Hopping Ball (3ds Max)

I’m learning to animate in 3ds Max for an upcoming freelance gig.

It’s a little like that episode in every superhero TV show ever where the main character loses their powers and has to go back to doing everything the hard way. They have an existential crisis, but then they realize that it was never their powers that made them a hero, it was their character…

…or maybe it’s just a matter of putting the right keys on the right frames. Could be that.

It’s actually a pretty comfortable transition thanks to 2014’s new “Maya Interaction” mode so I can use the Alt+Mouse viewport navigation that is so committed to muscle memory.

Simple Ball Rig courtesy of Cláudio Escobar.


"Child of Light" Announcement Trailer

This is the most gorgeous and exciting thing I’ve seen in a long while. The art and JRPG elements are exactly what I want in a game. I was so bummed at first because I thought it was a PS4 exclusive (and I’m not getting one any time soon) but then BAM! it’s coming out for everything! Can’t wait!

iAnimate Podcast with Robert "Darryl" Purdy (Far Cry 3)

The folks over at iAnimate have started podcasting every week or two for the past few months and I only recently noticed. While I was catching up I listened to their December 21st interview with Robert “Darryl” Purdy (Animation/Cinematics Director for Far Cry 3, now at Warner Games) and I just had to share it.

I’ve listened to a lot of animation podcasts over the years: The Animation PodcastSpeaking Of AnimationSpline Doctors10th Muse. I haven’t listened to every single episode of these but those I have listened to are almost always about film animation or animation as a general art form or games as a general topic. This is the first time I’ve heard a podcast that was exactly about the things I deal with every day and I couldn’t stop nodding my head “yes!” as I listened to it.

Don’t ask me why the blurb description says he worked at Bungie and Lucas Arts in the past because as far as I can tell he didn’t, but whatever. Give it a listen.

Blocking Technique by Kevin Jackson (Updated)

Kevin “KJax” Jackson shares this fantastic tip on a quick blocking workflow that is not only fast and simple, but keeps your blocking very easy to edit up until you commit to move on. The technique uses one of the many tools included in MGtools which comes in both free and paid versions. I already have a tool that my genius friend Anthony made that does the same thing so I haven’t checked to see if you need the paid version of MGtools or not.

Kevin was a year behind me in school and whereas I only had a brief stint at Rhythm & Hues he’s been there for about 5 years and has earned the role of supervising animator. His animation is not only imaginative and well polished, but he works quickly so it’s worth listening to any advice he has to share.

Update:Kevin has uploaded Part 2 in which he shows how the technique works in an actual shot with more complexity. He also shows off a few more of the many fantastic functions of the MGtools suite of MEL scripts.

Keith Lango "Retires" From Online Animation Instruction

The original online mentor for animation, Keith Lango, is going dark. Oh he’s still animating and even teaching, but he’s closing the book on his long-running online instruction and blogging.
Ten years ago, when I was in school, there wasn’t the plethora of awesome online animation resources there are today. If you wanted to print out some classic animation notes there was (and still is) AnimationMeat.com; If you wanted a forum to meet people, get feedback on your WIP, be inspired or get some practice there was 10secondclub, CG-Char, Digital|Rendering and a few others; If you wanted really clear and practical tutorials about HOW to animate there was Keith Lango.
Over the years he added even more resources like videos that explained things even more clearly, or personally tailored 1-on-1 online animation mentorship.
Today, there’s a lot of competing online animation instruction options available and Keith leads a pretty full life as it is so he won’t be creating any new online material, but all of the old stuff will be kept online so if you haven’t benefited from it yet, you still can.

The Classic Tutorials
The Video Tutorials :`(
Keith’s YouTube Channel

So thanks a bunch, Keith. I never met you, but I learned a lot from you about animation, dealing with disappointment gracefully, and remembering that there are a lot of things in life that are far more important than animation.

For those of you who don’t necessarily want to sign up for the much larger commitment of time and money that schools like Animation Mentor, iAnimate, or AnimShcool require but really want quality, on-going animation wisdom rejoice! KennyRoy has picked up the torch and is doing a fantastic job of carrying it forward.

Where’ve I Been & What’s New?

So I disappear from the blog for over a year and then just start posting again with no explanation? How dare I?

To be fair I actually started blogging again last year, but I’ve been doing it over at KennyRoy.com because, well, people actually read that blog. So general animation stuff goes there, and things that relate to me, but are also probably somewhat animation related will go here – but probably not as often as at the other site so go subscribe to that blog for more regular doses of animation goodness.

There’s a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to post, but now it’s sort of old news, so here’s one giant brain dump about everything that’s new in my life since I posted my 2010 demo reel last June. Continue reading “Where’ve I Been & What’s New?”