Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Fall 2023

A literal fat cat. More adorable than the robber baron variety.

    Welcome to Fall 2023. Fanshawe has released it's annual report to the public for 2022/23. You can see the pdf here. Of particular note is the financial report section pages 12-16. It shows a very profitable turnaround from the pandemic: over $400 million in total revenue!

    Hopefully this will translate to smaller class sizes, better student to teacher ratios, and more full-time faculty to deliver an even more exceptional educational experience for our students. I mention this because, while student enrollment revenue increased by 29%, expenditures for content delivery (teachers/equipment) increased by only 16% during that same timeframe.

    It appears money spent on content delivery is significantly lagging behind expanding student need. While that gap is clearly highly profitable for the college Hopefully Fanshawe close this gap before it becomes a serious issue. You'll have to look around and see for yourself if it already hasTo learn more about one place where an unknown amount of money is being spent: read about the College Employer Council. and also Ontario Colleges and the Real Meddling Third Party

    Here are the courses I'm teaching this term. This is my first time teaching ANI Pre-Production 1 so I'm grateful that there is a very experienced Art Director, Fraeya Pinto, teaching the other section.

ANI Pre-Production 1 (1067)

1067 - Plot Arc, Scene Breakdown, Model Sheets (HW1)
1067 - Board and Edit Scene AS IS (HW2)
1067 - Creature Scene, Characters and Environments (HW3)
1067 - Final Creature Scene: Thumbnailed Animatic (HW4)
1067 - Final Creature Scene: Animatic (HW5)

ANI 3d Animation 3 (5020)

5020 - Polishing Scene (PS) or Melee Attack (MA)
5020 - Weight Lift (WL)
5020 - 30s Reel (30S)
5020 - Short Lip Sync (LS1) or UbiSoft NEXT (UN)
5020 - Creature Animation (CA) (includes checkpoint) and Dailies

ANC Animation Intro (6012)

6012 - Rigid Pendulum (RP) or Change of Emotion (COE)
6012 - Bouncing Balls (BB)
6012 - Ball with Tail (BT)
6012 - Leg Ball Jump (LBJ)

ANC Preproduction (6020)

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

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Summer 2023

from prompt: 3d digital art of AI plugged into the brain of an animation teacher.
Generated using image theft technology: Dall-e (

prompt: 2 paragraphs talking about that I will be teaching level 2 animation to videogame students this summer

    I am thrilled to announce that I will be your instructor for the Level 2 Animation course in the upcoming summer semester. As a passionate animator and experienced educator, I am dedicated to guiding you through an exciting journey of discovery and growth in the world of video game animation. Together, we will explore the intricacies of this captivating art form, unlocking the secrets to breathing life into virtual characters and environments.

    Throughout the semester, I will provide you with a rich learning experience that combines theoretical knowledge, practical exercises, and real-world insights. Drawing from my industry experience and expertise, I will equip you with the essential skills and techniques required to excel in the field of video game animation. From mastering the principles of movement and timing to implementing advanced rigging and motion capture techniques, we will delve into every aspect necessary for creating compelling and immersive gaming experiences. I am eager to share my knowledge, inspire your creativity, and empower you to become confident and proficient animators. Together, we will shape the next generation of video game artists, ready to leave their mark on the industry. Get ready for an exhilarating summer of learning, growth, and endless possibilities!

(--end AI generated post. begin actual written comments by me--)

    The rise of AI driven tools (Deepfake, ChatGPT, Dall-e) has been a morass of ethical quandaries. The largest issue in my mind is the erosion of our confidence in knowing what is real? Did someone actually write this? Is this video true? Is this just stolen art? Will I know the difference? While the text above is reasonably accurate, it's mostly a buzz-word filled bit of fluff that avoids saying anything concrete, specific or meaningful. 

    Why bother reading anything if it could be generated with no more thought than a single sentence prompt, especially when no one is carefully fact-checking the output? How do we trust what we see? Why bother to create art if it just becomes fodder for machine learning, allowing the creation of iterative works without permission or compensation? It is a daunting time and place for artists right now. 

    I still believe that something genuinely authored by human creativity will always resonate with us in a way that an algorithm will never match. At least, I hope so.

    This summer, I'm co-teaching level 2 VGD animation with Paul Wollenzien. Time to dust off my long dormant 3dsMax skills. (ugh). In the end, the tools matter a lot less than the person using them. At least, I hope so.