Sept. 14: Jill McNitt-Gray and Margo Apostolos

This week,  we have presentations from Professor Margo Apostolos, USC School of Theater, and Professor Jill McNitt Gray, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, involving dance, movement, and biomechanics, from robotic to human.


35 comments on “Sept. 14: Jill McNitt-Gray and Margo Apostolos

  1. Ruthie Williams says:

    The presentations from Dr. Apostolos and Dr. McNitt-Gray were fascinating to me as a new student to animation and human movement. The level to which dance and biomechanics have contemplated and studied movement is overwhelming, and I am glad to have had the brief introduction to both of these fields and the wealth of information they offer towards honing realistically and emotionally animated characters. The example of Martha Graham’s ‘pleading’ motion and the use of the abdominal sheath to convey emotion reminded me of the abstract characters made from Hebrew letters in a portion of last week’s screening of “Paintings at an Exhibition.” The animator used the concave/convex juxtaposition to it’s full extent to show the emotions of fear/pride and also to illustrate anger. I can definitely sympathize with the engineers that worked on developing a dancing robot arm with Dr. Apotolos in the 80’s, because it is incredibly hard to make something inanimate go beyond just moving and make it look human and alive. So many things that we think we see in real life movement are much trickier to mimic when they are broken down into a thousand drawings or a thousand lines of code. Dr. Gabriel’s example of the fastest track stars being those that touch the ground the least (rather than those witht he fastest moving legs) really illustrated this point. I was also impressed with the work done to figure out the flight movement of the pterosaurus, which had obivously no real life reference except for the remaining bones of the creature. I came away from seminar this week thinking about animation as a very appropriate meeting of science and art, and also realizing that scientists and artists have a lot in common.

  2. Lisa Chung says:

    Margo’s lecture taught us to be extremely aware of our character’s movement, whether we are creating a realistic or over the top action. It’s so easy to overlook the anatomy of our animated characters when creating goofy or very stylized motion. We assume that we can forgo the basics. However in a lot ways, we need to know how something works properly before we can successfully break those rules. In addition, I LOVED Margo’s story on how she got into robotics. Her determination to stay with the Mechanical Engineering class (even though the information was going over her head) presented a reward at the end: a guest speaker in which she ended up collaborating with to create fluid movements for robots.

    Jill’s work was a perfect example on how animation can be used for education and product/self-improvement purposes. The program that she and her colleagues engineered to calculate motion was impressive. It looked at everything from how much force is applied by a specific body part to frame-by-frame motion. The data allows them to aid professional athletes with their performance as well as create products to ensure their safety. I am curious how many sport-related companies or professionals actually take advantage of this data. Also, what a great tool this program would be for animators! Not only would we be able to see an action frame by frame but also where to emphasize or exaggerate weight and force in our animation.

    Thanks Margo and Jill for reminding us the importance of the basics!

  3. One of the aspects I enjoyed the most of this seminar session was the paradigm of “humanity” vs. “machinery” present in both conferences and made evident by overlapping one after the other.

    First we heard from a dancer whose challenge was to choreograph robotic movement so it would work in tandem with a human performer; and then a doctor who is trying to analyze the human movement to improve performance and safety by making it more mechanic.

    By the coincidence and opposition of concepts between lectures, it was revealed how many factors can influence movement as a science and a form of art, how these factors intertwine and cross over into each others fields, creating new languages for many artist to delve into.

    For me, the concepts of breath and energy dissipation stuck out as some of the most interesting elements to be explored in animation. The fact that something as human as breath can be controlled by mechanical training or how something as subjective as perception can alter the relation between the body and its surroundings are very exciting notions both in a technical and a philosophical way.

    It is always exciting to think there are people dedicated to these type of ventures, specially dancing with robots. And even though I feel somewhat overwhelmed about all the possibilities I’m not taking advantage off, It’s nice to see what can be achieve by the synergies present in this interdisciplinary explorations.

  4. Cecilia De Jesus says:

    This week’s seminar was a very refreshing change of pace. I found each of the speakers’ particular views interesting in different ways. However, it was the words of Margo Apostolos that really spoke to me.

