Friday, December 31, 2010

Act 2

Again from Pigeon Impossible

"
Strategy 2: Fun and Games vs. Enemy Regroups. These are terms used by Blake Snyder in his Save The Cat books. (Awesome and highly recommended.) If we’ve broken down act 2 into two parts, Act 2A is the Fun and Games section. This is where we get to have fun with the premise of the movie. So, since the premise of PI is a pigeon wreaking havoc with a high tech briefcase, Act 2A is where that havoc is wreaked. However, the midpoint represents not just a turning point in the plot, but also a tonal shift. The stakes are raised and things suddenly get more serious. This leads us into Act 2B which Snyder calls “The Enemy Regroups” In PI, Walter has just put a halt to the pigeon’s destructive flight by threatening the bagel. He tries to get the pigeon out of the briefcase, but each attempt ends in things just getting worse. Hopefully since PI is a comedy, this section is still funny, but its definitely a very different tone than the unrestrained silliness of Act 2A.
"

hadn't heard that approach before, now I need to track down the save the cat book to see.


and from Jim Butcher (who's blog is apparently a small collection of essays on writing, he boils scenes into an easy formula for one)

"Here's the nutshell concept: Plan a great big freaking event for the end of the middle. You want it to be a big dramatic confrontation of whatever kind is appropriate to your genre. The fallout from your big bad Big Middle event should be what boots the book down the homestretch to reach the story's climax. Really lay out the fireworks. Hit the reader with everything you can. PLAN THE BIG MIDDLE EVENT. Then, as you work through the middle, WORK TO BUILD UP TO IT. Drop in the little hints, establish the proper props and motivations and such. Make sure that everything you do in the middle of the book is helping you build up to the BIG MIDDLE.
"

the formula for scenes: POV. Goal. Conflict. Setback
and the formula for the follow up scene (he calls sequel) to get you to the next plot point scene: Emotion. Reason. Anticipation. Choice

Paganini Face



Found this on the Pigeon Impossible blog, and like him I was impressed with how much expression and communication is expressed with the movement of the head.

Choosing a Palette

Color Scheme Designer

Kuler

color palette generator

gamut tool

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Les Metiers

This came through a few months ago. Didn't want it to disappear because I like how simple and clean the style is.

JOBS : THE BAKER / LES METIERS : LE BOULANGER from lam le thanh on Vimeo.

Gorgeous Web Graphic Novel


WormWorld by Daniel Lieske. Interesting how each panel is just a new jpeg, so it just scrolls down, seems to be taking advantage of the medium. So much effort though, hopefully he finds the time to continue it. Looks like he worked on it straight for a year from the moment he got home from work until he went to sleep, that seems to be the only way to accomplish anything stop doing useless down time things to recover from your day and just toughen up and work on your own stuff (not like life is ever gonna give you a break to make it easy, so you have to make it happen).

"I realized that, compared to stories like 'Princess Mononoke', 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind' or 'Spirited Away', my own story framework looked quite dull - an evil beast spits out a dark Lord who wants to destroy the world. The only way to save the world is, to destroy the villain first. From a western point of view that might have developed into a robust story but there just had to be more."

and he has a retrospective of his art so you can see his evolution from meh to awesome

"I painted a total of 45 hours on 18 panels so I'm way over my estimated 26 hours from after the first milestone (which had only 9 larger panels)" and how he thought about and planned his time

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jessica Borutski

Awesomely talented Jessica Borutski's new short is out. Story may not be anything special, but all the pieces are well done and put together.

The Good Little Bunny with the Big Bad Teeth from Foolish K. Bunny on Vimeo.



her other

(couldn't find her official version of pandas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ilusionario



Recently saw one of the latest CG flicks (nothing to do with the flick above;), and while the story was well put together the visuals just bored me. What's the point of making a really blue sky with really green grass? (Lango was talking about this a while back.)

So it had me thinking, "well, what would be better?" So I went wandering through my inspiration folder of images I've pulled off the net. I was digging one of the artists from the Illusionario team so once I tracked their cghub page down I found their blog and lol they're all ready making their own short films with their ideas.

here's the images that pulled me in, I was digging the way the non important environment elements unify into large monochrome shape blocks, there's extra texture in them if you are interested but the overall expression is made instantly.


and then I just love how fresh and bendy this character is (sorry if it's NSFW)


so I'll be doing some more digging on that site, but I'm running home now, so now I can find it later. Here's their youtube page

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vinamilk Stopmo ad?

Vinamilk "Jump" from Frank Barton on Vimeo.



by the frank barton company

* found on lineboil

Clifford Stoll - mad scientist - varied timing

This guy is fantastic (real life Doc Brown) I don't really follow very easily what he's saying, but the reason I put it up here is because of how he moves. He's leaping out of his skin in the beginning, totally unexpectedly and very entertainingly. But in the middle he calms way down and is really still. Makes me think of all the talk about having different textures and rhythms in your animation.



* found by someone else I think, don't remember. Ted talks are awesome though

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interesting Fashion Photos

Blog of interesting fashion photos TwistedLamb image inspiration I guess :)

And another

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Top Hand Drawn Animation Blogs

Someone's handing out awards. They've got a list of awesome artists. Throwing it down here so I can look through them when I have a chance.

Top Hand Drawn Animation Blogs

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crying Reference Julianne Moore





* found by I don't remember :(

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Glen Keane interview

(My wife just delivered our baby Sunday, so not as up to date on the bigger world lately ;)

Interview with Glen Keane post Tangled.

My sketch books and the figure drawings are the source for everything I’ve ever animated. It’s all these observations. The little things that make a huge difference. You don’t see it unless you are drawing it, and you have to draw it. In order to draw it, you have to have observed it.

This is what I was challenging the animators with constantly on this film. I’d say ... This is your moment. So you take the moment, and find something real personal, and put yourself into it. Don’t put yourself into past Disney movies. Don’t copy anything. Make it personal and real

I know that there’s people who possibly work at studios for a long time and they lose themselves. They become, I don’t know, a formula of some sort. A caricature of themselves. And I really don’t want that.

The thing that happens with the computer is that it’s always seducing you to buy into ‘less than’. It’s seducing you to fall in love with a nicely rendered form. And the shading that is done so nicely on that shoulder. But who cares that the shoulder is pushed here [motions away], and it’s anatomically impossible! Look at the way the wrinkle falls on that dress! It’s like, grrrr! I’d look at that, and in the beginning I was so frustrated, seeing what the animators were presenting to me. It was horrible!

