PDA

View Full Version : Making a curriculum for self learning?


EmilDR
09-26-2010, 07:04 AM
I'm 20 and have been drawing since childhood, i usually draw cartoons and anime. but i want to enhance my drawing skills further. since i have read that before you go cg, its better if you have a solid foundation on theories, and traditional art first. I also found out good books recommended here, and i''ve already started with Loomis' figure drawing for all its worth. (would love to show it but don't know how to attach images at the moment :/)

I have loads of free time on my hands right now like 10 hours a day 'til january. I'm willing to use that 10 hours to slave myself at getting better and practicing smart. I'm trying to make myself a lesson plan for this 3 month self education.

I would like to know what will be the most effective way to use my time. I've tried planning and came up with spending 4 hrs on drawing, 1 hr of color theories, 1 hr of perspectives, and 3 hrs of maya. I don't know if this is right so please show me the light :) Thank you very much!

My long term goals is to be a 3d animator.

PS: Do i have to hold the pencil like a brush when drawing? I't makes me really feel uncomfortable.

cg-cnu
09-26-2010, 11:42 AM
Hi EmilDR, You are not the only one here who need guidance regarding the drawing schedule. I also have the same situation. I was already working as a cg artist and noticed the importance of art education. Now I am seriously thinking of learning some art, by joining the online workshop of Rob, It seemed much promising for me.

I will be attending the workshop in the next turn, which i think rob will start in january of next year. so........I have a time of 3 months to attend the workshop. In the mean while I am planning to start on my own by studying the andrew loomies books.

I can't spend 10 hrs but can spend in the range of 6 to 8 hrs. so, I too need a working plan. Topics to concentrate on and the amount of time to spend on each topic.

I am thinking of my plan to be lilke this........2 hrs for anatomy studies from andrew's book, 2 hrs for still life drawing and shading, and 2 hrs for painting with my wacom and studying color theory.

I know it all depends on the person and the amount of available time, but any suggestion and guidance is valuable than nothing.Thank you.

EmilDR
09-26-2010, 12:51 PM
Hi EmilDR, You are not the only one here who need guidance regarding the drawing schedule. I also have the same situation. I was already working as a cg artist and noticed the importance of art education. Now I am seriously thinking of learning some art, by joining the online workshop of Rob, It seemed much promising for me.

I will be attending the workshop in the next turn, which i think rob will start in january of next year. so........I have a time of 3 months to attend the workshop. In the mean while I am planning to start on my own by studying the andrew loomies books.

I can't spend 10 hrs but can spend in the range of 6 to 8 hrs. so, I too need a working plan. Topics to concentrate on and the amount of time to spend on each topic.

I am thinking of my plan to be lilke this........2 hrs for anatomy studies from andrew's book, 2 hrs for still life drawing and shading, and 2 hrs for painting with my wacom and studying color theory.

I know it all depends on the person and the amount of available time, but any suggestion and guidance is valuable than nothing.Thank you.

What field of cg are you in? I agree. It's really motivating to know that Rob himself is self taught. I'm really burning with overflowing passion right now. Seeing that he is well versed in music, cg, painting, writing etc. I would really love to know how he scheduled his time on each aspects.

I sure hope I have the money to enroll in that class by December. It looks like it will be very insightful and cash well spent rather than going to schools. Goodluck to the both of us :beer:

cg-cnu
09-26-2010, 01:28 PM
hi EmilDR,

I am a texturing artist. I am right now looking for a job. But I am comfortable with environment modeling and lighting. I can also do matchmoving.

Yes, Rob is not only a great artist but a great teacher. He is always there to help lost souls like us. Taking one of course will be a great opportunity. I also didn't have the money to take his course right now. So, I was waiting for the next turn and saving money for that.

I wish you all the best on the journey.............. :beer:

mordecaidesign
09-26-2010, 08:25 PM
Holding a pencil like a brush is more of a lifedrawing thing and it's more for the artist who has their canvas standing up. This isn't a law or a rule, in the end it comes down to personal preference. I recently learned that holding a pen straight up and down is taught at various schools for draw-through techniques, and while it does work well, it doesn't work for when I'm using my wacom pen.