    I really loved how she discussed Martha Graham and how she believed there should be a feeling behind every movement. I thought this was a very profound statement that really applies to great animation. I also enjoyed how she broke movement into three categories: percussive, sustained or flowing, and pendular.

    It was wonderful to hear about movement from a dancer’s point of view. They know so much about the body and motion. When Margo mentioned that some of the dancing being done on So You Think You Can Dance these days almost looks like animation, I immediately thought of Ryan Woodward’s beautiful animation “Thought of You.” His combination of animation and dance is so beautiful. I think he understands how powerful each of these arts can be, especially when they are blended together so well.

    Thanks so much to Margo and all speakers this week!

    Here is the link to Ryan Woodward’s animation:

  5. A.W. Gammill says:

    I enjoyed learning about the physiological reasons behind movement. In particular, the example of how a foot must be pointed to land safely and disperse energy was fascinating. It is a noble and useful thing that the study of athletes’ movements via advanced technology can be used to prevent and remedy sports-related maladies. I hope in the future that science is able to go even further into improving the quality of life for athletes the world over.

  6. Dan Wilson says:

    Relating dance and animation is a comparison I haven’t heard before. “Dance is saying with your body what you can’t say with words.” So far, I haven’t used dialogue in my films. My characters, though I could give them voices, need to express everything with their bodies. In all traditional character animation, we talk about exaggerating movements so they’re readable by the audience — something true of dance as well.

    When she mentioned Doris Humphrey and breath control — everything starting with breath — it reminded me that it’s not something I often notice in animation unless the character is out of breath. I wonder if it’s done often and just subtly and I don’t notice it, or if adding it would make a gigantic difference in something like a student film.

  7. Tristan Dyer says:

    It was interesting to hear about Margot’s struggle to make a machine move like a human, because through software that is sort of what animators try to do as well. As screening methods become larger and more detailed our work is going to fall under tighter scrutiny. Although some would argue that recreating human movement precisely kind of defeats the purpose of animation it’s nice to know that some people are thinking about it.

  8. Javier Barboza says:

    It was interesting to see other people’s views on animation. And how different they think from animators, coming from a scientific, dance and medical background. I felt that some where right on the money with topics about animation and movement and others need to do more research on whole topic of animation rather then whats popular in current trends. All in all I learned a lot and on what other peoples work involves and how animation can help.

  9. Emily Chung says:

    Learning the right human movement is really important for animators like us, and it is definitely a key to make a great animation. However, there are lots of things I don’t know about human’s body and movement, so the presentations from the last week’s seminar class absolutely blew my mind. For example, the key point to make your character run faster is not how fast you can move your character’s leg, but how short you make your character’s leg put on the ground. Therefore, if you want to run faster you should make sure the length of the time for legs on the ground should be short. All these little things are the pieces to make animation better and more reliable. So, I am glad to see this presentation and it makes me start to think deeper about the body movement.

  10. Louis Morton says:

    This seminar was a nice reminder that animated characters are not created out of thin air. Their movements, no matter how abstracted, can often be traced back to the basic mechanics of the human body. As figure drawing is essential to developing a basic understanding of the human form, knowing the mechanics of motion is important to understanding how to make a character move convincingly.
    My favorite part of the presentation was the CG animation of the pterosaurus. This was a perfect example of science and animation combining to create something they couldn’t have independent of each other. Seeing the pterosaurus take off on screen was so clear and direct, it communicated the concept in a way much more concisely than words could. I always have found it incredible when archeologists are able to deduce movement from a set of bones. In any type of animation the inner workings of a character must be strongly considered: from stop motion armature wires, to blocking in the shapes of a 2D character to creating an armature in MAYA. I was intrigued by this presentation to learn more about human and animal skeletons and how this knowledge could relate back to animated characters. Thank you everyone for an insightful presentation!

