Wednesday, October 11, 2017

First Look At "The Highway Rat"

The BBC issued a press release announcing the cast of The Highway Rat and providing a first official look.  David Tennant leads the cast for the special that will air on BBC One this Christmas.  You can read the whole article HERE

As The Highway Rat himself would say:
“Give me your pastries and puddings! Give me your chocolate and cake! For I am the Rat of the Highway, and whatever I want I take.”

Friday, October 6, 2017

APSU's First 24 Hour Animation Contest Starts!

Austin Peay has FIVE teams competing in the 24 Hour Animation Contest for Students in our first year competing!

The theme was announced at 6pm our time and the teams have exactly 24 hours to create from scratch a 30 second animated short.  We have 23 students - from studio art, graphic design, acting/directing, and comm/broadcasting students all working together.  I'm super proud of everyone turning out for a fun crazy night/day of animation!

More details about the competition can be found HERE

Monday, September 25, 2017

Racing Legends Ride Thru

This is the best video I've seen yet for Racing Legends.  I animated the first Barcelona sequence, the Rome bit, and the Future Track at the very end.  Really fun to see in action, even if it's handheld non-stereo...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Some Educated Thoughts

So...I love college.  I loved being a student and I love being a professor.  I see a great many advantages to getting a degree in art and animation - it is an amazingly rare opportunity to grow and develop and discover in an energetic atmosphere.  That being said, it's a path that's not for everyone.  While it's true that a "degree" is not needed to get a job in the industry - I do believe that an "education" is necessary to become a viable (and hire-able) artist.  

To often I see people (often those initially trying to get into the industry, but others too) say they are going to be taking time off to "work on their portfolio for a bit" - words that strike my soul cold.  So I would like to offer a few thoughts on “portfolio development” based on what I’ve seen others go through over the years…

Even if you’re not pursuing a traditional education, I highly recommend taking some online classes.  Some of the most talented artists I know are now also doing online classes – many include personal feedback sessions and are I think the best education you can get right now if the goal is to get “into the industry”.  A bonus result is also the start of networking.  I know my wife and I have recommended students we had in online classes for entry-level jobs (or work too busy to take on).  These workshops are almost always shorter than a usually University semester (4 to 8 weeks) and can be a more affordable option.  

Why I recommend these is so that you aren’t developing your work in a bubble (even sharing among your friends and online peers is still a bubble).  An industry pro (who doesn’t have time or patience for B.S. work) is a great mentor and forces you to A) work outside your comfort zone B) have hard deadlines and C) have to share your work with a new set of peers who have different backgrounds/expectations.  I’ve seen too many people who spend years working (or worse, endlessly “revising") their portfolios with no deadlines or honestly any real improvement.  Don’t get trapped into an endless spiral of just “portfolio development” - get out and get some experience too!

My ideal world for someone would be to get out to a city with some industry jobs (Vancouver, LA, NYC) and get some job in the industry (ANY job..even a production assistant busy getting overtime dinners ordered) while you take some online workshops.  Get feedback from artists at the job/internship you can land – THEY are your best chance at a full-time job.  A great portfolio can  sneak a foot in the door – to have it open wide you need job experience and a hearty couple of recommendations from current employees.  

All that being said, a few online places I recommend (depending what you want to build your portfolio on):




2D/3D mix

Monday, September 18, 2017

Highway Rat Animation Wraps

As the Triggerfish Facebook post says, we wrapped on animation on The Highway Rat this week.  There's some incredible animation on this one and it only will keep looking better in lighting!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Heather's Pluralsight Course is Live

Yay for Heather!  She had a busy summer creating a stunning online course for Pluralsight.  There's seriously so much info packed into this well-crafted class.  I'm very proud of Heather.  You can check it out by following this LINK

Description from the site:

Learning how to you matte painting effectively and efficiently can elevate your work to the next level. In this course, Matte Painting Basics and the Static Camera Shot, you will begin by gaining a solid understanding of foundational techniques by learning about resolution, static grain, distorted plates, bit depth, and software settings. 
Next, you'll learn how matte paintings should be organized, what painting techniques will break your shot, and even small details like how to name your files and layers. Once you understand how to properly setup and build your file, you will learn how to match your plates perspective, and alter the perspective of some architecture to fit into your shot. During the blocking phase you'll also learn how to build your own personal reference library, and then how to extract and clean up your painting after you've finished blocking. You will then take your painting from photoshop to nuke to composite and add life and movement to your static shot. 
Finally, you'll learn a bit about how matte painting fits into a vfx pipeline, how to hand off your shots to another artist or department, and the process of revision in the visual effects world. By the end of this course, you'll have a beautiful shot and be more confident in setting up your own static matte paintings. Software required: Photoshop-CC-2015.5, NukeX-10.5v2.