Sunday, 30 December 2012

Animation : Using animation techniques to teach people how to dance

This blog is the first step of a new project of mine. Learning people how to dance by referencing 2D/3D animation techniques from the animation book : The animators survival guide

Before I started working professionally as a technical artist, I used to teach breakdance and other urban related dance styles. Now that I have worked 2 years in the industry and not having taught dance all that time, I am missing the feeling of sharing my knowledge. And when I say dance, I mean learning how to dance, not a dance. More specific, I want to teach what makes movement interesting, and how to develop your own freestyle skills so you can express your own creative mind.

Computer science has made a big impact on me. One of the disciplines of game development that I love is animation. Out of personal interest and part of my education in Belgium, I learned the basic knowledge of animation techniques. (You can see some results of that experience on my Portfolio ) All this knowledge has made a positive influence on my style and perception of dancing. By using animation, I am looking through a different perspective at dancing, allowing to iterate on my foundation skills and becoming more confident about my dancing.

I have a huge to-do list, so I am trying to combine multiple goals to be more efficient. This is also very challenging and hopefully creates a lot of motivation and adrenaline.

  1. Spend more time on dancing and sitting less time in front of my screen(s)
  2. Upgrading my animation skills
  3. Upgrading my teaching skills

I am not going into more details with this blog post on animation techniques that I want to address in the workshop, as I still have a lot of research to do. But you will be able to follow my progress on this blog if you are interested.

Already a couple of notes on the project that should inspire me during the project :

  1. Iteration is key because this will be a practical workshop on site, the participants will have to do many exercises so they make the necessary mistakes and learn the techniques through personal experience.
  2.  The exercises will be developed with design constraints in mind. (if you do not remember what these are, check my gdc presentation )
  3. Focus on inspiration, not rules
  4. This workshop is for both people who want to learn how to dance and animators
  5. I am not reinventing the wheel, but reusing knowledge that already exists

What can you get out of the workshop ? :

  • How to make your freestyle dancing more appealing to the public
  • Become more confident in your dance/expression skills
  • Have fun ...

A small note on the freestyling part for those who do not know what I mean with this. Freestyling means dancing on the moment itself by making use of the current music and vibe. Utilizing the accents and rhythm from the music in a creative matter to express yourself. What it not is, is learning how to memorize a certain dance and do it all together on the same time ...

I am looking forward to any kind of ideas, feedback or responses :)

Robb / Nysuatro