Saturday, 16 March 2019

Getting to Know You - Film Studio Life

Image result for nerd gif 
One of the surprising and fun things about being in a room of animators from all over the world is all of the nerdy things you can learn.

Within the first hour of meeting we were discussing the hip alignment on a passing pose, bottom or top teeth showing on a 'n' phenom and what secret hot keys we use to speed up our workflow.

My favourite new thing I learnt , and I'm sure everyone already knows this but just in case.... is a shortcut for Maya. If you want to scroll your timeline without touching it you can press 'k' and hold down the left mouse key. There you can scroll the time line without touching it. Mind blown! An animator is easily pleased.

We discussed using only I.K verses switching from F.K to I.K when needed and many other things. It was like a nerdy conference of the minds and in just one day I feel like I learnt so much.

I really love a studio that is collaborative. I've worked places before where hot keys and scripts are closely held secrets. People would keep them to themselves so that they had a upper hand to everyone else. It's great to feel that as a team we want everyone to be equip with all the info.

I'm almost jealous of all the juniors in the room. They are gaining such  level of insight that it took me years to cobble together.

In case you were wondering here are my favourite scripts that make my life a ton easier, but I'm sure I'll be discovering a lot more soon:
Tween machine

A machine that allows you to easily create inbetweens

ZV Parent

I hate constraints but this program makes using them a lot less painful

Animschool picker -

This free picker can be placed on any rig and allows you to easily select all your controllers. I mainly use this for the face but it's really useful

But people in work have recently been recommending Animbot

It seems insanely intuitive and helpful. I'm just looking into it and you do have to pay for it but I'm going to research a little more and let you know if it's worth it.

What shortcuts and scripts do you guys use? What do you find helpful?

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

First Day At A Film Studio

When I was younger I use to get up at 5am on Saturday mornings because they would show 'making of' documentaries. I'd record them on VHS and then re-watch them until the video would break. I'd watch the fresh faced animators of Pixar scoot around a crazy studio and dream that one day I'd work in a place like that.

As I got older I realised that it wasn't the studio I nessasarily wanted to work in (although that would be great), but it was the feeling those studios had that I was chasing. I wanted to be a part of something creative. I wanted to work on a movie that would make people happy and work with people who are excited to collaborate.

Skip ahead to 2019 as I make the long journey to take a tour of my potential new office.  A new company in Brisbane asked if I would join them to help make a feature film. It was an overwhelming offer that I had to carefully consider.  I was already working at a company I loved with friends that I was excited to see everyday.  After a few pep talks from some good people I realised that it was a big step that I was ready to take. I am now waiting on paperwork before I can jump in with two feet but yesterday I got my first tour. Since I've always been stupidly curious as to how studios work and how these things move I thought I'd take you along for the ride. I'm not going to be able to give you any details but I'll be able to give you a break down on the animation tricks I pick up and the ins and outs of a movie studio.

The Tour -

The studio isn't exactly in the centre of the world. It's two trains and an hours walk for me each way, which will show you how much I want to work on a film. This sounds insane and may mean I have to move house to stay sane (or learn to drive!) but it means I can do a ton of drawing on the commute and finally read again.

When I arrived I didn't know what to expect. The outside of the building looked like a brick factory but inside it was magical. Every inch has been designed to make you want to create. Clean white desks, black walls and iconic movie posters on every wall. It felt like the room was alive. Lots of smiling faces looked up (and luckily a few of them were familiar). All the animators stood nervously in one room and timidly introduced themselves. There are about ten of us from all corners of the globe. Luckily animators are a friendly bunch so it was easy to meet some nice people.

We had an introduction with the CEO and instantly it felt like we were part of something. The air was electric. Sat in the studio theater and listening to the leaders of the company talk made me feel like I was sat in one of those 'making of' videos. So far I have definitely made the right decision.

I really don't know what is going to happen on this project from here but sat in that room today made it feel like we wanted to create something special and surely that's the best building block for any project.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Motivational Tips for Animators and Artists

Art and animation can be tough and there are times when all artists have gotten in a rut and don't know how to get out. So I thought I'd share some tips with you all on how I keep motivated and keep creating things.

Do you guys have any other tips for me? The more the better :)

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Animal Facts - Comic

Recently I have been combining my two loves. Animal facts and drawing.
Here are a few for you: