Anatomy: Interim Online Review 05/10/2010Hey Paul,What is clear to me already is that you’re a bright, questing individual who is determined to enjoy his time here; your blog certainly reflects your embrace of ideas and self-direction. I like its eclecticism and broad range. That said, what I want to see from you now is a greater concentration of unit-related work. I want some consistency – a sense of momentum building; a buzz. I want to see more of your actual ‘reasoning’ behind your hybrid; I want to understand – via sketches/drawings/comparisons – the nuts and bolts of your splice. I want to see more investigation and more exploration. I’m certain all of this is going on in your head, but I have to get you into the habit of ‘unpacking’ your creative development into a satisfyingly sequence; the same is even true of your Maya exercises; don’t simply assert the finished render – unpack it – from wireframe onwards. This is something you’re going to be asked to do for every project, so get into the habit of opening every part of your process up. Yes, it means you have to ‘save as’ or make time to screen capture etc., but it’s absolutely worth it; it makes for a blog with a real buzz.
I’d like you to visit 2nd year Leo Tsang’s unit 1 blog from last year for an example of what a great ‘creative development’ blog can look like; the brief was a little different then, but the expectation of what a student can produce in 5 weeks was not. Take the time to work backwards through his posts. This is what a creative project at degree level looks like…http://ltsang.blogspot.com/2009/10/final-portrait.htmlThe other issue to remember re. this unit is that it’s a ‘self-portrait’ as much as a ‘creature design’, and I am keen to see some likeness or semblance remain. You have been asked to produce 5 head studies (self-portraits) as part of your creative development, and with your drawing skills, I’m looking forward to the sequence of drawings in which you ‘lobsterfy’ your own face; as I’ve suggested to a number of students now, you might consider creating a ‘morphing’ sequence of drawings beginning with an ‘all Paul’ portrait and ending with an ‘all-lobster’ portrait. The truly interesting and transformative stuff will come in between the 2. I’d like to see you start dealing with the nitty-gritty of your transformation; the up-close and personal details of your face/fingers/feet/spine etc. I do like your Photoshop sequences, but in some ways, they are very generalized and not about you at all. Let’s see what you can do about that in the coming days.
More generally, I’d rethink your blog template; it seems awash with whiteness, with your own work feeling rather isolated. Not sure the plane window image is working effectively either; go for something more bold, yet simple; something striking; get some colour identity going on and do think about the overall design/impression you’re giving. Again, if you look at Leo’s set up, it’s neutral, without being impersonal, and, in terms of font, colour and image size, it’s very controlled and very easy on the eye.
Okay – I’ve just read over your essay post; nicely narrative and as thoughtful as I’ve come to expect – BUT – I see danger ahead. 1,500 words is really nothing at all, and you need to refer to the specific structure given on the brief re. assignment; I’ll repeat it here for your convenience:1) A clear introduction to your investigation, which should also mention the different published sources you have used and your reasons for choosing them. You should use no less than 5 published sources to inform your research.2) A clear definition of key ideas relating to your given topic, with supporting evidence in the form of, no less than, 3 quotations from 3 different published sources. Quotations must be interpreted and their importance discussed, they should also be referenced correctly using the Harvard method. 3) The cultural context the topic came out of/was in reaction to.4) An illustrated ‘who’s who’ of key individuals associated with given topic, with a clear explanation of what you think their significance is and why.5) Historical examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given topic and an assessment of their importance.6) Contemporary examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given topic and a comparison to the historical examples.7) A conclusion.
Essentially, this is a road map for specificity – a means to avoid waffle and simplistic generalizations. You need to focus on a specific theme or facet associated with animal-to-human/human-to-animal metamorphosis and demonstrate your ability to put it into its historical/social/cultural context or continuum. Remember how I used Ovid’s poem as a means of introducing particular types or tropes; using the past to discuss the future etc. This contextualization is, at root, your challenge for this – and other written assignments. Keep it focused, keep it specific, and use clearly stated case-studies (books/films/art/games) on which to base your analysis. Never be general – you don’t have time (or the words).A general reminder that, alongside everything else you need to have ready for crit day, you also need to submit an offline archive of your creative development blog. There is a way of exporting your blog as PDF via Blogger – which would be ideal for this purpose. Incase you missed the original post, Alan gives details here:http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-turn-your-blog-into-pdf-document.htmlAnd finally – now is the time to return to the brief; time and again, students fail to submit what they’ve been asked to produce – and how; usually because they haven’t looked properly at the brief, or haven’t done so since week one. Trust me on this; just take a few minutes with a highlighter pen to identify what is required, when, and how. Remember – non-submissions are dumb!
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