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leigh
10-17-2005, 04:20 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/carlos_baena/header.jpg

Carlos Baena
Animator
Pixar

Carlos has been animating for over 8 years. He specialized in computer animation, and has had experience in the traditional and stop-motion mediums as well as drawing and film.

He has been working at PIXAR Animation Studios (www.pixar.com) for the last few years where he has worked on films such as "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles". He has just finished working on "Cars" (2006) and is working a future film which has not been announced just yet.

Carlos has also previously worked at Industrial Light & Magic (www.ilm.com ) as an Animator on the films "Jurassic Park 3", "StarWars Ep.2: Attack of the Clones" and "Men in Black 2".

Before jumping on to work on feature films, he worked on commercials, documentaries and shortfilms such as WildBrain Inc. "Hubert's Brain" (www.wildbrain.com) or Will Vinton Studios M&M's Commercials.

Carlos is also Co-Founder and Creative Director of AnimationMentor (www.animationmentor.com), an Online Animation School taught by professional animators and with students from all over the world. On his free time, he has been working on video projects, creating music and animated shortfilms (www.carlosbaena.com).


Related links:
http://www.carlosbaena.com

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/carlos_baena/1.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/carlos_baena/2.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/carlos_baena/3.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/carlos_baena/4.jpg

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Post your questions or request for critique

The "Meet the Artists" forum provides a conducive environment where CGTalk members can have the opportunity to speak to some of the finest digital art talents in the world! CGTalk members can post questions and artwork, and have them answered or critiqued by these master artists. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable insight from seasoned industry veterans!

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6. If the Artist does not answer your question or critique your work, do not harass him/her.
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Breinmeester
10-17-2005, 08:23 AM
Hi Carlos! Good to see you here! I'm going to post a question I once asked you at AnimationMentor, but I'll repeat it because your answer was very usefull and should be shared. :)


Brad Bird called you the king of physics on The Incredibles' director's commentary. How did you ever came to understand how to convey physics and weighting in animation so well?


Thanx!

- Daan Velsink.

Eddie_rossi
10-17-2005, 08:35 AM
BIG BIG BIG Fan of your work!

jakiloblanco
10-17-2005, 08:52 AM
Hey!

I'd like to know if you've always been a 3D guy, or if you've done some 2D work in the past... And like Breinmeester asked, your crazy understanding of physics... are you really a scientist in an animator's clothing?? :D

Thanks!!

andy_maxman
10-17-2005, 08:58 AM
Hi Carlos,
Its a treat to have you here. Got some questions -

1)What makes a reel really stand apart? Is 'the reel' the only thing which is key to getting your dream job? Or there are other things which influence it, things like location, contacts?

2)What kind of music do you make? Which instruments do play?

3)One character you would love to animate? (preferably out of the Pixar domains)

4)A recipe for some instant paellas? ;)

5)Your favourite outdoor sport?

Cheers!

-Anand

aversive
10-17-2005, 09:12 AM
Hi there. First off- What you did and are doing is simply impressive. These might sound like dull questions, but I am very curious;

- How did you get aquanted with Pixar studios?
- What's your typical daily routine like? (Or might there not be one)


Thanks for your time,

Gael van der Schans

CarlCampbell
10-17-2005, 09:30 AM
As Breinmeester said, I would also like to know how came to achieve such a great understanding of physics and weight. Next, just a few questions:

- What is your usual workflow or how do you organize and prepare your assets when presented with a sequence?

- I would like to know how you managed to leave Spain and get into the schools in the US. I especially would like to know how you 'made the step' to go overseas and did you finance your studies while working in Animation.

- How do you see the importance of studying Traditional Art (painting, life drawing, sculpting, ...) towards working in Animation.

That said, I love your work and I'm a BIG fan!

Un caluroso saludo desde Madrid!

ivanisavich
10-17-2005, 09:31 AM
WOW! Great job Leigh!

No questions from me....purely a fanboy post.

You ROCK Carlos! :D

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 10:07 AM
Hi everyone,

I´ll try my best to reply to all questions here. I sort of just woke up, so my first replies may be a bit slow at first. I´m currently taking a few weeks off from work, so I´m in Spain these days with my family.

I also wanted to thank Leigh and CgTalk.

Carlos.

GonzaloGolpe
10-17-2005, 10:16 AM
Hola vecino!:D First of all,congratulations for working on what you really want:) .You were so brave to leave your home to catch your dream.

One question: Is it really necessary to go out there to get your dream? (above all if you live in Spain and if you are not a football player or a tv famous,hahah)

Thanks so much y saludos de un gallego!:thumbsup:


Zalo

loocas
10-17-2005, 10:19 AM
I'd like to use this opportunity to congratulate you on your successful career path!

You rock man! :buttrock:

Best of luck to the future, all the best mate! :thumbsup:

Oh, I actually might have a question :)

- How to get a job at IL&M or PIXAR? Any tips/hints/tricks would be much appretiated! :thumbsup:

Keep up the great work...!

ndat
10-17-2005, 10:47 AM
Wow LOL... Yeah you rock \m/ :D \m/

I know fairly generic question here but I feel it is important lol.

Could you give us some insight into how much you practiced and what you practiced that most helped you get to the level of artist you are today?

DDS
10-17-2005, 10:49 AM
Hey Carlos!

*I'd also like to know how did you finance your step from Spain to USA, I know that's a big problem for most spanish animator wannabes. I guess that's why you co-founded Animationmentor.com :thumbsup:

*When will you finish "Screws" shortfilm? last news in your website are from 2003 :shrug:

*congratulate you for your amazing carreer!! Eres el ejemplo a seguir.

Julius
10-17-2005, 10:59 AM
Hi Carlos, Thankyou for giving us the opportunity :) (and cgtalk)

I must say yourself and other professionals with inspiring stories of chasing their dreams is what gives me hope. Many times have i fought off the anger to launch my pc out the window. Making me realise that it isn't surpose to be easy and that we are here for the challenge and that feeling of being in the zone (so to call it).

I have a couple of questions as I have just started in the industry myself after a long length of time trying to get myself to this very stage.

Do you have other interests other then 3d animation etc? (things you might get up to off the computer maybe on the weekends or other hobbies).

Have you ever had a part-time or casual job while in the 3d industry when you started? If so how did you handle it? (Atm i'm wondering wether I should give up my casual job and settle for less money and have more time for 3d).

Sorry for the random questions I find them more interesting. Thankyou again mate!

stunnerprince
10-17-2005, 11:21 AM
Hi Carlos,
U and friends from animation mentor are doing an amazing work.But for beginners like us from india aren't able to afford as it costs a lot.But still we're trying to join and study.If i have a plan to join a college for learning animation.Which degree or course should i do and pls also advice me on the colleges from U.S.

wcnike
10-17-2005, 11:21 AM
Hi,Carlos!I want to know how you think about the difference of Cartoon actor's performation between U.S.A and Chinese!!!

dsolo
10-17-2005, 11:22 AM
Hi Carlos! Thanks for that's Q&A

I would like to know how do you deal getting good arcs and continuity in animations. Most of 3d sorftware lack a good ghosting function and when you are refining your blocking with inbetweens it's very dificult for me don't get pops in the animation betwen poses. The only way I find to solve this is in graph editor analazing the curves. I would like to know if there is a more visual way to deal with this.

Thanks in advance!

Bentagon
10-17-2005, 11:22 AM
Carlos! Just back from a relaxing vacation and already going head-on with something like this? You'll have to go back to Spain next week! **edit**woops, missed that first post of yours :D

Anways, while you're here, I might as well ask some questions...

- How do you feel you've grown as an artist in your career?

- Animation is communication, so how important are regular people's reactions to your shots to you?

- What's the most challenging shot you've ever animated?

- What shot you've animated are you most proud of?

- If you could choose one particular character from the history of animation, that you would have loved to animate on, which would it be, and why?

- What kind of questions do you ask yourself to get to know your character?

- How much have you learned by experimenting with different media (2D and stopmo, or perhaps even theater)

- As you mentors constantly say... animation is a continuous learning experience. What's the last thing you've learned in animation? And what's the one most important thing you've learned in animation?

- Who is or are your favorite animator(s)? The one(s) you look up to most?

- Will you, or some of the other mentors, or even officially Animation Mentor, be at Annecy this year? I'm guessing that's thé European event which you guys would be coming overseas for (aside from vacation).

That's it for now...

Keep on rockin'

- Benjamin

Menefus
10-17-2005, 11:26 AM
Hi Carlos,
first of all let me just say that u have been one of the most
inspiring and pleasant personalities in the animation world for years,
and your work simply ROCKS !!
Ok couple of questions there :

- What references do u use when it comes to animating a character ?
- What advice would u give to anyone planning their own short film?
- What are the pros and cons of working for a company like Pixar?

Best of luck for anything you plan in the future, we'll be here to see your work !!

Obraxis
10-17-2005, 11:43 AM
Hi Carlos, thanks for doing this! :) I have a few questions...

Do you think that with so many new and current companies producing CG Animated films, that the market will become stifled and weaker, or increase competativness and help create better animated movies?

What do you enjoy most about animating?

What does a basic day involve for a Pixar animator such as yourself?

Cheers!

ARI-PANZER
10-17-2005, 11:43 AM
hi carlos,

first off your work is just silly to be blunt i find it utterly ridiculous abusurdly perposterous its just na just to na........ppprrrhhhhhhhp

-what do you think about when your animating?

-what do you think gives an animation that spark or magic quality?

-how ridiculous do you see cgi animation getting?

thank you for your time

Ari

erilaz
10-17-2005, 12:01 PM
Carlos, i've been inspired by your work since your early shorts and was delighted when I saw you'd progressed into the larger industry.

Toga Party is still one of my favourite animations of all time! :D

1) Your handling of weight and balance is impeccable. How do you usually go about getting the feel for a shot that requires unrealisitc ratios (such as Mr. Incredible lifting the giant stone statue)?

2) Do you have "zone out" times where you try not to think about your work at all, or are you the kind of lad that lives for his work, thinking about things in relation to animation quite frequently?

3) Is animation your be-all and end-all passion, or would you like to branch out into other areas?

andrebranco
10-17-2005, 12:18 PM
Hola Carlos, saludos de un vecino portugues!:thumbsup:

I am a big fan and follower!

Question:

- As a 3d animator myself, I would like to know how can I get to your level, specially phisics+subtle acting, how can I practice every day, what are the best exercises to do?


Gracias
Thanks Carlos,

Best regards from PORTUGAL!
Keep it up! :buttrock:

Gangstashers
10-17-2005, 12:39 PM
Hey Carlos!

I would like to say that i realy love all your work!

And that you sould update your website more :sad: .

Anywayz, i wanted to ask how you actuly got a job at pixar?

What was the hardest and best time you had, after leaving Spain?

And how did you pay your schools and stuff?

Do you think that you have acomplished what you waned to become and do in your life? Or is there still more to acomplish?

What is the thing that you would like to say to evryone that would follow your path and become like you?


Thx alot for your time here! I realy love all your work and your a inspiration to all of us!


Good luck in the future i wih you all the best! :thumbsup:


Sheherryar

pensart
10-17-2005, 01:01 PM
I'm also currious when U would continue your short "screws".

HellBoy
10-17-2005, 01:05 PM
Hiya Carlos

maan, your work is so cool, I am so excited that I lost some questions

keep up the good work mate

d_jnaneswar
10-17-2005, 02:33 PM
Hey Carlos!

