Monday, 10 August 2015

Online Characterisation Workshop: Timing Myself

Things are moving on with my on-line workshop for Craftsy. I have now selected over 100 images from my archive of around 30 children's books, which I will be using to help explain various teaching points as we work our way through the 7 lessons. It's so incredibly useful to have that resource at my fingertips.

All the lessons are now planned in fine detail. The last thing I did was to time it all. I need to aim for each lesson to average out at 15 - 20 minutes. I can have some longer and some shorter: it's very flexible, but that's the target. 

I had no idea how long they'd last to be honest. When I was planning, I just wrote down everything I could think of that I know about character design, then organised it all into 7 categories, and then organised that into logical sequences (each lesson is broken down into 3 sections, which helps a lot with planning).

So, timing... I set the stopwatch on my phone and got started. It takes a bit of getting used to, teaching thin air, but I've done it before, when rehearsing lectures. This time though, I had to draw as I went along, because I have to know how long it takes me to demo everything. I filled sheets and sheets of scrap paper with little characters:

I ran through each section 2 or 3 times (it gets quicker as you improve). Lesson lengths vary from 14 minutes to 26.

As always with my workshops, I could easily fill more time. I can continue to talk all the time I am doing the drawings, which helps, plus I am pretty quick with the sketches. The more demos a class has though, the more time it takes. 

One way I can cut the time is to use pre-drawn sketches instead, though I much prefer to be scribbling away live. I think people like to see that too, watching the process and seeing things emerge. I have had the okay for the timings from my producer now though, so we are going to be fine. 

Most of the sketches I'll be doing are quickies to explain a point, rather than proper drawings, as you can see from the sketch-sheets I created. There is a sneaky trick I can use if I need it though: my producer says, when it comes to more complex drawings which take a bit longer, we can always put in 'jumps', rather than watch the entire process. Clever thinking...

There are going to be 2 cameras filming at all times and I'm told the technical team have all sorts of clever tricks up their sleeve too. It will be so interesting. Getting quite excited now!


Eleanor said...

This is exciting - I have watched several children's books ones on Craftsy: Doreen Mulryan, Eric Johnson, and Shadra Strickland. Seeing someone actually draw/sketch some of it is actually more helpful than only finished work, though I know there have to be compromises time-wsie. It shows me there is no magic, just skill and practice and imagination. It's therefore more inspiring than 'here's one I made earlier'! But I'm looking forward to yours now definitely!

Pilgrim said...

How exciting for us and you! Love Craftsy classes: Paul Heaston, Marc Taro Holmes, Shari Blaukopf, and Steven Reddy.
Great organization and presentation of content. Such a bonus to have communication with instructors and ongoing access, to review.
Good price, too.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Cheers guys. Yes, the classes are very well put together so I am looking forward to joining the ranks. It should be an exciting experience too, as it is will be a far more involved set-up than any filming I've done before. A proper film studio!

مصراوى توب said...

Thank you for this effort

مصراوى توب

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