Sunday, 21 March 2010

Ceramics (Yawn) and Animation (Yay)

I really have very little to say about this guy, who would've thought rolling into a lecture 55 minutes late would mean I have little to write about? Actually, I may have not been that late... but I don't remember much about that day. Stuff happened and then the day ended, pretty normal stuff, right?

So, this guy liked to work with glass and clay, though I got the impression he liked working with glass more. He took the scientific approach, opting to be experimental with his dynamic surfaces (I have it written down, must be true...) He took research as a way to share knowledge, he talked about dissemination, but I can't remember for the life of me what that is. This later filtered into his exhibition work. He said that writing about your own work not only helped others but it also helps yourself, something I can relate to as teaching someone else how to do something you naturally find the easiest, clearest way to explain it. That way, it becomes simpler for yourself and your understanding on the subject rises. There's also the pressure of not wanting to look like a total douche bag who doesn't know anything, so that helps.

Yeah, I'm not writing much about this guy, but if I had to take away something, it would have to been the academic and industrial approaches. The university may want you to do one thing, but what if the universe is telling you to do another? How do you balance it out? Oh yeah, this guys name is David Binns.


The next lecture was by a woman called Candy Guard. I kid you not, Candy Guard! How awesome is that? That's more awesome than someone who had the surname "Gaywood" (as in wood that is gay). She sounds like she would be more suited to working in a candy store, guarding the candy from kids trying to steal it. Anyway, fascination with weird names aside, Candy (I can't help but laugh typing this) had a really weird animation style. She liked the fluidity of making your work on the fly, no storyboards, no planning or direction. Of course, she said that in commercial work you would need all this, but for your own thing it wasn't so important as long as you knew what you were doing.

Her animation style started off very choppy, you could clearly see the frames roll by as the line art constantly flickered around the screen. But even as the animation quality improved, it still had a certain amount of charm to it. Candy preferred to work on paper (or by hand), since working on the computer made it too easy to edit and change things, so she would get lost in decision. While on paper, you had to be sure what you were cutting was right and you had to feel strongly about it. This is something I could relate to, as computer applications give you so much power, you could potentially spend hours just tweaking colour values that don't necessarily make your picture better in the hope of finding perfection.

Because of the simplistic style of Candy's animation, she had to find ways to convey story and emotion, which she did more with general events and common themes that make the viewer think back on their own experience and relate to it. Rather than spoon feeding you the emotion that the artist had intended, Candy let you come up with your own. She used her own experience to write, saying she found it hard to write about something she had no experience in. She went into comedy because she said it was easier to gouge reactions (a laugh) from comedy, you would know if it was good when people laughed, where as serious media it was much harder to do that.

She talked about her experience in the industry, and talked about how hard it was to cut and edit your own stuff. Sometimes people spend to long introducing characters (or the world in narrative), and short stories often had a lot of repetition, which was good for somethings, like emphasizing a joke but bad when you're repeating ideas. In general, I liked Candy's lecture, she was a pretty weird but interesting person and it really showed in her animation style.

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