•July 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

B-1, Regency Park, Hall Road
Richards Town, Bangalore – 560005
Cell phone: 9945752510

Seeking a position as a Computer Animator/Trainer.

My WORK\BLOG: https://animationslider.com/


2016-Present  Senior Trainer at Animaster College

2015-2016 Freelance Animator\Blogger

2013-2014 Worked as Associate Lecturer at National Institute of Creative
Communication (NICC).


• Trained post graduate and undergraduate students for all three years of the NICC program.

• Subjects covered in Modeling, Rigging, Lighting, Texturing, Animation and, Rendering with MAYA 2014.

• Skills taught from intermediate to advanced level in MAYA.

• Taught Fine Arts for undergraduate students, subjects covered included, Gesture, Anatomy, Muscle to a finished drawing.

• Held classes in story boarding to the principles of story structure.

• Scheduled the course structure for all the subjects mentioned above.

• Part of the jury for all quarterly projects of students.

2012-2013 Worked as a freelance animator and animation blogger (training).

2010-2011 Worked as a partner and animation supervisor at Tim Studios.


• Created 16 sec animation ad film, (FREEWATERS, Denmark).

• Trained animation interns at the studio. Lectures in film making, animation process in 2D and 3D, modeling and rigging.

• Involved in character Designs for various in house projects.

2007-2008 Worked in a position as 3d mentor/ digital art for Toonskool pvt.ltd –
Advanced Animation Academy


• Created the curriculum and content for a full time {BSc in Animation} degree course of total six semesters affiliated to Karnataka state Open University Mysore, Karnataka.


3D Animation I
3D Animation II
Animation techniques

• Created the curriculum and content in the form of e-books, for a full time {Diploma} course of total six semesters, ToonSkool Pvt.Ltd– Advanced Animation Academy.


3D Animation I (curriculum and content)
3D Animation II (curriculum and content)
Digital art (content)
Animation techniques (content)

• Conducted classes through video conferencing for students in the techniques of computer animation.

• Have been a part of the examination correction team of members.


2006-2007 Diploma in 3D Computer Animation
Van Arts College, Vancouver, Canada

2004-2005 Certificate in 2D and Maya (Modelling)
Animaster, Bangalore, India

2003-2004 Certificate in Multimedia
Arena Multimedia, Bangalore, India

1999-2002 Bachelor of Commerce (Final)
St. Joseph’s Commerce College, Bangalore, India

1997-1999 P U C in Commerce
Pre-University, St. Joseph’s Commerce College, Bangalore, India


2006-2007 Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (Van Arts)

• Created 3D Animation Demo Reel within two months using animation software such as MAYA and SOFTIMAGE.
• Worked on various animation projects and designed models to achieve realistic movements and expressions.
• Created storyboards that visualized the script.


• MAYA 2014
• Adobe Premiere
• Adobe After Effects
• Adobe Photoshop


• Ability to Character Design, Story Board and illustrations.
• Detailed knowledge of human and animal anatomy.
• Profound ability in weighting, rigging, and modeling.
• Self-motivated, self-efficient and problem solver.

REFERENCES: References are available upon request.


bobby beck’s check list

•June 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Bobby ‘BOOM’ Beck (Animator Pixar Studios)

Moving holds, thoughts on the character to be animated, making subtle animation interesting, blocking, rhythm of dialogue:

” 1. Moving holds? advancetechiques. In all the pixar stuff the moving hold are excellent what advance techiques do you use? do you have some sort of noise on the bones?
First off, Animation is observation. If you are doing a shot where you really want to drive home a single idea we sometimes push that moment into a “POSE.” that pose then needs to stay alive and we call this a moving hold. A moving hold is just as hard as any other part of your animation, if not more!
Before actually getting into the computer and posing things out I have a 90% clear idea of what I want to do already. I do this by “PLANNING” in depth most EVERY scene I tackle. Why do I do this? It saves me tons of time and sometimes at work we dont’ have a lot of time and we need to be clear, communitcate the main story points, and get it done in a timly manner. Planning is the backbone of animation (for me).
The Reason I say this is that when I get to a point where I’m blocking my scene out I will already know which parts of the body will “land” first and possibly overshoot and settle. What’s happening in the eyes? They eyes are key in any medium to close up shot. Especially for keeping your character alive.
So for moving holds I’d say, in my planning a lot of that stuff becomes clear to me via video reference (What am I doing in this moment? A subtle head move? What are my eyes doing, what are my hips doing???) all these questions become clear with observation and study.

