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So you want to be an Animator? Here's what to expect.

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The industry doesn't have a lot of room for the inadequate--but schools seem to gloss over this point.
I'm not going to mince words with anyone here--YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD. Standing out, in some respect, is a asset.

There's also that "it's not what you know it's WHO you know" aspect. Possibly some friendship made within the industry could help your career while, on the other side of the coin, some rivalry could hurt your career.

But I guess that's a constant element in any field.

Oh, and about the injury thing, I did have one of my legs run over by a car when I was 8. Would that count for something? :o

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

My own education, while lacking in some respects, has given me a new approach to the process. Drawing has become more like sculpture. Line of action is the wire armature, getting the volumes is like putting clay on the armature and getting the proportions right. If you're doing an actual hand-drawn sequence, you can spend a lot of time right here. But when you've got it, you can add structure and detail, and you have something with energy. I still have a long way to go. But I do feel like I "get it" a lot more than I did.

Ultimately, I think of hand-drawn like figure drawing. It's a necessary foundation skill, but it's getting less and less likely that it'll make you employable in itself.

I would say pick up a few books like Preston Blair's Cartoon Animation, and Force by Mike Matessi. Maybe look into some of the Brian Lemay books and classes.

http://www.brianlemay.com/

Apply for scholarships, and use that as your guage for if you're ready for a full course. Please, please avoid high dollar private schools. I took that route, and it backfired really badly. The admissions department at VFS was anxious enough to take my money. But then I encountered a couple of teachers in key positions who didn't think teaching me was worth their time. They have a criteria that has nothing to do with whether or not you've been admitted to the school.

I learned most of what I know about animation on my own and out of books. I was left with this huge debt, and an education that didn't make me employable. You don't want to be where I am right now. Studios don't care about your "commitment" they only care about your portfolio and demo reel. If I had it to do over again, I'd take a few classes and try to get some freelance work. And work on a demo reel. That's really all anyone cares about.

Money is not important as long as you are happy to tell people where you work.

Do you mean that like it sounds, like you concern yourself that highly with other people's image of you? Or are you saying you don't care so long as you're happy where you're at because you enjoy the work?

wow thank you so much for spending your time writing about everything you have learned from your experiences, ken. i havent read anything like this before and i have learned so much about the reality , having to learn about the business aspect too. it has also motivated me so much to just stay persistant and its amazing to hear this from someone so successful and i hope you continue to share more of what you know with us. i really appreciate it and you really should write a book because everything you wrote is something i want to always refer back to and remember.

im working on becoming a 3d animator. i plan to go to animation mentor but i want to try to get into advanced classes which is just the last 3 courses and would be $10,000 cheaper.

animation is something i REALLY want to do. so i figured i would be able to learn on my own and if i could stick with that then it would mean i have what it takes to be successful. but its really tough learning without any direction.

i bought the illusion of life and the animator survival kit and they are amazing.

to learn maya, i bought a digital tutor subscription and i have to say its terrible but ive watched about 200 lessons of it and they make it so hard to learn because they are so bad at teaching in the video tutorials. they dont explain what they are doing. its just you sitting there watching them doing it and you have to figure out everything while they ramble about so much junk you have to listen to finally hear the one important thing they say in each video. most of their tutorials are much longer than what they need to be. like a 15 minute long video of them just making 1 pose and not explaining anything. they are really killing my confidence.

i watched the 3dbuzz talented ball tutorial that was like 60 videos long and they were AMAZING at teaching. they explain everything excellently and why they do things, they dont say any useless bullshit. but their maya software is from like 5 years ago so when i finished that project, i got digital tutors and they are 50x worse. they make me lose so much confidence but i still try to bare with it and learn but i just wish there were better tutorials out there like the one i watched from 3dbuzz. im struggling with staying persistant because of this.

there seems to be a huge lack of good tutorials so now im just feeling stuck. im really struggling to learn and its hard to not have any direction of what i should be working on.

ive been doing a lot of research and plan to buy jason ryan and keith lango animation tutorial series. i also plan to buy all those recommended animation books once im done reading my current ones. drawn to life, how to cheat in maya , etc.

so if anyone can help me out with direction, please do. its just so hard to find good tutorials for maya , specifically for animation. like i want to know the order of what i should learn things for 3d animation and why its so important to learn.

i hear i need to master ball animation, learn life drawings, storyboard, etc but i dont know stuff like why is it so important to learn life drawings for animation ? etc . and im really struggling with direction, like what i should do first

ScatteredLogical>My take on what Kazmierski is saying is that money doesn't matter as much as you being happy with your career. It's just that your love of the job will show when you tell others what you do, as it should do. No need to feel ashamed. Besides, someone has to be the janitor - otherwise, we're royally screwed. LOL!

Get to know me more through my blog at http://kaidonni.animationblogspot.com/! :cool:

Roogoo--there are doubtlessly good tutorials out there, you just have to search for them.
Even the bad or so-so ones can still be useful, but you have to learn how to pick the nuggets of useful info from them. Try different search engine entries and keep looking.

This is the skill to pick up here; watch whatever vids you have on hand over and over again, and then try out the methods on your own. That kind of emulation can be the route to developing the skills, even if the instruction itself is lacking.

Is this tough???
You bet it is.
But at the same times, its also a process that takes its measure of you because if you can stick out this process and gain insight along the way, it all becomes worth it. You have a method of approaching problem-solving that will serve you for a long time. And yes, its cheaper than paying thousands of dollars to go to school.
If you get frustrated, try something else. If that frustrates you, TRY SOMETHING ELSE. And so-on and so-on until you get results you want/ need. This is the ultimate success formula, as long as you use it, it NEVER fails.

The only way you fail in this process is if you give up.
If you say to yourself that there is no info out there, that the answers cannot be found, then you are correct.......and you have just bullshitted yourself.
If you persist in believing that every answer can be found, that there are indeed solutions for all of your drawing problems, then you are also absolutely correct. As long as you do not give up.....eventually, you will succeed.
Good Luck.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

All I know about Ken is that he worked on both Ren & Stimpy and the animated Batman, which are both sources of inspiration and study.

Maybe a web site would be a good way to sneak up on doing a book. I'd love to see some of Ken's work!

It's a relief to hear you talking about tastes. My life has become completely dominated by particular visual obsessions! I just got Jack Hamm's Cartooning The Head and Figure, and it's already one of my favorite drawing books.

Along with Toth, Jack Davis-- and several others, really-- I've been greatly inspired by Bernie Krigstein. I found this link the other night. It's one of my favorite of his EC crime stories, and I don't believe it's seen print outside of the comics themselves. Pretty cool...

http://www.louisville.edu/a-s/finearts/faculty/molotiu/Crime%20SuspenStories.html

All I know about Ken is that he worked on both Ren & Stimpy and the animated Batman, which are both sources of inspiration and study.

