Mentors

I am wondering the number of teams that have Professional Mentors to assist with Animation.

1- NO
2- Animation Professional Mentor-
3- Other Graphic/Video Professional Mentor-
4- Non-Professional Mentor (Helps out but doesnt work in related field)

Thanks!

Also post a reply as to how they help or any other comments you have.

I’de call our mentors professionals, but not for a company. We have two brothers that help our team and they are CAD teachers at Ivy Tech State College here in Kokomo. There help was greatly accepted and their hard work sure shows and boy do they know what their doing.

Never competed in the past with animation, didn’t have computers, this year have donated laptop, 2 donated computers and willing students, no mentor

we kinda have an animator…finished one in 2001, but it wasn’t sent in, half did last years, and we might have one this year. we never had one sent in though…or actaully done

Wildstang has a Motorola mentor who has been working with our animation team for a few years now.

I am taking graphic design in college but by profession I am a fork truck driver. The other mentor works for EDS but is not a professional animator neither.

for the 3 years that our team has done animtion we have had a total of 9 students work on the animation and 0 adult mentors that could tell us how to help ourselves. So for three years we have had to learn eveything from the most basic stages. but sometimes thats the best way to go.

Keep um comming- I am trying to get a handle on whats out there for other teams.

In another thread, the discussion is about the Awards at the regionals and the Qualifying Points not being given to winners- I feel that if FIRST actually thought animation and computing was a real Technology- they would award points in this area- and it would cause teams to have a reason to attempt to establish professional relationships with graphic and Animation Professionals- One student I worked with the past two years is in his first year of college studying this stuff and another is in the computer science field.

By the way- I was told about the competition by one of the faculty/Mentors of our team and then volunteered to help on my own- I was never approached for that reason.

LOOK IN YOUR COMMUNITY FOR HELP, It’s out there!

A Professional mentor? We’re running 3dsmax on a school computer that can’t do anything and crashes every 20 minutes.
Max is sweet software and we’ve got a pretty good handle on it now, but that’s a long way from having a professional mentor-and a half decent computer.

Maybe next year…

Yeah, we havent had anyone who I can say truly impacted us in any real way…every year we have had someone who was the adult leader of the team, but after storyboarding and such they were rarely around to help us and really were just our leader in name. So, basically, no.

I dont really think that it matters too much though. Sure, mentors can help, but I think that they can also intimidate people from taking initiative. Right now, our animation team is run much differently than any of the other teams because of the student leadership. Its student leadership because none of the adult leaders would have any idea what they were doing. However, in engineering, I have constantly seen good ideas crushed because there are one or two adults who didnt like that idea. Also, the sheer number of engineering mentors we have may be intimidating. Its just that many people you have to go through before an Idea can be implemented. Of course, there are plenty of cool leaders too who will listen to students, but it only takes one person to crush an Idea.

So, in my opinion, the lack of mentors s perhaps the reason I am on the animation team. If I have a good idea, I can just yell over to my team members “Is this cool?” and then I can go implement it. Basically, my point is that you shouldnt complain that you have no mentors. This isnt heavy machinery and you wont kill yourself trying to learn it by yourself, so just read the tutorials.

I’m my own mentor.

Lacking some professional help is a big problem. If you need to puzzle out something you have to play around with it until you get a handle on what you think everything does instead of being able to ask a pro who knows how it really should work. Tutorials are not the end-all-be-all of figuring out the program- the manuals don’t help much either, and none of them cover using different capabilities together to create an effect. Thus, the forum, so we can hope somebody else figured it out first.

I think you all have good points. Yes it only takes a one person to crush and idea. but keep in mind that sometimes it’s the students them selves. I encourage the students to try things and if it doesnt work to adjust and try again. If your lost in how to achieve things, you may get frustrated and quite all together. It helps to have somone with experience let you know that maybe you are on the right path and if your close or not. I sometimes feel that I’m not there enough- but I am an active advisor of the team. But I also encourage them to do as much on their own to learn an try for themselves.

At the start of every year I have 10-15 students looking at me telling me that they want to be an animator. All I do is say great, give them a quick over view of the software, then hand them the tutorials and give them a deadline to get through as many as posible. The reason for this is two fold- 1- it eliminates the kids that arent really into it and 2- it gives them a foundation to work with and learn the foundation of the program. Then when I say try this or that or adjust this or that- they say oh yeah that sounds good. And i dont have to tell them what to do, why to do it and how to do it. They have the foundation and can do the rest themselves.

It is true that a professional that does this work day-in and day-out can help with concepts and techniques that you wouldnt know on your own. You wont learn in the basic tutorials and you need hard fast experience to get the nitty gritty.