2. What is your thought process before you animate your character? I.eWhat set of questions do you ask your self before you start on a acting piece?
#1 is “WHO IS THIS CHARACTER?” You have to know who your charcter is. That’s not just to say it and dismiss it. If you are trying to convince people that your character has ANY kind of personality you have to BELIEVE that this character exists. You create a back story. You give your character an Age, a history.
When I was developing Nemo’s character I made a little web page for him and in one of those areas I had a “character description” section that went over how old Nemo was, what he thought about his father and himself, what is struggles were internally and how he would approach certain situations. This stuff is key for animators. You have to imagine your character as truly being.
In “Finding Nemo” I had a HUGE BOOOM revelation and I called this “Animating from the INSIDE out.” My character is not just some spans of geometry. My character has a heart, has flesh, has a brain, thinks on their own, etc. AfterI would put my blocking in there shortly thereafter I would think, okay, this character has ALWAYS done this, they have always moved in this way, They are living this moment of their life RIGHT NOW. I think this kind of thinking has happened over many years of thinking and animating. But the sooner anyone can start thinking about Animation like this the sooner their animation willl become “ALIVE” and not just a series of movements.

3. How do you make Subtle animation Intesting?
You Observe. Subtle animation is VERY interesting. Most interesting in the study of the movement. I think the final result is largely subliminal (things like subtext, etc.) but it is in the study and the Intent behind the characters thoughts that bring about this “subtle acting.”

4. Blocking? you block out in stepped right but how far do you let it go untill you start to convert the to smoothed curves? do you block out facial animation also? can you show us a good example of one of your block outs?
I keep things stepped for a long time. One animator put it really well (Quote of Mike Venturini).”As soon as I put things on smooth I’m letting the computer do things for me and I want to make sure I’m winning the battle.” This is put super well. A lot of times I won’t convert to smooth at all, I convert it to linear because I have a key on every frame. But as soona s I feel that all I need is a straight inbetween I will then convert that section to spline or linear. But sometimes due to time constraints I convert it too soon into spline because I have to get the shot out.
Facial animation I block out with Poses. I get the key poses in there and then I usually work that area more “Straight Ahead.”
As for an example I am currently working on a web site that should have some good examples of this in my work.

5. In your dialougue acting pieces what techiques do you use to break down the audio into different beats? and as Keith reffers to as thematic moments?
Shawn Kelly is the master of this. There are so many ways to break down an audio track. But you must first ask yourself “Why does this shot exist?” “What is the point of this shot?” Once you know that it is key to listen to the track about 500 BILLION times and listen for key beats. Sometimes those beats are in the quiet moments. Those quiet moments can actually be the BREAD AND BUTTER of the whole scene. But it takes a kean ear to listen for those beats. Then, in the end it’s all about the choices you make (Acting choices, posing choices, timing choices etc) Freaking Booom O matic!
Sure there are natural Peaks in the audio track. Those tend to be the places where we choose to put a “Drawing” or Image/Pose whatever. I call these Drawings. It is key to SIMPLIFY what you are hearing make it clear and easy to read. If you hit EVERY beat in a line you will kill the audience with too much information. This is a common tendency with new animators. Too much too complicated. Just keep it simple and clear and the audience will thank you for it! “


•June 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Basic Lip Sync


Well, maybe it should be called – basic lipsync looking good and done fast. All very juicy stuff, concerning, I think, the most important (and basic) aspects of lipsync.

First of all, the bulk of lipsync is in opening the mouth on the main beats. Just use your own mouth to discover what those are – for example, in the word a-ni-ma-tion we don’t normally open the mouth on every syllable, we open it only twice: 1 on aniand 2 on mation. I’m talking about the main mouth movements – if you open and close the mouth on every syllable, you get a machine gun lipsync that looks horrible, like that resulting from automated lipsync.

