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!

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