Technique

Pushing your knees forward in the Squat.

I’m sure most of you on here know how to squat, or have at least done it before. And I’m sure almost all of you have been told the same cue when squatting.

“Push your hips back”

While I wont say that is the wrong way to squat, I will say that it is an extremely inefficient way to squat. Inefficient meaning you’re dumping energy into less than optimal positions, that will take away from your ability to lift more weight and recruit more muscle engagement. 

Above is the way I see most people try to squat. Hips are pushed back, back is hyper extended to keep the chest up, and the knees are behind the toes. 

This is how most people should squat. Notice the knees PAST the toes, hips are sunk low, and the back is vertical and FLAT, not arched. 

Now I know most of you have probably always heard that the knees coming forward in the squat is bad because it puts too much pressure on your knee joint, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The knees coming forward in the squat is only dangerous when the squat mechanics are off. 

Check out the picture below. 

On the left you have an extremely efficient squat position. Notice the bar high on the lifters back directly over the middle of foot (center of gravity) and the back flat and upright, keeping the hips close to the center of gravity. This will allow for maximal quad recruitment when coming out of the bottom position and it will also reduce strain on the back because the vertebra are stacked on top of each other.

On the right you will see the bar out in front of the center of gravity and much lower on the lifters back. The knees behind the toes which cause the hips to be further away from the center of gravity which creates a more horizontal spine. This can cause a lot of stress on the back to keep the bar/chest from falling forward further which would result in the lifter falling down. 

To me the answer is obvious, when it comes to efficiency and safety, get that back up, those hips low, and those knees forward. 

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WELCOME TO HELIOS. A NEW HOPE FOR 2D ANIMATION


This is a preview of HELIOS, a new animation system created by us, in response to today’s production demands.

Helios is a custom-made Toon Boom Harmony module that allows to rotate a 2D character in real time in any angle on a 360 sphere . It also controls every facial feature of said character:

Helios is not something  that you can  just reproduce in Toon Boom, but a very sophisticated plugin with thousands of lines of code.

It has the potential of speeding the animation process 5 to 8 times, according to our calculations, in between other conveniences.

We are pending a test for the Oculus with 2D characters.True  classical toons.

We chose Mrs Brisby for being a classic character, to give us a challenge of maximal difficulty.  What you are seeing here is 95% complete, minus a few patches.We are aware of slight breaks in the character, this is the first ever Helios construction and thus, we are are still testing the limits of the system and figuring the pipeline out.

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REVISION 

I have been meaning to do this post for an awfully long time, and have had numerous messages asking me about how I revise, so it is about time I got down to it. I think the main reason why I haven’t done this post until now is because I myself have actually also been figuring out exactly how to revise. Last year, I feel that I didn’t really nail a set revision technique, and although I did fine with my prelims, I didn’t feel like I was prepared at all, and vowed to find a revision technique to make me feel satisfied this year.

I’ve found that using different methods for different papers is currently working for me, so I will try to give you an overview of what I am currently doing. I’m not saying that these methods are going to be 100% successful for myself or for anyone else, but if you are interested in what I am doing right now, then read on. 

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I’m currently splitting 3 of my 4 papers into a revision technique with 3 stages: 
STAGE 1: collating quotes on post-it notes, collating notes from previous lectures, essays and supervisions; defining topics or ‘themes’ to gather them into. 
STAGE 2: creating a series of colourful mind-maps on these topics, using my quotes on post-it notes to stick on the paper in relevant places/move about the page. On the paper, I will arrange my notes and thoughts into logical trains of thought which flow into a mini ‘argument’ that includes these quotes. I will then do the same kind of mindmaps on past paper questions, creating mini essay plans that include my portable quotes.
STAGE 3: PAST PAPER TIMED ESSAYS. There’s no real explanation needed here, only that I will probably first allow myself to look at my texts/notes during a timed essay, before then removing them from my sight/grasp at the final hurdle.   
I hope these stages make sense to people, and I will try to post pictures on here as I go. As you can see from the top image, I am currently only at Stage 1, but I will move to Stage 2 next week. 

In my Medieval Paper, we have to complete translations, so, additional to the above method, I have written out the passages we need to work on for translation (see the image with my two copies of ‘Sir Gawain’). Here, I have found that translating gradually with the help of both the Middle English version & the translated version has helped. I haven’t looked at the translated version yet, and have instead written out the Middle English in black pen, before going over the text, referring to the Middle English glossary, picking out any words I found difficult individually before writing them in light green alongside the Middle English. I will next go over the translated version I own, and come to a conclusive translation in dark green at the bottom of each page. 

For my fourth and final paper, Practical Criticism, I have found that the use of flashcards is probably the most helpful for all the critical terms that we need to know (see third image). After creating a set of flashcards and learning the terms, I will go through my past notes on different critical/theoretical schools of thought, creating more colourful mindmaps on each set topic. And then again, its PAST PAPER time.

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That’s it! I hope it makes sense. I am awful at knowing how to revise, possibly the worst person to ask if I’m honest, as nobody really tells you how to revise at university, which can mean that you waste time flailing around (that’s what I did last year). So now, I’ve just thought of various ways to change-up my revision technique and make it really dynamic. We’ll see if it works in the long-run, but it is working at the minute!  

This term, there are also revision lectures, classes and supervisions on in the English department; I have attended these so far, and I have felt that they have  really helped me to identify what I need to get done in my own revision time, so I will definitely carry on attending. Ultimately, so far this term, I have been keeping myself busy with revision, and I am really starting to feel like I am making progress. I’m actually quite enjoying it, so hopefully this feeling will last. 

-Sarah 

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“e den das iener czu keyme slage kome  zo sal her deñe den nochslag tuen das ist  das her czu hant dy weile sich iener schützt vnd sich des vorslags weret is sy haw ader stich zo sal her ander gefechte vnd stöcke hervörsüchen

“To make sure that one cannot come to strikes, he should instantly execute the Nachschlag, that means that he attacks again while the other is still protecting himself from the Vorschlag, be it with a strike or a thrust “

-HS 3227a, Early 15th century.


Beautiful.

“At this point it becomes appropriate to speak of technique rather than craft. Technique, as I would define it, involves not only a poet’s way with words, his [or her] management of metre, rhythm and verbal texture; it involves also a definition of his [or her] stance towards life, a definition of his [or her] own reality. It involves the discovery of ways to go out of his [or her] normal cognitive bounds and raid the inarticulate: a dynamic alertness that mediates between the origins of feeling in memory and experience and the formal the origins of feeling in memory and experience and the formal ploys that express these in a work of art. Technique entails the watermarking of your essential patterns of perception, voice and thought into the touch and texture of your lines; it is that whole creative effort of the mind’s and body’s resources to bring the meaning of experience within the jurisdiction of form.”

Seamus Heaney, from “Feeling Into Words,” Preoccupations: Selected Prose, 1968-1978 (Noonday, 1980)