Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Fall 2020


Everyone has their own ways of coping with the current challenges.

The online adventure continues! With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the programs I teach in are continuing in a virtual capacity for both Fall and Winter semesters. For ANC, a two semester program, it means I have an incoming cadre of students who I will never meet in a physical classroom. Establishing a successful rapport will be challenging without face to face meeting. Fortunately there are excellent tools available now so it will just come down to my own proficiency. 

This term I'm teaching a new class in the new Fanshawe Animation program (ANI). This is the first intake of program, so stakes are high to have a good outcome. Here's a summary of the classes and assignments this term:

ANC Animation Intro (6012)

6012 - Bouncing Balls (BB)
6012 - Pendulum (PM)
6012 - Ball with Tail (BT)
6012 - Leg Ball Jump (LBJ)

ANI 3d Animation 1 (1069)

1069 - Rigid Pendulum (RP)
1069 - Bouncing Balls (BB)
1069 - Seaweed (SW)
1069 - Ball with Tail (BT)
1069 - Leg Ball Jump (LBJ)

ANC Preproduction (6020)

6020 - Storyboard (SB)
6020 - Conversation Movie (CM)
6020 - Simple Rig (SR)
6020 - The Chase (TC)

Monday, May 25, 2020

Summer 2020

As you all know, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grind away. The lock-down measures are easing, slowly in some places, quickly in others. Frequent comparisons to the 1918 flu pandemic are fodder for social media. It seems that how you respond to the recommended safety measures is a sort of political signaling now. It makes me feel so tired: like I've been holding my breath for days and only notice when I sigh.

There are so many aspects to this that I would have never imagined or predicted but I try to focus on the positive stories in this crazy situation. I am extremely thankful to be living in a place where cases are few. It haunts me to think of the number of people who have lost their lives in this. Today there are over 345,000 family members taken too soon. It puts all other difficulties in perspective.

Winter and Blue hope you're doing OK.

We continue to foster kittens to add some bright light to our day. A furry cuddle can make a huge difference.

The fall semester at Fanshawe will be fully online. All of my working time is spent preparing ANC and ANI for this new delivery method. How to build a rapport with a new cadre of students will be the most important question to answer. I am fortunate to be working with an awesome team of educators and I learn a lot every day.

Stay well, stay safe, stay sane.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


A chart of reported COVID-19 deaths per day
from ourworldindata.org/ Aug 16,2022
    I thought the strike of '17 was the biggest disruption to teaching I would ever experience.

    I was off by a significant margin.

    On Friday March 13th, I met with my ANC students for the last time and we were sent home. Today it's official that the rest of the program will be delivered online.

    I'm an in-person kind of guy, so it's tough to make this change but safety comes first. The logistics on my end are manageable. It's overcoming obstacles for students with limited access to hardware/software or internet that presents a real challenge. 

    It's been a whirlwind as everyone is working to get things ready for classes to resume online on Monday March 23rd. I'll update this post and let you know how it goes.


   The transition to online teaching has been challenging, especially with the launch of the new Animation program (ANI). We've managed to adapt and persevere. The tools and tech for delivering virtual content have improved significantly.  Conducting meetings in a virtual format has afforded significant advantages of efficiency. When the pandemic is concluded, I expect some classes will continue to be conducted online regardless in order to alleviate the classroom space crunch at 137 Dundas.


*update one - added first stream on Twitch.tv/dglatour here:

A quick(ish?) demo of removing unknown nodes, posing the ray rig, snapping, IK/FK switching, and constraints for the Weight Lift (WL) exercise. Constraint workflow starts around the 19 min. mark.

*update two - May 25th, 2020. For the most part, the semester completed successfully. There are still a couple of students with 'I' grades who have to complete and submit their final projects. I'm really impressed with how smoothly my students adapted to the move online. Staying motivated and engaged has been a struggle for everyone with lock-down malaise hanging over them. Thankfully, everyone so far remains safe and healthy.

*update three - March 15th, 2021. It's been over a year since I last stood in a room with my students. At the time, I imagined that we'd be back in the classroom in a week or two. By March 19th, it was clear that the term would be concluded online instead. Thankfully there are a number of effective vaccines in circulation that significantly reduce the risk of severe consequences from infection. Unfortunately, the rollout has been unusually slow in Canada. It's unlikely I'll be vaccinated until the end of summer, more likely sometime around the beginning of Fall. 

*update four - April 27th, 2021. I'm surprised to report I received my first shot of the two dose AstraZenica vaccine today. An unexpected shift in supply meant that a large amount of this vaccine became available in Canada to anyone 40 years of age or older. The second dose may take longer depending on availability. One step closer to an end to this pandemic.

