Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Future spline casts?

Just a question, what types of thing would you like to hear about in possible future pod casts? We have collectively decided to not talk about PIXAR on our blog because the site is not about PIXAR but anything animation related is fair game. So let us know and maybe we can make some stuff happen.

-Dr. Stephen G.


Blogger geenpool said...

i always like to hear how people got into the industry, what inspired them to be animators, where they feel animation is going, ect. I like the people stories behind the animation...i always find that extremely inspiring to find out that my heroes are human. Just my 67 cents.

3:54 PM

Blogger Prince Nez said...

Hey spline doctors,

There is one thing I'd like to ear about (among a few others ...)is how experienced animators usually cope with planning the work load,meeting the deadlines (or not...), that kind of stuffs.Do they always plan it the same way? Are there some "don't ever ever do that" kind of things we should avoid to do?(ho! and also they way they work with the lead animators or,if they are, what they expect from animators)That would be great!

I also agree with greenpool.Animators background is quite interesting.

While I'm here writing this (with loads of spelling mistakes...I'm not english speaker bla bla bla apologise bla bla):

thanks for making that blog! ^__^

4:53 PM

Blogger bill(y) said...

more eyes and hands please. i can never get enough info about those!

also, i personally would like to hear what you guys like to see in your rigs...skeletal AND facial.

5:09 PM

Blogger Stephen said...

I think that what ever interests you guys in your career will interest most others. You know - Doctors can be rather contagious. Keep going, fellas!

5:39 PM

Blogger Dan said...

Like to hear your thoughts, an open disussion, on your new employer...That'd be interesting :)

6:16 PM

Blogger Mark DeRidder said...

A discussion of prefrences and pros/cons of different animation processes like pose-to-pose, layered, or straight-ahead would be great to hear!

8:18 PM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

Can someone explain what Keith Lango offers for 14.95 per month in his video tutorials? Are they helpful. If Keith is reading this I'd really like to know what they are all about. I'd love to set up a series or something where we could donate all the proceeds to a good cause. Is this something people would be interested in?


8:42 PM

Blogger Davipalooza said...

I would love to know about eyes and hands as well. Certain techniques of 3d that I've always wondered are: Does anyone ever render on 2's, how do you make a 3d character shiver and look natural, how do you lose that stillness during a hold but still keep it from being floaty. Does it matter if your graph has lots of key frames or should you have few as possible. These are things that I can never get a good answer out of professors.

9:38 PM

Blogger erica said...

Sure, I'd pay for a splinecast! I'm not sure what Keith Lango's videos are about since I just heard about it here... sounds interesting though, worth checking out.

I'd be interested in hearing about what sorts of activities you guys do outside of work (and teaching). Do you do any personal artwork? Play in a band? Have any interesting hobbies?

Also, I'd love to learn your take on holds: when to use them, how to do them without feeling too stiff or too wobbly, do you find that there are certain styles or scenes when holds are more/less necessary? Or is there a standard rule of thumb?

9:41 PM

Blogger Tim Kallok said...

Isnt Pixar animation related? Haha, just kidding. I would love it if you could talk about some good ol' moving holds...or maybe overlapping?

I just wanted to let you guys know, that I love your blog. I find it very interesting, inspiring, and informative. As a current animation student, all this info helps out alot!

I was just curious to know if you could give me some info on the "Pixar classes" at Academy of Art. Im visiting the school on Feb 26th, so im trying to get as much info as I can before I commit to anything. I understand you all are very busy, and I appreciate your time. Thanks alot... you ROCK!
- Tim

12:31 AM

Blogger danyrey said...

How about picking a subject (Planning, Researching, Blocking, yadayada) like you did with spline/linear and ask as many animators about how they do it and why they do it the way they do it. Always interesting to hear different point of views.

Keep em comming ... and buy a better microphone ;)

1:09 AM

Blogger Alaa Taleb said...

I watched Keith Lango's Video Tutorial... and guys,its really worth to watch it and its is for all levels.

every month he talks about specific Topics in details.
poses, line of action, pose variety/focus, line of action reverses,Flow lines, head posing,
spacing, weight ..etc

And he is doing a lot of practices "by Acting or Technical stuff" and theoretics.
again guys its worth to watch it.