What I’m trying to say is that I know you have to work so long and so hard just to get it to a level that’s even mediocre. But we can’t stop there. You have to be so convinced inside about something that you believe, that you will say no to the computer, that’s not what I want. Yes, I could do that, but this I what I want, I have to go to the end and get that. So how do we get that? That’s where I’d start to do the drawings, and push the shoulder.

See, the computer always tries to do everything symmetrical. Asymmetry is beauty. Symmetry is cold, and lifeless.

And I showed Ollie a scene of Tangled... I said “look, freckles!” ...

Ollie said, “Well, Glen. What I was wondering is, what is she thinking about?”

It was like, gah, yes. Who cares about all of the icing on the cake, if the cake isn’t tasty... Have a goal that’s worth fighting for. If you don’t, the computer is like a used car salesman. It’ll always make you walk off the lot with something you don’t want.

People were second guessing now, they would predict what I would draw beforehand, and they would do it. And I found I wasn’t doing those drawings any more. I was doing less and less drawing. My drawings are different now, they’re very specific about acting choices.

I realised I don’t have time to learn this [how to animate on the computer]. I thought if I become soft, and too sympathetic to their suffering, I will give them too much freedom.


It’s actually the only moment in my 36 years of Disney where you see my drawings up on the screen. All the others are somebody’s clean-up of my drawings. But it’s in Pocahontas, in Colors Of The Wind, and it’s the charcoal drawings that I did.

And we used the computer to paint it, but keeping the charcoal lines in. I thought, that’s how I want to use the computer. I want to find a way to really celebrate drawing. To really value the energy of a line. A line to me is like a seismograph of an earthquake, that measures emotion. And when you clean it up, you take so much out. That’s another direction that we can go because of the computer.

I love to do a drawing of a child sitting on a chair. I’ve never seen a two children sit on the chair the same.


Grease Pencil

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anatomy games

Anatomy is essential for drawing, and very useful for animation. Came across an awesome game to help you learn and test your knowledge of it.

Whack a Bone
Poke A Muscle


* found by Madeline Carol Matz at Drawn Today

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Olivier Ladeuix - pixar face sync

Olivier has a great post on his blog framing through a quick pixar shot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jon's stopmo tricks


Dude named Jon has some pretty sweet looking stopmotion puppets going. And he's posted a few walkthru's of how he makes these appealing characters on his blog. Definitely someone I'm watching.

werewolf

nac mac feegle anatomical foam latex build up

hands

face foam latex build up

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art - what's the point

art should make us feel more clearly and more intelligently it should give us coherent sensations that otherwise we would not have had. if art can't tell us about the world we live in then I don't believe there's a point in having it - Robert Hughes

just listened to this documentary by art critic Robert Hughes about how art got hijacked by wealthy people so that arts value was no longer based on aesthetics and social connection and now was based on how much it will sell for. Interesting. So the same way that "modern" art is now a specific thing, "art" will become a specific thing and what art actually is will go off and get on with being made just under a different name.



*find by WIP podcast

Monday, November 8, 2010

All Paintings.Org

Cool site I found from DrawnToday. AllPaintings has a ton of paintings all organized by ism, so not easy to track down a certain artist, but great if you want to absorb a period style.

feet

on a recent animation piece I did I spent a lot of time working out all the footfalls and hip shifts for them and in the end... meh. I've been thinking about it, and watching people, humans biomechanics is so smooth that the hips just flow so easily, I was trying to exaggerate but just made it too big. I think I'm going to follow Shawn Kelly who has mentioned a few times how he sometimes just hides the legs and animates from there. Makes sense. The legs aren't very important, put your big time making the important acting stuff strong, then just get the legs to work well enough not to have to worry about. (Like that Firat quadroped thing I posted, works with 2 legs too)


(1st kill the sound :P then skip to 3:05)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Games = Social/Consumer Psychology

are games fun? or is addiction being confused for fun? stuff I was reading today talked about this.

Jonathon Blow developer of Braid talking about the ethics of making games. how farmville is super evil because the developers are using every psych trick they can to milk their users dry and make their users worry about the game while they're not playing (so not just wasting their time, but polluting the non game time as well)
(his 4 parts of good game design practice
1: narrative, a story will pull people along and keep them interested (it's funner to go find a gas can to get the tank to drive to the next level then to look for the arbitrary red key card for the red door)
2: eye candy/ ear candy
3: attainable goals: overall goal might be to defeat the evil guy, but players always have small attainable simple goals (collect this gem) so they know what they need to do to advance)
4: feel of constant improvement: used to be the score, now it's being a better level or getting better armor then for a while you dominate enemies, then enemies get tougher and you have to level up again

Carnegie Mellon University Professor, Jesse Schell on game design ideas flowing into our lives in other context (like the prius telling you how you're doing gas mileage wise)


article by Leigh Alexander about the same thing, using gamer type incentives to trick yourself into doing something (like jogging).

a wired article about by Clive Thompson similar, talking about using game design to cut down useless emails in a corporation

Jane McGonigal is trying to make alternative reality games to help people figure out how to save the world

and another about how to use the psychology that keeps people sucked into games to motivate useful behaviour in real life (like helping people learn)

---------------------------
When I studied social psychology I learned that if you take something intrinsically motivated (you do it because you want to) then make it extrinsically motivated (someone pays you to do it) then you lose the joy in it.

Budhism talks about the human condition being inherently unhappy, the problem is you always want something more or better and as long as you are always clinging to this idea of the next best thing you are going to be hurting from lack of satisfaction. Which when you think about it is exactly what all that grinding in video games is.

I work in games, and I hardly play any. When you're in, you're grinding away and not noticing it, "just one more item, just one more kill" but afterwards when you can think clearheadedly so often I look back and realize it was honestly a somewhat tedious experience, and wind up feeling like I have wasted an hour of my life I'll never get back.

