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The pressures of being a first-time lecturer

kitetsu

pissy esoteric
But here's the kicker(s):


o) It's for an anthropomorphics class. Yes, that's right, a furry class in a doujinshi convention, come this weekend. But to be honest, i'm pretty excited about it, and with excitement comes nerve-wracking stress from the pressures of deadlines AND setting a good impression since this will be the first ever time i've ever had to front a class, by myself, and talk about furries. I know it's nothing compared to high school, but i'm still feeling the pinch.

o) I've been making a draft essay on the things i should mention in the class to compensate my second/third-rate short-term memory, based on the guidelines i've been given by one of my colleagues, and so far there's been a fucktastically large and fucking strong-arse wall of incommunicado that's affecting my working pace greatly, what with him not having any credit for his cellphone, and him not answering with my IMs in MSN. This left me the assumption that maybe he's having his absolute shit days or some other strange reason, but as if i can blame him. I've seriously got to get this shit done as much as possible before saturday, and i know full well that getting pissed over incommunicado won't kiss any part of my emaciated ass.

o) The more technical issue that i'm going to need for the class is about the character differences between furries by gender. Hmmmm, by gender, he must mean anatomically... Or just in general... The problem is, this part is where i usually scream bloody silence, because i let my drawings speak for itself.

o) I'm turning to every resource available for me to put to good use. This place here is one such (potential) resource.

o) No, I intend to make this class as neutrally-informative as possible. Remember, impressions make or break.



So now that the kicker(s) is aside, allow me to give you a WIP of the script-like essay of what i'm (hopefully) going to be lecturing.


What is a furry and why should we know/care?

Furries are the staple content of the term “anthropomorphism”, which is practically the technical term to its more commonly-said alias. Anthropomorphism, in general, is the act of altering whatever it is that isn’t human into something partially human.

Also, contrary to somewhat popular belief (probably due to the connotation of the word “furries”), anthropomorphism isn’t just limited to animals. Because it is a broad term, it actually applies to everything else that isn’t humanlike. In other words, if something like a helicopter is anthropomorphized, you might mistake it for a Decepticon Transformer and try to run from its machinegun fire.

There are actually quite a number of valid enough reasons to learn about anthropomorphism and furries, and they range from the philosophical excuse of, “Oh, but sir, drawing humans is such a chore! I only wished for a simple escape!”, or for the somewhat academic purpose of creating creature designs for a project of some commercial magnitude.


What is different about drawing faces?

The big difference about drawing faces between humans and furries is that unlike humans, where they have limited options with facial features to make them look more distinct and yet still human at the same time, furries have a significantly larger base of options, mostly due to the multitude of animal species and/or types and inanimate objects to choose from. (But for now I‘ll cover the animals)

What are some of the guidelines a person can use to develop furry faces?

Thus far there are 2 basic facial templates for furries (not counting the 3rd template, which I’ll get to):

(Illustrations required for this paragraph: 1 human face (side view), 1 feline face (drawn over the same human face), 1 canine face (ditto feline))

- Felines
- Canines

o) The Canine facial template consists of the distinctively long muzzle that, from the way I do it, is bridged with a slightly noticeable vertical space (most likely the nasal bridge) joined by an upwards slope that ends somewhere at the upper end point of the human forehead.

A common habit I’ve seen with other people when it comes to canine faces is that they overlook the space and/or slope and either draws the nasal bridge much too high, or completely ignore this and go straight for the curve of the human forehead. Not only is it likely that the face would end up looking awkward or cartoony, but it might also be detrimental to the anthropomorphic balance of the face itself, so you have to be careful on that. I guess for that very reason, drawing canine faces is a little trickier than felines.

Wolves, long-faced dog breeds, foxes, and other animals with long muzzles/snouts such as horses, bears, some reptiles, long-beaked birds usually originate from this template.

o) The Feline facial template is similar to canines in structure, with the exceptions of muzzles/snouts that are always shorter than canines and have a more noticeable vertical space, making the face look more human than canines. Some furry artists have even opted to make feline characters have only a slight upper snout, which I myself often do.