Lunatique
09-27-2010, 07:05 AM
Since your goal is to become an animator, your practice routine would be different from other artists in general. While it would be very important to learn how to draw expressive poses and characters, 3D animators have gotten by without being able to draw very well, while it's vital to someone who's a concept artist or illustrator or comic book artist. Advanced perspective may not have as much importance to you, since you're not expected to draw advanced perspective as an animator--your job is to animate. Color theory while is important to all artists, animators don't usually get involved with color decisions. So this complicates your area of study somewhat. Your growth should basically be two-folds--one is as an all-around visual artist, and the other is as an animator, which is your main emphasis.

If you are as an all-around visual artist, it'll enrich your ability and sensibility as an animator, but some of the stuff you learn as an all-around visual artist aren't directly related to what you do while you animate--it's more about elevating your overall artistic sensibility so you have a clear vision of your animation in the context of the grand scheme of things. The more you understand as an all-around visual artist, the better you'll be able to visualize how your animation will interface with the whole production--the lighting, the color palette, the camera angles and composition, the overall direction, how to animate to the strength of the stylization of the character design, what style of animation to use for the I.P...etc. If two animators applied for the same job and they are roughly equal on their technical skills, the animator who's a superior all-around visual artist will win because he simply understands the role his animation plays in the grand scheme of things better.

But as an animator first and foremost, you must devote most of your time to actual animation. Study the works of good animators, read very helpful books like Richard Williams' Animator's Survival Kit, practice animating, study real people and great actors, learn about body language and facial emotions in the context of psychology and human behavior, study animal psychology and body language, learn anatomy and figure so you understand how the body works, learn about the effects of gravity and just physics in general and how it affects the world around us--from the way different fabric reacts to gravity and wind to how different materials flex and bend, and so on. You must be able to portray emotions clearly, even if they are complex emotions with layers of meaning. If you're asked to animate someone who is excited but nervous, but also exuding a sense of pride and glee, then you have to be able to portray all that. If you're asked to animate someone who's injured but there's a mutation happening in his body and he's growing stronger with monstrous strength, but losing control over his behavior, then you have to be able to portray all that.


I would really love to know how he scheduled his time on each aspects.

I sure hope I have the money to enroll in that class by December.

I tend to evolve in cycles. I might concentrate mostly on photography for a whole year, with other creative endeavors taking a backseat (but not abandoned completely), and then when I think I've advanced enough to my satisfaction, I'll then switch focus to guitar, or drums, or composition, or screenwriting, and so on. Sometimes I might just shorten the cycles and concentrate on something for a week or a month. I usually set goals of what I want to accomplish in each cycle, and I move on after I have achieved my mini goals. I don't think it's a good idea to tackle everything at once because it's too many things to be juggled at once. Even on my current personal project where I'm writing, doing the art, music, sound design, animation, directing...etc, I work in cycles where I concentrate on one thing at a time (which happens to be how a one-man production pipeline works anyway).

The next run of the workshop will likely happen in January, so your timing is just right.

cg-cnu
09-27-2010, 09:50 AM
First. I want to develop as an all-around visual artist and then concentrate on my specialization texturing. Thanks for sharing your working style.

EmilDR
09-27-2010, 10:13 AM
Thank you very much for replying Lunatique and mordecaidesign :)


If two animators applied for the same job and they are roughly equal on their technical skills, the animator who's a superior all-around visual artist will win because he simply understands the role his animation plays in the grand scheme of things better.

Would definitely want to be the latter :) I really don't know what will be my first step. Its like I want to learn everything (which is really complicated and takes a lot of time and dedication I know). So could you give me an advice on how to start out? I'm just starting to learn maya. These are my super noob question. How can I start to animate if i don't know how to model my character, and how would it look good if i don't know how to render it right etc. :banghead:

I could say that my real long term goal is to be an artist like you. Well versed in every visual aspect but more focused on animation. I also want to be a good concept artist. It would be fun to animate my own concepts. I also want to say that I'm really dedicated and willing to sacrifice a lot of my time to get better.

(btw I also love music. I'm a bassist but know basics on drums and guitar :))
***Oh sheet I just saw your studio on your website! I've seen it on Gearslutz! I really hate you right now for being so awesome! :bowdown: jeez***


The next run of the workshop will likely happen in January, so your timing is just right.