The question seems to me to be wether games can be made in a way that improves us, instead of just simple entertainment... to fill twenty minutes, half an hour, while we're waiting to die (as Alan Moore says). Chess has been claimed to make you mentally sharp, like brain exercise, fine narrative (literature, film) is supposed to expand your mental and emotional landscapes, when will someone create a game that can combine these things? Games also have the potential to bring us together, a powerful factor that currently is only used to bring everyone down to the level of anonymous 14 year old assholes. The potential to use the compulsive ideas games used to help yourself accomplish things you want seems like a useful thing, as long as we are choosing to do it, and are aware that it can become a crutch to make it harder to do the things without the game aspects.

deconstructing Kevin Webb

Re-Bitten by the animation bug lately, trying to absorb new ideas. Gonna be watching some Ratatouille & Horton later, but started with Kevin Webb.

He's starting with a real appealing character, so makes it easier. But this simple facial rig test is appealing and fun to watch, and analyzing it, I think it's because he's doing the Richard Williams thing: key pose Breakdown key pose. Often the breakdown has a blink, but not every time, and it can be as subtle as just a slightly different angle so the head arcs instead of traveling in a straight line. I thought he was overlapping so the mouth gets to it's pose a little after the head (which would be nice to not have everything hitting at once) but realized he's just easing in to his last pose. Also interesting is the head squashing which makes it feel more fleshy, but isn't big enough (usually) to be noticeable.

Facial rig test from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.




Then watching his awesome dialogue. It's interesting, the body doesn't do that much movement, basically 1 pose per beat. Transitions between poses are simple straight across with ease into the 2nd one. Then there's some slight adjustments if the limbs are moving big enough to insist on it.
Head and Hands are offset from the torso, usually arriving afterwards. Hands don't actually move that much, maybe once per phrase (instead of per beat like torso) and head is just a little more, Head is kind of bobbling a little during it's poses to sell the feeling of words coming out of her. If the head moves, it feels like it's getting tugged to it's new pose by the eyes. Brows seem to move about as much as the head. Eyes move a ton, never still for long.

Eyes | | | | | | | | |
brows Head | | | | | | |
Hands | | | | | |
torso | | |

Zooey Lipsync from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.


Animation scene blocking from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dan Dos Santos on humor

Dan Dos Santos (who is a brilliant artist) just started up a blog with some other power artists. His thoughts:

Sex and violence? No problem! I've done a lot of that in my covers. But capturing humor was something that never came up, and quite honestly, scared me a little. This wasn't slapstick or something else that could be brashly depicted. It was a subtle campiness that pervaded the book, and really brought a lightheartedness to an otherwise intense story. Capturing this flavor was something I had little experience in, but I knew it was essential if this were to be a good cover.

After struggling for a while with the initial sketches, I ended up finding inspiration in movies like 'Army of Darkness' and 'Men in Black'. It occurred to me when watching these movies that I never actually feared for the safety of the heroes. I knew they would succeed, no matter how ludicrous and over-the-top their situation was. Why did I know that? Because they knew it. And therein lay the solution to my problem... stupidity. Nothing says 'campy' quite like an imbecilic lack of fear in the face of obvious danger. The more danger there is, the more fun it is.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chloe Moretz acting

1:40 & 5:50
wish I could act as well as her

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gobelins live action

What do Gobelin's kids do when they aren't making kick ass animated shorts?

They make kick ass live action/animated shorts.

TODOR & PETRU from CRCR on Vimeo.



This film was produced by five students from Gobelins school of image (BASTIE Remi, Nicolas Dehghani, Jonathan DJOB Nkondo, Nicholas and Jeremy PEGON WORST) as part of a traineeship at "WIZZ Design.


lol, love the Gorilla Safe glasses



*found on lineboil

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Idea Generator

Coworker showed me this site seventh sanctum another one of those idea generator places. Pretty large though, with a lot of different topics, and I think I saw some code to make your own, which might be handy for coming up with a scenario to hang a dialog test on.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Quick Sketch tool

Nude & clothed dynamic models, 30sec 60sec 2min 5min 10min little web page thing
humans
animal

awesome thing provided by pixellovely

much better than the other one that's mainly cg renders of ecorche's and shorter time


* found by Jennifer Oliver

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Samurai Jack



haven't actually watched any Jack (don't have a tv, or the time) but loving how bold and simple the visuals are.


* found by Jennifer Oliver

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pete Emslie eye thoughts

Chased down this link a few times now, so into the blog it goes.

Pete Emslie was critiquing eye direction and drawing of Princess & the Frog

"allow eye direction to dictate the tilt and angle of the head"

Keith Lango dropping some knowledge

Keith Lango made some useful posts over at 11sec, since he didn't throw them up on his blog too I'm copy pasting em in here so I don't lose em.

on building a team

I have no idea if this is interesting to folks, but I've never read this process described anywhere else so I'll offer it up here....

I've had to assemble an animation crew on more than one occasion. Here's how I (and many others who've shared this responsibility) approach it:
No budget exists that will allow you to build a team of 100% 15yr+ pros to get your film done. Every animator on a film needs to contribute footage, but not all footage is created equal. Many shots frankly don't need a superstar, and other shots can't be done by anybody less than amazing. You build your team in sections accordingly. The percentages may fluctuate some, but in general here's how you build a team, going from most expensive to least expensive team members--

First you try to find a few top of the line killer animators (most lower budget films can't afford or attract these guys, though). These are not necessarily famous or well known animators, either. A lot of amazing animators aren't internet superstars. But these people are so good they need no hand holding and next to zero creative supervision. Almost every shot they do comes back beyond good- it's fantastic. Their choices and execution are sterling. These guys often have 15 or more years, but not always. If you can get two or three of these kinds of animators you're in good shape because the toughest, most important scenes can get done for your film. It's terrible feeling to have a scene in your project and to look at your roster and not know if anybody could nail it 100%. Next, you get your solid senior level people. Try to build at least 20-30% of your team out of these guys if you can afford it. Some of these will end up being your team's leads and supervisors. These are pro's pros. Good footage, decent quality, low headaches. They know their jobs and do them. They're not superstars, but they don't drop the ball either. No bad shots, lots of good shots and occasionally they nail a shot so sweetly that you just smile. Typically 7-10+ years experience, but a lot of career animators with 15-20 years or more live in this space, too. (they've settled into their careers and survived even if they never rise to the level of an Eric Goldberg). If in this senior level group you can find one or two footage beasts then you're very happy. A footage beast is an animator who can literally go twice as fast as the average animator on the team and give you footage that is still equal in quality to your average team member. Guys like that are a Godsend, especially toward the end of production. When you can get 9-10 seconds of film quality animation per week out of a guy you are a happy, happy anim director. Then you try to get about 30-35% of your team made up from young pros. Often they'll have 3-5 years of character anim experience with at least one film-like project under their belt. Even if they've been in CG or the anim biz for longer they've only got these 3-5 yrs doing character animation fulltime. They are experienced enough to rely on (mostly), but not experienced enough to always give you top rate performances or full footage quotas. If you're lucky in general they will be decent, but they are still developing their skills and workflow. Occasionally you'll get one who is dropping the ball on a shot and the shot needs to be re-assigned. Sometimes they'll miss a deadline or deliver a merely acceptable shot. On the rare occasion they give you something inspired, but they have a hard time repeating that success regularly. These are your meat and potatoes guys- a big portion of a film's footage gets done with these guys. Sadly this is often the highest point a LOT of animators reach in their careers. They end up with a few credits to their name but as time goes by they can't compete and they filter out of the animation biz. This is the group that churns the most. Some stick and make it to the senior level, a lot of others don't. OK, then to fill in the remainder of your staff you look for junior level people. Fresh graduates, people making their first jump into film from games or commercials, background or technical animators (people to do things like prop or set animation, crowd scenes, etc.). These people do the stuff that don't require top level talent or skill. It's a waste of resources to put a superstar animator doing a shot of a cart rolling down a hill or an object falling over (for example).

