How animation is made – basic, intermediate, and advanced!

The basics of animation, we have that. An intermediate 3D version of the animation process, we watch that. An in-depth look into the animation process for Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, we love that. Below, we show three ways to describe the animation process for anyone willing to pay attention!

Basic –

 

Intermediate –

 

Advanced –

 

Talent Spotlight – mahnaz soleymannejad

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Mahnaz Soleymannejad is an Iranian illustrator who worked on the Parvaneh animation piece. Full of colorful splendor, her blog reflects the personality she intergrated into her backgrounds and color keys for the animation!

Here is the teaser. Be sure to check out more of her work below the video.

PARVANEH from azarangstudio on Vimeo.
http://www.mahnazsoleymani.blogspot.com/

Learn how animation studios operate

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The market seems tough right now for all character animators. Let’s see if we can sum up a few of the roadblocks we normally come across on a daily basis:

Limited freelance gigs (usually a max duration of 3 months) have seasoned artists in survival mode, studios are bankrupting or downsizing their animation staff via layoffs, and 90% of our TV animation work is being sent to another country.

These scenarios caused widespread panic on what to do with the education we’ve spent so much on and sacrificed so much for. This resulted in massive amounts of start-up companies emerging, artists moving to Canada, inexperienced artists going back to school and/or actually teaching, and people attempting to jump into other art/design job positions.

Did that solve the problem? Not really. Most start-ups failed because they lacked sufficient clientele, half the artists who moved to Canada are still unemployed in Canada, the artists who went back to school to learn / teach still aren’t gaining experience, and the rest of them are found battling other designers for positions they don’t actually want.

Time for the Regurge advice:

Learn how animation studios operate. First, a company will not spend money on fresh talent if they’re struggling to pay their full time staff. Second, company failures repel new clients, which result in company layoffs. Third, our economy affects the mindset of the client, which is the guy who wants to put his money into the basket that guarantees the most profit. Today’s client demands company stability, because long lasting companies are companies that have been trusted before. Now the ONLY reason a company today takes on full time employees is when the projected workload indefinitely increases. This hasn’t happened recently, so most artists spend their career hopping from studio to studio.

When applying for a job, look to have these questions answered:

How long have they been around? (clients want enduring companies)
How large is their client list? (More clients, more money coming)
How many clients returned? (Were they treated well? Can they still afford them?)
Have they done company instructional work? (Stable market, full of non creatives with money to spend)

#4 is usually a trait found in smaller generalist studios that fly under the radar, but are more stable than the companies producing commercial campaign spots!

FOLLOW THE CLIENTS. FOLLOW THE CLIENTS. FOLLOW THE CLIENTS. Please.

It’s still going to be tough, because it largely depends on applying at the right time. You WILL get either the job you want, or the job you’re forced to take. The most serious question an animator asks himself/herself when looking for work:

Do I really love doing this as much as I think I do? Whoever has the stronger answer is the one who will always be employed!

Comment below. Share experiences.

Eric Goldberg fixes New Animation – TIPS!

Eric Goldberg has some electrifying words of truth for all contemporary animators. Simply put, animation is missing expressive posing. But don’t fret! Following the poison of his truth comes the antidote of legendary tips.

 

The usual process is: Idea, shooting reference, blocking, splining, and polish. 

Goldberg’s process is : Idea, pre-timing, reference (maybe), etc.

Most contemporary animators create their timing throughout the blocking and splining stages. DON’T DO THIS PEOPLE.

Instead, predict the time it’ll take to perform each step of your animation while it’s still an idea (pre-timing).

Don’t destroy your expressive poses by animating one limb at a time.

 

How Glen Keane learned the secret to Disney Animation, and more

Glen Keane, Paul Wells, Joanna Quinn, Allison Abbate and Jordi Bares explain what drew them to Animation, as well as what keeps them there. Glen and Joanna also reveal why sketching is basically the life blood of great animation.  The secret to Disney animation as well as Glen’s best reasons for sketching are found below:

 

This idea of animating with sincerity is believing in the character you animate. Literally believing them.

Observation (sketching) becomes the well spring of [your] ideas. They become the measure of truth in your drawings.

– Glen Keane

 

Here, Paul Wells explains that while today’s films use old gags and classic (innocent) designs, they also combine those elements with the darker truths of life that most people today tend to focus on. This creative collaboration now bridges the gap of entertainment between both old and new generations in the context of film making.

We live in, of course, what some call the post modern world. The impact of films like  Shrek have been very powerful in that sense. The gags are knowing, everybody’s going to be self aware about these things. We have to know where everybody stands about their own ironies, about their own position in the world. In a certain sense, this mitigates a little bit against the same design strategies, and the same kind of looks of princesses. In the sense that it at least offers us the idea that there’s a “knowingness” in this. Yes the world is a cynical place, but it’s all playful isn’t it?

– Paul Wells (paraphrased)

 

Follow the link, watch the video, and like this post!

http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/832

Animator’s Survival Kit – First two lectures

I’ve discovered only 2 of these fantastic lectures online, so as long as they exist I will keep them on Regurge for all to see!

Lecture 1 has incredible tips Richard Williams learned while watching Ken Harris, Art Babbitt, and Milt Kahl; the originators of many techniques all animators strive to accomplish everyday.

Lecture 2 covers the elements of timing and spacing in animation. This one does come off as rudimentary, but you will obtain profound knowledge by watching how he teaches it; what he skims over and what he highlights.

 

John Truby’s Strongest Storywriting Tips

John Truby  breaks down elements found in the most successful film concepts we know of today. He could be talking about Christopher Nolan’s Cobb character from “Inception”, or Bob Parr from Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles”. Hopefully, my animators out there will understand that the most successful animations (whether features, short films,  or 11 second club entries) are the ones who present characters that live outside of the screen time we give them. Once we have that, we can move on to making sure they’re characters that actually entertain other people.

Important tip to note: Allowing the plot to come from the character means giving the story writing to your character, while you just try to copy everything he describes. Don’t force the character into a pre-planned scenario; They’ll never really come alive.