There are resources you can try. These offer tutorials for you to learn special effects and other indepth techninques in modeling and texturing and such.

http://www.3dcafe.com
http://www.the3dstudio.com
http://www.autodesk.com (ofcourse)
http://www3.autodesk.com/adsk/item/0,,1047962-123112,00.html (this is the link of tutorials sent to FIRST teams- they may be available to anyone though)

MENTORS have ties to the professional world that may lead to donations of time, money, equipment given specifically for Animation teams- Seek them out!

*Originally posted by Daishichimaru *
**I’m my own mentor.
**

being your own mentor on animtion is great. It makes work so much easier and allows you to make up your own ideas. Our animation team as Chris states is basically a family. While modeling we shout out the ideas to each other and have big conversations about how to do stuff, without the fear of reprocussion for going against someone else.

menotrs can help very much at the basic stages of animtion because they provide the example and experience, but after that
it must be completely student made. This is one of the reasons that first probably doesn’t put much stock in animation, because 80% or so teams are completely student made and conceptualized.

*Originally posted by imjustmatthew *
**A Professional mentor? We’re running 3dsmax on a school computer that can’t do anything and crashes every 20 minutes.
Max is sweet software and we’ve got a pretty good handle on it now, but that’s a long way from having a professional mentor-and a half decent computer.

Maybe next year… **

Ack!:ahh:
I remember those days last year.
I hardly miss them.
This year we made a three computers from scratch that are powerful enough to handle the program so that won’t be a problem any more.

*Originally posted by TEAM_74 *
**being your own mentor on animation is great. It makes work so much easier and allows you to make up your own ideas. **

The whole point of this is learning and growing and developing skills for you future. If you want to be successful in anything you do you will most likely need to deal with and interact with people. I f you want to be a starving artist you can sit w/ you computer and do what you want- but if you want to be a productive member of society you have to deal with people with different ideas and concepts and visions of how the world goes round

*Originally posted by TEAM_74 *
**mentorshelp very much at the BASIC STAGES ecause they provide the example and experience, but after that it must be completely student made. This is one of the reasons that first probably doesn’t put much stock in animation, because 80% or so teams are completely student made and conceptualized. **

On the contrary- any one can pick up a book and program and learn it. I do it all the time. Its the Mentors that can provide tips and tricks and as you say EXPERIENCE on the advanced stuff that isn’t written in the books. I draw on all my experience when creating the graphics I create- My college degree is in Architectural Design and I took tones of credits in Painting, illustration, sculpture, animation, film and such. And with all that all I had was a foundation that allowed me to learn from others. I am completely self taught- as my goal in college was to me an Architect- when I was offered an oportunity to do 3D I jumoed at it. I have had my own mentors in the professional world that have helped me to grow and develop. Today- everyone of them now rely on me for information and ideas. But first I had to learn in a real world environment. That’s what I hope you all get from this.

Some of you guys need to look up MENTOR in the dictionary. Your confusing it with Czar.

**Some of you guys need to look up MENTOR in the dictionary. Your confusing it with Czar. **

The mentors are never appreciated until they’re no longer there.:frowning:

No, when I say that I’m my own mentor, I mean that. If I have a question, I have to figure it out myself. When I need advice I have to ask myself. If I need assistance I have to suck it up and do it myself. Heck, I don’t even have other animators to have to work with. Ah, the bliss that is solitude. :frowning:

I don’t doubt that you have that situation- thats why I started the thread. To see what others are going through. To see what kind of help people have.

I was trying to explain that having mentors is a good thing and you can only go so far on your own. I am constantly put in situations to FIGURE IT OUT in my profession and I deal alot with new media technologies. The second new software comes out I’m forced to get it to stay on top and ahead of the game. So there aren’t a lot of people I can turn too. I am forced to piece things together form all the fragments available on the Internet. I often go from not knowing a thing about a subject to being an expert in a day or two.

So all I can say is if you learn how to figure it out (what ever IT happens to be at the moment) good for you. As a mentor- I almost never give the students a straight answer- I try to point them in the right direction but try to have them do research and figure it out.

The goal of this thread was to see what was available to you guys and to see what we can do to improve it for all down the road. I am a professional in the field- But I don’t see or hear of too many others out there helping. Just know that help is here if you want it. Many of the Corporations that sponsor teams hire people like me to do work for them- or they are in house at the company them selves. If you ask for help and utilize the resources that are available- maybe Animation will get the respect alot of us want for the program.

With out a steady mentor, there is no way to carry the knowledge from one year to the next. You students need to pass it on and actively look to recruit fellow students that you can train and groom for the successive years. Last year 2 of our three animations graduated. The one remaining didn’t have too much experience (even with participating last year) so this year we have a young team w/ 3-freshmen and a sophomore. That puts us in good shape for next 2 years but we need to ensure that there are other following behind.

So if you don’t have a mentor- you need to be the mentors. Not to yourself (as a book I read says a man that counsels himself has a fool as an adviser) but to other students. You can motivate yourself and take responsibility and be proactive. But you aren’t truly mentoring yourself just by the nature of what a mentor is.