Just as no professional sports team can afford to hire only all-pro superstars, no animation team can, either. Plus the typical film has 1200-1400 shots. Only a few of those need superstars. A lot of them need good senior pros. The bulk of them need only adequate work and the rest are so rudimentary in nature that it's a waste to have anybody but a junior level person doing the work. And yes, this is the way it works everywhere. The only significant difference between one studio or the next is the percentages and the relative skills of the juniors.

So what does this mean for you and your career? Pretty simple: climb the ladder I've just described. If you want to have a decent career for longer than a few projects then you'll need to rise into that senior level group at the minimum. If you can be a footage beast that's a huge bonus. If you can expand your skillset into other disciplines like rigging that's even better. If you can handle complex action scenes and subtle action scenes with equal ability then you're good to go. Once in that senior group you can decide if you want to move into more managerial positions like lead, supervisor, animation director, etc. Those managerial positions can be fairly fluid, too. Move into and out of them as you or the studio needs/desires. The occasional few move on to superstar animator status or become directors (but being a director is often more a political skill than an animation one). Of course many people cross over into other aspects of the biz, but by then they're not really animators anymore- they used animation as a bridge to something else. Which is also completely viable. Competition is always fiercest at the bottom levels, but that doesn't mean it gets easy later on.


and on rigging
Break out the shapes into sub-groupings. Rather than have the body modifiers AND the facial expression targets all pipe into the primary mesh in a blendhspape node with a zillion targets (or worse have multiple blendshape nodes that will fight for deformation order) break things up into their own sub-rigs and then pipe those results back into your main mesh. Have the body modifiers affect a duplicate mesh, then have the facial targets modify a second duplicate mesh, then pipe those dupe meshes back to your primary mesh in a single bs node. That way the primary mesh only has one blendshape node on it with very few targets (body mod, mouth expression, eye expressions, etc.- all of which are always set to 1) and all your working blendshapes are quarantined off onto their own duplicated meshes. Your animation controls will then drive those targets off on the sub-rigs (all this would exist in the same file, you'd just hide and lock off the sub-rigs). This separation will allow for the expressions and the body mods to play nice together since they'll all be piped back into one blendshape node, but they can be worked on and built in sections (even by multiple people). Not sure I explained it in a way that makes sense- some things like this are easier to show than explain in text.

and on wages
It's been a while since I've really had to find out all the wages, but here's a brain dump of my understandings based on personal experiences, conversations with friends and co-workers through out the biz over the years. I'm sure that people could find cause to quibble, and some numbers may have shifted a bit here and there- but in general I think these assessments are in the ballpark. These numbers are for 'just animators', not supervisors or hybrid TD/animators. Those folks make more and are, in my opinion, a different breed of staffer. Anyhow, onward...

Dreamworks in the Bay Area often makes a standard offer in the $70k range for character animators. If you want more you pretty much need to negotiate for it, even if you have previous experience. The good thing is experienced people often are able to successfully negotiate some more. DW in LA is a union shop and they pay union scale, plus more for experienced people. DW in La is generally considered to be a good paying shop. For info on the union wage scale do a search for "Local 839 wage survey". Journeyman animator wages for union studios is low to mid $70's last I knew. However if you're younger you won't get offered a journeyman position, but a junior offer instead. That's somewhere in the $60's. If you have previous film experience and work for Sony in Culver City you can expect to make about $80-90k, more with OT (and you will work OT). Senior level people can do better than $110k. However if you're fresh out of school the same Sony will start you in the high $30k's or low $40k's. SPI's New Mexico unit will generally pay about $10k less than their LA studio for the same person, unless they are senior, in which case they might pay more to lure you to that one horse town in the desert. Now that's not a knock on Albuquerque- I think it's a great place to live. I love visiting there. But there's only one studio ('horse') there- Sony. If they go under or the project ends and you get laid off then you need to move. Moving costs money- lots of money. Even if your new job pays some relocation costs, nobody ever pays 100%. Moving eats into your wages more than you can imagine. Ok, back to the original point... Rule of thumb says that R&H and Digital Domain in LA are usually a little under Sony, but still competitive. Disney is under the same union deal as DW in Glendale and their wages are pretty similar, maybe a tiny bit lower. They used to overpay for talent, but not so much anymore. They still have a very few superstar big money guys like Andreas Dejas (who makes several hundreds of thousands per year), but they don't do that for normal folks like you and I. Pixar doesn't pay that great, generally- especially when you factor in the cost of living in the Bay Area. Last I knew animators there do between $60 to $85k, depending on experience. Key people get more, but that's true everywhere. The hard part is being one of those 'key people' at a given studio. Typically it means you've been there forever, are supervising, are a major superstar talent, or have other core skills they don't want to do without (ex: you can also do TD or story work). Haven't heard in ages about ILM, but the general word on the street is Bay Area studios don't pay as well as LA studios. This may or may not be absolutely true, but it's the conventional wisdom. I'm sure exceptions abound. ILM is also a union shop, but it has a different contract than LA area union shops. Smaller LA studios have a harder time competing with the big ticket studios for experienced talent, so they get younger guys on the rise or folks from overseas. Blur used to have folks from the $40's up through the $70's for the more experienced guys. Probably more by now due to inflation and whatnot. Other small to mid-sized boutique shops will have similar wage scales. ReelFX (in Dallas) was similar. When I was there as anim director I was generally given a budget to hire experienced animators in the $60's. I had to really push the book-keepers to get the money to pay anybody $70k. Young guys out of school typically were offered high $30k's to the low $40's. They may have loosened that up a bit since I left since they seem to have some higher profile work the last few years. When DNA was still alive and doing the Jimmy Neutron TV shows they paid in the $40's to $50's for animators, but when they did Ant Bully feature film they bumped people up to $80's-$100's. To recruit more experienced people they had to pay even more. As noted above in my thoughts on Sony in NM, studios outside the main industry centers like LA or SF will usually have to offer more to lure senior level talent. $115+ normally. But those positions rarely last very long. Blue Sky used to start people in the low to mid $50k's, but for experience would pay in the 70's. Fresh out of school they'd offer in the $40's. Those numbers have probably gone up a bit since then (this was some time back). Wages overseas in Asia are generally less than half that of the US it seems (some places like Australia seem to be a little better- but still not on par with the US). WETA in NZ pays well, but they're pretty unique over there. Framestore in UK pays OK as well, but again they seem to be unique. Film studios in Europe seem to pay along the lines of the lower end LA shops from what I can gather. Globally film animation has transitioned to the point where pretty much all jobs are temporary. So the wages in the bigger shops have settled up a little bit in order to attract experienced people, but the typical person will have to offset those numbers with regular periods of unemployment and moving costs. $7000/month doesn't add up to as much when you factor in being out of work for 2 months of the year and you need to spend $3000 or so in miscellaneous moving costs to get your family to the next town. On the lower end it's pretty ravenous and wages are pressuring downward. The schools are pumping out a lot of candidates and it's a buyer's market for junior talent.