Second important thing would be to close the mouth fully only on Ms, Ps, and Bs. And you have to close it, and keep it closed for at least 2-3 frames, or your lipsync will look off and floaty. So in our example: ani-mation we open &close, keep it tight on M and open & close again.

Step 1 and 2 would be enough to get you basic lipsync that looks OK and very readable on a simple character. It’s really important that you get the mouth opening and closing right, and time this really really correctly. These are the main pillars of lipsync, everything else… you simply build around them. If the pillars are timed incorrectly, if they don’t hit the main syllables properly, you can polish your lipsync forever, it will be off.

Third important thing is: OOs and EEs. After you get the main pillars right, add in some OO or EE wherever necessary, but keep these relative!! By relative I mean – their values should be relative to their surroundings. An OO doesn’t have to go all the way down to a full OO to feel an OO. If it follows an O shape, yes, it should go more extreme than that O. But if it follows an EE shape, simply reducing some of that EE can be enough to make it feel like an OO. Take our example – animation – the first mouth movement is ani, we slide from a default position (for the sake of simplicity we’ll start from the default mouth) into a little bit of EE, and we go back. We fully close the mouth, we might even go a little bit more towards OO during the close, and then, as we open again on mation, we do the same slide into a little bit of EE ad back again as we close the mouth. Now this little bit could be just a little bit, or maybe a bit more, it’s up to you to decide what looks good, and oh yeah, it all comes down to the soundtrack – whether the voice is calm or agitated, etc, that will influence the look of that mouth significantly. You could speak on a side, barely moving the mouth, you could move the mouth left to right during speech, you could exaggerate or reduce intensity, shapes, etc. All lipsync comes on top of facial expressions anyway!! This means it’s a good idea (see what Shawn Kelly says in an older post you can read here) to animate lipsync last.

Less important, but easy to do and very very cool is to keep the jaws loose: move the jaws left and right along with the main mouth openings – if you track the tip of your character’s beard you should normally get nice round curves and figure 8s. In our example, on aniand mationwe could have 2 ovals, one for each mouth opening, or maybe one figure 8 starting at aniand ending at the end of mation. Keep this jaw movement more or less subtle, and maybe only have larger jaw movement on the main shot accents for example. Like: “WOW, this is pretty cool looking animation…” could have one big mouth accent on “WOW”, of course… and then all the rest is kept subtle, maybe with some intensity on the word “animation”, especially on the second beat – “mation” (while keeping “mation” though… say… half the intensity of “WOW”).

There are other things involved in lipsync, obviously, but I consider them to be details – as you get in detail… you start being concerned with more exact mouth shapes, with Fs and Vs and Ts and Ls, and whether you want to show any tongue movement or not… (normally you should, at least on Ls, Ts and THs).

Finally, as a conclusion – if you only have one controller (!) to animate lipsync, that controller should be able to open & close the mouth on the vertical, and pose the mouth from OO to EE on the horizontal. With only one controller you can get decent simple lipsync that’s done fast and looks natural.


•June 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

My name is Rahul Mathew,”I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. -CharlesSwindoll                                                                                                                                                                                   

I have always loved all aspects of creativity and art from when I can remember. All through my education, I had the talent to draw and was astutely inclined towards sketching and gravitated towards computer science as a subject. At that time I didn’t have many choices, until after college, my uncle (Late Roy Joseph) asked me to try out a course in animation.To my surprise,Computer animation required skill sets in drawing,along with an aptitude to learn animation related software’s. So, for the first time in my life I was intimidated by the magnitude of the subject, yet excited at the same time!

My education in animation started with an animation course in Animaster, Bangalore, India in the year 2004. After which, I was sure that this would be my area of interest as a career. I further honed my skills by completing my Diploma in computer animation at the prestigious Vancouver institute of media arts (Van Arts), Canada.

