Jett (jatg) wrote,

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"An email" or "Questions from someone who wants to study animation:"

    Hello Jett,
    I was really impressed by your work (i especially like the 2D, maybe because in general I prefer 2D). I read in your blog about your lecturing in high schools, and as I will be learning animation at the Bezalel Academy next year, I would like to ask you a few questions myself:

    1. Do you think it would be possible to work in animation from home, without being in a studio the whole time (that way I could work from Israel)?
    2. I read about rhythm being very important for animation. Do you think it worth studying on it's own (drummer lessons)?
    3. I also attached a few sketches. I would be happy to have your opinion about them.
    4. How much does knowledge of 2D animation affect 3D animation?

    Thank you for any help you can offer,
    Rafi Yaniger
...aaaand my response.  Mostly for those of my LJ who are interested in animation and wonder what I think about things...
Hi Rafi!

One of my good friends from art school is from Israel and now works at a major studio..  If you don't mind, I'm going to cc him on this email as he may have some better insight to studying and working in Israel than I would.

1. It IS possible to study animation at home but you might be highly diligent and motivated.

Some advantages of school:

a. School gives you deadlines.
Most creative people I know do their best stuff when there is a ticking clock.  It keeps you diligent and on task.
b. School gives you peers.
I would not be the animator I am today without the help and support and general atmosphere school gave me.  It's hard to critique one's own work sitting by one's self in the basement.  Seeing what fellow students are doing as well as getting their input is probably the most valuable asset school can give you.
c. School gives you CONTACTS.
Remember those peers I talked about?  Work hard, be nice and you'll be remembered for those things and have your classmates vouch for you when the time comes to job seek.

With that said...there is an online program for animators who are looking to learn 3D with .  Most of the stuff I've seen has been really nice but it's also really spendy without giving you the advantages of school.  It's hard to improve in a vacuum.

2. Do I think studying rhythm is important?

Animation is all about rhythm, yes.  Many of the musicians who worked with Walt Disney said he was an innate musician even though he never played an instrument.  He had a natural feel for it and used it to plus the work his animators were doing.
If for you drumming helps, hey, more power to you.  One of my best friends times everything he does with a stopwatch. I take piano and also study martial arts which helps me greatly in understanding rhythm and motion.  If all a person does is animate...I believe their work suffers.

3.  Critique of figure drawing:

If I were going to offer a critique of your drawings I would suggest that while your drawings are nice and gestural  they are also devoid of structure.  Learn your anatomy!  (I can't stress that enough.)  Learn the bones...sculpt the bones...learn how the muscles attach to the bones.  Structure, structure, structure.  You can't fake a good basics.

4.  How much does 2D knowledge affect 3D?

For me, quite a bit.  All the animation principles I learned via flipping paper transitioned pretty well to the 3D world.  3D is more akin to puppeteering and initially I was extremely frustrated with it.  It was only when some synapses in my brain connected and I approached it with a more 2D approach did I feel like my 3D animation took off.

Like figure drawing, you can not fake good basics.  Learn those to the point they become inherent and intuitive and you will be in good shape.  You would be surprised at how many things come back to the bouncing ball, S to C curves and breaking joints.

I hope this helps.  Best to you!

Jett Atwood
Tags: animation

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