Thinking about moving into Animation

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by napp » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 01:27:50




Quote:

> Choose the area you're best at. ie. Modeling, Lighting, Animator. Dump all
> the rest. You are applying to that job only.

One of the things that makes assembly line type work so boring... but the
problem with that suggestion is that when you send your reel it has to have
all of the elements of a good 3D animation. And if you drop eveything else
... you have nothing to send. YOu pretty much have to be good at quite a fwe
things to get the work in the first place.
 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Martin Rowle » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 04:11:16


Why does a demo reel need examples from ALL areas of 3D CGI? I
talked with a couple people who were working in the game
industry last week and they didn't give me the impression that
this was the case. Their suggestions were pretty much aimed at a
person presenting what skills they did have - modeling,
lighting, texturing, animation, character development, story
development - etc. One of the things that they did stress that
with most projects today there are very few people who are going
to be tasked with doing something from all areas. One guy told
about someone who was working for the same company as he, this
other guy was a master of doing textures and texture mapping -
he said this was one of the most tedious tasks, and that this
guy loved spending the time and effort it took to do this kind
of work. He would never be out of work is what we were told.

Martin




> > Choose the area you're best at. ie. Modeling, Lighting, Animator. Dump all
> > the rest. You are applying to that job only.

> One of the things that makes assembly line type work so boring... but the
> problem with that suggestion is that when you send your reel it has to have
> all of the elements of a good 3D animation. And if you drop eveything else
> ... you have nothing to send. YOu pretty much have to be good at quite a fwe
> things to get the work in the first place.


 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Henry Chinansk » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 05:18:44


Last November in"Can you digit?" seminar, I talked to Matt Aitken and asked
what kind of demoreel should I send to him if I wanted to get a job at Weta.
What would really blow his socks off ? He gave me the instructions that I
just posted. They are looking for someone specific to fill one post. And
that they don't have much time to look at the demoreels ( demoreel should be
short ).
Same topic was part of the seminars at 3dfestival in denmark. Shelley Page
from DreamWorks said pretty much the same thing. She also pointed out that
the demoreel should contain only material made by you ( from start to
finish ). If you worked in a project with 2 other persons and add the final
result to your demoreel, they won't know which part is made by you alone.

So, as Martin already stated. If you Master one area, your chances at
landing a job will be much higher. It's good to know bit of this and that,
but don't put that on your demoreel. You can mention your other skills at
your application form, but concentrate to one area of expertice and show
that in your demoreel. Remember demoreel is not a short movie ( Yes, it can
be. But there's no need for that. ) Those persons looking through the
demoreels, are interested in your technical and artictic skills. They can
tell a lot about your animating and timing skills by looking at a
walk-cycle.

Best regards,
Hank




> > Choose the area you're best at. ie. Modeling, Lighting, Animator. Dump
all
> > the rest. You are applying to that job only.

> One of the things that makes assembly line type work so boring... but the
> problem with that suggestion is that when you send your reel it has to
have
> all of the elements of a good 3D animation. And if you drop eveything else
> ... you have nothing to send. YOu pretty much have to be good at quite a
fwe
> things to get the work in the first place.

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Everett Hicke » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 06:09:17


Or, what kind of things do people look for when it comes to animation along
a more industrial bent?  I really meant more along those lines when I made
my original post, as most of my skills are more oriented towards physics and
mechanical detail (I can't do a skinned character worth much, but I can
create full-motion machines and robots, architecture, etc that go far beyond
what I usually see on tv or from industrial animations).  A lot of the
footage I'm working on for my demo reel is designed to look like it was a
film record of buildings and intricate machinery...  with the stress being
on utter realism and clear depiction of what's being shown.  The only part
that even uses a coherent storyline is a short (combining realistic
animation and filmed "interviews" with "designers") that's supposed to look
like a commercial for a line of home robots.  I'm also looking for companies
that need a lot of high-quality stills.  I've gotten a lot of advice, but
most of it seems geared for the game market (which may be pretty large).  I
think I'm good enough

However... I do know that the bar for game cutscene animation isn't exactly
stratospheric either (Blizzard and others make me look like a raw novice,
but you have to admit the majority of games don't have particularly
impressive animation).  I haven't really looked at it that hard, but I've
noticed just in playing games that there's a very wide range of quality...
some that I can't and probably never will be able to touch, and some that
look like some of my test renders (not bragging at all, just saying a lot of
what's out there isn't even worth watching).  So... assuming I can visually
demonstrate at least median ability in most areas, and not counting any
other useful but unrelated skills, how difficult is it to at least get an
interview or response from most game companies?  Are most of them doing any
sort of hiring lately, and how critical are they in their choices (I'd
assume they're pretty critical, but I'm also going by what's hitting the
market).