After returning to Bangalore, India I worked at Toonskool Pvt Ltd as a 3D mentor. My responsibilities at the job were to educate students in the art of animation and to compile books on the subject. I used to hold classes and discuss the difficulties related to understanding the software and to refine their skills in character animation.My career has been in teaching animation and 3D related subjects ever since…

The Seven Basic Steps to Story Structure

•May 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Seven Basic Steps to Story Structure:

On the cover of Truby’s book reads: “The Anatomy of Story, 22 steps to becoming a master story-teller.” Inside, however, Truby writes that the number “22″ is fairly arbitrary and is only a framework he created as a rough guideline. Truby claims that the 22 steps can be stripped down to seven rudimentary steps fairly integral to story-telling. I describe them in the following paragraphs:

1) Weakness and Need

The “weakness” is the major moral flaw present in the main character- it is the illustration of a poorly chosen central value preference. Truby argues that the weakness runs under the surface of a story (much like a value preference in any argument) and is not revealed until the protagonist discovers the flaw herself. Truby stresses that the weakness should be one that effects how the main character treats herselfand others. He writes that in many stories, the main character merely has a psychological weakness that only effects how the protagonist treats herself. However, this distinction is not as necessary with the idea of the weakness being a Moral Principle- which inherently is a basis for how one interacts with the world.

The “need” is what Truby characterizes as the “lesson” of the story. It is the prescription that results from the outcome of the main character overcoming her weakness. The “need” would be phrased as such: Protagonist must overcome said weakness to live a more moral life.
In terms of values, the “need” would simply be the inverse of the allegedly flawed Moral Principle that the main character holds. So the “need” might now be phrased: Protagonist must discover that she holds a flawed moral principle [ex: Independence over Cooperation] and change it [to Cooperation over Independence] in order to live a more moral life.
For instance*:

In the film Dogville, the main character’s weakness is her total submission to the value preference: Collective Responsibility over Individual Responsibility. She needs to release her firm grip on this value preference so that she can hold others accountable for their actions- thereby living a more moral life (according to the filmmaker).

In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge’s weakness could be his commitment to the value preference: Thrift over Emotional Well-being. Scrooge needs to loosen his pockets so that he can learn the wonders of friendship.

In the short story The Lottery, the main-character’s weakness is that she goes along with the value preference: Tradition over Individual Freedom. The protagonist needs to change her mind (but unfortunately the town-folks’ mind, as well) in order to escape the consequences of the town’s tradition.

2) Desire

Desire is the superficial goal the character wants to achieve. Truby makes an interesting distinction between desire and need. Desire is the what the main character wants on the surface- what the audience thinks the story is about (when in actuality the story is about the Moral Principle within the main character’s need).

For instance:
In Dogville the main character’s desire is to escape the mafia and the police.
In A Christmas Carol, the main character’s desire is to escape his ghosts.
In The Lottery, the main character’s desire is to escape death by stoning.

3) Opponent

The opponent in a story is the character competing with the protagonist. The opponent should be the character (or group of characters) best suited to constantly and relentlessly attack the protagonist’s weakness; done in such a way that the protagonist must overcome their weakness or fail. Truby uses the term opponent because he sees a large mistake in most stories as making this character a “villain” (-a character that looks evil, and does “evil” things). Truby argues that in a good story, the villain is not evil, he/she just opposes the main character. Truby also makes a very important insight: The opponent should not simply wish to stop the protagonist, the opponent should have desires that cross the protagonist’s; and Truby argues that ideally the opponent would be competing for the same thing as the protagonist. The opponent should also be human- and by this Truby means, the opponent has to be able to learn.

Much like a written argument, making a story in which the opponent is pure evil is setting up a straw-man. A good story, like a good article, will illuminate the opposition in the most positive way- otherwise no-one will identify the moral argument because they will not be able to understand the opponent.

For example:

In Dogville, the opponent is the protagonist‘s lover. He appeals to the main-character’s value preference so that she considers him a victim of society.
In A Christmas Carol, the opponents are himself in the past, present, and future. The ghosts personify Scrooge’s inspection of his deep seeded value preference.
In The Lottery, the opponent is the town leader, representing the whole of the town-folk. The stringently obeyed tradition of the town bodes ill for the main character and causes her to question the value preference that put her in the situation.


