Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Wish I Could Draw

I'm working on an animation project for school right now, and all I keep thinking is, "I really wish I could draw!"

I'm probably over-simplifying my plight because I can "sort-of-draw," and I've taken art and drawing classes throughout my years and understand certain basics, but I'm definitely not an illustrator and I am not constantly honing my illustrative skills like the animation or graphic design students at my school. Also, as a film student, there aren't even any drawing classes required--but, based on the requirements that are demanded of us in our animation classes, I think that there should be.

The project that I'm working on is a 30 second opening sequence for my school's student news program. It's supposed to represent Sacramento, student news, and our school (The Art Institute of California, Sacramento). Writing a general outline for it, I can do. Writing a script for it, I can do. Storyboarding stick-figures, scribbles, and blobs with labels arrowed to them I can do. But creating good quality graphics that I can animate and apply 3D animation to? Meh... makes my stomach hurt. I can do some things, but they take a really, really long time.

As a matter of fact, this yellow bridge (meant to represent The Tower Bridge in downtown Sacramento) took me pretty much five hours.

It took so long because I did research on the bridge first, looked up some examples of vector bridge images, and then tried to create my bridge in Illustrator. Fail. Once upon a time I used to know how to use Illustrator... now, not so much. So, after wasting a good amount of time in Illustrator, I gave up and headed over to Photoshop. I still had some trouble trying to create a "cut out" effect for the white space, and it took a lot of swapping between colors, painting things back in, selecting, erasing, etc... to get it to look somewhat how I wanted it to.

I have a bunch more images to create, and it's boggling my mind. I should have started this project much earlier (it's due tomorrow!) but knowing my limits I could not come up with an idea that I could actually follow through with. All week I had all of these really cool ideas for an opening sequence... but after storyboarding each idea, I realized that there was no way I could pull them off without stronger skills in drawing and animation. Bummer. So, yesterday I managed to re-vamp all of my creative ideas, simplify them, and came up with something I thought I might be able to do. I started working on the project this morning, thinking I would have time.

Unfortunately the idea I have in mind still seems really complicated to me, but it's the most simple one I have come up with yet and now there's no time to think of another. I guess we'll see what I can do in After Effects after I have all of the images created. *sigh*

To make matters worse, I've been sick all day with asthma without much relief from my inhalers. *boo*  I also have to get up at 6:00AM... or not sleep at all... or ditch class from my utter humiliation and failure. One or the other. But, let's end this post on a positive note!

A note of positivity: Look at that beautiful yellow bridge! :)


  1.  I definitely know what you mean. :) Thanks for your kind words!

  2. I'm sure you make better art than you currently feel about it. When I write, I think it just stinks, but others really think it's good.  You know what I mean? :D

    :-) Marion

  3.  Thanks, Marion! :) I finished it and, compared to my other classmates' work, it wasn't that great... but I'm still proud of it! I worked hard on it, and the images I created aren't so bad. I'm going to post it on my blog as soon as I upload it to Youtube.

  4. Hi Ester! Well, I think you might think too hard about art. My older daughters thought up creative ideas all the time by looking at similar ideas on internet and then improving on those ideas they found-- definitely not "inventing the wheel" by coming up with an entirely new idea by themselves. You should try that. It will probably reap a lot of great art.

    :-) Marion


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