Thursday, 1 September 2011

1st Semester

I'm going to use this blog to record my progress while attending Think Tank Training Centre.  Maybe somebody who is thinking of attending Think Tank will find this informative, but if nothing else, it will be fun to look back on my earlier assignments.

First, a little about me: I am 33 years old, married to the most supportive wife in the world, and father to two wonderful children. A couple of years ago, the manufacturing plant in which I worked laid off 200+ employees and I began searching for a new line of work. I looked into a very practical career that was somewhat related to my previous job before I realized that I could look into a new career that I would actually enjoy: 3D animation!

With virtually no past 3D (or artistic) experience, I wasn't too optimistic about my chances, but with my wife's support, I started looking into schools. I really liked some things about Animation Mentor's program, but they turned me down, presumably because of my complete lack of experience. At this point I contacted the Vancouver Film School and Think Tank.

VFS's program seemed good, and some of their alumni have certainly gone on to do some great work. After contacting them regarding some info on prerequisites, they kind of turned me off in a couple of ways. I decided that I would apply there if I wasn't accepted at Think Tank.

My first contact with Scott (co-owner) at Think Tank was friendly and informative. After meeting him for a tour of the school I was hooked. There are so many great things about the school, but to sum it up, I was left with the following impressions: the school atmosphere is awesome, it's run by some cool people, and they provide every opportunity for success that a student could ask for. I felt (and still feel) that if I put in the work, they would teach me everything I needed to know.

So, to cut a long story short, I applied to Think Tank with some still photography, gesture drawings, and a short essay, and was miraculously accepted. Many months later, I am now nearing the end of my 1st semester at Think Tank and all of my expectations have been met.

This semester has been great, and has required a lot of work. I am going to be an animator, and have found those classes a bit easier to absorb, but almost all of the others have been hard, but enjoyable, work. It's difficult to find the balance between spending time on the assignments I enjoy most (animation) and the assignments that are more of a time-consuming challenge (I'm looking at you, modeling!).

So, as often as I can, I will post updates on my assignments as I complete them. To start off with, here is a barrel I created near the beginning of Digital Imaging class. We learned how to create a very basic texture and apply some maps (bump, specular and transparency).

This is my first assignment in 2D Animation class in which a flour sack jumps from one pillar to another and back again. Obviously the goal was to get the hang of some of the core principles of animation.

Thanks for reading!

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