Three time winner of the 11second club, Tim Granberg, talks about his workflow. This is really interesting because I came through the AM course too and have always felt like I need to be able to nail their workflow, but it's somehow pulling teeth for me, and I always do better when I abandon it and just get in there and start setting keys everywhere. (Really I just need some a couple weeks of solid time full time performance animating and all my rough edges will be polished off and I'll be golden, unfortunately that won't happen until I polish off my rough edges on my own in the few hours I can spare and get hired to do performance stuff, at which point it won't be needed. Ah catch 22's what would life be without you. )
We always like to hear insights into an animator's process. In past interviews you've told us about how you approach your animation. This time around, I think it would be interesting to hear about process ideas that you've tried to incorporate into your workflow before deciding that they simply didn't work for you. Have you had any experiences like that?
I feel a little hesitant admitting it in public but, I never really embraced the pose-to-pose method of animation. It goes back to the belief I have that computer animation lies somewhere between live-action film making and hand-drawn animation. The common approach is to place computer animation in the "animation" category and approach the task much like animation has always been done: starting pose-to-pose. But I like to think of computer animation more like live action, or maybe even live theater, where people don't always get into that "perfect pose." Generally I work in a straight ahead/layered method, but I will admit that it's a way of working that comes from lots of practice. You still must be aware of making strong poses, but my main emphasis is always more concerned with the motion first. As a result I think my motion is always pretty polished even when my posing might not be as strong.
When I started AnimationMentor they taught pose-to-pose, and while I was student, I tried to incorporate the method into my way of working, but I found I animated faster if I could just animated straight ahead and do the poses and breakdowns at the same time in one pass. For me that is the best way to work on my own projects. If however, I do work for someone else's approval, I work more pose-to-pose for their benefit.