I also know that his head is shaped like a peanut. He's said it himself on many occasions. :D

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

I just don't want to be 40 and look back and realize that I never had time for anything but animation.

Or you could be 40, lookiing back and wondering what would have happened if you had a go at it.:)

Don't worry about that too much. People in animation have families; hobbies etc just like everyone else. We are not just geeks.

Good luck!

-Paul

Geez, you guys flatter me!

Well......the thing is that I'm a notorious procrastinator. It'd be a while ( 6 months minimum) before I'd get something done on this, and a whole book..........well.........

Probably what would be sane is a booklet, at least at first and it wouldn't be all encompassing, it'd just be my old-fart opinions.

I'll mull this over, but in the mean-time y'all can help out with this process but doing a lil' something to fuel this idea:

Ask your questions.

What would you want to see/need to have answered in such a tome?
Work culture? Mindset? Money situations? Pre-reqs? Books to look at? Things to be afraid of?
What colour socks to wear? Tater-tot recipes?
You tell me ( or we, because ANY "seasoned" pro could write or contribute to this.)--hell, maybe this should be a "pro-blog" or something?
( and I swore I'd never have anything to do with something called a "blog"--ick.

So if people really want this kind of thing, gimme a bone to start chewing on, let me know what you need to know.

Mind you, I DO have back-burner things I want to at least get underway, so something like this will have to wrestle for time amongst that and any ( inevitable, sigh) freelance stuff that happens.

Well, it doesn't have to be a big book... :) And I'm sure you have things on the burner. I just think you're on to something there.

I think you've already written your book.

I'm sure you could take each of points you made in those posts and expand on them, adding personal experiences and tips and techniques, making them chapters. Add some of your art and grab the permission to use the art of others (you've already said some examples) and boom. A book that all of us would be proud to have on our shelves, and would be frayed at the edges from its use.

Gene Deitch already wrote "How to Succeed in Animation" and it's free for viewing here on AWN. I like your approach better. Gene's book is for those looking to survive in the industry. Yours sounds like it is for those wanting to know how to get a solid start in the industry and then how to REALLY survive.

Your posts remind me of that book "Understanding Comics", especially the part where Scott talks about how young artists get started drawing and how some of them fall short. That book also talks about (what a friend has called) "animation theory" in many ways. Animation REALLY needs its own version of that book and I think you've just started to write it here.

Think about it. :)

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So I have a question that's really naive and dumb but.
How do you know when you're good enough to draw professionally?
Or when do you decide that your art can sell?
Sure, there's no end to art and you never know till you try.
Maybe it's different that when you're in the industry, you don't have time to stress over meticulous details or polishing your work because it's always about the deadlines.
But how do you deal with the fact that you're never satisfied with your work?
Like you never feel you've done your best and you can do better so you keep thinking "I'll do better NEXT TIME" but when next time comes, it's the same process all over again.

Is this because of perfectionism and low self-esteem and all that jazz and I should be on counseling forums instead?
I always thought that it's normal for artists to hate their work and that's why they work hard enough to improve.
So that they can try to see what's wrong with their stuff in the first place and work on that (whether it's being bad at backgrounds or colours, etc).

I'm still drawing, I don't intend to stop. I just don't know what to do with this mindset at all since its this is probably inhibiting me from opportunities and necessary criticism...

So I have a question that's really naive and dumb but.
How do you know when you're good enough to draw professionally?

The answer is; when your stuff looks like theirs--that is to say, like the stuff being produced in studios, comics, illustration etc. The good stuff you admire.

And that is not to say that you just "approximate" it, but that you can fully duplicate it AND extrapolate it so that your own drawings look as if they were done by the other "pro" artists.

Or when do you decide that your art can sell?

Put a price tag on it, put it were people can see it, see if anyone bites.

Maybe it's different that when you're in the industry, you don't have time to stress over meticulous details or polishing your work because it's always about the deadlines.
But how do you deal with the fact that you're never satisfied with your work?
Like you never feel you've done your best and you can do better so you keep thinking "I'll do better NEXT TIME" but when next time comes, it's the same process all over again.

George Lucas is quoted as saying: " A work of art is never completed, only abandoned"--and its a very cagey and truthful thing to say.
I'm NEVER satisfied with my work.
Ever.
I cannot recall ever meeting a fellow artist that has been otherwise.
When doing art for pay.......you get it done, hand it in and hope the client is happy with it.
Its a job, you do it and its over......seeking to crystallize it for all time....well, its a waste of emotion. After all, it ends up belonging to someone else.

So, at some point........you just let it go.
And hope you'll get more work........to let go of.
I can say, with some humility, that my work has just been good enough to get me more work, and that I have received pay for what I considered to be some of my WORST, sloppiest, most rushed work. But sometimes, that's what happens and that is what the job demands.

Is this because of perfectionism and low self-esteem and all that jazz and I should be on counseling forums instead?
I always thought that it's normal for artists to hate their work and that's why they work hard enough to improve.
So that they can try to see what's wrong with their stuff in the first place and work on that (whether it's being bad at backgrounds or colours, etc).

I've never seen it as "hating" my own work........its more acute dissatisfaction.
A bad drawing is a problem-solving obstacle.....one that's not been solved YET.
I have always believed that any drawing can be fixed, if one approaches it fearlessly. That's why I work at improving......so I can solve drawing-problems, and use those solutions to reach the next plateau. Its an ongoing-process, a never-ending journey.
Frustration is a great state to be in too, because the emotion is a signal of two things: one that we are investing a great deal of priority in solving the problem, and two that its a signal that the problem WILL be solved.
See, a not-well-known biological fact is that the human brain is wired in such a way that it is compelled to answer every question put to it. Every single one, and even if it has to make something up.
This is the most powerful tool humans have in influencing the world around them, and yet a lot of people don't understand how to use it.

The quality and use of the answer the brain supplies is based entirely on the quality of the question put to it. Global and generalized questions, such as "why can't I draw?" are very hard to answer because the parameters are next to impossible to define. However, if you ask a SPECIFIC question, such as " what exactly is that artist doing with their lines, and is there any pattern to it?", then you start to set the process working for you. Literally take this line of questions to the point where you are going " how much pressure is the artist applying there, as opposed to here, on a drawing", or " what does this colour choice say about the mood in this scene, and why does it mean that?".
Its a chunking-down of the overall concern (question) into smaller and more specific questions that get you the answers you need.
The emotional state of frustration prioritizes your focus onto answering those kinds of questions.
What you have to remember to do, is to develop the skill in asking specific, rather than global questions.

I'm still drawing, I don't intend to stop. I just don't know what to do with this mindset at all since its this is probably inhibiting me from opportunities and necessary criticism...

What I just told you about questions could probably steer you in the right direction. Life isn't really this hard on this score, its just that most people with this kind of frustration don't surround themselves with people or resources to answer things.
But you have just bucked that trend and ( unconsciously) acted on the very suggestion I made. :rolleyes:
Look at things with different eyes and, like anything else, PRACTISE it until you get comfortable using it.
You answers are within reach.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Greetings, I'm a second year college student animation in Belgium.

