Sunday, October 23, 2011

Links of the week!

This doesn't take much explaining! The Living Lines Library is basically a database full of TONS of production work on everything from The Thief and the Cobbler and Akira, to How to Train Your Dragon and Hercules! We're talking pencil tests, model sheets, character designs, YOU KNOW IT!


And now for a porfolio.....

Where to start! How about just some of his work![03.jpg]
 I know right? 
Lou Romano is a LEGENDARY visual development artist, specializing in color scripts. It might be safe to say he's the best color script artist in the biz! Mention color scripting in any studio, and Lou Romano is sure to come up! 

His blog can be found here! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meeting Overview, 10/21/11

Hello again, all! Here's the overview for the last meeting, in case you missed it:

- We started with our usual brand of administrative nonsense, reminding everyone about our snack fund. We brought up the possibility of doing a bake sale, so keep that in the back of your minds!

- We also want to remind everyone of our leaders' limited time at the school, and that we'll be looking for replacements soon, so if you're interested in stepping forward to take over, be sure to see Rico or any of the other leaders. We'll be hosting "interviews" (probably relatively informal interviews) with people interested in a leadership role.

- Rico also wanted to share with you all some images that he found and compiled as a useful tool for studying facial expressions. You might find them useful too, and you can FIND THOSE HERE.

- From there, we moved on into the Cintiq Lab for a Zbrush Tutorial, hosted by DeJuan McCoy and Charlotte Belland, Chair of Animation.

-We had hoped to record this tutorial, but there were some last minute complications. However, DeJuan prepared notes for those who missed the tutorial, and the notes can be found HERE. A list of hot key's were provided as well, and we still have physical copies in case you're interested, so just ask at the next meeting.

-Last but not least, we're still compiling a list of everyone's blogs/sites to add to this site, so if you're interested in growing your audience, feel free to email us the URL

Next week's meeting is "officially" canceled so as not to interrupt your BigBoo/Halloween party planning, but a few of the leaders plan to be in the lab working that night, and anyone who wants is welcome to join us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Link of the Week, 10/17/11-10/23/11

Hey everyone, Tyler here for this week's Link(s) of the Week:

This week, I'm providing some "out of the box" sort of resources. You may have to put in a little more effort to find them useful, but I promise they are:

First, is The 11 Second Club

What this is, in a nutshell, is a monthly, global animation competition, open to both students and working professionals. Every month they provide a sound clip from a movie or some other source (roughly 11 seconds long) and anyone at all can animate and submit a sequence to fit the sound clip. The community votes on the entries and the winner gets both the recognition, but also gets a critique from an industry professional.

I use this site alot, but I've never entered the competition. How, you ask, do I use this site to my benefit then? I find it to be an excellent source of inspiration as well as a fun exercise in problem solving. I like to download the sound clip and thumbnail/storyboard/ design characters around it, as well as browse the entries every month to see how other people interpreted the same sound clip. It's a great resource if you're stuck/blocked while working on something. 11 seconds isn't very long, and it's a good way to both warm up and cool down after working on something for too long, or to just kill time and watch some funny, short cartoons.

The next site is for fans of and people who want to make videogames/videogame art, Giant Bomb

Now, this site is great for their incredible editorial content such as news, reviews, and video features (a small plug from me), but if you don't care for that sort of stuff, I'd like to direct your attention to their almighty database search:

Giant Bomb is an extremely comprehensive, user updated and maintained database of all things videogame, everything from specific games, game makers/companies/studios, to reoccurring themes/concepts in games. If you love a certain game, if you can see yourself working for the studio that made it, or if a game's art catches your eye and you want to know who made it, I cannot stress enough Giant Bomb's usefulness. Look up the game in question, and you can even discover the address and contact info/emails for the company or studio, and get the ball rolling from there.

Some of you (hopefully) are already familiar with Giant Bomb, but I'm constantly surprised by the number of people who are videogame fans and haven't heard of it. Give it a look see, it's one of the only game sites I still visit.

Lastly this week, like those before me, I'm posting a "portfolio" of an animator who inspires me: Squetch, AKA Bernard Derriman

Squetch (which is an amalgamation of "squash" and "stretch") is an animator/animation director from Sydney Australia, and someone who's work I've been following since about 2007. In his own personal work as well as his commissioned work, he used to be Flash based, but has more recently converted to Toon Boom software. He tends to use a limited style of animation, but in a way that can get very subtle and effective results. I'm particularly a fan of his facial animation and lip-synching, as well as his design aesthetic in general.

for those too lazy to click on the link, here are some of my personal favorites of his:

He used to do a webseries with stand-up comedian Arj Barker called 'Arj and Poopy', this being my favorite "episode".

An older short film of his

His most recent short film

Thanks guys, sorry if this post is super long! Hope you enjoy these links
-Tyler Crowley

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recap from Nathan Greno's Talk (Plus Notes from a Pixar Seminar!)

Hello there, visitor!

