Oh Style! the greatest question in an artist life (maybe)
I am part of that group of people that says you gotta look for other things and style will come on it’s own. If you force it, it won’t really…work. Style depends on what you do with your art what you like in it and how it helps its final purpose. And that is a thing that overall, takes time and practice.
Style is just a bunch of art shortcuts.
You do a lot of something until you discover a way to make it easier for yourself and that still works with what you like. A style is supposed to feel comfortable.
It is when you stop thinking about style and start thinking on how to make, idk, that the line you like looks good with the thing you are doing.
You can study some other artist shortcuts and check if it works with what you are doing more than force them into what you are doing. And the moment you adapt it as your own because it helps your own process that detail is now part of your style. Most artist get to their signature style by having to meet deadlines and using what they find easier to do, to do their job.
My tip is that if you like something a for your style, you try using it a lot and try being really perceptive if it is really working or not. Just look at it and be objective and completely sincere with yourself, and if it ain’t working, it ain’t working. It happens. You can also be stubborn and work harder to make it work. and change everything else so you like how your art is going.
ALSO, divide the style (any style) in parts: Composition, outline, colour palette…even something specific like an eye shape. Anything. so you are able to change that specific thing or you are able to identify it on other’s art.
The thing with style is that it is ever changing...and that is perfectly alright. You evolve as a person and you find other interests and it influence what you do all the time. You can even have various styles and mix them.
Hope I am being clear and if you have any other question, I am here to help :>
Sometimes I get questions in my art blog about studying animation and being a storyboard artist.
no problem! i love answering questions that may help!
yes i do have an art degree, but since it was not close to animation, i got an ma in animation too
I got my gigs as storyboard artist by making a story portfolio i would be feel comfortable showing around and applying, and keep practicing… it means by making storyboards all the time, lots of them..and by also taking part of other parts of the animation process, after all it is a team sport :O
The path to become a sboard artist is really different for each person, and for me, it mostly depends on where in the world you are, if you can work in big studios or move close to them , if you get into your local industry…that kind of stuff, if it is a small studio you may need to know other aspects of production such as design and actual animation.
Most people won't need an ma, BUT it is necessary for you to have storyboards to show for applying to jobs. Also, you gotta think about starting from the beginning (aka as a revisionist or assistant)…
..but mostly, for being a storyboard artist you gotta truly focus on the story part of it. “why things happen and how to show it the clearest way possible”
Most senior storyboard artists and directors i have talked to do not care much if you have AMAZING illustrations if they cant see the potential storytelling…still It requires drawing A LOT so it is a plus if you are clearly comfortable with it
i am here to help! if you have any more questions about any part of it, it’s cool!
i can talk all day about storyboards …, since..it is my big passion :>
Sometimes I get questions in my art blog about studying animation and being a storyboard artist.
A bunch of of artists/animators come together to reanimate an episode of a cartoon scene by scene, a different animator for each scene. Each animator receives a random scene and can interpret it however they please.
This was a non profit collaborative project. The final video will not be monetized in any way as respect for all of artists.
Staging and Board
Reimagining the Characters from Kirby
After Effects is one of the most important softwares for Motion Graphic and Character Animation out there, and, since my practice is been based on drawing, I was really unfamiliar with it.
With any new software, my best first approach is with a step by step tutorial.
The ones I found more helpful were the ones by Jake Bartlett in Skillshare and for a week I dedicated myself to rigging puppets, and understanding the basic commands and timeline on a software I was running away from the beginning of my animating career.
I dedicated my MA in Animation at the Bristol School of Animation to truly understand what it means to be a Storyboard Artist and how to develop my artistic career as one.
This is a reflective analysis I decided to publish in 8 parts about my personal and professional practice from the point I decided to become a storyboard artist and being part of the animation industry.