(and, side note, would it be effective or just plain offensive to take an
example of some of their recent work and improve on it, assuming my version
was an actual improvement and not me trying to go in over my head or take it
too over the top?)


> Why does a demo reel need examples from ALL areas of 3D CGI? I
> talked with a couple people who were working in the game
> industry last week and they didn't give me the impression that
> this was the case. Their suggestions were pretty much aimed at a
> person presenting what skills they did have - modeling,
> lighting, texturing, animation, character development, story
> development - etc. One of the things that they did stress that
> with most projects today there are very few people who are going
> to be tasked with doing something from all areas. One guy told
> about someone who was working for the same company as he, this
> other guy was a master of doing textures and texture mapping -
> he said this was one of the most tedious tasks, and that this
> guy loved spending the time and effort it took to do this kind
> of work. He would never be out of work is what we were told.

> Martin




> > > Choose the area you're best at. ie. Modeling, Lighting, Animator. Dump
all
> > > the rest. You are applying to that job only.

> > One of the things that makes assembly line type work so boring... but
the
> > problem with that suggestion is that when you send your reel it has to
have
> > all of the elements of a good 3D animation. And if you drop eveything
else
> > ... you have nothing to send. YOu pretty much have to be good at quite a
fwe
> > things to get the work in the first place.

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Martin Rowle » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 06:38:37


Few things that I've heard mention before in such discussions on
demo reels.

1) Keep it short - 2 or 3 minutes max, most time demo reels are
your first foot in the door, if they like what they see they
might then ask you for more detailed examples of your work.

2) Keep it to the point - don't try to entertain the person
watching it. Keep it fast, but give them enought to get a good
look at what you want to show them.

3) Add music at your own risk - most times the person watching
the reel will have the sound turned off.

4) Don't make the person watching have to do any "work". Reels
should play straight through from start to finish.

5) A lot of the studios have information on what they are
looking for when it comes to demo reels - check any company that
you are planning on sending one to and see if they have a
standard.

A couple good articles on the subject.

The Career Coach: Demo Reel DOs and DON'Ts
A demo reel is a vital marketing tool for animators. The purpose
of the demo reel is to get you an interview with someone who can
hire you. Prepare your demo reel with care and have someone else
look at it and get feedback on it before you send it out. As a
recruiter, I have seen many demo reels. Here's how to make sure
yours does the job--to get you that job.
h
ttp://mag.awn.com/index.php3?ltype=search&sval=demo+reels&article_no=16

Representation 24/7
Demo reels and portfolios are still a good way to promote your
career, but a Website is becoming even more crucial. Zahra
Dowlatabadi explains why Websites are so important and how you
can get started on yours today!
h
ttp://mag.awn.com/index.php3?ltype=Columns&column=career&article_no=1603

DEMO REELS : PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVES Written by Steph
Greenberg
www.3dark.com/archives/demoreels/demoreelpro2.html

Demo Reels & Starting Over Written by Angie Jones, Animator,
Oddworld
www.3dark.com/archives/demoreelpro7.html

Demo Reels; Resumes; Cover Letters - Tips and Suggestions
www.zayatz.com/text/demo_reels.htm

Martin


> Or, what kind of things do people look for when it comes to animation along
> a more industrial bent?  I really meant more along those lines when I made
> my original post, as most of my skills are more oriented towards physics and
> mechanical detail (I can't do a skinned character worth much, but I can
> create full-motion machines and robots, architecture, etc that go far beyond
> what I usually see on tv or from industrial animations).  A lot of the
> footage I'm working on for my demo reel is designed to look like it was a
> film record of buildings and intricate machinery...  with the stress being
> on utter realism and clear depiction of what's being shown.  The only part
> that even uses a coherent storyline is a short (combining realistic
> animation and filmed "interviews" with "designers") that's supposed to look
> like a commercial for a line of home robots.  I'm also looking for companies
> that need a lot of high-quality stills.  I've gotten a lot of advice, but
> most of it seems geared for the game market (which may be pretty large).  I
> think I'm good enough

