Posts tagged: The Animation Workshop

The Pilot


This is my Final Project of 4 weeks At the 3D Character Animation (Professional Course of 15 weeks) at The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark.

Animation, Rigs and Art by me (Karin Rindevall)
Voice by Giovanni Braggio
Beer and Banana props thrown out of the airplane borrowed
from Katarina Opic’s & Juan Esteban’s final projects.
Go check out their final projects as well:

2013 – March

Phew, what can I say? This month has been great and full of cool stuff! Hectic, yet I feel like I’m improving a lot animation wise. I’m still very happy I decided to come to Viborg and study!


So basically, what I’ve been doing this month is; going to lectures, finishing assignments, running, going to class dinners on sundays, drawing the last pages of The Din Chapter 1. Constantly. I love being productive! I’ve also laughed a bit at Facebook’s ads in Danish. And this ad made me look great on facebook:

The facebook ads also taught me that a pimple in Danish is “Skin-Snake”. Which is awesome because in Swedish it’s “Pore-Worm”.  Makes me wonder what it is in Norweigan. Gotta ask my classmate. (Oh, the odd things I think about.)

There is a school pub at the Animation Workshop that the students can book for dinners and parties. First weekend in March it was decided to have a pizza duel between two of the Italian guys in my class.

 Pizza duel!

The duel kind of failed since one of the teams forgot to buy the ingredients, but the outcome was fantastic anyway. Heaploads of good pizzas…


… and tons of Pizza-Dough-Balls made out of the leftover dough. The best thing after Danish salted butter!

For four weeks we had Erik Schmidt, teaching us basic animation in Maya. Erik is a great animator and fantastic teacher. Even though I am used to animating in Maya I really learnt a lot these weeks. Especially some key shortcuts I either forgot about or didn’t know existed and also different work flows that really helped me to improve my way of animating and my way of thinking of 3D animation. Fantastic!

We had dailies where we watched eachothers assignments and discussed the result. Really helpful and a nice way to be able to go back and improve the assignments after the hand-in. He also told us stories from when he worked at Dreamworks, Disney and his years of freelancing. He showed us some of his work from his long career which was really inspiring. These are some of the movies he’s been working on: Balto, Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Chicken Little, Meet The Robinsons and Bolt. Really interesting to hear these things from someone who both worked in 2D and 3D! The differences and how to make the best out of it.

Erik also made us traditional scones. Best thing since Pizza-Dough-Balls!

Erik's Scones 

So, onward to the next topic. How has my running been going?

One of my many skills.

According to runkeeper I have god-like pace and I can run on water. Or rather according to the horde of runners that came at me during one of my morning runs, and made my GPS glitch like crazy! I think it was a race or something.

 Morning run beginning of March. Beautiful sun rise at 07:00.

On a more serious note, I think my running is going okay. I test-ran 21.5 km in the beginning of March to see if I could run a half marathon. I finished in 2 hours and 9 minutes, but was really exhausted. Unfortunetaly, only minutes after I hit that distance record it started snowing like crazy for days and I had to take a short break from running. No, it’s not impossible to run in snow, but I brought way too optimistic running clothes here, as I thought it wouldn’t be so cold from now on. On one of my morning runs it was – 13 C and I couldn’t feel my legs when I came home! Should’ve brought my thicker running-pants!

Snow! Outside my window.

After I hit my record I kind of slacked off with the distance and times I went running/week. I think it’s a bit of a combination of the sudden cold and snowy weather going on for two weeks and the fact that I have been working so much and prioritized sleep rather than getting up 05:40 in the morning. But also probably because I reached my goal and it made me relax too much. Big mistake!

But as I’m writing this I am back in the game and running 3-4 times a week. Hope to be able to build up my pace again, but I know for sure I can still pull off the distance!

Seen through the window in the corridor outside our class room.

We have a bit of a tradition in my class that we meet and have dinner together every sunday. Usually we cook together but to be completely honest I’ve been really bad at joining in on the cooking. Mostly because I have been busy working in the weekend or just trying to spend some time alone. And the cooking usually go on most of the day. However, I am proud to say I contributed with Swedish Chocolate Balls once (with a secret accidental fail ingredient that I am not going to mention here!). And my own version of Irish Coffee. Not much, but always something!

 All we do is eat. And animeat. Hah!

Lots and lots of good food. Since everyone comes from different countries at this course, the food we eat on the Sundays is very refreshing and diverse. I still need to get all recipes! When we celebrated Gio’s 30’th birthday we had tons of different desserts. So damn goooooood…

And almost always leftovers. Mondays have been dessert-leftover-day in class. 🙂 Great way to start the week!

