My senior thesis animation "Eating Simulator" has been shown as part of the Senior Show at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design! It was a blast seeing people's reactions to my thesis, and a lot of people wondered if they could actually play it! Sadly, I had limited time and it is purely an animation study.
My senior thesis was based on FPS (first person perspective) experiences in video games, and how many games these days have you (the player) clicking on objects and interacting with them in an environment to achieve a goal. While an "Eating Simulator" doesn't sound like the most exciting thing to hit the video game world, it was good practice to build a realistic environment and practice first-person camera angles and animation.
You might notice that there isn't actually anything holding onto the objects as they float about, and the biggest reason for that was time. I had about three-four months to pull off this thesis, and the hands were, sadly, cut from production (yikes!).
Among other questions, you might see that there are primarily illustrations in my gallery, and not many 3D animations. Why the sudden switch? Well, video game design and animation are really what I want to get into. Unfortunately, four years ago my college (the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design) didn't have an Animation major. So, I've been training as an Illustrator for the past four years. However, it's just my luck that next year my college is coming out with a new major: Digital Media. This new major covers 3D animation and game design, and teaches students the ins and outs of the video game industry. Juuuust my luck.
I want to make fun video games for people, and to do that I needed to train myself in one of the industry's more valued skill sets: knowing how to operate a 3D modeling and animation program. More specifically, Autodesk Maya, the program I used to create the environment and animate it. If you've been following me, you'll see that my animation final last semester was the first taste of Maya I've ever had. After that, I knew that I could make an animation in the time allotted.
This thesis was tough, but that's what a senior thesis ought to be: a challenge that you grow from.
I hope to do more animation soon, but I think I'll take a few days rest before I jump back into it.
~A. Jarrod Harris