Saturday, December 15, 2007
James Gurney, author and illustrator of Dinotopia, recently visited SJSU. He is an amazing artist and a super cool person. He gave a presentation about himself and his process. I love getting a glimpse into the mind of great people. Anyway seeing his passion for Dinosaurs made me remember what got me wanting to do animation. It was . . . bup bup baaaa bup bup baa bup bup baaaaaaaa . . . . DINOSAURS ! ! ! More specifically Jurassic Park. I was like 10 or 11 with more dinosaur books and paraphernalia than you could shake a stick at so seeing those things brought to life was freakin incredible. The Making of Jurassic Park was THE FIRST making of book I ever bought. I was so enthralled with how they made them so real. It was better than I could have imagined. I used to copy the pencil renderings out of the book, like this one, all the time.Then Toy Story came out and they brought toys to life and that really captured my imagination
and I started down that path toward character animation yad yad yad blah blah blah... Anyway Dinosaurs started it all and they are freakin AWESOME!!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I originally posted this as a response to this post on Stephen Gregory's blog. He was addressing the question of "what is the secret formula for good animation".
I thought my response was insightful enough to re-post on my own blog. Lame, I know.
I changed some at the end to fit here.
I think that deep down every animator knows the answer to that question. But we all want a secret formula because we think that we are applying the principles and then we get scared because our animation still looks like crap. I think the "secret" lies in the deeper understanding of those principles and in being able to control them enough to support (not detract from) our acting choices. I guess you could call it Animation Wisdom. Like any sort of wisdom, Animation Wisdom probably comes from experience and more importantly, expert instruction. I say expert instruction is more important because then we can see the breadth, width and depth of the principles applied right in front of our eyes and that is essential in making rapid progress. Expert instruction can come from people such as Stephen Gregory and his tutoring program but there is also a wealth of info available to us through books and the Internet check out Kieth Lango's tutorial on polishing animation.
I think that key is to always be trying to gain more incite into how to apply the principles in more meaningful ways yet always supporting the acting.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Almost every successful animator, CG or not, will tell you that it is imperative that you draw every day. They will say that the better you draw, the better you can animate. But why? Is it just because Milt Kahl and Glen Keane were both superb draftsmen as well as animators, so therefore it must be true. You might say that animation is mostly acting and physics and either the computer or the clean up artist will make it look pretty for you which is not untrue. In the Illusion of Life, Frank Thomas states that Milt Kahl was the best animator because his draftsmanship allowed him to execute subtleties in the animation better than anyone else. I think that this is very true but I also think that there is more to it. When we animate, the performance first starts off in our brain. Then, through much trial and error, we put it into some form that will communicate to an audience. We are communicating to an audience visually. So lets think about this in the form of speaking. When we are young we have trouble communicating what we are thinking and people have trouble understanding what we are saying. Also when we are younger our thoughts might not even be clear to us. But as we practice, we become better at knowing what we are trying to say and being able to say it. You might say that animation is an art form and not just a way to communicate. But think about this. Singing is a audible art form and you must learn to speak before you can sing. Over the centuries the greatest visual artists start out drawing. They all will continue to draw and sketch through out their whole life. Why? Because it is the best way to learn and continue improving on how well we can communicate visually. Drawing also helps how we think visually. Just as speaking builds up a mental library of ways to communicate audibly, drawing builds up a mental library of ways to communicate visually. It will also help us clarify our initial ideas so that we can perceive problems that we will run into, without all the work. Also as animators we need to be drawing people and what they are thinking. This will do two things for us. One, it will help us communicate visually, and two, it will build up a library of sincere and real acting. It will help us with both the communication and the craft. Milt Kahl was the best because he could communicate visually with the most clarity. He could get what was in his head, into the audience's head with the most ease.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Here is my "best" stuff so far. My goal for the summer is to be 10,000 time better and and actualy be able to incorporate my theory of animation into my work. I would also like to take this time to publicly state the rest of my goals for the summer so that I stick to them.
At least one 2D dialogue test
Finish my 2D baseball boy acting test
Three 3D dialogue tests
One good 3D pantomime test
Establish at least two good stories for next school year, with completed vis dev.
Properly sketch people everyday
Friday, June 1, 2007
would like to start off this blog with my theory of character
animation. Mind you that this is a theory in sense that it will most
likely be changing from week to week. This
week I believe that character animation is the process of bring
something into its own unique, interesting and cognitive existence.
Vague, I know, but the possibilities of a character are boundless. From
a sleeping ball to a vagrant monster with multiple personalities to
fungus under a toenail, they all must be brought into their own unique,
interesting, and cognitive existence. Now I use that term,
" it's own
unique, interesting, and cognitive existence" instead of "bring it to
life" because I feel that it is more appropriate for animation.
Typically when you are animating something you are doing it to entertain an audience. So
simply bring a character to life isn't enough. To explain let me ask
you a question. Is every living person you know interesting enough to
entertain an audience? No way, the characters that entertain us are
dynamic and unique. The do unexpected things that we can still relate
to. The are endearing and intelligent, or they are pittyable
and ignorant. Also they are never cliche. Cliches separate us from the
character. If they are a cliche they are no longer in there own unique
existence, but they are now a stereotype that we don't relate to at
all. I put "cognitive" in there because the THINKING part of animation
can never be emphasized too much. The audience needs to be able to see
the thoughts of this unique character so they perceive the characters
inner person. As
living breathing people, we all have inner struggles that make who we
are. The best characters have these too. The characters inner struggle
need to be apparent to the audience. So therefore character animation
means to bring something into it's own unique, interesting and
I just wish I could actually do this with my own work . . .
OK well this blogging thing is tiring so Ill expound more on
this later ......