Because it's quite a small market in Belgium I'd really like to emigrate in a couple of years to America.
Do you think I should go for it or not?
I'm really into 2D and according to my teachers, who came from the business (despite the fact of the small market) they believe I would make it.
probable because I've got a really weird mind and I've sometime really absurd idea's and stuff

for the record, this is not for showing off
but it's rather that you get a small idea of what kind of a person I am to help you in your advice for my decision.
Because emigrating is a very expensive deal, and to be frankly,
they're aint growing money on the trees :P

here are some linetests I've made the last months:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfWIcn8sr_0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvA9N7xihHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7IetAJH80
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH8NlwgqXLk

in the mean time: thank you

thanks so much ken, i will take your advice to heart and watch those videos again and instead of being frustrated with it, i will watch it positively and take what little i can learn from it and apply it to my own work :D

i promise myself today that i will learn something new everyday, even if it is something little

i think the hardest part is seeing how good people are and being intimidated when i start to struggle or progress slow since im new and theres still a LONG way to go but i remember when i first opened up maya, i didnt think i could learn the interface but its so easy now that i learned that. so i know ill be able to be just as good if i keep learning!

the other hard thing is just being able to stay positive no matter what ,like walt disney ! he went through much worse and became a legend. theres so many things that are so intimidating when u are still new.

but really, thanks a lot i dont have anybody that believes in me and im surrounded by people that always doubt and say im going to be nothing and my house is a terrible environment with lots of drama.

but these books i got, learning about your experiences, and all the amazing animation videos ive seen have really inspired and let me know what it really takes to be a success.

so im going to focus on myself from now on and not let distractions get in my way, always stay positive, and learn something new EVERYDAY! currently i only know how to make a crappy bouncing ball and a crappy walk. i will post back next month, how much ive progressed :)

Mine was in the eyes too! I was crawling out of a doggie door in our front entrance and my sister and her friend were running by with a boombox. Slammed into my right eye and there's a cyst behind it now which over time latched onto my brain.

Umm..Score! :)

I had a rabbit bite off a huge chunk of my right forefinger when I was a kid. Does that count?

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i think the hardest part is seeing how good people are and being intimidated when i start to struggle or progress slow since im new and theres still a LONG way to go but i remember when i first opened up maya, i didnt think i could learn the interface but its so easy now that i learned that. so i know ill be able to be just as good if i keep learning!

I've found, in my own career, that taking a fearless approach is the most sensible course. Its "just a drawing" after all......so why be intimidated by it, or by another artist. I don't get intimidated much anymore, instead I get curious and intensely focused.
That "other artist" got results, didn't they?
All I, or you< have to do is find out what they did and it can be duplicated and then used in your own way for your own ends. That's the essence of problem-solving in this......that is ALL IT IS, just another problem to solve. Its not intimidating if you develop a strategy to approach it, and stick with it.

but really, thanks a lot i dont have anybody that believes in me and im surrounded by people that always doubt and say im going to be nothing and my house is a terrible environment with lots of drama.

Y'know what? This is going to sound harsh, but that sounds like the start of an excuse to fail. Its a cop-out.

If no-one else believes in you, fuck 'em.
If there's drama in the household, double-fuck 'em. Straight to hell.

Obviously they shouldn't be knocking you down, if their own lives have drama.
If they say you are going to be nothing......who the fuck made them an expert??
How much do they know about this craft, or artform??
They know jack-shit about it, right?

Your birthright is to make the best of YOUR life that you can.

That is regardless of any other fuck-up in life trying to drag you down with them. Cast people off if they are baggage. Screw the bullshit that are blood-ties, if blood relatives cannot get their act together.
That is not to say you don't love them any less, but that you deliberately put some distance between you and their drama to get YOUR life on track and successful.
I mean.......its YOUR life you are living, right? Or is it theirs??
Its not a selfish thought either, its an OBLIGATION to yourself. If they knew what they were doing, they be doing the same thing and not telling others they'll amount to nothing. Successful people don't need to step on others.

In our modern world......there's no excuse for drama. There's tools out there to use to help get one's psychology in order, and its not complicated. All it takes is adopting an open-mindset--that is the START of being smart.
Tell the people around you , who doubt you, that you love and care about them, but hey.......you got things to do and places to be & see. They will mock you, deride you.....they might even try to sabotage you......but fuck 'em. Do what you gotta do in spite of them.

But if you are caught up in the turmoil of drama in the home, ask yourself what it will cost you if you succumb to it or get caught up in it?
Is it worth you giving up your dreams and goals because SOMEONE ELSE doesn't know enough about something, or about how to manage their own life?
Managing that sort of thing means you need a game-plan, a step-by-step route to escape the nonsense.
I've seen and been in these kinds of situations myself, and I have a black & white view of them. You need to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to stabilize your own life, and do not depend on anyone else around you to cooperate. This is a life-skill that can serve you forever.
But if you succumb to the drama, you'll have the PERFECT excuse for the rest of your life, to blame anything you try and fail at.
Obviously, that's not desirable at all.
Heed the words of Yoda, the Jedi master in this: "Try? Try not. Do. Or do not, there is no try."

The bewildering thing about all this is.......what do you do?
Where do you start?
Pick a direction and get started.
See if it works, see if it gets results. Its not just a guide for drawing, its a formula that works in all aspects of life.
The more you focus on your goals, the more you take steps towards them, the more you WILL attract the things, people and tools that will help you achieve those goals--and the more the baggage of life will tend to drop back and fall by the wayside.
I don't know what your specifics are, and I don't know what particular strategies will work for you.
Just do not let someone else dictate to you what your life's destiny will be.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Everyone is dealing in such absolutes, you have to be "%100 sure!". College is ABOUT exploration, and finding out what you want to do. I have a bunch of friends who went in for animation but found out they were great at modeling, or TD, or whatever! Again I am not saying it isn't hard work, because it's a ton of hard work. But it is ok to try something and decide it’s not for you. If you are in high school you should especially not know exactly what you want to do!

Again all this talk that it is impossible to work anywhere in any long term fashion is absolutely not true! I work with people at my studio that have been there for 8 + years, and don't plan on going anywhere. So yea it's possible to find steady employment at a single place, it's not all that rare. And before everyone jumps on me I am admitting that this industry does have substantial "migrant worker" side to it. But that's practically every industry. Also if you work in say LA, Bay area, or NYC (places where most of the industry is centralized), even if you find yourself looking for a job, you end up working almost down the street. You also make so many connections so quickly that it tends not to be earth shattering. Point is, don't be discouraged, it's a fantastic career and not all doom and gloom. Most people change majors in college at least once anyway, so it's not an all or nothing deal.

I totally, TOTALLY agree.

