Wow, so this is super late. Here's my 2nd year CalArts film, 'Under a Big Tree'.
Under a Big Tree from Michael Piazza on Vimeo.
Making this film was an adventure into the unknown for me. Having just barely used Maya before this year, and never seriously, I had a lot of learning to do in not very much time. This whole year was a constant "oh god I have no idea what I'm doing" moment - it was humbling and gloriously fun and sort of depressing all at the same time. I should make a list of all the things I learned, because it would be ridiculously huge. And I'm definitely going to make a 'making-of', just as soon as I beat Skyrim.
It's really fun to get lost in the forest of the technical (at least for me), but at
the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that your audience
doesn't notice any of it. I certainly don't feel that my film succeeded
on all levels (or most levels?), but I'm proud of the journey. And I'm starting my Disney CG internship in a few weeks, which is also an exciting scary unknown, so wish me luck!
More rambling: I found out that making a CG film involves uniting a bunch of different disciplines that artists and technicians spend their entire careers perfecting. Which is scary at first, but it just so happens that at this point in time, the tools exist (and are artist friendly enough) that it is possible for one person to learn how to do all this stuff and make a film in a little over a year (you will hate yourself though).
It's all about evaluating your own skills and knowledge, figuring out where you'll be when you have to actually start production, and then making smart design & story choices that mask your own incompetency. We weren't always provided with the resources we needed at school, which was frustrating - thankfully, my classmates are awesome and we helped eachother all day long, every day. I feel decently competent with The Mayas at this point, but my laundry list of things to learn is still far longer than the list of what I know.