Monday, July 18, 2011
Animating a dialogue scene in CG has the advantage of being able to refine the smallest of details until the very end. But with stop motion and clay animation, A desired change in the timing of the lip sync can call for a complete reshoot. How can you avoid those reshoots and fully prepare for well-timed lip sync? Here is an in-depth look at preparing for and shooting lip sync for a clay animation character. I've includes methods of reading tracks, principles of working with dialogue, and techniques of stop motion and clay animation.
Side Note: This week I started work at Bent Image Lab in Portland Oregon on a stop motion project. It's one of those hush-hush projects so I can't get into details or share pictures. It is, however, already proving to be an epic learning experience as I step back into a stop motion studio after being away for fifteen years. So I will at least be able to pass on learned techniques in future tutorials.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Hi, I’m Michael, and this is my reel.
When I’m teaching an animation class, that is generally how I start the first day. The reel is not to show off, but to answer the question “does this guy know how to do something I would like to do?” While there are already some great blogs out there to present you with examples of fine stop motion animation, my goal is to present video tutorials that explore the methods and principles of how this animation can be created on a minimal budget.
I also give my class a quick review of my career: After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in film, animation emphasis, I worked at a stop motion animation studio called Matthews Productions for five years. We made shows for PBS, ABC, and the Disney Channel. The daily quota of footage was pretty high, but it was a great opportunity to develop a bold animation style under considerable creative freedom. This job was followed by eight years at Pixar. Smaller quota, less creative freedom, but I learned a lot working for masters of animation. After that I worked in freelance, games, mocap (Imagemovers Digital), teaching, and video production.
Then last year I thought it would be interesting to apply what I have learned while working in CG to stop motion animation. I started with a couple entries in the 11-Second club. I then started in on a series of shorts for Copic Markers. Now I find that there is an audience for video tutorials on the subject, so as I work through these projects, I will make detailed videos about the production process.
I hope you will consider this blog to be not just a site to view these videos, but also to interact with the stop motion and clay animation community. Post links to your work in comments. Ask questions. Answer questions. Request subjects for future tutorials. Share your recipe for microwaved baked potato and beans (who has time to cook while working on animation?).