Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Anyways, check it out if you want to see what I do for my quasi day job (plus a really pixelated image of Jane):
A high school student is working on a geometry problem with her tutor, “Jane.” The student solves the problem incorrectly and expresses frustration. Empathetic, Jane shows momentary frustration, too.
Then she responds encouragingly, “Let’s read again what the problem is asking.”
This scene would not be out of place in most educational environments were it not for one important detail: Jane is a character on a computer screen.
Developed by teams of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Arizona State University in Tempe, the computer tutor in this scenario is part of a growing number of research projects around the country looking to build a social and emotional support system into intelligent-tutoring systems. Powered by artificial-intelligence technology, intelligent tutors have been around for decades, and some are beginning to make their way into regular classroom use. Cognitive Tutor, one of the oldest and best known of such programs, for instance, now operates in 2,600 schools around the country
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So I went to Hampshire today and, once again, was schooled by Chris Perry, who pointed out that the drawings in my last animatic were unclear, cluttered, and terribly timed.
It just doesn't work.
I was going to redo them anyways so they're getting done in Flash now
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The first animatic pass on my BFA thesis is done! Or it has been done for the past week and I've been too busy to post it up here.
Changed to follow:
-Get an ACTUAL composer (I'm meeting with someone this Thursday, actually)
-Redo the whole thing (seriously-- a lot of things don't work in here)
As a first pass, I guess it's not bad, but it's definitely not up to where I hoped it would be. The biggest problem is that, for an action cartoon, it's not exciting. As Jed, my 3D animation teacher last year put it, an action cartoon needs its share of "OH SHIII--" moments and this is clearly lacking in all of those.
BUT, work continues!
Also I had a great time at the Pittsfield animation event (I got the autograph of the guy who did the EENVEEHSABLE PREAHDATUR MAUNSTER effect; it still astounds me how those guys did all those visual effects without the aid of computers)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
About 45 hours ago, I realized I still had to practice/memorize a 10 page script (dialogue, mostly)
In 8.5 hours I need to perform this script (with my group) in front of my class.
I need a flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts :docbrown:
Oh also I managed to enlist this guy (Michael Goulian) to act as a consultant on my thesis project:
and by "consultant" I mean I sent him an email asking if he'd look at some footage I've yet to produce and give some feedback-- but, now I've got an (awesome) professional stunt pilot to pester! [cackle here]
Also I need a soundtrack for this thesis film. More details to follow once I get the animatic finished.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Maybe 30+ people showed up for the first MOTIF meeting. Horray!
And a third of them left after they found out Song of the South wasn't a racy cartoon in any way. In fact, it was pretty boring.
I want to call this picture FAPOOOOSH for some reason
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
If you're reading this and you haven't seen Cloudly with a chance of Meatballs, shut down the computer and run to the theater and watch it. Now.
About a year and a half ago, I talked about the potential future of 3D. Having just seen Horton Hears a Who, I wondered how long it would take for the other Hollywood studios to pick up on the fact that they didn't have to copy Pixar to make good films.
Apparently that time is now!
Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs is an absolutely terrific movie, no doubt about it, and I absolutely love it. The aesthetic is strictly cartoonish- no attempts at photo-realism (except for the food, which looked delicious), and the animation was terrifically cartoony-- fast moves, really exaggerated poses, the stuff I absolutely love in 2D cartoons. The takes and double takes were all absolutely outrageous too, some of the wildest I've seen in a 3D cartoon.
So the movie's great, no doubt about it. But, the other reason why I'm so excited is because I'm graduating from college this year, and I'm heading into a field which has started to diversify. Disney's starting up their hand drawn stuff this year. Imageworks and Blue Skies figured that they don't have to follow the Disney/Pixar formula to be successful (Dreamworks soon to follow?). It's an exciting time, and I can't wait to get into it.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
2 more shots to animate (one of which is a long walk). And then it's another pass to add more details into the backgrounds/sets/whatever you call it.
Also, I'm being MANLY and pumping iron today and watching cartoons (Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Lab, to be exact) when the thought hits me:
Why am I always drawing Dee like this, kind of a pseudo rip off of Disney (and failing)?
what's to say he can't be geometric and simplified?
