Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Music Monster

You require more fun things to watch. Here's something I animated at work like six months ago. I only had a few days to do it so it's not perfect, but it was fun! There are way more where this comes from, but this is the only one they sent us rendered, and I don't think I should put up playblast material here until I'm sure the commercial has been aired.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

AM showcase

The latest Animation Mentor Showcase (Fall 2007) was recently released and it's jaw dropping inspiring. Check it out:

Perhaps someday I'll get in there. ;)

Look for my next assignment soon! Bouncing balls and excitement, whee!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Class 102 - Take two

Woog, reality check. Doug wasn't super happy with my work. I thought I was working hard and leaping excitedly into my work, but I suppose my standards have diminished in the work force. :P

Apparently I was supposed to focus on balance, weight, attitude, etc, but I was mistakenly under the impression we were just supposed to quickly sketch what we saw with no touch up. Anyway, long story short, I was upset, humbled, embarrassed, and quite driven to do better, so here's the revision. Subways are AWESOME for drawing people:

And the pose from a better angle with various old man fixes:

Now he looks more like he's about to push up. The cane is propelling forward and up. The head has a more old man "craning up" thing going on, the right arm is contributing better to this huge effort, and his feet are flat to offer the utmost assistance in standing.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yay for rambling!

We had our first Q&A last night!

Let me first explain what the Q&A is...

Animation Mentor is divided into six terms. I'm, of course on my first term. Each term has a certain number of mentors assigned to it, and each of those mentors has their own class to herd, of about 15 people.

My mentor happens to be Doug Sheppeck, who has a really really impressive resume. Go look him up on IMDB. Anyway, once a week, the whole class meets up in a souped up chat room to pepper the mentor with questions via webcam.

We're supposed to meet on Tuesdays at 11 pm, but due to a misunderstanding, Doug didn't show up. Oops. It was still a really fun night and I got to know a little background of my classmates as we were waiting around for 1.5 hours to see if maybe he's still working in New Zealand and got the time zone wrong. (He didn't, and is in fact back at Pixar).

I've stumbled upon a number of "it's a small world" incidents allready with the program. One of my classmates is director of cinematics at Bungie. He did all of the layout for the cinematics on Halo 2, so he did the layout that I then animated!

Another guy in the entering class (not in my classrom) used to work at Cyberlore in Northampton before they went out of business. He found me somehow and he told me that he's moved on to Turbine, also in the area.

One guy just contacted me in a very sweet way. Apparently my training CDs that are sold through Anzovin Studio, were what inspired him to really pursue animation! Nice! What a sweetheart to tell me that.

Anyway, last night we actually had our Q&A. I don't want to say too much because I don't know how much ownership Animation Mentor has over the Q&A materials. But here are some gems:

They work on average about 50 hours a week at Pixar, some more, some less, with some leniency on those with kids.

Doug goes into zombie mode too sometimes on easy shots, and just does autopilot animation. Though of course he says it's not a good idea. This really made me grin.

I asked him about animation rate, adding that sometimes I'm stuck with upwards of 30-40 seconds a week, and that I see Pixar as this magical place where you have time to work on your shots. He gave me some great advice... If a shot really speaks to you, work really fast on all the other stuff and try to get permission to slow down on that one. And he implied that it's a good idea to move on if a studio is really bringing you down with the animation slog... Oh yeah, and they average about 4 seconds a week depending on many factors.

Oh, and get this... Doug knew Chris Perry (my mentor at Hampshire) back at Pixar! From one mentor and on to the next, eh? That's great!

That's all for now. Though there was much much more. Doug likes to ramble. I like this, yes I do.


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First Impressions of AM

Animation Mentor is everything I expected it to be and more. There's just a huge pool of resources, excellent teaching standards, and multitudes of happy inspired students clambering to critique and be critiqued and basically obsessed with networking.

My whole mood has changed. I'M happier. I don't have to do all my animation in a boring slog at work. I'll have guidance and encouragement and really harsh critiques. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be f****ing great!

The initial euphoria is wearing off a little. I'm a little scared. I am not going to have any free time for 18 months. This is it. Buckle down and pony up. My relationships are going to suffer. My skill will go up, but will my Anzovin work suffer too? Will I be happy staying at Anzovin for almost two more years? I love that place but I was ready to move on last year, and I'm STILL here. But nowhere else will I have the freedom to work less than 50 hours a week. Heck, I have the freedom to work less than 40 or less than 30 if I beg enough.

Thanks for reading!



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