Saturday, January 22, 2011

FAO/CGAA Yr 1 : A 'Reading Week' Message from John 'Toy Story' Lasseter

It's Reading Week 2011, which means you're at the halfway stage of year one of Ba Hons CG Arts & Animation. I hope you're nice and relaxed after the rigors of Unit 3. The first semester of any degree course is a big culture shock and intellectual leap. Not everyone makes it and not everyone enjoys it, but hey, you did it, and it's time to take stock. In just 15 weeks, you have:
  • evolved from dice to digital sets
  • evolved from digital daubs to matte paintings
  • written 6,000 words (approx) of degree-level essay (that's three quarters of a dissertation!)
  • experienced 21 important films & written 21 degree-level reviews
You are now:
  • an improving cg artist
  • an improving 2d artist
  • an improving writer
  • an improving researcher
  • an improving critic
  • increasingly literate
  • increasingly confident
  • increasingly credible
  • and 15 academic weeks from your 2nd year...
You should be impressed. I am. Congratulations - you've completed one sixth of your degree!

But let's be honest - let's just get it said - some of you are faking it. Some of you are flying by the seat of your pants or hoping that the course and its criteria might bend out of shape to better accommodate your whims, skillset blindspots and creative insecurities. Some of you are still not fully awake to the hard reality of what it takes to make genuinely inspiring work. Some of you want something for nothing. Recently, I've been asked some pretty daft questions by first year students struggling to see the connection between the CG Arts curriculum and their own creative ambitions. My response was pretty unambiguous - but John Lasseter has this message for you:

What I suggest everyone does now is take this moment to scroll back through 15 weeks worth of your blog posts. If you need a morale boost in addition to Lasseter's wise words, an overview of your own work will do wonders. I think you'll be surprised at just how much you've accomplished and in so short a time. While you're at it, why not take a look at the blog of a student whose Unit 3 work you particularly admired. Pick a role-model, be inspired, and be honest enough with yourself to judge if you think you've truly been working hard enough and what you need do to improve.

Unit 4 brings with it a whole new set of creative challenges - get stuck into the resources on myUCA/Storytelling/Unit Materials and get good and ready for day 1 of semester 2. To coin a phrase - you 'ain't seen nothing yet'.

I look forward to seeing you all on Monday 31st @ 4pm / Lecture Theatre 1


  1. Thanks for the share. That kind of lifted me up ^^

  2. Agreed! It sounds stupid but I always forget that it's the basics that are the most important. Gives me something to work on this week! :D

  3. This is something i like better,looking forward to it and i see a lot of already even starting on their ideas. I feel this project is going to be great!

  4. Work on your weaknesses while you study because there will be much less time later. If you don't know where they are, ask your tutors.