I went from Sequential Art (comics) to Film to Graphic Design to Illustration to... well, eventually to Animation. It was really that journey through majors that I figured out that animation was for me. I think the key is putting 100% of yourself into anything you do. That way you'll know for sure.

I think constructive "doom and gloom" is good, so anyone considering animation is prepared.

Really, I think it helps if you are a "self-starter". Are you the type of person that needs the warm huggy feeling of a 9 to 5 time clock and a manager telling you what to do and the Matrix like assimilation into a system, or the type of person that is aggressive and works whenever and whatever and makes his own decisions and looks at their career from the outside? I think it HELPS if you're the latter, just so you're prepared to network and bounce from studio to studio if you find yourself in that situation.

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thank a lot! be as harsh as you want , thats what makes it so helpful, knowing what u suck at and improving it. also i found out why those people treated me like shit was because they hate my mom and she loves me most so they want to make my life hell. which is ridiculous but ya my dads side is like the most weird and hateful people u could ever meet.

and ya i got caught in it my whole life. i wasted my whole childhood just asking myself what did i do to deserve all this and kept digging myself into a deep sad hole.. but im 20 now and ive decided to change. when i found out about animation being a possible career, it was one of the happiest days.. finally knowing what i wana do with life. i thought about animation all day and night. i love every aspect of it.

also i really like your strong attitude outlook about everything. thats the type of person i want to be. thats EXACTLY how my mom is like and she ended up being successful with the business she opened up and my dads side hate to see her succeed but she always does which i think is very inspiring. she never home but when she is, shes so motivational. terrible things happen to her, but then the next day its like nothing ever happened and shes happy again

u are right i really have to stop making excuses and thinking all this bad stuff, i do this unconciously. but im going to learn something new everyday now to build up my confidence.

true, the people that were so mean to me was because their life wasnt going the way they planned and i guess they decide to take it out on me to feel better. but karma got them i guess and now their life is going even worse and they still trying to screw me over telling my mom to make me go back to crappy community college for something i dont want to pursue

anyways , i been trying to draw a story board of an animation idea i thought up but i cant draw good enough. like i want to draw people looking a certain way but i dont know how to draw at all yet. i want to study people movement more and i got a book for that - eadweard muy bridge people in motion and the animator survival kit for poses but i still dont know how to draw.

do u know a good resource for beginners to learn how to draw? i just want to be good enough at drawing to be able to make storyboards that show enough detail like how i want it to show. i guess like sketching. and i think it would be really helpful to be able to draw random things i see when i go places but i just dont know how to start learning to sketch or draw. like i wana learn all the foundation stuff

You could pick almost any drawing book and start with that.
The criteria for choosing should be a book that shows you clearly the steps in how to draw in a way that you want to draw.
It does you no good choosing a book that shows this lovely art.....but short-changes the steps on how to achieve said art.

To that end, my own choice is a book I learned to draw from way back around.....about 1976: Stan Lee and John Buscema's " How to Draw Comics, the Marvel Way".

The first part of the book is a very good basic beginner-level drawing instruction guide, and the rest of the book is geared more towards comics. The basics it touts represented a paradigm-shift in my own approach to drawing, took me to the next plateau, in fact.
Now, again, there are other books out there and other sources of instruction, but that was my own choice made and its the one I keep referring people to.
It can be found and/or assembled from on-line sources for next to nothing, or ordered off of Amazon for under $10. Its STILL in print, almost 40 years later.

My suggestion is to start simple, and build from there. Don't get caught up trying to do fancy techniques or effects right away--focus on the basics, but.....BUT.....
..consider this bit of advice: Draw what you like.
Do that and you'll keep on drawing.
Whatever you don't like or are weak at, add that stuff a bit at a time to a successful drawing.
Hate perspective? Draw a character in front of a simple fence or wall in perspective, and build from there in follow-up drawings. Don't replace what you know, ADD TO WHAT YOU KNOW. Don't give yourself a time-table--explore at your own pace and comfort level. A lot of people say to just draw what you are weak at to the exclusion of everything else, until you get good at it. I disagree because its boring and it seldom gives you results that encourage you to continue. Draw what you like and add to it a little bit each time.
Any other advice is wasted at this point, until you start drawing and start producing images, so I'll leave it at that.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

hi...here is some info for you

Animation is the creation of moving pictures/
images with the help of technology and/ or
animation software. VFX refers to the creation of
visual effects (VFX) by combining real-life images
with animation using special software. We have
examples of animation & VFX all around us.

signage
Hoarding In U.P

In response to the responses about my response (I’m lost) the only thing I was saying is that to me work isn’t about making money it’s about doing what you enjoy, doing what you want to talk about, doing what you want to do for free. If you are working at something you would do for free then it is that much enjoyable when someone gives you a pay check. I hope that was understandable. I just want to be part of the animation world so bad that I would be happy to do whatever job is open.

very good advice , thanks a ton i will get that book

very good advice , thanks a ton i will get that book

Hold yer horses........
I do suggest the book, but you MIGHT be making a mistake if you take my suggestion verbatim.
Look through the book yourself before you buy, see if it approaches things in a way that works for you, and if it does, THEN buy the book.
That is why i suggest looking for excerpts of the book on-line to see if the material is in line with your own thinking and is useful.

If you take just my word for it, and you buy the book, and find that its not quite what you are looking for, and it does not help you...then you'll end up being more confused and will have wasted your money.

There's a skill to learn in this.......to trust your own judgement and to become intimate with your own drawing needs and goals, to the degree that you'll know what will help you solve drawing problems when you see it.
You work on your sensory acuity and you'll automatically filter out the material that doesn't help you get to where you want.
This is not a case where ANYTHING and EVERYTHING will help you.
Some instructional material will simply take you down the wrong roads.
A personal example: the famous book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" was a wash-out for me.
It was an approach that did nothing for me, and just left me confused.
I already knew "how" to draw, it was a case of finding instruction that showed me specific techniques to achieve the results I sought on the page, which the book did not do for me.
Now, this book might work for you......I don't know, as it has its fans and proponents. Look at the materials that are out there, but do discriminate if you feel the need.
You can always revisit something you pass on initially, and always come back to something to explore new skills.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I would recommend "Drawing the head and figure" by Jack Hamm. Burn Hogarth books are also good but far less instructional.

Step 1: Obtain a Degree

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Step 3: Maintain Proficiency in the Technology

And then u will be on right track to become a successful animator.

Best of luck:)

Your best piece is the jumping dwarf - it's the only one where I saw some secondary action and eases. How much figure/life drawing have you done?

2D is a difficult area to break into these days, especially as an animator, just because there's less of it being done than 10 years ago. Keep working on the drawing skills, dig into some serious life drawing so you get a better grip on how the body is put together, and keep practicing. You're off to a good start.

I have some questions, so I thought I'd post them here. Great thread by the way.

Anyway. I'm currently in my sixth and final year of Secondary School and am considering doing animation in college. I'm doing a 1-year PLC thing that teaches drawing and introduces the basics of animation, and after that I hope to move into a 4-year course. I have a few questions:

1. I live in Ireland, which isn't exactly a hotbed of activity in the animation industry. However, I have American citizenship and plan on working there. My question: would it be easy (or possible) to get a foot in the door there even though I did my education in Ireland?

2. Animation Mentor. I've been looking over their site and I'm interested in it. Their student work, if I'm being honest with myself, was leagues ahead of anything that the college I'm aiming for produced last year. Even the unfinished work-in-progress blew the completed student films out of the water in terms of animation quality. Is learning character animation from them really a viable option? What's the opinion on AM in the industry?

3. The course I'm aiming for is here: http://www.iadt.ie . I know that you probably can't tell much about it from just the description (and they don't have student work on the site) but I was wondering if anyone could give any opinions on it. There are only two animation coures in the whole country, and this is apparently the best.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to know. I'm not absolutely set on doing animation- a lot will depend on how I do in the Leaving Cert- but at the moment it's what I'm leaning towards most.

I'm gonna second what Ken and Paul said. I'm past 40, with a 20+ year marriage, an 18-year old son, and a successful animation career that spans all that time. It can be your career without being your life.

In response to the responses about my response (IÕm lost) the only thing I was saying is that to me work isnÕt about making money itÕs about doing what you enjoy, doing what you want to talk about, doing what you want to do for free. If you are working at something you would do for free then it is that much enjoyable when someone gives you a pay check. I hope that was understandable. I just want to be part of the animation world so bad that I would be happy to do whatever job is open.

Think internship.

I used to joke to my classes about those of us in the biz that had, at one time in our childhoods, sustained some kind of head injury. Y'know....anything from an actual head trauma to just wacking your skull on something and having blood drawn.

Add one more to the tally - I got shoved into a steel pole on the playground in first grade and bled like crazy.

The scar has proved handy in checking for a receding hairline. So far, so good... :D

hey ken ! i really love your advice:
“In our modern world……there’s no excuse for drama. if you succumb to the drama, you’ll have the PERFECT excuse for the rest of your life, to blame anything you try and fail at.”

when i read that i decided to rewatch the digital tutor tutorials and this time i learned so much more. its silly that all it took was someone to tell me that so i guess i didnt even know about my frustration affecting me. but i watched each video 3 times. first time just trying to understand why and what he was doing, second time i followed along and third time i wrote notes and made sure i remembered and understood everything.

before i would watch and be frustrated that the guy wasnt explaining why he did things but now i watch and figure out on my own why he does things and im learning SO MUCH MORE,( its kinda surprising) than before when i watched i was just getting frustrated more and more cuz i didnt fully understand the tutorials and would go to the next tutorial with lower confidence

anyways i got the book and i really like it for the parts that show stuff that say you have to look at stuff as if they were shapes, then it shows examples of the figures and how they look like shapes. its a great book but im looking for one based on basic figure drawing for humans and showing the techniques to drawing them basically in different poses and such

also you really should write a book i bet it would be so popular, ur really good at giving advice and im really grateful to be able to get advice from somebody so accomplished n it means a lot that u take the time to write things to everyone on here

honestly i have been dying a little everyday with learning animation on my own until i got the advice from u, it made me think different, stronger way and started trying really hard and im feeling great with my progress today so ya just wana say i really appreciate it since i dont really have anyone to help or give me advice

I work with people at my studio that have been there for 8 + years, and don't plan on going anywhere.

The 8+ years part is great, as long as they understand that they aren't in charge of the "going anywhere else" part. Lest we forget, people who had been at WDFA for 10+ years ended up having to go somewhere else when Disney shut down 2D production.

Even if you're happy where you are and don't plan on leaving anytime soon, you should always be looking ahead and planning what to do if you find you have to make a change. It's just self-preservation. And it's true in every field, not just animation.

hey ken ! i really love your advice:
“In our modern world……there’s no excuse for drama. if you succumb to the drama, you’ll have the PERFECT excuse for the rest of your life, to blame anything you try and fail at.”

when i read that i decided to rewatch the digital tutor tutorials and this time i learned so much more. its silly that all it took was someone to tell me that so i guess i didnt even know about my frustration affecting me. but i watched each video 3 times. first time just trying to understand why and what he was doing, second time i followed along and third time i wrote notes and made sure i remembered and understood everything.

before i would watch and be frustrated that the guy wasnt explaining why he did things but now i watch and figure out on my own why he does things and im learning SO MUCH MORE,( its kinda surprising) than before when i watched i was just getting frustrated more and more cuz i didnt fully understand the tutorials and would go to the next tutorial with lower confidence

anyways i got the book and i really like it for the parts that show stuff that say you have to look at stuff as if they were shapes, then it shows examples of the figures and how they look like shapes. its a great book but im looking for one based on basic figure drawing for humans and showing the techniques to drawing them basically in different poses and such

also you really should write a book i bet it would be so popular, ur really good at giving advice and im really grateful to be able to get advice from somebody so accomplished n it means a lot that u take the time to write things to everyone on here

honestly i have been dying a little everyday with learning animation on my own until i got the advice from u, it made me think different, stronger way and started trying really hard and im feeling great with my progress today so ya just wana say i really appreciate it since i dont really have anyone to help or give me advice

Well, you are welcome, and good luck with everything.
I'll leave you with one last thing, something that helped me sort some things out quite a bit. Its not something I push too much because it can be easy to evangelize, but it is a book I refer to time and again: its Anthony Robbins " Awaken the Giant Within".

Its a self-help book, widely regarded, and I think it's got what I think are some useful ideas in it. If you are interested in that sort of thing, do give it a read. There is much of it in where I come from when I offer advice like I have here.

I'll say that I'm flattered by the requests for me to write a book on matters covered in these forums, but I'm going to decline. There's already other books that cover matters like these, to a degree and as long as these forums remain active the missives I've written ( and others have written) will be here to be read by anyone, and gratis at that. I'm written no original ideas here, its all experience and common sense, shared for the benefit of all. Use it, ignore it, devise your own, pass it along or point people to it. It's there and I stand by every word.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

oh ok i see what u mean, and thanks so much! i read the book description and it sounds perfect for me since im on my own. im going to get that book, i havent read any book like that before and ya im going to work really hard everyday i will just think about animation and block everything else out :)

edit: woow that motivation book is so good i only read like 20 pages and its changed me so much in many ways and made me realise im capable of doing so much more so thanks a ton for such a great reference

i hate how everything is so greedy..... what happend to making cartoons for fun or disney who put all the money he made back into his company

i mean maybe i should go the route of making a cartoon series direct to dvd like a few cartoons do

i actually work for a lawyer lol! and also i am a webdesigner who animates on the side, buts its my big dream

i can sell a website to anyone, im a pretty good salesman, i just need to turn that into a cartoon salesman!

thank you for all the help

i hate how everything is so greedy..... what happend to making cartoons for fun or disney who put all the money he made back into his company

I cannot think of anyone that's made commerrcially produced cartoons "for fun".
Its a business, and even back when the artform was a borning it was a business. Winsor McKay hawked Gertie the Dinosaur for money back then too.
Money changes the whole paradigm of this artform, and its something you need to respect if you want to do it for a living.

