Saturday, December 31, 2011

Graphics in Motion I class information

This is a traditional cartoon animation drawing class, NOT a Flash website course. Come to the first class on Friday, January 27, 2012, at 9 AM in room A152. The course is 8 weeks long and is held on Fridays, 9 to 10:50 AM lecture, then 11 AM to 1 PM lab. I'll send you the registration forms, which you fill out & return to me. Just email me if you don't have the reg forms: You pay your course fee of $195. on the first day of class by check or cash. Come 15 minutes early to do that. This fee includes all of your animation materials; peg bars, punched paper, Col-erase blue or red pencils, use of the software; Digicel Flipbook, & cameras, use of the light tables, all of which we will have there waiting for you in class. Bring a pen & lined paper for lecture notes & a regular black pencil and any drawing paper for sketches & graphs you will do to plan your animation exercises.

The only thing we don't provide is the book, Timing for Animation. They have it for only $7.99 at The first edition is fine. John Lasseter of Pixar recommends this book, so it must be a good one. The author, John Halas, was a genius, a great teacher, and a giant in the animation industry in England.

I do know that this class fee is a bit more than the usual community college course, but we did work very hard on lowering it as much as possible for the Laney students. So, you guys get professional Hollywood animation principles and techniques for $195. I have taught the same course at private art colleges & the fee is $2,500. No joke. I am a hands-on teacher regarding drawing & film feedback and I welcome all questions all semester long. I'll pack the class with "animated" lectures, great films from world cinema, and fun, useful, & valuable animation drawing exercises. We'll learn all 12 principles of animation from the Disney Studio. I do have over 30 years of professional experience in LA, Europe, & the SF bay area and have been teaching college for 15 years. I believe you'll learn A LOT and enjoy the process. I always get results in my animation and film classes. You will learn how to draw for animation. I look forward to meeting and teaching you.
December 31, 2011 7:11 pm

Graphics in Motion I information

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Start at the Beginning

We start at the beginning in this course: a blank piece of paper & a pencil. I teach drawing methods that are simple, enjoyable & not hard to do. You can start the course with simply the desire to learn to draw. You don't need to be excellent or experienced as an artist. We also begin right away with simple straight & curved lines; the simplest of beginning lines. These develop into the building blocks of form and the basis for all design: The cube, sphere, & cylinder.
I notice as I've taught at various colleges for the past 14 years, that starting at the beginning isn't always taught as carefully as it could be. Steps are skipped sometimes in courses, & students, in a hurry to become "animators with a job", also tend to skip steps. One step at a time is best. Don't skip steps, I say.

If you build up the fundamentals of drawing first, the sky is the limit. If you don't, you will end up being limited in what you can draw. Then, you'll have to go back to the beginning again and work on the steps you skipped in the first place. After that, you can advance as a skilled artist.

Traditional animation requires drawing skills that take time, dedication, & practice to develop high-levels of capability & knowledge: the rewards are well worth it. You can become an independent filmmaker, like Bill Plympton, an animator for hire, a studio employee, or a teacher. Computer animation follows drawn animation; that's what all the good colleges teach. I agree.