Online Animation School Animation Mentor

in Animation

AA: Where did your love of animation come from and how old were you when you decided you wanted to become an animator?

BB: My love for animation came from my passion for exciting special effects movies like Star Wars. When I was young my mom used to take me out of school when a cool new movie was coming out so we could be the first to see it. 3D Models That really helped create a "special magic" around movies for me from an early age.

When I decided I wanted to be an animator I was 23 years old. AA: You attended the Academy of Art College now the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, can you tell us about your experience at the Academy?

BB: I did not learn much about animation when I was there; mostly I read books on animation and tried to make sense of it all. I was only there for about a-year-and-a-half. What I did find there was some of my best friends on the planet and my number 1 best friend and partner, my wife! I've heard the program has improved since I attended back in the mid 90's.

AA: If you could do it all over again is there anything you would change about your experience in art school?

BB: As far as the friends go I'd say no. If I had to do it all over again I think I would have like to have found a mentor in the industry who could have taught me the art and craft of animation so that I would learn exactly the things I needed to become a successful animator.

AA: How important is it for aspiring animators to attend College/Art School? Do formally trained animators have an advantage over self taught animators?

BB: Absolutely not. A recruiter at one of the large studios told me, "If someone graduates from a 4 year college something must be wrong. If they are a great animator they should be plucked out before they ever finish." I know that may not be a popular belief, but it is one that I've always believed in. This industry measures people on two things:

1. skill and…
2. personality


People are learning animation faster than ever. There are so many resources out there to look at, read from and be inspired by that it's not uncommon for students to "get it" quicker these days.

AA: How did you get your first paying job as an animator and how old were you?

BB: I was 24 when I got my first animation job. My first animation job was at a game studio in San Francisco.

I had put all my little animation tests onto a VHS tape, I guess you could call it a demo reel, but I didn't plan on sending it out. My girlfriend (now my wife) gave the tape to her friend who worked for a game studio looking for an animator.

You can imagine the shock/excitement when I got the call that they wanted to interview me. The interview went very well and I was lucky enough to get the job. I was so thrilled and gave many hugs to my sweet girl for helping me get my start in the industry. The timing was perfect and it was exactly what I needed at that time.

AA: Did art school fully prepare you for your first job as an animator or did you experience a lot of growing pains?

BB: My schooling experience did not prepare me for the industry in any way. I think most art schools do not. Usually you turn in your work, you get a grade and that is that. In the industry if the director doesn't like something they will tell you to start over, and over until you get it right, or worse, they'll take it away and give it to someone else.

I remember sitting in dailies, where your work is shown to the team in a screening room for review each morning at Tippett Studio when Phil Tippett stood up in front of the whole crew and confronted me about the shot I was working on and said, "What the F@$k were you thinking?!" Phil had given me specific direction before I started my shot and I had "a better idea" and did my own thing. He reamed me in front of the entire team teaching me a valuable lesson the hard way: "Your director is #1 and you must always listen to them first."

In art school I did not learn that at all. The industry is both tough and fun. When you nail a shot it feels like the greatest thing, when you struggle you question your ability, always.

Also, I did not learn about getting and giving feedback. Feedback is such a critical component of this industry. You have to do away with being a perfectionist and your ego and know that your work will change many times before it is completed. Not even the best animators get it right the first time.

AA: You've worked for two of the companies that many aspiring animators consider The Holy Grail of animation studios Disney and Pixar, can you tell us how you landed a job at both Disney and Pixar?

BB: Disney happened by "accident." I was working at Tippett Studio when my girlfriend (now wife) got her first job in animation in LA. I was in the San Francisco Bay Area and she was going to Los Angeles. I was super supportive and was excited for her opportunity. We flew back and forth every-other weekend for several months. At one point I felt we were beginning to drift apart and I knew I loved this girl and wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. So, I went to work one day and told Phil Tippett that I had to leave. I was going to LA to be with my girl. Phil put his hands around my neck and pretended to strangle me. We were in between projects so the timing was perfect. He told me that when I got to LA that I would have an interview with Disney! He made some calls and made it happen for me. When I got to LA I got the job and was super happy!

The project I was on at Disney (Dinosaur) was coming to an end and so was my girlfriend's project. We decided that after we rolled off our projects that we'd move back to the Bay Area to be with our friends and my family. I put my reel together and sent it to several studios. Pixar gave me a call and I went for the interview and got the job as an animator on Toy Story 2! It was a dream come true.

AA: What do animation studios look for when hiring an animator?

BB: First and foremost they look for a solid demo reel that shows them you are capable of doing the job at hand. If you are applying to be an animator at a place like Pixar, DreamWorks, Sony, Blue Sky, etc. they care very little about your ability to model, texture, light etc.3D Models They want you to be an "expert" at making characters act convincingly. That's what you would do on the job and that's what they care about. Your reel should be full of pieces that show characters acting in situations that communicate the emotions, acting and beats clearly. If it fails to do this they will pass. If it does this to a level that "catches their eye" you've made it to the next phase.

The next phase is usually the interview. This is almost as important, if not more, than your actual demo reel. If they like you and get a good feeling for you as a person then your chances of getting hired are pretty good.

Here are some of my tips for interviews. Do not be overtly confident. This can often be perceived the wrong way. Explain how you are looking to improve yourself and your abilities. Be respectful and know the work they've done and research the company so that you know intimate details in case they ask. Also, do not be the "ultimate animator geek" who watches Disney movies all day and night.3D Models I've seen studios pass on candidates whose only thing in life wa

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I am Karin khan..I live in islamabad. I am sutden for 3D Graphic 3D max . Get free download 3D Models. For more information 3D Models.Please logon http://Geo3DModel.com

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Online Animation School Animation Mentor

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This article was published on 2011/04/02