In Alec Gurrola’s animated short, “Sinners’ Pie,” a demon orders this dude to whip up a pizza pie for his gustatory pleasure and that of his hellish horde of dastardly devils, so the guy sets out on a hero’s quest to gather the ingredients.
In Michelle Lopez’s film, a tiny girl, riding in a car with green and purple grapes in her hand sets the grapes at each other in mortal conflict, and when all the fussin’ and fightin’s done, purple gobbles green, pips and all.
On Dec. 4 in Green River College’s Student Union building, the lunchtime crowd got a look at what Gurrola, Lopez, and other members of the college’s first-ever animation class had brought to life for their first projects.
“In animation, we work on 24-frames-per-second, and we hold an image for two frames, so to do one second of animation these guys had to do 12 drawings. It’s a lot of work,” said Auburn artist and instructor Jessie Brugger.
Now, extend that to the demands of a 30-second-plus-or-minus film, and the number of original drawings for which you are responsible seriously banks up.
Brugger schooled her charges in different techniques, some claymation, some hand-drawn animation, and a lot of digital animation. She taught them about timing, spacing and other basics, then asked them to rack their nimble brains over tricky things like after-effects and titles.
For the digital-doers, which turned out to be everyone, the course provided tools like Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, and an editing system called Premiere Pro to assemble the films.
“I am really impressed with these guys,” Brugger said. “It is so much work, and they have been working extremely hard, coming in during lab hours, working at home, coming in with questions. It is really difficult to animate.”
Bryan Blaising, a journalism student from San Diego, took the class “to try something new.” What came out was his short, “The Adventures of Bag Boy,” the story of a kid who wants to do something about the bullying he witnesses but lacks the confidence to take a stand. That is, until he puts a bag over his head and morphs into the titular superhero.
“When I first thought it up, it was supposed to be a comedy, but the more I thought about it, and the more drawings I did, the more I realized that my art is limited. So, I decided to make it a feel-good story. … He’s supposed to go out and fight ‘em, but the film ends in a cliffhanger because of time and what I could do,” Blaising said.
Brugger drew high praise from her students.
“She’s awesome, she’s really passionate about this,” said Robin Scheer, a Running Start student from Enumclaw.
“After doing animation for a long time, I came to realize that once you make a story board, and you have that idea to go with, and you have a beginning, a middle and an ending, and then you start to animate, and you realize how long it takes to do every part of the animation, it’s like, ‘Oh, my god, I just started, and I still have so much to do!’ ” Brugger said.
“In the short amount of time we had this quarter, I would love to see you continue to work on these, but I also love what you have done. I am totally impressed,” Brugger told her students.