Sunday, February 12, 2012

Post With The Most 12/02/2012

And so it begins.  

Well, more accurately, it began two weeks ago, with the CGAA Spring semester sloughing - albeit reluctantly - the flab and excess of Christmas and revving up - albeit slowly - for the final push.  There's snow on the ground, but it won't be long until the cherry blossom is out on the hill and the temptation to bask cat-like in the sunshine competes with blinns and polygons for your time and attention.  

It can be a challenge to find your creative mojo at this time of year, as author Anna Quindlen observes; "February is a suitable month for dying.  Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long."  (Quindlen, 1995).  

What better time then, for a look back at your recent accomplishments, to derive satisfaction from goals met and battles won and the determination to go one better; and to look forward too, searching out those 'green shoots' that hint at all the new, exciting work already in-the-offing on Ba (Hons) CG Arts & Animation...

Yr 3 Matt Haines - Icarus (book Illustration)

Yr 3 Ethan C - The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Environment)

Yr 3 Shahbir - Game-Play

Yr 3 Matt Hyland - Toys Make War (vehicle design - game)

Yr 3 Elly - The Lost Fleet/Weapons Of The Future (prop design)

Yr 3 Rich V-C & Sam - The Oriental West (environment)

Yr 3 Charlotte - A Knight's Journey 

Third year CGAA students are already prepping their Major Projects; it's early days, but here's a glimpse of what's bubbled up already.  Jolanta is getting to grips with Laumu Laume Vaiva - Queen of the Baltic Pixies - a character of contradictions, whose unique appearance will derive from dragonflies, chickens and witchy, rake-fingered women...

Atom Pancakes' Ethan Shilling is committing to another animated short - and while story specifics are in-development, I can offer up this early thumbnail of Saint Anthony, patron saint of lost things, and Ethan's intriguing premise:

For his major project, Jordan is returning to an idea first originated in CGAA Year 1 in response to Unit 4/Storytelling.  Again, pre-production is in its most speculative phase as Jordan seeks to resolve his art direction and fine-tune his narrative.

The trials and tribulations of creative collaboration as exemplified by the Yr 2 Retrofest project are history now - or should be.  There can be no better example of the supreme challenge that comes from distinct creative personalities working together to produce a single vision - and not every group was as successful in meeting it.   I suspect even those who struggled learned much from the experience.  Below are two of my favourite Retrofest trailers - very different beasts technically, but unified by the success of their art style.

Silver Talon Studios - Night Of The Monsters

First Light Studios - Destination Mars

The CGAA Yr 2 Transcription unit marks 'the beginning of the end' - which sounds a bit gloomy, when in fact the opposite is true.  Transcription signals the moment when second year students start to think and feel like third years, as they focus more keenly on their own goals and ways of working. For me, Transcription is always an exciting time on the course because it's the moment students come-of-age creatively and set the wheels in motion for their year 3 experience.  In this sense, Transcription is our crystal ball, for if offers glimpses of what may come and who our students might one day be.   Right now, second year blogs are bustling with ideas, scenarios, experiments and proposals - a small selection of which follows.

Dom - Grendel (character design)

Sam - Wilbur Whateley (character design)

Jono - The Dead Flag Blues (animated short)

Dan  - Killing Device (character design)

Andi - Children say... (animated shorted)

Lyn-Dae - Mother's Day (animated short)

Week 15 of Semester 1 saw CGAA Yr 1 submit their first Maya-centric creative project for Unit 3 Environment.  It was off with the baby reigns and goodbye to detective desks and dice, as this time it was down to them alone to wrestle Maya into submission.  Add to this the conceptual challenge of expressing the 'uncanny' and it was a daunting prospect - but enjoy the showcase of digital sets that resulted. It's another impressive spread of work and further evidence that CG Arts' 'Class of 2011' is one to watch...


The Final Word...

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." Anne Bradstreet

Quindlen, Anna, One True Thing, 1995, Dell Publishing Company, Inc

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