Having drawing as a central point in my practice, and not limiting myself to only learning about storyboarding but being able to adapt this existing illustration skills in different projects. I’ve been involved in layout, and editing my own animatics and final projects, also and more important, develop other set of skills to further my career in animation: I was able to learn about visual narrative and storytelling into a much deeper level. This skills I developed in different projects can be adapted in different aspects I am interested but was not sure how to develop during the MA, like comics and children stories as they all share the principles of drawing and storytelling.
Although it is clear that I still have room for improvement, nowadays I can say that I can perform professionally as a storyboard artist. I have gained and applied my experience adapting several skills to new environments and performing different roles in various projects while obtaining a better idea on what aspects I need to improve. A big part of the industry is about working on teams and relying on other people’s abilities to get the most of a project, big or small. and having a broad understanding of various keyponts to not feel at lost in different situations that may occur is a personal advantage since part of the storyboard artist job as someone who extinguish fires before they happen.
Drawing is still the axis to develop my career, and being able to develop skills that are useful in more than one way is important in the industry to keep the job, but also to develop a creative voice in personal projects. Storyboard artists work with the composition, storytelling continuity and establish relationships between characters and assures the flow of the sequence. They balance “strong drawing skills with good knowledge of anatomy, staging, acting and the ability to think quickly” (Levy, 2006) A storyboard is the drawings that illustrate a narrative momentum and it is after all a tool to help visualize the film, and like that, they are often discarded to create a stronger point in a story, it is, after all, thinking in terms of visual storytelling and quickly translating those thoughts so they can be pitched, revised and dissected. For the story.
Francesca and Lizbeth – Puzzle Pieces
Storyboard Pro - TVPaint
Direction, Production and Storyboard: Luisa Cruz (2nd year MA Animation)
Animation and Character Design: Vasilena Kavanozova (Level 3 Animation), Victoria Povey (Level 3 Animation)
What the animators say about the piece:
"The conversation between the two mothers gives us an insight about their experience and after sharing their points of view it leaves us feeling uplifted.
As we aimed to show precisely this in the animation we made the little birds complement each other and at the end fit perfectly under their mother wings as they shared a warm and fluffy hug."
When I was given the opportunity to have another brief with Childrens in Need Charity and the BBC radio, I was heads on to making it. Practice is important not only in the technical aspects of animation but also at the moment of facing a production. Bsides, being a brief with only one month to get the animation to screen I was sure to be able to accomplish it if I followed a fitting schedule.
For this project I also worked in a team with two animators from third year, and assumed the role of director. At this point I already had experience doing several aspects of a production and since I had a deadline clear I organized every single task for the animators to be able to focus on animating. In our production meetings we discussed aspects of the work like design and story, and by the moment the animatic was ready, I jumped directly to work on the backgrounds and preparing the file for the final edition. Was the kind of project that requires a steady pipeline to be able to deliver what we already had promised to the BBC.
In both briefs for the BBC many groups dropped in the middle of the production for not being able to finish it but personally, the experience to bringing something to screen is far more valuable as it shows the organization and the ability to compromise to the ones that made it possible to complete the animation in such a short time.
The experience of being a director was important in many aspects, one of them being that one of the future developments in a storyboard artists career is becoming director themselves and, in the guiding environment of the academia, it was the safest way for me to try this role I feel is too far from where I am standing right now. My major difficulty was communicating with the other team members as someone in charge, to be able to drive exactly what I envisioned and, as ALSO a flaw in my storyboard skills, is also not in the animatic. Even with the stressful nature of directing a short, I tried to apply what other with more experience directing told me. Having people to ask for advice in this aspect was one of the reasons we could deliver the animation.
The animation industry and creators have a need to share their work since it is the only way to get feedback from it. Online presence is beneficial for networking and may be useful to nail freelance commissions and/or studio jobs. As a visual storyteller, it also helps to build an audience that eventually could support personal projects. The animation industry has changed in recent years thanks to artists now being able to share their work online at all time, generating an audience and hopefully also captivating the interest of specific directors. This article from Anime News Network is one of the most interestings since it reunites the experiences of american, european and australian animators that have gotten into the industry by animating and sharing what they do in social media." Learn animation. Post your work online. Take feedback. Improve. Be recruited onto a high profile project as a key animator." The feedback from the public is as enriching as watching what other professionals are doing, which can develop the critical eye on own productions. And even further, having my work organized online can contact me with studios in other countries and widen my career possibilities.
