Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Graduate Spotlight: Andrea Ferrara


Andrea Ferrara is a very talented graduate from AnimSchool who with his hard work and dedication not only passed the Animation program with a great shot, but also went on to work in feature films. Here is an interview where we learn about him and his workflow.

Andrea, tell us about yourself

My name is Andrea Ferrara, I am 26 and I am from Italy. In high school, I graduated in fine art and my course of studies was specialised in painting, mosaic and stained glasses.

At the age of 20, I moved to London where after two years working on different jobs, I started working as a barman to pay for my studies at AnimSchool.

What motivated you to become a 3D animator?

I have always wanted to work within the industry. When I was a child, I loved drawing and that led me to the idea of drawing for animation. This passion naturally made me pursue an art education.

I grew up between the ’90s and 2000s, and 3D animation was becoming the predominant way to make animated movies, I guess it turned out to be the obvious way to make animation and to become an animator for me as well.

Why did you decide to learn animation from AnimSchool?

After completing a one year 3D generalist course, I realised I needed to focus solely on animation if I wanted to achieve something in this industry; so I started researching for the best school to do that, and looking at every school’s student showcase, the AnimSchool’s reel was the one that made the best impression on me. It had more quality in my opinion and with the payment plan that they have, was also affordable for me.



Could you describe your work experience with The Secret Life of Pets 2 and how it was working on a project that big?

I had a lot of fun working on The Secret Life of Pets 2. It was my first project, and I really felt like I was improving shot after shot.
When you get the chance to work in a studio this big you really have to put in extra work and a lot of extra time, and you have to be open to improve, learn, and get as much feedback as you can. I really tried to show how much of a hard worker I am, and I was paid off by getting bigger and better shots every time.
I think I have animated just under 30 shots by the end of the production of various frame range. As today I have worked for Illumination Macguff for a little longer than 2 years. However, I animated on Pets 2 for 14 months.


Did your time / experience with AnimSchool help prepare you for a job like this? If so how?  

Thanks to AnimSchool, when I was assigned my very first shot, I felt like I already knew what to do. The transition from school to work was easy enough because the basic concepts of how to make an animation; how to conceive a shot etc. are the same in the workplace. It really made me feel at home.

Tell us about your workflow.

I examine the storyboard and layout with great attention. I play it in a loop to create a good image of the shot in my head. I try to visualise the best possible acting choices and determine the mood of the shot. I try to get into the character’s personality. 
When I feel I have the key poses, I sketch them down, and then I take a long time to pose the character into those key poses in Maya, then I put the in-betweens. 
I work putting every control’s key on the same frame but I keep the curves in spline, it helps me when I am making new in-betweens, and it also helps me keeping everything in order on a mechanical and technical point of view. It gives me a better chance to avoid unwanted gimbal locks. Once my ideas are in for good I start asking for some feedback and sometimes people around me give me such cool ideas or inputs that I have to put them in even if I have to delete a big chunk of my animation. 
Once I am happy with all the ideas, I start polishing the main controls (head, chest, root) then arms and legs at the end. When everything is looking smooth I add the details; more feedback really helps at this point as well.


Storyboard by Eric Favila


What are you up to now?

At the moment I am working on Sing 2, I have been on the project for a year already, and I will be on it until the summer.


What do you think animation students must focus to improve the quality of their works and get noticed and possibly be hired by a studio?


Just put those hours in, animate and animate till you are good. Putting as many hours a week on your animation is the only way to get better.
They should work on the ability to change their shots according to the supervisor’s notes. And trying to do that considering your instructor as your supervisor is the best way to do it in my opinion. 
In the practical sense, I would encourage students to create a LinkedIn profile and apply for as many places as you can starting from the top. Don’t be shy about applying for the biggest studios. That is probably where you might get a bigger chance to get hired as a junior.

Thank you Andrea for giving us this interview. 

If you want to watch Andrea Ferrara's work, check out the video below.



Learn at our online animation classes and animation workshops. If you’re interested in our accredited 3D animation programs, check us out at www.animschool.com.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Creature Animation - Workflow Tips
















With the rise of high quality VFX films and cinematics, there’s been a higher demand for creature animation. But, animating creatures is no easy task - you have to portray their animalistic behaviors while keeping track of 4 (or more!) feet and most likely a tail. It can seem overwhelming when starting to animate a creature shot, but as long as you keep the fundamentals of animation in mind, you can create awesome looking animation, too.


In this clip from our VFX class, instructor Tony Mecca talks about his workflow for animating a creature shot and tips for getting the smooth arcs he talked about in our last post (link here). Learn about how he approaches creature shots and deals with untangling the rigs!





These are the kind of skills you can learn in our online animation classes and animation workshops. If you’re interested in 3D animation programs, check us out at our website link below!






Start your journey into 3D Animation. Apply today! For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com

Friday, March 13, 2020

Creature Animation - Arcs


    With the rise of high quality VFX films and cinematics, there’s been a higher demand for creature animation. But, animating creatures is no easy task - you have to portray their animalistic behaviors while keeping track of 4 (or more!) feet and most likely a tail. It can seem overwhelming when starting to animate a creature shot, but as long as you keep the fundamentals of animation in mind, you can create awesome looking animation, too. In this clip from our VFX class, instructor Tony Mecca shows how you can take the familiar concept of arcs and use it in his “rollercoaster” method to get clean lines of action and flow of movement in reptilian characters.





