Monday, January 26, 2009

Good News and Bad News

Hey guys,

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, I got a phone call from...

I was really excited as HR told me about their temp animator position and couldn't wait to go. Then HR said the position was from now until March. I asked them about their website saying the studio needed people in July and they said that must have been an old post. To make a disappointing story short, I had to turn down the temp animator position since once again I'm still in school.

Luckily, HR said not to worry about it and to give them a call closer to June. They were really nice about it and said they'll see if there's anything open for me when I call.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cat Flap Update

Hey guys,
Scene 03 is now ready for color! To make things even better, I actually like the animation this time, lol. I also changed the rough colors for the outside scene so they work better with Priscilla's pink. My senior II prof said there was a jump cut between scene four and five, so I added a short close up between the two to break things up. I like how it flows into the rest of scene five, but the transition between scene four and the close up needs some work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pickin' em Up!

Wow, it looks like Blue Sky's going to be full of AM students/alumni again for Ice Age 3. During Horton there were at least 15 AM animators working at Blue Sky, we'll see how many they'll have this time. So far Blue Sky's picked up 6 alumni in one week! AnimationMentor is taking over! =D

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cat Flap Update

Hey guys,

Here's an update on Cat Flap. I don't like how dark the lines became once leveled in Photoshop in scene 01. I'll have to go over my tie downs with a black pencil before I scan the final frames to help reduce that. I also really need to come up with a nice title card and a background for my credits. I'd like to paint a picture for both but right now all I have time for is working on finishing the animation so it can be sent off to color.

I'm currently working on tie downs and inbetweens for scene 03, so please excuse the sudden jump to blocking towards the end. I've already made a nice list of things to fix in the animation before approving it as final.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So It Begins

My reel arrived at Blue Sky today and will arrive at Disney and Sony tomorrow. Now the wait for a possible response begins. I'm hoping to hear from Blue Sky since their time of need works brilliantly with when I'll be finished with school. Being a temp animator there will be a fantastic way to start my journey into the professional world of animation.

It's funny though, I've been sending reels out for four years now but the wait is still the hardest part. It'll probably take a few months for any of the studios to get back to me (if at all), yet it's really hard not to count the days gone by and eagerly wonder if today will be the day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Afternoon...

I'll be sending reels to Disney, Pixar, Blue Sky and Sony. I sent my reel to Dreamworks for their Outreach program last month so there's no need to send them another one until the spring. I added a note on my resume stating when I'll be available for work. I also emailed one of my friends/contacts at Disney to find out when they'll be looking for animators for Rapunzel. Pixar and Sony's websites say they're both looking for animators but there isnt any starting information. I'm guessing they're looking for people now, and am not really expecting to hear back from them as the result. Blue Sky however, is looking for temp animators to start in July. So far they look the most promissing since I know I'll be available when they'll need people. I'm prefer California over New York (it's too cold) but Blue Sky is still high on my list of dream studios. =D

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Out Into the World

Hey guys,

Here's an update on scene 01 of Cat Flap. Once I adjust the timing on the leg at the end, that'll be the end of changes to the animation and I'll focus on tiedowns for all of the inbetweens. I'm hoping to have all of that done by the end of Wed at the very latest.

I've also been chatting with my classmates on the AM forums about when I should start sending out reels for a job. I was worried about not being available immediately, but multiple people have suggested starting now. I think I'll add a side note on my resume that says I'll be available starting in June just to be sure.

Since this is my first batch of reels to be sent for an actual job position (rather than an internship), I'm only going to send it to a few studios. My current reel is in no way the final and I know I'll have a much better one in the spring. That's when I'll send it out all over the place, but for now I just want to test the waters and apply to the dream studios who've been sending me rejection letters, lol. I'm not expecting to hear back from them, but I'll give it a try. In the spring I would hope to get a response though from my true job hunting reel.

