Thursday, January 8, 2009

Small update

Just a quick post to announce that I got 15th place in last month's 11 Second Club competition and while it's not as good as last months, I'm still really happy with the feedback I got back and the overall project. The winner's animation is top notch and he really deserved it and I'm actually learning a lot from watching the winning entries frame by frame. It kind of sucks that Animation Mentor students have such an advantage with that Bishop rig, it's capable of much more expressive faces because of the brow and it's hard to compete against it. Using Max for Maya is ok, but there are some serious limitations. Oh, and also it's kind of nasty looking.

I got internet at home now after a five hour session of squinting my eyes at small katakana instructions and talking to people over the phone who couldn't speak English very well. It's really nice to have instant access to email, animation resources, and the world in general. So, my art posts should become a little more frequent and responses in general will come more than once every two weeks or so. Hurrah!

I've started going to Japanese lessons again after a long break. I've been listening to really good instructional CD's, but the teachers there don't slow down at all and use words that we obviously don't understand since we've never studied the language. Thankfully, the CD's have done a good job preparing me for the way sentences are structured and some of the most commonly used verbs so from now on I think I just need to build my vocab and keep practicing. It was funny though because I got put in a beginner class with a 16 year old Chinese kid and a 40 some year old woman from Taiwan. We played a card game to practice our HIragana where you had to grab the card as the teacher read out a sentence. I took it pretty seriously and had like 3/4 of the cards at the end. Maybe it was a little mean, but I felt pretty good about myself walking away from the table.

Lastly, for the month of January I have to work in Kurashiki twice a week. My first day there was really nerve-racking and the place is really really small and cold, but the staff and other teachers are cool so I think I can deal with it for a month. Plus I have three days off a week so even if I feel uncomfortable for a few days, having the time to go to Osaka or Kyoto on my days off makes everything worth it.

And here's a drawing from my head that I'm not sure I like.

From The Beez Neez


andoru said...

Nice to see you are connected to the world again! I suppose it could be a good and a bad thing right? I found that when I was there, there are just too many interesting things going on to ever get very bored though. If you need some Japanese resources let me know, I have lots of little memorization apps ant things that are really good. And I have actually been taking a class that they started this year at KCAI, with an awesome teacher. She actually worked with the JET program for many many years, and is an excellent teacher. So we have lots of stuff from class that could come it pretty hand for you, a really nice text book too.

The animation looks nice as well, sometimes the I am not super impressed with the winners but this month's really was good. Have you seen the latest Gobelins films? There is one called After the Rain... that is freaking fantastic, you should check it out, there is a post about it on my site., you should check it out and let me know what you think, more people need to see this thing. It is just as pretty as Tekkon and in some cased even prettier.


bigandpaul said...

Japanese at KCAI? Damn your lucky. What kind of apps or CD's are you using to learn the language? Like I wrote in the post I really need to work on my vocab but any kind of resource would be good.

I checked out the short, and yeah its beautiful, but I think that like some of the other Gobelin shorts, the story isn't that strong. I really want to do some stylized texturing like that but for now I don't want to stray from character animation at all. I'm even thinking of enrolling in Animation Mentor when I get back to really strengthen my skills.

Anyway get at me with those resources when you've got the time, it'd be awesome.

andoru said...

Sorry to take so long to respond, I need to set up this account to alert me when a comment gets a response I guess.

I actually just found an app that goes directly along with the book we are currently using, so I am going to look into that.

I have tons of websites and things, but to start out, I would check out, or you can just find it on iTunes, they have tons of lessons and come out with new free ones everyday.

There are also some apps called iKana and iKanji that are pretty good. Kana isn't so difficult to memorize but it is always good to practice writing so you can bring the right characters to mind when you really need to rather than just recognize them.

I will update you with some stuff soon. If you have anything in particular you want to learn just let me know, I can ask my teacher, other friends and consult my own reference, or even send you a section of the textbook or something, copyright be damned!