So if you are going to do something like that please go a head guys I'm in.. :)

Guys thanks for this amazing blog ;)


2:38 AM

Blogger Benjamin De Schrijver said...

Perhaps a splinecast about the importance of drawing in 3D animation?

Or difference in workflow between handdrawn and CG animated films (I know there are a lot of ex-traditional animators at Pixar, so perhaps you could go around taking some 2 minute interviews or so)?

Looking forward to the next one!

- Benjamin

3:46 AM

Blogger Aja B. said...


I've always wanted to hear folks inside the industry talk about who's really pushing the animation envelope today, what shots they've worked on and why they're so cool... that's the kind of thing that's almost impossible to know when you're outside looking in. :-)

Like, here's something I don't quite understand... In the Incredibles commentary, Brad Bird mentions that he was really excited to have a scene where two guys just sit in a car and talk, because that's an animator's dream shot. I can guess, but I don't really know why that shot would be so much more fun to work on than the one where, say, Mr. Incredible is hanging on to the back of the kid's cape. :-)

Thanks for putting all this stuff out here for us!

7:09 AM

Blogger Bartek said...

Dr. Gordon...

I'm subscribed to Keith's tutorials and I really like them so far. As alaa said, he covers alot of the stong foundational principles in great detail and also advanced acting stuff.

He talks throughout the whole video while showing you slides, drawings, real time animation within Maya, shooting himself, analyzing classical animation drawings etc...

Now, if you guys decided to do something like this I would love to see:

- Really in depth hardcore character animation techniques.
- What steps you take to bring a shot from concept to completion (in detail)
- How you plan out action shots, and most importantly the really subtle acting ones that rely heavily on the face.
- Basically how you make your shots breathe so much life and stand out amogst all the other cg flicks that are out there.

If you could do that for $15 to a good cause, or something similar, sign me up! ;)

Thanks for this blog Doctors! And come back here to Vancouver soon to do another VanArts talk when you have a few days ;)

I take it twice a day before meals.


8:15 AM

Blogger Bartek said...

Forgot to add...
Basically what I'm saying is, there are many places that you can go and read about how to do this or that in animation, but rarely do you find a place that really helps you understand how to make a shot live and emote.

Ok, now I'm done :)

8:16 AM

Blogger Weston said...

Video tutorials or any thing on the subject of animation are definitely something I would love to see and be more than willing to pay a small fee for. I would love to hear about exercises you use as assignments for your classes and what it is you are looking for from your students in those specific exercises. I am interested in your classes and since this semester was a no go for me I will have another semester to focus my skills. Since feedback is definitely asking too much since you get so many submission for your classes I would love to hear more on animation exercises and what your looking for in them. Thanks and keep up the great blog.

12:17 PM

Blogger Keith Lango said...

Hey Andrew,
Thanks for thinking of me. :) I'll email you the particulars offline. It would be too long a post here and I don't want to hijack your blog. :)


12:43 PM

Blogger Mike said...

This sounds interesting.

I've been taking Animationmentor and the VTS and I have to say they are both amazing programs.
There is always room for more :) I think it would be great to offer vids or podcasts on advanced tips and techiniques on very specific subjects.

It would be great if all of the topics covered on the blog so far can be explored more in depth. For instance it could be really helpful to see a tutorial entirely on creating appealing hand shapes.
Maybe a session on shot "Homework" which could describe what kind of research you guys look into when deveoping a character or starting a shot.

1:12 PM

Blogger Rafi said...

1. planning methods for single-character shot

2. planning methods for multi-character shot

3. methods or examples on how to bring out a non-cliche performance - i.e. making an acting choice that is true to the character

awesome blog btw - a daily haunt for me - invaluable resource.

3:01 PM

Blogger michaelc said...

Facial setups. To blend shape or not to blend shape? Bones? Nulls? Wires? What are the advantages and disadvantages you have found using different methods and what is your prefered weapon of choice?

What is happening underneath the hood of a decent Eye/Lid control?

10:02 AM

Blogger Kevin said...

I'd like to hear how a certain animator animated a shot in a feature film.

