Saturday, 18 June 2011

Summers Treehouse Evaluation

What an interesting adventure this year has been! I do not think i have ever gone through so many emotions in all my university experience!! By the end i did not know whether i was coming or going and i just wanted to give up. But, i gained the strength to carry on and although things did not turn out the way i was hoping, i have learned so much. To think that i was originally not going to do the top up year, that sure would have been a big mistake. I feel as though i have learned more this year then any other previous year. Before i always stuck to what i knew best and thought that if i stayed on that path then i would become better at animation, but i was wrong. There had been so many things that i never even thought of trying because i was to worried that i would not be able to do it.

I am really pleased that i pushed myself and tried so many different tasks within Maya. I just thought i would mainly do character animation, but that soon changed to modelling characters which i was not keen on doing but as i was the team leader and no one else wanted to take on that task then i had to. I also done, prop modelling, environment modelling, UV mapping, Texturing, Lighting, Dynamics and Rendering, which i think is a lot, and i had to learn all that this year as well as being the team leader and supporting my team mates. The more i think about things the more i feel like i have learned more than what i would have if everything went smoothly. I don't think i would have touched Lighting, UV Mapping or Texturing, so in a way i am glad that i have a wider knowledge of Maya.

The good and the bad!

Well i shall start off with the bad first just because there was so many downfalls which resulted to an incomplete animation film. I feel like i made some bad decisions along the way this year. I partly feel like i should have asked someone to model our characters for us, as i took some time to make them. Learning new things at the beginning of the year may not have been the best decision. I also wish that Karl had stuck to the roles which he was planning to do which was rigging. I am disappointed that he only stuck to what he knew and did not try to learn new things. As much as he created some nice prop models i also feel like he let us down a little as all the problems started to roll in once he said that he no longer wanted to try and rig, without even testing it out first.

Rigging was the main thing that brought our group down, after Karl did not want to do it we had to find someone else, and as everyone was going to Clym i did not want to add to his list. Laura came on board as she said that she had previously done rigging and that she was happy to do that for us. With the rigging taking far longer than it should have with small problems getting in the way and Laura not being able to put much time into the work due to her job, it damaged our animation. I wish that i had been a little more forceful when i had said to her that we could find some one to do the blendshapes as she had her own animation to do, but she was confident to do so, and the best result was devastating. I was in tears and could not believe what we had ended up with. The rig and blendshapes did not look like much time was used to make our characters move. For me to have waited all year to bring my characters to life was the most upsetting thing i have experienced in animation so far.

The issue with my laptop breaking was unpreventable, my Mac had a manufacture problem and there was nothing i could have done regarding this, it was just another thing to add to the list of problems. This pretty much only effected me and made everything harder on me as i then had to travel to Ryan's pretty much everyday and traveling from West Sutton to New Eltham was very tiring. This was so that i could use Ryan's desktop that he brought from university last year. This was a big life saver for me despite all the traveling back and forth.

As i think enough has been said about the bad as there would be an endless list i need to think about the positive things that happened considering all the problems. Most of the positive things is mainly a reflection on myself. I have gained more confidence now that i have been a team leader twice in two years, although this animation fell through, some things just can not be helped. I really pushed myself this year more then i ever have before. Although i wanted to give up i still carried on being strong and took on new tasks that i had no idea on just so that i was not wasting time, and trying to get our animation pushed forward instead of it going backwards. I am really pleased that i have tried a mixture of things. I think considering all that happened i was still able to produce a lot of work this year and i can walk away being happy about that.

As a team, and a small team at that! We done really well to get as much work done as we did. When i look back at 'The Deep' and how many team members there were to mine, i just thought there was no comparison to whose is going to be of a higher standard. But for only to have three members and pretty much have had everything complete apart from the animation, i think that is really good. I sometimes thought to myself how can there be enough rolls for each person in 'The Deep'. I took on board about 7 different rolls and managed to complete them all, although the standard may not be as high to them as i had to move quickly onto the next task. Our team communicated well and had many ideas to share with one another, there was never any confrontation and issues that needed to be fixed.

If i were to do this again, there would be many changes. I would mainly want to see previous work from someone who said they wanted to be a character rigger of texturer as then i could have seen the quality of work myself before them jumping on board. I think i would have changed the story as i think we gave ourselves a bigger challenge then what we realised. As our teachers always say, keep it simple and i thought we were but i now look back and think, i don't think we made the best choice.
I would have designed Summer differently as giving her a dress was not a good idea, it was going to be difficult to animate the dress when making our film. I would have changed her so that she had shorts with long tights.

Well this year sure has been challenging and all though the end result is not a happy one for me i am still pleased that i created lots of work in different areas of Maya. I really enjoyed character and prop modelling and am thinking of taking this on board as my main skills as i think i am stronger at modelling than what i am animating.

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