  11. Jay Kim says:

    What I learned most from this seminar is that animation should not be considered only as a medium of entertainment value, but also as a medium of visual enlightenment. Many topics/issues in the fields of science, medicine, and healthcare can be esoteric when discussed purely with words; however with the usage of illustration, concepts are able to be grasped more effectively. The presenters stressed this notion by offering opportunities for collaborative work and it just goes to show that animation is not made just for “ooh’s”, “ahh’s”, and “muhaha’s!!”…but also for “mm-hmm’s” and “oh-I-get-it-now’s”. Animation is gradually becoming a leading tool for education in all fields of life.

    I also agree with Javier’s comment regarding non-animator’s views about the field of animation. I was disturbed by Dr. Gabriel’s comment when he said that the goal of an animator is to “obviously” make natural human motions. It is true that the study of anatomy is very helpful in designing animation, but the study is also often used to break the rules of reality. If all animators strived to mimic real human movement, animation would lose much of its artistic appeal.

  12. This week’s seminar was interesting but not in the usual way. We had people from different departments of USC come over and talk to us about things they tried to relate to animation. Some of them came from the realm of science while Margo from the school of dance was a bridge between both art and science.

    Some of the stuff was more interesting and useful than other. Margo I felt did a great job at discussing graceful, choreographic movement and its application to different art forms. while the doctor had more difficulty relating his area of expertise to our art form. The rest was of the physical science, while interesting, was a bit too long. Overall though it was a good experience, it is always fun and interesting to see what those of other disciplines within USC are up to and bringing the over to seminar is a great way to help us collaborate around campus.

  13. Yang Liu says:

    I had my first modern dance class with Prof. Margo Apostolos last year. She is an extremely passionate dancer and has deep interest in human body movement. We did not just learn what type of movements we should do in a dance, but also different ways of looking at a dance. it’important to understand the movement in relation to its entire body and the environment for every animator, because animating a character is not just to copy lives, but also to make it feel alive. Also I appreciate Jill McNitt-Gray has offered so much more details about the animation technology being used by other professional areas such as sports and medical process. Those information is very useful to help the animator better understand the subtlety in the character’s mind, and the best animation always comes with a great amount of details. This is very inspring for me to create my character animation in future.

  14. As interesting as this discussion was, I wonder about a couple of things. The first, robot dance. Is there an element to dance that requires the human body? When moves can be programmed and repeated perfectly and without limit with no practice to achieve the movement desired, is it really as significant as dance? It is my guess that this idea is addressed in Margo’s body of work, but in her presentation, it was conspicuously absent. My main desire was to discuss this idea that movement for movement’s sake can be considered dance. It is actually much closer to the practice of animation than dance. One can place a character into a pose limited by the character rig then place the character into a second pose and determine the amount of time and quality of motion between the two poses. That is the process of computer animation, that is also the process described by Margo to create dance for robots. The character rig is the robot, the poses are just the same, the only manner of difference is programmed poses versus modern CG techniques.

    One other thing that struck a chord with me was Margo’s statement that when one enters a new field they should accept the fact that they are clueless about the nature of the work done in that field. That is something I don’t feel the other presenters embraced totally. When being told how the work of another field applies to animation, I become less interested in the overall discussion. I would have much preferred if the latter speakers would have simply discussed their work and allow us, those studying movement, timing, acting, visual communication, etc. to determine what we can learn from them. I’m in no way saying that their presentations were of little importance or did not apply to our field. Quite the opposite actually. I would have liked them to focus solely on discussing their work and then allow us to make the connections to ours. In other words, I wanted to know about their field, instead of what they think they can offer us.

    That being said, I thought the level of these presenters knowledge in their respective fields was amazingly deep and impressive. I would like to hear them come back and speak about movement and what tactics they use to study movement. As animators we study movement in a particular way. I wonder how similar or different our approach to studying movement, as artists, is to that of doctors and scientists.

  15. Joseph Yeh says:

    Performance art at its peak is so detailed and intricate- everything from the “core” down to the fingers and even the breathe are perfected. Margo Apostolos reminded me of one of the reasons for my love of animation when she said you must “surrender yourself” in dance. Similar to a dancer, an actor at the peak of discipline, specificity, and commitment becomes loose, but conscious of everything listening will full attention. This is something I believe that we must bring to animation. That as animators we must be loose, but disciplined so as to find this powerful feeling of freedom so that the art becomes us. Just do it! Be real! Have no fear in the search for truth!

