[Class] How to handle critiques

Avatar Animator | July 12, 2020

I wrote an article long ago about “how to give critique”. I think it was on a now defunct website. But the bottom line was, start with the good points, gradually go into what could be improved, never attack or insult and always be encouraging for more.

A follow up article could be on ‘how to receive critiques’. I haven’t been interested in writing in awhile. I just have enough energy for this journal and my school work. This blog entry will have to do. And mostly related to how I work it for this class.

First, I watched the whole class (the one I missed) — twice. I spent the time writing down the critiques to everyone’s work. The instructor goes one by one reviewing each persons animation and gives notes on what could be better. The reason I watched everyone’s critiques because it’s like molding clay. The more you review it, you catch all the areas to build the sculpture. Even areas that may not have been covered in my on critique.

Then I went ahead and screen recorded everyone’s critique individually over the specific sections on the animation only. This is so I can just have the section of the class where each persons critique is only about the animation only. I can go back and review each one to understand what they did right that the instructor liked and what he didn’t.

Naturally, I will have my own critique video and I watch it, pause it on every point, and fix my animation based on the instructors recommendations. I tweaked a lot of areas that needed work. Then I went back to other other classmates videos and listened/watched to make sure I covered what was needed.

Sounds like a lot of work? Maybe I should just watch my critique and call it a night? Fuck you— don’t be a sloppy ass. The fuck you think this is? Who-gives-a-damn-imation?

No, it’s perfecting ‘animation‘, and I can learn from everyone in my class by segmenting their critiques. A lot of them did great work right out the box. It’s useful to know what the instructor liked about a hip placement when mine is all over the place.

Needless to say, by plowing into the videos and receiving the critique as means to get better — well, things get better.

This is the work I submitted before:

 

And this is what I’m uploading today as my fix from the critiques:

 

 

I also used Adobe After Effects rather than Sony Vegas for the split screen. You would have thought Sony would have performed that just as clean or cleaner. Once again, After Effects should be my first go-to software for this sort of thing.

Anyway, if you’re not an animator, you’re going to look at both videos and be like: “it’s the same dude walking’. Which is true, but you have to look at the little things: his hips turn differently, spacing between the feet and arms is different now. The hands are cupped slightly different. Trust me, I started reviewing the critiques and making the changes at 7am this morning. It’s now going on 2pm. There are significant changes.

I also see that none of the above is showing looped so it stops after the first 24 frames. I took a moment to screen record the final walk to be uploaded:

 

Mostly, after really looking for the changes I was supposed to make, I hope he approves of them and I get a better grade. My fear is to be stuck at this blocked walk two-three weeks in and not improving.

Before I upload it, I’m going to take a break, then work on the Information Technology paper that’s due Tuesday. Then the paper due for the Project Management class on Tuesday also. When everything is all caught up, I’ll turn around and look at the walk animation one more time for any corrections THEN upload it for review. No rush… remember, this isn’t I-Don’t-Give-A-Damn-imation”.

Unlike my bachelor’s degree program, I actually give a damn.


Written by Animator