> However... I do know that the bar for game cutscene animation isn't exactly
> stratospheric either (Blizzard and others make me look like a raw novice,
> but you have to admit the majority of games don't have particularly
> impressive animation).  I haven't really looked at it that hard, but I've
> noticed just in playing games that there's a very wide range of quality...
> some that I can't and probably never will be able to touch, and some that
> look like some of my test renders (not bragging at all, just saying a lot of
> what's out there isn't even worth watching).  So... assuming I can visually
> demonstrate at least median ability in most areas, and not counting any
> other useful but unrelated skills, how difficult is it to at least get an
> interview or response from most game companies?  Are most of them doing any
> sort of hiring lately, and how critical are they in their choices (I'd
> assume they're pretty critical, but I'm also going by what's hitting the
> market).

> (and, side note, would it be effective or just plain offensive to take an
> example of some of their recent work and improve on it, assuming my version
> was an actual improvement and not me trying to go in over my head or take it
> too over the top?)



> > Why does a demo reel need examples from ALL areas of 3D CGI? I
> > talked with a couple people who were working in the game
> > industry last week and they didn't give me the impression that
> > this was the case. Their suggestions were pretty much aimed at a
> > person presenting what skills they did have - modeling,
> > lighting, texturing, animation, character development, story
> > development - etc. One of the things that they did stress that
> > with most projects today there are very few people who are going
> > to be tasked with doing something from all areas. One guy told
> > about someone who was working for the same company as he, this
> > other guy was a master of doing textures and texture mapping -
> > he said this was one of the most tedious tasks, and that this
> > guy loved spending the time and effort it took to do this kind
> > of work. He would never be out of work is what we were told.

> > Martin




> > > > Choose the area you're best at. ie. Modeling, Lighting, Animator. Dump
> all
> > > > the rest. You are applying to that job only.

> > > One of the things that makes assembly line type work so boring... but
> the
> > > problem with that suggestion is that when you send your reel it has to
> have
> > > all of the elements of a good 3D animation. And if you drop eveything
> else
> > > ... you have nothing to send. YOu pretty much have to be good at quite a
> fwe
> > > things to get the work in the first place.

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Arkla » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 08:25:08


alright... i need to get in on this while its going. so, speciics on the
demo reel. alright. what if you major talent is modeling? not modeling and
animating, not modeling and texturing, but strictly modeling. as most of you
guys know, i can model pretty much want i want to some extent, given a bit
of time to experiment.

so, whats the way to present this to a employer? a bunch of still shots on a
vhs tape? perhaps printed out on cardstock maybe? just point them to a
website? and what kind of objects.scenes would be good (game company
targeted) modeling vehicles and characters similar to thier games? perhaps
doing a level design and fully making that in max, with a camera fly
through? give me some sagely advice guys.

--
Arklan
"The Cutting Edge is nothing. Give me the Unexplored void that is Ultimate
Knowledge."
3D Gallery: http://sv2.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showcase_page.php?userid=28815


> Last November in"Can you digit?" seminar, I talked to Matt Aitken and
asked
> what kind of demoreel should I send to him if I wanted to get a job at
Weta.
> What would really blow his socks off ? He gave me the instructions that I
> just posted. They are looking for someone specific to fill one post. And
> that they don't have much time to look at the demoreels ( demoreel should
be
> short ).
> Same topic was part of the seminars at 3dfestival in denmark. Shelley Page
> from DreamWorks said pretty much the same thing. She also pointed out that
> the demoreel should contain only material made by you ( from start to
> finish ). If you worked in a project with 2 other persons and add the
final
> result to your demoreel, they won't know which part is made by you alone.

> So, as Martin already stated. If you Master one area, your chances at
> landing a job will be much higher. It's good to know bit of this and that,
> but don't put that on your demoreel. You can mention your other skills at
> your application form, but concentrate to one area of expertice and show
> that in your demoreel. Remember demoreel is not a short movie ( Yes, it
can
> be. But there's no need for that. ) Those persons looking through the
> demoreels, are interested in your technical and artictic skills. They can
> tell a lot about your animating and timing skills by looking at a
> walk-cycle.