Games I know less about. EA used to pay experienced senior level film people absolutely crazy money to get them to come over. That was in the early 2000's. Not sure they still do that or not. Typically a game studio will pay in the $40's to $50's for animation talent, $60's, sometimes even $70's and higher for experienced talent. Like film, some game studios are cheaper, some more generous. I don't pretend to know who is cheap or not, though. I've heard Bungie pays well- typically on par with film. Seems UK game shops pay on the lower end of the game scale, while Australian game studios seem to be right in the middle of the range. I get these notions from my previous attempts to recruit animators and riggers out of those regions, so I had a decent idea what they were making. Outside of that I don't know as much about games. The rule of the land in both film & games though seems to be ramp up and ramp down. Animators are interchangeable cogs in the machinery of content creation, so the typical business approach of trying to get that commodity at the lowest possible price rules the day. To break outside of that cycle you need to find a studio that thinks about and assesses the value of their staff from a more long term return on investment approach. Honestly there just aren't very many of those kinds of places around.

On a personal note, my first ever full time job in Cg animation was supposed to pay me $24,000, but because it was a start up I was only paid $12,000 per year until the company hit some sales milestones. I had to bring my own computer to work. No kidding. Of course we never hit those and the company went under. I worked the last two months without pay. Welcome to the industry, kid. That was 1994 and I was 25 years old. From '95 to '97 I did mostly freelance CG generalist work and a lot of other non-animation industry jobs. Animation was not something that I could support my family on, but I kept working at it, getting better. My next fulltime job in CG animation paid me $28,000 (for real) in '97, but they quickly gave me a raise to $33k after 6 months of seeing my work. By the way, my daily commute for that job was 72 miles. One way. No kidding. When I went to Big Idea in early 1999 they paid me $50k to start as a Cg artist/animator. That was the first time I didn't need a second job and my wife did not need to work fulltime for us to make it as a young family of 4. I had been doing CG art and animation for 6 years by then- all self taught. 6 years from deciding "This is what I want to do for a living." until the point where I could actually really make a living doing it. ** Let that sink in. ** And the funny thing, my path was not unique. I know a LOT of other people who had to walk similarly long roads to get to be where they are today. I remember when I worked with Aaron Hartline back at Big Idea. He had drive and perseverance way more than he had skill back then. Didn't matter. He stuck with it, did whatever he needed to do and ended up where he wanted to be. Mark Behm struggled with developing his skills on crappy low end work for years just like I did before he came to Big Idea (which, by the way, was definitely not the 'big time'), and then after that went to Blue Sky. The names and the stories could go on. When I see people take an online course for animation for 18 months and then talk about giving up because they can't get a job right away I just shake my head. They'd never have made it back in the 90's. Making it in this business takes a lot of time, a lot of sweat, a lot of patience and most of all- a lot of perseverance. There are very few overnight wonders in animation. The rest of us take the long way

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wen Spencer on story crafting

this is just a copy paste from Wen Spencer's blog, haven't really reformed it to be easy to digest out of context.

Short Story
a story is a hero with a problem. That the first scene is the hero acknowledging or discovering the problem and making the first attempt to solve it and failing. That the next two scenes are the hero trying and trying to fix the problem and only succeeding at making it worse. And finally the hero tries and ultimately fails or succeeds and the lesson that the hero takes away from the experience. Short story – four scenes.

On collabing to make a fanfic novel
Secondly the whole world building was done and known and I didn't have to explain anything, so for the first time, I started to understand how stories are multi-layered. Yes, yes, there can be monsters ... but what really drives the story is the hero's conflict within himself.

This time marks a huge jump forward in my writing. Part of it because the stories are short and world is known [fanfic], I can focus on the plot and the dialogue and conflict and motivations – the bones of writing. And I do it over and over again.

