Wednesday, 26 January 2011

It's the real deal !

Every month I organise an animation event where people bring their work and get feedback from seniors in the industry... and every month I see the same thing, or maybe I should say "hear" the same things, to my question "What are your references ?"

Pretty often I see people starting an animation, and I'm not only talking of students, or young professionals, without knowing what they are doing.
when I say not knowing, I don't mean, they don't know where they going or whatever, but more like they don't really know everything around what they will animate, here is an example of an animation exercise I gave to some student in Porto : They had to pick a sport and do an animation of it, for example, for tennis, they were suppose to do a service; for shot put, the throw; for basketball, a shoot ... and one of my student picked fencing, which was very interesting as I didn't knew anything about it.

The first part of the exercise, is that they had all the morning to make research and references, and I ask them to teach me stuff about their sport, that I didn't knew. It was very interesting to see all the information they gathered within an hour, they were giving me names of old champions and records, the different type of swords they had, the different type of handles, and why they were used and why, and all sort of information...

There blocking were strong, precise, good weight, everything was very good, I was really really impressed, especially compared to all the other work they were doing, this assignment was from far the best animation work I saw from them, even today, and the reason was, they gathered references, they planned, they thought about it, they didn't just threw themselves into the animation.

I see many animators, student or professionals, always saying how Pixar and other studios are doing amazing animation, and telling me they want to work in this companies, but when they animate ... they expect the same result, with all the work behind, I think people don't realise, that if they want to get a job in a big company, they have to show serious work, they have to show work comparable to the work done in this company, because there is no secret, a good animation, is an animation well thought and planned.

A friend of mine once tried to get a job at Framestore, and his animation was full a default and mistakes, weights issue, or sticking IK, and he told "I thought they would not see it", well ... if I see it they will, and for sure, they will not appreciate the work of someone lazy.

I realised how serious it can be in the industry, when I started on 9, it was my first feature film experience, and when I arrived, the first desk that I saw, was a modeler desk, and he had this little book to know how to do marines knots and I was like ... what the hell do you have this, and he told me, that he had to model knots, and that he wanted to know how they were done to model them properly, and I told him, who cares ?! just do something who looks like it, and he told me that people will notice it, maybe they will not see it, but for sure will feel it.

So if I have an advice to give you, if you want to get a job in a big company, then propose real solid and well planed work, for that, gather a lot of references, study a little bit the field you're gonna animate, try to go further than just animating, seriously a single hour will save you so much time in your creation process and make your work so much solid, because in the industry it's the real deal, and you need to show them that you are prepared for this !

Learn the rules before breaking them !

Here is a very nice article about thinking out of the box, with very good examples, and very good thoughts.

Going in the same way, I would like to talk about animation, and talk about all the people I see animating stylized or more common said "Cartooney", and never realistic for different reasons.

Stylized animation is not easy, and not without rules, many people thinks that stylized animation is everything and anything, is not constant, and just everything is exaggerated... but in my point of view, they are wrong.

For me stylized animation, is like a caricature, if you want to do a good caricature, you need to study the face of the person, and know how to draw realistic, and when all this is good, then you start your caricature.

Stylized animation is an exaggeration of certain aspect of movement ... but how can you express them nicely if you don't understand them properly, how do you want to be able to break the rules, if you don't know how to apply them ?!

Here is the issue for me, if you look at Tex Avery cartoons, there is exaggeration, but it's constant, they always do it the same way, all the way to the end, and because of that, it's constant and have a logic in his own way.

So if I can give you an advice, try to learn your physics and weights, work on it very hard, try to really understand them before doing crazy animations totally freaky, it reminds me when I was studying at Animationmentor, it was in class 2, we had an exercise which was to start an expressive walk cycle at frame 60, then the next assignment was to justify the walk within the 60 frames ... people started to do short films, and totally went out of subject, and bobby had to remind everyone to keep it simple and focus on the exercise, as we will have plenty of time after to do crazy animations, but first thing first, we need to learn and for that, we need to stick to the rules and learn how to apply them.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Posing and body language

 Here are some tutorials that I wrote for CG Channel, they are from a lecture I did at Double Negative following a two days workshop that I attended given by Andrew Gordon. As my head of animation asked me, I had to do a lecture about what I learned, but because the workshop was pretty basic, I had to dig a little bit further, and I started to read the Desmond Morris book : People Watching, and from there I could offer more than just basic stuff.–-part-3/

a fourth part in on his way :)

Let's start this stuff

Hello everyone, it's been almsot three years I created this blog but never posted anything on it :p

But lately as I was talking with some people at work or at BYOA, I realised many stuff, and as I was talking with thoose people I thought ... if only I knew this before or if someone told me, or if we have thought of this ... well I could have maybe avoided many time loss, so here I will try to post some of the stuff which came through my mind recently and new stuff.

Also I'm doing a short film with some friends, so I would like to put some of my work here to share it with my friends and some other curious people :)

I hope you will enjoy and if you have any question or things to say, agree or disagree, post a comment :)