Really looking forward to it :)

EDIT: I want to have a strong foundation on CG, and I'm also not sure what the future awaits for me. So I thought knowing the basics of each field is a good move, its more chances of getting hired :)

Lunatique
09-27-2010, 07:48 PM
You have to be careful about spreading yourself too thin and ending up knowing a little bit of everything but never mastering anything. I think it's a good idea to defined for yourself that if push comes to shove and you're only allowed to do one specific thing for the rest of your life, what that thing will be. Having that defined will help you pick an emphasis to focus on that you really love more than anything else, so that when you are learning to become an all-around visual artist, you always have one dominant skill that your other skills evolve around. So take some time and really ask yourself this question and figure out what makes you the most happy and fulfilled and excited and engages your emotions and intellect?

For example, if I had to choose only one thing to focus one, it's be a really hard choice between music and writing/directing, but I think with a gun pointed at my head, I'd pick music.

As for getting started in 3D, there are tons of books and DVD's that teach you how to model, texture, rig, animate, light, render...etc in whatever software of your choice. A quick search in amazon.com will turn up lots of hits. Even your software comes with tutorials and help files to get you started. Be careful about falling into the trap of spending all your time learning which button to push in software but never learning anything important regarding the foundations of visual art that actually makes you a good artist. Too many 3D guys fall into that trap.

BTW, my studio is fairly modest compared to the insane guys on gearslutz with their tens of thousands of dollars worth of outboard gear alone. I do everyone ITB so my studio has no outboard gear at all--it's all just instruments, audio interfaces, monitor/headphone controller/amps, studio monitors, and the DAW--that's it. Even my mics are pretty modest--I don't own a single mic that's over a few hundred dollars. The only real high-end gear I own is probably the Klein + Hummel O 300D's--those are by far the most expensive pieces of gear in the studio. My Zendrum's pretty rad though and definitely a luxury item. The Audez'e LCD-2 is the latest addition to the studio and I'm pretty fond of it too, and it's considered high-end as well since it's a $1,000 headphone (My Denon AH-D950 is the same price but it's not nearly as accurate). You'd be surprised by how ghetto most of my other gears are--I mean, I've got some Behringer stuff that totally works fine but many would turn their noses up at. :D

EmilDR
09-27-2010, 09:14 PM
So take some time and really ask yourself this question and figure out what makes you the most happy and fulfilled and excited and engages your emotions and intellect?

I guess I'll find out once I get a deeper understanding of 3d. I really have no clue yet. I just picked animation because I think it's fun to make lifeless models move and do stuff, I'm so naive but that's the truth. :)

For example, if I had to choose only one thing to focus one, it's be a really hard choice between music and writing/directing, but I think with a gun pointed at my head, I'd pick music.

I'd pick music too! I see CG as my day job in the future. But a day job which I'm very passionate about. You know what I mean i'm sure. I already gathered materials for my self study. But yeah I think I'll focus on my foundations first for the meantime :)

I agree, but compared to my "bedroom" studio, that is waaay better. Really love the lighting and how the traps were placed. Man, I can just imagine how awesome it would be to play in that kind of ambiance. I bet you don't go out of your studio that much. I really don't know a lot about gears but I can say you're a headphoneslutz! Me too I have aLOT of Behringer stuff here because that's all I can afford as of now. But it's been treating me good so far for my demos. :) I've read youre influenced on metal and progressive. You should hear Periphery!(fyi it's not my band lol) I also read your bio, and it was very inspiring (sorry for sounding like a total asz kisser).

Thanks again! :beer:

Lunatique
09-28-2010, 06:26 AM
One thing you can do is to analyze why something appeals to you. For example with 3D animation, are you actually in love with the animation itself, or are you in love with the stories? Or is it the entire production process? Many people mistaken their love for storytelling on the screen as something else that is visually representing the narrative, when in fact they should simply become writers or directors, not animators or concept artists. Research the entire production pipeline of CG animated films and find out what each production step does, and then ask yourself which part appeals to you the most. If animating is indeed what fascinates you the most and you wouldn't care for writing or directing, then perhaps animation really is your thing.

