It's week 8, and that brings to a close the digital environment course. Going back and looking over the last 2 months has really proven to me how much I have learned and benefited from this course.
So why an environment course? Well firstly I love painting environments, they've always been my strength and I enjoy painting things on a grand scale. Secondly I'm not much good at character design, in fact I suck so bad it's embarrassing, and yes i know you should build on your weaknesses but I chickened out this time and opted for the thing I know best.
So to the course. Having read the course outline before enrolling I had a general idea of where we were headed although how we would get there was another matter.
In the first few weeks we covered lots of new ground, at least for me, and I can safely say it was in these first 3 or 4 weeks when I really got the most out of the course. We covered thumbnails, blocking in scenes in 5/10 mins with one brush, created callouts for use in later scenes, covered 1 2 and 3 point perspective, color theory, composition and storytelling all whilst being informed of tricks and shortcuts to improve our workflow. I found Simon to be a great teacher who every week would offer feedback to every student on what was working and what could be improved. It was also great to be in an environment with other like minded students where we were constantly pushing each other to do better in a friendly competitive sort of way.
Some people may question why these courses are relevant today when you can get so much for free off the internet. I would counter this argument by saying that whilst it's true you can learn a lot from other students and professionals online (i have too), it's in a classroom environment, or virtual classroom in this case, where the one to one feedback from tutor and student alike shows itself to be an invaluable part of any aspiring student's education. For that reason any student hoping to go the whole way solo, will most likely find it much harder due to that lack of feedback and direction. Certainly I found that recently I had plateaued with regard to both creativity and technique yet this course has in turn raised my level once more and you can't ask for more than that.