Saturday, June 29, 2013

AnimSchool Webcast: Lluis Llobera, Part 2

In part 2 of AnimSchool's webcast with Lluis Llobera, Lluis goes over his process of animating the villain, Nigel.



Coming up in part 3, Lluis talks about the relationship between Nigel and his human partner, Marcel.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Episode 005: The Croods - Round Table Part 2


In this episode we conclude the conversation started in Episode 04 with seven animators from the Dreamworks production crew of "The Croods." Their positions rank from Character Animator up to Supervising Animator.

 Podcast | Right Click to Download | Play in New Window | (48.0 MB)

Link to Podcast on iTunes


Line Andersen
Supervising Animator - Eep
IMDB profile
 Hans Dastrup
Supervising Animator - Thunk
IMDB profile


Gabriele Pennacchioli
Character Animator
David Couchariere
Character Animator
Thomas Grummt
Character Animator



 
 
 Jennifer Harlow
Character Animator
IMDB profile
Liron Topaz
Character Animator
IMDB profile

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

AnimSchool Student Spotlight: Eyad Hussein

We'd like to introduce Eyad Hussein. Eyad, can you tell us a little about yourself and what 3D experience you've had before entering AnimSchool?

I’m twenty eight years old and I grew up in Amman, Jordan. Since my early childhood, I’ve had a passion for character drawing, and like most artists I started by drawing with pencils, because it was the cheapest and the most available medium. I was obsessed with writing short stories, and while in primary school I developed my first short story by the name of Narcissus and most of the characters for it. After graduating from high school, I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at Yarmouk University. During my university years I started learning Maya and used it as a tool to continue developing the Narcissus characters.

 Career wise, I worked as a graphic artist in small studios until I got a job offer to work as a Photo Editor at Front Row, the pioneer publishing house in Jordan, where I was responsible in developing, creating and editing photos for six international and local magazines. Shortly after, I decided to focus more on animation, so I applied for a 3D Rigging Artist position at Rubicon Group Holding, the lead animation studio in the Middle East, and got accepted.

Sabine Heller, one of AnimSchool best instructors and a Character Technical Director at Blue Sky Studios, motivated me to join the school. Back in January 2012, when I was struggling with some advanced rigging issues, I got in touch with her and she encouraged me to join AnimSchool. In summer 2012 I got accepted in the 3D Character Program.



Which artists inspire you?

Most of the time, I get my inspiration from movies, video games and people who work in the industry. I love all of Disney and Pixar creations, Tangled (2010) and Brave (2012) are my favorite movies. Three months ago I was very lucky to visit Blue Sky Studios in Connecticut, US, where I met four of AnimSchool instructors who inspired me - Sabine Heller, Chris Pagoria, Ignacio Barrios and Dave Gallagher. I also met the talented people who are responsible for creating the amazing 3D movie Epic (2013).

I always buy books from “The Art of…” series and use them as reference. The last book I bought was The Art of Epic. I would like to say that it’s really amazing, very different from many other books. I like how it presents the character development stages from 2D concept to final 3D rendered character.
 
I like all of Tim Burton movies and how he develops the characters inside his works. I also like Capcom style, and especially Mega Man. Because I studied Fine Arts, I like to look back into the history of art. I get a lot of inspiration from Roman and Greek sculptures and paintings.

AnimSchool Introduction to Rigging assignments, by Eyad Hussein
How did you become interested in 3D Modeling and Rigging? What do you enjoy the most? Why?

I was fascinated by Final Fantasy VIII (1999) from Squaresoft and how amazing their 3D characters looked. One day I saw a “making of” for the game on the TV, where they mentioned that they used Maya to model and rig the characters, so I started learning Maya and translating my 2D characters into 3D space.

The thing I enjoy the most when I do modeling is making the character’s face, because the face is the most prominent part of a character’s body, it is where all the emotions show, the first thing people look at. The thing I enjoy the most in rigging is posing the character and making it look alive, which gives it a personality.



What did you find the most challenging about modeling the character, Jane from your Intermediate Modeling Class?

For me, the main challenge in 3D character modeling making the character look as appealing as its prototype in the 2D design sheet, so that for people it’s love at first sight! 2D artists often cheat in the proportions when they do the posed concept for the character, so another big challenge is to match the 3D model to the 2D concept, or at least give it the same look and feel of the concept. The mission is to put a soul inside the character, so you can feel the personality and the weight of a character when you pose it. You have to make people believe that it’s really alive, and not just a bunch of polygons.

To know more about my process of modeling 3D characters please visit “Winter 2013 Review” at my blog: http://www.eyad.tv/blog/?p=575

As a modeler, how much do you model in ZBrush vs Maya? Can you talk a little about your process using both programs?

Chel- El Dorado ZBrush sculpt, by Eyad Hussein
Before I start modeling, I like to gather some information about how the character would be used. What would be the purpose of developing this 3D model? Is it a demonstration of a character in 3D space for the movie director? Or is it for paint-over? Or is it going to be used in animation?

If it’s for the director, I mainly use ZBrush, it’s the fastest way to get a result. The director want to see shapes, volumes and the character personality in a pose, so you don’t have to worry about the technical details at all. I used to sketch the character in three days: a day for the head, a day for the body and a day for polishing.

If it’s for animation, it’s almost fifty-fifty.  Most of the time I switch between Maya and ZBrush - I sketch up a quick volume in ZBrush, do retopology in 3D Coat, take the model to Maya and start cleaning the mesh, and then I send the model back to ZBrush to give it the final touches.

What have you found the most challenging in the Rigging process? How did you work through the challenges? Did you discover any tips/tricks?


AnimSchool Introduction to Rigging assignment, by Eyad Hussein
The rigging itself is very enjoyable if you understand the concept, the challenge is always “Efficiency vs. Time”. I think rigging is the art of finding an efficient solution for a specific problem in a period of time.

I get through challenges by following a few important steps. First of all, you have to understand the problem - a problem well stated is a problem half solved, as they say. Second, you have to do a research, which is collecting information to solve this problem. After that, you should try different solutions and pick the most efficient solution for this particular problem. Finally test it! Let other people test it too, so you get feedback.
My advice is “Understand, research, try and test!”

To know more about my process of rigging 3D characters please visit “Fall 2012 Review” at my blog: http://www.eyad.tv/blog/?p=458



 


How has your experience been at AnimSchool? What is your favorite thing you've learned?

The AnimSchool experience is amazing, especially because the most talented people in the industry are teaching you all of the secrets for creating successful animated movies. I’ve been self-learning Maya for long time, but the amount of knowledge that I got from one year at AnimSchool is almost equal to what I have learned in many years of self-study, so it’s without any doubt a shortcut.

Self-learning is great, but the problem is that there’s nobody to evaluate and criticize your work, so you don’t improve much and eventually bump into a dead end. But as a student in AnimSchool, you receive a lot of constructive criticism from the instructors, which inevitably moves your work to the next level. This is my favorite thing at AnimSchool.

What advice would you give to other artists that want to get into a 3D Character Program?

My advice is to focus on the two sides, modeling and rigging, at the same time because they are so related to each other. To do good appealing rigs, you should be a good modeler. Never give up, keep trying and always share your work with others.


To view more of Eyad Hussein's work visit:
Website: http://www.eyad.tv/

Blog: http://www.eyad.tv/blog/
Photography Gallery: http://www.eyadness.deviantart.com/gallery/

Come join all the students learning online at AnimSchool!
http://www.animschool.com/Members/NewStudent.aspx
Summer Term begins July 1st 

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Courses -- Introduction to 3D Lighting and Environmental Modeling



For Immediate Release

Orem, UT  United States - June 10, 2013 -- For Summer Term, AnimSchool is offering two new 11-week live courses Introduction to 3D Lighting and Environmental Modeling using Autodesk Maya software.


Introduction to 3D Lighting

For the introductory term, Introduction to 3D Lighting students are team-taught by TWO feature film professionals in approximately 3 hours of live web classes each week, lighters Brandon May and Michael Murdock of Blue Sky Studios.

The class covers the basics of 3D lighting in Maya. Learn the principles of light, shadow, color, composition, and staging. Learn how to render great images using Maya's tools.

This course is designed for AnimSchool animation or modeling students, and also for students who may want to pursue lighting and rendering as a career path.

The instructors appear on a web camera and share their desktop, so students are able to see the instructor explain concepts, and can ask questions as they go.

Environmental Modeling


Environmental Modeling is AnimSchool's new course to go deeper into hard-surface modeling and learn environments. Students learn how to make sets for their characters.

For this first term, Environmental Modeling is taught by Disney/Blue Sky Studios modeler Brien Hindman, Environmental Modeling Lead for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

In this new course, students learn best practices for production modeling, naming, breakout and asset management, and previs, cameras, lights, and resolution handling. Students learn the secrets of set modeling, with instruction in UV's, Cloth simming and particle distribution of elements, as well as working in a visual style.


Brien Hindman Environmental Modeling from Brien Hindman on Vimeo.

Introduction to 3D Lighting and Environmental Modeling are offered for Summer Term, July 1 - September 14. Prospective students should apply at: http://www.animschool.com/Members/NewStudent.aspx

AnimSchool characters and tools are used by more than 15,000 users worldwide, and have been used to win numerous animation contests and for commercial needs. AnimSchool is known as the most trusted name for appealing 3D characters and animation.

Now with over 200 students, AnimSchool was founded in 2010 to bring character-focused 3D animation instruction to students all around the world through live online sessions with the very best film professionals.

Contact:
Isaac Nordlund
AnimSchool
admissions@animschool.com
560 South State Street, Suite F3
Orem, UT 84058

801 765-7677



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Friday, June 7, 2013

AnimSchool Classtime: How To Use A Point Constraint

AnimSchool recently added an Introduction to Maya class. This class is a great start to our Animation and Character Programs. In Introduction to Maya students learn the basics of Maya including: how to use the Maya interface, work with objects, use basic modeling tools, animate objects, apply textures, and use lights and cameras.

In this clip Instructor, Justin Barrett shows how to use a point constraint.




Saturday, June 1, 2013

AnimSchool Interview: Animator Camille Campion, Part 1

We'd like to welcome Animator Camille Campion. First of all, congratulations on your 11 Second Club March win! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into animation?

I think I have a very classic career path for a young french animator... I've drawn since I was 4 years old. I was crazy about animated features when I was very young, especially the Tex Avery work. I studied art at a university and I studied 3 years in one of the many Animation Schools we have in France. We had the honor to be the Jury award winner at Siggraph 2008 with our end of studies short film, Mauvais RĂ´le.

For three years I worked in Paris on different companies projects, feature films, commercial and TV shows. For almost three years now, I've been living in Spain working for Kandor Graphics on the feature film "Justin and the Knights of Valour," (Most of the Flying Crocodile shots are mine) Sometimes I also teach animation at the University of Granada.


11 second club March 2013 - HD from camille campion on Vimeo.

What is your favorite part of the animation process?

Definitely the staging and the blocking part, that's the more creative part for me. The splining process is more technical and methodic. The polishing is interesting, but less than the blocking. I like the refining stage too, when your animation works, but you still have time to retouch details. Sometimes a small detail changes the whole shot.

You've animated on the 11 second club with much success with many different rigs. Why did you decide to use AnimSchool's Malcolm Rig for both your characters for your entry: "Interview"

I'm work hungry. It was during a professional pause, I was with this envy of animation. Every time I'd try to use a new character, because I get bored fast with the same character. I want to explore new physiology, and personality. Next I wanted to use a professional character, I looked on the web to see what was available. Malcolm is used a lot, and now I know why!

What was it like working with the Malcolm Rig? Did it meet all your expectations? What did you like most about it?

The first important thing for me is the model, the design and appeal. Malcolm looks good, his design is simple, but with potential- I like that. The rig is very complete, the facial rig is superb and powerful.

One thing I don't like, and it's a problem I see in many rigs, is that sometimes there's too much control. It could be stuffy to manage. As a detail, when I move the head in translation there's no compensation in the neck. The column deformation sometimes is a bit hard.

In general Malcolm is a really good rig, it's not famous for nothing. I think the better of the free rigs on web! The thing I prefer... I really like the facial rig, but his hands are awesome. The mesh and the rig respond really well, and that's not usual.

How did you go about animating 2 characters with the same structure, while making sure 2 different personalities came through?

It's not very different than animating one character, you just need more time. The important thing is to identify your objective and the personality you want to show in your character. Try to make them different but believable. In shots like this you're driven by the audio, that makes things easier.

It's hard for me to explain with these shots because I was trying something new, I was discovering the rig and I only spent 5 days in the animation process...