We had Michelle Mikker for 4 weeks to teach us animation. She worked at Dreamworks on Shrek, in Lord of the rings on Gollum and she is also a mentor at the Animation Mentor online workshop.
She gave us very interesting lectures every second day about rules of animation, ways of working with the character compare to the story. I'll attach some of my note pages because they are really clear principals for every animator.
On the other days we had dailies where we got feedback. Michelle had this funny idea that the class had to decide and vote after every dailies for the best animation. The winner got this Twinkie (american cookie) keeper toy, and had to write something on a paper and put it in the toy and then give it to the next winner. From the 10 occasion my lovely classmates voted for me 5 times. Thank you : )
|The Twinkie award|
We got our assignment on the first day. We had to come up with a 10 sec long mime idea where something happens with the character. We also had to involve an object that the character could interact with.
Michelle said that she had two best friends while animating in Maya: "the Reference video and the Graph Editor". So we drew the thumbnail storyboard and then shoot the Reference video - it proved very useful and my acting skills worked quite well. I also helped some of my other classmates to act out their scenes. For 3D animation you really need those little details and have to understand the poses.