Sausage and cheese! Bought on Lidl in Sweden, I think?
 Funny cuz I can't find that cheese at Lidl in Viborg. :S

My dad and Pia was really kind and sent me some cheese and dried sausage. I am not picky about food, okay. At least I… didn’t think I was up to now. But the fact that after attempting to buy a good cheese three times and end up throwing them away has proven me wrong. I never throw away food… but I just couldn’t stand the taste or the odour that stuck in my room for days as soon as I opened the fridge – no matter how enclosed the cheese package was (Yes, I can run on water AND have a super sense of smell).  One of them actually went green-ish after a week! That’s what I get for buying the cheapest stuff, I guess? Haha!

I heard this kind of cheese is popular here from some of my friends and also people I know who lived in Denmark. We have this kind of cheese in southern Sweden too but it’s not as common as here. But I promise, once I live in a bigger apartment with a separate kitchen, I will give this cheese an other shot. But not as long as the kitchen is in my face when I sleep.

 The butter I use when making Chocolate Balls!

But, hey, good news! There must be such a thing as food-Karma. Because every single kind of butter I have bought here has been excellent! Perfect texture, perfect consistensy and SALT. I LOVE SALT. There is this butter that I use for bread that tastes just like Bregott Havssalt (my fav Swedish butter) but has the perfect softness which makes it easier to use when spreading on crisp bread. Never breaks! Man, it’s gonna be hard (hah!) going back to Bregott when I move back home.

 Danes loves Liqorice just as much as Finns and Swedes! Yay!

I was invited to tea and card game lunch to Talía and Dorte’s place. Brought some liquorice cookies that I bought at the grocery store. Om nom nom nom! I think they were popular! But the winner of the tea party was indeed Dorte’s home made buns. Om nom nom nom!

 Easter Egg that I got from Robe's parents. <3

Robe and his parents came visiting me during Easter! Made me really happy! We explored the city a bit, had some beer from the local brewery (I had an Irish Coffee, though) and ate a lovely dinner at the hotel his parents stayed at. 🙂 Really appreciated that I could celebrate a bit of easter with them this year!

Photos from the 31:st of March when I took a long walk, and all the snow had disappeared. 🙂 Beautiful day!

 This is where I ran before I found my way to the lake.

Viborg has some really nice streets. Interesting angles and beautiful colors!

And finally, here’s the reel with some of the assignments from Erik’s lectures! 🙂 The days were usually 50% of lectures, presentations and inspiration from short movies. Then the other 50% of the day and a bit into the evening was spent on working on daily assignments. I really liked that setup! Quick assignments, daily rounds/feedback and lots of relevant information to apply on the assignments from the lectures. Very organized.


  Summarized list of the things I did this month:

        • Reached 40 pages of The Din – image at the left is a panel from one of the pages!
        • Ran my first 21.5 km! Finished in 2 hours and 9 minutes. I’m happy!
        • Ate Pizza by my Italian classmates. And pizza dough balls. The best!
        • Been having awesome dinners almost every Sunday over at the Animation Workshop
        • Played Munchkin with Dorte, Talía and their friends, ate Dorte’s home made buns and had tea! YUM
        • Attended to 4 amazing weeks of classes lead by Erik Schmidt
        • Animated an unexpected work sample really quick. Fun!
        • Had my boyfriend and his parents visiting me over Easter. Happy times!
        • Watched A Monster in Paris for the first time. Lovely movie! <3


2013 – February

Well hello! I’m currently in Denmark!

Right after driving off the ferry.

So February was in the beginning a lot about packing, planning and getting my shit together. After getting really sick one week in the end of January I had to do everything I had planned really fast. Like a machine. You know?  It kind of looked like this:


Fuel. Task list will be ... EXTERMINATED!

My mom helped me moving here! I have increddible parents. I didn’t ask for any help on this since I know I can basically take the train (5-6 hour trip) from where I live in Sweden. But she insisted she’d drive me since she wanted to see Viborg! And Robe’s parents also showed a lot of interest in helping me since they were interested in seeing where I’d study. I’m lucky to have such helpful parents! We made it to the ferry with one minute to spare early in the morning.

Slight heart attack from almost missing the ferry. 

My room!

When we arrived on friday the 15:th me and Robe had a nice dinner with mom at a place called Rindholm’s Kro. Very beautiful place with sweet people working there. Really good food and atmosphere.