Here is some light reading, geared especially towards those who unfortunately missed CCAD's Visiting Artist for 10/10/11, Nathan Greno. For those unfamiliar, Mr Greno is a CCAD alumnus who has worked at Disney since 1996, and recently co-directed Disney's Tangled. Feel free to browse the recap, as well as some bonus tid-bits from a chat I had with him:

Nathan Greno Recap

Also, thanks to member Andrea Rawson, we have some notes from a Pixar seminar, which also includes suggestions for other great resources. You can find that here:

Pixar Seminar Notes


-Tyler Crowley

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meeting Overview, 10/07/11

Hello all! Here is the meeting overview for last Friday:

- We're going to be advertising a bit more for the Animation Student Collective. Keep an eye out for new posters and don't forget to mention the ASC in your classes! :)

- We'll definitely be investigating the T-shirts. We had a unanimous vote in favour of them! :) For now, start thinking about/designing some concepts for the shirts, and us leaders will be looking into some logistics with the faculty. We may have a T-shirt design contest with a prize!

- The library has just ordered in a series of DVDs called "Storyboard Secrets." They are on reserve in the library, and you can watch them there. This is a fantastic resource and collection of tutorials, so if this is something that interests you, we highly recommend it!

- Next week (10/14/11) we will be having a movie night! We had a vote, and we'll be watching The Illusionist. The Illusionist is a French 2D animated film by Sylvain Chomet.

- Finally, we had quite a long and informative discussion about different facets and careers within the animation industry. It was a great discussion! Here are some of the things we talked about, and some of the videos we watched.

Blue Sky Studios has a great list and explanation, with images, of the animation pipeline. Check it out here! It's described here for 3D animation, but a lot of the aspects easily transition to 2D.

Storyboard Artists
- have a close relationship with the director
- create animatics (moving storyboards) to develop timing
- think of the differences between storyboarding for live action film, and storyboarding for animation: storyboards in film are often more vague and gestural. Just the basics are blocked out. In animation, every detail must be planned in advance, because you can't easily "reshoot."
- must embrace changes! storyboards go through MANY revisions.

Colour Scripting
- must be proficient in colour theory and colour relationships
- Lou Romano
- Colour Lovers
Colour Scheme Designer
Download: Colour Cop

Visual Development
- designing characters, props, environments, etc.
- in film, comic books, and video games, it can be referred to as concept art
- one of the hardest animation careers to get into, because of demand
- Brittney Lee
- Rad Sechrist - how to
- Character Design Blog

- are used in both 2D and 3D animation
- in 2D, much more fluid. in 3D, effects are mostly particle based, so some programming knowledge may be necessary.
- Ryan Woodward

- constructing objects, characters, environments, etc, within a 3D environment.
- wireframe
- it's IMPORTANT to have clean geometry and good topological flow with the lowest possible poly count
- be aware of how it will rig, and if it will move well
- ZBrush vs Maya vs other programs
- Mike Altman
- Liz Paradis

- setting up a skeleton for animation
- the best riggers make their rigs as foolproof as possible
- hierarchy is very important as is organization (it needs to be easy to understand)
- Victor Vinyals

-  knowing both textures and shaders
- shaders simulate real world lighting conditions
- be aware of shader network programming
- Alex Alvarado

- decide where things GO in interior and exterior shots
- being aware of where to leave open space for characters to act - no clutter
- think: someone had to lay out all the objects and things in Andy's Room in Toy Story

-  2D is NOT dead; it is just being used in different ways. media is ever changing.
- there are a lot more combinations now of 2D and 3D used in the same piece, and this can be really effective
- Legend of the BoneKnapper
- "2D is just the old and grouchy man who yells at that kid 3D for throwing baseballs on his lawn." - Rico Jackson ;)

This is, of course, not a complete list of all the possible careers within the enormous field that is animation. We ran out of time last Friday, but we'll definitely be talking about this more in the future! We hope it was informative. :)

See you on Friday! Bring comfy clothes and snacks and prepare for The Illusionist!

Link of The Week :D

Hi everyone. This week I have 4 things to show you that have been a big influence on me personally. On Friday's meeting we touched on Pascal Campion very briefly, but I would like to give you all a link to his blog so you can learn from him. His color schemes are to die for, and literally ALL of his work is brilliant. You can't say that about many people. I've learned a lot from this man, and continue to learn from him daily. I also have a short video for you to all watch about Pascal that, admittedly, made me tear up because I could relate to it so much haha.

Here's Pascal's Blog.

And here is the video of Pascal.

The next link I'd like to give you is a simple online resource I use when I need it. It's where I go to get my textures for my art. There's a lot of good and diverse stuff on this site so enjoy!

And third, I think we also touched on this online resource but I'm not sure so I'll post this anyway. We use this tool in Animation 2. It's a challenge at first but trust me everyone, no matter how frustrating, this tool is almost vital to becoming a good animator. Being able to capture a figure quickly and accurately while also getting emotion across as well as a message is so important. 

I can't stress this enough: You cannot be an animator unless you can draw, period. 

