Life of a Stick


Fall 2009 Grades

My grades were actually better this semester than I expected.

In short:
ART401 Concept Art: C+
ART450 Portfolio: A
FLM250 Post-Production: A-
FLM275 Music and Sound: A
INT390 Internship: Pass

And the long of each class:
ART401 – Concept Art
Matthew Dudley was a bit harsh at first. He wanted something specific from our work, but (like me) has a problem communicating sometimes. So he was frustrated for the first few weeks — and so were we — until he figured out how to get his points across.

He knew the subject — he’s a lead/senior character artists at Gas Powered Games. Like I’ve mentioned to a number of people before, skill at doing something and skill at teaching something are two separate skills. He picked it up quickly as the class progressed.

Not sure if that was his first time teaching the class or not. He might have been a new hire at DigiPen. It seemed like he was new to it, though. He learned real fast if it was, though. If he keeps teaching it, in three or four years he’ll really learn the ins and outs about how to teach people effectively.

There were a few people in the crowd, like Sarah Markley, who are looking to get into concept art after graduation. The class had a few frustrations for them, like switching assignments with someone else in the class and finishing what they started. But that’s how it sometimes works in the industry.

ART450 – Portfolio
Monte Michaelis is a pleasure to learn from, and is just a fun guy to have around in general. He recently got hired at Popcap and helps them with their hiring process now.

There is no doubt this man knows his stuff. Kamal Siegel, founder of Digital Double, was teaching the other sessions of the class, and they combined their knowledge and created the perfect class.

Besides learning about and creating the foundation of resources that will follow me through the rest of my professional career (portfolio, business cards, resume, demo reel, and everything about how to find a job) I had a lot of fun, and really looked forward to his classes.

Sadly, all good things come to an end. And Portfolio’s end included bacon maple bars. Epic to the finish.

FLM250 – Post-Production
Post-production is what you do after a film is created or rendered. All those neat special effects, like the lightsabers? They’re added in post-production.

The class was specifically an
Riley Prigg taught this class. And while he really knew his stuff, After Effects is really one of those programs where the more you know how to do, the more you realize you don’t know. The amount of combinations and uses for effects are ridiculous.

The class was fun, and a lot of the students created some really neat projects.

FLM275 – Music and Sound
Lawrence Schwedler is one of my heroes. If it wasn’t for visual art, I’d probably be studying music. The man is audio director for Nintendo Software Technology.

There’s the saying: those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. Well, there’s a third category, one I try to fall into myself. Those that are able to do so well, and have the knowledge so built into their lives, that they teach people by reflex, and sometimes by accident. Lawrence is the kind of guy who can write a paper and cite himself as the reference used.

The class was a joy to participate in. It was like a DigiPen ART101 Lite, except for music. He taught principles, the foundational knowledge, that are useful no matter what you’re doing with music and sound.

INT390 – Internship
This really deserves its own entry. I’ll get around to it some day.


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