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View Full Version : Experience we've learned as animators through the years



virtualcomposer
11-03-2008, 10:46 PM
This thread is here to give our advice that we've learned through the years that really seems to work and create true realism. I'll list a few things I've learned, either by doing or seeing a general use of.

1.) non-abused handcam seems to take the edge off of the "computer graphic" look.
Especially if you're only running one machine, it's not practical to render 1200 frames
that take 19 hours a piece just to get an incredible look.

2.) Textures and the quality of the textures can make or break the realism to convince
someone it's real

3.) Reference material is the best way of mimicking the true movements and weights of
objects.

4.) ALWAYS get a second opinion by fellow animators who have fresh eyes because in
general, I've noticed, I'll miss something or an added detail that could make something
look much better.

5.) Last but not least, I've learned not to take on more then I can chew meaning it's better
to become really good at my interest and passion. Trying to do everything, I've noticed,
only makes me a novice at everything. When I first started working with computer
animation, I thought I had to learn landscapes, characters, space, any type of objects,
and ect. I've learned most people are specialized in one or the other. Not discounting
the fact they can do other things but they are only really good at what they're
passionate about. :)

Well, these are things that I've learned through everyone's help here on this forum and my own personal experiences and long nights with the coffee percolator running. :D I'd like to here techniques and lessons you've learned throughout your career.

akademus
11-04-2008, 12:51 AM
Cool! I'm in.

6) Always PLAN your shots. Take a sketchbook i pencil and block out things in scene. Plan the wires on your models. Plan the lighting setup. Plan the time to complete the shot. Plan where you're going to spend the money earned from the project :)

Seriously, careful planing will save you vast amount of time. After that just sit, relax and "get it done"!

7) Find and use as much references as you can. Artist is good as his references are. If you're modeling a cell phone for example, get the real one and use it as a reference. Nothing beats the real thing. Inform yourself about the things you're after. There is a huge library called Internet and nowdays anyone can get information about pretty much everything.

8) Listen to senior animators. They are busy people and seldom share techniques. But, when they do, gold pours out of their mouth. If you are apprentice in a studio, hold your mouth and open your eyes and ears and listen. You'll pick up enough information in a year to migrate to a mid level user. Then you can speak :)

I'll put some later. Cheers!

DiedonD
11-04-2008, 01:59 AM
Hey there

Why dont you continue the 1001 Tricks and Tips from our forum Virtualcomposer? Its an altogether project, that gets filled in spontaneously and slowly, with the aim of reaching to 1001 one day :thumbsup: Its like a joint contribution :)

Youll find it in my signature. Just an idea. I sure enjoy greatly if we all do soemthing together.

Ive been pausing a bit since I dont want it to look as if it was totally designed by me. Thus the more I see involvement the more I get into it you know. But If you would put this all there, Id sure go on, just dont let me on my own thats all!

gareth8755
11-04-2008, 02:02 AM
A little off subject but relievent to the 'one-man and his lightwave machine' types like me.

9. 'the client is sometimes wrong, most of the time ill informed, but always the one with the money'

10. 'set deadlines for amendments on jobs and stick to them - how many times have I done a final render and the client has wanted to change the font on titles/colour on objects/etc etc. - "we could do it in Powerpoint" ARRRGGHHH!!!!'

virtualcomposer
11-04-2008, 08:45 AM
10. 'set deadlines for amendments on jobs and stick to them - how many times have I done a final render and the client has wanted to change the font on titles/colour on objects/etc etc. - "we could do it in Powerpoint" ARRRGGHHH!!!!'

Yeah, it's always tough with ill-informed clients. They compare power point to 3D graphics. I have gotten that allot in the music world to. "Can't we just use media tracks to fill in where music need be?". AAAHHHH!!!! Then I have to spend an hour of time explaining why composed music is the only way to go in order to be affective.

kopperdrake
11-04-2008, 10:09 AM
11. Back up, back up, then back up again. An hour that just whizzed by can slow to a crawl when you have to relive it in repeat mode.

flakester
11-04-2008, 10:14 AM
12). Empathy and sympathy are your friends; animation could sometimes be called acting by proxy - I find it useful to think about the motivation of the subject or character.... why it needs to do what it is doing, its goals and also its mood...... even if it's just a cube.

Thinking about these things from 'within' the object or character, will often give me more / different ways of motion than compared to thinking from without.

Then all you have to worry about is making it look good for the camera angle! :p

flakester.

virtualcomposer
11-04-2008, 01:23 PM
12). Empathy and sympathy are your friends; animation could sometimes be called acting by proxy - I find it useful to think about the motivation of the subject or character.... why it needs to do what it is doing, its goals and also its mood...... even if it's just a cube.

Thinking about these things from 'within' the object or character, will often give me more / different ways of motion than compared to thinking from without.

Then all you have to worry about is making it look good for the camera angle! :p

flakester.

Hey I agree. When the character or the scene becomes an emotional event, it really helps. I always play film scores that have to do with the scene to really get into the scene. I have only my computer monitor backlight on and just get engulfed in the scene. It really helps. Emotions are important to when composing music either for a singer or a scene.

Netvudu
11-04-2008, 02:47 PM
13) The more render passes going to Post, the less re-rendering.
14) 3d apps tend to generate too crip images as a general rule...or at least, much crisper than your average footage.

akademus
11-05-2008, 05:15 AM
15) Relax. Tight deadlines and nervous clients will only make the work looks worse. Find the time to finish it, work in chunks with resting pauses between. Being calm and relaxed while you're working can only improve the things.

16) Your health is you primary concern. Spend extra bucks on a good chair, good screens and good lighting. It's cheaper than medical bills!

17) Make your working environment pleasant place for you. Whether you work at home or in office make your desk a happy place for you. No employer will object placing toys on desk or tower. Great example of great working environment is Pixar studio. Happy animators make good movies!