Thursday, April 30, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

11secondclub - Matt Shepherd

Check out the winning clip by Matt Shepherd. I miss 2D... but anyway. Love the beginning with the background action, the camera move, foreground character, then cut to performance, etc. love it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

SprintCam V3 HD

Maybe this is more about the cool footage than animation, but still...:)

It's neat to see movement in slow-mo for reference purposes. Head over to i-movix and check out the video (I'm glad I don't have to animate jello).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keith Lango's Otto

Keep an eye out for Keith Lango's Otto. A motion test is coming soon. Can't wait! Nice character!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I can animate, now what? - pt. 1

My first character animation class was in Fall 2002 at the AAC (before it was the AAU) with Lisa Mullins and she told me early on to think beyond the animation, to really understand and think about why the character is doing something as opposed to how.

I'm mentioning this for multiple reasons (which might not be important, I'm just mentioning it anyway):

Looking back at that first class and then fast forwarding to where I'm at now, I can see specific changes in my attitude towards animation and this job as a whole.

First, in school, it's all about the demo reel. You're spending tons of time in the lab or at home (or wherever your work computer is), with your fellow students and everybody is concentrated on their reel. You live for those shots and it's awesome.
Then, once you get the job, it's all about the first show and your shots. You're spending tons of time at work with your fellow co-workers and everybody is concentrated on their shots. You live for those shots and this time it's even more awesome, because those shots will be seen by tons of people, you'll have your name in the credits, your parents and friends will be proud of you and all that hard work is paying off.
After a while, you realize that the shots you're working on are not meant to be on your reel, they are for the client. And slowly but surely you're detaching yourself completely from the shots, in order to give 100% regardless of the complexity or the difficulty of a project or shot. You truly learn how to kill your babies (or whatever the saying is).

Now, with my first show as a lead animator, I'm getting a fascinating insight into how team work really has to play out. You're always aware of how each discipline depends on each other from the moment you start your first job, but obviously there is much more to it and it's really interesting to go through that experience. Personally, I'm surprised to see myself being ok to animate less and to help out more. Not that I don't want to help, far from it, but I love animating and I expected myself to really miss the animation workload. But the new responsibilities are a lot of fun and I'm learning a lot, so there's definitely no room for complaints.

Now, what does that have to do with "I can animate, now what?"?. Well, it relates to your learning process as an animator. Just like a job path is structured and goes through phases, you will realize that your learning experience goes through phases as well.

First, you start your first class/semester/learning session and you're discovering what is needed to animate your character. You're spending tons of time reading everything related to animation in order to get a grasp of the principles (and software, unless you use another tool). You live for animation and it's awesome. :)

So at first it's about the technique, the tools, the principles, etc. etc. but there will be a moment where you'll have mastered the technique. You'll obviously keep learning and perfecting that technique, but once you reach that phase, you're free to think about performance only. To me it's like where the major feature companies currently are. Every studio has insanely talented animators. I haven't seen Monster vs. Aliens yet, Bolt was the last one and the opening shot with the puppies was just AMAZING! So now that the animation quality is the same, it's all about the story.

It's really exciting to reach that level where you really have to think about performance only. It's also really cool to see how my students reach that level. It's so liberating for everybody when "all" you have to say is "Give this head turn a bit more intensity." and you don't have to explain how to go about that. It's all about the why, not the how. And that's what's what, once you know how to animate. :)

Now your primary question is: What is my character thinking?

It's easy to be lazy at this point and just care about arcs and polish. Push yourself to go beyond movement! Always think about who your character is, what happened before and what will happen after your shot, why is your character doing what he/she/it is doing, etc.

This really applies to every move you animate. If a guy is grabbing a glass, that animation will be different if the guy is drunk, nervous, angry, tired, etc. etc. Don't just animate a head turn, think about the timing of it, how it will change the feel. Again, what is the character thinking during that moment?

- pic source

Friday, April 10, 2009

exercises for tendonitis and carpal tunnel

You should obviously consult a physiotherapist if you are in pain, but these exercises are pretty good. Might be all in my head, but I've tried this and I swear my wrists feel much better. :)
Found via

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Animation Salvation

Another tip by Le Roy Regis! This time it's about the site Animation Salvation and the tutorials on Lip Sync, Doubling your animation output in 7 easy steps and more.

Meet Meline

Le Roy Regis sent me a link to the short Meet Meline. Thanks!

"Meet Meline" tells the story of little girl, named Meline, that will be faced with an extraordinary event. A strange little creature will appear on her life. The story follow this unusual encounter from the little girl's point of view.

Virginie GOYONS & Sebastien LABAN are working on "Meet Meline" since two years now during our spare time (nights and weekends). We've completed all the pre-production including script, concepts, previz, characters and sets design, sound research etc. We are now on production, working on the 26 individual shots that compose the 6 minutes long 3d animated film.

Here's the trailer:

and an animation test (camera work makes a huge difference):

The Art of Kevin Dart

Found this site via Cooked Art. Make sure you go check out all the artwork @ The Art of Kevin Dart. I absolutely love the style and the colors.

Ratatouille Progression Reel

In case you haven't seen this either, found @ Jeff's blog Coop|notes

Disney Templates

Nothing new nor surprising (it's business after all), but this montage is very thorough:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Moving Memo - DSi flipbook app

From Kotaku:

Finally, we got a peek at Moving Memo, a flipbook-like application that, well, lets Nintendo DSi users create flipbook animations. It's a surprisingly user-friendly looking tool, with previous animation "cels" overlaying the current cel to give budding animators frame-to-frame reference.

Moving Memo also allows for music and sound effect additions, as well as the option to upload animations to a web site to share with other users. The potential for Moving Memo to showcase impressive works of animated art is exciting, not to mention a great community driven marketing tool for DSiWare's offerings.


[updated] On via Tim's post there's also a demo video to watch:

- pic source

Animators and Animations

This page @ is very interesting. I haven't had time to go through all the links yet, but hopefully you will. It looks like a great list of resources. Leave a comment with your favorite ones!

Anim News


- Head over to the Character Design blog for an interview with Dan Panosian. Cool artwork! Same goes for Tony Merrithew, great sculpts. Overall, you should periodically visit the Character Design blog, it's very inspirational, a good springboard for animation ideas.

- news posters are out for Plant 51 and Cloudy with a chance of Meat Balls.

- Upcoming Pixar points to a new UP clip, introducing Kevin. With UP coming out so soon, more and more clips are spoiler heavy, so I won't watch them anymore, but I'll point them out here anyway.

- image source