaine, tell you more about it.
This was a great seminar and I have a lot of conceptual take-aways that I use for future projects. The Winter Quarter lies ahead. I’m ready to rock and roll with the next of the two new classes in the cohort. Read More