    Before venturing out into the dream world of the unknown it is important to understand realism. I felt that Jill McNitt-Gray’s presentation showed us how important it is to achieve realism through balance and control just as Margo emphasized efficiency in dance. What is it to — (fill in the blank)? When an animator animates his or her character, this is something he must always ask himself. Much like Kungfu, art forms such as dance and animation require intricate and long-term training to master. Therefore, I feel that these presentations were insightful in training the art of movement.

  16. Larry Lai says:

    Dancing is one of my favorite performance or art form. Like animation, dancing talks to the audience mainly with movement and gestures. I think the reason why dancing attracts me a lot is that the sequence of movements convey a language full of power of emotion which can be understood without the boundary of words. We can feel it! But how do we animators make such a feeling to the viewers? As Dr. Margo Apostolos asked us: Where is the “breath” of the figure you created? The breath is the center of showing emotions. It acts like the “Chi” for Chinese Kung Fu. Once you find your Chi and operate it systematically you get the power to act it out and to have impact on others. I couldn’t agree more that we should build the breath for our characters. We create a figure who knows how to express the emotion to meet the storyline. Like Chi, the breath needs practice. So, work hard to find the breath for my characters or else they might be nothing but lines and shapes.

  17. Rachel Jaffe says:

    Though I have to admit that I was horrendously ill during last Wednesday’s seminar (and thus couldn’t get out of bed, let alone stagger to campus), I definitely wish I could have attended class. Reading my classmates’ descriptions of the presentation given by Dr. Apostolos and Dr. McNitt-Gray was truly enthralling — I can only imagine the startling vivacity with which Jill and Margo demonstrated not only the practicalities of orchestrating a robotic fluidity of movement, but also the resultant theoretical ramifications (and industrial applications). Mimicking mammalian movement through meticulous calculation is undeniably a core underpinning of credible character animation, and hearing Dr. Apostolos and Dr. MicNitt-Gray’s joint lecture must have been a mesmerizing exploration of the emotional implications of each movement — ranging from a simple flexing of a human’s abdominal sheath to the complex biometrics of a fluttering robotic arm. My apologies for missing what seems to have been a fascinating lecture!

  18. This week’s seminar was incredibly informative. I enjoyed seeing all the work done with the graceful robot movement. I think the images at the end that showed the movement paths of robots and humans while unpacking a fridge was very eye-opening and illustrated the difference in such a profound way. It’s something that we learn early on in character animation, especially with cg, and I’m glad to see it’s relevance in the physical world.
    I actually thought the realization that the amount of ground contact time being the major determining factor of speed was incredible. I’ve seen live action try to make real people move very fast and it’s always looked pretty ridiculous. This explains why and gives me a new starting point as I explore more ways to to bring fantastical elements into my own live-action projects. Finally, it’s good to see how animation has very practical scientific applications as well. Figuring out something as simple as perception being a major source of athletic injury is pretty shocking. I always appreciate when animation finds its way into things I never thought of.

  19. Linda Jules says:

    Last week’s seminar was a great reminder that at the heart of any character animation we can find the basic principles of human movement. From walking to running to bending to twirling, it is always necessary to have a human representation to develop even the most abstracted of human movements.

    I was definitely touched by Professor Jill’s discussion on her interactions with bio-mechanics and robotic apparatus. Not only was it a field of movement I had never heard of, but it was also a movement reference I had never even considered. Dancing robots? What a concept! I have always thought of modern robots as “falsely simulated” humanoid beings. But after hearing Professor Jill talk about her work choreographing the movements of these strange forms, I have a far greater appreciation for how far along robot mechanics have come in the last few decades. The presentations last week were truly inspiring, and I am looking forward to more discussions on the science of movement.

  20. lanzhujian says:

    I love Dancing. I love animation. They have something really in common. To me, dancing is a pure, beautiful art. So does animation, I agree with what Prof. Margo said, every movement have it’s emotion. It is very obvious to see the difference between dancing full of passion and the dancing without feeling. So does animation. choreographic movement apply the graceful, elegance beauty in animation and the brings the other aspect of art beauty in animation.

    The science part it’s kind of over warming to me, All those scientific structure and data can actually help the animator understand better the human movement and create it in another way, that is really refreshing, I remember the part the Doctor said: ” when you want to show a person run fast, the point is not how fast their leg moves, it is how short their feet stay on the ground.” these scientific information are super useful for animators when they trying to do some believable movement apply to their characters.

    Over all, this seminar is really open my eyes and inspirational to me, I hope I can know more between science and animation. It will be really helpful to help me create great movement.

  21. Andrew Malek says:

    Professor Margo Apostolos and Professor Jill McNitt Gray’s presentation was very interesting in regard to the other scientific and artistic disciplines that animation bleeds into.

    In regard to Prof. Apostolos’ work with teaching robots to be graceful one can see how animation is closely related. An animator is charged with making realistic movement out of nothing. Robotic movement is simply a more complex, self-directed form of animation.

    In the future there could be more need for this as robots that aid humans are developed. A robot with graceful, human, or entertaining movement is going to excel over a clumsy one simply for aesthetic reasons. When we see videos of Asimo the robot moving we laugh at his lack of grace, however when we see the robots developed by Sony that are made for dancing we can immediately bond due to the familiarity and humanity in its in movement.

    These rules apply for animation as well, if our characters do not breath or seem alive then we have failed in our goal. By studying real movement through science our craft becomes all the more powerful. I think back to the motion studies of Muybridge which is an excellent example of the fusion of science and art and I feel that today with the use of motion capture such a fusion is even more viable.

    Such study of motion is useful for the animator as well as the kinesiologist as the data we can acquire from science allows us to refine both human and animated movement toward greater excellence.

  22. Eric Tortora Pato says:

    So, robots! And sports! And forces! BUT NO! The thing that really seemed awesome to me was the nearly forensic archeology animation of figuring out how a pterosaur could launch off ion the air. This, it’s strikes me, is perhaps the place where science and animation most directly intersect in methodology, because, if this is an archeological physics thought experiment, the much of what we do in character animation (particularly full animation) is it’s fantastical, magical, and caricatured counterpart. The seemingly oft ignored truth that to attain believability in our animations we draw upon real motion. That’s why pretty much all of us will animate a falling leaf or a bouncing ball.

  23. Di Gu says:

    Last week, Dr. Apostolos and Prof. McNitt gave us a wonderful chance to understand the animation from particular point. It’s important because sometimes people will lost when they try to learn one thing from only one part.
    Dr. Apostolos mentioned about dancing. She said the rhythm of dancing is important to animators. Moving body just like describe a beautiful poetry. Some time you need hold the end of action and make a beautiful curve in the process.
    For me, I think animation character just like a dancer present their emotion and motion in a exaggerate way. If the performance likes a real man, it won’t have the dynamic in the animation. For me, I think copy one great dancing with frame by frame is a wonderful way to help us understand the rhythm of action.

  24. Simo Liu says:

    This week’s seminar was relatively different from the seminars we had before. The speakers ,Professor Margo Apostolos and Professor Jill McNitt Gray are not come from SCA but from the school of Theater and the school of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Even though they come from different areas, this time science and arts joined together to make animation more lively. Movement is the key to make animation. How to grasp the basic of motion and the change of shape related to character is extremely important. In this talk, they told us a lot about the movement, such as how to make the feet point to land safely, the movement of the bone, and what they thought that every movement was an expression of human’s feeling. These points they had gaved us were really enlightening and useful. And we should care about them a lot, especially some details. This week’s seminar had inspired me a lot! Make the character move, not only to make it more naturally, but also to make it more lively. It needs more time for me to think about it and deeper research it.

  25. We had presentations from the different departments of USC that involved dance, movement, and biomechanics. Professor Margo Apostolos from the USC School of Theater, and Professor Jill McNitt Gray from USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences shared their insight on movement and their practical applications in sports and robotics.

