Friday, December 12, 2014

An Afternoon with Carlos Baena

Kyle Remus, Alicia Joy Schaeffer, Andy Wu, George Ambartsoumian, Carlos Baena

Apologies for the delay in posting (as usual), but as it turns out, life gets a bit hectic when you somehow find yourself on 13 different productions. We've been quite a bustle with activity over the last few weeks, with some fun events and amazing guest speakers! So here's to the start of catching up on a massive backlog of knowledge we're about to drop.

Animator Carlos Baena came all the way from Paramount Studios to be an onsite director for his upcoming film Market Street. Through the lovely work of Sasha Korellis and Becky Johnson, Tea Time was able to schedule a lecture from Carlos way back in October!

For those who don't know, Carlos Baena has worked at Pixar as an animator and is well known for his Spanish Buzz Lightyear sequences in Toy Story 3.  Additionally, Carlos is one of the founders of Animation Mentor, now one of the largest online schools for animation.

Carlos gave an amazing talk on the 12 Principles of Animation. He particularly admires the principles, as even though they start simple, they apply to everything. On top of the 12 original principles set by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, Carlos has an additional 7 ideals he likes to follow:
Have Fun!

These extra 'principles' aren't exactly certain laws to obey, but rather things to remember to be a better animator.

So how do we define these new ideas? First off, study movement. Not just by looking at what's happening physically, but the reasons behind the actions we take. While you're studying, make sure you take time to find your references from real life and not just from film - Those are people are essentially doing what you are trying to: Acting. They are making their own interpretations to try and make a point clear to an audience.

Always find the appeal of everything that you are animating. Make sure you know your characters, work with them to find the things are appealing and clear first, instead of rushing straight into acting. Try turning on silhouette mode or turning your character around to different angles to make sure your poses and animation are able to read on their own.

Lastly, make sure to have fun! There will always be stress. Through your student life you will always have ups and downs. You will be putting in 90 hour weeks in the lab now, but it's important to keep your life in perspective: there is a lot of life after you graduate school, so make sure that the time you spend is enjoyable for yourself and others. While it's great sitting in front of your computer, carefully tweaking each and every spline, find a balance between doing "work" and going out to experience the world instead of burning yourself out.

You'll be sending out hundreds of letters and reels trying to get internships and jobs and you'll get hundreds of rejections, or worse, no responses back. Don't let rejection discourage you, instead, u it as a driving force and let it push you forward. When checking in with a recruiter, just email to confirm if they received your submission once. Just. Once. Otherwise: hands off. If they really want you, they'll contact you, usually within a few weeks. If you don't hear back, don't get stuck with all your eggs in one basket! Look at other places and take whatever you can get. All experience is god experience. Don't be that person who makes other people wait just because you're sitting there waiting to see if Big Corporate Company X will respond to you.

Carlos had a lot more he wanted to share with us (unfortunately his lecture was cut short), but he looks forward to joining us again in the spring. Keep your eyes peeled for part II!

Happy Animating!

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