Drawn to Animals

My students and I were so fortunate to get a visit from Melissa Brush of the Nocturnal Gallery who I met by chance in a bookstore and HAD to invite to my Drawing for Animation class! The slideshow says it all…animals are amazing, in every slippery shape and form. Some students carefully confronted their fear of certain ones (entirely white Ball Python around the neck, anyone?) and others jumped in with gusto, sketchpads in hand.  A wonderful drawing day, and we can’t be more grateful to Melissa for joining us!

Up and Running with Quill!

Been testing out how I might approach the souls using “2D” lines and Directional Opacity in Oculus Quill.  This guy has two run cycles at 90-degree angles to each other, which can be seen at the “corner” where the transition gets a bit noisy.  Could be a useful effect in the world depending on how it’s used narratively!  You only get one perspective from a certain angle…?

I am thinking about how far I could push this illusion of 3D lines, how many versions of a single animation could I draw and people could walk around and see a different angle?  Right now, this only seems practical in a space like Quill.  Not sure how you take the lines out of this space with Directional Opacity and apply it anywhere else.

The Start of my Modeling Career…

It has been quite the journey, but with the unwavering support of my teacher Alyssa Minko (who also happens to technically be my student, but who needs labels?!) I have  modeled an entire character from scratch in Maya, and applied textures in Substance.  I drew the turnaround for this particular girl many years ago, and it is truly surreal to see her in 3D. I have an entirely different perspective on sculpting in 3D now, and will never look at vertices the same again.

Would I do anything differently?  Probably everything, starting with not modeling her with such an arch to her back which makes posing really difficult. And her arms and legs keep popping out of the clothes because weight painting them identically is not quite my forte yet.  BUT, in terms of building my FIRST model and then putting her through the ringer with an entire VR film to carry on her shoulders, I am quite proud!

ILSSA North Mountain Residency

Just spent a few days down in West Virginia at the North Mountain Residency with other ILSSA (Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts) members and am re-energized as a teacher AND a human being!  Workshops varied from book-binding to sonic meditation to vintage animation, which is the discussion I led and which pleasantly surprised me in terms of everyone’s focus, efforts and results.  They can all be seen here, including a song sung during dinner-prep that I absolutely had to include.

Farmer to Light Table

Sometimes I’ll try the assignments I give my students so I can see where they might get hung up.  Here’s a rough test of a farmer slipping around in mud, in perspective.  I got hung up on the timing and arm movements, so I made a point of discussing both again in class. My favorite part of teaching is how much I get to learn!

Zombie Boyfriend Lip Synch

Made a sample recording for my Dynamics class, and though I cringe at the sound of my own voice, I felt it important that they see the audio all the way through to the lip-synch, so I gave it a shot.  Disclaimer…this audio may or may not be true…


Shining a Light on Arcs…

I noticed students were having a bit of trouble following arcs in their last assignment, so today I handed them flashlights and asked them to act out a simple action.  We took long exposures of four seconds of movement to see that every action was filled with traceable arcs…I was pleasantly surprised at the results!

NYFA comes to Rochester!

I was honored to speak this weekend during the New York Foundation for the Arts’ (NYFA) presentation at Flower City Arts Center to promote NYFA’s programming for artists.  After arriving here from Brooklyn two years ago, I have been impressed with spirit of artists in this city, and want them all to know that NYFA houses many resources they could be utilizing!

Felicity Hogan and Judy Cai touched upon many of those resources including:

Fiscal Sponsorship

Online Resources including comprehensive classifieds and an artist hotline

NYFA Fellowships

NYFA Learning

Great to meet some new folks at the event, and to know that they’ll be spreading the word to other Monroe County makers about this wonderful organization!



NYSCA/NYFA Resources and Services Talk, Flower City Arts Center, August 2017. Photo: Judy Cai