This ultimately lead to us doing a epic fan novel which we called Dragonfall. A bunch of us sat down and plotted out this story where each of our characters had four or five scenes – beginning, middle, end – interwoven into a bigger story, which was a threadfall that goes horrific. Where each of our beginnings not only set up our individual conflict but moves through the preparations of the dragonriders to ride out to fight thread. Middle scenes advance our own plot, but also advances the mid-air disaster and then the dragonriders returning wounded to the weyr. And then end, tying up our storylines and at the same time tying up how the world stands after all this horrific things have happened. And *poof poof poof* light bulbs goes off right and left. THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE A NOVEL!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bird flight by Brendan

Brendan Body has an epicly awesome tut on bird flight. I just got schooled, I love it, I thought I was good at wings and turns out I do everything wrong, ha ha. So check it, great video examples, physics discussions, biomechanical anatomy based information. Great stuff!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Marc Andrews

Marc Andrews is (I think) Brad Birds #1 story board man (you can see them workin & hanging out in the Incredibles exras). Anyway, ran across this little snippet from a calarts lecture he did.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Salesman Pete is out

Salesman Pete from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.



some cool parts. Their website. I think they were students and decided to drop out and do this themselves.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Firat's quadroped animation

someone at 11sec club linked out to this rig (which you can get download if you have max) by Firat Can Kiral. I found his break down of how he animated it really interesting (even though the acting is pretty straight from the IceAge with the clip). I have ocassionally done this with biped characters, but it hadn't occured to me to do it with a quadroped, but it makes a lot of sense if the main point of the scene is not transportation then worry about the performance first then figure out the legs after wards. Firat's animation is even more pro because the character is talking about his feet, so it proves this will work even when focus will be brought to them.

Pati the Lynx - Test Animation from Fırat Can KIRAL on Vimeo.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weight

I learned a ton about weight from Chris DeRoachie. Summed up it is that since everything falls at the same speed (according to Newton) then the length of time it takes for something to fall tells us how big it is. In other words, if a flour sack is jumping off a table, it will take the same amount of time as a pencil falling off a table (so drop a pencil off your desk). So if you want a giant to feel big, you have to think about how long it would take a pencil to fall from the top of his step to the ground, and put that time into his footstep. (so if the giant is stepping over a house, how long does it take for a pencil to fall from the roof.)

I later experienced this directly when animating a giant elephant man creature. I animated it falling down like a guy, because it filled up the screen like any old guy. Then my lead told me to slow it down by half. And then half again. And it felt much bigger.

The other day looking at Brendan Body's blog I learned something new to help me refine my understanding even more. He dropped a tennis ball from a bunch of different heights and noticed the longer it fell the more even the spacing became. So for a bigger creature he animates it slower with more even spacing. Check out his full tutorial on it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Facial Expressions by Gary Faigin



got this book out from the library finally, I've seen it kicking around as a suggested on lots of animators sights but I always assumed it was just like a pose gallery. Really excited about it now that I've flipped through it, looks like a more in depth on the muscles look at specific expressions and nuances between expressions. Seems like with Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman and this one you can totally unlock the face and make have total control of it as an instrument for your acting.

this image I saw on my first flip through, which is awesome because I've been thinking about this idea of "how do you make a character stare off into their own landscape" ever since Carlos Baena spoke about it back in October 2008


so anyway, I'll report back more once I have a chance to read it and absorb it. (might actually prove worth buying a copy of my own, we'll see.)

*sorry, the book has proven so useful that I'm just going to buy it, so don't need to transcribe notes onto the web because I'll have the original. It's great because it talks about the muscles involved in making an expression, with typical furrows and bulges, and also analyzes the expression down to the most subtle version. So great for drawing & acting 11/14/2010

Breathing

Found this awesome post from Brendan Body where he breaks down physically how Al Pacino is delivering a line, how Pacino filling his lungs and expelling the air can be tracked, how it affects his muscle tension, and how you can use that kind of breaking down to help your subtlety in your acting.

I think breathing might be one of the secrets of believability, if you put a subtle breathing pass in it'll help make your characters alive. I think I first heard about it in an 11sec crit by Jason Schliefer

Subtlety/Subtext

JHD throwing down some nice animation tests lately. He talked a little of accomplishing subtle acting in the comments:

I shot reference and acted out the line over and over so I had a lot of material. There's a lot of garbage but every now and then there were moments that I liked so I started to pick out those moments. I had a general idea of the beats and what the acting choices were from the get go, I just wanted to get the subtleties from the reference.
But there are many moments that needed pushing and simplifying. After I had the main blocking done I got in and worked chunk by chunk until it felt right.


ran across Brendan Body's blog, he had some good thoughts on subtety: subtlety 1 subtlety 2 an interesting point he makes, if you're character is thinking exactly what they're saying, what's the point, big deal. Don't act it "on the nose" make them deeper.


here's the clip he's talking about in the 1st one, his dialogue starts around :53

a note from me on acting things out. Draw a face on a paper plate or something for you to focus on if your character is talking to someone, otherwise you're spending mental energy on trying to hold onto someone imaginary, energy you could be putting into being more into your performance. Also if your character has a prop, a hat, a cane, a bow tie, try and get one also, it will help you transition into being the character instead of just yourself. And act it out more then 10 times so you stop feeling self conscious and you stop just doing your cliche'd first idea.


thanks to David for find that post by Brendan

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Malcon Pierce Polish notes

New AM showcase is out, awe inspiring as always. Tracked down the amazing Malcon Pierce has a blog. He had a great post on polishing that I rudely copy pasted here, then I kept reading and ran across another solid post. And then I figured I might find more, so I'll link you to the posts instead. Definitely go read the whole posts!

great post on polish

-Make sure I have asymmetry in the face. I treat the brows and mouth like the shoulders, and hips. I offset them to each other when I can to keep the expressions more dynamic.

-I’ll make sure all my mouth shapes are clear but interesting. I usually off-center the mouth shapes to give a little more asymmetry and organic-ness to the expression.

-Animation wise, I track the corners of the mouth to make sure they’re traveling in arcs, and not hitting walls etc. This makes a huge difference in the readability in the lip sync.
-eye darts! Usually this is the last thing I’ll do. I’ll add eye darts when I feel they should be. I usually do eye darts on two frames. The first frame favoring the end position about 60-80% or so. This keeps them from feeling to clicky. I’ll also add the lower and upper lids following the eye dart. I usually do this in three frames. I really make sure the lids follow the eye dart so the eye ball feels connected with the lids.



On his 11sec club entry


1. Keep things simple. This doesn’t mean the character cant move and act. but more so, keep the main idea of the shot clear, and supported. Dont add to much fluff.

2. Make sure your animation complaments itselt. For example. the facial animation isnt competing with the body animation. Its like watching tv and listening to the radio at the same time.. you’ll loose focus on one or the other.