And now he's SUPA KAWII CUUUTE. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this, though (he is a lot easier to draw this way)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Current progress: https://udrive.oit.umass.edu/jgchan/jt_030.swf
Juggling 3 cartoons at once is hard :[
(this is an older version/animatic, but I'm about halfway done with the character animation and hopefully I'll move onto the effects/debris work by Thursday)
So many jokes... so little time...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
(keep in mind I'm working at the same time here, listening to the audio)
I was clicking on random cartoons in the related list and I didn't know what I picked, but by the sound of it and by the aesthetics it looked like I was watching some sort of 1930s color copy of a Disney cartoon. So I go back to check out the date on the cartoon when I notice the supervising animator is Bill Tytla.
Yeah, Bill Tytla. The same guy who did this
The Noveltoon was made in 1950. Fantasia was made in 1940.
So what happened to Mr. Tytla? I thought he would have reacted against the Disney style like the other ex Disney artists who formed UPA did!
More importantly, why do Famous cartoons of the 1950s look comparable to 1930s Disney/WB cartoons?
And look at this!
This looks like it's just a copy of Hanna-Barbra TV cartoons
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Incident at Tower 37, a student film I was on the production crew for one semester, is up for some awards at Siggraph. The following is an email of the experience I sent to Dan Inkeles, the producer for the film about my experience (hey he asked for it!).
To those who don't know about Tower 37 (or Uprising as we called it), it's a 3D animated short directed by Chris Perry, a Rhythm & Hues director turned Pixar TD turned Hampshire College animation professor. We used professional standard software (Maya, Shake, Renderman) as well as some in-house (house? school would be more accurate) file management software called HELGA (which is now being used by some local animation studios for their own file management).
But the fancy software doesn't really matter- what DID matter was that this class was an actual production. To my knowledge, no other school teaches students of different backgrounds how to work together as a group-- yes that's right-- Just about all the footage in Tower 37 was produced by students, and it looks pretty darned good (if I do say so myself).
I still can't get over how great of an experience it was and if the professional world is anything like this, I still have much to look foward to
As the absolute newbie of the group, I stepped into Chris’s Animation 3 class with absolutely no experience in the field of 3D animation, and the little I did know (character animation and acting) didn’t prove to be much help when I was assigned animation and paint fixes. I didn’t know anyone in the class either, so the first couple of weeks I sat in my little corner, huddled over the graph editor doing my own work, regretting the fact that I was taking Computer
Animation 3 without having taken Computer animation 1 or 2.
And then disaster struck. Chris, for reasons unfathomable to my mind, was suddenly busy with other work and now I couldn’t pester him to look at what I was working on! What would I do? Per the suggestion of Dan, I timidly creeped up behind one of my classmates and managed to stammer out if they’d be willing to look at my anim fix.
Lo and behold- they actually stood up and looked at my work and actually gave me feedback. This sort of interaction was unfamiliar to me; so far in my art classes, classmates would often just sit and look at a piece I was working on and say “Cool” or “Neat” never anything I could REALLY use, but now suddenly I was receiving useful feedback.
Suddenly I found myself peering over the shoulders of my peers, learning the lingo of compositing and lighting, asking how to do this and if they could show me that thing they were working on. The best part about it were the many, many different perspectives I was getting, since, as an artist, I normally never get to work with programmers or technicians, especially in classes.
By the time the class was finished, I had actually taken part in a PRODUCTION as part of a team. It was at that point I learned the importance of cooperation and that being a one man show was neat and all, but having a bunch of specialists come together, attacking the goal from different angles, would turn out a better product. And, as if to drive the point home, the next semester I worked on a music video with a class back at UMass; Sure, the whole team was talented, but because of a lack of diversification in our training, we were all hacking away
inefficiently and ineffectively at the same problems, and production soon fell into a free for all, with the final product being visually incoherent and drama arising between crew members due to a lack of communication. The entire time I was working with that team, I could only think back to the prior semester where I was actually working with other students.
The biggest thing I learned from Chris’s Animation 3 class was how essential the team was to any production and how all these seemingly unrelated perspectives and backgrounds can come together to produce an awesome film. It was an honor to have worked on this film and I can only hope to spread the joy of community that I found in that lab.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
the lighting today was pretty terrible so a lot of these pictures are blurry (!$!%)
I can't get over how incredibly frickin' cute the red panda is. This guy could probably disembowel someone and bystanders would all say "D'awwww!"
(check out the guy on the right... he's sitting in a stone recliner)
Waaayyyy too cute. Also they're fast. And elusive. Whenever I tried to sketch this guy he managed to duck into a hole in the wall (where he's fed I assume).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAbuKblNHoE <-- prepare for cute overload
And, finally, Radiated Turtle Demolition Derby