Taking classes

I decided to enroll in a handful of classes to target my problem areas and hopefully improve my abilities. I’m working fulltime while taking four demanding classes – call me crazy (I’d definitely agree!), and I know I’ll be feeling overwhelmed from time to time, but these classes only last for a couple of months so I need to just bite the bullet, buckle down, and take it all full force! It’s essentially an investment, and I tried to select the courses that seemed the most promising and informational. To sum it up:

I’m taking 3D animation classes. The student work that has come out of these classes has always left me feeling completely inspired, and I’ve wanted to take these classes for about 3 or 4 years now. I finally jumped in, and I can definitely say that it’s worth the money! I’m entering week 6 now, and the assignments do get pretty demanding… I’ve found myself struggling a lot so far, but the lectures and all of the additional reading material is incredibly handy.

My second class focuses on color and lighting. I’ve just started watching week 1’s lecture, and it seems very informative so far. I think it’ll be worth the money as well.

My third class is about sketching environments; taking this one to give me more confidence in planning/designing/sketching video game backgrounds, something I’ve had trouble grasping for years. The instructor’s work is pretty nice, and from what I can tell from the preview, seems like it should be helpful! We’ll find out.

And finally, my last class: Rigging. I studied rigging independently a few months back, doing lots of research, reading a handful of books and watching youtube tutorials. I walked away with a much greater understanding of rigging, able to build my own character with IKFK controls, stretchy limbs, etc. But despite that, I still feel like my knowledge is a bit sparse. My stretchy limbs sporadically mess up, I never figured out how to implement stretchy IK for the spine, I still don’t really know much about gimbal locking, I’ve never touched blendshapes or any corrective stuff.. I know the basics, but I’m missing a lot still. This course seems like it’ll be the perfect kick in the rear to upgrade my rigging skills. The first lecture is nearly 3 hours!

So right now I’m tackling classes that focus on Animation, Rigging, Drawing environments, and Color/Light art study. I’m basically trying to level up. I feel mostly confident in my abilities at the moment, but still feel like I’m lacking in a lot of areas, so hopefully these classes will help. The one thing I’m finding that I’m still terrible at, despite playing video games my whole entire life, is game design. Not making the tiny decisions, but the overall flow of the game. Hopefully soon.

I’ll be out of the limelight for a couple months