Thursday, Jan 19, The First Class: We will go over basic editing and start on the first project. Each student will be given the same four random videos from the Prelinger Archives. Your goal is to cut them up and reconstruct the parts into a new video. In addition, the class will review several animations made by previous students to see how they solved the same problem. There will be a lot of information today, which we’ll review throughout the next several weeks. My goal is to have you become comfortable with the editing process and the various tools available in FCP. In addition, I want the class to become familiar with “best practices” regarding editing, saving files, and correcting mistakes.

Tuesday Jan 24: Review Final Cut Pro and the basic editing process. Also, we will go over the importance of setting up a unique “scratch disk” and become more familiar with the Preference panel in Final Cut Pro(FCP).

The class is working on their first project, which is due on Wednesday February 1.

Thursday, Jan 26: Studio work-day. I will randomly choose one or two projects and, together, we will review their progress.

Tuesday, Jan 31: Screen first project and discuss the outcomes. The class will be given a new project related to sound. I will demonstrate how to use our recording devices, which will include uploading the files into Audacity where we can manipulate the sound-file and turn it into an aiff asset for FCP. We’ll discuss and hear how important sound is and the impact it can have on visual imagery.(Remember, Sat Feb 4th the entire class has tickets to see and “hear” the Alloy Orchestra at the Somerville Theatre)

Class will begin the second project, which is to record individual sounds and use them in conjunction fund and random video and animations from the Prelinger Archives.

Thursday, Feb 2: The class will review sound recording and the tools available on our computers for transforming sound. The rest of the studio time will be dedicated to working on this new project.

Saturday Feb 4: Everyone meets a the Somerville Theatre for an 8:00pm performance and screening by the Alloy Orchestra.

Tuesday, Feb 7: Studio work-day.

Thursday, Feb 9: Review and screen second project. The class will discuss the various techniques employed in each project regarding sound and imagery.

I will introduce the next (third) project, which will be the first stop-motion animation.

Using either an oil based clay or something similar, create a one minute stop-motion animation that stays within the diameter of a large white plate. You can incorporate found objects. Concentrate on the motion and let things progress from there. I will demonstrate the basic techniques for developing your movements. I will also, show the class several set-ups using a camera, iStop-Motion(software) and Dragon(software). Lighting, camera angles, and sequencing will be included. This will be a jam-packed class so ask questions.

Tuesday, Feb 14: Reviewing content from the last class and reviewing everyone’s experiments in creating something that moves. We will explore motion combining one frame, two frames and three frames. We will investigate how to mix those shots up in order to create  different types of motion. We will also consider the importance of point-of-view and jump cuts in order to make your animations more dynamic.

Thursday, Feb 16: Studio Work Day!

Monday, Feb 21: Presidents’ Day – All Classes are cancelled but you will have access to the animation room!

Tuesday Feb 22: Screening first stop-motion project.

I realize that it has only been a little over a week since you started but we need to grasp the essential and develop them in our next project. I expect you to really look at each other’s work and articulate the various ways each animation could be stronger either technically or visually. Alumni Josh Lewis will visit the class and be present or the screenings. Josh has several of his past projects on Vimeo. He is an awesome designer and will help you to see your compositions more clearly.

Thursday Feb 24: Bringing an inanimate object to life through stop-motion.

Select a simple object that has parts that can be moved incrementally, which will allow you to create movement. Make it come to life. Through you animation give it character or purpose.

We will look at past projects that successfully accomplished this task. Some are really amazing!

Plus, we’ll look at less successful projects and analyze why they don’t seem to measure up to the other ones. Learning from past mistakes is an important part of the creative process. If there is time we will check out the Quay Brothers animations and several other artists who tackle this type of animation effectively. The due date is March 9.

Tuesday Feb 28: Studio work-day.

Tuesday, March 6: Works in progress. The class will take some time to look at each others work and get some feedback.

Thursday, March 8: The class will look at the final results of the current project. We will look at each project several times and with each viewing try to understand what is working really well and what areas need to improve for the future.

Spring Break: March 9 through March 17.

Tuesday, March 20: Group Project. This will help everyone with the re-entry after a long break and it will help you to learn how to collaborate with each other in making an animation. This is a ten-day project, which I’ll discuss in detail in class.

Thursday, March 29: Group Project must be ready for screening. This will include several outside guest.

Tuesday, April 3 through April 26: This month will be intense as everyone boots-up to start and complete his or her individual final project. Anything goes. We will review past student projects from this class as well as student work from MassArt.

Wednesday, May 4: Festival of student work(group decision).

We will have an honest discussion prior to this date as to whether or not the class collectively has enough “strong” work for a small school festival. This would include films from past classes and would be around one hour in total.

We had a festival three years back and it was incredibly successful. Maybe it’s time to do it again!