Cat Flap Update

Hey guys,

Here's another Cat Flap update. I'm a bit behind schedule thanks to a number of things (getting a new id sticker, running around trying to find my Mythology textbook and some drafting tape, inbetweens not working, not knowing how to use the batch scanner, etc.) but I've learned a good number of things from working on scene 01.

I learned not to try to make large changes to what's already there, nailing your timing charts before trying to inbetween (lol), keeping rough inbetweens rough despite the tiedown keys around them. I've also noticed that my characters tend to have small noses, which makes tracking them and maintaining their volumes quite difficult. Unfortunately, I think it's too late to try to adjust Priscilla's design. The main thing I've learned (though I still have trouble with it) is letting some things go. I dont have time to tweak the heck out of everything so I need to accept some things the way they are. As the result, I dont think any of the scenes in my film will end up being demo reel worthy since I wont have time to polish them. Once the film's finished, I might actually like it though, and may tack it onto the end of my reel just because.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Disney Fur Study

Hey guys,

I was dissatisfied with the blocking for Priscilla's fur in scene one of Cat Flap so I decided to try to teach myself how to animate fur convincingly. I think I had the overall concept but drawing the fur with proper variation was eluding me. I looked at the soccer scene from Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks and paid special attention to the lion's hair. This is essentially what I got out of it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Just How Many...

Animators are needed in a feature studio? It seems like 95% of my friends and people I know at AM now work in a feature animation studio. I'm sure they're also hiring from other schools as well. I'm somewhat worried that there wont be free spot left when it's my turn in the spring. Most of me thinks that's absurd and that there will always be a need for more animators, but a small part wonders sometimes. I just hope there's a workstation at one of my dream studios waiting with my name on it, lol.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Hey guys,

Here's a rough sketch of Priscilla from Cat Flap that I threw together for color guide purposes. Originally I imagined her as a sparkly whiteish blue, but it felt inconsistent with her character. So far pink has been her best color, even though pink is one of my least favorite colors. I told my friend to feel free to change her colors if she feels like she has a combo that fits better. Plus she'll be coloring my film, so I wanted to make it as fun and free for her as possible.

In Need of Help

I could really use some help right about now. I spent the day trying to figure out how to animate my cat going up with the garage door. I have the door on a separate layer and simply translated it up in flipbook. That was easy enough, but the problem is animating the cat with the door. I have her performance all thumbed out, but I have no idea what the timing is. Because of that, I don't know what height she will be with the door during the different parts of her performance.

I know when a character has to move with a panning background he/she is usually animated in place. My problem is I need the cat to physically move up with the door. I'm not sure if animating her in place and then translating her up (like I did with the door) will work. I imagine it would work for the part where she frantically tries to pull herself through the flap, and when her body overlaps from being pulled off the ground at the end. But I'm not sure if it'll work for the part where she antics and launches herself out at the floor in an attempt to anchor herself, since she'll have to stretch a little as well as get dragged back in space as she goes up.

Does anyone have any ideas on what would be the best way to get this shot worked out? I spent the day trying to guess where she would be on different frames and the result is quite bad. =(

I Miss 3d...

I really can't wait for my senior project to be over. I still don't think it's very good and I can't wait to get back to animating fun, short acting clips. I also miss working in 3d, lol. This happens every time I work in one medium for a long time. This is also another reason why Disney would be such an awesome place for me to end up. I'd be able to bounce back and forth from 2d to 3d productions upon their completion. =D

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Almost There!

Hey guys,

Here's a Cat Flap update. I only have one more "scene" to do and the rough animation will be done for the most part. Once I animate the garage going up and the cat with it, I'll have Sunday to make any changes and tweaks that are needed for each scene. I'll also work on getting some movement into the second scene. So far so good though. I still cant believe I've done all of this in two weeks.

If my winter break hadn't been filled with so may problems (>_<) I might have been able to tie everything down before the winter quarters starts. That's a large might though, since I still feel like I can't draw beyond scribbles with a tablet.