Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meeting Recap, 09/28/12

Hey all! We hope you found our meeting on jobs and careers in the animation industry to be helpful and informative. Here are some of the things we talked about:

Keep in mind that different studios will have different workflows. Jobs at one studio might not be the same or even exist at another! But these are the big ones. :)

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.

A good intro: WATCH THIS. You won't regret it.

Storyboard Artist
- Must know all about: composition, camera movements, timing, tangents, dynamic and interesting poses, be able to communicate actions clearly
- Think of storyboards as "blueprints" to a film
- Pay attention to expressions, faces and hands! These are usually the important aspects of a scene.
- Have a close relationship with the director
- Be aware 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. Don't get too attached to your drawings!
- Paul Briggs 
Lisa Treiman

Concept Artist
- Design the look and feel
- One of the hardest careers to get into, because of demand 
Prop Designer
- Take one thing, design it many different ways
- Infuse personality into objects!
- Make objects cohesive, look like they fit in the same world
- Ian Abando
Environmental Designer
- Painting is a hugely valuable skill set in this career field
- Usually develop highly rendered environments
- Think of the world you're creating: everything must have a purpose and reason for being there.
- floony
- Brittney Lee
- Rad Sechrist - how to

Color Scripting
- Popularized by Pixar to generate the overall color palette for a film/movie
- Similar to storyboarding but with mood/emotion
- Must be proficient in color theory and color relationships
- Usually not too heavy on drawing
- Lou Romano
- Colour Lovers
Colour Scheme Designer
Download: Colour Cop

Character Designer
- All about giving personality to your characters
- Again, make sure they fit into the world
- Be aware of background characters: they shouldn't stand out too much/eclipse the main characters
- Important: silhouettes, expression sheets
- Character Design Blog
- Heidi Smith

Set Designer
- Similar to character and prop designers
- In stop motion, you are building a physical set
- Creating backgrounds for your characters --> plenty of empty space for characters to act in
- Important: A good set/background looks like something is missing! It is! It's missing the character.
- Animation Backgrounds

Layout Artist
- Think of layout as the sequel to storyboarding, but now everything is set in stone: script is finalized, BGs are nailed down, keys are figured out, etc.
- Create animatics (moving storyboards) to develop timing
-  The gap is rapidly closing between storyboard artists and layout artists (in TV, they are often the same job)
- Decide where things GO in interior and exterior shots
- Think: someone had to lay out all the objects and things in Andy's Room in Toy Story

- 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 (have a close relationship with animators and rigging artists)
- Mike Altman
- Liz Paradis

- Must have proficient skills in painting
- Know how to lay out UVs
- Have to know both textures and shaders
- Shaders simulate real world lighting conditions
- Be aware of shader network programming
- Alex Alvarado

- Essentially, setting up a skeleton for animation
- Anything that moves needs a rig: vehicles, people, animals, characters, etc!
- 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

- Must have a good understanding of light, how it works, how it invokes different moods, things like rim lighting, low key vs high key lighting, etc.
- Important: Need to know how to utilize linear workflow and gamma correction
- Be aware of settings like global illumination, final gathering, ambient occlusion, etc.
- tdu: principles of lighting

VFX Artists
- Effects are used in both 2D and 3D animation
- In 2D, they are much more fluid. In 3D, effects are mostly particle based, so some programming knowledge may be necessary.
- Can include all of the following: simulations, fire, water, crowds, fur, hair, clothing, etc.
- Ryan Woodward
- Houdini Reel

Rendering and Compositing Artist
- Compositors must be able to seamlessly combine multiple layers and passes into a final product
- Need to be familiar with either AfterEffects or Nuke
- Game of Thrones Compositing Reel

This is definitely not a full list, but is a good place to get started! Remember, if you have any other questions about jobs and careers in animation, ask a Collective member, leader, or animation faculty! The answers are out there!

We'll see you next week for our Skype call with Chris Oatley! COME PREPARED WITH QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Link of the Week

Hello followers, Bethany here with your link of the week. Today I have a website to you show you that is a great resource. The site is called Animation Progression Reels. Not only will the site show you shorts, and most of the process work behind them, it will show you what you should all be aspiring to be by the time you graduate.