Getting in contact with people in the industry is often the most important way to get relevant feedback and sometimes even the smaller tip can change the way of approaching the same work I was doing before. The only way to get into a dialogue with people in the industry is having some work done and be able to show it, even a little. Many of the animators and storyboard artists are really happy to answer any questions about being part of the animation industry, and they are often more accessible through their own social media.
It has been the tips from storyboard artist looking at my board that have gave me a big breakthrough on the job. More than often, as storyboard artist we are so focused on the board we are doing that those small tips, like paying a little more attention to the foreground or using the negative space in a character design, are often seen as tricks and are the most difficult to see when immersing in a specific script, but they speak more about the experience of working on different type of boards and having someone reviewing them directly.
Most of the artists I reached work on projects or have online platforms that I have followed for a while. Others were recommended to me. I wrote to fifteen people and received answers from eight of them.
After speaking with them, the main lesson was an obvious one: storyboard artists work in all of the fields of visual media. Adaptability is necessary to work on the field, because the size of the crew, the production needs and the resources vary wildly among short films, tv shows, feature films and advertising for different media. Even if my main goal is to be able to work in a studio based job, I know I must learn about the characteristics of freelance jobs, since they make up for a great percentage of the offer.
The questions I send to them where:
•What was your first job in the industry? How did you get to work as a storyboard artist?
•What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
•What kind of additional skills may help a storyboard artist working in animation?
•How do you approach scripts? is it any different for short projects than for big ones?
And in the case of the directors: how their role as storyboard artists influence their role as directors.
Key points I found are:
•Each project is unique, therefore it must be approached with a brand new mindset. The job of a storyboard artist is to figure out the specific requirements of the story and the clearest way to satisfy them visually.
•Each director approaches projects in a different way and the crew operates differently according to this approach. The storyboard artist must be able to adapt and take the best of every new experience.
•Type casting is a real thing in the industry. In some features, the storyboard artist is picked to plan a specific scene that requires high skill in action or drama expression, other times, it is more about the general feeling of the entire project.
•Related to this, it is vital that the storyboard artist and the director understand each other.
•Storyboard is all about planning and a storyboard artist needs to keep all the aspects of storytelling in mind for being able to deliver. Acting, colour, composition, cuts. All must be clear in the storyboard and come natural to the storyboard artists, which is why having experience in several projects is important. Storyboard notes come very handy.
•It is important to question everything that is going to be shown to the audience: why the director wants it to be like it is, which is the best way to show it, how will the material get clear enough to make the cut.
•The simpler the better.
•Mastery comes from practice and experimentation. It is essential to try different scripts, techniques and audiences, as well as studying composition and narration in finished products like movies, ads and TV shows.
•Most of the interviewees work digitally, using mainly Adobe Photoshop and Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. Some of them consider the proficiency in the latter a requirement to work as a studio artist in the industry.
•The length of a project can go from one or two days for advertising, to two or three years for feature films.
•Newcomers normally get jobs as revisionists, where they help tying up the storyboard artist’s work with the director final needs. It is a great way to enter the industry because one can see the storyboards from professional artists and listen to the director’s commentary first hand.
I looked up for the requirements big studios have for their storyboard artists, what do they want to see in a portfolio and which skills they appreciate in an animator too, because I got from the interviews that several storyboard artists also work as animators or even concept artists and character designers.
They definitely need that the storyboard artist understands the pipeline and commits to make it flow, since a production is a team effort to put a finished product on screen and the storyboard artist is one of the critical pieces in the functioning of this mechanism. The pipeline is the tool to understand the whole process and define who needs to work at every step of it. With it, the storyboard artist can manage to make the blueprints to all the departments in time and assure everything goes as planned and the studio can be sure their money is not going to waste.
Behind the scenes documentaries for feature films are great to see this in detail, since they show how the work of the storyboard artists intertwines with the rest of the crew and how different studios approach the challenges of production. Cartoon Network, Pixar and Dreamworks have information about this online for everyone to see
For being a successful artist in an industry means to be able to develop a critical eye on your own work and how it is serving to your purpose as a visual artist. For me, the way to achieve this was to realize that I am on an entry level on the industry and the people that would hire me knows that. It means that I have to be incredible perceptive and actively look for feedback from people working on animation. Many established artist on the industry count with years of experience to have a signature style, and knowing that even if that is one of the characteristics of successful artists, they also count with the time and experience to develop it and to keep growing as artists.
The main issue with wanting to be a storyboard artist is that getting started with storyboards is not exactly easy, since there is not just one way to do storyboards. They are made for the production you are in and they all change with the type of production. Between books like Cristiano, G. (2008) The Storyboard Design Course where he approaches different points about many different aspects of storyboarding such as director notes and the difference between storyboard for animation and shooting boards.
One of my principal fears of going all the way into storyboard from the beginning was the professional opportunities that it has in the local animation industry and in the international one, as I also have to keep thinking on where i am going to be in the future and what is my professional projection.
In general, looking for professionals currently working in the industry has been very enlightening and useful since I decided to focus on storyboard: getting in touch with people working on the field I am interested in is the best way to know what to expect and how to prepare myself for it.
The interviews I have conducted through my research have influenced widely my approach to storyboarding, because the different artists I have spoken with have told me about the discipline and the importance of order and continuous improving of one’s own process. These interviews gave me great insights on how it is like to work for different clients and formats, They also let me hanging on several aspects widely on how to get out there and get a job in the industry. The information they all gave me is mainly about their own experience when they started, be it several years ago, in other parts of the world or juts with other conditions to their first job. I was still lacking on that first step.
I learnt that their advice, even if well intentioned was at some extent not helpful completely, and for the same reason following it blindly would have been a mistake . The professionals with longer trajectories coincide that the use of specialized software is not really an important tool to get into a job, while a couple of canadian storyboard artists in starting jobs, even in the other side of the world, insisted it was one of the advantages they had. After that, my own experience getting a storyboard test in a local studio showed me that they were looking for someone who was already familiar with the software, since they were already using it. People on entry jobs have to easily adapt to their new studio environment and even if learning the software on the job is a possibility, it just makes it harder on new graduates to getting use to an industry level of work and on top of that, learn a software they have used just once. Being on top of the technology used in professional environments seems to be part responsibility of newbies and ignoring it would just make it more difficult at the moment to get a job.
Friend! my my!! many thanks for asking!
What I am going to say is totally my opinion tho, so, Just.. yeah, have that in mind.
I am not going to go into the should you go to art school or not, I am going with the idea you want to get an art degree :O
Let’s see: Money is pretty important in the matter of living :’’)) and i know Calarts and the big usa schools can be hella f expensive, even more for ~~internationals~~ SO, yeah that is a big factor why i never choose to go there..
But also here in the UK can be really good schools and studios imo. One of the reasons to even spend money going to study abroad is, by far, the options of getting real experience from studios and animators and is a good idea to go to a country that actually produces animation you know?
My decision was something like: if you are going to invest THAT much money (as any art school is)…it is a good idea to be realistic about how much you can spend, and later how you are going to pay for a loan if you need one. and a place that has an animation industry is the best option.
Here is the thing: california has A LOT of the animation industry BUT also is way too expensive.
