A new year of learning!
2019 approaches; and although the common wisdom is that "New Year resolutions" are swiftly broken and abandoned, I've decided to make some anyway!
I've been at CG Cookie for just a little over a year now and I personally feel like I've made a lot of substantial progress over this year. But I also feel like I didn't make as much as I could have, and I feel like a big part of that missing progress is due to not having very well-defined goals when I started out. I had made a sort of curriculum for myself, and it generally worked for most of the beginning. But, the introduction to CGC of live classes threw a wrench in things, for a few reasons. Chiefly, the topics of the classes did not always match up with where I was in my own learning plan, and the work I needed to do for that class tended to monopolize that month. Which was fine; but when the class ended I inevitably found it very hard to pick back up where I was in my own stuff with the same energy. That's true even now; the last month and a half has been a lull in which I've done very little learning (although I have spent a lot of that time playing with 2.8, so the time wasn't completely lost). It's not that the classes burned or tired me out - they didn't, at all! The main difference was that, as opposed to the classes which had solid goals and deadlines, my own self-guided plan had an "order" but no timeline. I'd set no "win condition" to motivate myself with.
That changes, in 2019! Having seen what kind of progress I can make in a year's time, I think I am ready to set some more definite goals.
1. Soft-surface modeling and characters. I am satisfied with my current ability when it comes to hard-surface objects, like vehicles and such. My organic sculpting and character-making skills however need serious work. I took the live character class but I was mostly unhappy with the final result. Specifically, as short-term goals I intend to finish the Art of Sculpting course and then take the Modeling Realistic Character course.
2. Animation. Listing it second but in reality it's my biggest goal of 2019. At the minimum, this means doing Wayne Dixon's Boot Camp and Animation Workflow courses, more if I seem to be progressing well.
3. Moar portfolio projects! Independent of the above, I would like to complete one still-project a month at a minimum. This can be a workshop project during the months I take a workshop; but I need to do projects during non-workshop months as well.
Those are my short term goals. Tentatively I'd like to get all of the courses I've named finished by mid-year. As a long-term goal, by the end of the year I would like to have made some kind of simple but complete "short film" project. I'm really eyeing Piero here, but it doesn't have to be - we'll have to see how things go.
My timeline IS a little fluid here really; there will be workshops coming up for instance and I'll be taking some of those, which may extend the time it takes to complete my planned classes. As much fun as I have taking them, I may have to skip a couple workshops to keep from getting too far off-track with my own plans though (definitely no Intro workshops this year, although I'll certainly help the people taking them with feedback and such) if it looks like that's what's happening. We'll have to see how things work out.
To help me stay accountable to my goals, I plan to start a polybook on the forum like so many others have done - they're so fun to read and I really do want to try and engage with the community here a bit more than I usually do.
So, those are my short-and-long-term goals for the upcoming year! What's everyone think - are they realistic, do you think? Maybe they're too aggressive and I haven't given myself enough time? Or maybe they're too lazy and I'm giving myself far too much time?
I'd also like to hear what everyone else is thinking as far as plans or goals for 2019.