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 Preparing oneself to be a 3d Animator 
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Post Preparing oneself to be a 3d Animator
The following guide are meant for local job market and beginners.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Animation Notes

SAMPLES AND FORMAT OF YOUR SHOWREEL

Do not waste time in modeling, rigging, texture, lightings etc whatso ever if you have no time. If you want to do animation, focus in animation for your reel.

Below are samples of good animation reel format.
It answers many requirements of employers


This guy is working at Pixar. Cool stuff.

Look at his personal work. Note: Simple models but good animation.

http://www.carlosbaena.com/animation/an ... sonal.html


This guy works kick ass as well.

http://www.markcharris.com/animationReel.html




THE GUIDELINES

If you have the time, its definitely better to start off with 2d traditional animation. If you do not have the time and need a reel to answer the basic requirements for the job, the following should do the job to start you off. But of course you should not end your training here. You need to continue to practice and research on acting and timing. Watching movies and traditional animation is very important. Strong observation skill is extremely important. Having an habit to do your research is crucial to your skill development.


Of course, before you start, you need to have a better understanding of

http://www.siggraph.org/education/mater ... d_anim.htm

http://features.cgsociety.org/story_cus ... ...&page=1

Its extremely important.


STAGE ONE:
Note: If you have difficulties, make sure you use live references.


A) UNDERSTANDING OF TIMING AND MOTION CURVE -

Animate a pendulum
(From here you will learn how to control the motion curve to ease in and out)



Bouncing Balls
1) Rubber Ball
2) Bowling Ball
3) Balloon

Reference:
http://www.awn.com/tooninstitute/lesson ... ceball.htm


Additional exercise: Bouncing Balls with Obstacles
If you are not confident as yet. For more practice, create a room with a square hole in the ceiling. Then create a box and placed it on the ground. Make sure it is directly underneath the hole. Now animate the 3 different types of balls falling from the hole one after another. Animate the ball hitting the box and then bounces it off.






B) UNDERSTANDING ON HOW TO CONTROL THE TIME FACTOR TO DEMONSTRATE THE WEIGHT OF OBJECTS

Create a box hit by a ball.
1) Ball is heavier
2) Box is heavier

http://www.siggraph.org/education/mater ... timing.htm




C: UNDERSTANDING ON HOW TO ANIMATE SOFT AND FLUID BODY

Wave Cycle:
These exercises are important. It trains you on secondary animation. (Animate tails, long ears of characters.. wires, ropes, soft and fluid motion etc)


1) Create 7 linked tubes or blocks. (7 linked bones). Use FK technique to animate it in a wave cycle. (Like a seaweed under the water)

2) Create a book with one page. Animate it by flipping it through from left to right. Imagine the page is made of soft paper. Animate it in a fluid and wave motion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bw2ennpu-Y


3) Attach a tail to a ball. The tail is made up of a chain of bones linked together. Now make the ball hop from one end to the other. Then animate the tail.


APPLICATION:
Now you have learn the basics, its time to apply what you learn. Animate a hopping flour sack.


Get a copy of the Flour Sack model here.
http://www.animwatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=454

or

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=242786

Reference:
http://www.mrshay.net/potatosack.avi
http://www.franksilas.com/AnimationLess ... ursack.mov
http://bradkinley.com/clips/Full_Floursack_Jump.mov
http://bradkinley.com/clips/Full_Floursack_Sneak.mov
http://www.franksilas.com/Lesson2.htm






STAGE TWO: WALK CYCLE
Don't worry about rigging or modeling a nice character if you do not have the time. Use Biped or any bones setup will do.


Work on the following until you perfect it.

1) Walk Cycle
2) Run Cycle
3) Jump

More advance (Walk with personality)
4) Fat man walk
5) Thin man walk
6) Happy walk
7) Sad walk
8) Sneaky walk

APPLICATION:

a) Attached a tail and a pair of long ears to the character. Make him walk, run and hop. Now animate the ears and tails. (This allows you to combine what you have learnt before)

b) Develop and try out new kind of walk. e.g Rapper Walk, Groovy Walk (Austin Power) etc Create a personality

c) Try to animate a character with 4 legs. Dog, horse etc. Use reference. Make it walk and run.

d) Animate a man pushing a box to demonstrate light and heavy weight. Animate a man carrying a light and heavy box.





STAGE THREE: ACTING

Work on a Mime that demonstrate weight, timing and acting. A short story. About 30 to 60 sec.