3. Keep your Lip Sync moving some place. think of the lip-synch sort of like phrasing. you dont want the shapes and movment to be the same all the way through. Have it lead to an accent, or into a pause etc.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Greenscreen

amazing how much you can do with so little (and skill)



Crazy Horse Entertainment

Step Up

just back from camping vacation. note to myself.

been thinking... there is never going to be more time, things will never be easier, no one will ever pay you to do less work. So if you ever want to accomplish anything outside of work (short film, web comic, art, world domination, whatever) you have to Step Up and make it happen. There's never going to be more time, you're never going to feel more energetic or less tired. So it must be a matter of figuring out what you can take out to make room for the things you want to do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Staging

The presentation of any idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear.

Current weakness. The last few personal animations I have done I have realized that I am really suffering here. My ideas are fine (probably) but they aren't coming across clearly to the viewer. If the viewer misses it, there's no point for any of the rest of it.

JHD's 100 frame challenges are the perfect solution. Fixed frame limit so I have to learn how to prioritize ideas instead of just stretching things out to make it all fit, and to make them achievable as exercises.

Here's the list of topics that've rolled through on his blog. Going to try and do 1 a week for a while. (but I'm on vacation next week, without a computer, so remind me the week after.)


dying
time travel
unreachable goal
chase
guilty
regret
solitude
longing
forgotten
wisdom
teh end
the beginning
fail
excitement
anxious
mental break down
unscratchable itch
zombie
daring
injured
flying school
anger
shyness
jealousy
cunning
clumsy
patience
surprise
fear
disgust
attention
bored
bored
revenge
revelation
radioactive
sugarhigh/over caffeinated
phobia
do it
nervous
courage
pain
confused
hungry

(and some other exercises that would fit within 100 frames)
Character Walk
Juice box enter scene, react to something, and exit scene
Thought process while getting up from a chair
Character interact with an object
Have Character "fix" something
Gear change: 2 different thoughts with a good transition moment (this LightSwitch moment is the key point to this excercise)

Monday, August 16, 2010

American Photos 1939

Don't remember where I ran across this, but it's a series of color slides taken of America between 1939-1943. Interesting to see how different life was so recently.




Meet Buck

Awesome render style. Solid looking animation too. site.

Meet Buck Trailer from TeamCerf on Vimeo.



*found by David

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ladder Parkour

Whenever I find some crazy parkour


I have to instantly watch the bloopers/making of


so I don't run out and try it. Because it's good to be reminded that these guys are doing that stuff with cables and practiced in gyms first.

Medussa

Awesome short by Nick DiLiberto





found on lineboil

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Magic Cards illo advice

Ran across an article from Magic the card game with tricks to make your art pop in a 1 1/2 x 2" sized space. They should know.

Pascal Campion











I LOVE this guys stuff. He really captures and evokes love for me.
blog website

Inspirational Artists: Pascal Campion from Onyx Cinema, Inc. on Vimeo.

Ed Hooks exercise

Ran across this exercise from Ed Hooks. Pick a profession like Dr. or used car salesmen. Then act out a little scene where you as the character are waiting at a bus stop, not saying anything. It is impressive how the audience can guess what your job is from just how you're standing there.

You gotta figure this stuff out from the inside. Easier to come from the inside and become the character, then to come from the outside and try and analyze why that contra posta pose with a slight head tilt is suggesting party girl to me. Listen to Obi-Wan "your eyes can deceive you [distracted by irrelevant details] stretch out with your feelings."


have I mentioned a character's zero before? The neutral pose someone naturally returns to. How their body fits most comfortably in space when there's not something else happening.

So if you can find this feeling of what it is to be a Dr. or whatever, and if you can put it into your character. Then you have to try to get it in there on every frame of the scene, so not just start the scene in character pose and then go and do whatever generically, no she has to walk like a dr. talk like a dr. brush her teeth like a dr. etc. Easy peasy right?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hyrum Osmond

Stumbled upon Hyrum Osmond's blog. I definitely buy it that his characters are thinking. I want to be able to do that.




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Between Bears by Eran Hilleli

Between Bears from Eran Hilleli on Vimeo.



love the grachic designy ness. Interesting how a lot of it is basically the same scene in a slightly different palette.

found on the brew

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

fable 3

clever presentation twist

Previs

apparently there is a previs society. From all that I've learned it seems like the way to do things right, as in cheapest and fastest and get the best quality, is to do things in previs/animatics, so you can cheaply experiment for the best solution and have a guide so you don't overbuild.

(um guess the embed code vimeo gives me doesn't actually work)


Previs Documentary - Part 1 from Previsualization Society on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cameron Fielding Dirty Curves

Like JHD before, Cameron Fielding has a great post about dirtying up your curves to make them more realistic.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kevin Webb

thinking about finally becoming an apprentice to the black arts of rigging and modeling, since Animation Mentor has come out with Bishop 2.0.

Ran across this really appealing character by Kevin Webb. good inspiration.

Facial rig test from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.



Zooey Lipsync from Kevin Webb on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dramatic Structure

I'm visiting my mom and she has crappy internet, so this is more of a seed post for me to hopefully come back and grown more answers later.

All those screenwriting books and blogs, and movies, and even western novels, can easily trace their roots back to Aristotle's Poetica and his 3 act structure. What I have been curious about is what is the inherent, unquestioned, dna foundation of stories in other non western cultures that don't directly trace back to Aristotle.(granted ancient greece was at the center of a huge empire and the hub of a huge trading center so it's influence was wide spread.) Specifically I am curious how that manifests itself in modern cinema from other places. (Kurasawa for example, he's obviously aware of Western story conventions but he grew up with a different cultural history.) In other words the 3 act structure is so ingrained in the telling of stories that I'm used to that it's like water to a fish, so I am curious what other flavors of water there are.

So it occurred to me to start at Aristotle and see if I could link out from there to the field of study. That got me to dramatic theory which got me to Natya Shastra which is a very interesting start. (attributed to Sage Bharata) The Nātyashāstra delineates a detailed theory of drama comparable to the Poetics of Aristotle. Bharata refers to bhavas, the imitations of emotions that the actors perform, and the rasas (emotional responses) that they inspire in the audience. He argues that there are eight principal rasas: love, pity, anger, disgust, heroism, awe, terror and comedy, and that plays should mix different rasas but be dominated by one.

Each rasa experienced by the audience is associated with a specific bhava portrayed on stage. For example, in order for the audience to experience srngara (the 'erotic' rasa), the playwright, actors and musician work together to portray the bhava called rati (love).

so definitely have some leaning to do (once I'm on a better connection.)

