Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

The Book Of Life, New Knowledge

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Recently I had the pleasure of watching The Book of Life with my family. I’ll be perfectly honest, I didn’t know about the movie until a few days before Halloween. An animator who wasn’t aware of such an original movie? My word! But I saw it, and I’m glad I did. The Book of Life is brought to us by Mexican Director Jorge R. Gutierrez, co-creator of the cartoon series “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera”. After spending years trying to get somebody to believe in the project, Guillermo Del Toro signed on as producer.

Presented in a beautiful and original style, the main characters in The Book of Life are animated wooden sculptures bursting with life and emotion. There’s no shortage of appealing facial expressions and great character animation, each character moves and behaves in her or her own unique way. Color is a main focus of the art direction as well, each scene practically glows, with set pieces so intricate and detailed you swear you could reach out and touch them. The story is wholesome as well, having a little bit of everything. Family, friendship, love, growing up and more. I definitely recommend the movie if you haven’t already seen it.

Watching the movie reminded me of my current classes at Cogswell College and what is being taught in them. Most recently, I’ve been learning about the importance of lighting when it comes to character definition and scene composition. Both elements are used quite successfully in the movie. In the past, I had trouble establishing multiple layers of depth in a scene using contrast, or value; my art would look flat. What I’ve learned in my classes is that by using a simple gray scale, you can compose a scene or render a character in black and white and then make a value scale with colors, if you wish to color it all. I never knew! Perhaps someday when my skills are up to par, or better than industry standards, you will see my name in the long list of movie credits or posters around your hometown. Until then, I’m learning, getting better, hopeful and excited for what the future may bring.

Thanks for reading.

Juan Rubio, Digital Art & Animation Student

Student Sessions ///001: Davain Martinez

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

About once a week here on the Cogswell Blog, I want to do a small sit down with a current student and talk to them about what is happening on campus, things that are coming down the pike and how their classes are going. I plan to call these interviews “Student Sessions.”  Today I sat down with one of my friends on campus, Davain Martinez, who is a Game Design sophomore right now. We always have good conversations and here is how today’s went:

Zombie – Hey Davain, thanks for sitting down with me and chatting.

Davain – No problem, I like helping out around the school.

Zombie – So, what I am really curious about right now is what cool stuff is going on around campus. Can you give me any insight?

Davain – Well, we just held our annual Halloween party. It went really well and everyone had a great time. It took us about a month and a half of planning. The Cogswell Women’s Club headed it up and a bunch of other students and clubs backed them up. One of the coolest things we did was a Pumpkin Carving contest which became a Pumpkin Chucking Contest….. yeah, that was a fun one to watch. We had a raffle and tons of treats.

We just finished mid-terms, so all the students (and teachers) are starting to breathe again and it’s a major weight off everyone’s shoulders. This frees up some time to plan for our next giant event. Comic Club is in full swing planning an event called “CogsCon.” It’s basically an on-campus comic convention that will feature mostly student work from the Comic Club as well as other students outside of the club.

Zombie – That all sounds pretty exciting, I will definitely drop by for that. How are classes going? Do you have a favorite class right now?

Davain – Classes are always hectic but they are still good, I’m taking 15 units though. Most are project based, that always brings more work than normal GE classes. My Entrepreneurship class (Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship) is probably one of my favorites right now because it has opened my eyes to the things I look at every day. I now care more about my money and how I spend it. The class has also made me think about how I manage my own personal projects.

Zombie – Sounds like you have a good grasp on what is going on in your academic life right now. Since you are a game design student, what is your favorite current release and what are you also looking forward to in the near future?

Davain – “Uncharted 3” is my current favorite release even though it’s not my favorite series of games, but right now I am hooked. As far as an upcoming release, it would have to be “Minecraft.” It has been out for months, but Mojang’s official release for “Minecraft” is on the 18th of November. I am really excited to say that I was part of the testing during beta and will continue to support the game for years to come.

Zombie – Cool, I still need to check out that game, I have only heard good things. Well Davain, thanks for stopping by buddy. I’m sure I’ll talk to you again soon and our followers will be looking forward to hearing from you again.

Davain – No, thank you, talk to you soon man.

Hope you all enjoyed this Student Session. See you all again soon! Peace!