Amazing job that you are doing along with bobby and shawn and others over at AM. Thank you for doing this. Here are my qs

1. What would it take for a person to get into pixar. how was it for you trying to get into pixar?

2. How willing, do you think, are companies hiring people from outside US? I would like to see myself working in a place like pixar in the future. Is there a chance for me (from India) to catch my dream?

3. Are you coming to India any time soon?

4. How effected are animators by computer related health risks, like damage to eyes, hands, etc? and are there any specific precautions that you take to stay safe?

Headless
10-17-2005, 02:46 PM
Hey Carlos,

First of all the fanboy bit: Your work is always completely awe inspiring and films like The Incredibles are a real source of inspiration and motivation for me. Oh, and nice work on the fingerboarding skills too. :)

Some questions...

1. What kind of reference do you use when animating things that can't be reproduced in real life, like animating the characters in Cars for example, or the arena monsters in Episode II?

2. What's your favorite piece of CG animation or visual effects ever?

3. When most Pixar people get asked which animation work really blows them away, they usually seem to cite 2D work, usually Disney films or films like The Iron Giant. Do you find that most 3D animation from outside of Pixar itself, isn't particularly inspiring to you, or is, at least, alot less inspiring than the old classic 2D stuff?

4. If you play video games then are there any games that you've played where you were particularly impressed with the animation (bearing in mind the technical limitations of the medium)?

Thanks.

ragdoll
10-17-2005, 02:50 PM
wow! cgtalk has some cool people in their friends list!

i remember in a interview about AM, i think shawn had mentioned that you had started creating video tutorials of your own even before AM was created...

where can i buy those or are those reserved for AM students only?

i'd love to learn from the pros, so if your tutorials aren't available, can you point out the essentials for an animator both beginner or veteran?

thanks and i hope to see you sometime in the future in AM! :)

oh and i hope you enjoy your visit with your family! and your fingerboard video is awesome! ;)

-rj

ArtisticVisions
10-17-2005, 03:08 PM
Hey Carlos,
Most of the questions I had have already been asked, I'm just posting to say that I'm a big fan of your work. :)

icedeyes
10-17-2005, 03:09 PM
Hello Carlos and congratulations on your personal success and recognition...

Three questions:

- After all your success do you believe that you would go back and change anything you did career-wise?

- If you switched from animation to another field (in 3d or other) what would that be?

- What other company would you like to work for? Any plans for your own studio or another venture? (apart from the animation mentor program).

Thanks in advance for your reply..

aliasali
10-17-2005, 03:16 PM
Hi MR.Baena! its really good to see u here! im o BIG FAN!

i had one question:Befor u get a career, Did u grow ur self as an animator,or a lover of all the stages of maing a 3danimation,i mean did u forexaple love Modelling as well,and then when u get some job,then u chose being animator? did u have both skills as well? and at the same amount !?

Somuch thanx....

Ali

vinayak
10-17-2005, 03:17 PM
Hi, This is my first oppurunity to post my question to you and I am super excited about it. :bounce:
First of all Congratulations on fabulous work on Incredibles, I liked the line where Brad Bird says, when there trouble go to Spaniards !!! All those scenes that you have worked on are FANTASTIC. There so much to learn from you guys ( Bobby, cameron etc). My questions to you are,

1. I would like to know more about the process of interaction between you and Mr. Brad bird, What kind of correction do you used to get ? and how you used to solve them ?

2. Is there any thing which still gives you hard time while animating ?

Thats all I have to ask you for now :)

Thanks,

Vinayak A Pawar
Character Animator
Rhythm & Hues studio, India

Tsahi
10-17-2005, 03:32 PM
Ola Carlos,

first i'll say shortly that it will be great to read your comments here,
and that indeed, you are a master of the art of animation.
your work is very inspiring and fun to watch.
:beer:

my questions:
1- you're both an animator for large more industrial studios, and also created/creating your own shorts,
in which you direct and tell your own story.
which of the two do you find more satisfying overall ?
which would you say is the best way to evolve in the animation world;
create short films or character animation exercises that concentrate only on animation ?
do you think that when applying to big studios, as an animator, the judging ppl would rather see only
polished character animation short scenes ? or is there additional value to proving storytelling, and cinematic cababilities
(edited within a demo reel of course).

2- animation technique: by which method do you usually animate ?
do you set stepped pose 2 pose, with lots of keys, or do you work mainly in the graph editor on the curves themselves ?
which comes most naturally to you ?

thanx a lot for you time, i assume you're pretty busy these days.
cheers
tsahi.

tevih
10-17-2005, 04:05 PM
Hi Carlos! Thanks for taking the time to do this!! Much appreciated! :D

My questions:

1. Looks like "Screws" has been out of production for a while. Are there any plans to finish it?!

2. Do you know where we can see Hubert's Brain?! I've been wanting to see that forever... :sad:

3. Having worked for the big studios on big projects, do you find you lack the opportunity to tell your own stories? Do you have your own stories anymore?

4. can you give us any information that hasn't been released yet about Cars or any other PIXAR films?! (heh.. had to try... :D )

Thanks!!

agasco
10-17-2005, 04:06 PM
Hola Carlos!
Es un honor poder entrar en contacto contigo via cgtalk, y te doy mis enhorabuenas por estar en lo mas alto.
Bueno, yo soy sevillano y acabo de terminar un curso de 3d en la vancouver film school, y he salido bastante contento, me he especializado en modelado y texturado.
Mis preguntas:
- how do you see 3d production in europe?
-now i'm starting to look for a job and people is telling me all the time to start in usa or canada and then may be go to europe... what do you think about it?
...Bueno, gracias, y otras preguntas ya te las han hecho otros posts anteriores...

ok, Congratulaciones:scream:, y aqui te dejo unos links a algunos trabajos que hice para mi reel por si les quieres hechar un vistazo:rolleyes:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=282311
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=267080&page=3&highlight=mad+military
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=263749&highlight=lowpoly+alvaro

suerte!

NBF
10-17-2005, 04:15 PM
just a fan congrats

ilusiondigital
10-17-2005, 04:16 PM
Tal solo decirte Carlos que eres una gran fuente de inspiracion (en mi escuela hay un poster tuyo firmado y el libro de nemo) :scream: , me alegra que hayas conseguido llegar donde lo has hecho, tan solo una pregunta..... fue muy duro llegar hasta pixar??

Un saludo desde Malaga

Chico_chan
10-17-2005, 04:28 PM
Hello carlos!

I love your work and I admire you alot. I'm just starting out as 3D animator, I'M a student at full sail. I'm not to confident in my work yet, but it's my dream to one day work at pixar too.
I don't care if I have to apply a 100 times, I want to get in.
My one question for you is, how did you get a job at pixar?
Thanks so much for this oppourtunity to talk to you!

<3 Ash

Aenvil
10-17-2005, 04:29 PM
Hello Carlos

What a day, it is my Birthday and I wake up, turn on CGtalk, and find my favourite Animator (Carlos Baena) is having a Q & A in the forums.

Happy Birthday to me!

Enough Banter; Questions first, Flattery second.

Questions:

1. I have been finding that my pose to pose starts to miss that extra something after the blocking and in-betweens, it is great for setting up the timing and handy for my extremes. I find it hard to make the life from putting an in-between in these two extremes and then another between these extremes...etc Do you ever just stop the pose to pose and just go straight into specific areas. Would this help bring more life to the character considering the research has been done? Does this make sense?

2. Do you ever feel the need to be re-inspired?

3. Sometimes I think there is so much to keep in mind when animating, do you ever just try a different approach and find your results are achieved from this as opposed to your regular approach?

4. Are there times when you go out and do different things to collect knowledge for Animation, or do you just make a point of being a keen observer?

5. I heard that during your dailies you just sit there with a pen and paper and write down everything that is suggested to you, I find when I post my animations, I keep this in mind and as a result reap better results from my work. Anything else you may do to improve at the different stages of animation?

6. Are you better at heelflips or kick flips?


Really enjoyed your finger-boarding movie on the web! Maybe you should go pro. Although, I do not think there is much of a circuit for that.

I heard there was a skateboarding gang at Pixar, Is this true? If so, are you the Chief in Command?

Thanks so much for doing this.

JEFF

ghZaaaRK
10-17-2005, 04:54 PM
Please, let's Carlos answer before flooding this thread.
There are already some interesting questions, please don't drown them.
We know he is great, strong etc etc,... so spare your writings and just ask gently - with a little congrat' :) - your questions to him after he responded to the firsts one.

Avoid the usual mess "questions/responses" por favor :)

Carlos Baena is in da place, let's rocks this great sharing session

best regards!

multiVitamin
10-17-2005, 05:00 PM
Hi Carlos,

I just have one question, that is:

how did you finance your tuitions and living in the USA while you were at university?

thanks for the opportunity to ask you holes in your belly ;) and good luck with your future work

Oliver

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 05:20 PM
Hey everyone,

Not sure if I got this working. Anyways, hopefully I'll get to everyone's answers.

Carlos.

jig
10-17-2005, 05:28 PM
hi, i am a big fan of your work!
and got a question..

as a student right now, i am learning and doing 2d and 3d animation at the same time.
eventually i wanna do 3d anmation but i am not sure how i should balance those to mediums.
in your opinion, is 2d animation essential when doing 3d animation or should i concentrate on 3d only, or a bit of both??

Thnks!

FloydBishop
10-17-2005, 05:29 PM
Hello Carlos. I am wondering what type of shot is the most challenging for you personally to animate? After listening to the commentary on the "Incredibles" DVD, it sounds like you have a solid handle on mass and such, but I'm wondering if there are any types of shots that make you squirm when you think about animating them?

Say hello to Rodrigo for me.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 05:32 PM
Brad Bird called you the king of physics on The Incredibles' director's commentary. How did you ever came to understand how to convey physics and weighting in animation so well?Daan Velsink.

Hi Daan,

Thanks for the kind words man...but I'm definitely not the king of physics. There are so many animators out there with much much better understanding of physical movement and mechanics especially at Pixar. But I'll tell you from my experience, something that has always helped me, has been to study live-action reference of anything with physics and weight. Even in some cases, I'll study some animation shots that really have a sense of weight in them. Disney's "Jungle Book" has some really amazing shots to study. For the "Incredibles" I would always shoot reference of myself acting the stuff out as much as I could. Since certain shots I had to animate, required Mr.Incredible to be very superhero like, I would try to incorporate as much of that as I could in the live-action acting reference of myself. Then I would add to that folder as much comic book superhero reference I could find, from any other source...comic books, films I enjoyed (Matrix, Terminator, for example), and sometimes I would ask co-workers with great sense of posing/balance to go over my poses.

I hope this helps Daan.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 05:33 PM
BIG BIG BIG Fan of your work!

Thanks so much Eddie.


Carlos.

dondixon
10-17-2005, 05:38 PM
Carlos

I will make this quick, I was hoping you could take a look at a clip I am working on, and offer any kind of crit as to what mistakes you see me making, And what to really pay attention too.

http://www.dondixon.com/scent2.mpg

Big Fan!

