March 5, 2011
Today we all came in as usual, waiting to see what was in store for us. At first, most of us thought that it was just going to be another day on Second Life (not that that’s a bad thing or anything, but isn’t it nice when something you don’t expect to happen, well, happens?)
Imagine our collective surprise when our professor, who teaches computer animation and is a character designer, showed us many of his creative character designs. He then proceeded to teach us how to build characters in a professional, character-building animation program called Maya. Maya is software used by the likes of huge names such as Walt Disney Animation and Dreamworks, and is hugely popular in the filmmaking industry.
The program, our professor described, is like a ball of clay – one starts from scratch, and molds the clay into a figure. Maya works the same way – a basic shape is chosen, and then molded into something familiar. Today, we were to mold our “clay” into a character.
Many of us caught on to the program fast, while some of us needed a bit of help along the way. But at the end, our professor admitted that most (if not all) of us were already really good at making our characters come to life, despite being beginners at the program.
After breaking for lunch, we moved on to working in Second Life. Today most of us were to begin building for the first time. One of our classmates, who is already really awesome at building things in Second Life, stood at the front of the class and began to lecture us on how build.
After some fooling around and getting used to the controls, the instructor gave us a new assignment: build an object that resembles a form of transport, in 45 minutes.
Again, many of us had trouble getting started, but with help from the instructor and advice from our neighbors, all of us were able to create something in the given amount of time. Boats, spaceships, rockets, cars, trucks and all sorts of other things were made, but definitely the best and most creative creation was a gigantic, colorful skateboard using only basic shapes and a couple of editing tricks.
So, yeah today was a pretty great day in Digital WAVE! We learned a lot, both in Maya and Second Life!