In Depth Post #3 How to Have a Beautiful Mind Chapters 4-5 and Progress Report

Progress Report

Since the last post made, plenty has happened. This is where I’m at:

Before I made my Napoleonic Warfare project, I had decided that I would try and shift to animating mostly LEGO, as it was fun to animate and opened up new possibilities. Despite this decision, I then had a school project that I wanted to use stop motion for, and since LEGO didn’t fit the characters I needed, I decided to put it on hold. Now I am back to animating LEGO and hopefully will be for a while.

During our second meeting, my mentor and I realized a problem we were running into. He was finding it hard to mentor me and help me in my stop motion endeavors when there was nothing really to help me with. See, there was much I had to learn, but I was only asking him questions about what I was having trouble with right now, and general tips.

Thankfully, despite the fact that I wasn’t really realizing that, he pointed it out and told me that I should create an idea and start working on a project. That way, it’ll be much easier to give me advice as we build the project together, and I’ll learn more because he’ll have more examples of what I need to improve, and then he can tell me how to do it.

So, I’ve started a project. I’m sort of changing the plan in that the monthly animations I make might be smaller and I’ll focus a bit on my final animation through all the months, applying what I learn as I go. The project I have started is a short about a wookie trying to make himself dinner, but getting interrupted by battle droids. I have begun making a storyboard and have made a few of the animations for it as well. Based on what I learned from our second video-call, I will be making a storyboard and a plan, but keeping it loose for revisions, as I think this is a smart way to stay organized, but also be creative and fix or improve parts as I go. I have also been trying to use actual pictures in the storyboard, as it forces me to set up scenes before I shoot them and helps me visualize what they will look like better. I have not, however, added pictures for all my storyboard scenes yet.

Also, just to get back into the hang of animating with LEGO, I have made a few little animations with clone troopers. It was really nice to put my all into making them as smooth as possible.

Links

| Clone Trooper Animations 1 & 2 |

| Storyboard |

| Wookie Project Scenes |

How to Have a Beautiful Mind

Due to safety and privacy reasons, all video evidence pieces will be in a different document that requires a password to view. When the paragraph below mentions a part of our call, there will be a number attached which you can then use on the media document to find the corresponding video.

As far as making myself interesting goes, I tried to incorporate strategies suggested in the book. One of the ways I did this is that I really tried to link ideas together to make it more interesting for both of us. For example, when he suggested the idea of cutting between two different arcs before they meet up, I elaborated my reasoning for not doing so, saying that “I didn’t want to complicate things too much”. He then responded by telling me a strategy I could use to complicate things less and figure out how they should fit together as I go (1).

Then there were the concepts in chapter 5: How to Respond. Something I remembered to do very well was to respond by clarifying points by repeating them while also building on them a little. My first example of doing this was when we were talking about a fight sequence for the animation, and he said a lot about the Wookie improvising and working with what he has, and I suggested that it could basically be sort of john wick style, which summarized and clarified what he was saying, adding a simple descriptor (2). Another example of this happening was when we were talking about walk cycles, and he explained how he liked to focus on characters’ emotions when animating, rather than ultra-accurate walk cycles. I clarified and summarized that and what was talked about before by saying, “so just basically try and put yourself in their shoes”. Clarifying things like these demonstrate to him that I understand enough to put things into my own words, and they also give me an easy way to solidify the concepts in my memory (3).

Here is a link to the media post. | Blog Post #3 Media |

Next Steps

Because this time I only have a week before our next call I won’t have as much time, but I will still try and get some animating done, focusing on my large project, the Wookie animation. My hope is that I can incorporate and add everything I learned and found out in this call so that by the time the next call comes around there is more for us to talk about with fresh problems to be solved.

I think that’s all to report in this post, now I’m going to go animate.

-Ben