Truby writes that the protagonist should establish some semblance of a plan or strategy to attain the desired goal. Otherwise, the audience does not know why the character does what he/she is doing. The audience should never be utterly in the dark about the central character’s decisions, it prevents them from understanding the main-character’s value preferences.

I feel drawn to making an analogy with paper-writing: Like a table of contents in a book, or an explanation at the beginning of a paper that tells the reader what will be covered, a map must be available to the audience of a story (not of the plot- in which mystery facilitates drama- but of the main character’s thought process).

5) Battle

The ultimate conflict between the protagonist and the opponent. It decides who reaches his/her goal. The battle can be articulated in infinitely varying methods- from physical to psychological to whatever. The whole story builds up to this moment- it is at this moment that the main character must overcome her incorrectly held value-preference or fail.

6) Self-Revelation

The main character goes through a very difficult struggle during the battle, and as a result sees her weakness. Truby describes this process as “strip[ing] away the facade [she] has lived behind” and argues that the process of stripping her facade should be the most difficult obstacle the protagonist faces in the story. As a result of going through this self deconstruction the heroine gains new insight and reveals her insight by her actions leading to and from the moment of introspection.
Truby argues that in good stories the opponent has a self-revelation at the same time that the protagonist does. The opponent’s insight must be related and intertwined with the main character’s insight- both insights pointing the audience toward the moral argument behind the story.

Good examples of these types of stories are actually romantic comedies. While they often do not deal with subject matter that is very piercing- they do establish the opponent (the love interest) as a learning human. Often times, both the main character and the opponent must learn and change in order to treat each other morally.

7) New Equilibrium

At the end of the story, a state of normality is regained. The only major difference being that now the protagonist has either evolved or devolved as a result of changing a flawed value preference. If the protagonist cannot realize her flaw, or is unable to deal with her flaw, she falls and is defeated (allowing the audience to learn from her mistake instead). If the protagonist has her revelation in time, she “wins” and is able to find a way to live in a more ethically able way (the audience shares in her success and in her moral revelation).

There are a few interesting methods Truby describes as lubricants for the seven-step story process. I will attempt to describe a few of these methods in the next section.

* The examples I use are not exact, there is much more nuance and many exceptions and variations to stories that Truby goes into in his book. Many stories have multiple opponents and protagonists, changing desires, missing or multiple plans and battles. I am merely outlining a basic structure.

Other Interesting Elements of Story:


Truby explains symbols in a way that I found very insightful. Usually we think of symbols as the weird (seemingly unintentional) re-occurring objects that our 5th-grade english teachers placed an infuriating amount of importance on memorizing.
She is wearing white: It’s her virginity!
Look a Dove: Peace!
There is an “A” on her chest…
Truby describes the use of symbols in a way I found much more interesting: Symbols are any “thing” that the storyteller attaches to an emotion. It can be a color, a series of notes, an object, a character, a voice… anything the storyteller wants. Their utility is tremendous. Think of a storyteller employing a symbol like a pavlovian bell. The storyteller produces food and rings a bell. The audience salivates. Soon, the storyteller merely rings the bell, and the audience still spews forth bubbling saliva.

A good example is in the film Jaws, where the all-too familiar quickening notes- “baaah-dump…. baahh-dump” soon terrify the audience without the need for any shark to be visible.
In The Matrix, the virtual world is represented with green hues while the real world is desaturated blues. The audience soon only needs to see the hues on-screen to have the feeling they are no longer in the real world.

There are symbols that exist outside of stories that can be employed (like the “dove” or the color white) but these symbols are dangerous to use because they are ambiguous. Maybe a good analogy would be thinking of symbols like ambiguous words. You can attempt to use a word like “justice” or “spirituality” or “true love” in a paper, but you run the enormous risk of everyone having different concepts of these words. So to be a more effective writer, you might create another version of the word with a subscript (like “true love1“) that will serve as a symbol for the definition you outline at the beginning of your paper or story.

