Thursday, 31 March 2011

Rough Work (Layout and Personals)

Just a few rough pieces for the object and room drawings. To get perspective right, I extended the paper by taping a few extra sheets on, and drawing the perspective points (thanks Adi!) . Drawing the perspective lines can be crazy, and redoing the objects repeatedly can drive anyone insane, so make sure to plan composition carefully so that you don't have to re-draw it too many times.


These two might have been included in the personal art, but were just a little too anime-y, and didn't add much strength to the portfolio. Andrew (from Blue Tadpole Studios) wisely told me to exclude them.

Rough Work (Story Boarding)

Figuring out Alex's Anatomy was fun, and great for understanding constructions. I did a lot of practice to try and get his proportion right, but to be brief I will just post the roughs for the storyboard:

The scenes below had to be adjusted for perspective and angle issues.

This one has the adjusted scenes 2&3, but ends up getting tweaked during clean up to make it simpler and easier to read.

Rough Work (Character Design)

Before he finally got to his final form, The Poet went through quite a few changes. I struggled with constructions for a long time,  so there are a lot of pictures of him in the same pose. I worked more freely on his facial design. 
In approximately chronological order:


Rough Work (Life Drawing)

Some progress work to document the process getting to the portfolio.
Early Life Drawings:
Some life drawings from the middle of the portfolio process:

Some life drawings towards the end of the portfolio process:
Some animal drawings to prep for final animal drawings:

General Stuff

I'm not sure what to call this, but below are pictures of my set up for my animation portfolio stuff.

The scan of my score sheet is too blurry, so I'll get a better scan of it soon. 
My score sheet:
My Portfolio (My friend Neff pointed out that it looks small, but it's actually 18"x24"):

The mail I've gotten so far from sheridan programs:

The amount of newsprint I've used in the 6 months I worked on the portfolio:

My preferred supplies for life drawing (newsprint I drew on was 18"x24"):

My cardboard organization boards:

The sum of the rough work from the process of portfolio work:
My little work table (A light table is a must when doing your animation portfolio):  

And all the transfers I received while travelling for portfolio reasons. The left go bus ticket is for the first time I went with friends to Sheridan, and the right was for portfolio drop off. :)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


A quick post to note my experience with the times to expect mail and notifications. 
Necessary information: Applied to Art Fundamentals and Sheridan Animation At the time of writing, lived in Mississauga (not too far from Oakville)
Quick run down of dates: 
December 2nd: 
I registered, and paid for my application to Sheridan BAA (Animation) and to Art Fundamentals on 
December 3rd: 
They mailed out my access.sheridaninstitute account information. 
December 6th:   
Received my access.sheridaninstitute account information. 
They mailed out information on how to access the application status. *I received the same account information twice, once from an Art Fundamentals letter, and once from my BAA (Animation) letter.* 
December 9th:  
Received two letters explaining how to access the application status for Art Fundamentals and BAA (Animation) on my access.sheridaninstitute account. 
Signed up for my portfolio hand in day (February 28th, 2011). 
February 18th: Got my Art Fundamentals offer on my access.sheridaninstitute account. 
Somewhere in here I went to Sheridan to pay my $50.00 portfolio fee, to avoid lines on the day of the hand-in. 
February 28th: Handed in my portfolio, and received it back later in the day. 
March 28th: My BAA (Animation) offer was posted on (The earliest offer I know of came march 30th, last year), and they sent out my score sheet. 
As a note: Acceptances and rejections started being sent out throughout the day, at no specific time. 
March 29th: My BAA (Animation) offer was posted on my access.sheridaninstitute account site Accepted my offer to the animation program 
As a note: Acceptances and rejections are posted throughout the day. 
March 30th: My score sheet came in the mail. 
March 31st: Still haven't received acceptance package yet (with information regarding the information meet April 30th) 
Registered for the Information Meeting anyways. :) 
People started getting their acceptance packages 

April 1st (or 2nd?): Application status for BAA (Animation) changed to 'Accept Conditional'  
Application status for Art Fundamentals changed to 'Applicant Denied Offer'
April 5th: Still didn't receive my acceptance package in the mail, so I e-mailed the registrar to request a package.
April 6th: Received a reply from the registrar that they have sent my mail out. 
April 11th: Sorted out that there was an error in sending the mail because there were duplicate names in the registry.
April 18th: Got a 'pay your fees' reminder letter. Still haven't gotten acceptance packages!
April 19th: Got my acceptance package, but got two since they requested a second one for me (oops?). One is dated April 8th, the other dated April 13th.
I'll continue to update as things come in the mail!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Process

I promised myself that if I got in, I would explain in crucial detail what I did, and what those around me did to get into Sheridan Animation.
I'll break down the approach my friends and I took first, and then hopefully post progress work soon too.
What I did:
I started my research on portfolio requirements REALLY early, way back in grade 10 to get an idea of what the accepted portfolios looked like. Then, in grade 11 I went to the open house, and made friends with some amazing first years who really guided me with great advice. Along the way, I also asked the seniors who had gotten in from my school into animation for some tips.
For now I will digress from the tips, and get along to what I did for portfolio prep:
Life Drawing Section: I started attending life drawing classes at MSVA (Mississauga Valley School of Arts) in late august, where Mr. Kerry Kim teaches. He has consistently gotten kids in for their life drawings, and I personally developed quickly with his help. Mr. Kim teaches 2nd year life drawing to Illustration students at Sheridan.
Everything Else (except for personals): I started attending the portfolio prep classes at the Blue Tadpole Studio (, where Andrew Lau teaches. Andrew teaches the fundamental animation concepts, like constructions and flow, line quality, etc. I trust Andrew because he's gotten all of his students into the programs they've wanted-- BUT it's really up to you to get the work done outside of class so he can use the class time to help you improve (if you slack, you won't benefit). Mr. Lau is a graduate of the Sheridan Animation program, and has worked on various shows. It's kind of cool to see the character rotations and layouts he's worked on.
Personal Art: Best works from school and own works. 
I found both of the classes to be really great prep. All 6 of us who attended the Blue Tadpole Studio for the animation portfolio prep were accepted yesterday.
The APW Approach:
Three of the students from Blue Tadpole who got accepted for animation also attended the Animation Portfolio Workshop. These girls were all international students, so they had even more competition to face. 
From what I understand, the course develops some seriously solid drawing skills in their students, but lacks longer poses for life drawing that are useful for personal works. Overall, though, I've never heard any other complaint about the APW prep course except for it's price.
The Art Fundamentals Approach:
I don't know many people who came from Fundies and got accepted quite yet, but I've heard that a great percentage of acceptances go to Fundies kids. What's more is that many of the best animation students came from fundies as well.
- You get to talk to the teachers, and make connections with other students, including the animation students whom you would be in close proximity with. 
- You can ask for help to review your portfolio
- You already know the atmosphere of the school
- You get more time ready yourself mentally if you weren't ready before
- Some of the best animation students came from Art Fundies
- The course is used to expose students to a wide variety of media to help them get a taste of different media, and moves at a fast pace so that there is no specialization
- There are no specific assignments to help build the portfolio, and you must manage time between assignments to work on your portfolio
- Teachers will often be swamped and may have difficulty reviewing portfolios
- The course is only what you make of it. It is up to you to excel in that environment
Since I don't know many art fundies kids, I would love to hear from people who have input on the course!
It was a lot of fun to do the portfolio, but crazy stressful too.
Major tips:
- *Time management skills are a MUST* - Otherwise, work will collect and create stress.
- Start early - Life drawing takes awhile to sink in, and learning structure and constructions for the first time can be a killer. Everything takes time.
- Figure out your concepts early (what will you do for characters, rooms, objects. Get your ideas down.) - That way you don't freak out at or near the end.
- Do a practice portfolio - Once you've done the portfolio the first time, you will drastically improve, and understand what needs to get done. (Thanks Adi)
- Show your structure - Do constructions in the blue or red animation pencils (Col-Erase) to show that you understand the form. This is a must, because the evaluators don't want to see just the outlining of the character, they want to see the underlying structure.
- Clean up carefully - Once you are done your constructions and lines, lay a new piece of paper over the drawing, and trace out new clean constructions and outlines. 
- Use line variance but don't go crazy - Line quality is critical. What is closer to you is shown as thicker lines, not necessarily darker. But don't make the thick and thin lines too drastic (this is where having a teacher to guide you is useful).
- Make friends and meet people - Knowing what others have gone through, what to expect, and learning tips from others is really helpful. 
- Most of all: Get a teacher to guide you - I would have never been able to do my portfolio without my teachers guiding me, and you have to make sure that the teachers you ask help from know what the portfolio requirements ask for.  Even if the classes are sometimes expensive, it's often worth every penny (if you really do your research and put in the work).

There are a lot of other finicky little tips you'll learn along the way. Above are the major routes and tips I learned of while working through the portfolio. 
If anyone wanders onto this post that happens to be working on their portfolio for animation, I invite you to ask questions, because I'd love to share my plethora of little tips I've picked up from friends and teachers during the portfolio process-- and if I don't know the answer, it'd be fun to find out.
Happy days!

Continued Portfolio Pieces

WOW. I just got my score sheet (March 30th). I got a score of 3.93! 
Heart exploding. So happy.
Overall, there are a lot of places I need to improve, better structure and proportion are a must. And most of the drawings are pretty stiff. Stuff to work on... My room drawings and personal art. I will repost better quality versions! The full figure below was the wrong life drawing! I had a better one to put in, but accidentally placed that one into my portfolio without realizing. It was just a personal work, so it's didn't matter AS much, so that's ok.


Continued Portfolio Pieces

Hand drawings, rotations and action poses, and the object drawings. I was working on cleaning up the hands right up to the moment where I had to bus it to Square One on hand-in day! Crazy day, but I love the result. If my best friend hadn't been there to help me mount stuff, I'd be so dead. Agh.    

Edit: I put a scan in of my 3/4 front pose to show line quality, but unfortunately the scanner wiped out all of the constructions. Oh well.

Happy Day!

I discovered my conditional offer at 5:03pm on March 29th at the access.sheridan site, though it had been posted earlier on the Ontario Colleges site on the March 28th (wish I had checked that sooner!)

With this happy news in mind, here are some snapshots of my full portfolio. I fully intend on taking more detailed shots (with better lighting) and scans later since the camera wiped out most of the structure and obscured the finer details and line quality of clean up. 

Sorry for the weird order, but I hope it's clear what's what anyways. All of the life drawing section (except for the hands):

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