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Foul Foliage

Dear Winterites,

Before I dive into the events of this last week, I’ll recap the week previous.

Ah, reading week. A break from classes and studies. A momentary time-frame of freedom to be used as I please. My goal: to write a chapter a day. Well, I think one or two days I was only able to complete partial chapters, but I did manage to write at least something every day. Sure felt good!

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I’ve been thinking for a while now about changing my direction. Well, during reading week I applied to the scriptwriting program with Toronto Film School! That’s right. I did it. I took the first step towards a new adventure. It isn’t official yet, but I’m much more excited about this than animation. As much as I have enjoyed my year of study in this program and have learned a lot, it’s not for me. So, I’m switching gears.

After all, life is a choose your own adventure book!

After reading week and the excitement of choosing a new career path, it was hard to find motivation to go back to classes. And Monday’s class didn’t help matters. We just put together Pinterest boards for our next assignment, which only took an hour (or less). Could have done that from home. Honestly, what even is the point of a class that teaches nothing and takes our money? I got a bone to pick with this system.

*angry golem noises

The rest of the day I hung out with friends, both online and in person, and still managed to get some writing in. Not a bad start to the week.

And then we hit Tuesday. I suppose more accurately would be to say that Tuesday hit us. This next assignment seems cool but it’s not easy. We’ve also got limited time for a heavy workload, so that’s gonna make life busy. We’re to draw a forest layout. And once again, we’re diving into something new that we haven’t been taught how to do. Can they please hire someone to reorganize the courses to make sense?

My brain hurts with this disorganized thought process.

Drawing a forest means drawing an organic layout. Up until now, we’ve been drawing everything with the line tool and minimal organics. It’s quite the switch. One of the things we’re to incorporate is a ground plane that isn’t flat. Well, to make a hill means drawing up a warped grid. That’s great and all, but the video tutorial we have doesn’t actually show us how to do that? It seems to me that most of these videos merely explain the expectations of the assignment elements rather than teaching how to go about doing them. But before that, we have to practice drawing organics. I tried. I really did. I tried drawing some trees, rocks, and other plants. I succeeded in drawing a single flower. It really felt like I forgot how to art. I guess those days happen.

(Didn't use a reference and went pretty quickly since I was low on time. Cute little brown-eyed Susan.)

Scriptwriting was fun at least. We started thinking about episodes and putting together a format for our pilots. I have two ideas for how to end my pilot episode, and I’m not sure yet which direction I want to take.

In the evening, I joined up with some friends. We’re working on a music collaboration for fun, and it’s gotten way bigger than I expected it to. Then I somehow wound up helping out some of the other music students in their assignment by recording a song after only hearing it for the first time only minutes before. I hope they get a decent mark in spite of me, haha.

On Wednesday, schoolwork was still just not cooperating. Spent all day trying to draw plants and barely got anything actually drawn. Disappointing. I’m not particularly stressed this time around, I’m more discouraged that I don’t currently have the skill or energy to do a better job. The parts I do manage to get done will be decent, but I won’t be able to finish everything and have it all looking spectacular because I’m too slow to do it all within before the deadline.

(Three whole plants. Yippy. I'm doing amazing.)

In Thursday’s life drawing class, we turned our focus on hands. Now, I actually don’t mind drawing hands even though they’re stupidly hard to draw at the best of times, but this technique we’re learning is once again not computing with my brain. My hands look stumpy and odd. Oops. Then the power went out near the end of class, so we didn’t get to finish. That means more homework for an already homework overloaded week.

(Some of the gestures were okay this time around. Nothing crazy. We didn't have a live model this week, so we used photo reference instead. For the hands we had some skeletons laid out for us to look at, then more photo reference for the different hand poses. Not pleased with any of them, but that's just how it is sometimes.)

In character design, our prof helped us with developing our original characters. It took a while because there are a lot of us, and I ended up being one of the last. That meant I couldn’t finish the 3/4 front view for my character by the end of class, which extends to meaning more homework. At least this one is enjoyable.

(This is the rough design for my little cutie, not the official design. I was playing around with some options suggested by the prof when I first showed her my idea. There are still lots more changes to be made. Homework.)

We were supposed to have our sketchbook of organics completed for this Friday’s class. I still only have half a page filled out of four. That’s about how well things are going for me. I decided to stop that portion of the assignment and begin on the actual layout since it’s worth more. I mentioned earlier about the floor grid, well, since I couldn’t figure out how to do things the “proper” way, I’m just going to have to make it up. At least I’ll have something to submit. I may not be getting a passing grade (unless I get lucky again and the prof pulls one from his grades hat), but at least I won’t get a 0. It’s possible I can still get a pass on the course overall. We’ll see what happens.

(The first steps of progress. My tree looks like it belongs in Beetljuice, which is fantastic, obviously. If I left it like this, my prof would absolutely hate it. As I said, I doubt I'll be able to complete the whole layout as that's a lot of trees, but at least I'll have one tree that I'll be able to be proud of.)

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