Story World:

An interesting insight Truby makes is that (much like the opponent should be the character best suited for taking advantage of the protagonist’s weakness) the environment should be specifically created to relentlessly put pressure on the main character’s weakness. This way, the character’s weakness (her flawed value preference) becomes the pivotal element in the story.


Truby describes that a crucial element in the plot is the act of revealing new information. Truby argues that in order to build drama and interest, a story must reveal new information exponentially in frequency and in magnitude. So in a good story, Truby argues that every new bit of information is progressively more important and more frequently occurring- spiraling upward to the climax (battle) of the story.

I hope this post is helpful. PLEASE do not hesitate to ask for clarification or anything. I have tried to cram a lot into this post and I realize that it may not be very clear.



“Your eyes have it!!”

•May 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

“Your eyes have it!!”

slow motion facial expressions, for animators studying eye movement.

Awesome tutorials from youtube

•July 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Overview of the Maya interface

Getting Started with Maya 01- User Interface and Navigation

Creating your first Maya project

Sackboy Modeling Tutorial [part 1]

Sackboy Modelling Tutorial [part 2]

Sackboy Modeling Tutorial [Part 3]

Sackboy Modelling Tutorial [Part 4]

Sackboy Modelling Tutorial [Part 5]

Maya Modeling a basic boat

Getting Started with Maya 02- Modelling

Maya 2011 – Basic Modelling Controls And Shortcuts

Potato Chips Bag Modeling-Texturing

Maya 2012 UV basic introduction

Maya Tutorial 6 : Basic UV Mapping

UV Mapping + Photoshop – Autodesk Maya Tutorial

Maya Rigging Basics

Basics Of Rigging (Learning Constraints)

Basics Of Rigging Part 2 (Using Constraints)

Basics Of Rigging Part 3 (Using Constraints)

Basics Of Rigging Part 4 (Using Constraints)

Basics Of Rigging Part 5 (Using Constraints)

Lights and lighting types in Maya

 Lights: Shadows in Maya

Adding depth-map shadows

Using Raytrace shadows

Getting Started with Maya 05- Rendering

How TO Batch Reander

Lighting a scene

Understanding the basics of cameras

How to create strong 3D character poses

Blocking out a character body 9(modeling)

Animation Walk Through: (Blocking)

Animation Walk Through: (Blocking PLUS)

The TANGO series

•January 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

DSCN1921 acopy DSCN1922a DSCN1924a DSCN1925a DSCN1926a DSCN1927a DSCN1928a DSCN1931a DSCN1932a DSCN1934a

How Do You Change Your Animation after You’ve Already Started Polishing the Shot?

•September 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

click Here -How  Do You Change Your Animation after You started polishing your shot??

Tips on Speeding Up Animation Workflow and Animating Faster
By Shawn Kelly

QUESTION: I was wondering if you had any tips on how to speed up animation workflow, and animating faster in general? In
many situations, the faster you have to animate, the less quality you can afford to achieve. But even in the “big budget” movies,
there can be stressful crunch times when you have to animate pretty darn fast — but you can’t sacrifice quality either. Since you
have so much production experience on big projects that require high quality animation, I was wondering if you’ve found any
time-saving tips, if you ever felt you took a big leap forward in speed, yet managed to produce great work?

Ten quick tips for speeding up your work:

1. Don’t skip the planning process. Seriously, I know a lot of you feel too busy to plan your scene before you open Maya or Max or whatever you’re using, but even if you can only dedicate 30 minutes to creating and/or studying some video reference and writing down some notes, it will help you finish faster. SOME amount of planning will *ALWAYS* speed up your work, no matter what. The best scenes I’ve ever done, and the quickest that finished, were the shots where I spent the most effort planning before sitting down at the computer.

2. Hot keys are your friend. Any time you find yourself doing anything repetitive in Maya (or whatever animation program you are using), create or find a hotkey for it. I have and use hotkeys for working quickly in the graph
editor (hiding/showing tangents, hiding/showing channel curves, etc.), for saving keys, for hiding/showing animation controls on the model, for X-ray mode, to make joints visible or invisible, for scrubbing time in the graph editor, and for instantly creating more workspace when I don’t need to see all the menus and channels. Those are just some of the hotkeys I use every day, and boy have they sped my work up.

