Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cal Arts producers Show!!!!

Hi All just got back from Cal Arts and what a great time. I just want to thank all the students for showing us such a good time.

For those who do not know what the producers show is at Cal Arts, it is where the faculty scores all the student films for the year and compiles the highest scored films into an hour and a half show. Then they invite all the studios in town to the show! It's an awesome event for not only the students who get to share their films with the industry but also for all of us in the industry who are able to share this great night with the students.

It's so nice to see a school still dedicated to teaching character animation. Most of the films are done in 2d pencil test form some colored most not, which is great it's all about the animation. Most students ask us about there only being 2d films, even though a few CG films were in the show. Wondering if that is still applicable in today's world. Now I understand PIXAR is a little different than some places, go figure, but we don't care if it's 2d or 3d we're just looking for great animation and great storytellers. The pencil or computer they are just tools they don't make the animation come to life or tell a story that still comes down to the talent of the student. We'll spend the time to train someone on the computer if they have great acting and storytelling abilities.
One moment that stood out form me last night was Glen Keane on stage telling a story about him showing some of the current CG work to Ollie Johnston one day. Glen was excited about all the detail work they have been able to do now using the computer, great cloth, hair, textures, and lighting, and Ollie looked back and said something like "Well yeah that's good but, what is she thinking?" This stood out to me and most of us there because when character animation gets boiled down to it's essence it's about what the character is thinking and how to communicate that clearly, and that has nothing to do with a computer, pencil, clay, or sand, etc. Animation exists outside of the tool used to create it.

I wish there was away for all of you to have seen and be inspired as much as I was last night. Unfortunately I don't think Cal Arts has any web venue for it's shorts or students. Some students have websites and one group of students has some of there great films on their site. I suggest looking at them all but JG has some funny films. All the films are so well done. If any of you Cal-Arts kids are out there and have your films on the web maybe you can post links in the comments section for this post.

now I'm rambling, anyways thanks again to all the wonderful students and all their hardwork to put on such an enjoyable evening for all of us who were able to attend. I hope to see you all next year!

Dr. Stephen G.


Blogger J said...

'Animation exists outside of the tool used to create it.'
Yep. That's about as good as I've ever hear it distilled.

5:00 PM

Blogger Brad & Anette said...

We recently had a similar industry screening here at Sheridan College a couple weeks ago. Bob Scott and Steve Hunter from Pixar were up, and I had the great opportunity to hear some of their crits and feedback on the work I'd been doing during the year - incredible. I imagine the Calarts students took away just as much from the experience as we did.

8:47 PM

Anonymous Kevin said...

Hi Stephen! I'm Kevin from SCAD.
I didn't recognize u guys are Spline doctors last time. Silly me:)
Those CalArts films are awesome!
I wish my film could be that good
My film is on line here:

only second half is animated, no sound and music for now...

Hope there will be more pixar animators visiting SCAD, even doing some lecture
(We neeeeed it so much)

9:38 PM

Blogger Benjamin De Schrijver said...

Last year's shorts ARE on the calarts film website... but I think we'll have to wait another year for these to show up.

- Benjamin

12:07 AM

Blogger BrianB said...

Ah, now this is a great post. I posted a question asking if anyone knew how to view John Lasseter's student academy award winning CalArts films, in a completely unrelated topic. Sorry for that. I did find John's Lady and the Lamp for anyone hoping to view it - on an old VHS titled "Animation Celebration Video Collection. Volume 2". Still can't find "Nitemare" outside of the CalArts library.

Anyway, back to the point though. I'm constantly amazed by student films. One thing I love is how much of a self expression they really are before studio production kicks in. This branch off the CalArts website has some GREAT stuff -

Sadly, not this years yet, but I'm looking forward to updates. Hopefully I'll be able to get accepted into the Fall 07 year, a little late on 06. Give's me a year for a portfolio though. I really think the support from studios like Pixar is a great thing for the field of animation. Really inspiring, and more importantly helpful I'm sure.

Legends like Ollie Johnston still supporting and teaching the art of animation, giving advice.. and it being extremely relevant is an amazing thing as well. I just really love the feedback and enthusiasm the industry gives to aspiring animators. It's a great thing all around.

1:36 AM

Blogger Dr. Stephen G. said...

Hey Kevin,

Thanks for the link to your film. If anyone else is reading this I recommend looking at Kevin's work. When we were at Savannah this year we met with kevin and he is a really good animator and he has really only been studying animation for 2 years!

dr. stephen g.

1:18 PM

Blogger BrianB said...

Wow, Kevin, that's awesome stuff. I love the character designs and simple appealing linework. It's incredible.

Only suggestion, and I don't want to say anything offensive because it's great work and I don't have the experience back my words up, but the ninja's walk could use a touch up. Richard William's book, The Animator's Survival Kit, has a great portion of it dedicated to walks, breaking them down and adding distinctness to them. I'd suggest anyone needing help with walks to check it out.

Anyway, again, love the work. Great timing throughout.

11:07 PM

Anonymous Kevin said...

Thank you for the nice words.
I am still working on my 3D skills. Polishing is much tougher to do in 3D.
I try to be as accurate as possible but I still can't get everything in arc(if the camera is really close to it)
I wonder how accurate we need to be in feature film?

Thanks for the suggestion.
I haven't check out survival kit for a long time. I'll definitly look it up again.

5:41 PM

Blogger SMacLeod said...

Here's my 2006 Calarts film. I didn't make the prod. show, but here it is on youtube.

you can leave comments or visit,

11:39 AM


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