Pixar, renowned for their cutting edge animation, know better than anyone the advantages of saving time where possible. The technical directors and supervisors on Cars 2 were faced with the challenge of building locations for this feature length animation. Those of you who have seen the sequel will remember that the lead character, Lightning McQueen, is being sent around the globe to race in the world Grand Prix. The challenge for the Pixar creative team was to build recognizable cities, on a very broad scale.
MARI is a relatively new piece of software, and is becoming more popular with artists as its reputation for efficiency and adaptability becomes more widely known. As with any piece of new software there is a period of trial and error before you really get to know its full capability. It is in light of this that Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, is offering to share his top 23 tips when working with MARI.
Giuseppe Candido is not only a recent character animation course escapee, but now also a very talented animator and a skilled Maya Generalist. He has put together one of the most charming demo reels we have seen here at Escape Studios. Giuseppe combined many of his student exercises into a circus project - creating a stunning short film in the process, and all completed from scratch in just six weeks.
I'm really honoured to have been asked to join a panel of speakers for a session on Continual Professional Development (CPD) Education and Training at the International Animation Festival (LIAF) in London.
Both animation enthusiasts and novices alike, will be delighted by The Barbican Centre's brilliant animation show Watch Me Move. From Winsor McCay's 1914 classic Gertie the Dinosaur, to Steven Spielberg's T Rex in the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, the exhibition educates and entertains in equal measure.
Here is something cool to brighten your Friday afternoon and to prepare you for the weekend. It has been doing the rounds this week, and was even featured in the Metro earlier in the week.
We are proud to congratulate Helen Streeter on her new position as a runner at The Mill. Helen recently completed the character animation course at Escape Studios, and worked hard on putting together a showreel demonstrating her animation skills. The Mill is one of London's leading VFX houses and recently re-opened its film division following strong successes in commercials and music videos. The biggest hurdle in visual effects is always getting that first job and we couldn't be more pleased for Helen - congratulations.
My walk down memory lane continues...
I went on a simulator ride called 'Slot Car Boogie' at the weekend. it was actually made by some old friends at Rocket Films in Bournemouth quite some years ago. 1996 I believe! Rocket Films are sadly no longer trading but it lead me to wonder who makes these kind of films today? It's hard to find any reference of it in the UK, which is a shame as we were obviously quite good at it.
This work would have been done on a Silicon Graphics machine running PowerAnimator. To put this into perspective, this would have cost around £60-80K for the SGI hardware and the software for just one artist... Oh, how lucky we all are now!
If you know of any companies that do this type of work in the UK, do let me know.
As with most of my memory lane trips, the memories were normally pre Internet revolution. I have however found this on YouTube, Slot Car Boogie by the originator Ian Williams.
Those of you starting out in the CG industry may be interested to know that the Sydney Opera House is currently running an animation competition.
The Animation Festival ‘Annecy’ invited me to give a talk about my career as an animator and to lift the lid on a few Animation Mysteries as well. As much as I love working at Escape Studios, it was great to talk about my life as a freelance animator and some of the jobs that have shaped my career like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘The Lion King’. It was also nice to see that people were interested in this too!
I thought it was going to be one of those 'office' moments when a colleague pulled some papers out of his bag and said "you must see this"... He is important, so I paid good attention...!
Evgenia Golubeva recently finished our Character Animation course with us and has very quickly landed a commercials job at Partizan Lab in Soho on the strength of her excellent demo reel. She has also recently put together a short film titled "Hold Me Clothes", a stop-motion film written by her and animated in just one day at a recent film festival in Italy.
Evgenia Golubeva recently completed our animation course at Escape Studios and has put together one of the best student animation reels we have seen completed in just 6 weeks. Evgenia took full advantage of the Animation course and diligently completed all of the animation exercises, often working late into the evenings, and working relentlessly to improve her skills. Most of the shots on her reel have been taken from in-class exercises, but the way in which she has compiled the shots together into a single well-edited piece of work makes her reel far more entertaining to watch than a mere series of student shots cut together with music.
We have talked recently about how well the UK is doing in VFX so it's nice to see some noise happening in the US also. Digital Domain saw its revenue from visual effects climb to $101.9 million last year - up 70% from 2009, according to its filing. Whilst DD have already had one attempt at going public in 2007, they seem convinced that now is possibly the right time.
It’s always good when people respond to the blogs we write. The one I wrote last week about the MTV advert animation got a great response when we tweeted the link, with @anthonygelatka pointing me in the direction of another great piece of animation.