Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Its all about the idea guys... all about the ideas! Being able to animate at its most basic level is of course pretty essential, but once you have a grasp on these methods no amount of god like software (or drawing) skills will ever hide poor ideas or bad performance. Check out Matt Strangio's reel for an example of just how important ideas are - and the best part is, his first shot isn't even finished! A cracking character animation reel indeed.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Drawing voodoo!

Ah its that question again... “why draw? I do 3D animation”. Oh so many moons ago, when i studied animation before Animation Mentor the industry was still focused on 2d, and that was the path i thought my future was going to take. So i signed up for a classical animation course which had a strong focus on life drawing for animators. Eventually the whole industry changed over, 3d animation came along and now seems to be the norm... but is there still and need for the fundamental drawing skills....... absolutely! It is true that you can get by in 3D without drawing, and there are plenty of top animators out there who do, however drawing would be something i strongly encourage you all to do. The real benefit is in posing, taking thing time to sit down and draw a person in a given pose is basically making you study that pose, how the body holds weight and energy..etc. This ability to deliver a clear and readable pose is one of the fundamental building blocks of good animation, and drawing helps you develop just that. Whenever i hit a moment where i can’t quite achieve a particular pose, the chances are is because i haven’t spent enough time studying it. So out comes the sketch book, and off i go. Perhaps the best part about drawing to develop your 3d animation skills is that no one actually has to see your drawings – they are just for you and your own development. Which is great, because if you’re like me and struggle with drawing then it doesn’t matter. What matters is the learning experience and the way you train your eye to see poses, which in-turn will help you deliver clear and precise posing in your 3D animation. Another benefit is after a little practice it will relax your mind, your analytical left hemisphere of your brain will switch off and the creative right side will kick in. In time this will help you reach that point of ‘zen’ where you stop consciously thinking and let the your creative actions guide you. (am i sounding like obi-wan yet?). So yes, drawing isn’t essential, but if posing is something you struggle with or you like to take some time out and let your mind just wander creatively – then i recommend giving drawing a go!