"It's Alive"
Work Journal

Final Words

There are several people whom I would like to thank, for all their help and support during the 16 week period that I was taking the course at Seneca College.

First, I want to thank Larry DeFlorio, the co-ordinator of the program for taking a chance on me as an instructor (even though I had to bug him for several months about it), for giving me the opportunity to learn the Maya program and for all his helpful comments and critiques during the production of the film.

To Mark Schmidt, an excellent instructor, who was always available for help (even in the middle of the night sometimes), for putting up with my questions during class and for his above and beyond the call of duty assistance with the special effects on the film. (Just wait 'til you see what I've got cooked up for the next project, heh, heh.)

To Dan Stopnicki (yes, that's his real name) for rigging both Fritz and Igor in such an easy to use way (with lots of help from Mark). I couldn't have done it without you... no, really! I couldn't have done it.

To Brian "page flipping boy" for taking compassion on me in the latter stages of my animation and rigging Fritz' animation paper for me... duhhh.

To all the other students in the class for putting up with my constant ramblings and repeated screenings of the film as I tried to use it in class as an example of what to do and what not to do.

Most importantly, to my wife, Wendy for juggling our summertime schedule so that I could spend as much time as I needed to at the college, working on the film, for your support, honest critiques and suggestions. To my two kids, Jenna (9) and Griffin (6) for your storyboarding assistance (Jenna) and color styling (Griffin).

The time I spent learning and working has changed my point of view about computer animation. The translation from idea to visual product is so astoundingly close that it really boggles my mind to think of the infinite possibilities available.

Having taught in a few different scenarios at different colleges, workshops and festivals, I have come to the conclusion that smaller is better. The interaction of the instructor with the student is vitally important in any teaching environment but it is even more important when dealing with the arts. Mentoring is really the ideal way to go. As the class sizes get larger and the number of students in a program increases, it becomes very difficult for any instructor to take a personal interest in the development of a student. There are just too many students to keep track of. Inevitably, some students will "slip through the cracks". Who knows, if only a bit more attention had been spent with the student, they may have reached their full potential.

The Seneca College animation program has the mentality of mentoring and this is what makes this program so desirable for any student. I strongly support the direction that this program is moving in and would encourage you to check it out if you're interested learning animation as a career.

Check out their website at: www.dmc3d.com

Next entry: Final Sound and Music Mix

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