Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last work day of year

I like this guy.

Tomorrow I take off for a short holiday vacation.  The month & a half just flew by man.  So far, all of my time here has been spent working on my animation test for training, and the schedule has been pretty chill. So I'm lookin' forward to coming back in the new year and eventually beginning some production shots!  Oh man. 

Also, tons of snow last weekend in NY !  Here's a pic of a huge snowball fight in Times Square.

It's an early start for me tommorow, I'm waking up at 5AM to take a train from White Plains to Grand Central Station, and shuttle from there to JFK.  And then its off , back home to Seattle!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Greenwich, CT

The view from the window I sit nowhere near.  William's reflection animating something awesome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Manhattan by Irene Suchocki

Christmas at the Rock by Tasayu Tasnaphun

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One month down

Last week marked my first month in NY! Some things that happened last week;  I showed blocking on my first animation test to Bruno, who gave some detailed, encouraging  critique & feedback.  Got a new cube-mate, Joe, who is awesome, we get along really well. I asked them to take the wall down between us.  Had some drinks & pasta at the company Christmas party. Attended a lecture on bird intelligence & behavior.  Met Peter De Seve.  Watched Princess & the Frog at lunchtime w/ some of the other animators, was great to see 2D on the big screen again.  Took the train from White Plains down into  NYC to Sandeep's, finally met a few artists outside of the animation team.  First time on the subway!

On the 23rd, I fly back to Seattle for Christmas and New Years!  Excited to see friends and family again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blue Sky blip

Friday, December 4, 2009


Today in animation sweatbox, I introduced myself to the director of our film. Cool dude!  Lots of energy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Breaking bad habits

I don't know if many people do this, but If I see something that inspires me, and I dont know how they did it, more often than not,  I'll shoot the artist an email, pay them their props, and ask them how they did it!  Or I'll see him or her in the hallway and ask about it.

Well as you can imagine, that's already happened a lot here.  And luckily for me, people are more than willing to help me out.

When I had a few weeks off inbetween jobs, I went back and took a good hard look at my reel.  I studied what I thought was weak about it, and I made a list of all the things I could work on, in the hopes that I'd start to find it in people's work here.  I've watched a lot of training videos here, and talked to a lot of people and realized how differently everyone works.  Bottom line is, these folks are way better than me and I want to be on their level.

So during this first animation test, I'm trying to break all of my bad habits.  Which is just doing things the way that I'm not used to.  And so far that includes blocking a different way, taking more notes and doing more thumbnail sketches, even shooting video reference differently ! 

Specifically, I know that my work tends to get a floaty & mushy really quick!  I tend to block out main keys and go ahead into splines.  So after shooting a message to one animator here who's test I came across and was blown away by, I was lucky enough to get a response:

Hey Bobby,

Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad the test was inspiring.  I did shoot reference for the shot.  I actually tried to get really sad that day and just act out what felt natural, then build on that.  I often block out the animation pretty tight, sometimes every 2-3 frames.  I like seeing as much as I can before I hit the spline button.  

When I start splining I often push things/poses more, add some more subtle stuff, or offset things,  but all the keys are usually there.  Anyway,  if you wanted to talk more about it just stop on by.  Here is a path to my last blocking pass,  if you look at the spline version next to this, you'll see where I pushed some of the head motions,squash poses,subtle stuff etc.

Look forward to working with you man.

 Hope this helps anyone else who thinks their work is feeling a little on the floaty side, and I know a lot of peeps have trouble with the dreaded transition from stepped to spline, hopefully this helps you too!  In my case, the best way to break out of the progression stagnation is to break outside of my comfort zone, and shake up my workflow a little bit.