Assignment Scheduling

Many students over the years have had problems with the scheduling of their work days in order for them to appropriately finish their assignments. Too many students underestimate how long it will take them to do the drawings and then leave it until the night before thinking that they can pull an all-nighter and have it ready for the class the next day. Unfortunately this rarely works.

Let’s take an assignment that is 10 seconds long as an example. While math is one of my least favourite subjects, I'll need to do some to illustrate my point for you.

20 seconds of animation X 24 frames per second = 480 frames

Shot on twos that’s half the frames = 240 drawings

Let’s roughly say that you have 2 keys per second, that’s 20 X 2 = 40 keys

That means you’ll have 200 drawings to complete over the last couple of weeks of an assignment of this size.

If you can complete one drawing every 10 minutes, it would take you 2000 minutes (÷ 60) that would = just over 33 hours and 20 minutes total without any breaks.

If you worked an honest 8 hour day (again, no breaks between each drawing), it would take you 4 days and a bit to complete all the inbetweens. That is not something you can cram into an all-nighter.

If you were more realistic and added an average 5 minute break between each drawing to allow for a more difficult drawing or the odd bit of stretching and coffee breaks, that would add on another 16 1/2 hours overall... that’s two more days!! of just stretching and drinking coffee!!!!!!

Trying to do your work at the last minute is a disservice to yourself. It compromises the quality of your work and will effect your grade and the look of your portfolio in the long run, not to mention the fact that the next day or two you’re trying to recuperate from the lack of sleep you just put yourself through.

Pace yourself.

Write out a work schedule for yourself for the duration of the project and stick to it. If you're a student, you'll have your class schedule to work around and if you have a part time job as well, you'll need to figure that into the schedule too.

I'm speaking from experience here that it's vitally important that you get a handle on this. Even now at this point in my life I still need to budget my time. Now I'm not trying to ellicit any sympathy here, but this is how my average day goes: Wake up at 6:00 - shower & breakfast. 6:30 get my oldest daughter up and ready for school, 7:00 - get my son up and ready for school, youngest wakes up at 7:00 as well (she's almost 2 at the time of this writing). Feed her breakfast and get her ready for the day. 8:00 both oldest kids are off to school. 8:30 - drop off youngest at daycare, drive to school. 9:00 - 5:00 classes at either Humber or Seneca College. Get home around 6:00 - get supper ready (yeah, I do the cooking most of the time). Eat supper from 6:30 - 7:00. 7:00 take my son to hockey 3 nights a week and my daughter 1 night a week (+ 3 practices on other nights). Home by 9:00 - kids go to bed. Spend some time with my wife then depending on how tired I am: got to bed, or most usually stay up and draw from 10:30 until I konk out (which on average is about 1:00 in the morning). Now I do have Wednesday mornings and all day Thursday that I don't teach, so that's either marking or working. On average, I get between 14 and 26 hours of drawing time a week, but it's very precicely scheduled time and not necessarily when I "feel like it".

I've learned several times throughout my own drawing career: don’t leave things until the night before!

On your school work, it can mean a loss of grades... in a working situation, it can mean the loss of pay, a loss of respect or, in the worst case scenario: the loss of your job. In many instances, the studio regards you as a "cog in the machine" If your part is not producing up to their standards, they'll just pull you out and replace you with a cog that can do the job! It sounds harsh, but it's absolutely true. If you were paying someone out of your own pocket to do something and they weren't doing it, would you pay them? I doubt it. and if you felt obligated that you had to, you certainly wouldn't call them up again to do another job for you.


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