Tuesday, May 04, 2010

AM & Pixar Webinar

AM hosted another great webinar last week, this time with some great animators from Pixar. Aaron Hartline and Victor Navone gave a helpful talk and demo on timing and spacing.

The replay is available here as of May 5. The Eric Goldberg webinar is also available - I really enjoyed his lecture and took several pages of notes which were unfortunately lost due to technical problems, but please check out his replay as well. Some very good stuff.

Just as a heads up, my favorite points were about balancing your timing. For instance, if you have a lot of fast stuff going on (as I often do, because I have SO MANY ideas and I have to eliminate some for clarity!), it's good to balance those moments with slower or medium-paced moments. A tip for beginners might be to aim for all three (slow, medium, and fast) speeds of timing in a shot to help generate interest and focus on particular movements or actions. That's especially true for a single standalone shot, but maybe not so much when you have continuous shots. You don't want a series of shots to each have the same lows and highs, peaks and valleys of timing. Vary the range and keep it unpredictable but clear for your audience.

Another good reminder I got was about planning your shot. While working on Abby, especially with tight deadlines, it became standard to make very simple acting choices and movements, and often we were restricted by time or by the surrounding shots to maintain posing or character placement. This webinar pointed out that a good animator explores every possible option when planning a shot, conveying inner monologue and the best possible choice of action (and acting).

Seeing Aaron and Victor talk about going to dailies, getting feedback, watching other animators' work being critiqued, and following up later in the day with walkthroughs, I am ever more excited to get back to working with a studio. I'm continuing to commute to SpeakeasyFX voluntarily working on our internal project, which will hopefully gain buyer interest soon, but I'm also doing more at home and also considering an AM refresher course this summer just to keep in touch with my peers and stay current and motivated. More soon.

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