Gnomon Workshop Releases Hood Training DVDS

The Gnomon Workshop has released three new training DVDs by feature animator Cameron Hood (lead character animator on DreamWorks' SHARKTALE). Focused on both the aesthetic and technical art of digital character animation with Maya, these four titles contain more than six hours of instruction, lecture notes and project scene files. Students new to animation, or artists transitioning from 2D to 3D, will benefit from these titles.

"We are thrilled to be releasing the first three titles in an all new Character Animation series of training DVDs," explains Alex Alvarez, director of the Gnomon Workshop. "Cameron Hood has been teaching with Gnomon for over two years, during which time he has trained dozens of students and professionals. He is one of our most popular instructors, and has helped to dramatically raise the quality of work done by our students. His professional experience as both a traditional and digital character animator allows him to share valuable workflow and technique."

"I am really happy to be involved with the Gnomon Workshop," adds Hood. "The chance to pass on tips, tricks, tools and approach is very exciting. I certainly have benefited from the teachings of others and hope to share that knowledge throughout these lectures."

Hood is currently a lead character animator working for DreamWorks Feature Animation. He was formerly a senior character animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks. Credits include SINBAD, STUART LITTLE 2, SPIRIT, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. He is a graduate of Sheridan College's animation program.

Gnomon Workshop DVDs are priced at $69 and can be purchased online at www.thegnomonworkshop.com. Academic pricing is available. Each title includes 120 minutes of instruction, lecture notes and bonus material.

DVD descriptions:

Character Animation I: FundamentalsThis lecture is an introduction to character animation. We will see how in applying the basic principals of animation to both a bouncing ball and a jumping character, we will achieve scenes that have both dynamic movement and weight. We use the graph editor to set keyframes and manipulate them in time and space, while developing an understanding of how to read a function curve. Essential demonstrated skills include how to adjust animation in-betweens, how to offset movement, how to hide keys and how to efficiently utilize the timeline.

Character Animation II: Animating BipedsIn this lecture we will begin to understand the gaits of certain bipeds and how studying their movement will enable us to give our characters propulsion and weight. We will learn how overlapping action can be achieved via offsetting keyed attributes on the timeline and in the graph editor. Furthermore, it is important for our characters to have personality - we will explore ways of bringing "life" to the animation. Finally, we will cover techniques and approaches that enable us to work faster and cleaner by only setting keys on appropriate channels.

Character Animation III: Your First SceneThe art of character animation is about telling story through acting. This lecture covers the setup of a two-character scene that includes a simple character, with few keyable attributes, and a complex character with many keyable attributes. We will approach setting major key poses, moving holds, extremes, overlap and contact positions together with adding and freeing tangent weight on function-curves. Inbetweens are also used to control the contrast and spacing of movement in our animation. The end result is a fully realized scene that is believable and sophisticated.

The Gnomon Workshop is an outgrowth of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, a professional institute specializing in training for the high-end visual effects community. This online resource for the Maya community produces training DVDs and free tutorials, which are available exclusively online at www.thegnomonworkshop.com.

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