Thursday, September 14, 2006

An oldy but a goody

hand drawn animation on Vimeo
It's hard to believe that this piece of animation is nearly 4 years old now-- thank goodness for growth. Some of those drawings a terrible in there! The fun thing about this shot is it was the first real shot that i had on the film that was of any significance. It ain't perfect, i hate the last 30 frames of it or so, i got very pressured by production towards the end of this shot ( was pretty slow back then). I don't think straight under pressure... it coulda been so much better, but ah well-
Things have been so crazy- working day, night and weekends. I have no time to post anymore... sucks i know-- but i see free time coming my way, and when it does be sure you see a continuation on the "tie down" part of these tutorials!
Until then, cheers!


Bobby Pontillas said...

Wow! That looked like it was a lotta fun to do.

I was just listening to the Nik Ranieri Anim Podcast today @ work where he was talking about Roger Rabbit & workin with the photostats, which this reminds me of. So my question is, were there any significant advances in technology that made this scene easier to execute than It would've back then? Just curious.

Looks great!

Matt Williames said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AkinYaman said...

great action thanx for sharing matt

Kevin Mcleod said...


It's cool! the fact that YOU DO take the time to share your trials in animation and help other by answering emails is great! I speak for myself but you have been very helpfull for my little animation I have been working on. The fact that you mentioned that you used to be slow give me hope in knowing I will get faster at it too.


Julián Höek said...

hi matt, exelent pencil test, it's amazing. i love to see what's new on your blog every day (post more often!!).
this was 4 years ago and was your first work in the animation biz??
i don't know how are the things in the states but here (argentina) to become an animator you first have to work as a inbetweener, then as an asistant and after some long years doing that you get to animate. it's very rare to see someone get a chance to animate when he or she is under 30. i see you were already very talented at your first work and i was wondering if you did some asistant work b4 that or you learn all your craft at cal art or some school like that.
perhaps here it's like this becouse there isn't any animation school to go and you learn most of the stuff by working. another thing i was wondering is what's the average age people start working as animators over there, what do you think it is? and how old are you now?

Matt Williames said...

Bobby-- yeah man, not much has changed- we used just plain old photo-stats. Occassionally we'd get CG ground plains ontop of the live action, but i didn't get it for this shot. Wasn't enough time-- it was a very fun shot though!
Akinya: thanks a lot!
K: Yeah, i thinks it's important to share our struggles with others-- all of my favorite animators struggle in one way or another. There's this little thing called pride that gets in the way sometimes and we begin to believe that we really are just that great. NEVER go there man! it'll be the death of your growth.
Julian: Thanks man! I'd post more but i've got A TON of other things going on right now that are more important... mainly a wife!
Well, this isn't the first animation i'd ever done. I was really fortunate to have gotten a lot of experience animating in high school (like from 14 to 17) professionally (they we VERY patient with me). But i guess i started when i was 12-- my dad bought me a disc and my first reem of paper and EVEN converted my drafting table into an animation table. what a great dad!
I did start as an animator on looney tunes-- but i think it was more because they needed the help, not because of my "amazing skills". I think had i started at Disney or Dreamworks i would have only started as a ruff inbetweener, MAYBE an animating assistant if my bribe was good enough!
Average age? hmm, tough to say-- anywhere from 18 to 24 would be my guess- I was 20 when i was hired on Looney Tunes. I'm 24 now--

nickwatson said...

great site

Julián Höek said...

hmm, tough to say-- anywhere from 18 to 24 would be my guess

my god, here at that age one can be happy to be an asistant!

Halya said...

You say it's not that great, but I just hope I'm able to animate like that one day :)

Claudio Bartolomeu said...

Hey Matt,i love coming here because of your kindness to share your knowledge :) I am curious to know how you approach a shot like that, where the character is moving all over the place (pose to pose, straight ahead, etc..)

Also i have a question about using video reference, for example, Mr. Baxter says he acts it out in his head, so i assume he does not shoot any video reference. Is that common for animators, to have everything planned in their heads? i understand the use for research, like mr. keane mentions in a podcast, but i wonder if video reference is a common use, just as that, reference to get inspired, would love to hear your thoughts if not asking much :)

Thanks for this great space of inspiration!

Matt Williames said...

Vic: Thanks man! Yeah, like i said i am so happy for growth! I gotta keep growing with the likes of YOU out there! :)
Nick: thanks!
Julian: I guess it's just different for everybody huh? There are plenty of incredible animators who went through the clean-up ranks-- Sergio Pablos, possible one of the greatest guys working today (in my opinion) never went through clean-up but i've heard him say he wished he had! There so much to learn from clean-up! It takes a danged good draftsmen to do a good job--
Halya: Thank you for your kind words!
polymover: I love sharing my experiences with others-- it's part of what animation is all about! As far as how i approached that scene-- the shot looks deceptively difficult, but it's really not that difficult. I had a lot of free reign from Eric Goldberg on it so i was able to do what i wanted with it for the most part. To answer your other question first-- yes, i plan my shots out in my head. My feeling is that i have to if i am gonna get it out in a clear way. My friend and mentor, Frank Molieri, is famous for saying "the scenes already done, i just gotta draw it." Franks a funny guy so at first i thought it was a joke, but the more i thought about it he was so right! So yes, iplan my shots out thuroughly before i execute them.
As for this shot i started with blocking- getting my main story-telling poses in there. Threw the "gun" gag in there too, sort of a play on of "cops and robbers". Once i had the basic skeleton and blocking for the shot, i started filling it in, getting the legs planted, putting the break downs in, refining the spacing and performance. hope that helps! thanks to everyone who keeps dropping by, as i have said many a time before i am going to continue the tutorials i just need time to breath! soon, very soon!

Claudio Bartolomeu said...

Thanks matt, it helped me to understand better, keep doing the geat work! :)


Ah yes , I remember . The new tests you've been doing are lookin great. You've been growing and having fun man. Keep it up. I have a blog now so I can actualy talk to you, kind of. Take care.

Miyuki Kanno Long said...

Wow, this is very inspiring! I don't understand where you have bad drawings. It still looks so awesome! Thank you for posting this!


Dude , I'm tottaly going to the new LA zoo when I get back! I miss that place. And man seriously you have been growing in leaps and bounds. Its great to watch!

Todd Oman said...

very cool blog, love reading your tutorials.

Matt Williames said...

ahhh shucks Shane-- It means a lot to hear you say that man! I always admired your artistic chops. Wish iwas as good a draftsmen and designer as you! hopefully someday we'll find ourselves working together again, maybe even with the "MOST POWERFUL ANIMATOR IN THE UNIVERSE".
tODD: THANKS man! appreciate it. Haven't had much time to update but plan on it as soon as i can!

unbemerkt said...

ha, i like it very much - it's ok, that you would do it better today. :)
that is quite normal, isn't it?

like your blog especially the line tests!

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