In July I had the pleasure to take part in the second edition of the Living Lines Workshop. It is the 2D counterpart of the LuMAA, brought to life by the two alumni Amélie Cochet and Louis Möhrle, also known as Studio PIAF.
Unlike the year before, the course would take two weeks instead of just one week. The first one being focused on the creative and conceptual aspects of animation such as compositing, framing, montage and storyboarding and the second one dedicated to the art of animation itself. The participants were a mix of current and former students of the HSLU animation department, students from the HEAD in Geneva and several creative-minded people from different places that were interested in animation.
So, after a warm welcome on Monday morning and after having managed the first technical problems that were bound to happen, each person drew a quick portrait to introduce themselves. The schedule was tightly packed, so we lost no time and dived into the first input. The following days would all be structured like this, having an input in the morning and time in the afternoon to work on exercises or on an individual sequence. It was the overall goal of the workshop to do a short animated sequence or a series of exercises.
Let’s dive in
The first few days were taught by Veronica L. Montaño and Frederic Siegel. As a first-year student it was very nice to finally be able to put a face to those well-known names whose graduation films popped up several times in the theory lessons. They explained to us the different steps of animation preproduction and we did fun tasks on storyboarding and character design. Additionally, we got a lot of valuable insight on their work in their self-founded studios and creative collectives. Fast forward to Friday, Nino Christen took over for Veronica and Frederic. By that time everyone had developed their idea for what they wanted to animate in the following week, so with Nino’s help we started doing animatics and layouts.
At the start of the second week we were joined by three more participants and immediately went on to the 12 principles of animation, again with Nino. The rest of the day we had time to work on a short loop and it was amazing to see what everyone accomplished in this limited amount of time. For the next two days Justine Klaiber coached us individually when we were working on our sequences and last but not least we spent Thursday and Friday morning learning FX-animation with Etienne Mory and adding that knowledge quickly to our own animations before time was up.
The end of the Living Lines Workshop came very fast and even though I would have liked to spend more time working on my clip in such a motivating and productive environment, I was also excited to finally get to see everyone’s work on a big screen. There was lots of amazing stuff and it was also a really rewarding experience to see your own work of the last two weeks (it was far from finished though). Afterwards we spent a well-deserved, relaxed apéro-evening together to conclude the workshop, where even the weather managed to be fairly decent compared to the rest of the days.
In hindsight I can say that my time in the Living Lines Workshop was well-spent and I am happy I signed up. It was a great opportunity for me to push myself and especially as a first year student I learned about things like layouting and FX-animation that I had never tried before. But probably the most important part was the close contact with the lecturers that all had a lot of experience to share. I had a lot of fun and I wish Louis and Amélie all the best for their next workshop!
Text and images: Julia Krummenacher