*update five - September 7th 2021.  While I was able to get my second dose of vaccine (Moderna this time) on June 27th the pandemic is far from over. There have been a number of surprises throughout this pandemic. A number of people have expressed vaccine hesitancy/refusal (~ 20% in Canada). Others defy basic public health measures like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, or limiting high risk activities. 

    If you had asked me at the start,  how this whole thing would play out, I would never in a million years guessed at the issues. The attribution of mask wearing to political allegiance is baffling. Less surprising is the uneven distribution of vaccines. There are wealthy countries with a surplus of doses that half their population refuse to take, while poorer countries struggle to get any at all. "The rich stay healthy and the sick stay poor". It is becoming clear that this pandemic will become endemic: how much of that is due to folly and greed is subject to debate.

*update six - December 7th 2021. For the first time, I'll preparing to teach in person during the winter term. Wed Jan 4th 2022 will be my first onsite class. Things are still far from normal and it's starting to feel like there is no clear path to an end. The ripple effects of the pandemic; supply shortages, industry disruptions, and societal shifts will likely last for years. They pale in comparison to the impact of 5.26 million people lost. The absence of loved ones will be felt in perpetuity.

    I am thankful that the tools for online teaching have evolved at an incredible pace, creating workflows I couldn't have imagined when this started. Zoom, TeamViewer, Discord and SyncSketch have been invaluable. I am planning that some of these online tools can be incorporated into my onsite teaching.

*update seven - March 14th 2022. Based on new developments, plans to teach onsite classes were scaled back. I will continue teaching online. It has now been two years since I last stood in a classroom with my students. The pandemic has taken a terrible cost on many. I am fortunate and grateful to have escaped relatively unharmed. Millions have died, faced the loss of a beloved friend or family member or suffered lasting harm to their health. These costs will echo for years to come. In the last few months, highly transmissible variants have spread like wildfire. While I have managed to avoid infection, many of my family and friends have contracted and, thanks to being fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID. Most of the restrictions are likely to end this summer. The ripple effects will likely extend further.

    With restrictions easing, I had hoped that I would be returning to some in-person teaching by this Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Union is out of options and has issued a strike deadline for this Friday. A return to in-person teaching may not happen for quite some time. While I am deeply disappointed, it is tempered with the knowledge that it could be so much worse.

*update eight - Aug 13th 2022.  I'm now preparing my content for the coming term. For economic and logistical reasons, some of the classes we hastily prepared two years ago to deliver online have been permanently moved to online only. This is in stark contrast to assurances from the administration at the time that online teaching was "a temporary measure only". Another facet of "the new normal", albeit a minor one. As epidemiologists predicted, COVID is endemic now with vaccination boosters recommended every 6 months or so. I recently got vaccinated for the fourth time and expect that it will be an annual event going forward, like getting the flu shot. My wife got COVID this summer. Her symptoms were thankfully minor and she recovered quickly. So far, as far as I know, I have managed not to catch it.



 - David

To ensure the health and safety of our students and campus community, and to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19, Fanshawe campuses will be closed as of 11:59 p.m. March 17, 2020.  Student services and academics are moving to a virtual delivery format. For COVID-19 updates, please the FAQ page on the College website.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Winter 2020

Welcome to the new decade (the roaring 20's?). This term I'll be making group work central to the ANC educational experience. I will update this post later to say whether it's a big dumpster fire or a wondrous treasure chest filled with magical unicorn glitter. (*update: glitter!!) This meme below made me chuckle, so I thought I'd share it here.

Artist unknown but I hope they are learning to trust and love again. 

As usual I'll include the full list of class links below, for archival purposes. This term I'm teaching 2 ANC classes: Animation 2 (6017) and Project Development (6018).  This cadre of ANC students have proven to be very skillful when they actually come to class. I'm excited to see what they are going to achieve for their final projects.

Along with my classes, I will be dedicating a lot of my time to getting the new Animation program ready for this Fall. There's a lot of curriculum to write and classes to plan. It is going to be an intense term.

   - Dave

Here are all the class links for the Winter semester (*links not connected yet.)

  Project Development (6018)
LinkedIn/Profile (LP)
Web Presentation (WP)
The Fight Scene (FS)
Mock Interview (MI)
Final Integrated Assignment (FIA)

  Animation 2 (6017)
Leg Ball Turn (LBT)
Lip Sync (LS)
Melee Attack (MA)
Weight Lift (WL)
Thesis Animation (TA)

(*link to group project videos and teamwork reflective page)