For the aspect of professionalism, I have decided to reflect on not just one but several aspects of it, how they affected me and how I handled each.
Aspects of Professionalism
During my studies I had several things occur which I have had to learn to work through in a professional manner. The first of these being the Covid crisis. This brought in a lot of changes and set studies back by quite a bit of time. The biggest thing to overcome through it all was the whole area of remote learning. I find one thing that is quite problematic when studying from home is motivation. To overcome this, I found setting up a personal study schedule while at home to be very helpful as well as using each online session as an additional motivational tool. With the online classes I ensured I took them in stride. While many I found to be shy and reluctant to have cameras on or talk I ensured that I took always used my camera and took part in discussions as often as possible to make sure I kept participation in everything as high as possible as well as benefiting myself by keeping up with any new happenings and information.
A second area I had to deal with professionally was switching between software midway through the course. Maya, I found was being very problematic and not intuitive to use so I made the decision to switch to Blender since this was another software that we were allowed to use. This came with its share of problems in that I had to revisit many things we had already covered. I took it in stride by spending some of my free time going back over previous course material and doing research on each area in Blender to bring my knowledge in it up to scratch. By the time I needed to start my final assessment I was feeling confident in Blender.
One last area which caused a lot of issues was nearing the end of my extension I was having no end of difficulty with my selected model. The one I had rigged I lacked the experience to fully rig as well as I needed and the rig that it had originally come with did not support many of the actions I had planned to perform for my animation which left me in a pickle. As a result of this I had to make the tough decision to search for a new model with very little time left. After finding one I ensure I well documented my swap in my blogs to avoid confusion in assessment marking and one way in which I supported creating my animation rapidly was by putting myself out there by recording myself performing actions and using this in both my blogs and as a reference for animating by. This alone ensure I was able to take the new model and complete it in time.
Planning for Time Management and Goal Setting
One thing I found to be very tricky is that this class was taken as an elective so more often than not it was neglected a bit in favour of my final year IT classes. To help me stay on track especially when I reached the assessments, I used a planning tool called a Gantt Chart. This planning tool allowed me to plan my workflow and work schedule out in detail and update it as I completed assessment steps. I did not always get everything finished in time, but it helped here as well by making it easy to reschedule things if possible. What made Gantt Charts so useful is their being such a clear visual way of tracking my progress and whether I am keeping on schedule or not.
My use of Gantt Charts can be seen in my blogs as when I reached the assessment stage, I gave a progress report via a Gantt Chart snippet at the start of each.
As can be seen in my blogs I always respected copyright, checking each model before use to make sure that the copyright allowed me to use and make any changes to it.
Attendance and Participation
I wasn’t always the most active in discussions with other student since I am more the introvert type, however when I found something that I thought could help my fellow students I would post it on the forum in the hopes it would be of some help. For class sessions I always ensured I attended each class session to get the maximum learning I could and made sure to be attentive in each session learning as much as I could in the hopes of excelling in this area of the CGI program.