    Professor Jill McNitt Gray’s presentation focuses on the calculation of force in motion and collecting data to aid professional athletes. Animated examples illustrated how much force was applied to specific areas of the body.

    Professor Margo Apostolos’s presentation detailed her relationship with robotics. In her experience, she worked with engineers to create sympathetic movements in robots. A clip from one of her projects in Sweden showed a large black robot arm dancing alongside a Swedish dancer. The end goal was create robots with a vocabulary of humanistic movements. Such robots could assist handicapped individuals who could greatly relay on a robotic friend helping them out.

  26. Chaoqi Zhang says:

    This week’s seminar, from Dr. Apostolos and Dr. McNitt-Gray’s presentations, what I’ve learned is to expand my knowledge of understanding animation movement in the way of biomechanics and science, So as to make my animation more convincing, especially for the 3D animation. It’s quite a new aspect for me to think about the movement, cause before I only think about it only in the way of it’s artistic looking, now I know I’ve to think about how the movement works in the real world. Thanks a lot for their hard working.

  27. Robert Calcagno says:

    At the core of animation, you could say the medium’s like an illustrated pantomime of real life; be it ultra-realistic or utterly abstract. So dancing, and subsequently music, makes for a mutual match in animation. I’ve used dance and music plenty in my past animations; there’s a lot that can be expressed with the human body just by basic physical fluctuations, which was a good lesson learned by Dr. Apostolos. Capturing the subtleties of the human body, even something as simple as breathing, is critical in theatre, dance, and ultimately animation. The use of robotics is an intriguing concept but I think robotics as a whole is somewhat a standstill due to this miserable recession; a full robo-production of The Black Swan seems a ways off.

    Professor Gray’s presentation of force physics is something that many modern VFX artists all need to take into account. One of the issues I have with CGI in a lot of films is that there’s no sense of inertia or basic distribution of kinetic energy in their movements. It makes them look rubbery rather than a legitimate entity. The industry has improved in that department but perhaps a bit more science should be incorporated to turn a good-looking graphic into a virtual being.

    The most fascinating aspect though was the presentation about the giant pterosaurs and the mechanics behind how these magnificent creatures could have been able to have flown. It was an enlightening video, for myself in particular. The previous semester I rediscovered paleontology for a painting project and became enthralled by the almost mythical Quezacoatlus (the big pterosaur he was talking about); the creatre was the size of a jet and the fact they’re bringing it closer to reality is amazing. I wish them the best of luck.

  28. LaMar Ford says:

    Last week’s presentation was insightful. Animators are always told to study the anatomy and movement of animals and humans, and Wednesday’s seminar demonstrated the point. Jill McNitt Gray’s background in dancing helped the engineers to create a robot that can mimic human movement. Watching the clips of the robot dancing with the ballerina reminded me of Bjork’s “All Is Full of Love” music video: Although the robots are only non-working models enhanced with CG effects, I still think it’s cool what people can do with their imaginations and understanding of physics.
    The pterosaur model also adds to the topic. I never heard of the dinosaur. However, using 3d modeling from the skeleton and animation, one can see what the creature look like and how they move. Despite the differences between the scientists and artists, they still influence each other.

  29. It was enlightening to hear the speakers this week from such a wide range of disciplines. I was particularly drawn to that aspect of the presentation. I was very interested in the discussion of dance and the movement of dance to robotic motion. I thought this was a unique and inspiring way of pushing the interaction between humans and machines. It reminds me of the recent advances in computers structured like human brains.

    It was also interesting to learn about the forces on human bodies while they complete actions. I think that those animations will for some reason stick in my mind, helpfully elucidating how an action impacts bones and muscles along a long line in the body – rather than merely at the direct point of contact.

    This was an interesting and engaging presentation!