> Best regards,
> Hank





> > > Choose the area you're best at. ie. Modeling, Lighting, Animator. Dump
> all
> > > the rest. You are applying to that job only.

> > One of the things that makes assembly line type work so boring... but
the
> > problem with that suggestion is that when you send your reel it has to
> have
> > all of the elements of a good 3D animation. And if you drop eveything
else
> > ... you have nothing to send. YOu pretty much have to be good at quite a
> fwe
> > things to get the work in the first place.

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Martin Rowle » Fri, 13 Jun 2003 09:15:55


3D modeling - what's wrong with giving the models a neutral
color (flat gray) lighting them well and animating them
rotating? Maybe even while they go from wireframe to shaded.
Show one in different stages of development - from start to
finish. Starting with the character development drawings that
you made and then several shots of the work while in progress
and then the finished piece.

"..., given a bit of time to experiment.", that's going to be
the big problem. If they like your demo piece, they are probably
going to have you come in and demonstrate your skill and ability
- usually by giving up a production sketch and have up model it
from scratch. Taking time to experiment then isn't going to
impress them much.

One thing that was remarked by the guy putting on the workshop I
went to was, A great texture map can make a bad model look good
- a bad texture map can make a great model look like crap.

Martin


> alright... i need to get in on this while its going. so, speciics on the
> demo reel. alright. what if you major talent is modeling? not modeling and
> animating, not modeling and texturing, but strictly modeling. as most of you
> guys know, i can model pretty much want i want to some extent, given a bit
> of time to experiment.

> so, whats the way to present this to a employer? a bunch of still shots on a
> vhs tape? perhaps printed out on cardstock maybe? just point them to a
> website? and what kind of objects.scenes would be good (game company
> targeted) modeling vehicles and characters similar to thier games? perhaps
> doing a level design and fully making that in max, with a camera fly
> through? give me some sagely advice guys.

> --
> Arklan
> "The Cutting Edge is nothing. Give me the Unexplored void that is Ultimate
> Knowledge."
> 3D Gallery: http://sv2.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showcase_page.php?userid=28815

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Arkla » Sat, 14 Jun 2003 08:45:09


thanks for the tips martin. i'll do some of these for my next *glances to
his sketchpad* project.


> 3D modeling - what's wrong with giving the models a neutral
> color (flat gray) lighting them well and animating them
> rotating? Maybe even while they go from wireframe to shaded.
> Show one in different stages of development - from start to
> finish. Starting with the character development drawings that
> you made and then several shots of the work while in progress
> and then the finished piece.

> "..., given a bit of time to experiment.", that's going to be
> the big problem. If they like your demo piece, they are probably
> going to have you come in and demonstrate your skill and ability
> - usually by giving up a production sketch and have up model it
> from scratch. Taking time to experiment then isn't going to
> impress them much.

> One thing that was remarked by the guy putting on the workshop I
> went to was, A great texture map can make a bad model look good
> - a bad texture map can make a great model look like crap.

> Martin


> > alright... i need to get in on this while its going. so, speciics on the
> > demo reel. alright. what if you major talent is modeling? not modeling
and
> > animating, not modeling and texturing, but strictly modeling. as most of
you
> > guys know, i can model pretty much want i want to some extent, given a
bit
> > of time to experiment.

> > so, whats the way to present this to a employer? a bunch of still shots
on a
> > vhs tape? perhaps printed out on cardstock maybe? just point them to a
> > website? and what kind of objects.scenes would be good (game company
> > targeted) modeling vehicles and characters similar to thier games?
perhaps
> > doing a level design and fully making that in max, with a camera fly
> > through? give me some sagely advice guys.

> > --
> > Arklan
> > "The Cutting Edge is nothing. Give me the Unexplored void that is
Ultimate
> > Knowledge."
> > 3D Gallery: http://sv2.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showcase_page.php?userid=28815

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Arkla » Sat, 14 Jun 2003 08:46:49


oh, also, a note: i cna do a human in a bout a week, give or take, and thats
not really working him full time. and thats probalby the area i'm worst at,
modeling wise. not bad time, i would think... course the clothing was rather
simple...


