Monday, February 25, 2013

Cue Spring 2013 part 2

Alright, I don't plan on sleeping tonight either, so I'll just try to finish this up.

SO...Digital 3D Animation...
I hated 3D modeling. Now we have to animate this shit. lol I'm sure if I had more time to learn and appreciate this kinda thing, it wouldn't be half as bad. But this class is just ugly. It's the only course I'm behind in so far. There are SO MANY things to learn about Autodesk Maya, and it's incredibly fast-paced. Learning takes a long time, modeling takes even longer, and figuring out how to smoothly animate takes even longer than that. I literally do not have the time of day for all the homework we're assigned in addition to everything else I have to do.
I asked Ms. R (yes, she teaches 3 of my classes this semester) how much my grade would lower if the assignments are late. She told me she was willing to be lenient with me, and me only due to my workload. I'm so grateful for that, but I'm still afraid I'm going to get too far behind. Really...I'm overwhelmed.

I don't have any footage of my animations so far to show here, but I'll get it eventually. It's reeeally surprising me how accepting Ms. R is of my work so far. She's usually so critical and judgmental of me, and I'm just counting my blessings at this point. She's literally using my work as an example in class - in 3D Animation AND Intermediate Electronic Art (just not that cherry tree animation thing she apparently hated :v ).

Here, I'll share the pokeball I just modeled recently just to show somethin' for my efforts. ^^;



Lastly, there's my Senior Seminar course...
This is another one of those where I have to work on one big, huge, giant, professional-grade project throughout the entire semester, and it's the other one I'm scared about.
I'm honestly not going to talk about it a whole lot. This is one of those things I just want to keep sort of quiet about and see what happens. I'm afraid if I reveal too much/get too ahead of myself, shit will hit the fan.
But it involves an autobiography and an extensive Gangnam Style parody video with my entire cadet wing. It's literally such a big project, I had to brief my commanders on all the implications and logistics in case it impacts the Air Force in any way once it goes online.

Yeah. I'm freaked out.

Just trying to breathe about it.

~Uni

Cue Spring 2013

HOLY FRIDGETOAST, BATMAN...

I've been trying to start up the blog again now that I'm in a new semester, but I haven't found the time, I'm that busy this time around. If last semester was "impossible," this semester must be completely beyond all reason. I have SO much to talk about, and on the brink of passing out.
I don't sleep, I hardly eat, and the workload is scary as hell. I'm completely worn out by the end of each day (even weekends), and yet still have to keep working.

I am zombified.

I'm going to blog about as much as I can tonight, but may have to save some for later due to the fact that I can hardly focus I'm so drained. This just needs to happen. My brain's gonna 'splode if I don't get this out.

I'm going to go over my classes one-by-one and explain what's going on.
Here's my class schedule so you get an idea of when this is all happening (using military time). Tuesdays and Thursdays are KILLER. Wake up at 6 to get to class by 8, and a lot of times I just have to stay at school until 9pm...and then Wednesdays and Fridays, I have to wake up at 4 for ROTC training (I didn't include the meetings we have every Friday at 0545). There's almost no time for homework - forget sleeping, eating is rare, I'm just glad I can squeeze in time to take care of my cat!
And for those following me on twitter, yes, I do still watch some anime despite all this. Why? To keep me sane. If I was focusing on school non-stop, I would drop dead. That's being human for ya. But even weekends are filled with trying to catch up.


First, we have The Art of China and Japan, an art history course.
...and I just started falling asleep at the computer. x__X this is such bullshit. UGH.

So, this course, I'm hoping won't be as strenuous as the others. The instructor is an old guy pretty well-versed in Asian art, and seems to have a pretty reasonable agenda for us. I'm going to miss the first exam due to a wedding, but it seems like he's willing to work with me.
We have to write a 10-page research paper in this class, though, so that thought's making me sick. I caught him at the local art museum recently, and he went over some of the Asian works with me for ideas on how to write the paper. That was nice I guess. He was particularly excited about this Japanese Buddha. I'm guessing I should write on it... = /


Next, we have Video Art.
This class wasn't originally being offered this semester because the original instructor is on sabbatical leave. I was extremely upset as I love this kinda thing, and I needed the course to graduate. My advisor (Ms. R) was about to let me take a figure drawing class instead, but they suddenly found an alternative instructor for this course, so us digital art students can continue in our focus. 
I pretty much love the alternative guy. I am so much more impressed with his work than that other woman's...she was boring and incredibly unimpressive. The only thing is, he wants us to use iPhones and television for some of the assignments. I don't have either of those things, so working around that is a hassle.
We've been studying composition, the rule of thirds, framing, cutting, etc lately. My love for this kind of art is expanding as I study different styles and approaches to filming.

As we were watching some of William Wegman's work, a film/coms major next to me started getting disrespectful of it. I noticed he already has a mental disability in taking social cues and interacting in general. But I couldn't stand it when he started dissing classic works. I completely understand not liking something. I personally don't prefer all the art classic styles, and wouldn't do much of it myself. But I understand it's important to know the history of it, where we came from, what we're doing with it, and to appreciate the tastes of other people. 
I asked the student after class, "Can you not appreciate this style?" to which he replied, "I'm a film major, and I know good video. That was crap." 
1. He doesn't even have his Bachelor of Arts degree yet, so he's no master by any means, 2. I find HIS work to be crap, and 3. no art major should be talking like that.
I stood up to leave, told him to broaden his horizons, and haven't sat next to him since.
Instead, I've made a couple other friends in that class...one also has a bit of a mental disability and has trouble with stuttering, but he's extremely nice, pretty cute, and does better work. ^^ The other one's a British exchange student - I love listening to him talk about his country...mostly for the accent! :D

So, in this class, we'll be getting more into editting later (with either Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere), but for now, we're experimenting with raw photos and footage. Here are some examples of composition study and the Rule of Thirds. My inspiration for my chosen perspectives comes from being so short and seeing the world from a different angle than most. :P I just exaggerated it a bit more.

