Friday, October 7, 2011

Blocking and the Battle for the Top Shelf Badge

As it has been with the whole film so far, starting animation has been a huge learning experience for our team. Quite a few members of the film have previous experience with working on individual animated shorts, but coordinating a team to animate a 4 1/2 minute film is a completely different challenge. We animated the first sequence of the film, which is a tiny montage, and learned that we charged into animation without planning it out properly. We regrouped, talked out the acting beats for the entire film as a team, and attempt to make a quick first pass on blocking for the entire film. A bit over zealous but we learned a lot for it. 

We've now shifted the schedule and are beginning to animate small groups of shots at a time. We chosen to animate the shots in continuity and are each working on different sequences that are from different sections of the film. A divide and conquer strategy. Some animators are working on character introductions and others are working on the gags. It's fun discovering these characters and triangulating their personalities until their alive and tell us what to do. 

And to kick the motivation into the next level, we've also added a friendly competition into the mix. We now have the TOP SHELF badge, which is essentially employee of the week, that will go to the top animator of the week. The badge will be given out to one of the animators on the team by Tom Bertino, during dailies on every Wednesday, and the animator's picture will be post to the right of this blog.

Gentlemen, the TOP SHELF is in play.  And in the words of Ryo, "My badge."
(Watermark is to preserve authenticity)

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