On saturday I had to say goodbye to Robert. Even though 15 weeks will pass really fast and he will visit me once or twice, I got really really sad! It was hard to shake off!

I got in a better mood later because I met Talía and Dorte! 😀 I know them from tegakie/online and it was so nice to finally meet them in person. They are character animation students of the bachelor-programme . They showed me around the city, helped me buy heavy grocery stuff and invited me for tea, “lonely cake” and dinner! <3 Also got to meet their cute cat Tilde. Awwwwwww! Perfect way to start my stay here! I really appreciated it! Awesome, inspiring girls!

Licorice candy and lonely Cake! <3

First day at the course was really nice. The school staff took us out for lunch and showed us around the campus. Really inspiring environment with lots of creative stuff going on everywhere. First three weeks here were on introducing us all to Maya. All the students have very different background and profession (architects, tv-show-2D-animators, VFX). Some of us already know Maya fairly well but most never opened Maya before. For me, these weeks felt kind of basic since I have been using Maya all these years while working at Junebud. But I have to admit, it was really nice to get such a thorough and high paced recap of Maya. So much tools and shortcuts I had totally forgotten about. Now they are all fresh in my mind again!


I made sure to use these three weeks wisely, though. Among the other assignments and demos, everyone were asked to model their own character since it’s easier to learn the tools if you work on something you are dedicated to. I decided to make a pilot (Surprised?) and tried to push myself and learn new things about modeling and rigging. I feel like I actually learnt some new stuff. Especially about some rigging tools I forgot about – and can’t use – when making low poly game graphics these years.

 Some of the inspiring stuff you'll find in the corridors. 

Been exploring the city a bit by heading out for morning walks and short runs. Kind of got lost in the small beautiful alleys when I was really looking for the lake in the city – which supposedly is very nice to run around. First wekend one of my new friends Daga, from Poland, showed me around the lake and we had a good run together. From where I live, 1 lap around the lake and back is about 9.5 km so it’s a perfect run in the morning before going to class.

Beautiful town!

The second week the whole class, the teacher and the coordinators went bowling together. Team building! The Norweigian Mikkel won the competition. That guy seems to be great at everything. (Generally, that goes for everyone in this class. I am amazed. And inspired!)

Me bowling. Wonder why I cropped this picture…

 Haven’t worked a lot on the comic The Din in February. But it’s as expected since I spend 8-12 hours a day at school. I did however quickly model a  super cute reference for Lorentz’ van. It’s based on the Volkswagen bus, and I even found a miniature toy to use as reference when modeling the reference. (That’s funny. A reference, for a reference, for a reference, for a reference to use as a… reference… referenceception.)

 Lorentz' van.

So, yeah – the first three weeks here haven’t been a lot of animation yet. This was totally expected and I actually liked this approach a lot. Not only because the teacher was really good at trying to teach everyone somthing new, not only the Maya beginners. But also because this gave me time to settle a bit, get to know my class mates and explore the city. After these three weeks the assignments and classes started to pile up. More on that later in the entry about March. 🙂

The pilot I modeled in class. Look at the video for a process-turntable-thing.

Here’s a short video on the first three weeks. I only included a short animation test (The ball, sack of flour and catapult were provided by our teacher) and my 3D model since most of the other assignments were really basic “getting to know Maya” stuff. The 3D model and rig are pretty much a lovely result of marrying the stuff I learnt at Junebud with the new things I learnt here. Like how to model more high res geometry suitable for bone, blend-shape and latice deformation. And how to rig a stretchy spine, legs and arms (that makes the scene explode).

Weeee! I am going to make a new, separate process video once I finished rigging and skinning this guy. And yes, I will make a slower turntable motion. 🙂

These are some of the things I have done in February:

  • We had a fine dinner at Ola and Maria’s place. Have been craving to have that youghurt dessert again ever since…
  • I ran 10 km in 55 minutes and 10 seconds! 10 seconds away from my goal but I’m very happy about this since I ran 10 km in 64 minutes about 6 months ago. Big improvement. 🙂
  • Reached 30 pages of Chapter 1 of The Din
  • Moved to Denmark
  • Met Talía and Dorte
  • Attended to the first two weeks of classes at the professional course – 3D Character Animation
  • Worked on some concepts for mine and Robe’s game
  • Modeled a 3D model of a pilot in class
  • Almost finished rigging said model
  • Went bowling with my classmates
  • Was informed with the great news that I will become an aunt this late summer! Excited!
  • Ate After Eight straws. Wow.
  • Found some really great Danish butter. I’m hooked!
  • Found some really awful Danish cheese…


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