Thursday, 11 December 2014

Thumbnails, Glen Keane, and The Secret Of Great animation



The secret of great animation is in the planning. Open up a copy of Maya, the leading 3D software, and you just get a blank screen. With CG animation (or indeed any animation) you get nothing for free. So how do you fill this blank space with creative, entertaining animation? The secret of good work is to thumbnail - that is to say, to plan out your work with sketches and scribbles which create a kind of road map of where you want to go.

The video above talks through some thumbnails done by the great animation master Glen Keane - these were prepared for one of his shots in The Little Mermaid. Look closely at the thumbnails, check out the final shot, and you will see how closely Glen's planning matches his final animation result.

And this really is the secret of great animation. Plan it out well, think it through, and know in advance what it is you want to do. Do this right, and your shots will always work. Fail to do this, and you will have difficulty creating great animation.

---Alex

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link. For more information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how awn.com can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business. Also see our post about freelancers and taxes

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