Friday, September 27, 2019

Thoughts on Creature Design - FSU Presentaion Relection

On Wednesday afternoon, I did a short lecture/presentation to a class at Florida State University regarding creature design. I also forgot to take any photos, so it will only be words today. Kieth Roberson, a former professor of mine, asked me to come to talk to his animation students. The students are working on creature designs that they will model and then use motion capture to animate. How things have changed since I graduated twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, it was a constant fight to show that monsters were ART. Now they have a class where students are designing them and animating them.

It has been several years since I have been back in the art building of FSU, but I can not tell you when the last time was. It was a little strange being back, as one feels whenever you return to a place that has such time-specific memories. It was the same, yet oddly different. Subtle things were out of place. Similiar faces in the crowds to my memories, though the people in my memories have been gone from there twenty years. I expected to see some familiar faces only to remember they were dead. The usual mix of emotions when you return to a place from your past.

I felt like I flew through my presentation, but it was an hour or more. I shared designs and process for creature work, both personal and for clients. Talked about designing for film, games, and books. Not sure if I was boring anyone to tears, but I would have murdered to have been in a presentation like the one I gave twenty years ago. With all of the opportunities and options now available with online course, week-long workshops, conventions, and information at your fingertips, it is amazing how younger artists, as I was, don't know where to turn to for guidance. Not that they were clueless, not at all, when I was in school, there were nearly no options, now there are thousands. It can become overwhelming. I hope I did not overwhelm even more.

An hour was by no means long enough. If I should do this again, I will need to allow for more time to talk, look at students work, and take part in a critique. My schedule was not very flexible on Wednesday, and I regret having to run out the door when I did. Hopefully, I will be able to return to spend more time working directly with the students. It has taken me twenty years to feel like I am a competent creature designer. That can not be conveyed in a hours presentation. 

Not really sure if this post ended up going where I meant it to, but here we are all the same. Whenever I find myself in a school or instructional situation, I feel a pull to get involved and start sharing my experience. I might go as far as to say I feel like I want to instruct or guide in these situations. Always something to think about.

* UPDATE - I checked and I was at FSU way back in 2009 when I gave another small presentation. Apparently, it has been ten years since I had been over on campus.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you next week! Until then...

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