Saturday, December 15, 2018

Searching for Bobby Fischer - Acting Analysis for Animators

Today's Acting Analysis for Animators takes a look at an older movie called "Searching for Bobby Fischer". There are three sequences I'm using as examples for thought process and acting moments that fall outside of the "audio" guideline and which give you the opportunity to add your own acting moments and choices.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Animation Blocking - Sound as Reference - part 7

Part 7 of the Animation Blocking series covers an animation workflow that I feel is criminally underused. It's quick, you don't need help, you can do it all yourself and you can use it in a simple way or go crazy. I'm talking about making sounds as timing reference. This can work for movements and physical actions but also internal monologue.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Take Shelter - Acting Analysis for Animators - part 3

Continuing the Acting for Animators analysis with part 3 of "Take Shelter, I take a look at how different body poses and gestures can create contrast in characters. Also, the movie is awesome.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

100 Frame Animation Contest Fall 2018 - Announcement

The 100 Frame Animation Contest Fall 2018 Edition

is upon us! The contest starts in one week, next Thursday! You got one week for 100 frames, any rig, any style, any medium, with or without sound, music, etc. The topic will be announced next week!

Full announcement here:


Animation Workshop Lydia Mikkers #3 (2015)


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Animation Blocking - Act Out Your Animation - part 6

Part 6 is all about acting out your animation (your playblast if you work in Maya). That doesn't mean you act things out for your reference, no no no, it means that you act out what you just animated. So if you try to replicate exactly the movement and timing of your animation you will feel and see what works and what doesn't. It's a quick check and coupled with the usage of sound (coming next week) a very effective way to make sure your animation works during your blocking stage.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Animation Blocking - Pose Library - part 5

How to block out your animation, how to plan your animation blocking, what to avoid, what IS animation blocking, all these questions are the basis of this new series and a topic that's really important for new animation students. Part 5 takes a look at how you can create a pose library for your animation if you're not equipped with extra tools and scripts. It's a simple and fast approach that can help you save time when blocking out your animation.


Friday, November 2, 2018

ER (season 1/2) - Acting Analysis for Animators

Today's Acting Analysis for Animators brings back ER and this time we are looking at episodes from season 1 and season 2. I'm a big fan of Carter and he's featured heavily for his usual awesome facial expressions and pantomime, but we are also looking at body gestures based on habit and more!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

How to add CHARACTER to your ANIMATION - part 2 - Example by Animator Zoey Chen

Character animators are focusing on... character, as the name says. How to animate a character and especially how to create a character is a daunting task and easier said than done! This clip shows the progression of how Academy of Art animator Zoey Chen has incorporated feedback and taken her animation to the next level. At the end of this FNA you will also find the critique I gave her for her 2nd version.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Fringe - Acting Analysis for Animators

For this Acting Analysis for Animators example I'm taking a look at the TV show "Fringe" and I'm covering the subject of your character being in... character!


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Animation Blocking - Test your Rig - part 4

How to block out your animation, how to plan your animation blocking, what to avoid, what IS animation blocking, all these questions are the basis of this new series and a topic that's really important for new animation students.

Part 4 covers what you should look out for in an animation rig, what to test out, what animation pitfalls to avoid, etc. before you start your animation shot.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Lockout - Acting Analysis for Animators

Today's Acting Analysis for Animators takes a look at the movie "Lockout". I cover demo reel intros, acting thought process anticipation and offscreen character escalation. That sounds super fancy, hahaha! I totally made that up.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Animation Blocking - Planning - part 3

How to block out your animation, how to plan your animation blocking, what to avoid, what IS animation blocking, all these questions are the basis of this new series and a topic that's really important for new animation students.

Part 3 takes a look at different planning methods, focusing on 2D and reference, with examples of how I approach my reference process, 2D planning examples and more!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Maniac - Acting Analysis for Animators

Today's Acting Analysis for Animators is a hefty one! I'm taking a look at the show "Maniac", which is on Netflix, and there are so many awesome moments in it that you could use for your animation purposes and I didn't even cover all episodes! Loved the show, loved all those moments, and if there's ever an art-of book for it, then I'll be set!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Animation Blocking - Cheat Sheet - part 2

How to block out your animation, how to plan your animation blocking, what to avoid, what IS animation blocking, all these questions are the basis of this new series and a topic that's really important for new animation students. Part 2 gives you an animation checklist of the most important items you should be able to cross off before you show your first blocking pass to whoever needs to see it. This animation cheat sheet, as I like to call it, looks like this: PREP - plan your animation - test your rig - create a pose library QUICK CHECK - act out your playblast - use sound as reference WORKFLOW - make a list of notes - do a technical & visual proof-watch: *pops & arcs * body mechanics * silhouette * mirror shot * work in chunks * don’t loop shots (except for fixes) * avoid repetition (pose & timing) BONUS: - rotoscope your reference There you go! The next upload is going to take a look at each of these items in detail.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Borg vs. McEnroe - Acting Analysis for Animators

Today's Acting Analysis for Animators' upload takes a look at the movie "Borg vs. McEnroe", specifically character staging, prop interaction, eye focus and more!