Photos:





Videos:

This is a test in composition - I've done several of this nature.



And below was a challenge by our instructor to do some pieces like Wegman would - random, subtly suspenseful, an element of unknown and reveal, homestyle, casual, etc.
My cat was in the room, and every energetic. I figured if I just sat down he'd eventually come get me, and he did, so it worked out. :] I did a few others like this with different scenes.

The concept is coming naturally to me, and I'm having a lot of fun finding and setting up shots. My instructor seems to really agree with my work and artistic decisions, so that makes this more enjoyable. There's a lot of work due each week, but it's manageable. Next week, we'll start pulling DVDs apart and editing. Wish I hadn't left my Tangled movie at my parents' house! x.x

Next, we have Intermediate Electronic Art.
I'm a little irritated with the name...I'd rather call it just digital art, but wtfever. :P
This course is piggybacking off Beginning Electronic Art which I took a couple years ago. That had to do with introductions to photoshop and other basic digital editing software that I found very boring. I already knew 99% of the material, and it was all very tedious busywork - an easy A.
THIS course deals with the animation aspect of digital art. We've been working in Flash CS6 lately...I'm getting major flashback (LOL pun) from high school when I did some flash animations for fun.
I had a little too much fun last week as a substitute instructor taught us "boning" in flash. :P


I'm glad he's not our real professor...he's...extremely strange and unstable. Ms. R explains things better, also.

Our first assignment in this class dealt with shape tweening and instead of using boring, primitive shapes, I actually composed an animated scene.



It did everything the assignment asked us to do, but for some reason, Ms. R gave me a 7/10. She said she didn't understand how it was following the assignment, and I got really upset. It called for an animated gradient, 6 objects with shape tweens, and 200 frames. She called what I did more like a "photo montage" which is completely inaccurate. I didn't push the matter, though. I just literally ragequit and decided to never give my all in the class again. I'm just going to do the bare minimum to get an A 'cause this overachieving shit is apparently lowering my grade.

This is one of the classes I got a head start on. I began working on it before the semester even began after talking with Ms. R about my workload. She only let me get started on the Stop Motion project over winter break, so I assume that will be introduced to the class later. I'll blog about it once we do more with it, but I already have all my photos taken for it.
We'll be doing a photo montage (a real one) next in flash, and then later learning Adobe After Effects.


Then comes Contemporary Art History...
 Which...isn't history at all. It's talking about art going on now. x.x
This is one of the classes I'm most worried about. It has the most work, and is the hardest to pass. Everyone who took it before me said they struggled without slacking. It scared the hell outta me. Especially because I've taken a class with this professor before and know what kind of a complete hard-ass she really is. We need to attend 4 contemporary art events throughout the semester, and turn in notes for them. Problem is, most of the events she lists, I can't go to due to scheduling issues. So now I have to find other events she'll actually let me attend for credit, and I have no idea where to start. Time is a huge issue. 
I went to 2 already. 
One was a show done by 3 Chinese sisters which I found pretty incredible. They're 3 sisters living in different parts of the world and do art based on 3 different elements of the planet - Earth, Water, and Wood. One of them graduated from my university. I love her work because it deals with flowing hair as water...and her hair is long and flowy as well, so I related. :]





Unfortunately, my photo of the rock/earth element didn't turn out. The work was extremely detailed and beautiful, though. If you'd like to look them up (and I highly recommend it, their story is awesome), the artists are Hong, Bo, and Ling Zhang. "Three Sisters Bound to the Elements"

I also went to an art reception for a show called The Fabrics of Race where the artist was a white woman married to an African American man and wanted to highlight his people's history. She did things like create a wall of dirtied shirts and symbolic hats to symbolize lynchings and the people who were there. She made a quilt of historical photos, altered books with colored drawing utensils inside to represent colored people, and other symbolic exhibits. 



When she started talking about her motivation and drive behind all her work, I knew it was going to get emotional. It was a very small gallery below the home of some African American gallerists, and we were sitting pretty compactly in one room. Everything seemed pretty tight-knit and personal. Sure enough, folks started crying. I didn't mind. Sometimes, that may make me feel awkward, but it was very appropriate. It's not just Black history, it's a history that belongs to all of us in this country. I found it very moving how she decided to portray it.

Also, in this course, we have quizzes every week worth 10 points. If we average 90% or above, we won't have to take the final, which will. be. BRUTAL. But her quizzes are fuckin' hard. Details, details, details! Dates, locations, names, classifications, in depth descriptions - and she's so picky about each little thing...EFF. I'm afraid I won't be able to do it simply due to the lack of time I have to study! This woman shows no mercy. At all. For anything. I've had a dental appointment on Tuesday scheduled since August last year, and this broad can't even excuse something like that. It'll be an unexcused absence even though it's a health issue, and I have no respect for someone like that. I'm sorry, your class isn't everything, prof. 

We'll also be responsible for several video and reading assignments including papers to go with each, and then a 6-page research report requiring me to drive 2 hours to San Francisco and spend a day at a museum there like I actually have the time of day to do such a thing. LOL Good one, prof. You wanna pay for gas for a student with no fucking income?? Nice.


SO...anyway...I'm going to end this here so I can get this blog out finally, and then get more shit done. But, I'll hopefully get to part 2 soon and tell you about my Senior Seminar, 3D animation, my experience with some recent student art shows, and my ROTC duties this semester.




~Uni