Monday, 29 March 2010

Being an Animator

I'm always reluctant to carry on about how exciting it is to be an Animator, as Animation Mentor have pushed this idea to the extreme of sounding like used-car salesmen. I dont want to do that.

But i can say that there is alot to say about being an animator. One thing is that the situation is constantly changing, ie, you work on several projects that are often nothing like the last, so theres some sort of variation, which is so pivotal in keeping life fresh.

On the other hand , it can mean that some of the best animators in the world end up doing really mundane tasks at times, like cleaning the mocap data on a dogs jaw for 3months, or animating 300 books opening. I dunno, you get my drift.

But there are other things that make animation a great art to immerse yourself in.
here is one of my favorite:

I HATE the tabloids. Always realeasing disturbing vague information each morning, like the one headline 'Killed by half a paracetamol tablet' in huge black letters in the front of the paper. read further and it says in small print....'the victim took 16 tablets, which was one half more than her body could handle'

But , because I am an animator, I can still find use and joy is skipping through the badly written tabloids, because I get to see unusual characters, unusual poses, stages in a walk cycle, line of action, flow lines, the list goes on. Another good example is looking through the sports pages. I enjoy some sports, but I dont reach for the sport pages in the morning, and i dont care for football, but wow! When I go through the sports pages, i see human bodies being pushed to the extreme, I see action poses, bodies out of balance, and hand poses, man , do I see some freaky hand poses. When a person is concerntrating so hard, and pushing themselves so hard, that hands really do interesting things.

The train can be a dismal place in rush hour. But seeing such different folks arriving an leaving always creates enough observationnal entertainment. One of the animators at work told me how he train was delayed and detoured and he was an hour late, but it was the best train journey ever, because he saw some kids that inspired him to make a short film, and he wouldnt have thought of it ohterwise.
I thought that was an interesting idea, because i know for sure there were several people standing on several platforms, waiting for a train that was late, standing all defensively, arguing with the platform staff, and peering down the incoming railway track every five seconds, as if that somehow magically makes the train arrive sooner.
Definitely not animators.......We're watching them!