Tips & Tricks Webinar with Pixar Animators

April 8, 2010

From the monthly Animation Mentor newsletter:

On April 29, 2010 from 7-8 p.m. PDT, Animation Mentor will be hosting a webinar featuring none other than Pixar animators Victor Navone and Aaron Hartline! The webinar will cover Timing and Spacing, with plenty of insider tips from these two talented animators.

Victor Navone, an animator at Pixar and mentor at Animation Mentor, began his career in the gaming industry as a conception designer and 3D artist and began animating feature films after joining Pixar in 2000. Victor’s memorable feature film credits include Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, WALL-E, Ratatouille, and Toy Story 3. In his spare time, Navone co-directed a series of Cars Toons shorts for the Disney Channel in 2008. He’s also currently working on Cars 2.

Aaron Hartline, also an animator at Pixar and mentor at Animation Mentor, began his career animating monsters and destroying buildings in the gaming industry. He later worked at Big Idea on Veggie Tales while secretly making his own film, Half Pint Heroes. The film grabbed the attention of Blue Sky Studios where Aaron worked as a supervising animator on Ice Age, Robots, and Horton Hears a Who! He now works full-time at Pixar, where his credits include Up and Toy Story 3.

Also imcluded in the newsletter are some tips on Keeping Your Character Alive:

Generally when we animate, we try to keep the animation within two to three MAJOR poses and act within those poses (unless it is an action scene). You find those poses and come up with your other MINOR poses and business that will happen within your MAJOR poses. For example, if a character is seated, and is feeling stressed, he might start to “play with” or absent-mindedly move objects on the table, or rub his hands together. Staying seated, he could look around, and then realize he is too jumpy to just “sit there,” so he stands (major pose number two). He crosses and uncrosses his arms, shifts his weight, lights a cigarette, drops the match, can’t get another one lit, tosses the cigarette, etc…Finally, the character hears the phone ring and leans over to answer it, and hastily hangs it up and leaves (pose number three). Or he sits back down and begins to cry. But during all of this, you are creating interesting, real moments of business, acting within two to three poses.

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