Sunday, September 16, 2007

Trying to get faster - backfired!

As stated in earlier posts, I feel slow. We were warned about this at school. It's normal and it's expected cause we're new, right? However, it's still bothering me. During AM I found a workflow that I was really comfortable with and I used it on every shot when I was making my shortfilm. Now, when I'm in a production environment, where deadlines are more important (or at least the consequences bigger), I find myself skipping steps in my workflow in order to find ways to get faster. But the thing is, skipping important steps in fact takes a lot longer, because I don't feel in total control anymore.

My AM workflow included thorough analysis of the videoreferences (Not to copy it, but to get a feel for whats happening in the acting and what the body does). I still shoot reference and thumbnail the main poses from it, but I've not analysed it the same way as I did in school. Some shots has turned out ok without doing this, but on other shots I find myself confused and scratching my head wondering what went wrong. Then I spend tons of time trying to fix whats not working.
Shawn Kelly (AM Co-founder) has said several times "The shots that I'm most happy with and animated the quickest, is the ones where I spent most time planning in advance". There's probably something in that :)

It's probably an experience thing and I guess I'll get better at a deciding which shots needs that kind of thorough analysis and which ones don't. However, the old Disney-guys filmed reference of everything and analysed the heck out of it before animating :), so skipping that step is probably not a good solution to animating faster - at least not for me.

So for now, back to my good old checklist and still looking for other ways to speed up my workflow :)


  1. yes man, I am starting on Monday and I really wonder how a real job will compare to Animation mentor. Peer already told me that he changed his workflow too and pretty much animate straight-ahead!

    we will see ;-)

  2. advice will be, don't change it if you're happy with the workflow you have :)

    Instead find ways to make what you got stronger (and the speed will hopefully come with experience).

    - Martin