Don Dixon

kabojnk
10-17-2005, 05:43 PM
'lo Carlos, just a few questions. What did you like best about working at ILM, and what do you like best about working at Pixar? I'd ask for what you like least about each, but since you're currently working at Pixar it'd be an unfair question. Also, coming somewhat from a layman, what's it like switching from one style to another (i.e. from live action films like Episode II to pure animated film like Finding Nemo)? I don't know if it's much of a transition for an animator, but it'd still be neat to hear your take on some of the nuances of each.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 05:50 PM
I'd like to know if you've always been a 3D guy, or if you've done some 2D work in the past... And like Breinmeester asked, your crazy understanding of physics... are you really a scientist in an animator's clothing?? :D

Jakiloblanco,

A scientist in an animator's clothing. I have no words. :)

About your first question. I started in 3D, in 1995. In trying to learn animation, I was focusing on the wrong stuff...mainly the software. It was driving me nuts sometimes. I would get stuck easily. In 1997 after many attempts at character animation, making the same mistakes, I decided to start doing 2D at the same time, just for fun. In Spring 1998, I worked on a 2D film, because I wanted to focus strictly in animation, without being distracted by the software. In working on this film, I had other problems that had to do mostly with my drawing skills...but overall, it helped me tremendously in understanding the importance of posing, timing and planning your shots. I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. It was a big nightmare to get this film finished in three months, but it was definitely one of my best learning experiences as an animator.

Carlos.

Romero
10-17-2005, 05:55 PM
1) Hi Carlos great to see you have taken the time to answer some of the hundreds of questions we all want to know, so here goes!

1) Since you have had such a great experience working for some of the best animation house in the world my question is, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of your job. And could you explain a typical run through of how you go about starting an animation sequence of a character?



2) What has been the most difficult shot to animate in your career?



3) Do you have a preference as far as animating, (i.e.) quadruped, bi-peds, real, comical etc?



4) Last but not least, What was your favorite shot you had to animate? And which was your favorite character to animate?



Thanks for your time Carlos, I’m a huge fan and look forward to seeing your work in the future.



Thanks,

Romero

Omita
10-17-2005, 05:59 PM
Carlos,
I hope you make it to my question. :D

I am in the game industry and Pixar comes up a lot in conversations. As a manager I am curious just how much animating a professional Movie animator does and is responsible for. I hear often that it is 30 seconds per week of feature film work. Also, what kind of hours does a animator typically do. Could you answer for both leads, and grunt animators?

If that 30 second part is true can you elaborate on it? Is that 30 seconds total for the week or 30 second that has to be approved for final? And how many versions or first passes does an animator take to complete it. What is the animation drafting phase like if there is one?

As a manager its difficult to figure out just how long it takes for a good animator to animate. So any help would be very useful. While good "acting" rarely happens in game animations, I am very curious how long the other animations take too, not just the super hard stuff.

Thank you.

Respectfully,
-Hays

mayakindaguy
10-17-2005, 06:08 PM
Just wanted to say that I just saw the finger boarding videos and MAN!!! Your craaaaazzzzy!!!

BTW, I've had about 15 years of training in music theory and piano. If you tutor me in animation, I'll be glad to tutor you in piano and music. With those fingers from the fingerboard videos man, I think I could whip you into shape in no time! :D lol.

Ok, my questions:

1)Do you plan or block in your slow ins and outs during the blocking phase? Do you also account for this in your original timing?

2)I remember you talking about a slow in or out of 10 frames needing about 10 frames to finsish up the action. Is this 10 frames of overshoot with very very tight spacing, and in general are these overshoots defined by a smooth arc as well or more of just a back and forth motion.

-Jonathan

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 06:13 PM
Its a treat to have you here. Got some questions -
1)What makes a reel really stand apart? Is 'the reel' the only thing which is key to getting your dream job? Or there are other things which influence it, things like location, contacts?
2)What kind of music do you make? Which instruments do play?
3)One character you would love to animate? (preferably out of the Pixar domains)
4)A recipe for some instant paellas? ;)
5)Your favourite outdoor sport?
-Anand

Hi Anand,

Let me see if I can get to all of them.

1) I think the reel is number one. We watch reels at work. Now and then there will be one reel that shows something different at least to me. I love to see enterntaining reels, a reel that tells me the animator was truly having fun with it. A reel that perhaps show the animator's personality, but definitely shows that the animator got inside the character, and did something different to what we are used to see (cliches sometimes). A contact or someone inside a studio passing your work may help, but if the reel needs work, it really doesn't matter how many people you know at a studio.

2) I usually play keyboards, and I love to do both electronic/industrial type of music...and I do most of the work in the computer. Lately I've been trying to learn more about composing and scores. I still have no freaking clue what the hell I'm doing...but it's definitely fun. I grew up playing piano by ear. Never had the patience to learn how to read or write music. So...basically...some of songs, if you hear them, you'll go "what the hell is going on in this guy's head?". They make no sense. :)

3) A character I would love to animate? Great question. Actually, I remember watching the first trailer of "IceAge" a few years back. Amazing trailer and still one of my favourites. I do remember watching the trailer and Scrat, and, as I was watching it pretty much drooling, I would go "Wow!...that...looks....awesome. Fun....looks...totally fun. Me...wanna...animate...little dude...". Also, any of the Stop-Motion characters in "Corpse' Bride" would of been so much fun to animate. Of course, they would of look really bad if I animated any of them...but still.

4) Instant Paella? Hell yeah. Here it is: Take a nap, drink sangria, watch "ToyStory" and "Iron Giant", take another nap, put some rice somewhere in there, go out and have some fun with your friends, come back, and the paella should be ready to go.

5) My favourite outdoor sport. Lately, it has been going back to skateboarding more than I used to. A few weeks ago, an old friend of mine I used to skateboard pretty much every day, and me got together to skate down the hills of San Francisco, all the way to the beach. Priceless. The last couple of years, I haven't found much time to do outdoor stuff because of work...but as things have been slowing down, I've been going back at being outside here and there. Also, taking naps and "siestas" are a big outdoor hobby of mine. You can do it anywhere...and it doesn't require much effort.

Carlos.

Redspective
10-17-2005, 06:13 PM
Hey Carlos!

It's such a trip to see one of great 3D animators of our time up here doin a Q&A :) I have a feeling many of us will learn a lot throughout this week. I got a couple questions for yeah and hopefully you'll get to them. Looks like this could be a busy week of typing for yah eh? haha and I apologize for my over usage of "Eh"... I am Canadian :P

Ok and now on to the questions...

1. Do you have any tips for eye darts? I found this to be extremely difficult, trying to find the right timing while also conveying thought process. Sometimes I get it but often times I don't and in the TV industry, we're forced to only spend a limited amount of time on this.

2. Because my coleagues and I work in the TV animation industry, our time is very VERY limited. Do you have any tips you can offer that might help our work look better in the long run? By that I mean areas we could focus on? When you average about 40 seconds a week, it's hard to experiment without falling behind quota. However despite that workload, I still think our show is one of the best on TV right now.... perhaps you've seen it? Dragonbooster? :) yes it's a shameless plug but I couldn't help myself.

Rock on!

Fredrick

MechaHateChimp
10-17-2005, 06:18 PM
Carlos, gracias por hacer el tiempo para compartir tus ideas y commentarios con nosotros!

I have a few questions:

I am taking on the colossal task of trying to build a demo-reel from beginning to end. This is my first year of really dedicating myself to 3D and although my background is in 2D illustration, I feel I have a good grasp of the basics. From your experience, what do you feel most reels lack and if you could give one solid piece of advice when submitting a demoreel, what would it be?



Also, although some people have a seemingly endless amount of motivation to finish projects, I sometimes have a hard time getting going. What motivates you most when youre just not in the mood to work with 3D?


Gracias! - Joel Carlo

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 06:32 PM
Hi there. First off- What you did and are doing is simply impressive. These might sound like dull questions, but I am very curious;
- How did you get aquanted with Pixar studios?
- What's your typical daily routine like? (Or might there not be one)
Gael van der Schans

Hi Gael,

No question is a dull question man.
Let's see. First time I heard of Pixar, was through "Toy Story", right after it came out. I was literally blown away. A friend of mine who I had all sorts of comic book/StarWars/movie things in common, called me...and goes "Carlos, you HAVE to see this movie that just came out, ToyStory. YOU will be blown away". Sure enough, I go and I had to go back a few times to really realized what it is that I just watched. It wasn't the 3D. It was everything else for me. Then, shortly after, I went to a talk that Pete Docter, animator of TS at the time, and later Director of "Monster Inc" (and one of my biggest inspirations as an artist) gave a talk about the movie at the Yerba Buena Garden (South of Market in San Francisco) maybe around Spring 1996. Watching this talk, not only was inspiring, but it gave me a path in what I wanted to do, where I wanted to work, and definitely the people I wanted to learn from. I truly wanted to become an animator and work surrounded by artists like that.

About my typical routine day. Lately it's been a little crazy, due to my "Cars" and "AnimationMentor" schedule. Over most of this year during the weekdays, and some times weekends, I was been working on the film "Cars". It's been one of my favourite experiences as an animator, personally...mostly because of having the luck and opportunity of working with John Lasseter. I learned a lot. Then, now and then at nightime, but mostly on weekends, I would do work for the AnimationMentor Online School that we launched in March. The rest of my time, I tried to spend as much time with my friends as I could, which wasn't much at times. "Cars" and "AnimationMentor" were two big responsabilities in my life, and I wanted to put my best.


Carlos.

Frinsklen
10-17-2005, 06:58 PM
Hey Carlos, thanks so much man, I have a couple of questions for you if you have the time.

- What I find exciting about animation is the fact that the more I learn, the more I think I got left. The endless range of knowledges needed to become a real expert amazes me.
So I'm asking, once you've reached such a high knowledge in the field, are you still looking forward to discover what's left as much as you were in the beggining? what would you like to learn next, or what do you do to make sure you never stop learning?

- I also tend to feel frustrated by the technical issues of computer animation, (rigging, gimbal locks, too many damn buttons..) and end up grabbing my beloved pencils. Do you ever feel limited by the tool/software? Do you think it's still something less "natural" than drawing maybe?

that's more than just a couple of questions I think, I hope those make sense.


Muchas gracias Carlos, y añádeme a la lista de fans. Cuídate. :)

Lamnock
10-17-2005, 07:00 PM
1) Do you have a set amount of hours you work at Pixar every day? Is there such a thing as a 40 hour per week job for anybody or do you guys have so much fun you lose track of time altogether and end up working 60 to 80 hour work weeks?

2) Would you be able to direct us to demo reels that Pixar has hired from and list the reason(s) as to why that demo reel stood out among the others?

Thank you for your time! You are a truly talented and inspiring person! Someone I would greatly enjoy working with someday.

Nathan

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 07:01 PM
- What is your usual workflow or how do you organize and prepare your assets when presented with a sequence?
- I would like to know how you managed to leave Spain and get into the schools in the US. I especially would like to know how you 'made the step' to go overseas and did you finance your studies while working in Animation.
- How do you see the importance of studying Traditional Art (painting, life drawing, sculpting, ...) towards working in Animation.
That said, I love your work and I'm a BIG fan!

Thanks Carl!