Most cat species and other animals with shorter muzzles/snouts such as short-faced dog breeds and even marine animals like sharks and dolphins come from this template.

o) The 3rd facial template is something of a “custom car” type of template, because the base of it is basically a completely blank human face, and anything goes. Although this template is, by default, used for animals with the shortest muzzle/snout/beak, like simians and short-beaked birds like budgerigars, this template is, in my opinion, a template that may be used by furry artists who wish to experiment with more exotic animal species, like insects and most marine animals, or anthropomorphic objects for those up to the challenge.


What are the differences in body proportions?

This is a bit of an interesting question. From the way I see it, most types of furries don’t have a lot of noticeable differences of body proportions by default, although that’s not counting certain animals with, say, long necks or short limbs.

There are, however, some noticeable differences when it comes to bodyparts, namely a furry’s legs.

(1 set of digitigrade legs, in 3 different forms)

This is by far the complete set of legs for you to choose from for most mammals, i.e. cats and dogs, all of them either chosen by choice alone or preference in taste. Personally I chose this one because of my profound obsession with upholding the anthropomorphic balance, and is also good for others going for a more realistic portrayal of furries. This one over here is probably the most recognisable for those ill-versed on furries, because this is the staple leg form for creature characters in mainstream media. This last one is like the previous, but is more well known to those with at least basic knowledge of furries. My biggest gripe with this leg form, however, apart from it opening doors to some pretty questionable and sometimes downright bizarre designs is that it’s not a good realistic alternative, as it appears to be more in favour of making it look more animalistic and ignoring the human aspects. Fortunately, if you’re the dreamy, vision-y, imaginative type who wants to make Tim Burton make a run for his money, this leg form can be a good guide and a good friend... If you treat it just as good.

(Ask questions about other animal types the class wishes to ask for)


Ooooooh yeah. I'm also doing the drawings. Based on the time i have left, they'll prolly look a little messier than usual.


Well, any (helpful/useful) advice will be appreciated. Please help me mature from my noobhood. x_x
 
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horndawg

PAY ATTENTION TO ME.
That's weird, man, but okay. Good luck. Just make sure you relax. The worst thing that could happen is that you pee yourself in fear.
 

nobuyuki

Member
Let me give you some advice. Have you ever taken a communications class? The very first thing you HAVE to do is you HAVE to practice your lecture first before you do it in front of a live audience. Why do you do this? Because it gets your meter down, and you'll know right away if you don't know what you're talking about. Do NOT read directly off your cheat sheet. Try doing the live test looking at the paper as little as you can. If you find yourself tripping up a lot, you need to practice more. Find someone to practice it on, and let them be your fake audience member or something. Once you're comfortable doing the lecture, you should be ready to do it for real, or at least prepared.

Eventually, you'll be able to speak in front of an audience a lot easier.

Also, you might want to take a communications class :V
 

horndawg

PAY ATTENTION TO ME.
Yeah, use just an outline, and rehearse a lot. Don't try to say it perfect each time, just try to follow an order of things to talk about.

Make eye contact and use hand gestures.
 

Draco_2k

Rawr.
I recall practising in front of a mirror can be quite useful in these cases - if you can't get your hands on willing audience. Depending on your level of anxiety and autistic tendencies, it's going to be more or less hard, but it's a useful skill to acquire - a rare opportunity for a public educational institution.
 

Bambi

Member
Kitetsu, my only advice would be to practise this a lot of be sincere. Also, be relatable to your audience; everyone, reguardless of their race or creed. Make eye contact with the ones you'd be most afraid of doing that with and you score bonus points.
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
Aye, as someone who's taught hundreds of times in front of people and given speeches and stuff, you should practise - get to know your material so that you sound like you know (and more importantly believe) what you're talking about.

When you go up to give the speech, smile and relax - give the speech confidently with a varied tone the likes of which you would use to talk to your friends. One of the worst things I think people do when they get up to give a speech is they stiffen up and assume a very monotone lecture voice. You would NEVER talk to a friend or single person that way, so why do it for a roomful? Relax, be yourself and basically just talk. :)
 
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