There are pros and cons in picking a day job that's not your absolute passion. For many, the day job will consume all your time and energy and you'll find yourself being pulled further and further away from your favorite passion simply because by the time you get home from a hard day's work, you are already drained. There's also the problem of making your true passion a job--it could kill your passion because once it becomes a commercial concern, you'd have to mix business with what you love, and all the demanding clients, bosses, contracts, chasing down payment, making revisions, compromising your creative voice...etc take their toll. Very few people are lucky enough to do exactly what they love on their own terms without having to compromise, but make a comfortable living at it anyway. The interesting thing about our generation is that money is not the most precious commodity--it is time. Time to do the things you are really passionate about, on your own terms.

Don't listen to the snobs who bash Behringer blindly. There are some really good Behringer products that are perfectly fine. I mean, as long as your unit isn't a lemon, then it should be totally adequate for doing pro audio work. If Behringer products all sucked as a rule, then there wouldn't be a thread on gearslutz that's titled "What Behringer Products Don't Suck" and having pages and pages of people testifying that there are Behringer stuff in their studio that are totally fine.

I'm not much of a headphone slut compared to the crazy head-fiers. Each of my cans serve a very specific function (closed-back for tracks, open-back for other times, IEM for traveling), and I sell off the inferior ones as soon as I upgrade to superior cans. I'm about to sell off my Denon AH-D7000 and probably my HD650 too since the LCD-2 has now outperformed both in general. I'll be selling off the Westone 3 too since I just don't like its sonic signature, but I'll have to replace it with a proper IEM. I have one last important (and very expensive) headphone-related purchase and then I'm pretty much done. That final piece is the Stax Omega2 007mk2 and a dedicated electrostat amp--it'll cost me about $5,000 total but that's the price you pay for one of the best headphones ever made, and I've auditioned that rig before and it completely blew me away. After that, I won't be thinking about headphones for a very long time (or more important, I won't be able to afford to). :D

The bio on my site is a very generalized one. In the workshop, I have a different version that details my entire career--all the bad choices I made, the things I did right, the hard lessons I had to learn, the things I observed, the cautionary tales and words of advice, and the process of finding that light at the end of the dark tunnel of confusion, insecurity, frustration, and self-loathing, and becoming the person that I aspired to become.

cg-cnu
09-28-2010, 08:32 AM
I am in the pretty much same dilemma for a long time.......I find it difficult to decide which specialization I should take and pursue for the rest of my life. Actually I am in love with the movies, especially animation short films. The way they convey the whole story in a short span.

But after looking into the animation pipeline as a whole I am fascinated by texturing. Many people will say that Animation will give life to the character and tell a lot about his personality but for me texture will say a lot.... i mean a lot......... even before the character tell a thing. A dirty shirt texture for a little boy......shows that he is not much tidy or just came from the playground. Not only for the character.........even for the environment. You can't make the environment tell something through animation..........but with texturing, you can make the environment speak. A wall texture with a lot of stains and leaks of water and teared posters will tell a different story than the texture with a shinny marble tiles attached to the wall. A completely different story.

What I am looking for is to get art knowledge........and then approach the texturing and story telling with that knowledge.......I just don't want to be a button pusher......Which I was doing all these years.

EmilDR
09-29-2010, 02:42 PM
One thing you can do is to analyze why something appeals to you. Research the entire production pipeline of CG animated films and find out what each production step does, and then ask yourself which part appeals to you the most. If animating is indeed what fascinates you the most and you wouldn't care for writing or directing, then perhaps animation really is your thing.

Maybe I'll start learning a little bit of everything first just to have an idea. Let's say I'll do modeling for 2 weeks, then rigging for 2 weeks, animating for 2 weeks, etc for 2 weeks. And then after that I'll decide which is the one that appeals to me the most. It won't be a waste in the long run if I do that right? But I''l keep in mind your advices of not spreading myself too thin once I have decided.

Very few people are lucky enough to do exactly what they love on their own terms without having to compromise, but make a comfortable living at it anyway. The interesting thing about our generation is that money is not the most precious commodity--it is time. Time to do the things you are really passionate about, on your own terms.

You're one of them right? :) I want it to be my day job because I think I can be pretty good at it in time. That would be better instead of doing day jobs that I'm not totally interested, like office work or hospital, things like that. I can just daydream of after a stressful day at CG. I'll come home to my one true love, music. :drool: Because I'm definitely aware that you can't make a living out of music if you're not really famous or mainstream. And really, the Visual arts field is the only thing I'm counting on for the future of my livelihood.

it'll cost me about $5,000 total but that's the price you pay for one of the best headphones ever made, and I've auditioned that rig before and it completely blew me away.