-My usual workflow. I'll tell you what's been helping me tremendously lately for me. I've been trying to surround myself with as much material related to whatever it is I have to animate, as possible. Whether it's storyboards, reference material I've gather or other animators have been gathering on either a character or a scene...and also, and very important for me, stuff related to it that inspires me. For example, for the "Incredibles" I kept playing certain action sequences from different films that I found, shots that other animators did that I found really impressive...and I also kept playing music that would situate me on the mood of the scene I was animating or planning. So with "Incredibles", I made a music playlist with scores from James Horner (Aliens), John Barry (Goldfinger), Rob Dougan (Matrix) John Williams (Indiana, Jaws, etc)...whatever I would find on my computer. Anything that puts me in the mood works. For "Boundin" I played Mary Poppins and Sesame Street. :)

-Studying overseas and moving to an entirely different country where I didn't know anyone or barely spoke any english, in order to study what I wanted was definitely one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life. My family has always supported me and my dreams. They supported me financially as well, up until I was able to support myself financially...and I can never thank them enough for that. Through a spanish program I ended up going to USF and the Academy of Art (now University of Art). Now, in order to do a full program at the Art School, I had to be in school for a lot longer than what me and my family could afford. So, right after I got to the US and USF, I started gathering signatures from the Deans of the different departments both at USF and the AAC, explaining them my situation. They ended up allowing me to study an individual major, taking Media/TV classes from USF and Animation classes at the AAC. It was a very special case, because I'm pretty sure I was the biggest pain in the a** to everyone I talked to. In the end, they probably ended up going "Kid, seriously, here is the got damn signature, now get the hell out of here you annoying little punk!"

-Importance of Traditional Art towards animation. I'll keep this answer simple. Really really important. Can't stress it enough how much it helped me personally. We are also noticing how much it is helping the students at AnimationMentor in their work. It also helps you to focus your learning on the art, as opposed the technology...which is a mistake many of us have done in the past.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 07:03 PM
WOW! Great job Leigh!
No questions from me....purely a fanboy post.
You ROCK Carlos! :D

Don't know what to say. :)
Thank you very much Ivanisavich.

Carlos.

beelow
10-17-2005, 07:14 PM
Cool, another animator! I really don't know you but I want to ask did you enjoy animating in 2d a lot. thanks for taking your time to visit us at cgtalk!:thumbsup:

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 07:21 PM
One question: Is it really necessary to go out there to get your dream? (above all if you live in Spain and if you are not a football player or a tv famous,hahah)
Zalo


Gonzalo, pasa campeon!

It shouldn't be necessary. But in our industry, most of the time, we don't have much of a choice. It would be ideal to be in a place where you wanna live and do what you love to do. Unfortunately, things don't always work the way we want them to go. I would love it if Pixar started its own "Mediterranean" branch. That would be so mega rocking super duper. I would also love to work in a spanish film I would be as proud as I am whenever I work on a Pixar film. Pixar's environment, and the type of company that John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs have created, is very very rare. And a big role model for many companies and studios. So, for me, everytime I go to work, I'm not even thinking I'm going to work...because I love the place and what I do that much. Honestly...I'm not giving much of a constructive answer...other than for you to follow your dreams wherever they are at.

Carlos.

gary hsu
10-17-2005, 07:33 PM
Hi Carlos, great fan of your work, and thanx for taking the time to answer a few questions here


My question is about acting and timing, I have heard a lot of great animators talk about acting and stuff, so I took an acting foundation class. I found out that while it offers a lot of useful info, it's a bit different than acting for animation. I have also read the book acting for animator, and while I think it's a really good book, something seems to be missing. you have a list of books posted on your website, and I am trying to get my hands on as many of them as possible. I would like to know how you and other animators you know go about perfecting the acting skills?

You also talked aobut filming yourself and stuff, obviousely, it's only a reference for you, but I am wondering what information when you review the clip do you take, and what info do you discard?

I have been in the industry for almost 3 years now, but I still find myself struggling with my timing, as they tend to be a bit slow, well, not snappy, I would say. sometimes I have to force myself to make it snappy, so I am wondering if you have any tips or exercise on improving one's timing skills

thanx

gary

My Fault
10-17-2005, 07:34 PM
Carlos, my man! Awesome of you to be doing this. You have been a huge inspiration and getting to meet you and chat has been such a high point for me. Since there have been so many great questions already I will ask only two.

What have you learned from working with so many other animators in Animation Mentor?

Is it true that many consider you the world's greatest karaoke singer?

You kick butt you crazy Spaniard!

AjaBogdanoff
10-17-2005, 07:35 PM
Hey Carlos, man, I owe you big time, I'd still be struggling to learn this stuff on my own if I hadn't seen your website last year. :-)

I'm wondering, has getting more into teaching animation affected how you animate?

(That's all, I had to ask this quick before Brian stole it!) ;)

Thanks Carlos!

luonaldo
10-17-2005, 07:36 PM
Hi, Carlos, VERY Nice to see you here!
I'm a 24-FRAME big fan of your works.In the first shot of boundin's , the little bird is so cute, I watched it frame by frame! And also, It's very strong in physics, really, hehe, admire you.

So many questions have been asked.... but I still have some:

1. How do you think the main differences between "ALIVE" animation and "Animated" one? I read your interview in 3dtotal.com, and could you talk it a little more into details? and could you please give us a check list of Yourself to do when it come to the last 10% work to level your works up (from "OK" to "Great")?

2. Could you please take a little time(about 1'30"), (^o^) to have a look on my new Animation DemoReel and give me some Critiques&Comments? Because now I'm looking for a job as a Character Animator, Any words is more than appreciated. Thanks a lot!
Here is the link of my Reel in big and small sizes:
Please just right click the link and save target as, I assure you it is No Virus.:)

Hi-Res Reel:(720*480 QuickTime ~7.21MB)
http://www.cghelp.com.cn/other/ly/VictorLuoChaAniReel_Oct_2005_HiRes.mov

Lo-Res Reel:(360*240 WMV ~4.11MB)
http://www.cghelp.com.cn/other/ly/VictorLuoChaAniReel_Oct_2005_LowRes.wmv

3. I enjoyed the animation materials you offered on your site, and I'm thankful!
But one title I'm interested in named "Staging in Animation" by Brad Bird (http://www.carlosbaena.com/BradBird.html)" does not works.
I was told that the link does not exists. Could you please relink it or give me a new link that the article is available?

4. Last but not least: Some of my best friends and I founded a web site named www.cghelp.com.cn (http://www.cghelp.com.cn) . What we do is to help more CG fans in China. Many of them suffer from their bad English ability when facing such an abundant internet resources. And Their is really some great artists in China. We don't want to stand by and see they are isolated from the world, and would like to be a bridge between a large amount of Chinese CG fans and a more larger amount of CGers around the world. I've translated some of the articles compiled or provided by you from your site, such as "Life After POSE to POSE - Polishing Animation (Keith Lango) (http://www.keithlango.com/popThru/polish.html)", "Compilation notes on BLINKS. (http://www.carlosbaena.com/Blinks.html)", ""Animation Notes from Ollie Johnston" Glen Keane. (http://www.siggraph.org/education/materials/HyperGraph/animation/character_animation/principles/ollie_johnston.htm)", "Richard Williams Animation Notes (3D Ark's Website) (http://www.3dark.com/archives/animation/richard_williams_notes.html) " and some other great articles. All these materials are very popular in the members of our site, really I can feel that they are hunger for things that is really good and helpful to them.
So firstly I wish to, of course only if you have some time and interest, have an interview with you, in order to introduce you to Chinese CGers, including many animation fans. If you would like to, it will be my honor, we could talk about it in details. my email address is : luonaldo@sohu.com or luonaldo@hotmail.com . Looking forward to hear from you! :)

The English version of www.cghelp.com.cn (http://www.cghelp.com.cn) is under construction now, sorry for inconvenient international access currently. When It finished, I will inform you first. :)

So many words, Very Thanks for your viewing to this line :D

Sagii
10-17-2005, 07:38 PM
(good work Leigh)

Hola Carlos !
Gracias por venir a CGTALK.

I really like your work and like your art style very much :)

I looked but I dont think this question was asked. You are very good at what you do, and are very talented indeed :). There is an ongoing debate about the value of going to school (in your case Academy of Art) to learn CG and animation vs learning on your own. Since you have been sooo succesful, I wanted to ask you if you think that the education you recieved was invaluable. Or was it just a stepping stone? Was it where you learned the core of everything or did you learn more through other means, such as through your peers, observations, books and tutorials? I appreciate your time in reading my question.

Gracias! Keep up the great work!

Ines

Thelvin
10-17-2005, 07:44 PM
Look at that! ...57 users reading this Thread right now!!! and probably all those users are typing some more questions for you.
I am sure your fingers are gonna hurt soon, if they don't do so already.

Don't wanna make you type more, just wanted to drop by and say ' you are awesome '

You are Truly an artist to be inspired by.

p.s I am kinda confused about the procedure to make that instant paella you mentioned, having a hard time getting all those ingredients together.


cheers!

Thelvin C

the rookie
10-17-2005, 08:43 PM
HEY CARLOS!!! good to here from you man...this is just fan based stuff from me, first off, thank you for providing some ideal resources and lecture notes that got me thru the years, (love the finger board skit :D!!) second, man I cheered when I see your name and others role on the credits for Finding Nemo and Incredibles, it was fantastic to see some of the stuff your guys actually worked on and putting it all together, I learned some much...Incredibles was one hell of a film, and agree with you on surrounding yourself resources related towards the mood and development, I love the DVD and I watch it over and over again, and the crazy part I stil watch Toy Story over and over again, there's so much in there, you guys see to have alot of fun at PIXAR and I see the door open for more oppurtinity greater CG Films

Will you do this for me, and pitch to PIXAR, if you're gonna do a part 2 into Incredibles how about a daytime full CG Incredibles CG TV Show or considered cartoon, there are huge shortcuts on creating episodes and re using models and riggs, you could pump out 6 shows if there is nothing really in the way of doing it, but they would have to move fast on completing it, I would give it a shot and see, of course I know there are no gurauntee's, but back to work for me and I will be awaiting to see CARS and yet your name to roll on the credits again :D (Thank for taking to time to read this if you have gotten a chance to)

Animator305
10-17-2005, 09:18 PM
hi carlos , thanks for doing this man ..i had 3 questions for you if you dont mind :

1. When could we see an updated site of yours with maybe some shots you worked on in Finding Nemo and the Incredibles ?

2. this next one is a little hard for me to explain but ill give it a shot ,Please dont take this as a prejudice question .. but do you think maybe animators that focus more on full body action shots have more opportunities of finding work ( in the majority of the industry ) than animators who mostly like to expertise in close up shots ? i know you should do both well but what is your take on that ?? for example , from what i have taken in , game companies are mostly looking for full body ( mechanics ) animators and alot of the movies i see coming out are mostly VFX style and those have tons of " Full Body realistic mechanic animations " as opposed to lip synch close up shots that someone at pixar would work on you know??

3. Last one , Do you feel that the industry ( games and film ) is taking a turn mostly towards realism animation as opposed to the more cartoony pixarish believable style ?? i ask because like i said before, i see mostly Visual FX stuff coming out apart from the Madagascars and Incredibles movies..

Carlos thanks again , and i appreciate your patience.. Chau hermano querido !

Your Argentinean fan,

Julian

gruvsyco
10-17-2005, 09:31 PM
Hi Carlos,

Like everyone else, I'm a big fan..

This isn't really a question as more a request... I would love to see one of your clips of you acting something out for animation, like the previously mentioned Mr. Incredible one. I think it would give me/us some insight into the level of acting an animator goes to, in order to create animation as good as yours.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 09:43 PM
I'd like to use this opportunity to congratulate you on your successful career path! How to get a job at IL&M or PIXAR? Any tips/hints/tricks would be much appretiated!

