Sunday, January 2, 2011

CalArts First Semester Summary

Happy 2011!!
I can't believe it's a new year already! I miss 2010 but it's time to spend the new year and the years ahead at CalArts!
2010 was an eventful year and I hope 2011 will be even more eventful.
I haven't posted pictures of my cube yet, but here they are.
It's 4-person cube that I share with my animation friends: Kari, Colin and Melanie.
Being in a cube with them is awesome and I plan on having cube-mates in the next years.
It's just too much fun :P

And now an ending review of my first semester as a freshmen at CalArts:

- 2D Animation:
2D animation is one of my top favorite classes. I've learned so much about animation and myself in animation during the class. 2D animation is tough and definitely takes practice. I can't wait to be better but I need to remember to be patient because being an animator doesn't happen in a semester! My last animations were walk cycles that I will post later on my blog. Note: walk cycles are TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH. So I don't really want to post my walk cycle, but I think it's good if I do so I can compare my future walk cycles. My teacher Scott Wright is amazing and I really look forward to learning more from him. I love this class and I hope to be a better animator during my years at CalArts!

- Digital Methods:
This class has been really helpful in teaching the different programs that we will be using to put together our student films. We will be doing a class collaboration project and I posted about it in a previous entry. Not much to say about this class. Except my teacher Fran Krause is really knowledgeable when it comes to these programs. It's a chill and helpful class.

- CG Foundation:
All the teachers that I have are WIZARDS at what they do and my CG Foundation teacher, Andrew Bac, is definitely one of them. He is so knowledgable when it comes to modeling in Maya, and he's super nice too. First semester, we worked on mainly modeling. Second semester, we will be going into rigging. So I'm pretty excited about second semester.

- Color and Design:
As most Character Animators would say, you don't learn very much in this class. But the class was good practice in using manual tools. It's kind of the only class that we get really hands-on with besides Life Drawing. This class was very time-consuming and I won't be taking the second part next semester because it's not required :P
But I'm glad I took the class because now I created some interesting pieces and could be portfolio worthy.
Or, I can always re-do the assignments in the class to create portfolio pieces.
I posted some pictures of the work that I did in the class:

Here are my self-portrait pieces in which none of them look like me:

This is the cat-doll that I made for my first year film.
Most of it is hand-sewn. It is one of my hardest things I have ever made in my life!!!
But it was a good learning experience.

- Story:
Story was a very rushed class because it was all about finishing our animatic for our first year film. But I learned a lot about story through critiques my own animatic and classmate's animatics that were shown in class. I did learn a lot in this class, but we'll be learning even more about story next semester. I felt the structure of the class was a bit off because it was so rushed but at least we are done with the animatics. I'm definitely looking forward to second semester. We will be talking about pitching storyboards, shots, etc.

- Writers of Color:
Writers of Color is my Critical Studies class. This class was pretty cool and I liked it a lot. My teacher was Matthew Shenoda and I highly recommend him as a teacher. It was a pretty refreshing class and my classmates were all different people and told different stories. All in all, it was a very inspiring class.

- Character Design:
My character designs have really improved because of this class. My teacher did not like my drawings at first, but towards the end of the semester, I started receiving better comments. This class is optional during second semester, and I will not be taking it because of my student film. But I will be taking character design classes during the fall semester from now on. I have much to learn about character design even though it's not really the field I want to go into.

- Life Drawing:
Not much to say about this class other than it's a good practice class. I wish there was more emphasis on anatomy but it's fun to experiment too because when I experiment, I think about the story and character more. But sometimes in class, I just focus on anatomy and my teacher seemed to be ok with it even though he's more about the experimentation.
I'm posting a few life drawings that I have done where I really thought about the story and character:

- Character Animation:
Character Animation was an awesome class. It's another one of my top favorite classes next to 2D animation. I am definitely considering going into 3D animation as my second choice. Story is my first. My teacher Robert Domingo is the most awesome person ever! He made learning 3D animation easy and fun. He still works at Dreamworks and comes every night on Thursday to teach us. I often forget that he worked on How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind, etc. It's really cool seeing his name in the credits. I will be posting my 3D walk cycle soon, although it still needs to be tweaked a bit. All my animations need fixing :P
I'm really looking forward the the second semester of this class!

First semester was awesome and crazy. I've never taken 9 classes at once before and I know some of my friends are taking 11! Even though I lived off of very little sleep and a lot of stressful days, it's been an amazing experience. And I know it's only stressful because I've been pushing my self to become a better artist and to live up to my talented classmates. I know that my future years at CalArts are just going to get better.

I also want to give a shout out to my friends over at Otis because they are doing some amazing work right now.
They will be graduating in less than 2 years and I want to wish them best!

I am still on winter vacation right now and second semester will be starting in just about 2 weeks.
I will be getting a head start on my student film but I am also working on some personal crafts that I couldn't work on during the school year :)
There will be more work to post later on!

And now, I will end this post with a picture of one of my story inspirations, Mark Kennedy, during his guest lecture at CalArts :)

Happy 2011!!!


  1. TAMMY. You are the best cube mate. <3 I'm sorry I'm so messy, my desk looks horrible!
    I'll try to work on it more next semester haha.

    I miss you, I hope you're having a great break so far. :3

  2. Kari!
    Haha! I didn't really notice your desk!
    No worries at all. You're an awesome cube mate no matter what your desk looks like!

    Hope you're having fun back at home <3

  3. Tammy!!

    I'm super glad you make posts like these. I get to see what I'm missing out on over at Cal Arts ;P

    Sounds like crazy times over there, which could be a good thing! hahaha.
    You've got some really nice work going on (I LOVE THAT CAT) and I want to see more! I can't wait for your 1st year film... super jealous that you get to do such things!

    We should definitely meet up again! I want to visit your campus!!