Friday, 28 October 2016

Animation Apprentice at VIEW

Dan Sarto, Byron Howard, Simone Giampaulo and Conrad Vernon
Animation Apprentice was in Italy this week participaing in VIEW, the 17th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference.

VIEW takes place every year in the beautiful Italian town of Torino (Turin), and yesterday I was there running a one-day workshop in Maya, demonstrating some cool creature animation techniques.

Meanwhile, plenty of big hitters in the animation and VFX industries were giving talks and sitting on panels, including my old DreamWorks colleague Conrad Vernon (Sausage Party) and Byron Howard (Zootopia).

One of the most interesting panel talks was hosted by Dan Sarto of, who interviewed dircectors and animators on the differences between working in TV series and feature animation.

One of the most useful contributions was made by Simone Giampaolo, a directing animator at London's Blue Zoo. Blue Zoo do great work on TV series - an industry which has notoriously tough deadlines.

So, how do Blue Animators manage to turn out up to to 10 seconds of animation a day, much less than feature film quotas, and still maintain quality? The secret, said Simone, was to "milk the pose" for all it's worth, In other words, skilled animators can get their characters into a pose and, rather than changing into another one (as a feature film animator might do), they stay in the pose for as long as they possibly can. If the pose is a good one, then the audience won't mind, and the animator gets to meet his or her quota.

Later, my old Sony Imageworks colleague Troy Saliba explained over dinner that for him, working at Disney Australia on TV Series in the late 1980s had been the making of him as an animator. It forced him to work fast and efficiently and not get too precious about a shot. Most of all, he learned to get the job done quickly and not overwork a scene.

Good advice for any animator.

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


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