For me the option will always be something rational about paying in the future bc drowning in debt is NOT a good thing to enjoy my career…
The other thing is if you want to go to calarts for the sake of going to calarts or if you want to work in places like cartoon network or anywhere where the calarts graduate ppl go. Calarts have all the good connections and netwroking in this industry is like big part of the success… but also there are a lot of good artists that end up working in the same places because they are good, and not necessarily by studying in calarts
one of the things my mentor said to me is that is your personal work the one that matters, and that I should be looking at the portfolios from ppl from gobelins and calarts bc that is what the industry is looking for and aim for that level of professionalism. he never said style or anything like that, just that my portfolio should be able to compete with theirs… bc we will be aiming for the same jobs.
At the end is something that you can do by studying them from anywhere in the world.
Having good mentors and teachers you can ask the basics and that can sit down with you and really help you develop your skills is what you want and there are so many good teachers in the UK it is amazing tbh, i really like it here in that aspect :>
(you know, most teachers really want to share what they know, and finding some student that really want to learn is what keep them alive. vivan los profesores tbh)
Sorry for the long answer, I hope i t helps: but yeah, in conclusion:
I would not recommend drowning in some debt just to go to renown school and maybe better aim for a mid term goal of working alongside them, since you dont really need a specific school to develop skills, but what you gotta do is study what they do, recent graduates, portfolios, that kind of thing. you can do that and end up working with them and even better have also a different perspective in some things, and that may be the things that lands you a spot with them.
remember that animation is a team industry and you work with many many artists in a single project, and that is great imo <3
good luck tho, this is such a big decision, if you have any more questions about it or just need someone to bounce ideas, yeah, im here to help ;v;
Sometimes I get questions in my art blog about studying animation and being a storyboard artist
Animators : Karolina Bielskyte ,LuisaCruz, AlexCoad, EwanSchwarz.
Location: Shoreditch Town Hall, THE DITCH, Old Document Store
Running time: 1:30s.
Our video projection idea is based on the door that leads from Old Document Store to Rivington Room. We used this opportunity and create a site-specific animation that was projected on top of the Old Document Store door and the sidewall with element from the Bauhaus art movement.
The annual collaborative project with the Royal Academy of Music which involves collaborating with composers to realize a site specific experimental music film. The project was based in the Three Penny Opera from 1928.
We used two projectors to cover the wall with the door and the corner of the wall on the right.
I had the experience of my grad project which was a two video Installation Art.
all the info about that one is here: CATS MAKE YOU WANT TO STAY IN (2015)
The idea of interpreting this conversation about growth and acceptance with flowers came from the graphic relationship between potential, growth and blooming, that I found while listening to Suzy and Bridget talk about the potential they see in people and in themselves and the disappointment that often comes with it. This is the reason I choose to follow the growth of the pink flower, who is unsure of growing and blooming, something that flowers are supposed to do but when she had a bad experience with others, left her unsure about it. She fulfills her potential only when she finds a real friend, with whom she can learn from and bloom together, leading her to accept herself and finally open.
I am a hands on drawer and I do make stories directly on images. Thinking about the beats in the phrases and even the palette I wanted to use to set the begining tone of the story while I was re-revising it.
I wanted to do a short film by myself to learn bits of the entire process, i had a deadline and from the begining I visualized it to be able to work with minimal backgrounds and at the same time have my desired atmosphere of growing.
I learnt the most important lesson: plan everything even the parts where you need to be flexible.
It is by far the most important part, even more for the animation since each shot has its own value and you need more time for some, other are easier.
To get the story rythm, and later on the animation right I studied plants growing also to give a personality to my new beloved characters.
Knowing the options for shots I had for the board and how timeconsuming it would be. Thinking several steps ahead is one of the many important things a director has to do so everything fits in the exact moment it is needed. Avoid surprises that can be a downfall for the entire project.
3. Storyboard and Animatic
My favorite part. Figuring out timing for some shots and being decisive about if something is needed or not. being as clear as I can.