Such as, remember that shot in Monsters? Well we have the person who animated that shot so lets find out how they tackled it and made it rock!

Also, how to get that extra emotion or %10 that just takes good animation to amazing animation..

Keep up the great work!


3:36 PM

Blogger Jenny said... request would be: how much/of what importance/how are you influenced--or not--by the storyboards of a scene you're going to do? I am still figuring out the pipeline, myself(I'm in story btw), and I'd often wondered vis a vis 3D what animators take from the boards, if anything--that is--does it(as I'd think)vary enormously depending on the scene, the director, the board; do you even study them for attitude, or what? Is your animation much more your own in 3D, when it comes to you from the rough layout dept., than it would have been in 2D? Is there a profound difference? That's what I'd like talked of. Thanks for asking!

3:54 PM

Blogger jason said...

- stuff about makeing the reel that gets someone hired

-stuff about makeing snappy cartoony animation

-stuff about naturalistic cartoony animation

-analizing great animation shots

thanks for doing this blog

4:22 PM

Blogger Olivier said...

Bonjour Spline Doctors,
It would be wonderful to get video podcasts from you ! I'd be really interested in seeing :
- the way you're planning your shot
- a look at all the different steps you get on a particular shot (from blocking to polished)
- how you're doing your acting research. How you are sure it fits the character personnality. How you know it will be pleasant to watch. Not overacted, and not too little
- tips on facial animation
- interviews from famous animators

thank you so much for this blog ! :)

12:58 AM

Blogger Prince Nez said...

Hey Salut Olivier!!!Comment ca va tout bien!? ^___^

5:59 AM

Blogger david a said...

I dont know if this was mentioned yet and yes I understand you don't want to talk about Pixar - but how about yourselves? Lives as an animator, what do you guys do to find inspiration, survive burning (or tips to help) out and stuff you know when yhoure are crunch and such? Outside influences and just what you guys do on your, if ever, days off and such to relax or re-energize :D

Anyways keep it up, I love the blog :)

8:30 PM

Blogger Paul said...

Reading about the general principles and technicalities of animation is great, but I would love to see what you guys are thinking as you plan for a shot. What kind of ideas do you scrap. Do you consciously stay loose in any particular areas to discover happy accidents? How do you define for yourself what's appropriate to the character and situation? When is too much too much and too little too little? There's so much I want to know! GIVE ME YOUR MIND!!!! :)

12:08 AM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

Thanks for all the comments. I think that all of the suggestions for future Spline Casts are really great. I also have some really good ideas for some new ones. It is just a matter of how much time it takes to do it. My problem with alot of education out there is that you get people who are not teachers talking about animation, or you have people talking about animation as if they were Frank and Ollie. I think the key, is to give people good education, presented in a clear format. I also think its important to be humble about all this stuff. There are many ways to do the same thing and everyone has a different way of approaching something.

Thanks again for all the great comments. They really help us.


10:29 AM

Blogger Germ├ín said...

First of all, the blog is great.Thank you all.

Id really like to hear about facial animation. How you guys aproach it, how much reference you use, what the hardest things are, what we should pay attention to. Thatd be great. Well, anything would be great!

12:49 PM

Blogger Elliot said...

I would like to hear a spline cast about how to use animation to pick up women.
It's not really worked for me so far and perhaps you could give me (and others) some tips.

Also - damn them dratted copywright laws...

8:42 PM

Blogger MarshmallowPenguin said...

Hi Everyone,
I have to agree with all the things people have been bringing uup. Would be great to hear your opinions on what you find hardest too.
I was lucky enough to talk to Richard Williams recently (name dropping!!) and he said that he found a normal un-characterised dog walk one of the toughest things. Just wondering if you had any other points of view.
Plus i know this sounds like a stupid thing to wonder about but as an animation student i'm always being told how tough the industry is (which i can imagin..way to well!) and how you are constantly moving to where the jobs are.
I was just wondering how your families cope with your strick scheduels??
Is it possible to find a balance between family life and work!!
I know that animation is a lifestyle not a career but wondering how you deal with the pressures and if you ahve any tips?!?
thanks again for all your you guys ever have time to get on here i don't know!!!
we appriciate it though.

5:29 AM

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