Friday, February 17, 2006

twitch


Through no fault of the studio's we've unfortunately all had to work nonstop for about 3 weeks now. I can't go into details but the situation really isn't in our control, unfortunately. That is, the reason for all this crunch time is through no mismanagement or fault of our own.

At first I was daunted, and then it became kind of fun (as my last blog on the subject noted) but now I (and I'm sure everyone else here) am getting really burnt out. I went from animating 5-10 seconds a day at my peak to right now about 2-3.

It's been a good learning experience of course. I find I'm learning a lot as an animator. But I didn't realize all the side effects it would have. I haven't really excercised in all that time and I haven't really had any free time. For the past couple of days my productivity has been plummeting. I feel kind of dizzy today and my left eyelid won't stop twitching. More detail than you want to know!

I hope we finish soon. Our next project looks to be awesome...
~Cristin

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Monday, February 13, 2006

character animation yummies

I have potentially just stumbled upon the epitomie of awesome. Ok, maybe not, but this is some really really impressive character animation reference material.

Animation Podcast

I may be behind everyone in discovering this, but if you haven't heard of it... it's really great stuff. He interviews a number of talented animators, including Andreas Deja, and gets all sorts of inspiring tidbits, including stories and advice passed on by some of the old Disney guys like Milt Kahl.

I've only had time to listen to Andreas and one of Nik Ranieri's interviews but they are so inspiring. Not even for the animation advice but for the stories about how these guys made it into the business and who they met along the way and what they learned from them. It's also a great way to start learning who did what, which animator animated what and what they think about their own work.

I would like to be able to name more animators and identify styles by watching a scene and guessing who did it. I've allready added a number of Disney flix to my netflix queue to begin watching some of the scenes mentioned in these interviews now that I have even more background to go on. :)
~Cristin

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

30 seconds of fun!


This is a bit old, about a year out of date now, but here is the most recent version of my

Demo Reel



It basically includes two direct to videos: GI Joe and Action Man, cut scenes for Halo 2, and some shots from Anzovin's Duel short film. I'll be hopefully updating that at the end of the month.

Watching it recently, I'm surprised by how far I've come in the past year, even though I haven't had much opportunity to spend time improving. Granted, most of that stuff was animated at 10-15 seconds a week. But even since then, aside from the Animate! series, I haven't worked on a project that granted time to perfect the quality of the animation.

I'm beginning to suspect that just *animating a LOT* regardless of the amount of time you're given for a shot, can really improve your animation. Now, I'm not talking about just not caring and rushing through your work. I've been working on this ridiculously fast-paced project for almost a month now where I basically have to animate as fast as possible, regardless of quality. For me, that means I've been animating at a rate of about 25-35 seconds a week, with the amount increasing each week as I get better at it. But I've still been working very carefully and trying to make that animation worth watching.

I really don't see the point of working on something, ESPECIALLY animation, if you're not going to learn something from it and make it as good as you can. When this project started, I was really really bummed about purposely animating junky quality shots because of time constraints. So I tried to approach this project with the goal in the back of my head of doing good AND fast animation. And I've learned a lot. In fact, at this point I'm having fun with it and I've turned it into a contest with myself to animate as much as possible but still keep it as good as I can. Working so quickly has forced me to just animate straight ahead with no blocking and little planning. Which in turn, kind of reduces the stress of coming up with the right acting, and forces me to focus on just making the motion read well.

It has proven to be a very interesting excercise as I've become better and better at quickly creating animation that *works*. Especially in the little subtleties of making a talking head shot read well (I think I've animated about 40 seconds of talking heads so far this month), in quickly blocking a complicated walking or running around shot, or other physical shot. Obviously, none of it is too great, but surprisingly I feel as if I've still improved dramatically on this project from the sheer volume I've had to go through and that it will help me create much better animation when I have the time to apply what I've learned to high quality productions.

As soon as I'm allowed, I'll post the stuff from this game we're working on. Probably not for a few months though. :P

Yikes, long post. I apologize to my nonexistent readers. ;)
~Cristin

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Welcome

Well then, welcome to my new blog. It's absolutely unfindable at the moment so I'm hesitant to try posting anything interesting yet. Oh I will! That is, if you like animation... and reading blogs. I'll be posting random tidbits of animation I've done, animation that I do, and works in progress. Not to mention thoughts on animation and industry events and whatnot.

For starters though, let me make a quick introduction. I'm an animator at a cute lil studio in Western Mass (Anzovin Studio). It was my first animation job out of college and they've managed to trick me into staying by being so darn nice and incredibly talented and fun to work with. The bastards. Someday I will probably move on and become a COG in the wheel of some animation department somewhere. I love it here, but I also want to be surrounded by more animators. Buried in animators. Yes, that sounds good.
~Cristin

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