Wiki screenwriting

Thank god for wiki. Sums up all those screenwriting books and blogs I was reading last year nice and quick. Straight copy paste from the screenwriting entry.


Syd Field's Paradigm
Screenwriting guru Syd Field wrote the seminal book Screenplay, and posited a new theory, which he called the Paradigm. Plot Points are important structural functions that happen in approximately the same place in most successful movies, like the verses and choruses in a popular song. Here is a current list of the major Plot Points that are congruent with Field's Paradigm:

Opening Image: The first image in the screenplay should summarize the entire film, especially its tone. Often, writers go back and redo this as the last thing before submitting the script.

Inciting Incident: Also called the catalyst, this is the point in the story when the Protagonist encounters the problem that will change their life. This is when the detective is assigned the case, where Boy meets Girl, and where the Comic Hero gets fired from his cushy job, forcing him into comic circumstances.

Plot Point 1: The last scene in Act One, Turning Point One is a surprising development that radically changes the Protagonist's life, and forces him to confront the Opponent. In Star Wars, this is when Luke's family is killed by the Empire. He has no home to go back to, so he joins the Rebels in opposing Darth Vader.

Pinch 1: A reminder scene at about 3/8 the way through the script (halfway through Act 2a) that brings up the central conflict of the drama, reminding us of the overall conflict. For example, in Star Wars, Pinch 1 is the Stormtroopers attacking the Millennium Falcon in Mos Eisley, reminding us the Empire is after the stolen plans to the Death Star R2-D2 is carrying and Luke and Ben Kenobi are trying to get to the Rebel Alliance (the main conflict).

Midpoint: An important scene in the middle of the script, often a reversal of fortune or revelation that changes the direction of the story. Field suggests that driving the story towards the Midpoint keeps the second act from sagging.

Pinch 2: Another reminder scene about 5/8 through the script (halfway through Act 2b) that is somehow linked to Pinch 1 in reminding the audience about the central conflict. In Star Wars, Pinch 2 is the Stormtroopers attacking them as they rescue the Princess in the Death Star. Both scenes remind us of the Empire's opposition, and using the Stormtrooper attack motif unifies both Pinches.

Plot Point 2: A dramatic reversal that ends Act 2 and begins Act 3, which is about confrontation and resolution. Sometimes Turning Point Two is the moment when the Hero has had enough and is finally going to face the Opponent. Sometimes, like in Toy Story, it's the low-point for the Hero, and he must bounce back to overcome the odds in Act 3.

Showdown: About midway through Act 3, the Protagonist will confront the Main Problem of the story and either overcome it, or come to a tragic end.

Resolution: The issues of the story are resolved.

Tag: An epilogue, tying up the loose ends of the story, giving the audience closure. This is also known as denouement. In general, films in recent decades have had longer denouements than films made in the 1970s or earlier.

The sequence approach
The sequence approach to screenwriting, sometimes known as "eight-sequence structure", is a system developed by Frank Daniel. It is based in part on the fact that, in the early days of cinema, technical matters forced screenwriters to divide their stories into sequences, each the length of a reel (about ten minutes).[12]

The sequence approach mimics that early style. The story is broken up into eight 10-15 minute sequences. The sequences serve as "mini-movies", each with their own compressed three-act structure. The first two sequences combine to form the film's first act. The next four create the film's second act. The final two sequences complete the resolution and dénouement of the story. Each sequence's resolution creates the situation which sets up the next sequence.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

James Baxter Acting notes

Long time back now James Baxter returned to Dreamworks and did a couple lectures on acting. There were notes up for a while, then they went down. Looks like some are up again at Jim Hull's Seward Street (which he stopped updating a long time ago)

Day 1

Day 2

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Carlos Baena dolly

Old post from Carlos on how to think about moving cameras.

The camera should never call attention to itself. It’ll take an audience out of a film. It should bring people inside the film based on the storypoints.

Regardless of the medium, the camera still has weight, and if it moves too light and flips around 20 times, chances are, the audience may not be into that as much.

Always keep in mind composition. Even though the camera is moving, it’s re-composing shots in every frame.

What lenses are used will obviously affect the composition of the moving camera. Wider lenses tend to be used in steadycams and/or when following people around and are easier to follow focus as well. Longer lenses are move difficult to track people in my opinion. However, longer lenses are always a lot more personal to a character.

Camera level matters. Not the same to go eye level, that low level. Why and how the camera is placed again should be based on what’s being told.

The camera should work with the actors, follow once they start moving, as if the camera where an actor looking. To go with or before an actor moves feels staged.

Don’t move the camera just to move it. Keep it still if you are unsure what to do.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thinking - Matt Williames

Matt Williames has some "how I do it" posts. Found this part interesting:

I think sometimes it can be a downfall of animators to mistakes nice poses for "thinking" [a pose meaning thinking]. I've done it for sure-- certainly poses can evoke thinking, but i really feel like think is shown mainly in change. i.e A character is in a situation where he is being asked to make a difficult decision. He is tense, shoulders up, chest inflated, brows down-- he realized he needs to make a certain decision and is at ease with it. He relaxes his shoulders and exhales and lifts his brows. There is not a huge pose change in there, just a change of shape that shows us his thinking. You are working within a pose with something like this-- now sometimes you want to have some sort of change of line of action to make your idea clear it's just knowing where to do it

Aanimate feelings! Meaning, don't think "ok i gotta pick up the leg, move it here"--- naw naw naw, C'mon! animate feelings man! Yes, mechanics: spacing, arcs, on-model drawing contribute to good performance but they are merely a support FOR the performance. I personally feel this way, without great mechanics you can't communicate your great performance properly and yet if your animation is wonky because you don't understand good technique i think it could potentially pull someone out of the performance. Likewise a beautifully animated character from a technical stand-point only tickles the brain, not touch the heart. So while you need to be mindful to a degree at this stage of the process of technical things, your main goal is making that funny little character breath and live.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dog Gallop slow motion

I found it on Murika's blog, but she found it animation resource which looks to be worth a wander through.

Dodger Slow Motion Running from D__E on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hand Drawn is Awesome!

Glen Keane super ruff. Saw this somewhere, re found it at pencil depot.

Tarzan rough Pencil-Test from Victor Ens on Vimeo.



Went looking for this one cuz had seen it long while back. Rune Brandt Bennicke straight ahead no x sheet no nothin, just the cd on loop.