Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pre-production stuff

I found a couple of sites that outline the animation process, including pre-production:

The Process of Making Animation: Preproduction

2D Animation Process

And then I looked at a bunch of the roles in animated films by checking movie credits on IMDB.  There are sooo many roles!  It's crazy.  Just take a quick glance at the lists for Wall-E and Up.  As far as the pre-production roles go, it seems like they usually require many storyboard and developmental artists, but only a couple of character designers (or specifically character art directors)--just something interesting to note.

Wall-E Cast & Crew

Up Cast & Crew

I also began looking through blogs and portfolio websites by character designers who worked in Pixar or Dreamworks (you can see these blogs on one of the links that Jen put in the first or second blog post).

One example is this guy, H.B. "Buck" Lewis.  It's just fun to see their work--both for the movies they worked on and their work outside of those movies.

Story in Animation

Here's a really good blog about story in animation. The blogger is story artist Jenny Lerew, and she offers some interesting insight into the pre-production industry.
Her post on pitching: http://blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com/2006/02/on-story-pitching.html
Her post on story simplicity: http://blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com/2006/02/on-story-simplicity.html

Also, I found this little "manual" on storytelling. This is not specifically about animation, but it is still important and interesting to read, if you want to know how to really reach an audience.
Information on a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the quality of animation, and the exchange of ideas. It has a bunch of information, especially on the history of animation.


Job titles and techniques in production

Here they have a list of job titles organized per section of production and type of animation. Navigate to other types like 2d or stop-motion on the right hand side.

Example of technical aspects behind the creation of water in 3d. Packages used were Xenodream, 3ds max, Krakatoa PRT loader, and realflow; with the edition of pre-made light shaders, it creates a realistic moving and looking water effect.


I found some info on pre-production crew positions which include the casting department/ art department/ costume design/ special effects department/ etc at this website:


This was also an in detail job requirements in order to work as a "Pre-Production Assets Supervisor" at Lucasfilms:


As I was surfing the lucasfilm website I came across this: layout/matchmove artist. According to the description it is "the replication of the real set, camera and camera move within the computer for later use by animators and technical directors. Each shot in which 3D computer graphics are to be added begins with a matchmove. In the CG Layout process, Camera Matchmoves and original CG camera moves are integrated to create the framework of each Sequence. Often this includes manipulating both 2d and 3d elements, while maintaining accurate camera perspective. In some cases a sequence might be entirely Computer Generated with no live action background elements." I just thought it was interesting since I had never heard of such a position before, although I think this is more of a production thing than a pre-production.


An interesting article on how a strong pre-production can save the Indian animation industry:


Another interesting thing that I've come across are 3D production managers/ 3D storyboard artists:


Tips on how to get Funding and Grants for Independent Animation

I forgot to post this last week, so here goes:

Here are some web pages for non-profit organizations involving animation.

The Animaticus Foundation
Non-profit organization dedicated to the preserving, teaching and evolving the artform of 2D animation in a digital world. Hosts annual 2D animation festival in Everett, Washington, USA.

The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE
The labor union for creative artists, writers and technicians in motion-picture and television animation and computer graphics in southern California.

Non-profit supporting the European animation industry. Hosts training seminars and co-production forums, and presides over the Cartoon d'Or award.

Cartoonists Northwest
An association of professional and amateur cartoonists, animators and illustrators operating in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

Flanders Animation

Portal of content related to the Flemish animation industry, including artist portfolios, jobs and news. Managed by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Iota Center
An organization dedicated to the study of the art of light and movement. Includes many resources on experimental animation/visual music.

Women In Animation
Non-profit organization for women and men who are involved in the art and industry of animation. Includes networking opportunities, list of programs and events, resources, member benefits, and FAQs. Regional chapters across USA and Canada.