Thanks Loocas,

About any tips/hints or tricks to get a job at ILM or Pixar, I'll try to be as direct as I can. It's not easy to get a job in places like these. They get thousands of reels I'm sure. So practice, patience and motivation will always help you. Practice because in order to get a good grasp on anything, you need a lot of practice. Nothing new about this. But this couldn't be more true in animation. You see students here and there that seem to hit a point where they are stuck. You do something that will probably need work...then, don't give up. Go on, and keep going. We go through ups and downs in animation, and some work we may not be as happy as with other work. You can either complain about it, or keep practicing until you fall asleep on the keyboard or the drawing table. Practicing will help you to keep yourself motivated and inspired. Get inspiration from people, and keep at it. And very important, you'll need to be patient. I mentioned this before, but these studios may not want you the first time...the second...maybe the third or fourth time. These shouldn't be reasons to not keep trying. Keep working on your work, and try again. If you want something, just go for it...and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Life is way too short to not do the things you want to do in life in my opinion. Sometimes we won't get what we want, but we can try at least.

When we started thinking/designing the AnimationMentor Online School, even though we strongly believed in it, there was always those insecurities and questions "Will this work? Will people learn online?". We just had to go for it...and if we failed, then we failed. But at least we gave it a shot. It was a very rough beginning of the year for the School and everyone involved, but I'm so happy we went for it and gave it a shot. So far it seems that students are learning and happy with what they are learning. We are still working on improving it, making it better, making on making it easier for both students and mentors. But there has been a lot of trial and error, a lot of mistakes and achievements. If we never tried it, we wouldn't know. Same thing with getting your foot on the door at a studio. Try once...try a hundred times. It also helps if you know someone at the studio that may pass your work around, or give you feedback in case your reel/portfolio needs work. Take feedback as much as you can. Chances are, the people at these studios have so much experience, it will only be good for you.

And also, watch your attitude. No one wants to work with people that act as if they know everything there is to know about animation. Some of the most talented animators I've met, are very humble about their work. There will be always someone tomorrow, next week or next year, that you can learn from, and that will take things to the next level. So always keep that learning attitude you had when you were learning. It will only help everything and everyone in my opinion.

I hope this helps Loocas.


Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 10:03 PM
Could you give us some insight into how much you practiced and what you practiced that most helped you get to the level of artist you are today?

Aside from the 2D film I worked on, which I talked earlier, there was a time where I was working on commercials in two different companies over a period of a year and where I had to practice way more than when I was even in school. The work I was doing in some of these commercials was challenging at times and animation related. Other times the work I had to do was definitely not animation related, and more technical than what I wanted. In these cases you don't have much to choose, you just have to get stuff done, and fast. During this time I knew I wanted to get into animation for Film and Features. I knew I wasn't ready. So while I lived in San Francisco, for a while I would come back home at nightime, and work on animation tests until pretty late. I would bother the hell out of my friends to see my work, tear it apart. If something wasn't working, it just wasn't working and keep working on more tests. So I worked on both mechanical tests, as well as acting tests. They helped me get to Wildbrain...where I did some technical stuff at first, and at some point I became an animator. At that point, my job and the people I worked with became my learning school...up until today. Everyday you hit something in animation where you go "wait...shit, didn't know that....". Pixar is by far the most intense animation school I've ever been to...and I feel more than lucky to part of it. So, definitely practice as much as you can, without killing yourself or putting your entire life on hold.


Carlos.

Glenfx
10-17-2005, 10:23 PM
Hi Carlos B.

Its funny, but im kinda in a different path than most people around here.

Although im not quite looking to get a job at pixar or any other studio (though im dying to see pixar's environment... for me it would be better than any universal studios park or disneyland combined :D)

Im currently building a micro studio in my country (currently its very "micro" --only my wife and I--) and are currently developing ideas and experimenting to see if we are able to make an animated series between my wife and I (only two people working on it). So i wanted to know if you had a couple of advises on how could we approach these projects.

Unfortunatly i never had any studies on animation and i taught all myself and i would really like you to review a demo reel i put together with all ive done.

PD: i was just thinking.... at animationmentor, in a near future, are there going to be any free video tutorials?? or free passes for very poor students? :deal:

Cheers
y saludos desde Venezuela ^__^
Glen Fernández

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 10:32 PM
*I'd also like to know how did you finance your step from Spain to USA, I know that's a big problem for most spanish animator wannabes. I guess that's why you co-founded Animationmentor.com :thumbsup:
*When will you finish "Screws" shortfilm? last news in your website are from 2003 :shrug:
*congratulate you for your amazing carreer!! Eres el ejemplo a seguir.

- That's definitely one of the reasons of my involvement in AnimationMentor. At one point, Bobby Beck and Shawn Kelly (the other two AnimationMentor founders) pitched me the beginning idea, before we started developing. The fact that it involved online learning which could potentially teach hundreds of students that aren't able to obtain a visa to study overseas, was one of the reasons that inmediately made me go "yes". After experiencing myself what takes to move to an entire different country and culture when you are young, just to be able to learn from professional people...well...it wasn't easy. A lot of things suffered for me, being my family one of them. So my whole thing with it was, if someone let's say from Spain, wants to study animation from someone from ILM, PDI, Disney, Pixar...why do they have to sacrifice their entire life to be able to do it? In terms of how I was able to do it myself 11 years ago, as mentioned early, without the financial/emotional support of family (I was 19 years old), no way on earth I would of been able to make it.

- "Screws" was put on hold for a couple of reasons. First, because I believed on the Online AnimationSchool, and I knew I had to make other things I wanted to do wait, so that I could focus on it. Hopefully as we get more resources for the school I'll be able to get back in working on my own projects. Not sure when exactly. I miss working on my stuff, but at the same time, it was definitely a very good reason I feel proud of. The other reason I put it on hold was the music/sound effects of the shortfilm. I've been wanting to be more involved in that part. Both of them play a big part, but it's also a part I never really felt too confident about. Even though music/sound is something I was always very excited about...I also knew it's something that was going to take some big learning. Luckily I have a couple of really good friends involved in the creation of Scores and sound effects, who I'm always asking questions, and they give great advices.

- Muchisimas Gracias tio.


Carlos.

ThePredator42
10-17-2005, 10:43 PM
Hi Carlos,

phew this is cool. Just this morning I went thru your Q&A´s at CG-CHAR, and was (metaphorically) pulling my hair for not being able to post my questions anymore. HA!

So here they come:

- I don´t know wether I remember those two numbers correctly, but I think I read somewhere that Pixar has about 60+ animators. And in the Incredibles Commentary it says that even a ninja animator would animate a max of 100 feet of footage in a movie. Considering that Pixar works on several movies at the same time, like Cars, Hogblogs and Monster Inc 2*, I wonder how this could work? Unless, you have a SECOND, secret underground studio, where thousands of nameless interns animate for their daily share of rice and water. In that case, would you please PM me with the contact info for the responsible HR?

- I remember that drawing - was it Milt Kahl´s - in the Animators Survival Kit, about listening to music while animating. I find that though it keeps me awake longer than any coffee ever could, music slows down my (in any case nonexistant) animation talent. Do you listen to music while animating, or aren´t u smart enough either? :D

Ok that´s it for now, thanks so much for taking the time to do those Q&A´s!

Happy animating,

Michael.


*don´t freak out guys, I came up with those.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 10:52 PM
Do you have other interests other then 3d animation etc? (things you might get up to off the computer maybe on the weekends or other hobbies).Have you ever had a part-time or casual job while in the 3d industry when you started? If so how did you handle it? (Atm i'm wondering wether I should give up my casual job and settle for less money and have more time for 3d).

Hi Julius,

-Interests other than 3D animation. I've been always very interested in the Filmmaking aspect of Animation/Film. So I've been sort of studying that stuff on my own...sometimes taking classes wherever I can find them, and when my schedule allows me to do so. Pixar is great that way, as they encourage the artists learning and interests in other areas. Also doing music definitely keeps me busy sometimes. I've been trying to learn this software called "LogicPro", that almost feels like learning "Maya" but in music. It has like a million windows in it, I get lost right away. It's driving me nuts. I've been doing music for AnimationMentor, as a way to practice, and do trial and error. The students of AnimationMentor have probably heard many songs I've experimented with. That's when you see blogs like "My ears are exploding"...or..."why I cry/scream when listening to the lectures".

-I never had a part-time job while working already in the industry, because of visa issues. Being from another country, and because of the visa I have in the US, I was only able to have one job every time. You need a specific type of visa for whatever inmigration situation you have going on, and many times it's very difficult to get them or they take a long time. For the AnimationMentor stuff I had to get a second visa specifically for that purpose. The inmigration subject in the US has always been a very delicate subject for people from other countries. Pixar has been always very patient and supportive with me on that area.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 11:04 PM
Hi Carlos,
U and friends from animation mentor are doing an amazing work.But for beginners like us from india aren't able to afford as it costs a lot.But still we're trying to join and study.If i have a plan to join a college for learning animation.Which degree or course should i do and pls also advice me on the colleges from U.S.

Thanks Stunner_prince.

About advice for learning animation you can afford...I can't give you affordable choices, which in my opinion have a strong curriculum. You have places like CalArts (Valencia, CA) or Sheridan (Canada). I know they are not cheap either, but they are very strong schools for animation that I know care about the art. I would of LOVE to study in those places, but first I didn't really have a portfolio to make it there, and well, at the time I didn't even know about then either. Many artists and directors started at CalArts, so that tells you something. I would research on places like this, especially if you are thinking about animation. I would also definitely look into what the internet has to offer also. People, resources, forums, contacts, artists, inspiration. It's such useful resource. The biggest learning resource in my opinion.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 11:29 PM
Hi,Carlos!I want to know how you think about the difference of Cartoon actor's performation between U.S.A and Chinese!!!

Hi Wcnike,

Ok, this is a hard question. Let me think about it. You are asking about the difference in the cartoon performance of a US actor and a Chinese actor....??

...man, that's tough. I wish I had my co-worker Andrew Gordon here, as he really has a unique understanding in performances, gestures...plus, he's been in China giving lectures. I know he would of been of more help than me here.

With performances and cultures, it can go a million different ways. Certain things acting wise, like pantomime, are more universal than other things. Gestures can be very country/culture driven...and they can be originated in a specific context or place that doesn't apply to another country. Therefore, acting choices or gestures that in the US mean one thing, in China they may mean something completely different or nothing at all, regardless of whether it's a cartoon performance or a realistic performance. There are great books written by english author Desmond Morris, on the subject of body language/gestures and cultures,that maybe helps you further. Two great books come to mind, "Manwatching" (1977) and "The Naked Ape" (1967).

I find myself studying films from my own country Spain and the US where I live...and even I have a hard time trying to figure out what makes the acting of some films/actors more believable than in other films. Last year, over a period of one week I watched two pretty hardcore films, Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" and Almenabar's "Sea Inside". Both amazing films with stunning performances. But I came out wondering what made the performance of "Sea Inside" more believable and honest in some cases than other moments in "Million Dollar Baby"...especially on some of the secondary characters of the first one, which blew me away. This is my own sensibility and appeal, which other people may not agree to. For me, maybe it was characters/personalities that I could relate in the spanish film even more...therefore I felt more engaged in those performances, and they felt truly real...Whereas in parts of "Million Dollar Baby" I would tell myself "I'm watching a movie. These are movie performances. What makes me feel that way". It's definitely not that one movie is spanish and the other film american. Has nothing to do with that, as I've seen spanish films that are so bad performance wise, that make you cry. But in these two particular cases, it was something that made me wonder for a while. So, no real answer here I feel...I think it enters more the subjective area on what makes you feel this or that way to you individually.