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Animation Blocking - You are doing it WRONG! - part 1

How to block out your animation, how to plan your animation blocking, what to avoid, what IS animation blocking, all these questions are the basis of this new series and a topic that's really important for new animation students. And I may or may not have used this to show a lot of shots from "Tremors"...


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Animation Q&A - ANSWERS - part 3

This is the last part of the Animation Q&A, more to come in the upcoming weeks and months!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Altered Carbon - Acting Analysis for Animators

Time for an Acting Analysis for Animators again and Netflix' "Altered Carbon" serves as an example of how to use props in an interesting way, as well as short interaction between two characters. All good springboard ideas for pantomime animation.


Animation Workshop Konstantinos Zacharakis #5


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Animation Q&A - ANSWERS - part 2

More questions, more answers! This is part 2 of the Animation Q&A. (Youtube gave me some upload grief, I apologize for the one day delay!)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Jack Ryan - Acting Analysis for Animators

This Acting Analysis for Animators clip takes a look at Amazon's new show "Jack Ryan", covering camera framing for characters, my usual love for eye contact and potential conflict, character interactions and reactions, environmental familiarity and more! Lots of cool little goodies I love to nerd out about.


A Quiet Place — Telling a Story with Sound


Animation Workshop Kyaw Saw Aung #14


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Animation Q&A - ANSWERS - part 1

I got a great batch of questions covering all kinds of animation related topics (and chocolate) and here's the first part of my answers.

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Illusionist - Acting Analysis for Animators

For this Acting Analysis for Animators upload I take a look at the magician movie "The Illusionist"! How can you come across as arrogant, annoyed and high status all through body acting? Look no further than Rufus Sewell!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

THANK YOU and submit your QUESTIONS!

I want to thank everybody who watches my clips! Crazy town that I passed 2000 subscribers! I really appreciate all the interest!

 Now that I've covered a lot of the "pre-production" (as I loosely call this) aspect of animation, focusing on ideas, planning, approach, references, etc. it's time to move towards the middle block, namely "production". In the upcoming weeks and months I'm going to talk about blocking, workflows, tool tips, animation tips, show demos, share files, and so on! After that we will take a look at "post-production", which will cover rendering, presentation, sound, music, demo reel, dos and don'ts and much more.

 SO!

 Now is the time to ask questions! Is there anything you want me to cover? Anything I missed? Anything for future FNAs? I have a long list on my end but I want to make sure that your questions are answered! Thanks again for watching!!

 Cheers
JD

Friday, August 24, 2018

Q&A with the 50 Ways Guy and Animator Kevin Parry


Take Shelter - Acting Analysis for Animators - part 2

Continuing the Acting for Animators analysis with part 2 of "Take Shelter, I take a look at non verbal communication of the grumpy kind and how important posture, gestures and timing are in conveying emotions.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

How to add CHARACTER to your ANIMATION

Character animators are focusing on... character, as the name says. How to animate a character and especially how to create a character is a daunting task and easier said than done! This clip will hopefully give you a few guidelines and tips on how to achieve exactly that.

Animation Workshop Jose Molina #5


Friday, August 17, 2018

ER (Season 1) - Acting Analysis

Another look at season 1 of the TV show "ER", specifically episode 16 "Make of Two Hearts" and 20 "Full Moon, Saturday Night".
Of course John Carter (played by Noah Wyle) with his awesome pantomime actions and reactions is back, as well as another sequence with different actors showcasing the same topic: how the end of a lip-sync piece doesn't have to be the end of your performance.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Writing Characters Without Character Arcs


The Steven Spielberg "L System"


I love CONFLICT

When your characters are faced with a problem they have to make choices to fix those problems and those choices will reveal their true character. Conflict can be a springboard for comedy, drama, suspense, etc. and a great way to show off your animation skills and an opportunity to go beyond movement and more into character based performance. One of my favorite clips on Youtube serves as today's example illustrating my point. The timing is great and his choice to fix his "problem" still cracks me up!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Extinction - Acting Analysis

When you animate a character make sure that the acting choices are appropriate to the scene, the environment and the context, and not something that seems out of place. It's not just about how to animate a character in terms of movement but also in terms of character choices and the choices will be influenced by what's going on around the character.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Burnout & Overworking Yourself

Take care of yourself!

ANIMA PODI - Teaser

As Cartoon Brew writes:

Famed French Animation School Gobelins Announces Free Online Animation Course... Gobelins, l’École de l’image, the Paris institution renowned for its department of animation, announced their new free massive open online course (MOOC) last month at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Anima Podi, as the MOOC is dubbed, will be a six-week, computer animation training program that begins on October 17.

Head over here for more info and watch the trailer below:


Bang Bang!

Boogie Nights & Goodfellas: When Karma Comes Around

Gotta watch both movies again, they're so good!


Chris McCormick Blizzard Animation Reel 2018

SMALLFOOT - Final Trailer


Saturday, August 4, 2018

How an environment can make your animation BETTER! - part 3

Let's conclude (for now) the series about how the environment can make your character animation better by looking at Django Unchained, extreme weather conditions as well as examples and ideas to make your animation stand out. And why wouldn't you try to talk about Bodysnatchers? :)


Friday, August 3, 2018

Warcraft Cinematic - “Old Soldier”


Take Shelter - Acting Analysis - part 1

This Acting Analysis clip take a look at Jeff Nichols' fantastic movie "Take Shelter". There's a lot to cover so this is part 1 for now, and the sequence I'm looking at is very short but hopefully serves as a springboard for ideas in terms of how you can showcase your main actor's character through their interaction with surrounding minor characters, in this case a father and his daughter. It's a small moment but I really like the idea of secondary action in shots and if you can establish a broader canvas of your character through that then then why not try it out in your next shot?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

How an environment makes your animation BETTER! - part 2

Part 2 of How an Environment Makes your Animation BETTER series looks at Star Trek, Skull Island, Batman vs Superman, Lord of the Rings, Tomb Raider, Iron Man 2 and the new Godzilla trailer to showcase how your character can be affected by the environment and how it can and should alter the performance.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

All the Money in the World - Acting Analysis

This Acting Analysis clip looks at the movie "All the Money in the World" and the examples cover how characters can be affected by their costume, outside environments (more on that in my FNAs), body posture changes based on emotions and lipsync tips.


Animation Workshop Krystal Huynh #1


Friday, July 20, 2018

How an environment makes your animation BETTER! - part 1

This is the start of a multi part series again, almost an unofficial "How to take your animation to the next level" part 6, but this time I'm talking about environments and it's a subject I want to dedicate its own series to.
I'm starting with the simple yet very important distinction: has your character been in that environment before or is the first time? Your acting choices will be different depending on your answer and a set and environment can inspire your acting choices tremendously!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

ER (Season 1) - Acting Analysis

For this Acting Analysis clip I'm looking at season 1 of the TV show "ER", specifically episode 12 "Happy New Year" and episode 14 "Long Day's Journey".
John Carter (played by Noah Wyle) seems to be dominating all the clips I'm going to show, with his awesome pantomime actions and reactions, but other characters and moments will be featured as well of course.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Food Thief - Teaser Shot and Rig Demo

Sonder: Animated Film Made with Unity


Julian Teo Pixar Reel - Animation Analysis

Julian Teo's Pixar Internship 2016 Animation Demo Reel is always being shown in my classes and his shot of Inside Out's Riley is such a good example of a strong pantomime acting performance within a set and how a set can influence your acting choices and marry both the character and the set together so that the character feels alive within that environment.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

How to take your animation TO THE NEXT LEVEL - part 5

Okay... one more! This really is the last part of the How To Take Your Animation To The Next Level series (at least in this form!). I had to add one more part because of the awesomeness of this clip I'm talking about! The body mechanics, the conflict, the struggle, the determination, it's all so good!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Star Trek Voyager "Elogium" - Acting Analysis

Looking at an episode of Star Trek Voyager, this week's Acting Analysis looks at how you can use a prop to enhance a character's emotional state. Ok, that sounds pretty fancy, especially given the show and the characters in my example. Hey! What can I say, I'm more of a DS9 and TNG guy, but it's still a fun example.

Friday, July 6, 2018

How to take your animation TO THE NEXT LEVEL - part 4

Part 4 of the How To Take Your Animation To The Next Level series (and final one) walks you through more examples of how you can add interesting complexities to your exercises, be it a weight assignment, a creature shot, etc. in order to make it more about a specific moment of a character instead of just movement. Aaaand some examples are kinda dark, what can I say.


Tomb Raider - Acting Analysis

Sometimes less is more and looking at the latest "Tomb Raider" movie for my acting analysis series I found exactly that! Amidst all the spectacle and action, there was a great little moment that stood out to me exactly because it was small and subtle and worked as a contrast to all the action. Two very similar scenes from different Star Trek movies are also featured to show how less is more can be very effective (funny enough, all featuring villains).