I urge you to use this resource as it has helped me quite a lot already.

Enjoy the links everyone! And we'll see you all on Friday!

-Bethany Craig

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our First Guest Speaker! Alex Alvarado!!!

Recent CCAD grad, illustration major, 2D work got him an internship at Disney Feature Animation, his newer CG work got him an internship at Laika. He is now working for Disney Feature. Right now he works as a Look Dev artist: texture painting, shading in Maya, etc.

Websites we looked at:  - Alex's Official website - Akin Bilgic's blog - texture painting program he mentioned

From what he knows of modeling:
-       your portfolio should have a good mix of organic and synthetic/man-made stuff

What he can expect when he gets to Disney:
-       three months of training, and then a review of his work, three more months of working on feature stuff/more training, another review and then he will be hired full time.

Advice for current students:
-       if you want to specify within the department, take classes specific to your skill set. So, for those who want to focus in modeling, take sculpture, etc.

For portfolios:
-       Look at work you are passionate about, by artists you like and respect, and go from there.
-       Know what you want, know the level of the people in the field --> aim to be this good!
-       Practice off of artists that you enjoy! Not to show to anyone, but just to practice your skill.

What he learned most from the internships:
-       How to work with other people in a group setting, the business/professional side of the industry

-       know that everyone has been in your position at some point
-       don't pester, but don't be afraid to connect again with other people. If it's been a month, email again to verify that your first message got through.

His internship process was quite simple: sent his blog to Disney, got the internship.

Taught himself a lot using online resources:
-       digital tutors
-       lynda
-       the gnoman workshop

Fundamentals are so important
-       the tools are easy to learn or to teach, but you have to know the basics

Does he have time for personal work?
-       he says it's still a pretty rough work load, but it's all about motivation. If you're passionate about it, you'll make time
-       plus, you generally get to leave your work at work!

Big studios vs. Small studios
-       Bigger studios have more defined roles
-       at a smaller studio, someone may be both a 3D modeler, and a stop motion animator, for instance

How much creative freedom can we expect?
-       it really depends on the job, the position, and the studio. Concept artists, for example, have a bit more creative freedom.

What he wishes he'd done while at CCAD?
-       more! More practice, more personal work. A larger body of work.

Studios do indeed have a lot of extracurricular classes
-       it's all about continuing to learn while you're at the job

You generally work with a group of people in the same department
-       for example, he worked with about 15 others
-       you will have times when you work by yourself as well!

His internship at Disney was more about learning, and education, while the one at Laika was more about getting the work done quickly and efficiently.

Advice to Freshman:
-       participate in forums like cgsociety, get your work out there to others!

How long does it take to texture a character?
-       For secondary/background characters, about a week. For main characters, up to a month.

-       The models he received were all quads. But generally: Quads =  film/tv, video games = triangles.

What programs did he use most frequently:
-       Maya, ZBrush, 3DMax, Cinema 4D
-       But, in reality, it's not about the specific program, it's about your work.

How long were the internships?
-       Disney = 10 weeks
-       Laika = 13 weeks

Disney is now using .ptex
-       No UV assignment is required! Ptex applies a separate texture to each face of a subdivision or polygon mesh.

He found it easy to mesh with and become friends with other people at the studios, because of similar personalities and interests.

It really is all about getting your portfolio in the door. If you can get someone to look at your work, you're set. THEN it becomes about networking.

Studios are mainly using LINUX, and mac, not windows.

Teachers he recommends taking:
- Riley, Mckissick, Groff, Wang

And here are just some of the intern's Alex had the opportunity to work with while at Disney! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Meeting Overview, 9/30/11

Last night was such a success! Thanks to everyone who was there! In case you weren't able to make it, here's what happened:

- We collected money for both the snack fund, and Michelle's secret project for a certain faculty member. ;) If anyone still wants to add money to either of these, it's not too late! Contact Bekah Nunn for any money that will go towards delicious snacks before the meetings or contact Michelle Mulier for any questions about her project. :)

- Just so everyone is aware: Rico is the animation representative in the student government. He wants to know if we have any suggestions, either for the animation department specifically, or general to the CCAD campus, so he can bring them up with student government and work towards making things happen. :D

Some of the suggestions we got:
- 24 hour computer lab
- classes for programs like Harmony, ZBrush, Maya
- more Drawing For Animation classes
- Bike rack at circle hall

If anyone has any other suggestions (anything at all!) email/facebook us to let us know! :)

- We moved into the labs to listen to the Paperwings Podcast (Episode 10) while we worked on the Cintiqs.

- Then Alex Alvarado arrived! He seemed a little taken aback that there were so many of us there, but was super awesome and we had a really good discussion with him until the labs closed around 9. We took extensive notes during his talk, so if anyone would be interested in a copy of those, please let us know.

Some of the sites we looked at during his talk:

Animation Wage Survey
And that's about it! The leaders are still planning our next meeting, but we'll post on the Facebook page as soon as we can. Stay tuned!