Carlos.

velarde
10-17-2005, 11:35 PM
Saludos Carlos!

First congratulations on all of your work.

I always see your webiste url as a must see from other animation sites I visit :)

Don't want to turn your thread into a working Visa thing , but since you mentioned it how did you go by handling that part ...?

I'm guessing that people in the US won't give you work unless you have a working Visa but at the same time you can't get a working Visa unless a company wants you in the first place... am I correct...? :)

Or did studying in the US help you out with that part...? or being REALLY good will open the doors for you and make anybody want to handle the paperwork. ( I think I saw in Pixars site in the FAQs that they only accept people with permission to work in the US)

How did you get your first "break" in a working/paying position ..?

Just wondering, hope its ok to ask ..

thanks for your time y buena suerte con todos tus proyectos!


fjv

CarlCampbell
10-17-2005, 11:44 PM
Wow! Thanks for answering my questions Carlos! Its a real honor! We're having a one-week masterclass in our school with a great animator has worked for almost more than a decade at ILM. His name is Miguel Angel Fuertes. He's come here to take some time off but I guess our school reps somehow swayed him into giving us a little teaching on the side... I was wondering if there was ANY chance whatsoever that you may be holding or would be interested in participating in a similar event?

Un Saludo y Muchas Gracias!

Carl(os)

CarlosBaena
10-17-2005, 11:56 PM
Hi Carlos! Thanks for that's Q&A
I would like to know how do you deal getting good arcs and continuity in animations. Most of 3d sorftware lack a good ghosting function and when you are refining your blocking with inbetweens it's very dificult for me don't get pops in the animation betwen poses. The only way I find to solve this is in graph editor analazing the curves. I would like to know if there is a more visual way to deal with this.!

Hi Dsolo,

About doing the Q&A, definitely. My pleasure man.

About tools for getting good arcs...from a visual point of view, there may be a few ways to help you out.

-If you still have one of those old computer LCD monitors (even some of the flat ones) that allow you to use non-permanent sharpies in them, use the actual screen for plotting your arcs.
-If you have a newer more delicate computer monitor, I believe they sell see through plastic screen protectors that allow you use the non-permanent sharpies.
-If you use Maya software, Jason Schiefler wrote his GreasePencil tool. I've used it and I think it's more than useful and intuitive:

http://www.jonhandhisdog.com/shh-life-er/?page_id=169

Jason is a really talented smart animator, and also knows a lot about the technical needs of us, animators. I would definitely use it. Jason is one totally hilarious guy as well. The students at AnimationMentor can testify. We always have a blast with him. Ok, fine, I love him. :)

I personally, use a tool at Pixar that allows me to draw on the screen. Gives me a very similar result to Jason's. The point being, knowing what the path of every part of your character is doing.


Carlos.

paperclip
10-18-2005, 12:12 AM
Carlos!

First off, let me congratulate you on the Incredibles, it's about as fine a piece of animation as you can get and Mr Incredible is...incredible.

Question time!

I'm considering Animation Mentor and I've asked this question several times but no one has answered it yet-- I'm deaf so I'd have problems following the lectures, are there any lecture notes/ captions/etc available to students? I bet this would help people whose first language is not english as well.

cheers!
paperclip.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 01:00 AM
- How do you feel you've grown as an artist in your career?
- Animation is communication, so how important are regular people's reactions to your shots to you?
- What's the most challenging shot you've ever animated?
- What shot you've animated are you most proud of?
- If you could choose one particular character from the history of animation, that you would have loved to animate on, which would it be, and why?
- What kind of questions do you ask yourself to get to know your character?
- How much have you learned by experimenting with different media (2D and stopmo, or perhaps even theater)
- As you mentors constantly say... animation is a continuous learning experience. What's the last thing you've learned in animation? And what's the one most important thing you've learned in animation?
- Who is or are your favorite animator(s)? The one(s) you look up to most?
- Will you, or some of the other mentors, or even officially Animation Mentor, be at Annecy this year? I'm guessing that's thé European event which you guys would be coming overseas for (aside from vacation).- Benjamin

Hey Benjamin,

How is going man?
So many familiar faces and names.

Ok, onto your questions:

-How have I grown as an artist on my career? Definitely through certain co-workers in different companies and over the years. I learn a lot from watching how other artists learn and deal with art, people and pressure. At Pixar, I have such great animation neighbours currently. I really do. They have so much experience, they help me look at things with other eyes...and in some cases, just by talking to them, they help me look at myself and where I am at, to see what I have to work on, or how.

-Regular people's feedback on my work. Very important. Anyone's feedback is great. they are fresh eyes, plus, those people will definitely tell you if something is off or doesn't feel natural. Animators sometimes pay more attention at the animation details of a shot, as opposed to the essence of the shot. I've seen it happen with myself many times.

-Most challenging shot I've ever animated. Definitely one of the shots I recently worked on "Cars" that took me quite a while to complete. It went through some changes, and in many cases I felt kind of lost and not really knowing where the shot was heading to. In the end, I'm happy the Director and Supervisors pushed me on this shot. Can't really talk about the specifics of the shot.

-Shot most proud of. That's a tough one to answer for me as I think I've been pretty critical of most of my work. But I'm very proud of having worked on both "Cars" and "Incredibles" the most. Other than stuff from those films, I enjoyed working and watching one of my shots from "Boundin", towards the end of the shortfilm, where the lamb is used to being shaved, lifts the leg smiling, the take him, drop him, stands up all chill and cool, and starts jumping. While the shot in my opinion could of used some more work, it got a reaction from the audience that gave me goosebumps in the movie theater. Working at a place like Pixar, it's been hard for me to risk or take chances on my shots, due to the pressure, schedules, etc. Especially at the beginning, I didn't want to make mistakes. It's taken some time to start relaxing...letting go...and trying to take more risks on my shots. They really trusted me on "Cars", which I feel more than lucky.

-I think I might of answered this one. Scrat from "IceAge". In terms of any character of the old Disney films, I certainly don't think I would of been able to make a drawing that came anywhere close to looking like the original character. So I'll leave it at Scrat. :)

-Questions I ask myself to know the character. Good one Benjamin. Still trying to figure that one out myself. A few things I always keep in mind though:

-Who is this character. Where does he/she come from. Background information.
-Where in the story/film is the character at. A character is always evolving.
-Is this character enterntaining, while being on character?
-How can I push this character. Do I have spots to take risks or chances?
-What else has been done with this character that will give me ideas or inspire me.

-2D and Stop-Motion (while working at Will Vinton) have helped me tremendously in my animation learning, especially from a timing/spacing point of view. I never taken theater classes. But I've hang out with crazy friends while Skateboarding, that was like going to the freaking Circus every day. Big learning that way.

-Last thing learned in animation: Not to get lazy on any shot. Always spend time on detail.

-Most important lesson: While technique is important, performance is most important.

-Animators I look up to: Oh man...really long list here. Pete Docter, Brad Bird, John Lasseter, Mark Oftedahl, Doug Sweetland, Glen Keane, Ron Zorman, Gini Santos, Tony Fucile, Mike Woo, Nancy Kato, Jay Boose, Sanjay Patel...really the list can go on. Sometimes I look up some animators at work not just because of their animation/acting skills only, but because of their attitude, and how these people are towards other people. I really learn a great deal from them. Also, knowing how patient they are with students, every single mentor we've gotten the opportunity of having at AnimationMentor, I definitely look up to them.

-Annecy this coming year. I'm not sure if I'll be able to myself. Because it's been a while since I've been with my family here in Spain, I'm taking as much time off as I can to be with them. But I'm pretty sure we will try our best to have the School have a presence there.

Ok, I think I'll continue tomorrow guys. I'm not used to typing so much...I'm about to pass out here. I hope I'm helping with these questions. Good night everyone.


Carlos.

toontje
10-18-2005, 01:53 AM
Holla Carlos! Te admiro tu animacciones totalmente. Excuse, Spanish is my 4th language or somthing.

When working at Pixar, how much input had the director about how the animation should look like? How much was your own signature?

Is it essential that your opinions should line up with the director's?

Was it fun working at Pixar or did you have some impossible deadlines? Were you at any time under stress? And if so, how does it affect your work?

Do you have to do facial and body animation in the Incredibles? What are the stages of animation? I heard Brad Bird wanted pose to pose animation? What were the advantages?

When object touch eachother, two people holding hands, Bob Parr picking up a piece of cake or sitting on a chair, how do you prevent those two meshes to intersect? Is it just endless tweaking or is there an easy way?

I hope I'm not out of line here, how do all the animation packages compare to each other, i.e. which one is most intuitive, which ones offers the most tools? I am a Blender user, and it has a major animation recode done. Could you find the time to test it out?(www.blender.org whoa, I'm way out of line here sorry)

JTF
10-18-2005, 02:50 AM
Might sound like a noobness question but what programs do Pixar use during a movie, just really want to hear the animation programs though. Thanks man and congratulations on all your success, nice/pleasure talking to you.

LEGC
10-18-2005, 03:52 AM
Hi,
I admire your work. I just want to know if people outside of the animation industry respect your work. Or people outside the industry look at the animation as a hobbie.

I hope to enter Animation Mentor in spring.

yolao
10-18-2005, 04:20 AM
Hola Carlos es un honor poder saludarte, tu trabajo es extraordinario e inspirador en todos los sentidos....

Ojala tengas oportunidad de contestar mi pregunta..

-Como animador que adoras y que detestas en como esta hecho el rig de un personaje?...que controles encuentras fastidiosos y que controles encuentras estupendos...


muchas gracias por tu tiempo y por compartir tus conocimientos!!

Sean MacNeil
10-18-2005, 04:47 AM
Hey Carlos! Dude, you're just an awesome animator and i love watching your lectures at AM. By the way, thank you so much for creating AM and making it such a perfect place to study animation. i hope that one day i will get a chance to thank you personally, or who knows, maybe i'll get to animate with you one day so i can tell everybody that i got to animate with one of the great animators. Okay fine, i'll settle for fetching your paellas and sangria while you animate your shots!

When you have a chance, i have a couple questions:

1. i'm in the body mechanics class right now and i need to start making some money as soon as possible to help pay for the rest of my education at AM, so i was wondering, if you were in my shoes, at what point in the program you would put your assignments on a reel and start sending it out?

2. Sorry Carlos, this is kind of a long-winded one. There are so many things for an animator to remember when animating a shot, and if you're like me it's easy to forget quite a few of these things. For example, there are animation principles, body mechanics tips, and acting tips you need to be thinking about at each stage of a shot, kind of like a checklist (ie. pushing your poses, including overlap, checking silhoettes, thinking about hips/shoulders, etc.) Every animator goes through the checklist in a different order, for instance what one animator thinks about and checks off the list in the 1st blocking pass, another animator might not think about until the 2nd or 3rd blocking pass or even until the polishing phase. i'm wondering from your own personal routine, if you could list the order you go through your checklist and what you are remembering to include in each pass of your shot?


Thank you so much Carlos,

Sean.

Tasimasu
10-18-2005, 06:09 AM
hi Baena, firstly ı want to thank you for all this answer. here is my question. what is your expectations about future of 3 D animation world in near future. Do you have any foresight, any guesses, ? (for example, can mocap and facial mocap systems become more important in 3 D animation film etc...?) thats all, thank you have a nice days...

LS Knight
10-18-2005, 06:43 AM
Hi Carlos.

Funny thing, I couldn't work in the rain today and it so happens I watched The Incredibles on HBO (even though I own the CD... ya know... for my kid... ya right.)

I have a comment about what I found so striking in this movie. The inbetween actions is just wonderful. The little twitch, extra unconcious looks and movements made this all so realistic and human. For instance, Mr. I and Frozone in the burning building and they've decided Mr. I will bust through the wall. The way Mr. I sort of jumps on one foot, anxiously and slightly off balance, carrying all the weight of six people as he's finishing delivering his lines is really great. The easy way would have been to just have them stand there and finish the lines then run down the hall. Would you care to comment on this sort of stuff further?

Also, did you work with the hair much? I was WAY impressed with the wet hair in the scenes after the plane crash.

I really like what you said about the value of studying traditional 2D art. My father-in-law is one of the old animators from the animation golden years that worked with Freling and others. He did Pink Panther. I sometimes think that when he goes it will be the end of an era. He's commented to me a lot that these 3D guys aren't studying real animation and they should. He'd be proud that you did (and he loved Incredibles BTW).

anthea
10-18-2005, 07:30 AM
Hi Carlos!! Fingerboard Champ of the Universe!

I have a question about the different characters you have had to animate at Pixar so far. I would assume it is a whole different ballgame animating a car as a character as opposed to a human being which we are all more familiar with. What did of research did you do to infuse life into those piles of metal? Did the process call for a lot of experimentation?

My other question is about the learning curve at AM. There are some students who come into the program with animation experience under their belts, and some, like myself come in as animation newbies. Do you have any advice for us newbs who are trying to get to their animations up to the polished level of their more experienced peers? Have you seen improvement as impressive for the relative "beginner" animators. And what advice do you have for when the time comes to enter the work force, how do you see our chances against the AM graduates with prior experience?

Thanks!
Anthea

AndrewBlodgett
10-18-2005, 07:34 AM
Hi Carlos

I’m a fan of your work.
Based on your experience and knowledge of other animators you’ve known these are my questions:

1) What are some of the biggest obstacles an animator for television can face transitioning to working on feature films?

2) And I’ve always been curious, on a lot of TV series I’ve worked on typically animators are responsible for producing 25-60 seconds of animation a week, taking 1-3 weeks to produce animation for a 22min show, what are the turn around times like working on an animated feature film (Pixar, etc.)?

3) What would be your recommendations to get a visa to work in the US - are studios willing, or do they have any issues with setting that up a work visa for animators, or is it better to just move to the US and try and make a go of it?

Thanks.

patboy
10-18-2005, 07:57 AM
Hi Mr. Baena,
Before I ask anything I would like to say that you rock!:buttrock:

I am really interested in enrolling at AM to really learn how to animate well but the problem is I suck at drawing especially when it comes to action poses. That's why I'm thinking of taking a fine arts course here in my country (because the cost of studying in other countries are way too expensive) before enrolling at AM. Do you think that thats a good idea? And what books could you suggest for an aspiring animator like me so while im saving money for AM, I could get some heads up on the lessons to come. :) Thank you very much!

Magenta_
10-18-2005, 08:42 AM
Mi estimado Don Carlos:

Es un placer tenerlo por aquí !!!:bounce: I have to say i totally share Anthea´s doubts as im a newbie too... thanks Anthea for asking that!
Y por otro lado (no quiero complicarlo preguntando esto en inglés) Cómo es ser freelance allá? y qué tan viable será para alguien recién egresado de AM? Crees que es estrictamente necesario vivir allá para ser freelance?...tengo más preguntas, te mando un mail dentro de la escuela? mmh... yo creo que sí

Gracias Carlos,
Que tengas unas estupendas vacaciones!

Hasta luego...

Bluder
10-18-2005, 08:59 AM
Hi, nice of you to stop by =)

1) who are in your opinion the best animator of all time? =)

2) someting that sometimes destroys a nice animation is gimbal lock, how do you work around it or dose the pixar software have a solution of some kind?

3) at animationmentors, is it possible to just pay to get feedback on your work?

4) is it really that fun to animate cars all day? ;)

banano
10-18-2005, 10:28 AM
Hola, Carlos, antes que nada , toda mi admiracion y respeto!

-Do you think its possible to become a kickass animator without sacrifying your social life at some point?

-Wasnt it a blast doing facial animation with Mr. Icredible?

-Si te mola el skate mira esta pagina, yo la descubrio el otro dia y flipe :http://www.freebord-spain.com/funciona.htm

Thanks for taking the time to do this

CharmedFable
10-18-2005, 12:06 PM
Hey Carlos! Heh I just finished watching the incredibles on Starz. The animations in it were very impressive! One of my favorite cg films.

I was wondering:

1. Is there anyone that might have inspired you to do 3d animation?

2. Do you get a special program to work with by pixar or do you use some of the major applications like 3ds max,Maya, or something like that.

3. Was it hard to find your animating jobs and what was your first animation job like?


Man I wish I can join animation mentor but I am too young. I am practicing 3d at a pretty young age so I have an advantage when I am older.

thimsj
10-18-2005, 12:16 PM
Hello Carlos. Big fan, thanks for doing this.
My main question:
How difficult is it for people outside the US to get a job there? Does your reel now have to be mind blowing for them to justify the time and immense effort to get work visas and everthing sorted out or would they rather take someone within the country whose work might not be as great as say an international applicants reel? Can you describe how difficult it was for you to get work with Pixar not being a citizen from the US, the process it took for you to get into the company.

evilmugsy
10-18-2005, 12:18 PM
Hi Carlos! I have a question. I've been working once an several 2d and 3d related softwares but the situation in my country forced me to abandon the artist's life as I partook a different job(namely a Japanese translator) not related to being an artist. Today I was able to save up a little cash to buy the practical PC parts I need and resigned from my "business" life to return to an artist's career but I want to know if I havent touched these softwares do I start from the very beginning again as if it is my 1st time again? And to make things worst is the fact that I have no idea where to education regarding this cause I cannot afford certified trainings and there is practically no institution here that knows how to teach it properly in my country. What do I do?

-thanks Mugsy

JoseM
10-18-2005, 12:47 PM
Hi Carlos, first sorry, my english isn´t good, I had the opportunity to meet you two years ago at "mundos digitales" and you look an nice guy to me, your work is a great source of reference.

I know that studies in tradicional art and 2d Animation is very useful in 3d animation, but is essential?,
my studies are technicians and I think that animation is diferent to draw and with hard work you can to become a 3d animator
, what do you think about this?, do you known any great 3d animator whitout training in tradicional art?


Thanks and regards.

hadimoom
10-18-2005, 01:32 PM
Hi Carlos.

_I want know before you start animate Your character you draw Simple form of
Character or record film of player and See this Film then Start animate.

Sorry for my bad english.

Thanks.

rafaelrubio
10-18-2005, 02:04 PM
Hey carlos, que tal? Saludos desde Cordoba, España.

First of all, i would like to thank to you for share your time with us. I want to ask you some questions:

1. when you are animating, what/who inpire you?
2. And when you are with a paper and you want to write something? (ideas, scripts...)
3. Who are your favorite director? And Actor?
4. You had received a shot. what is the first thing you do or think before start draw poses or animate characters?
5. what is more important on planning or aninamting a shot? Poses? Timing? Arcs?...
6. Have you (You, Bobby, Shawn...) thought in write and publish a book about animation? I'm not speaking about a book as "Animators Survival Kit" or "The Illusion Of Life" (both the better and my more loved books on my library) cause they already exist. I'm speaking about a book with advices, tricks, how facing problems in today animation (CG Animation in films like The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Star Wars, Shrek...) I think it would be a BestSeller! An animation book written by better animators of today working in better animation films talking about his experience, problems, advices, tricks.... Don't believe it?

thanks for all friend! Espero que lo pases bien y descanses en estos dias que pasas en España, ademas, con el clima de las Canarias.... Sigue en ese nivelazo que tienes y regaladnos mas joyas como las que haceis. Enga tio, un abrazo, cuidate!

Ollarin
10-18-2005, 02:55 PM
Woot! Carlos Baena!
Man! Your animation is so inspiring! Toga party > All! :D

My question is, what do you think is the best animation practice anyone could do in thier free time? I mean, is there anything that's really good for learning animation in particular? Like the bouncing ball is for when you start learning animation?

Thanks! :D

sgbox
10-18-2005, 03:03 PM
hi carlos,

ı m young character animator in turkey, my company use mocap for making cartoon animation films. it is good way to make cartoon movement with mocap or not ? what is your opinion?. (and also ı m afraid to lost my key frame skill). one more question. when working in a pixar do you have a chance to add extra something to scene. and what is your relationship with director? when the directors roll begin and end. how much power director have upon you? thanks ı m waiting cars with holding my breath.....

MartinK
10-18-2005, 03:23 PM
Hi

First, AM is a great opportunity for those of us that can’t move overseas. I’m going to start at AM in January and I can’t wait. Thank you (and your co-founders) for developing that idea into an opportunity for life for a lot of people.

You said earlier that 2d has helped you a lot when you started out. I’m a terrible drawer. I guess it’s a part of the AM course to thumbnail and sketch, but can you give any advices regarding developing my thumbnail/2d animation drawing skills?

and a second question:
How do you plan a scene? You have said something about inspiration, but how much time, in general, do you spend on planning, thumbnailing, filming reference…..before you actually start to animate?

Thanks
Martin K

Ramteen
10-18-2005, 04:29 PM
Hi carlos .
Have U any strong skills on drawing or did U have any long 2D animation ?
thanks for Ur avabling here .goodluck ...

Aldarion
10-18-2005, 05:00 PM
*bows to the master*

I'd like to know what would you recommend for someone from Europe who want's to get to study in the US , from a country (Slovakia in my case) that has NO schools doing 3d/animation (the closest being like..programming in DirectX) , or for someone who did not attend any art school. (Or both) oh yeah, and for someone who has very little money.

Other than that, let me just congratulate you for being able to produce such beautiful pieces of art, and for having such a great career.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 05:29 PM
let me just say that u have been one of the most
inspiring and pleasant personalities in the animation world for years,
and your work simply ROCKS !!
- What references do u use when it comes to animating a character ?
- What advice would u give to anyone planning their own short film?
- What are the pros and cons of working for a company like Pixar?


Menefus,

You want my face to totally turn red, don't you.
Ok, onto your questions:

-I think I mentioned this earlier.

-For shortfilms, I'll tell you the things what I've been telling myself for a long time:
-Why am I doing this? Is this worth spending possibly years making it?
-Am I doing this for myself?...or because it may be cool for people to watch it?
-Am I doing this shortfilm for the right reasons? Is it something I would wanna watch?
-Do I know what the hell I'm doing? Will I need help or advice with this film?
-Is the story strong? characters fun? Am I relying too much on visuals?

-Pros and Cons about working at Pixar. I hope I don't sound too redundant on this, but I honestly still have to find any cons on that place. They've always treated me so well. The Films I couldn't be more proud of. And they do respect artists more than in any other company I've been. Maybe cons can be things like deadlines or work pressure...but many of these things is up to the individual. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself with anything I'm working on.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 05:38 PM
-Do you think that with so many new and current companies producing CG Animated films, that the market will become stifled and weaker, or increase competativness and help create better animated movies?
-What do you enjoy most about animating?
-What does a basic day involve for a Pixar animator such as yourself?