While looking at the site you may want to pay attention to:

> The quality of the work
> The amount of work
> All the different types of work
> The process / The order in which the work is done
> The team work that goes into making something like this (Even if it's just a 3 or 5 minute short)

For those of you who choose to make a senior thesis that is an animated short, this website will be a good way to understand the task you will be undertaking. And if you're a freshman, this is still a great learning opportunity for you guys too. The more you know, the sooner you know, the better. I hope all of you learn as much as you can from this site :) and I hope you enjoy this link.

Until next time!

-Bethany Craig

Meeting Recap, 9/21/12

Hello hello hello! Bekah here with your meeting recap! :)

A few announcements first:

1. The print lab is looking for some student work to hang up! We'd like to showcase all aspects of animation, like 2D, 3D, character designs, storyboards, models, etc. So if you'd like to submit some work, please let one of the leaders know! It would be a really cool opportunity.

2. We want to go to the Zoo sometime in October! We need to work out a date and time that works best for the most people, so think about your upcoming availability, and we'll provide a list at next week's meeting.

3. If you'd like your blog, website, or demo reel linked on our sidebar, let one of the leaders know! We'll add it immediately; It's VERY good exposure to get your blog up here and good motivation to start getting your work online! Do it!

4. Chris Oatley, a CCAD alum who worked at DisneyToon Studios and runs the PaperWings Podcast, is going to be doing a Skype call with us at the October 5 meeting! This is a HUGE deal and an awesome opportunity. Please prepare QUESTIONS and do RESEARCH ahead of time; we want to get the most out of this amazing guest lecture as we can! :)

Finally, we moved onto our main event! WELCOME TO THE LABS AT CCAD!
Bethany made a poster for the event depicting us lovely leaders showcasing our beautiful labs! :D

Here are some of the main programs we discussed:

Harmony is "the most complete animation software for professionals, offering award winning state-of-the-art content creation, animation and compositing toolsets".

Storyboard Pro is used to create storyboards that can be printed.

Maya is used to create interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, TV series, or visual effects.

3ds Max is a modeling, animation and rendering package.

Photoshop is a raster based illustration and graphics editing program.

Illustrator is a vector based illustration and graphics editing program

InDesign is used to create works such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers and books.

After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software.

Flash is a multimedia platform used to create animation, video, and interactivity products.
RenderMan is both a software and an application programming interface (API) for network distributed rendering of complex and potentially ray-traced three dimensional views.

Houdini is a 3D animation package.

Cinema 4D is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering application.

ZBrush is a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D modeling, texturing and painting.

Sculptris is another digital sculpting tool and is, best of all, free!

RealFlow is a fluid and dynamics simulator.

Shave and a Haircut is a plug-in used to create realistic hair and fur.

Soundtrack Pro is a music composing and audio editing application, which includes a collection of just over 5000 royalty free professional instrument loops and sound effects.

GarageBand is a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts.

Audacity is a free audio editing application.

Final Cut Pro is is a professional non-linear editing software application.

GameSalad is an authoring tool aimed primarily at non-programmers for composing games in a drag-and-drop fashion utilizing visual editors and a behavior-based logic system.

Mocha is a stand alone tracking and roto software designed to complement any compositing and finishing environment.

Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art.

Google SketchUp is a simple 3D modeling program designed for architects, civil engineers, filmmakers, game developers, and related professions.

Corel Painter is is a raster-based digital art application created to simulate as accurately as possible the appearance and behavior of traditional media associated with drawing, painting, and printmaking.


- As a student, you can get ANY Autodesk product FREE for three years! Sign up here where it says "Students" then "Download Software" and if you need help, ask a leader, or another Collective member! :)

- DigitalTutors and are INCREDIBLE resources full of TONS of tutorials. If you need help with any of the above programs, or aren't sure where to start, THESE WEBSITES ARE THE PLACE TO GO! As a student at CCAD, you can sign up for a free account! Look at this post for step by step instructions!

- We made (2) handouts on Friday; one is a map of the labs, that indicates which rooms have which programs. The other is an incredibly valuable set of notes by Charlotte Belland, our wonderful Chair of the Animation department. These notes were taken during SIGGRAPH this year, and are GREAT pointers on how to prep your portfolio!