The bio on my site is a very generalized one. In the workshop, I have a different version that details my entire career--all the bad choices I made, the things I did right, the hard lessons I had to learn, the things I observed, the cautionary tales and words of advice, and the process of finding that light at the end of the dark tunnel of confusion, insecurity, frustration, and self-loathing, and becoming the person that I aspired to become.

Haha, with that price I'm sure it sounds good! It must be the sound of diamonds. Yeah behringer is totally fine with me. It does the job and sometimes it gives me results that exceeds my expectations. A year ago I was planning to make my room into a soundproofed studio with a little vocal booth and good acoustics. But lost all my interest when I found out that our house is going to be sold. I'll definitely make it happen after I buy my own house. Maybe eventually I can bother you again and ask for guidance about it :)

Absolutely excited to apply for your workshop Rob. You've been a lot of help considering I'm not enrolled yet. You're answers gave me a lot of ideas and questions for myself. And I really hope you could enlighten me more on which choices to take. Thank you very much! :buttrock:

EmilDR
09-29-2010, 02:53 PM
Many people will say that Animation will give life to the character and tell a lot about his personality but for me texture will say a lot.... i mean a lot......... even before the character tell a thing. A dirty shirt texture for a little boy......shows that he is not much tidy or just came from the playground. Not only for the character.........even for the environment. You can't make the environment tell something through animation..........but with texturing, you can make the environment speak. A wall texture with a lot of stains and leaks of water and teared posters will tell a different story than the texture with a shinny marble tiles attached to the wall. A completely different story.

I agree man :) but I think everything is important, not just Animation. Modeling, rigging, texturing, concepts, lighting, rendering and etc. If one is missing from the pipeline, everything will go down. It just boils down to what do we want to do specifically :D I chose animation because I think I'll get the hang of it.(Though I'm still not sure hehe) I'm a noob but I assume you should spend a lot of time on color theory and observing details from your surroundings like woods, plants, cements, metal, clothes? I don't know if that's a good advice? sorry! :beer:

cg-cnu
09-29-2010, 07:49 PM
hey EmilDR......I completely agree with you. I am not saying one is better than the other. Everything has equal importance in the animation production pipeline. The things I have told is to explain why I find texturing more appealing than the other departments and thought that would give some insight in to what texturing is.

The suggestion you gave is absolutely right......You have a good knowledge of what texturing requires. :applause: But observation is not a simple thing to get.....you have to train your eye and observation alone is not enough...........you must have the ability to recreate the things......in your mind. All these requires a good artistic knowledge.

Lunatique
09-30-2010, 06:24 AM
There are tons of tutorials on how to create textures on the web. It really isn't that hard--it's perhaps one of the easier aspects of 3D production. Just google "how to create textures for [insert your interest]" and you'll be ready to roll.

cubehugger
10-06-2010, 10:22 AM
EmilDR - getting back closer to your original question:

The artistic theories that help most in animation are ones related to composition. You will, instead of using trees or fruit or something, be using a characters limbs and postures to draw attention to his/her/its face, hand or anything that's important to lead the viewers eyes.

Thing about animation in the real world, which is often overlooked in books and such, is that you often have really short shots to get a point or emotion across, so staging and poses are especially important, as well as working with the composition of a shot.

As for you studies - I recommend you do know the basics of everything, but focus on animation and rigging. Also look into directing - Animation and directing run hand in hand, and it's a pretty common belief that good animators go on to be good directors. Consider things like jump-cuts, continuity errors, etc. These will make up a major part of your workday.

Study acting!!!

Then study acting again!

Further than that, watch movies frame by frame, especially the brilliant ones like most of Pixar's work, and also draw inspiration and motivation from the really old Disney cartoons. It's really quite cool to watch their work progress over the years, and with it the art of animation.

Then study some more acting!

I am a 3d generalist, and although I also really love lighting and compositing, I find animation by far the most rewarding part of the production, but this differs from person to person.

CGTalk Moderation
10-06-2010, 10:22 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.