    These are the kind of skills you can learn in our online animation classes and animation workshops. If you’re interested in 3D animation programs, check us out at our website link below!




Start your journey into 3D Animation. Apply today! For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com

Friday, March 6, 2020

AnimSchool is Now Accredited



AnimSchool is now accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
In February 2020, AnimSchool gained accreditation status from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
ACCSC is a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.
Both AnimSchool's 3D Animation Program and 3D Character Program are accredited by ACCSC.

What is accreditation and why is it important?

Accreditation is an evaluation process for schools to maintain standards of educational quality set by an accrediting body like ACCSC.
It helps establish the validity of the programs of study a school offers.
Internal and external processes evaluate AnimSchool's programs to ensure that they meet relevant academic standards.
The accreditors themselves are regulated by the the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation shows students and potential applicants that AnimSchool has met and is maintaining high level of standards set by the accrediting agency.
To become accredited, schools must demonstrate compliance with the agency's standards of accreditation, which monitors areas like student success rates, educational assessment, advisory board reviews, financial soundness, advertising statement accuracy, and admissions policies.

The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided by schools meets the level of quality expected by the accrediting agency, which helps students in deciding which institution to attend.




More Info...

Accredited institutions are evaluated through external reviews and internal review processes to ensure that the accreditation standards are being met on an ongoing basis.

Most schools like colleges, universities and K-12 schools are accredited. Accreditation helps the public, other schools and potential employers by ensuring that the educational programs offered have attained a level that meets standards developed by experts in that field.

ACCSC: 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302 Arlington, Virginia 22201 Phone: 703.247.4212 www.accsc.org

More info: https://www.animschool.com/Accreditation.aspx

To find out more about accreditation, see http://www.accsc.org/Accreditation/Overview.aspx

With this announcement, AnimSchool is now authorized to teach students residing in the state of Texas. Texas residents may now apply to AnimSchool. Look for announcements for other states to follow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

AnimSchool Contest: Marco Rig


 
pose by AnimSchool student Arturo Rosado

Announcing!

AnimSchool Contest February 12 - March 13, 2020 (voting until 18th)
We are giving away four licenses to use our exclusive character rig Marco for personal, non-commercial uses (two per division).
There are two divisions, Novice and Professional, each one with a prize for 1st and 2nd place.
Enter the Novice Division if you want to compete against Beginners and more basic early professionals. The prize is one license for our character rig Marco for personal, non-commercial use for 1st and 2nd place each.
Enter the Professional Division if you want to compete against more advanced pros. The prize is one license for our character rig Marco for personal, non-commercial use for 1st and 2nd place each. And for 1st place, the rig AND a $600 discount off an AnimSchool class (if the recipient is eligible to be a student at AnimSchool. To see residency restrictions see this link and other steps here.)
You could win one of two licenses per division to use our exclusive character rig, Marco for personal, non-commercial uses for the BEST animation using AnimSchool's Malcolm rig you can download here. You can post one you have ALREADY DONE or a new animation you make for this contest.
Animation must be 30 seconds or shorter in length and AnimSchool's Malcolm rig must be shown, animated, within the first 5 seconds of any entry. Any additional rigs you use must be be licensed to be used in a contest like this.
The animation must be your own. No group animated projects. Individual participants only. 3D animation only. G/PG-rated content only.
This contest is open to the public as well as AnimSchool students.
Winners will be determined as follows: AnimSchool's Review Board will select the top two winners per division from the top ten entries (the ones with the highest votes). Voting starts now, runs through the contest and ends 5 days after the contest end date shown above in the contest description.
You don't have to enter the contest to vote. Vote based on the best animation (ideas, posing, fundamentals, weight, appeal, acting, execution, polish). Do not vote based on render quality since this is not a lighting/rendering contest.
More Details here: AnimSchool Contest Site
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Shot Planning, Part 3 - 3D Animation Acting Choices



Many professional animators believe that the planning phase is the most important part of animating a good shot, and take a good amount of time to plan even when on a tight schedule. We’ve discussed planning within your sequence and directing your audience, and now it’s time to work on what could make or break your shot - acting choices. As instructor Rahul Dabholkar mentions in our class clip for this post, your acting choices are what will set you apart from other good animators. Even an action as simple as sitting and reacting to what another character is saying can be acted out in hundreds of ways, and it’s up to you as the animator to choose the most appropriate, believable, and relatable way to portray it.  


What are some ways you could act out a simple reaction shot? Rahul goes over a few ways to portray different characters in this clip from our Animating Appeal and Entertainment class:




 
These are the kind of skills you can learn in our online animation classes and animation workshops. If you’re interested in 3D animation programs, check us out at our website link below!




Start your journey into 3D Animation. Apply today! For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com

Monday, December 23, 2019

Learning UVs




In this clip, instructor Arvin Villapando explains the basics and the important information needed to start working with UVs.





Looking for the best 3D Animation schools? For more information about AnimSchool and our online animation programs, visit us at www.animschool.com