And several versions of each so it keeps working on, figuring out if the rythm is good or if some gesture is confusing.
if it is not in the animatic it wont be on the animation, in my case I could make decissions while animating later on,because I was doing everything, but at the same time could see how it could be a problem for someone else. And fixing it. It is so important to be as clear as possible it also keeps on developing the characters and designs, being perceptive about it is the key.
Character sheets and promts, how to make a character likeable and beliveable...and also them being flowers.
I wanted to have a flower do lipsync and still move flowly and delicate to watch them grow.
Schedule PART II
Animation is the single most time consuming thing and it have to be carefully planned or you can throw away an entire afternoon when you dont have an entire afternoon to throw away.
This is my animation schedule and marking the process every day is important. You need to be able to sit one day and say: i need to work more on this one so i may aliminate the entire background of one scene and it has to be so well planned that it can actually be done without comrpomissing the quality and general sense of the entire film. Having time to be flexible. Planing the most complicated things. Knwing when a background have to be done and knwing what to compromise.
The acting the timing, it was all done in TVPaint and following a thinght well planned schedule.
following that deadline was key to have it all done on time.
I wanted to play with the minimal but feeling that the flowers were prt of something bigger, growing and realizing their enviorment is part of the entire journey.
Having them ready at the same time as doing the animation to be able to put it all together on time was a challenge, that is why in the boards the background were mostly color blocks, and this one being the final scene, it was about the flowers having more around them.
make sure to have everything correctly named and knowing exactly how a scene will go. Back up files and learning how to organize archives not only for yourself but for the software you will be using.
When all is done...
I learnt lots and lots and every time I think about my process I learn a new thing:
-The animatic is the single more useful thing and i have to b clearer and more eficient and I can ramble during hours about this. I amglad I did this one in the most ortodox way i could manage because now i see how each step relates to the other.
- Schedule, knowing how you work and how yoru team work is something you learn and also apply
- Never fall out of lve with your project, i may be new but i can but love the process and even tho i see its faults I also can appreciate things i see, and at some points only the cheer emotion of seen it with colour with background or two scenes together was the only thing that saved me from frustration. And that is something you have to learn.
- Listen to others and learn what to compromise.
Choosing the projects I was going to work in I was in utterly loss about what to look in a project so it would tackle all the set of skills that would be part of the portfolio. This was in fact my major set back when I started to work on something
After completing my own exercise of animating a rotation of a couple of characters designs I realized on the way several specifics on other roles. As an animator, I had to realize by myself that the construction is essential to keep consistency. As a character designer testing how the design is fit for purpose was a really important practice. What at the beginning seemed like an exercise far away from my principal ambition became key at the moment of working in a more professional pipeline and understanding the roles of my future teammates .
Other of my main focuses on choosing the right projects, and what added some pressure at my decision, was the importance on getting relevant experience. My research had led me to know that most positions in studios require experience as storyboard artist of minimum 2 years or equivalent. So getting this experience was one of my challenges. Part of the interviews I did to storyboard artists touched this specific aspect and why experience in several projects is important. Newcomers normally get jobs as revisionists, where they help tying up the storyboard artist’s work with the director final needs. It is a great way to enter the industry because one can see the storyboards from professional artists and listen to the director’s commentary first hand. Storyboard is all about planning, and a storyboard artist needs to keep all the aspects of storytelling in mind in order to deliver. Acting, colour, composition and cuts, all must be clear in the storyboard and come natural to the storyboard artists.
In a span of a week | came across with 3 different articles about Animation and Animation History.
Since the art itself has only a little more than a century of existing it is still really crude and really secretive.
In one hand it is art in the pother is an industry that moves money and a message in the era of communication and mass production. And of course, it also depends o n the place in the world it is created (and this has to do with economic and political reasons).
Personally, even if I know about animation in Europe, Eastern Asia and North America I am not as familiar with how animation as an art form is produced everywhere. And my mental image goes firstly to the big american studio idea.
This is why these articles that reunite different point of views about it and how things like the internet influence the future of the animation industry seems to be an important starting point for this conversation.
