Wired has a nice write up on the behind-the-scenes process that went into Toy Story 3, of particular interest to me is the outline of the schedule they had for each department.

Animation

/ Day / 533
The pictures are moving. Each character is defined by up to 1,000 avars—points of possible movement—that the animators can manipulate like strings on a puppet. Each morning, the team gathers to review the second or two of film from the day before. The frames are ripped apart as the team searches for ways to make the sequences more expressive.

/ Day / 806
The technical challenges start to pile up. (Simulating a wet bear is especially complex.) Good thing Steve Jobs insisted that the building’s essential facilities be centrally located. “Walking to the bathroom or getting a cup of coffee is often the most productive part of my day,” says producer Darla Anderson. “You bump into somebody by accident and then have a conversation that leads to a fix.”

/ Day / 898
The animators are working flat out. They stay late into the night in their highly personalized offices, which have been decorated in a variety of themes, from Polynesian tiki to ’70s-era love lounge. (“We let them do whatever they want,” Catmull says.) The animators even have their own working bars, complete with beer on tap and a collection of single-malt whiskeys.

This thread in CGTalk is epic on so many levels.

He posts an animation, absolutely refuses to receive any form of critique, and then proceeds to insult the people trying to help him.

This is one of his post to somebody’s critique;

Well I just came to your channel by coincidence. Now it is too funny….Did you see? What do you argue that much when you are a simple apprentice? Do you think because you paid to Animation Mentor makes you a Master Overnight? Instead of arguing stupid things you should evaluate your own work…you will actually see a bunch of glitches on them. actually it stinks..but you expect people to say to you ALELUYA…wrong boy you must learn to walk before actually run….Do you now understand about self confidence? People fly to high like you only to realized later that they are just beginners trying to correct people on how to run…you are just another CLOWN ! SAD..SAD..I thought I was talking to an Ex-Dreamworks animator….ha ha this end up very funny. Good Luck…you really need it man.

This guy cannot take a critique. At all. It’s like he came from DeviantArt or something.

Azureus Rising

May 21, 2010

This. Is. Epic.

This is done by Black Sun Entertainment, directed by David Weinstein. A product of a small group extremely talented artists working together. Man I’m just blown away. Seeing stuff like these gives me a “belly of fire” moment where I want to do nothing but animate for 20 hours straight.

It’s easy to get discouraged after a job hunt. You send out dozens of reels and weeks later, nothing.

Hiring practices aside it’s also time to consider your Reel. Mark Pullyblank puts it across really well;

“Two months passed, and I had two hungry children and no job. Around that time a friend showed me some animation from another student who had just landed an internship at Pixar. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I initially felt completely dismayed by the high standard of his work, but after I calmed down, Cameron Miyasaki’s animation became my personal yardstick. I closed Photoshop and got back to animating. I would bump into people who knew someone who worked in the industry, and I would hunt them down and beg for their feedback.

I called an animator at Radical Games in Vancouver who looked at my work and told me the quality was such that it would be a waste of time to show his supervisor.”

And eventually..

It had been five months since I had graduated, and in that time, I had replaced two years of student work. I landed the job, fed my family and eventually worked my way up to the position of animation supervisor. At one point, shortly after I started working at Rainmaker, a fellow artist approached me and told me the tale of his friend at Radical who talked about a guy who asked him for a critique of his reel and then resubmitted a new reel the following day. Small industry.

It’s a throughly inspiring read, see the full post here.

One volt at a time

May 13, 2010

“The art of character animation is like catching lightning in a bottle, one volt at a time”

My colleague sent this link around the studio a couple days back, (Thanks Ellen!) it’s a blog for photographers but the topics covered are surprisingly relevant to animation. Check out these pictures!

The classic S and C curves in a pose.

In line with Pixar: 20 Years of Animation,
Science Centre Singapore will bring Pixar Artists for
Master Classes and Talks
from 18 to 20 May.

Below are the details and registration forms.

For inquiries, you may contact Aishah at 6425-2547 or specialevents@science.edu.sg

Talk
by Scott Clark
Supervising Animator
Pixar Animation Studios

“The Art of Animating UP”
18 May 2010
4pm
Maxwell Auditorium
Fee: $40

Talk
by Jerome Ranft
Sculptor
Pixar Animation Studios

“Sculpting at Pixar”
18 May 2010
2pm
Maxwell Auditorium
Fee: $40

Masterclasses

by Jerome Ranft
Sculptor
Pixar Animation Studios

“Character Sculpture”
19 May 2010
Mendel Auditorium
9am – 1pm (w/ tea break)
Maximum 30 pax per class. First-come-first-serve
Fee: $275 inclusive of materials

“Character Sculpture”
20 May 2010
Mendel Auditorium
9am – 1pm (w/ tea break)
Maximum 30 pax per class. First-come-first-serve
Fee: $275 inclusive of materials

Participants can visit Pixar: 20 Years of Animation for free!!!

More info can be found Here

This has been around for years, and can also be seen at the Pixar exhibition at the Science Centre. Ratatouille is my favorite Pixar film and every time I feel the need to be inspired I’ll watch this sequence. Blows me away everytime.

MeindBender Rig

May 3, 2010

Check out this rig from Meindbender, see how far they pushed the design of the character. I freaking love it!

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