Week 12 My Melbourne Pixar Master Class 2013 Experience with Andrew Gordon and Matthew Luhn

Hullo. Leonie’s small blog island welcomes you.
Sit tight and get comfortable.

Melbourne Pixar Master class happened in the past week!
Scroll down to Friday if you want to get right to my personal (overly hyped) thoughts about it.

Let’s go crazy! Journal Time!

Decided to make the journal picture look a little better

3rd Wed

  • Getting my head around Bioshock Infinite‘s mind-blowing, brilliantly written whole story, ending, characters and world & looking at some of its art
  • Veins, Animal and Creature Anatomy and General Anatomy review
  • Watched some more Autopsy Emergency Room: Lessons on Violent Impact and then Autopsy Life and Death: Blood …involving looking at real brain jelly and hearts, and blowing up arteries and how delicate the brain is. Watching this for some reason…perhaps it’s because I wanted to learn what are the *realistic* ways people die rather than the dramatised, crazy movie/TV/book/story reasons behind deaths (or why some characters miraculously *still* don’t die). I am still not sure why I’m making myself watch all this irksome stuff but I am certainly glad I am not a surgeon or actually doing medical procedures.

I drew some audience member heads, the cap of a skull that exposes a fresh brain that I saw them demonstrate and I also drew the scary Doctor. This one was all about brain injuries (and why a bike helmet is important else you get horrible slushing brain damage…and I saw it demonstrated!) and life that depends on your blood circulating around the body.

Audience lady member, the bespectacled German doctor, skull top half being sliced open to reveal the fresh human brain and brain injury notes. I don’t know why I’m slowly not minding about all this. I guess it’s because I’m learning about how vulnerable our head really is and just don’t overestimate it. Seriously wear a bike helmet to protect the brain jelly inside of your skull.
You can actually read my notes better here; it’s about car accident/speeding based injuries and what it does to your brain. I also found this gentleman in the audience looking a tiny bit like MJ.
And hence some more notes about blood and the circulatory system. As an artist, I don’t need to know any of this!! Unless I am actually going to make ultra violent graphics to depict realistic injuries or something. And…that’s not my area.

4th Thur

  • train adventures done somewhat as follows
Some heads and a suspiciously looking sunglasses person. (yes it is me) Oh! And I drew a very cool lady playing with her light pink DSi!
There, a man started intently at a leg and many deformed looking fingers. He had never seen anything like this before and he sat, stunned and confused.

5th Fri

Pixar Master class on Story!! (with Matthew Luhn)

Obviously not going to post/spread details about the class content itself (else it will be terribly disrespectful to the Pixar, Pixar artists and for those who legitimately paid for tickets and it will also prevent them from doing any more masterclasses in the future) but I felt wonderfully engaged during the Pixar Master Class with Matthew Luhn as he was very down to earth, open, entertaining and had enlightened us how a story artist fits within their pipeline. It was amazing to discover and see how many ideas and sequences he was part of from Toy Story onwards, including Toy Story 2 & 3, Up, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc, Cars and Finding Nemo and all about his own journey in how he became what he is today.

As someone interested in visual storytelling, learning about Pixar’s approach in creating meaningful stories was incredible and it was good to know that it is still can be frustrating, time consuming and doesn’t get any easier for them as it is for anybody else doing likewise. There was much motivating advice and techniques in storytelling discussed during the class as well.

The bonus moment for me during the Story class was when the first of many raffle prizes was being picked by Matthew (click on image to see it larger):

Click on image to see horrible and overly exaggerated comic at original size

I definitely won’t embarrass my weirdo-looking, freaky, dorky self any further so obviously I will just limit the sloppily done embarrassment here and at my tumblr. I don’t know why I’m making myself look even more quietly silly and awkward than I already am (but I don’t think anybody cares).

Obviously there were subsequent prizes for other people (such as hats, shirts, the same poster, pencils, stickers and notebooks too, as they do that with all their master classes) but getting picked at all for one of them really made my day. (:

It still stands that I can’t believe I own an autographed Pixar poster now!! 😀
I’m keeping my raffle ticket as a memento shush.

I’m not even an crazy/extreme Pixar fan or collector of Pixar merchandise but it does feel special to win it out of the blue especially when most Pixar films are splendidly inspiring, meaningful, fully developed and brilliant (I can’t say I love all of the Pixar films but a few of my most favourite films are still by Pixar).

6th Sat

Pixar Masterclass Day 2 on Animation!! (with Andrew Gordon)

The second and last Pixar Master class was with Andrew Gordon exploring all the amazing processes and techniques behind animating a lot of Pixar films. There were so many laughs, intense content and examples being shown as he was part of a fantastic amount of animating the characters in Pixar films and shorts, from Presto, La Luna, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 and 3, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc and University (he just finished that!), Finding Nemo and many more. Even though animation is not an area I will immerse myself deeply into (at this stage of my life at least), I’ve picked out a lot of useful approaches and some of the little details used to create convincing characters. Also found a lot of more appreciation behind the Pixar films I adore. Essentially, I have much respect for Andrew and all the work he does within the art of character movement and acting.

Though it did seem like they tried to fit a lot within the two days, in short I thoroughly enjoyed and don’t regret getting much poorer in order to take the intense Master classes! It was incredible and mind-imploding! I am still in disbelief that Pixar artists even came to Melbourne at all. (:

They’re going for Sydney (this week), New Zealand, New York and one more place next for their master class tour and I wish them both all the best with their awesome careers!

EDIT: If you’re interested, I’ve got a post on my Pixar Masterclass 2014 thoughts here

  • got some train bus stop adventures in as well as it got really late at the end of the class
Drew some windows, chairs, people walking, a bin, a car, handful of trees, a Hewlett Packard building. There were no people I could draw that stayed still you see, aside from handfuls of people walking to their cars after getting their alcoholic drinks from the liquor store nearby. So gesture drawing practice and still life will have to do. (:

7th Sun

  • sorting out my Pixar notes
  • brainstorming chatting with team members Will and Victor for upcoming character developing & animation assignment

8th Mon

  • Brainstorming story ideas of my own and storyboarding them roughly (or attempted to and then realised that the idea didn’t work)

9th Tues

  • Storyboarding further on ideas: finding that making a story is much harder and time consuming to come up with than the drawing itself. Still frustration is normal!


Reflection of the Week

Aside from being mind blown from the Pixar Master class as recounted above; in terms or art learning, I’ve been trying to finish that Anatomy for Beginners series (which didn’t work out) and other things and preparing for the next project.

Still, it’s not as much progress as I would have liked this week (as it was the Easter break) though life did come in and get in the way a bit, I need to refocus next week! I really wanted to get my heels into starting more things (namely the BABA plan & PD1) but it didn’t work out because I still need to finish off what I started (as I don’t want to start too many things and not finish anything!), get a clearer idea of what I need to aim for and now a more urgent project is going to begin.
Minor setbacks but I’ll figure it out eventually in coming weeks!
Shall keep pushing at it!!

Thanks for looking friend! You keep pushing at whatever you’re going for too! (:

Until next time, Leonie