The conclusion :
While big studios in America can’t allow themselves to have money losses for gathering little public with their productions, the European has a culture of smaller studios with little secrecy, and general lower budgets but also more risky in terms of art and design. And above those also more inspiration, the public of european animation is seen as wider than the American (who still are deeply rooted in animation as only for children). This kind of research also helped me to know where to look at for references on artists I wanted to follow.
Lets go for what sboard artists in big companies do, and how it overlaps in even smaller companies
In my attempt to be a hireable and competent storyboard artists with a place in the current animation world I browsed the internet to find websites and online portfolios of storyboard artists that had graduated in the last two years, from around the world. I was mostly interested in people already working in the industry, but I also checked the ones made by graduates of Calarts, Gobelins and Sheridan, renowned schools that most of the big studios have as first choice for new jobs. I also grouped together the portfolios of full freelance artists and a specific category for British animation graduates currently working in the UK.
To see so much examples helped me figure out the industry standard, which will work in benefit of my own portfolio and my possibilities to position myself in the industry. I noticed that display order gives a strong sensation of professionalism. Having all the samples organized in a clean, straightforward way allows to appreciate the skills and strengths of the portfolio owner. Also, I saw that social media presence and relevance is essential to keep the network alive and find projects to work on. It is also useful to list the softwares one can work with and to have the CV available on the websites.
The other big characteristic of portfolios of professional artists is that, even if their main focus is storyboard, the majority of portfolios display more than storyboard samples: they show character animation and work on design, a lot of them also add comic and illustration samples to show their proficiency in visual expression. Storyboard artist for Dreamworks Animation, Kris Peran, points how his practice as storyboard artist for animation feature films is shaped by his ability to understand the animation process and how storyboarding is about solving problems before they happen in a more developed stage of production. He also mentions that storyboarding is the practice of “communicate with pictures as fast as you think”. (Peran, 2014)
In general, portfolios must be memorable, easy and fast to read.
Knowing all the requirements and qualifications for being a storyboard artist in the animation industry locally and internationally , I was able to fully understand my ultimate goal :
to Develop a Profesional Portfolio.
It is stressful to think that the portfolio should show everything you are capable of, without any backup, but if it achieves that, it will be a success. Thinking what you want your portfolio to transmit is key to go somehwere with it
To be able to develop a career and making the most of the different aspects of the animation course, not every piece is a portfolio piece and not all have the explicit purpose of adding to a checklist. In a career that requires practice and practice, drawing should come second nature and for this reason balancing the heavy projects with learning new skills and practicing was also a priority. This is what I called during the length of the MA as “personal practice” (opposed to professional practice)
Another way to learn interconnective skills like storytelling or character design and a software or style, is to have side projects that allowed me to experiment and get to know my own narrative voice and let me make mistakes without much pressure and change to a different approach at the middle of the project if I found it more fitting. Versatility is also a key point in the industry job since it increases the employment rate and a necessity for a job where each project requires different approaches narratively and technically.
These same side projects where the ones that more often sparked my own curiosity to start a discussion with professionals, because having more ground on the subject was a big improvement considering the beginning of the MA, when the lack of experience made the talks more superficial with a lack of real purpose.
Since every aspect that interest me in the profession is deeply rooted in drawing sometimes this gets forgotten in the perks of editing and learning softwares. Through the pages of An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From the Private Sketchbooks of Artists (2008), Danny Gregory gathers the experience of people working on several types of visual media, illustrators, animators, comic artists, and painters, about keeping a sketchbook. The most common point is that their principal purpose is to organize and visualize ideas. Some notes in the sketchbooks are life drawing details and some are fast paced situations. And they agree that is often the same material that feeds other part of their professional work, be it personal pieces or commercial. I did my best to keep a productive sketchbook,
When I watch an animated series, the first thing that I ask myself is if it makes sense to it be an animation. Not everything does. And some stories are just animated for no reason.