3. If you have the ability to create or use a GUI that allows you to select your character’s animation controls, that can be a big help, especially for working with hands, tails, toes, etc.

4. Don’t get too bogged down in changes. If your director wants you to change the middle of your shot, just block it off (construction-zone style, as I wrote about in the newsletter), and create all new keys and breakdowns.
You can really get slowed down if you start trying to make any major changes simply by tweaking the curves you already have in the graph editor. Very often, it’s just faster to wall that part of your animation off (so you
don’t screw up the surrounding bits the Director *does* like), and redo that section from scratch. Cleaner and easier to edit, too.

5. Don’t be timid! Push your ideas and go for that dynamic pose. It’s much easier/faster to take something too
far and then back off on it than it is to slowly push your pose or idea a little bit further, a little bit further, a little bit further, etc. Just go for it and then reign it in if you need to.

6. Use light models if possible. Something that speeds up my work like crazy is the ability to just hit play in Maya and watch my animation play reliably at 24fps without having to do a playblast or render. Use the lowest-res version of your character as possible, at least for your initial blocking.

7. Same Avoid the black hole that is (insert favorite website
here). For me, I have to be careful with sites like Digg, YouTube, Gizmodo, etc. — these web sites that I really love can suck me in if I’m not careful, and suddenly I’ve lost an hour of time that I could have spent animating. Discipline yourself to only check your favorite sites when you have to, when you’re on a break, or when you’re rendering.

8. Same with email. Between ILM, Animation Mentor, my personal email, the blog, and the newsletter, I get hundreds of emails per day. Prioritize and only read the most essential emails until you’re on break or finished with your work for the day. For me, I try to only read email at work that is directly related to the show I’m working on, and then try to catch up on the rest before bed. (By the way, if you’ve emailed me and I haven’t emailed back — I’m really sorry! I’m kind of behind on my email, but I’m trying to catch up and will hopefully
get back to you soon!)

9. CPU, RAM, a decent-sized monitor, and graphics card. Don’t underestimate the boost you’ll get from investing
in the core bits of your computer. Beef up that machine for fast interaction with your character! The quicker you can interact with the character, and the quicker your program will update the frame, the quicker you’ll get your animation done. Along those same lines, a larger monitor will give you a lot more screen-space and make it much easier to see your character, saving a lot of “zooming in and out” time…

10. Use the 15-minute rule. If you come up against a technical problem that you can’t solve on your own in 15
minutes, give up, and find help. If you’re in a studio, ask a peer or pick up the phone and ask tech support.
If you’re at home, jump online and start searching through Google or post your question on the forum. In the past, I’ve wasted half a day trying to solve some problem on my own and it turned out that I could have solved it in 10 minutes if I had just asked someone for help. Update!

11. I just thought of another great tip someone once told me, so I’m adding it to this post! If you’re given, or give yourself, a list of changes for a shot, don’t do a test render of that shot until you’ve addressed all those changes. In other words, if you’re given 10 things to fix, don’t fix one and then re-render. Wait until you’ve fixed a bunch or all of those 10 things, and THEN do your playblast to see how it’s looking. The goal, of course, being to cut down on the time it takes to playblast and analyze the shot.

Hopefully that makes sense. In both cases, it’s important to think of your character as one unit rather than a collection of separate controllers. Because you’ve already started polishing him up, you want to salvage as much as you can, and this “construction zone” method of bringing a section of your animation back to what your blocking should look like is a terrific way to deal with late-in-thegame change requests from the people you are working for.

Well, that’s it! Hopefully this is new to some of you and you find it helpful. Next time we might jump back to the Q&A format as I have a lot of great questions to address, or maybe I’ll do a little half-and-half. Feel free to email me and let me know which you prefer!
Keep animating, and as always, have FUN!!!

Shawn 🙂


•August 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment