Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

5 sets of Eyes

Someone was asking me the other day about having people look at your work. I think for an animation Student it is very important to have people give their opinion about what you are doing. If you work in a box and dont show anything to anyone, your work will start to suffer. I know it seems obvious but its always important to get different opinions. The other day some guests were looking at a bunch of shots and they didnt laugh where I thought they would laugh. It makes me wonder about the shot and really try to figure out how to push the entertainment value. On a professional level I try to have 5 people to show my stuff too. When I first started, I just wanted to have good work. I would try to ask the star animators to look at a scene. Sometimes the changes they suggested were too difficult to pull off or not within my comprehension to understand. The cool thing about it was seeing how much better I could make it. As you get more experience you start to become more confident, but it is still imperitive to show other people your stuff. I do wonder if animators like Milt Kahl or Frank and Ollie asked people for comments. It seems that when you get to that level, people are afraid to comment on that animators work. I think this is wrong. Once you stop being a student, you start to wither.


ps - sorry for the lack of articles. It is very buzy here. hopefully I will get an interview up one of these days.


Anonymous Marcos Gp said...

Great subject !

Is so important to have people you trust arround to give a valuable opinion...but is nice to see how people well away from the animation react to your work too.

10:52 AM

Blogger J said...

Great post Andrew. Perhaps a bit off topic, but I'm wondering if this is what contributes so heavily to Pixar's success. By that, all of the films so far have been exceptional.I assume that Pixar's directors, while having strong story heads(Ronnie, and Mandrews,etc) and strong Co-directors (David Silverman, Lee Unkrich,etc) ALSO have the eyes of their fellow directors which are uninvolved with the project to give their objective opinion, and to keep each other honest, so to speak. So, for example, a film theoretically would have to go through John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird and Pete Docter before we see it. So any missteps would be caught early and often. If this is indeed the case, I think Pixar's library makes for a very strong argument for your case.
Great post.

1:30 PM

Blogger Brad & Anette said...

I can't imagine Milt Kahl asking anyone anything haha..

I'd like to echo what's been said - having experienced people you trust giving feedback, in combination with an occasional audience that doesn't know 'what to look for' has helped me tremendously.


8:04 AM

Anonymous Robin said...

Yeap! i Agree, as an animation student, because afterall animation will be shown to the audience. We Might as well get the mistake corrected b4 it is shown to a wider range of Audience. But in some case, it does feel bad being unable to understand others comment to improve.

8:13 AM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

I'd say that having people push you to do better makes for better work. They have a group of guys at work called the Brain Trust. They make comments on films and so forth.

5:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post !

I recenty moved to the U.S. and got hired by one of the main 3D feature company
I've been a bit shy to show my stuff within this new team of REALLY good animators compare to my old team of friends

I don't like bugging other people but also, I'm never satistfied with my work...

Which is actually my biggest mistake since it should be shown as early I as I can so I'm not wasting precious hours on a gesture or idea that dosen't even work

Anyway I have to change all this and start taking advantage of all that talent surrounding me because I did noticed my work as suffer from it...

Thanks for the post Andrew (and the others Splines Doctors) it's obvious but sometimes I have to be remembered these things...

Thanks guys !

7:48 AM

Anonymous kat said...

Hey doctors! You are totally right about showing your work to others. It's important to get feedback! There are a lot of places to get feedback online, such as and However, I'd really like some feedback from pros such as yourselves.
Here's a link
to some animaiton I did. I'd appreciate some feedback if you're willing to take the time and send me some ... my email is k_evans (at) mail (dot) com.

3:49 PM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

I do want to help, but I just dont have the time to review all your work. You should post your work on animation sites or see if people on this site would look at it. Good luck in your work though. I did look at one of your pieces and from what I saw, you need to work on your character designs. Also, try to get more fluid movement into your work. It seems like you need to rough out your scene and make the motion work before you tye it down. Hope that helps. Some places you could try to get your work looked at would be:
animation nation

if anyone else has any suggestions, feel free to comment.


10:15 PM

Blogger Jeremy said...

Definately the most important resource are coworkers or fellow students that offer advice. Just to add to what you're saying Andrew, I think it's really important to thank whomever is giving suggestions because it takes a certain amount of courage to give 'honest' advice. Back patting is nice for the ego and it's easier just to say everything is perfect but in the end it's about doing what is best for the shot and what is best for the audience. Working as a team seems more productive too by creating a open atmosphere where everyone can push eachother in a positve way. Segregation creates a fear where every animator has to hold on to his bag of tricks so they will always be valued over somebody else(which might be important during layoffs). Can't say how the Nine old men worked but maybe they just showed eachother to get feedback. In some interviews, Milt was pretty honest about Frank and Ollie's weaknesses. Thanks for the great post and I appreciated your classes on gestures and refining. Good stuff!

7:15 AM

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10:43 PM

Anonymous dormitorio de matrimonio said...

Here, I don't actually consider it is likely to have effect.

2:43 AM


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