Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CUBE Showreel 2013-2014

Art tips by Aaron Blaise

Boxtrolls - New Trailer

Head over to Apple Trailers and watch the new trailer. So crazy to see all the detail and work that goes into it!

Being insecure: Tomáš Jech at TEDxExpressionCollege


Honest talk about his insecurities and how he rose above it. My initial comment was about the unfortunate competitive environment at studios. That's my own interpretation of the beginning of the talk talking about his internship.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stop worshipping animation companies.

Everybody has their own favorite company they want to work for. Each student is different. I see and hear it all the time through my teachings, from AM, to the AAU and in my workshops.

But there is one consistent problem.

As long as you worship your favorite company you won't question teachers who work for that company enough, if at all. You end up being a drone.

Fanboy-ism has always existed and that's fine. I'm guilty of this as well. But there comes a point where it's not helping you. For example. Last week in my class, a student showed me work from another class and I asked what the notes were for his shot. The student recited what he was told to change but when I asked why he had to make those changes, the student didn't know what the reasons were. And that's the problem I see over and over again. Students blindly following what teachers tell them, without asking why.

Is it fear of questioning the wisdom and authority of your teacher? Is it fear that by doing so you might ruin your chances of getting hired at your favorite company that teacher represents?

Teachers don't know everything. They can also be wrong.

Not everything you hear is holy scripture, especially when it comes to performance related advice, since a lot of it is based on a subjective preference. Technical notes you should really follow though. But either way, ask why if you don't understand the notes.

It's okay to question things. How else will you learn? If you don't understand the notes, then the teacher is just animating through you. And the next time you start a similar shot, you will either make the same mistake or ape the notes you were given without understanding the reasons and principles behind it.

As a student you are paying for classes and the teachers are there to help you. Don't just blindly accept every note. That's a waste of time and money.


pic credit

My latest animation: "I'm walking here!"

I'm helping out with a short called "Curpigeon" at the Academy of Art and this clip is a rig test to see what works and what doesn't work with the current rig version. It was a lot of fun though to combine creature work with an audio performance (and it's good to have that on your reel for variety).

There's also a youtube and quicktime version as always. And for the technical questions people always ask, the first shot took 8 hours and the second one 9 hours, all in Maya. The audio in the 2nd shot is from "Midnight Cowboy".

Hope you guys like it!


Top 5 Essentials of Animating Creatures

I wrote up a post for the Animation Mentor blog regarding my thoughts on creature animation. In short, the reasons why I think it's important and what you should look out for:

1. Most companies feature creatures in their movies.

2. Diversity in your reel.
3. Root the performance in reality.
4. Get the weight right.
5. Interaction between creatures.

Head over there to read up on all the details. I hope it's helpful!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Successful Animator

I've only followed Successful Animator for a day or so but the output is crazy. I don't know how much gets repeated and how automated those tweets are but it's very interesting to read through and there are a lot of tips, not just quotes. Worth going through and reading:

- found via Clay Kaytis