  30. Amy Ketchum says:

    Multi-disciplinary engagement is what graduate school is all about. This is especially pertinent in animation. Last week’s seminar was a solid reminder to be aware of the forces we experience in the world that we need to use as tools in our animation. Margo’s example of taking a heavy science course to better understand the body should be a model of the way we go about learning animation from multiple viewpoints. Jill’s lecture about body movement also brought to the fore the importance of relating our bodies to animation. Since we empathize more with our own human bodies than any other thing on earth, it is important to pay attention to it as animators. We need to understand the world not just through our eyes but with our bodies.

  31. Ryan Gillis says:

    Anatomy and biomechanics are something I’ve always found super interesting to draw, but difficult to incorporate into my animations. Not directly- I mean, my understanding of anatomy and human movement directly inform the way I know things have to move and appear- but the physical mechanics of their interactions are, I think, interesting enough to carry any view through a short animation.
    Mainly this seminar made me aware of my own body. Athletes are actively damaging themselves, and I am damaging myself passively by remaining so inert.

    I appreciated that scientists still sometimes rely on a creative staff to help visualize all of the information that they accumulate. Hopefully I’ll get that paleontologist’s email address and have the opportunity to draw blood flowing through a pterodactyl brain.

  32. Chen Huang says:

    Professor Margo Apostolos and Professor Jill McNitt Gray’s had a very interesting presentation in our department last week. It is definitely different with other seminars we had before…
    Dancing robert, is the thing I get most interested at…
    It is easy to make things move.. but it is not easy to make things move beautifully…
    From the project they have done,
    I see what a fluent and master animation.
    I hope they keep discovering the animation world…

  33. I just noticed that my post never loaded to the blog page! Here is my post from last week. Sorry for the delay, I have no idea how that happened:

    I ditto Professor Margo Apostolos’s sentiment of interdisciplinary studies as a space in academia where true creativity can transcend the limitations of conventional thinking. Combining two very unsuspecting disciplines, Mechanical Engineering and Contemporary/Classical Dance, her efforts as a graduate student proved to be a beautiful and worth-while endeavor. I appreciate the amount of determination and courage it must have taken for Professor Margo Apostolos to dip her hands into a field unbeknown to her previously. Her comments revealing the importance of quality communication when collaborating with people from different fields of study was dead-on. Not unrelated, I feel like a large portion of my educational experience thus far as an animation student has been learning the language of being an artist. The words and language we encounter and use on a daily basis as animators is new to me. Even though in this regard sometimes I feel like a blandly seasoned lamb chop, I picked up on a discontinuity with the succession of speakers that I would like to take the last few moments dwelling upon. During the course of this week’s seminar I felt like there was a discrepancy in the last two presentations insofar as the language they used to present their thoughts. Linguistically framed for an audience of animators, I felt their presentations lacked the technical depth and verbiage used in their respective disciplines. For me, my job as an animator sitting in my chair listening to these presentations is to decipher and translate their communiqué into relatable terms and ideas that will one day help me cultivate my own work. Regardless of the validity, I would have appreciated a more raw, unfiltered exposé of their work as scientists and medical professionals.

  34. Miguel Jiron says:

    It’s really great to see animation existing in different practices and fields of art and study. Animation in robotics, dance, and sports therapy reveal very unique and particular characteristics exclusive to animation. It’s very helpful to see these examples of animation existing outside the LA-centric world of movies and shorts, and only prove the point that animation is only increasing in popularity, relevance, and awareness. I particularly loved seeing animation applied to dance in robotics. I don’t think it’s as simple as making robots seem more human, but rather opening up new venues and chances for future tools/technology. Animation is an art form that is particularly creative expression of the science of movement, which gives the medium an enormous potential.

    This was one of the more unusual seminars and all the best for it! It’s always good to see animation outside of preconceived boundaries and glimpse at the many opportunities it can exist in.

  35. Brandon Lake says:

    I only just realized that I didn’t post on this lecture, which saddens me because this was actually a very interesting lecture. It is rare that we are introduced to people who are outside of our fields, but still are implementing animation and motion into their own works. While at some points it did feel like we were being talked at as opposed to being talk to, there was a lot of interesting information given. I had not known people were creating their own modern dance numbers with machines and trying to dispel out current misconceptions of machinery and its possibilities.

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