Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ratatouille opens today!

Ratatouille opens the US. We europeans have to wait a little bit longer (which really sucks, so please Disney, make your premieres World-Wide). I'm going to the US pretty soon though, so I get to see it sooner anyway. Lucky me :).

I've read through some of the reviews and most critiques are totally blown away by this movie (Variety, Ain't It Cool, Movies Online, Rolling Stone etc). Is it possible to top The Incredibles? It created some expectations to Brad Bird, thats for sure :) We'll see!

For those of us that has to wait, here's some more released Ratatouille podcasts. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A post-AM self-evaluation

In the final week of Animation Mentor I got a very nice review from Bret on all my work during the 18 months. All my mentors, as well as Bret, has told me that my understanding of weight and physics are pretty good, which is really nice to hear :) Most of them has also told me that the gestures could be stronger, like more specific and clearer....more personality. This is invaluable info, cause then I know what to focus on.

Thinking about that I had no real character animation experience before AM, I should probably feel pretty good about how far I've come, and I do, but there's tons of things that I need to work on. I think thats a good place to be though - I'm kinda happy, but I wanna get better!

Of course animation is a lifetime learning experience and there's so many areas that I want to dive into, improve and learn more about. But for now, I've defined two main areas that I'm gonna focus on improving in the near future. Entertainment-value (stronger poses, snappier timing, more personality in the poses etc) and timing/spacing (beating swimmy motion, even spacing etc). It's obvious that it's better to push too far and then take it a little bit back, instead of going little by little. But I'm afraid to push it too far, so thats something to focus on as well. As Greg Kyle told me, already in Class 1 - "looking ok...just go a little bit more crazy". I'm gonna try!

Thoughts into action - off to study some Chuck Jones stuff :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Session 612

This is sad...really sad! The final Animation Mentor session. Even though, it's gonna be soooo good to not have the pressure of turning in an assignment each Sunday.

It's been an amazing final term. My classmates has been great, very supportive and encouraging and the q&a's has been a weekly highlight, even tho it's been 4am in the morning :)

My mentor this term, Bret Parker from Pixar Animation Studios is truly awesome! She's superkind and always manage to keep the motivation up, which has been
really invaluable this term, cause it has been exhausting. She has a great way of talking about specific stuff in a general way, so all my classmate's crits has been as useful to me as my own. She's been focusing on giving us critiques based on the stage we're at and that has been very very successful. The amount of stuff to fix never felt too overwhelming, but still quite enough to keep me busy for a week. She rocks big time! A great ending to eighteen awesomofantastic months!

So, this is it for Animation Mentor. Thanks a lot to everybody that has given me comments thru this blog. I really appreciate it! I'm gonna keep blogging tho, putting up the progress of my short as it goes into the final stage of lighting, texturing and rendering. There's also tons of super exciting stuff ahead. Getting married,
going to America, job hunting and more. Lots of stuff to blog about for those who cares to read :)

Until then, here's my final animation of "Forever Young"

and here's everything I've done at Animation Mentor.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Session 611

Ah well, final AM assignment ever, turned in. There's probably tons of stuff to fix in this still, but gotta let go at some point. I am going to do another revision-pass after Brets crit next week though :)

Bret is currently working on the next Pixar feature, Wall-E, and this week they released the first teaser trailer. Looks pretty cool! There's a new clip from Ratatouille up too, showing the progress from storyboards to final film.

More great news, Aja and Mark Bogdanoff has put up the new "10 second Club" and they're calling it The 11 second club. Fantastic! 10 second Club were deeply missed, and now it's back, kinda :)

Here's the final polishing pass of "Forever Young"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Session 610

Alright, so this week has been even crazier than last week. And it's so awesome! :) First of all, we had a q&a with Lori at AM Career Service. They actually have a career service which basically means they will keep supporting us for the the rest of our careers. How awesome is that!?! Next we had a q&a, in the same night, with Jason Schleifer, Cassidy Curtis and Kevan Shorey from PDI/Dreamworks, about Shrek the Third. Even though I haven't seen the movie yet, it was a huuuuge inspiration and lots of useful info about how they work, what they think about when starting a shot etc. Carlos Baena showed up too.

And finally our weekly q&a with Bret that always are really good. So two great q&a's on Monday at 3am and 6am and the weekly class q&a at 4am on tuesday. My days has been turned upside down, but it has been totally worth it.

I also managed to get through the second polish pass of the first half of "Forever Young". Bret's critiques on the last polishing pass has been amazing. Lots of small details that her eagle-eye spots, which is great! I've also started to plan the post-production stage and I've done some low-res render-tests of each shot with shadows and motion blur, cause I tend to see more errors when it's rendered out with motionblur

Here's my second polishing pass of the first half:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Session 609

It's been a totally crazy week. I've gotten a project based character animation freelance job and it's sooo much fun, but it takes time and I haven't been able to do as much as I would have liked on my assignment this week. I've also caught a cold that kinda slows thing down a bit too. The cold is about to pass though, so from here it can only get better :)

Here's my 1st polishing pass of the last third:

And here's the 1st polishing pass of the whole film: