Monday, April 21, 2014

AnimSchool Student Spotlight: Diego Collell

Today we're interviewing AnimSchool Student Diego Collell.
Hi Diego! Tell us about yourself: where are you from, and how did you became interested in character animation?

First of all, I'd like to say thanks to David Gallagher, Animschool and all its teachers. In special, Juan Pablo Sans (former AnimSchool instructor) and Garrett Shikuma.

Hello! I'm Diego Collell, 35 years old and I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with my two kids Tiziana and Benicio, and my wife Cecilia.

Since I was a little kid, animated cartoons fascinate me (Chuck Jones and Tex Avery). When I started growing up, my willing to learn about these drawings and to really dive into animation.

By always watching cartoons, my love for animation grew everyday, a true hobby for me.

The first thing I did was to buy a bunch of animation related books and kept hours reading them.

In my free time I practice sports; I really like playing soccer and watch movies. Some of my favorite actors are Jerry Lewis, Rowan Atkinson (the guy that plays "Mr. Bean"), Steve Carell, etc. But one that amazes me is Jim Carrey. I really have fun with his performances. For that reason I chose to do a shot with his audio!

Did you have any experience as character animator before joining AnimSchool?

Yes! Here in Buenos Aires I've been working a lot in production companies for advertising, series and movies.

Tell us about your shot of your assignment for the Character Performance class. The character
has some really cool and exaggerated poses! What was the process from start to finish?


Since the beginning I told my instructor, Garrett Shikuma, that I wanted to make a shot in the style of "Horton Hears a Who!", and with the help of my instructors, I was able to improve it every time.

Research:
I've searched for an interesting audio for the animation so it would have texture.

Listening:




Soon after I start listening it several times in loop so I can understand every beat and clue. After that, I analyse the beats carefully, keeping into account every high and low, so I can apply the emotions and intentions according to the tone of the voices.
 








References:

Once I got a clear idea of what I want, I go to the mirror and practice.

Recording:
video

When I have more precise acting choices, I record myself doing it several times.

Editing the reference:
Somtimes I do, sometimes I don't. When I do, I use After Effects.

Blocking:
I use my reference to nail all the main story poses, not worrying with any extra detail.

Blocking Plus:
I take the key poses to the extreme so they can clearly convey the character's feeling in that shot. I also refine some facial expressions.

Spline:
I clean all my curves. Approximately, I spline my blocking every 50 frames.

Polish:
I made sure of polishing everything possible, frame by frame, checking everything!

I'm very happy with the final result of the shot. All of my instructors were essential for this.

The rendering and lighting was done by a friend, David Alexander Ary Aguero.

How do you think your instructors helped most in achieving the quality of animation you
wanted?

In general, my instructors are all very kind and solicit. The General Review classes have been a huge help. The instructors there care for your shot and your progress just like your main instructor.

Truth be told, all of Animschool teachers are AMAZING!

Are you working as a character animator at the moment?

Yes! At that moment I'm working as a character animator.

Any tips for your fellow students?
Work hard! The more you animate, the more you lern.

We thank Diego for his time, be sure to check his reel, LinkedIn and Facebook profile!