> 3D modeling - what's wrong with giving the models a neutral
> color (flat gray) lighting them well and animating them
> rotating? Maybe even while they go from wireframe to shaded.
> Show one in different stages of development - from start to
> finish. Starting with the character development drawings that
> you made and then several shots of the work while in progress
> and then the finished piece.

> "..., given a bit of time to experiment.", that's going to be
> the big problem. If they like your demo piece, they are probably
> going to have you come in and demonstrate your skill and ability
> - usually by giving up a production sketch and have up model it
> from scratch. Taking time to experiment then isn't going to
> impress them much.

> One thing that was remarked by the guy putting on the workshop I
> went to was, A great texture map can make a bad model look good
> - a bad texture map can make a great model look like crap.

> Martin


> > alright... i need to get in on this while its going. so, speciics on the
> > demo reel. alright. what if you major talent is modeling? not modeling
and
> > animating, not modeling and texturing, but strictly modeling. as most of
you
> > guys know, i can model pretty much want i want to some extent, given a
bit
> > of time to experiment.

> > so, whats the way to present this to a employer? a bunch of still shots
on a
> > vhs tape? perhaps printed out on cardstock maybe? just point them to a
> > website? and what kind of objects.scenes would be good (game company
> > targeted) modeling vehicles and characters similar to thier games?
perhaps
> > doing a level design and fully making that in max, with a camera fly
> > through? give me some sagely advice guys.

> > --
> > Arklan
> > "The Cutting Edge is nothing. Give me the Unexplored void that is
Ultimate
> > Knowledge."
> > 3D Gallery: http://sv2.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showcase_page.php?userid=28815

 
 
 

Thinking about moving into Animation

Post by Martin Rowle » Sat, 14 Jun 2003 11:12:16


Try going through this tutorial;

www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials/max/joanofarc/joanmenu.asp

(shows up best in IE)

This is very similar to what the instructor had us do (we didn't
have time to finish our mesh). This instructor thought this was
probably one of the best tutorials he's seen for learning how to
do a character mesh. Soon as my new license of 5 arrives I plan
on doing it from start to finish. The instructor did a whole
body and head while we worked on ours (he was displaying his
work progress on a overhead lcd projector). He got his done in
way less than 2 hours (as he kept having to stop and help
someone).

Martin


> oh, also, a note: i cna do a human in a bout a week, give or take, and thats
> not really working him full time. and thats probalby the area i'm worst at,
> modeling wise. not bad time, i would think... course the clothing was rather
> simple...



> > 3D modeling - what's wrong with giving the models a neutral
> > color (flat gray) lighting them well and animating them
> > rotating? Maybe even while they go from wireframe to shaded.
> > Show one in different stages of development - from start to
> > finish. Starting with the character development drawings that
> > you made and then several shots of the work while in progress
> > and then the finished piece.

> > "..., given a bit of time to experiment.", that's going to be
> > the big problem. If they like your demo piece, they are probably
> > going to have you come in and demonstrate your skill and ability
> > - usually by giving up a production sketch and have up model it
> > from scratch. Taking time to experiment then isn't going to
> > impress them much.

> > One thing that was remarked by the guy putting on the workshop I
> > went to was, A great texture map can make a bad model look good
> > - a bad texture map can make a great model look like crap.

> > Martin


> > > alright... i need to get in on this while its going. so, speciics on the
> > > demo reel. alright. what if you major talent is modeling? not modeling
> and
> > > animating, not modeling and texturing, but strictly modeling. as most of
> you
> > > guys know, i can model pretty much want i want to some extent, given a
> bit
> > > of time to experiment.

> > > so, whats the way to present this to a employer? a bunch of still shots
> on a
> > > vhs tape? perhaps printed out on cardstock maybe? just point them to a
> > > website? and what kind of objects.scenes would be good (game company
> > > targeted) modeling vehicles and characters similar to thier games?
> perhaps
> > > doing a level design and fully making that in max, with a camera fly
> > > through? give me some sagely advice guys.

> > > --
> > > Arklan
> > > "The Cutting Edge is nothing. Give me the Unexplored void that is
> Ultimate
> > > Knowledge."
> > > 3D Gallery: http://sv2.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showcase_page.php?userid=28815