Personally, I do this stuff for money. I do NOT do it because I love it, I do it because I can, and because i get paid.
The whole " do it for the love" is a myth as far as I'm concerned.

I mean....c'mon.......would anyone tell a plumber or a electrician to do their job for the love of it?
"Greedy" ( unfortunately) keeps the food coming to the table...

Disney was close to going insolvent SEVERAL times. His legacy is really built on the skin of his teeth, and wouldn't have happened if he'd not been lucky, persistance and bull-headed. Without a doubt, the man suffered MANY sleepless nights creating what we all now know. There's a awful lot of gloss applied to his story over the years.

To champion something like he did, greedy is going to have to be part of your strategy these days. Alot of similar endeavours teeter on the brink of collapse, and it doesn't take much to nudge them off into failure.
Looking out after YOUR interests alone is a savvy survival sense.
Nowadays, if you want to make it, you better darn well protect it, and stridently enforced those protections and copyrights. Failing to do so can provide just enough of a hazy window for the unscrupulous to capitalize on your work. All those people that ever had their creative property rights contested have typically failed to completely protect their works.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

im sure you met some of the greats?? i mean if you worked on pink panther and ren and stimpy you probably met people like John K etc etc

Yes, I have had the fortune to meet folks like John K and others ( actually, I'm one of the few to have lived through a storyboard pitch by Krisfalusi--the man is a maniac when he's "on"!).
The one thing I can say about a lot of the more prominent animation folks I have met is that people can be very..........different in person than they are portrayed in the press etc.
Sometimes those differences amount to let-downs....but I don't look at people like that very often.
Given the craft we share, I choose to look at and respect their abilities before their personalities.
There are a few folks that I do not care for as people, but I truly respect their ability as artists.

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has flaws. There have been times when I have been treated badly by colleagues whom I respected up to that point. There are times when I have let-down others too.
I have seen people go from being friends to becoming distant acquaintances to people who will not return even the time of day.
That kind of thing hurts, but its part of life anyway.

The one thing I try to do, with the very skilled folks I meet, is to learn from them. A few have, at times, taken me under their wing ( something I'm forever grateful for, even if some of those folks are no longer in my life anymore) and taught me immensely. Some were a bit more aloof and had to "peek over their shoulder" to pick up tricks and tips.
To me, that's the treasure chest of the craft--sharing it with others.
I implore the talent coming up now to one day turn around and take someone else coming up under their wing, and give back as they were given.
I say that because that is where the richness of the craft gets passed on.

As you move into the biz, and work through it you will doubtlessly meet some folks with reps that precede them. Enjoy those encounters ( however they turn out) and learn from them. Keep an open mind about people, and be fair with others. If someone gets under your skin, remember they have flaws too.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Thanx!

Normal, I wanted ro let the gravedigger run away completely differend (turnaround and let him stumble a little longer) but my teacher advised me not to do it, because it would take to much time.

On the one hand he was right, because we have a lot of work for school (and I'm also busy on a comicstrip for a music group) but on the other hand I'd rather wish I'v done that because it would have been really cool :D

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has flaws. There have been times when I have been treated badly by colleagues whom I respected up to that point. There are times when I have let-down others too.
I have seen people go from being friends to becoming distant accquaintances to people who will not return even the time of day.
That kind of thing hurts, but its part of life anyway.

Amen......

Follow @chaostoon on Twitter!

Hey I'm just wondering what quality of demo reels are the average for 2D animation universities. I'm working on some projects, but I don't know how high the bar is. Regardless, I'm pushing myself to the limit, but I'm wondering if most are handing in feature-length fully colured "Lion King" style films or whatever for admission.

Hey I'm just wondering what quality of demo reels are the average for 2D animation universities. I'm working on some projects, but I don't know how high the bar is. Regardless, I'm pushing myself to the limit, but I'm wondering if most are handing in feature-length fully colured "Lion King" style films or whatever for admission.

I've never heard of anyone submitting a completed film of any length to gain admission to a animation school--that is what they are going there for in the first place.

The level of films that emerge from said schools are all over the spectrum as far as competency though. Usual lengths are about 60 seconds. No-one is insane enough to attempt a full length feature in such an environment as the time and resources available are far too prohibitive.

The mean average for the bar is mediocre though, so its not very high.
Some students present amazing work, and some dismal. Most are right in the middle.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I'm gonna reveal something scary...........like WEALLY SCAWY scary.

I used to joke to my classes about those of us in the biz that had, at one time in our childhoods, sustained some kind of head injury. Y'know....anything from an actual head trauma to just wacking your skull on something and having blood drawn.

I used to joke about this, and asked how many had sustained such a thing.........until I started noticing that the students that said "no" or were confused by the question were the ones that didn't make it in the biz.

Oh thank goodness! I've banged my head on a radiator and watched my blood pour into my lap AND fallen straight on my head from the top bunk! Now if only I knew where to go for grad school...

Okay, here's a question for all those that hope/aspire to be animators/work in the animation biz in some capacity:

How do you measure up?

Now, this isn't about talent, per se.........its about something else.
Determination.
Gumption.
Stick-it-to-it-tiveness........stubbornness.

See, a lot of eyes reading these words are looking for something.....a magic answer, a piece of wisdom, a nugget or kernel of truth that unlocks the door and allows those eyes and mind and body to progress.

But they don't really need that....because the reality is that you probably already have the key things you need to do this stuff.

People come here, read these pages, ask their questions....and there's answers.......but not always those they like. Some answers are helpful, some are not......some are confusing.........sometimes there's no answers here at all.

And the measure of the seeker is how they handle all of that.

Some people don't hear what they want to hear, and shut down......kill their dream and walk away. Others don't accept it, they either ask more questions, or seek their answers elsewhere. Some challenge the question, some declare the information provided it all wrong and the providers don't know what they are talking about.
Some have no fucking clue what was just provided to them, and they think they are not smart enough to understand, and shrink away to avoid embarrassment.

All of that is hogwash. It's a filter that people tend to put on their reality, and it determines how they live their life.

If someone comes along and asks how to write a script......or which school is best.......or why story is important......or whatever....and they don't get the answer they want.......they then determine their own outcome with what they do next.

If they give up, if they stop looking, if they stop questioning, or stop thinking they can do something...........then they fail to measure up, don't they?

They've likely encountered the easiest roadblocks to overcome in the whole journey, and those roadblocks stopped them.
The resolve to do animation is both the easiest and hardest part of the process of doing animation professionally. The "easiest" because all you have to do is make a decision to do it.......and the "hardest" because you have to stick by that decision through all kinds of different thoughts, feelings, circumstances, events, trials--what-have-you that can stymie you.

