Okay, so lets stop avoiding the elephant in the room, it is time I talked about the feedback given by the lecturers about the project. My last post was before post-production, so I will put the links to the slides and the animation video itself at the bottom of this post.
We spent a lot of time trying to render out our animation on the day of the presentation, which didn’t really look good for us, but it was genuinely the best we could do. We then presented what we had, and overall I feel that the presentation could have gone better, because I was anxious and Ebonny ended up doing most of the talking, and I feel like I put too much responsibility on her there.
~ The Feedback ~
When it came to the feedback itself, I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised that we got the feedback that we received. It hurt a lot to hear, but honest feedback rarely means nice feedback. The only part of the feedback that got to me was the fact that we got a satisfactory for effort, it actually really hurts because we both put a tremendous amount of time into making it the best we could, it just unfortunately doesn’t show. Getting a pass feels fair, any higher grade would have been nice, but if I’m completely honest I am grateful for the pass. To look at our animation from an outside perspective, it doesn’t move great, and I get it.
The more personalised feedback is definitely going to help. Gary said that he didn’t know where the last two weeks of progress went, and that I completely understand, because the final animation doesn’t look too different to the blocking. I did work to my best ability to add as many frames in as I could, but in honesty, life got in the way a lot, and I got burned out after trying to rush everything to get things done in time, so by the time it came to making the animation look better, I was exhausted. This sounds like a terrible excuse, because there was plenty of class time to work on it, but this is just how it turned out. We also received some feedback on the lighting, which to be honest wasn’t rendered quite as we had hoped. The lighting did look nice on the test renders, but I guess we didn’t think about how it would obscure the animation and environment. We maybe should have just stuck with daytime lighting instead of making it dusk for the final render, because the dark lighting not only obscures the animation, but it also takes away from a lot of Ebonny’s hard work on the texturing and environment.
~ What I have learned ~
It is now time for some positivity, because I have learned an awful lot from this project. One of the biggest things that I have learned is probably to work in a bigger team, because in a small team there is still the same amount of jobs, its just that each member has more jobs. This sounds manageable in theory, but in practice it means that everyone gets burned out very quickly, and it makes it hard to recover. I’m probably the worst example of this, because I took on way too many jobs for someone who doesn’t really know how to do any of them, and ended up burning myself out on tasks that I wouldn’t even have chosen to otherwise do / be graded on. Another important thing that I have learned is that it is not as easy as it sounds to catch up on missed work time at home. If I’m honest, I occasionally wasted time at college, and it became hard to catch it up at home, and I ended up pulling a lot of all nighters. Not only is this kinda unhealthy, it also meant that my productivity became worse at college because it made a viscous cycle of having no energy or motivation, then having to catch up fast and burn more energy. This is a selfish work ethic, and it ended up being unfair on Ebonny, and she didn’t deserve that.
~ What I would do differently next time ~
For the synoptic project, I definitely want to work in a bigger team. Working with Ebonny was a pleasure, but if we had more members, there would be a more diverse skill range, and that is really what we were lacking. It meant that we both had to spend a lot of time trying to do things that we weren’t good at, and if someone with more knowledge and skill had done those things, it might not have taken so long. This sounds a tad defeatist, but I think for the synoptic project I might chose not to do animation, because I’m not sure its where my talent lies after all, and I think that its currently the wrong time to push myself at something that I don’t enjoy. It seems like a better idea to focus more on areas that I want to do, and I’d rather change my specialism to concept art, because currently I just find that way more enjoyable, and I’m less likely to get annoyed or stressed/burned out doing that. Lastly, this sounds bad, but next time I definitely need to spend more of my in college time on work. I got easily distracted during this project, and that contributed to things taking longer than they needed to, so next time, I will definitely be more focused in college time, because pulling all nighters to catch up on the missed time created a terrible cycle of making more work for everyone, and was ultimately kinda selfish. I think I was a bad team mate.