Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.12, March 1998

Praise for the February Issue
Thanks for the great February issue. I completely enjoyed every article and hope as a new hobbyist of stop-motion animation you continue with more articles like "At Last, Foam Puppet Fabrication Explained!" and "How'd They Do That?: Stop-Motion Secrets Revealed." I also hope you provide more information on low cost film/video systems and how to use them for amateurs like myself. It's hard to find really timely information on systems other than RealFlash.

Thanks again,
Kevin Stout
Marysville, WA

Dear Kevin:

If you would like to know more about the stop-motion animation process from a technical point-of-view, read
Our Animation Process" by Mike Dietz of The Neverhood which was featured in our December, 1997 Gaming issue. While we are focusing on RealFlash in this issue we will try to review the latest new technologies to keep you abreast of the situation.

The Editors

More Praise for Tom
I thought the article, "At Last, Foam Puppet Fabrication Explained!", was great. However is it possible to get diagrams on each of the armature joints described? This sort of information is very difficult to get. Also some parts of the article were unclear, especially where Tom was explaining attaching the ball bearing to a rod. I believe Tom drilled the ball bearing? Can he advise the best way to do this?

I run a small animation business. I do some basic armature construction but would like to construct more accurate models. Being a self-taught, stop-motion animator here in Australia, I find it very difficult to find good information and advice. Animation World Magazine is 'the best' resource I have found yet in my business.

Antony Bunyan

Tom Brierton replies:
I drill my bearings out on a lathe, using conventional jobber drill bits. This is about the only practical way to drill the bearings, because the hole needs to be dead center on the ball.

As far as obtaining detailed drawings of armature parts, I provide a service of supplying either mechanical drawings of armature parts, or, I can either machine an entire armature for a client, or individual parts. Clients tend to opt for individual parts, as it's less expensive. Then, they can see what a professional armature part looks like, and then mass-produce them themselves, provided of course, that they have access to a lathe and mill.

Hope this helps. Feel free to write back if you have further questions.

More Info Needed Ms. Thompson!
Your article in Animation World Magazine (Issue 2.9, December 1997) "How to Find a Job in Multimedia" by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson was excellent!

I am a high school senior who plans to enter the WVU Graphic Design program in the fall of 1998 and I have a few more questions for Ms. Thompson. My main interest is in multimedia, electronic art and specifically computer animation.

WVU does not offer a specific animation program. Can you offer me any advice on how to tailor a graphics arts degree towards computer animation?

When will your book The Animation Job Hunter's Guide be available? Can you provide ordering information?

Where can I find copies of other articles you have written on this subject?

Thank you for your insight!
AJ Blosser

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson replies:
When you mention that you are interested in computer animation, I will go with the assumption that you are interested in 3-D character animation. If this is the case, it is important that you design a course of study that includes learning the fundamentals of traditional animation (squash and stretch, how to time a gag, overlapping action, etc.). You should also learn about filmmaking (understand lighting, cinematography, etc), and especially storyboarding. It is also recommended that you learn some graphics programming and UNIX. An excellent text on animation is
The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.

My book,
The Animation Job Hunter's Guide, will be available by early December. I hope to finish it sooner. (Editor's note: Animation World Magazine will announce the publication of the book in the
Animation Flash newsletter.)

I have written on animation for many publications including:
Career and Colleges, October 1991, September/October 1992
Equal Opportunity, Winter 1992
Hispanic, March 1992
Apple Directions, July 1995
Women in Animation Work in Progress, January 1996
Circle K, March 1996
Animation World Magazine,
June 1997 and, of course, the December 1997 issue too.

I'm glad you liked the article and hope you find it useful.

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