Saturday, April 3, 2010


So, I've been busy trying to get together a portfolio and get my reel into shape on top of the thesis work I have to do. Here is an update on the progress of my thesis. It's pretty much in final lines stage though I have a few transitions that need to be animated still. I don't have time to rough those out though, so hopefully they'll still turn out fine.

Thesis Progress 04-01-2010 from Zakiya Mason on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thesis Progress

Thesis Progress 2009.02.11 from Zakiya Mason on Vimeo.

I've finally got some original music on my film! My composer, Sam Jones, is super awesome and I think when we do the final recording, it will work really well.

I have a lot of timing issues - a few shots are way too short and that group shot still makes me cringe every time I see it. But overall, things are going quite nicely! Hopefully I'll have an improved version within a week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Thesis Pencil Test!

Well, I gave my end-of-the-semester presentation to the faculty yesterday. I was 5 minutes late because I was so sleep deprived that my alarm didn't wake me up after going off for an hour. Eventually my roommate came into my room and dragged me out of my coma. I won't be able to upload my progress as of yet because I stupidly forgot to save a copy of my progress to my laptop. Hopefully the server at the animation lab won't crash and kill all of my work.

Anyway, here is a pencil test of a shot I added in. Enjoy!

Thesis Shot 09 from Zakiya Mason on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Character Line-Up

This is a line-up of character designs I made for an MTV pitch my friend was making. The pitch never happened but I got some fun designs out of it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life Drawing - Stop Rendering!

Last week was an interesting week for figure drawing. This 10 minute pose was from Wednesday (or maybe it was 15 minutes?) and clearly I did not listen to Will when he told me to stop the "shitty, scratchy" lines. I was being lazy and rendering instead of paying attention to what I was doing.

Basically, more of the same. But! The next day in Karl Gnass's class, I worked on it and did a few nice things I think.

Here I have some better line quality. Better use of my tool. But obviously I need a lot of work. One thing I really need to work on is my five minute poses and completing them. For some reason, I seem to be getting the same amount done in my one minute poses as I do in five.

Unfortunately I won't have any drawing classes because of Thanksgiving (damn Pilgrims) but Will suggested I do some Master copies. I'll try to get that done between doing serious work on my thesis, but if I get any drawing practice in period I'll be happy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Re-animating Shot 4

I've started re-animating the group shot that has been distressing me. I like it better so far - at least as far as the timing is concerned. I'm not ecstatic, but I guess that's just not my style anyway.

Shot 4 Pencil Test from Zakiya Mason on Vimeo.

Meh, Nothing special, but it's progress.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Animating!

Essentially I have made this blog so that I can complain about my struggles as an aspiring animator. Currently, I'm working on my senior thesis, which is an experimental dance animation:

Thesis Progress 2009.11.17 from Zakiya Mason on Vimeo.

There are two or three storyboard panels missing and the cycles are not supposed to be repeated as much and the group section makes me want pretend I had nothing to do with this work. And that's just the surface of my issues with this animation thus far.

Now, the most important thing to know at this juncture is that I have about three weeks to finish animating this thing. That's right. Three absurdly short weeks. I don't actually expect to reach this goal, but I suppose it won't hurt to kill myself trying.

Right now, I'm working on redoing the group section with the five figures. Why? Because I can't animate the solo section afterward without setting the choreography for the first group section. At first I thought it was just the timing that was irking me, but I've realized that I actually can't stand what the figures are doing and the way they move while doing it. Plus, I'm not sure I want to cycle this section. But, that is why I have given up sleep this weekend in order to figure it out.

In any case, I doubt anyone will actually read this blog or follow any progress I make, but perhaps someone somewhere will find it useful in teaching them how to attempt to reach an impossible goal in a short amount of time. Also maybe someone will think I'm good at animating... Maybe : )