Someone can come along and say your drawing sucks and crush you emotionally.
Every studio in town can ignore hiring you.
Your animation that you slaved away for 6 months on alone, and get on 4 views on You tube--3 of them are you checking on the thing.
Your family can tell you that drawing is a stupid dream, and you'll never make a living at it.
Pick one.........or supply your own.
They are all effective dream-killers, they have all worked millions of times before.
They are so good that they even work AFTER you land work in the biz. They drag along behind you and kill your hopes and dreams in a business and craft that may not pay enough to make a living at--and nudge you into thinking that........hey......maybe I'm not cut-out for this.

Maybe you aren't.
Maybe you SHOULD try something......safer. More reliable.
Maybe you should give up on the dream? Maybe you should stop listening to the whispers in your head, the idea that drawing & creating is something you are meant to do?

Maybe becoming a truck driver will be a better job instead??

See, this is where animation careers are made or broken. Not at the enrolment of a school, not at the recruiters office of a studio, not at a drawing desk.

The success is made or killed in the head of the aspirant long before any of these things come into play. Its in the thoughts of HOW will they handle these things when they come to realization? In HOW will the aspirant prepare themselves, mentally, physically, talent-wise, family-wise.....for the process of becoming an animator ( or whatever the end-goal is).

In reading about some colleagues early days in the biz, I came to realize that the analogy of a chess game is a good metaphor for getting into the animation gig.
Always think and work to a couple of moves ahead. Plan, experiment, evaluate, learn, change.....improve as you need to. Use your smarts, use your senses.....look around you, take stock of what you have and what you need. If you cannot find a tool, find a way that gets you the results of that tool, or find away around it.
Confusion, frustration are normal......accept them......use them. They are signals to your brain that you are working on the problem. Have the faith in your own biology that your brain WILL find an answer--because it WILL.

The fear of failing can become acute......but its only a fear. Taking purposeful action, in ANY direction (even remaining still, if needed) can squash fear. The action doesn't even have to be worthwhile, because even if it's a wrong attempt you can still learn from it.

There's a lot of ways to approach this sort of stuff....a lot of different methods. Try something. If it doesn't work, try something else.

You already have these skills. If you've lived to the point of being able to read and understand these words, you most certainly have the skills needed to do this.

But it all depends on how you measure up.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

My Dad worked at Boeing for 33 years!

...and was distressed everytime that I was layed off from various ad agencies in Seattle (18 years = MANY layoffs!), so needless to say, he was distressed alot!

If the agency lost a major client, and you were the Art Director or Writer, you best watch your back! And the trickle down factor was there as well for all supporting e-pro's, and Account Exec's (Suit's)...

So now LOT'S off people get to enjoy this fun and exciting life style!

(What's really sad is...that I love it!)

The Wife would prefer I go "In-House" somewhere to find that 33 year job...

:confused:

...still lookin'!

Splatman:D

I want to do 3d animation. But I want to self prepare for what is going to come at me in the future. So how exactly do I prepare for the animation world? I already am frantically taking all the art classes and am now starting on computers classes. I've been searching the internet for all possible answers.. including here. So what exactly should I do to prepare myself? Which softwares should I get familiar with now so when I get into the big courses I can use that time to get all the bugs out when the time comes. I don't want to use all that time learning the stuff. I don't just want to be familiar with the software..I want to be an expert in the software. Also what books/sites are there chalked full of information about animation? Should I go to all the latest animated movies? What exactly do I need to do. Anything from you guys would be very appreciated.

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

saying you only do it cause you can and only for money is really is a downer, ive been animating on the side for the pure love it of, and if I was paid to do it would be more then just cause I can

I love art, art fills a gap in my life, and im sure others too

if people wanted to make money just for a living there are plenty of desk jobs and other 9-5 jobs available

whenever I bring a character to life, its a great feeling, if you lost touch to that im sorry for you. what I have been reading is that most animators make anywhere from 25-60k a year. the job I have now I get about 35k yr, I would rather do something I love and reinvest that money back into what I love and with the left over pay for things like rent and food

money is money, it is the root of evil I don’t need it nor really want it
im happy with what I have and what I don’t have but my dream is to be a 2d animator for a cartoon series

maybe im a rare case, or maybe its because I grew up poor, but all I know I love animation and creating animation even if it sucks

saying you only do it cause you can and only for money is really is a downer, ive been animating on the side for the pure love it of, and if I was paid to do it would be more then just cause I can

I love art, art fills a gap in my life, and im sure others too

if people wanted to make money just for a living there are plenty of desk jobs and other 9-5 jobs available

whenever I bring a character to life, its a great feeling, if you lost touch to that im sorry for you. what I have been reading is that most animators make anywhere from 25-60k a year. the job I have now I get about 35k yr, I would rather do something I love and reinvest that money back into what I love and with the left over pay for things like rent and food

money is money, it is the root of evil I don’t need it nor really want it
im happy with what I have and what I don’t have but my dream is to be a 2d animator for a cartoon series

maybe im a rare case, or maybe its because I grew up poor, but all I know I love animation and creating animation even if it sucks

Well, you need to bear in mind a few things--some of which you couldn't possibly know.

To do professional animation/cartooning, I think a personality needs to be part artist, part idealist, part masochist, and part moron--and if you survive, part realist.

I've been in the cartoon biz for over 22 years now, and there's days when I like it and days I don't.
I've not lost touch with the "love"--I've just put it in its proper place.
The "love" has cost me a lot. The naive wide-eyed "gosh,gee-whiz" feeling I used to have about the biz and the craft has been supplanted by a more reasoned, wisened pragmatic mindset.
Its a job, that I do, and can do well--but that is all it is.

Unfortunately, its not a job, or craft entirely under my control.
Its drawing on demand, to demands.
I may not like the property I'm working on, it might not be to my interests, the pay may be low, the deadlines too tight, my health or moods less than optimum. The management of the project may well be making mistakes and bad judgement calls that I know to be wrong, but its not my place to speak up--because its not MY project, its theirs.
I just cannot express an all abiding love if I cannot respect the material--because sometimes the material is beneath respect.
There's a LOT of factors that conspire against enjoyment and a lot of things I cannot control.
I just do not find joy in wondering how I'm going to pay a bill because the cheque I got for a week's work was $300, or in wrestling with a badly-thought out situation in a script, that I now have to make sense of.........and the deadline is only hours away......

Sometimes there will be material I will throw myself into, and sometimes there's material that I will just go through the motions on.
I do it for the money because, well, my life has changed. I'm no longer single and answerable to no-one. I have responsibilties greater than my own whims and choices and I need an income to address those.
Money isn't evil, its the attitudes about money that are evil. Money is just a tool--a means to an end. I earn money so I take care of those things that are important to me--which is exactly what anyone else does.