STAGE FOUR: DANCING

Work on a short animation that makes the character dance. You will have to change the music from time to time. Stage like an audition. Different types. 60s, 80s . Cheesy music will be good. So it allows the character to do funny moves. Agogo. Twist. Break dancing, Austin Power move, micheal jackson move etc. Old disco fever music will be good. This demonstrates your ability in dancing and advance acting. Dancing, singing animation is required in many todays animation. Shrek, Toy Story, Garfield, Madagascar etc Research on the different types of dance steps.


If you were to complete stage 3 and 4 well, then it demonstrate your strong ability in acting even without facial expression or dialogue.






If you don't have time, attached a head with morph targets (MAX) or blend shapes (MAYA) to a bone setup will do. Again don't worry about rigging or modeling a nice character if you do not have the time



STAGE FOUR: Lips Sync

Work on 5 Lips Sync and Acting exercises using difference voice track obtained from film or traditional animation. Make sure you select an interesting animated voice.

Some examples can be found here.

http://www.strutyourreel.com/news/?page_id=8&tGroup0=4

11 sec club
http://www.11secondclub.com/




STAGE FIVE: FINAL APPLICATION
Choose another cheesy old song. Make your character dance and sing. About 45 to 60 sec is ok.
e.g the alien song animation



When I am guiding some who need help, in between these stages, I might add more exercises to strengthen their weakness. From here, if you were to complete the above programs. I would say you should have a basic reel to start with.

And it demonstrate your understanding of all the basic principles. Show strong ability in acting.

And the reel should answer the basic requirements for the job. Hope it helps.


--------------
David Kwok
Chairman
Singapore Animators Connection


Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:34 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post Re: Preparing oneself to be a 3d Animator
REFERENCE

Below is an abstract from LucasFilm Entertainment.

Just a guide...


What computer graphics supervisors at ILM would like to see on a reel

CHARACTER ANIMATION

• If you want to bring a character to life, you need to show its personality and how it moves in its environment. Keep it simple! A multi-layered, textured background is not necessary to show your character animation

• Knowledge of a software is not the key to being a character animator.

• Apply the principles of animation to anything that is receiving a soul:

• Force / Resistance / Balance = Is there a believable force that initiates and stops the movement?

• Weight / Center of Gravity = Does the character visually look heavy or light according to design specifications? Does the weight shift properly?

• Path of Action = Is the movement following a believable path according to the initiating force? Are there drag, delay or overlapping elements of the form that follow through in action?

• Acting = Does the audience believe that the character thinks, feels, acts, reacts to the environment and others?

• Timing = Believability in performance, be it acting or action.


Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:36 am
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Site Admin

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post Re: Preparing oneself to be a 3d Animator
RECOMMENDED TEXT

For 3d character animation

i) Digital Character Animation by George Maestri

ii) Digital Character Animation 2, Volume I : Essential Techniques (Digital Character Animation) by George Maestri

iii) Digital Character Animation 2, Volume II: Advanced Techniques by George Maestri

iv) Digital Character Animation 3 by George Maestri

v) Inspired 3D Character Animation (Inspired 3D) by Kyle Clark



2d

The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles, and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators by Richard Williams


The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Ollie Johnston (Author), Frank Thomas (Author)


Search all books at amazon

--------------
David Kwok
Chairman
Singapore Animators Connection


Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:37 am
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Site Admin

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post Re: Preparing oneself to be a 3d Animator
OTHER HELPFUL NOTES


Handy Hints and tips:
http://www.shaunfreeman.com/animating_tips/



General advice for animators (a few success "secrets" )
Demo reels , resumes & cover letters - tips & suggestions
What I look for in an animator candidate ( the seven P's )
The 12 (plus 12) fundamental principles of animation
Some common CG pitfalls: Causes & solutions
Working on games vs working on films: An artist's perspective


http://www.zayatz.com/pages/tips.htm



If you are following through my guidelines on self training on animation, these will be very useful for your learning.

You need to apply the same principles in 3d.

http://www.idleworm.com/how/anm/01b/bball.shtml
http://www.idleworm.com/how/anm/02w/walks.shtml

Get the book on Animators Survival Kit. It will be useful for your foundation training.




Important Animation Notes written by John Lasseter Pixar

http://www.siggraph.org/education/mater ... er_s94.htm

http://www.siggraph.org/education/mater ... d_anim.htm

http://www.siggraph.org/education/mater ... /anim0.htm

--------------
David Kwok
Chairman
Singapore Animators Connection


Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:38 am
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Site Admin

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post Re: Preparing oneself to be a 3d Animator
ARTIST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ANIMATION

a) Motion Gallery - Video References for all types of motion.

http://www.bbcmotiongallery.com/
http://www.corbismotion.com/


b) Some sites to download free rigs to practice your animation

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=20


c) Free Server to Host Animation Files for comments

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=26


Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:40 am
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