If you would like either of these handouts, please let a leader know! We'll get you a physical or digital copy, depending on your preference. :)

See you next week for our WELCOME TO THE INDUSTRY meeting, where we'll be talking about all of the available jobs and careers in the animation industry. It's not to be missed!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Digital Tutors and Lynda registration walkthrough

Hey everyone! Here are the step-by-step guides to signing up for two great resources through our school, Digital Tutors and Lynda!

Digital Tutors helps you make movies, video games and more with the largest online video-based training and tutorial library for CG, 3D, animation and VFX.


Step 1) Be sure to be on campus when you first setup your account. Why? It has something to do with using the school's IP address.

Step 2) Go to

Step 3) Create an account using your CCAD email!

Lynda is a learning platform that teaches a growing range of computer skills in video format. It is used by many high-profile businesses, such as Disney, Google, and Adobe.


Step 1) Be sure to be on campus when you first setup your account. Why? It has something to do with using the school's IP address.

Step 2) Start at the school home page at -

Step 3) On the left side of the screen, click

Step 4) Create an account using your CCAD email!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Link of the week!

Hey guys! Bekah here with your link of the week!

So, I found this super cool image editor the other day. It's kind of like a mix between SAI and Photoshop, and it's very lightweight and simple. It works with layers and with pressure sensitivity. It's SO EASY to use, and so easy to install (it took me less than 5 minutes to get it up and running). And best of all? IT'S TOTALLY FREE.

If you don't have access to Photoshop or another drawing program while at home or away from campus, I highly recommend this program.That way, you can keep working digitally no matter what! :)

Me testing out the pressure sensitivity, haha.

It's called FireAlpaca (how cool is that??) and can be downloaded here! It's for both Mac and PC!


Meeting Recap, 9/14/12

Hello all!

Welcome back to another fabulous year with the CCAD Animation Student Collective! We were so excited to see everyone! We had an excellent turnout, and we're looking forward to a fantastic year.

Here's what you missed if you couldn't make it:

Leader Introductions!
We know we have a lot of new members, so we wanted to take the time to introduce ourselves. Please come to us if you ever have questions, concerns, comments, or just want to say hi! We want to make the Animation Collective the best it can possibly be, and that involves as much feedback as we can get!

Left to Right:
Bethany Craig, Art Director
Tyler Crowley, Communications
Bekah Nunn, Secretary
Rico Jackson, President
Jacob Augenstein, Treasurer

If you see us around, come say hi!!

We also talked about some of the exciting things we have planned for this year, including some AWESOME guest speakers, faculty tutorials, The Bake Sale, Jeopardy!, and a Pokemon Scavenger hunt! We're going to be so jam-packed with events, you won't know what to do!

Be sure to join our Facebook Group if you haven't done so yet!! We also filled out a Member Questionnaire to better plan events for this year. If you didn't get one, and would still like to fill one out, please let Bekah know!

Here's the schedule of events for the month of September:

September 21st -Welcome to the Labs! An in-depth tour of the animation labs and department to learn about all the resources we have to offer.
September 28th - Welcome to the Industry! This meeting will tell you all about the various jobs of the creative pipeline!

As you can see, next week is our annual WELCOME TO THE LABS event! If you're new to the animation department, this is an incredible resource. We'll be showing you everything from exclusive websites, to things like the sound booth, to how to use the Cintiqs. Make sure to be there!

And finally, we trooped over to the third floor of Crane to meet up with our BRAND NEW sister group: The Illustration Student Collective! To quote Rico: "Tonight is one of the most unprecedented nights in the Columbus College of Art & Design's history. Tonight we saw WELL over 100 students passionate about their craft, community, and future gather for what will be one of the greatest camaraderie experiences the school has ever had. We saw The CCAD Animation Student Collective and The CCAD Illustration Student Collective join forces to produce the most spirited crowd I've ever seen. It was breath taking! I'm so excited and proud of each and every person who made it out, and the leader's who have helped make this all possible."

We were so very impressed to see all of you there, and we're SUPER STOKED for the rest of this year. :')

See you next week!