All of that mindset comes from experiencing the reality of the biz. There's frustrations and angst aplenty, and though there be good times too, there's always those hard times on the horizon.
Outiders look at the industry with rose-coloured glasses, because they have few, if any, references to what the actual experiences are like.
The associations are usually of their past experience with art, in which they draw for pleasure, drawing when they feel like it and expressing material that they choose.
Newcomers and outsiders often have this elitist delusion they can pick and choose the projects they will work on---and that's seldom the case. If the only job currently in town is "Pillow People" ( yes, its real, and its insipid!), you either do that one, or you starve.

The bulk of the work to be done, unfortunately, resides in the banal.
You draw someone else's creation, for the wage they offer ( or that you negotiate), to their deadlines, and under their demands. Your creative input may well be zero--you could be just a hired wrist. The emotional connection to the work can be nil--because all you have done at the end of the day is committed an act--that someone else will quite possibly treat with total indifference.
( on my more cynical days, I liken animation to prostitution--and the similarities are not that far removed).
The numbers of talent that step out of the factory-situation in animation and take on the fully creative reins are actually very few.

Even the famed Nine Ol' Men from the Disney stables, had their share of embittered souls. They arguably had a tremendous amount of influence with their work, and tremendous talent to back it up.......yet many of them abused life, and some died young. Why?
Maybe the gloss is really only on the surface and the work is full of toil, trial and let-downs.
Creativity, coming from within, ceases to be creativity when its challenged and vetoed by an outside force.

In my experience, that kind of emotional drain is unrelenting because every production is done by committee these days.
Its easy to become cynical and turn one's emotions away from the task--especially if the investment is constantly upset.

When you HAVE TO DO something, something you are not keen about for whatever reason, it stops being fun really fast.
Keep in mind that in the years I've been contributing to these forums, and others, I've NOT been advocating that people take up a 9-5 desk job. That certainly counts for something...

I may not be typical, and I do not profess to be. My career is ONE kind of example in this. I have other interests outside of, but related to, cartooning and those things are what I invest my passion into. Cartooning is just a job for me, after 22 years. I seldom, if ever draw for pleasure anymore because I either do not have time, or the inclination--as there are more important things in life for me.

Your experience may differ.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I didn't read all of Ken's last post. It's to damn long and I have to get back to work too.

I think Ken does love his work, but it's not a blind love like a lot of young up and comers have. He doesn't have that, "I love animation so much I'd do it for free," attitude that some people have. He as well as most people has bill to pay and a family to raise and take care off.

I still love animation. I love seeing the characters live and think and act once I get through animating. I guess I'm still young and idealistic enough to be picky about my jobs. I have certain standards that I won't cross. I work at a studio so I don't have the choice of what shows I animate but I choose this studio because I like the work that they put out.

Back to Flash cartoon's original question. You are kind of putting the cart ahead of the donkey with this. Most studios won't buy a series if it's already done and not aired in an established market. For new shows, they want a story outline with a couple of brief episode ideas. That way they can tweek the show to what they feel would be best for their network. If you already animated it, they can no longer do that. The best way would be to go that route and save your money and not hire all those animators to make your show.

You could try like a very short pilot on the internet. Studios don't seem to take internet shorts as solidified shows so they can still tweek them. But I kind of think that time has come and gone for the webshort to TV show.

Aloha,
the Ape

See more of The Ape @ http://onetwoclicksmile.blogspot.com/ and https://vimeo.com/40270147

"...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

im sorry if i offended you in anyway, i am an outsider and probably never get to your level or even in a real animation studio making cartoons

it is sad to know that its committee run, ive already read about this and know but its still sad to see that everything in america is the same

i just hope i dont sound like im coming off as a jerk, cause im far from it! :eek:

im lucky im still young and have no family to take care of, or house payments, im a renter and probably will always be. I also make money from hosting so i can live anywhere and have income so i can animate as a hobby i hopefully after i save alot will try to goto www.vanarts.com to learn more, they put you in a deadline situation and get you ready for the tough animating times ahead

ken what cartoons have you worked on? if you can say?

i actually spoke with you ape before, and thought it was amazing you worked on fosters and hi puffy are you still working on that show (hi puffy)?

its great to come here to talk to the real pros who are in the biz, but its also sad to find out the truth in the animation world

I want to do 3d animation. But I want to self prepare for what is going to come at me in the future. So how exactly do I prepare for the animation world? I already am frantically taking all the art classes and am now starting on computers classes. I've been searching the internet for all possible answers.. including here. So what exactly should I do to prepare myself? Which softwares should I get familiar with now so when I get into the big courses I can use that time to get all the bugs out when the time comes. I don't want to use all that time learning the stuff. I don't just want to be familiar with the software..I want to be an expert in the software. Also what books/sites are there chalked full of information about animation? Should I go to all the latest animated movies? What exactly do I need to do. Anything from you guys would be very appreciated.

Y'know what, software is a minor concern.
You don't need to be an expert at it because, frankly, nobody gives a hill of beans that you know all the function. Just being "familliar" with the stuff is enough.

What will really counts is artistic ability, because without it, you are useless to the indistry. If you cannot create an appealing image, that clearly shows you have the artistic talents for the job, then all that software expertise is meaningless.

There's more than a few people that have this delusion that the software will take care of things like that, but they are just kidding themselves.
Things like building and animating the characters in 3D will, over time, merge from two separate jobs to one. Kinda just like how it used to be in 2D animation.
3D animation is essentially puppetry, once the virtual object is built, a chimpanzee can pretty much move the thing.
In some aspects of animation, "puppetry" is enough to make a career out of.

For some people thats enough to satisfy there ambitions.

Unfortunately, there's not much more that can be done with such a person, and if the job description changes enough, they could be out the door.
For years, I've advocated incoming talents to be as well rounded as possible--to know something about art, or cartooning--or other aspects of animation like storyboards or design. Even things outside animation like illustration and comics, because if the animation jobs dry up, for whatever reason, you'll still need to put food on the table.

Trouble is, a lot of newcomers are scared shitless hearing that. They don't like hearing because they think it takes them away from their tunnel-visioned goal, and that its just too hard to do those other things.
Hey, I say; " Its your career."

Develop your artistic abilities, become EXPERT in those. Become as good at creating an image as the artists in the movies and TV shows you watch.
Study other things, like illustration, comics, music, writing--so you can bring something else to the equation.
Software is just another tool, like using a paint brush, no-one cares about how much you know the stuff--they just care that you can do good stuff with it.

The other thing: dump being "frantic"--you will not learn anything if you are in a rush. Take your time to explore, experiment, analyze and absorb. The process can take a few years, and you may as well accept that. The amount of intensity and focus you apply can alter that time-line, but very few people seem to be able to muster that kind of ability for any length of time.
Again, having a certificate that says you've learned some software and taken some course means nothing if you do not have artistic ability to back those up. Take your time and learn the skills properly, and develop your talents to the best it can be.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

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