11 July, 2012

A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way!

If you're following this Blog, chances are you are an Animator in some degree or another.  One thing that I'm finding on this crazy adventure of learning this awesome art form is that whatever physical, mental or emotional reason you may encounter from time to time you get frustrated or just completely burned out where you don't feel like going on.  

Lately, this has been me, I've been mustering up the motivation to get working on some shots for a new demo reel.  Maybe because it's summer or maybe because I just finished a slue of various side projects, but I just couldn't get the ball rolling....

One of the major influences that contribute to most Animators getting inspired is seeing other fantastic work coming from both students and professionals.  Cruising the interwebs, as of late, I've been seeing all the trailers for the new animated features coming out, plus watching a lot of student work and short films that are full of awesome.  This plays a major role and has always helped me in the past (and still does, I guess it's all so intimidating), but hasn't had the same effect on me as it did when starting out Animation Mentor.  So here is a personal example of unexpected inspiration.  Last week, I was out at the local watering hole for my birthday.  Now keep in mind, when I'm out and about I'm always networking in some degree or another.  I met someone who was a Motion Graphic Artist/Animator for a Denver News Channel.  Instantly we started 'geeking out' and talking shop.  With modern day technology we were able to show each others' demo reels via our smart phones.  He was impressed with mine, as I was his.  Thinking back on it, hearing that positive feedback is what I think was the spark I needed to get my butt in gear to make the best demo reel that I can.  "The Golden Reel" as I refer to it, the one that's going to get me that full time job as a Character Animator.  I guess what I'm getting at, is that inspiration comes in all different forms, you may not realize it at the time, but it's all over the place and it will hit you when you least expect it.

Here is some inspirational animation goodness to maybe light that spark you've been looking for.... enjoy!


Animation Mentor Class 3 Progress Reel from Manar Al Tawam on Vimeo.

Drive me!! from manitou on Vimeo.

Jeff Gabor- Rio Annie Reel Submission from jeff gabor on Vimeo.

Pixar Internship Reel Summer 2011 from Justin Farris on Vimeo.

09 July, 2012

Workflow eBook (free) ~Animation Insiders

If you've been following this Blog, you'll notice an over-abundance of workflow posts... I'm a big advocate for workflow.  Why?  You ask.  I don't know, maybe it's because after you get to a certain skill level when becoming an Animator (with some level of confidence) is usually around the time you have nailed down, in some form or another, a consistent workflow which helps you get the best quality animation in the most efficient amount of time.  If you're in the Animation Industry, you are well aware that there are always deadlines and Directors that needed your animation yesterday!  I believe that mastering your workflow is how you accomplish this.

Thanks to the Twitter machine, I found a blog called Animation Books Reviews.  It's a new blog and talks about.... well, animation books.  It looks as if it's just starting out (only a few reviews so far), but it looks like it's going to be another great tool, so make sure you go and check it out.  On it, there was a post about a free eBook on workflow from some totally awesomely-radical-inspiring Animators.... I haven't read it all yet, but the review was enough to get me to download it, and did I mention IT'S FREEEEE!!  You obviously have an internet connection, so get over there and download it!!  

Thanks Animation Book Reviews and Animation Insiders!!!  You rock!



06 July, 2012

Arc Tracker for Maya 2012 ~Spencer Jones

Tired of wondering if your animation is flat and stale... well, no more!! Spencer Jones just finished up with a new arc tracking tool for Maya 2012.  Spencer is an Animation Mentor Alumni and currently works at Rockstar Games North in Scotland (there's a link to his demo reel just above).  There's a link below to download... you should check it out and use it on your next animation, get those super sweet arcs that look so rad!!  Thanks a ton Spencer!

Animation Arc Tracker 1.1.0
- Track an objects motion (Auto updates. Uses Maya Motion Trails)
- Track with thorough option (Does not auto update. Slow but thorough)
- Track timeline range or override with custom range
- Change colours for path, keyframes, in-betweens
- Show Keyframe or all frame numbers
- Toggle Xray draw
- Zoom controls for active camera/viewport
- Attach To option for moving cameras (Temporarily disabled)
- Dockable UI