Convention Retrospective: RTX2016 Edition
I attended RTX2016 for fun, but I also attended a lot of panels to grow myself as an artist and content creator. There's a few interesting tidbits that I wanted to write up about.

Audio for Noobs

This panel was the most important panel of the entire convention for me to attend. I struggle with audio. If there's one thing I would say is consistently weak in videos I make, it would be my audio choices and editing. That's why I made it my goal to make it to this panel.

The panel exceeded my expectations. Information about programs and libraries were shared, and I got to see one of Chris Kokkinos' (Audio Engineer for the animation department) sound effects that he generated for RWBY Volume Four. It helped me try to start building a foundation to understand sound design. 

Key frame Animation or Just Moving Forward: Which One is For Me?

At the Animating Camp Camp panel, there was a very interesting discussion where the panelists talked about whether they liked making key frames and then doing the in-betweens or just moving forward frame by frame.

It made me evaluate how I animate. I've always done frame by frame. I have no reasoning to do so; it's just what I've always done. But, hearing the discussion and everyone's reasoning made me realize my work flow benefits more from key frames.

When I do it frame by frame, I tend to be able to work very quickly in short bursts. It's quick because the art will be loose due to no restrictions and open freedom. However, the freedom is what makes it easy to grind to a halt. I will get distracted or blocked about what happens next since I did not plan it out. 

When I work with key frames, I do not do the in-betweens quickly, but I can work for longer periods of time without hitting walls. I consider the second faster when taking on the big picture even though it's slower on a scene by scene basis.

The Art Industry: University Education Vs Self-Taught 

People have differing opinions about college degrees and their impact on developing a career in the art industry. When I attended RTX, I attended many panels that involved industry professionals with many years of experience. What I found interesting is hearing these people talk about whether college degrees are important. Since they themselves came from either prestigious universities or were drop outs or didn't bother in the first place, it was an even mix of voices- until it wasn't.

In most of the panels, everyone's opinions generally seemed to sway that college degrees can be important for some people as a tool to network and grow their skills, but that it is not necessary for every person depending on their skills and ability to put their work out there. Basically, some people need to go to a university and some do not. These panels had an even mix of college grads and non college attendees talking on the mic. They were also small and intimate gatherings of fans.

However, in the largest general panel for the animation department, most panelists or employees in the audience who spoke were from a college background and exclusively advocated for degrees. There was a big hurrah for Ringling. It was interesting to have attended five animation-exclusive panels (Six if you include the Audio for Noobs panel) and the largest and possibly most viewed panel was the one to advocate for degrees as the main path.

Career Path

I've been seriously thinking about how I spread myself thin because of how many projects I want to do. I know I'm doing it, but I don't know quite how to balance myself yet. It's one of the many things I still have to learn. If there's one bit of information that stuck with me, it's that when you're too broad in your vision and goals, it's that you won't be able to focus in and make a career out of anything.

I've been too broad, but I don't want to give everything up for only one specialization. It will be interesting moving forward how I'll try to deal with that.

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