Thursday, May 8, 2008

Justin Timberlake Lookout!

Introducing, the latest dancing talent to hit the Vancouver scene - some stickfigure-guy-thing....Here he is the Funky Robot Dancer!

Robot Dance with Pivot Animator from James Gill on Vimeo.

When doing this lesson, I asked the students to limit the options available and really concentrate on getting smooth realistic movements first. Later, when the students have shown a really good understanding of realistic animation action, I will allow them to add other elements. Its like typing in a word processor; lots of kids want to play with the font and colours, but at the end of the period if they don't have more than their name on the page, then they haven't completed their task for their school work.

So the first lesson where I introduce pivot I always:

1.) Show them an example of a finished product similar to what they will be creating
2.) Show them the basics, and show them some of the "optional" features of a program
3.) Give them one block to play with the options. Its not a waste of time. This is how they learn. We don't save anything from that first block.
4.) Outline the criteria for the project in the next block, set limitations if needed, and hold the students to their agreement to do their best work within the parameters you have setup.

From time to time, someone doesn't stay within boundaries. They get to do something less cool, and I make something like the video above with students who stay on task. That is the reward that all the students want. Since starting this project, 1/4 of one class has downloaded pivot, and is playing with it at home. I couldn't be happier.

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