This is one of those series in which the animation is one of the main story components. it would be nearly impossible to make such bold contrasting scenarios, and touch the humor on it so smoothly with scenes full on drama.
The design, the scenery, this entire world makes sense visually and is not that easy to achieve.
When I was little I didn't liked Samurai Jack. mainly because it was impossible to me to follow the story and even more the way cartoon network transmited the episodes.
Now they have a new season and so far I can tell that it wont be disappointing.
This is a series based in composition and strong sense of action. Atmospheric with this glimpses of humor even in darkness treating serious moments as heavy and full of emotion. A series that also has the main character wear heels without being degrading.
This one is in my top 10 series of all time. And I am going to keep studying it for its humor, storytelling, composition and design.
.Passing a weight between characters.
Even tho I like the subtle things in this one, overall I am not happy with the movement itself. It has too many inconsistencies.
But I want to name what Chris calls housekeeping.
For working with two characters it is necessary and make things easier. Having two timings make thing messy, but the moment I know what I am doing I can worry about inbetweening.
Also timing the small actions such as the grabby hands or the gentle push of the object to child; has a lot of acting by itself and acting is something I really like to do (that is why i am still stubbornly wanting to be an animator, even tho I am slow animating).
There are two main aspects to consider while researching the career prospects of storyboard artists: the storyboard making itself, and the application of the skills in the context of industrial production.
looking for professionals currently working in the industry has been very enlightening and useful for my research
The main lesson was an obvious one: storyboard artists work in all of the fields of visual media. Adaptability is necessary to work on the field, because the size of the crew, the production needs and the resources vary wildly among short films, tv shows, feature films and advertising for different media. Even if my main goal is to be able to work in a studio based job, I know I must learn about the characteristics of freelance jobs, since they make up for a lot of the offer
Knowing the possibilities of an active storyboard artist career is one of my principal goals.
Deeper in my research on how to start in the animation industry lead me to ask myself how it works around the world. One of the paths on starting as a storyboard artist is to start on television since often, the position in studios requires less experience than working on feature animated films.
This week task: Lifting a heavy object.
I find myself driven to traditional pen a paper, light box and pencil test animation. It makes thinking about the timing, planing the movement more tangible than being able to try it all the time, like it happens in digital animation.
Even with the weird snaps in the neck and the nailed knee, I can tell that my guy, this guy is lifting something.
Thinking about the movement beforehand was Incredible important.
As an illustrator terribly driven to comic for almost a decade, I am used to braking down movements focusing in how it is more logical, and for animation, I plan and plan the keys, maybe that is a good thing now that I am starting.
Also getting use to draw the thing you are going to draw seems REALLY useful, mostly if you want to think about movement and no how you were drawing hands or heads or something.
First animation exercise: A water balloon rolling down stairs. Or better, a weird slug.
That is the definition of failed warm-up.
The idea of these exercises are getting us to think about animation, movement by itself. And also to give us the bases of animation in general (be it d@, stop frame...anything).
Even if it feels like a failed animation, the means to get there are also important knowledge and with this I wrapped the idea of timing.
Roll down weird slug, keep rolling
I took some of the characters of Percy Jackson and the Olympians book (that I recently read) and decided to design them and make animated head rotations to see how the designs and the style would work animated. Also as a practice to get use to TVPaint software setting myself a goal of making two characters a week in any free time I got between university projects.
Rough design of the characters from the book:
This can be the first time I've been animating human characters and not faceless puppets for animation practice. I was aiming to improve:
-Working myself around the shapes of characters I designed fir animation made me realize that the construction is essential to keep consistency, even in the details.
-Testing how the design is fit for purpose was a really important practice. Having to decide abandon details or solve curly hair.
-The face feature I found more difficult to keep in consistency were the eyebrows. Until I realized how the layers worked on TVPaint..
- It started taking me 3 hours getting satisfied(~ish) with the rotation and at the end I could work it in around 1 hour.