Saturday, August 11, 2007


Today I was eating something in the kitchen in my usual manner - filling my mouth until my cheeks are abundant with surplus.

It's efficient.

The wife took one look at me and said, "You are just barely housebroken."


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Previously I had sung the praises of Google Calendar’s UI Design. Well there’s a new prodigy in town, one that impresses me even more and its name is Facebook. Its UI is clean, consisten, simple and powerful.

Often times the best UI is the one you don’t even present to the user, where the app does it for the user. Facebook is all about automatically presenting information in useful way that doesn’t force the user to hunt or search. I have wasted oodles of time on that site. Great site.

Monday, August 06, 2007

AAU Fall '07 (Semester 4 of 7)

It's been a while since I wrote about my ongoing schooling at the Academy of Art (AAU) in San Francisco. I'm studying to be a Story Artist in the Animation Program. Below my take on the courses I took in the Fall of last year...

Advanced Storyboarding
This class was a little frustrating in that the instructor didn’t have much structure to the semester as I would have liked. Most classes were spent listening to him talk about his experiences and opinions. Some days we didn’t have any homework assignments or exercises. It was useful but could have been better.

Every storyboarding class is completely dependent on the instructor and there’s no higher or lower level of instruction to a course. Next semester’s Storyboarding class would prove to be entirely different than the previous two.

Clothed Figure 1
This was an interesting class. The illustration courses have on the whole been stronger than the animation courses if just for the structure and curriculum of the semester.

Learned to recognize and draw different kinds of folds that wrap around and define the body underneath it. Very difficult to do. It’s like learning to have x-ray vision, to see through the clothing in order to know how to draw body and the clothing’s reaction to it.

Acting for Animators
In feature film animation, the real actors are not the people who give voice to the characters but those who make the characters PHYSICALLY MOVE to those voices – the animators. Animators study acting and take acting classes, like this one.

There were days when I thought we could have done more and the instructor was distracte. But it was a lot fo fun, and there were a few very valuable things I took away from the class.

The first thing was make it physical: touch, punch, shove, pull. Once you do that it’s easier for your acting partner (or other character in the scene you’re working on) to react. The second was reading the book “Impro” by Keith Johnstone – the entire book is a must for any storyteller. The book "Acting for Animators" by Ed Hooks is also highly recommended.