I started learning animation by myself by reading a lot of books, watching hundreds of animated movies and practicing everyday. I downloaded free rigs from the internet and started animating. I was always looking for appealing characters with great instructors living under same roof, a place where I could fall in love with the characters that I’m animating and an instructor who would guide me through it all! I found all this at AnimSchool.
Ala'a Hanish's test from AnimSchool's Class 5, Character Performance
The idea of bringing a character to life. I remembered when I animated a character for the first time and saw it on my screen, I screamed out: He’s alive, He’s alive! You don't know how beautiful that feeling is, unless you're an animator. I always try to build a relationship between me and the character to become real or “alive,” not just a file or pen on paper anymore.
What are you thinking about when choosing dialogue for you animation test?
So far you've done 2 tests with AnimSchool's female character Marnie, How did you make each character feel so different from one another in your tests?
Before I start animating, I always put myself in the place of my character and get inside their head as much as I can. I believe knowing your character well, will help you cross half of your animation. Even if I have 5 or 10 seconds of dialogue, I always try to come up with a story staring my character. This always leads me to knowing my character very well. I think this is the best thing that I learned at AnimSchool. Also, the critiques that my instructor gave to me about the character itself, not about animation or Maya, not at all, it’s about performance.
Ala'a Hanish's test from AnimSchool's Class 6, Facial Performance
How has your experience been at AnimSchool? What is your favorite thing you've learned?
What advice would you give other students that are just starting out?
Practice, Practice and Practice, don’t be afraid of changing your whole animation. Take advice from everyone, and learn quickly how to take it well and make it your own. One more thing that I find very helpful during critique time, is to look at your classmates' critiques carefully, not only yours because maybe the instructor gives them some feedback that could help you to improve your next animation.