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Fredricksen house part 02

Posted on May 23, 2010 
Filed Under Education, Modeling, Portfolio | 4 Comments

Here is where I am today. Only spent one hour on this. The weather was way too nice to stay home today.

I mainly worked on the windows and some detailing work. I added some basic colours and did a quick mental ray rendering just for giggles, nothing too elaborate.

The shingles will be modelled at the latest stage, I still have a major issue with the roof proportions to solve. Don Shank blueprints are very useful but the final model seems a bit different.

Click on the pic for bigger version

and here is the timelapse, 6 hours of work in 12 minutes.

Related post:
Fredricksen house part 01

AAU graduate showreel

Posted on May 22, 2010 
Filed Under Acting, Animation | 1 Comment

I just found that great showreel from Stefan Schumacher, a Swiss AAU graduate

Really, really nice stuff. What really stands out is the guy’s use of secondary action. Those character don’t only deliver their lines, they belong to a story, they are alive.

I would also recommend you to check out all the links from his links page.

It’s amazing how different Norman can look in those reels…

Related post:
What is AAU?
Uta Hagen acting class and DVD

Fredricksen house

Posted on May 22, 2010 
Filed Under Education, Modeling, Portfolio | 1 Comment

I saw this yesterday and thought it would be fun to model it over the week end….

I didn’t think it would take so long but this is where I am 5 hours later. Click on the picture for a bigger version.

If you are interested, I have also recorded a timelapse video as usual and will post it when done with the modeling tomorrow.

Mental Ray 3.8 for Max 2011

Posted on May 19, 2010 
Filed Under Friends | Leave a Comment

My friend Jamie Cardoso just published an article in CGSociety regarding Mental Ray in Max 2011. Check it out

You can also find a bit more behind the scene on his blog

Related posts:
Jamie in 3d World
Mental Ray for visualisation 2nd edition

Pervers pepere – Walk challenge spline

Posted on May 18, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 1 Comment

Marcel Gotlib hommage.

Here is where I am today….. still a looonnng wayyyyy from finish but I have integrated a lot of comments from my buddies and especially the ones with no CG character animation knowledge. Those are the ones who usually come up with the most challenging feedback but that’s always for the better.

I rotated the camera around so we see his face better and hide the women’s reaction. I don’t have time to design, customize and animate them so a silhouette will work nicely ;-) The character walks left to right which is not very cinematographic but I could always mirror the video with the risk of having him looking left handed.

I still have to work on the knee pops, posing of the left hand at the beginning, change the design of the cane for something more Victorian stylish, tweak the grab of the hat, and the speed of the steps at the end of the fall, work on the unfolding of the spine and add few more steps at the end, fix the gimbal locks and constraints pops…..

The guy is supposed to wear a knee long coat but I am not too keen on covering his legs and spine with crappy cloth simulation. I don’t even know how to do it. The ground should ultimately be a cobbled street. I will had a small hat for the women so they don’t hide him too much…..

Related posts:
Full blocking
Thought process and layout

The Downfall of traditional education

Posted on May 16, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Education | 10 Comments

The UK animation industry is being taken over by Animation Mentor. I don’t have exact figures but I have the feeling that 3 out of 5 animation graduates hired in UK come from Animation Mentor. In few years, 50% of the animator in the industry will probably come from the online animation school.

Why is that?

Animation Mentor has been offering the industry, the exact kind of profiles it was looking for.

In 18 month, they create more job opportunities to graduates than what traditional education would provide in 4/5 years.

In UK it is usual for students to do a foundation course, followed by their 3 years degree. The problem is that very often, after a fruitless job search due to their poor showreel, those graduates end up going back to university since they can’t find any stable jobs.

Where it gets even worse is that after those different degrees and post graduate diplomas, they often end up as interns or runners at 13k a year when Animation Mentor students directly snap Junior animation or even Animator position. I have also seen loads of those graduates eventually going to Animation Mentor for 2 more years of education and even bigger student loans to repay but finally getting better chances to break into the industry.

Now Animation Mentor is not the only new form of schooling taking over traditional education. Escape has also been providing (at a very high cost) the kind of employees Soho VFX house are looking for but I just found some other US schools providing alternative training.

Gnomon has been in business for years in California and offer great training if you are into monsters and SciFi, admittedly I am not.

Future Poly. A school aimed at the video game industry in the Seattle area.

Concept Design academy in Pasadena.

I won’t go in length trying to understand why those courses are so successful but one thing we can notice rightaway is that the mentors/lecturers/teachers are all professionals still very active in the industry and even online.

Rad Sechrist

Joe Pikop

Jean-Denis Haas

On an other hand, traditional education is still regarded as one of the best form of schooling in Europe, when talking about 2 french animation schools, Supinfocom and Gobelins and it is not rare to bump into those graduates in Soho, not rare at all. Most VFX houses actually go to the graduation ceremony of those two schools to snap the best talents.

[update] Having worked with several graduates from animation schools and university, I came to realise that a lot of them didn’t have a clear idea about what they wanted to specialise in when they joined their school and felt a generalist school was less risky. Also, traditional schools diplomas are recognised by Immigration laws and can help to get Visa to work abroad.

Related posts:
Is Animation Mentor expensive?

The Walk challenge – A contest 02

Posted on May 11, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 6 Comments

update Wednesday 13th

Took on board some feedback, rough revision before going to work.

Monday 11th update:

As I implied few days ago, I don’t think that shot has much entertainment value but I will stick with it since there is no time to change the idea entirely.

Here is the full blocking. The head should be rotating towards the women earlier but I don’t really want to mess with my constraints for the moment.

Related posts:
The Walk challenge – A contest 01 – Layout

Taekwondo best video

Posted on May 11, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 3 Comments

If you don’t know about that awesome Korean martial art, check this out

I am actually red belt in Taekwondo but switched to Thai Boxing due to the dominant style in UK, ITF vs the Olympic WTF

Toy Story 3 Videogame

Posted on May 11, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Friends, Video Games | Leave a Comment

Nothing groundbreaking in that video but it is still nice to see glimpses of what Disney’s Avalanche studio is doing.

The Walk Challenge – A contest

Posted on May 3, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Portfolio | 9 Comments

[this article will be revisited everytime I have some updates as well as my Public Review on the Animation Mentor workspace so keep an eye on the following post.]

Since I pretty much do Walk cycles for a living, I got really excited when the Spline Doctors started a contest few weeks ago.

“The walk challenge – a contest”

This should allow me to demonstrate my understanding on walks but also to add a bit of acting. Isn’t it what this challenge is about rather than just a 24 frames cycle?

Because I intend to have some facial animation and since the walk might be used for an article, I thought I would be better off using the Norman rig rather than Bishop or a self made one using abAutorig. Norman is also pretty generic and adapts very well to modifications so it is easy to make it look less…. “stock” ;-)

Out of the 4 choices, I chose the Period character from the Victorian era for the following reasons:

[…] Read more

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