Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Great Spline Tutorials

I've been wanting to put together some kind of post regarding spline work and polish recently when I came across some great posts on the blog of one of our colleagues, Victor Navone. Many of you may already be aware of Victor from his famous short "Alien Song", but I know him more as a very talented and technically proficient animator that I have the pleasure of working with and learning from here at Pixar.

Victor has a 2 part tutorial he's written titled "Splinophilia" which gives a wonderful overview about spline work that includes info and visuals that are more comprehensive than anything I probably could have put together. It covers visual understanding, basic strategies, and what he calls "spline hygiene". This information is vital to giving your work any sense of refinement or polish. Please take the time to check them out. Your work will thank you. And I'll go thank Victor.


Splinophilia Part 1

Splinophilia Part 2


Blogger Justin Falgout said...

These tutorials have some great examples and it's cool to see how different animators work.

4:55 PM

Blogger Victor Navone said...

Aw shucks, thanks Adam! Incidentally, Dr. Gordon always heckles me for "giving this stuff away for free".

8:26 PM

Anonymous Carlos Baena said...

It's the stuff that Victor, Adam and Gordon are doing, that's just priceless around the internet, especially considering how little time or resources we have sometimes to do things like these based on our schedules. I heard other people complaining about lack of quality or lack of posts sometimes, and I have to say, it's really hard to do things like this when you are working long nights and weekends on current productions.


1:16 AM

Blogger chintan said...

Hello Sir,

These tutorials are simply awesome... but i have one query as a student which area should we focus more on... acting choices or clean splines ?? because whatever action i plan to do i just cant get it right the way i plan it in my head ? besides while blocking do u get the timing in there first, or do u block the poses then shift the pose keys to get the timing.

anyways thanks a ton,
Chintan :)

1:21 AM

Anonymous Paul said...

With all due respect, you Doctors have got to get over this need to explain yourselves. Who gives a rat's patoot what people think about how frequently you post or the quality of your MP3's? It's your blog, your effort, your time - if someone has an issue with frequency or quality, eff 'em. What you provide for no monetary cost your audience pays for by waiting until you have the time to provide it - seems a fair trade-off to me. You don't owe us anything, and those who bitch have obviously forgotten that, so screw 'em. It's not like they won't return when there's something new to gobble up...

8:32 AM

Blogger Victor Navone said...

if I may respond to chintan:
Of course acting choices come first! My tutorials only deal with the technical aspect of animation, and they are meant to help you facilitate your ideas. It's important to establish a consistent workflow that helps you achieve your goals, but remember that the audience will never see your splines, and your ideas must be compelling to draw them in.

11:00 AM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

I only say you are giving the gold for free because I hope people understand how giving you are and how great this stuff is. I'm all for giving away the gold to people who seek to learn. Thats why we started this blog.

Great tutorials.. I do have to admit that splines can be clean, but you don't need to have OCSD (Obsessive Compulsive Spline Disorder) My prescription for that would be to make sure your animation is looking good, first and foremost, then worry about Spline Hygene. At any rate, its awesome stuff and I would love to know how you get movies and stuff on your blog. Thanks again.

12:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Doctors of Spline,

I totally agree with Carlos! If people don't feel like they are getting enough, there is a huge book on the subject that should give them 80 to 90 percent of the information they might need. All the stuff in this blog is just icing on the cake from working professionals.

People just don't get it. Back when the nine old men were breaking new ground, NOBODY was sharing outside of the Disney Studio. Consider yourselves blessed with all the resources you have to learn about animation these days.


4:13 PM

Blogger chintan said...

Hey Victor,

Thanks a lot for your kind reply :) Makes things much clear in my head. But at times when i can cannot get the desired movement the way i want, it gets pretty frustating. I just have to work much much harder, I wonder how many hours the professinals used to put into their animations when they were students.

Thanks a lot :)

1:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Victor,

My animation just got 50% better after reading the tutorials. I say you should post up another one to top it off. =D Maybe how to put your animation on 1s and make it snappy?

6:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With risk of pushing this discussion longer than it should, I posted an apology to you guys on AP. I saw that discussion took a wild turn south for the past month now, and like I said am ashamed my post was one of the instigators. I certainly did not intend on putting down the amount of effort and great service you guys are providing, although re-reading my old post it sure sounds that way. Geez, I feel really bad guys, of course I'm grateful to hear interviews with Brad Bird, and others! I know most of the argument was with one specific person. But it was a good lesson for me to remember not to overgeneralize what I write in comments, and to make sure I'm not critical of things I actually like.
Anyway, for my part in that, I'm sorry. Man, I really did not intend to put you guys down. You have a great podcast here that I certainly appreciate.

6:14 AM

Blogger Titus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:55 PM

Blogger Titus said...

How inspiring! keep the great stuff coming.

9:24 PM

Blogger Alexandra said...

These tutorials are simply spiffy-tastic. I always get nervous when cleaning up my curves, and now I can approach them with confidence.

Does anyone know of any good tutorials that deal with animating with constraints? It's my last great roadblock!

11:24 AM

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3:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I can't do my homework, on account of the fact that I have a spline disorder.

10:51 AM

Anonymous marketing online said...

Really effective info, thanks so much for the post.

4:38 AM


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