It's been a week since I've started iAnimate and I'm LOVING it! We were allowed into the website the weekend before last week started so that we could have a look around, get used to everything and grab all our resources.
At first everything was really overwhelming, it felt like there were a million and one things that I wanted to do and I couldn't do them fast enough. After I'd set up my profile I had a look around and made sure I watched all the introduction videos from Jason and tutorials on how to use the different aspects of the site. There are some really great features to the site and it's pretty much made so that everyone, no matter which part of the course they're on can see what everyone else is doing which means lots of helpful crits from the guys in higher workshops.
Everyone in Workshop 1 had their assignment for the first two weeks unlocked before the Monday. I'm assuming this was so that anyone who's really starting from the start have more time to grasp what they have to do and get a head start. Either way it was great for me, I go stuck in straight away and by the end of the week had made about five different animations (including flipbook planning and excluding revised shots). I have learnt so much in this last week it's incredible. I may only be animating quite "simple" shots at the moment but I'm learning more about the fundamentals of animation which will only strengthen anything else I do.
Everyone I've met so far have been great and incredibly helpful. Some have even gone out of their way to get in touch with me on skype after seeing my videos on iA and have given me a live crit and draw overs. That's CRAZY! I've never had this much help and advice ever and it's amazing. There's so much encouragement too and as always, I'm sure there's healthy competition.
Some of the higher workshops work is mind blowing! Looks like being instructed by professional animators and having their advice recycled through their students really works. I hope my shots will be as juicy as everything I've seen so far.
The rigs are beautiful too. There weren't that many available when we were let in but over the last week there's been an additional five or so new rigs added and there are even more on the way! I haven't played around with the rigs much apart from opening them quickly to see what they look like. They're beautifully made, run smoothly and are really appealing. I've ignored them so that I can focus on my current assignments and so that when it comes to an assignment where I have to use one of the full character rigs it feels like I've earned it.
My tutor is Jim Van Der Keyl, a Dreamworks animator who has a great body of work. He's working on The Little Mermaid, Iron Giant, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters Vs Aliens, Kung Fu Panda 2 and much more. It's a great pleasure to be guided by somebody as accomplished as Jim.
But yeah...that's all I can think of saying about ianimate at the moment. I could go on for much longer but I'd never stop!