-I sure hope it's the second option...for the best of our industry. Two things I've been pretty worried about myself are both audience getting tired of quickly produced and made animated films...and piracy of films. I'm amazed at how many films are being pirated in Europe. If things continue this way, I see myself applying at the MacDonalds on the corner.
:(

-The acting. The possibilities. The enterntaining aspect.

-A basic day at Pixar. Can't really give you a fixed answer on that one, Obraxis. It really depends on the production/film being worked on. Each film is different, and the scheduling needs are different in each. Directors work differently with the animators, and that gets reflected on what a basic working day consists of for an animator.

Carlos.

SDIT
10-18-2005, 05:41 PM
Buenas Carlos!

Just wanted to thank you for giving somme of your time to do this. Animation Mentor looks unbelievable and hopefully i'll be able to join soon!

What do you think about the recent 2D, 3D (and both) efforts coming out of España? Like Pinocho 3000, El Cid, Nocturna, etc?

Cuando vuelvas por L.A avisame ;) Tengo unos vinos que se te caen las medias tio!

Muchos saludos
Mauricio

gizmosart
10-18-2005, 06:47 PM
Hey Carlos how long did you skate? I also like to go out with my board all over the city.
finding new spots and gaps
I've allways enjoy to skate. :)

Promineo
10-18-2005, 06:54 PM
Hi Carlos, sorry for my spanish english, greetings from Canary Islands.

I'm your fan from a lot of time ago, a lot of years ago, compatriot,I have followed your steps, like eat a lot of gofio and a lot of that things like work hard, Now I have finished my studies in Madrid, I have recently 22 years old, and I finish entering to work in the first international movie of 3d animation make in spain,that promises so much, and I'm very very very happy :applause:..I know you was in the studio and 3dsmax 8 presentation on madrid.surely that you will be found out about it. it was a pitty not have been these days to meet you personally,I was in the Canary Islands these days.

I want that you know that this profit partly to be thanks to you, to have you like example, so lot of thanks :love:

I have had to let it everything to dedicate me to this, I have my family, friends, girldfriend, all in Canary Islands.I imagine that you had to pass by a similar situation like mine. so I have some questions for you.
do you miss your birth place?
it was hard go and to leave it everything, the friends, the family, all?
could you tell us about your trajectory in your life, when you were young?
could you give me some advice?

Saludos desde tu tierra, Isidro (Promineo).
pasate por www.3dpoder.com te esperamos desde hace mucho tiempo.
Si quieres puedes escribirme a promineo@gmail.com :thumbsup:

suitepeas
10-18-2005, 07:42 PM
Hi Carlos! Better watch out for this crazy talented Spaniard. I remember he gave an interesting lecture when I was in college and scribbled stuff in my notebook. And when I look back on my first day in this industry I remember that day I started at Wild Brain and ran into you at Starbucks. Miss you!

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 08:21 PM
-first off your work is just silly to be blunt i find it utterly ridiculous abusurdly perposterous its just na just to na........ppprrrhhhhhhhp
-what do you think about when your animating?
-what do you think gives an animation that spark or magic quality?
-how ridiculous do you see cgi animation getting?


Hi Ari,

About your first question...totally. Like you said, na just to na, ppppprrrrrrhhhhp. I completely agree on this one.

-What do I think about when animating...I try to think if I'm exploring all the possibilities the shot I'm currently working has to offer me. That, and I also think "am I screwing this shot up?".

-What gives animation that spark?...I think it depends for each person. For me, the possibilities that animation offers makes it have a very unique spark. The very early Pixar shorts made me realize about this. When you can make a tricicle feel nostalgic or simple lamp think, feel happy or sad...that's pretty unique and special I think.

-How ridiculous do I see CGI animation getting?...It always depends on who are the people doing it or the people in charge of what gets done. I hope people don't start doing CG because it's a trend, and I certainly hope studios don't just make Cg films just to show a few funny gags. Animation is so much more than that. Animation and its possibilities are endless, and I would love to see them being more and more explored.

Carlos.

loocas
10-18-2005, 08:26 PM
Thanks Loocas,

About any tips/hints or tricks to get a job at ILM or Pixar

...

I hope this helps Loocas.

- Absolutely mate! :thumbsup: Thank you very much and I wish you all the best to the future and with AnimationMentor! :buttrock:

KEEP ROCKIN' ON DUDE!!!

:thumbsup:

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 08:46 PM
Carlos, i've been inspired by your work since your early shorts and was delighted when I saw you'd progressed into the larger industry.
Toga Party is still one of my favourite animations of all time! :D
1) Your handling of weight and balance is impeccable. How do you usually go about getting the feel for a shot that requires unrealisitc ratios (such as Mr. Incredible lifting the giant stone statue)?
2) Do you have "zone out" times where you try not to think about your work at all, or are you the kind of lad that lives for his work, thinking about things in relation to animation quite frequently?
3) Is animation your be-all and end-all passion, or would you like to branch out into other areas?

Hi Erilaz,

You are way too kind, and I appreciate the great compliments. About the "TogaParty" test...wow. I haven't seen that test in a looong while. I'm scared to even watch it. :) But it was such a great time to work on all those tests, as I learned so much.

1) This is a tough question that I really don't know if I have an answer for it. For those shots on the "Incredibles" I acted out as if I was carrying something really really heavey, but always in mind that Mr.Incredible was in control and knew what he was doing. I didn't know what the outcome was going to be...and went for it. I did get help from many people around me...in terms of poses, choices. Even Brad Bird would act stuff out in front of me for me to get an idea about which way to go. It's great because he does that a lot, and it helps animators tremendously.

2) You know...this year has been quite a work intensive year for me, that hasn't allowed me to think about other things than work. I'm trying to get my life back slowly... Fortunately I have patient friends that know the working situation I have, and that are there when I need to "zone out". I do have to zone out now and then...or else I'll drive myself insane working. Although wait...last time I "zone out", I think I "zoned out" way too much. :) But I do feel lucky because I have never considered my job as work.

3) While I hope to be animating my entire life, I love to explore more things and I've been doing it over the last few years. I did little mini-videos and shortfilms (Skateboarding, Fingerboarding, college films with friends...) out of my desire to explore more of that, and to have fun with it. Live Action/Video and music have been some of those areas that I've always enjoyed a lot. I focus a lot on that area in the AnimationMentor school...plus we have a team of artists (editors, designers and videographers) that are such a pleasure to work with.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 09:16 PM
- As a 3d animator myself, I would like to know how can I get to your level, specially phisics+subtle acting, how can I practice every day, what are the best exercises to do?
Best regards from PORTUGAL!


Andre,

Legiao!
Wait...that means "cool" in portuguese right?
If it doesn't...then, I don't know what the hell I just said.

Ok, nevermind. Your question.

-Where to start and how to go about learning the different levels in animation. This is a great question...and a big one. I hope my answer makes it justice, as I don't want to confuse anyone. I would start slow. Little by little. Do short exercises...involving physics. Start out with bouncing balls. People start with those for a reason...you only focus on one simple ball control to learn and study timing and spacing. A lot of experimentation with bouncing balls will help you. That also helps you move onto more complex stuff. This is the reason we created "Ballie" at AnimationMentor. A simple sphere with two legs...so that now you focus on three controls. Hip and two legs. Simple is always good. A simple step to the side with different attitudes, personalities will force you figure a lot of things out. I worked on simple exercises that didn't necessarily form full tests. Sometimes I would only animate an arm. Worked on overlap...on reversals on the joints. As you get more confortable with mechanics (and while you still work on those) you can try acting stuff. I'll tell you this...subtle acting is really hard, and I would first concentrate on simple acting tests. What tests can you do? Maybe simple changes of expressions. But make them READ. Clarity is a big thing in animation. Audience has to know exactly what a character is always thinking...or else, they miss the point of a shot. With dialogue tests, when I was trying stuff out, I would always try to animate not what the dialogue was saying, but instead, what the character was thinking. The character is saying "I don't think so"...now, is he saying this upset?....happy?....sarcastic?...or bummed?. This will drive the entire shot, how the character moves and how he relates to other characters.

When I animated the test "TogaParty" a while back using a line from "Animal House", I had two characters (two buddies), and took the portion of the line that went:

Character A: "You are right!"
Character B: "He's right"
Character A: "We gotta do something..."
Character B" "Absolutely"
Character A: "You know what we are going to do?"
Both Characters A&B: "Toga Party!"

So in this test, I kept thinking about the subtext that these characters were saying, as opposed to the actual dialogue lines they were delivering. So, at one point in the dialogue, while the line was saying "We gotta do something", what I wanted the subtext to say with the help of the body language and internal dialogue, was this: "You just have no idea what's coming up, do you".

That made it so much more fun for me to animate. So I had both characters looking at an off-screen third character (behind the cam)...and I wanted the two of them to be so in sync, almost as if they've done this sooooo many times, they don't even have to check with each other. They just know. They know what they have to do. Just like with some other tests, I didn't watch the original footage from the film, as I didn't want to be influenced by the acting choices going on in the film.

I hope this helps even if it's a little bit Andre. Acting and performance is truly a huge subject that I find myself constantly exploring. I'll try to touch more on it as we go on in the Q&A.

Carlos.

watermage
10-18-2005, 10:09 PM
Hola Senor Baena,

First of all your work in the incredibles is just that... Incredible. Your handling of weight and physics is damn near impeccable and I am still trying to model (pun intended) my skills after you and your cohorts at Pixar.

just one question...

Do you find that it is better to actually lift or carry an actual object to get that felling of weight or just act like you do to capture that in a performance?

Thank you.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 11:26 PM
I would like to say that i realy love all your work!
And that you sould update your website more :sad: .
Anywayz, i wanted to ask how you actuly got a job at pixar?
What was the hardest and best time you had, after leaving Spain?
And how did you pay your schools and stuff?
Do you think that you have acomplished what you waned to become and do in your life? Or is there still more to acomplish?
What is the thing that you would like to say to evryone that would follow your path and become like you?


Hi Sheherryar,

Thanks.
-About my website...I honestly haven't found the time to get back to updating my site. There has been other priorities such as Pixar and the School. Eventually I'll try to update it, and even change it a bit with some new stuff.

-How did I get my job at Pixar? Now when I think about it, it might of been a combination of things. Maybe timing, people, patience, even luck. I really don't know. I knew I wanted to keep trying. I kept updating my reel after being turned down a bunch of times, getting more feedback on the reel through friends working there and co-workers at the time, and working on more and more personal stuff. If I wasn't ready the first time, the second, third...there was a reason for it. Also getting experience in other places might of help things. These days, you see reels coming to Pixar that are just so good, that I can see why it's so hard to get in. It really pushes me to try harder on my work. It's funny...it took so much work to get there, and once you are there, it seems that things get harder.

-Hardest time after leaving Spain: Leaving my family. Being away from my family and my country.
-Best Time after leaving Spain: Finding something I love to do for a living.
-About School financing, I answered that question earlier.

-I think I have accomplished some stuff I personally wanted to accomplish. You ask if there is still things to accomplish...and I believe there are a lot of things. In animation I still feel like I haven't really pushed myself as much. I was very intimidated both at ILM and Pixar. I think it takes a while to let go on your shots, take risks and chances, and be yourself...and to me, that's something I'm still working on. Also, like I said earlier, I have many dreams. Dreams are something I hold on to as much as I can.

-An advice for people following my path and becoming like me?...are you sure this is the question? That's a weird question to answer. Or are you reffering to following my path and being where I've been? My main advice with any of this, it would be for people to do what they love. It's that simple..although sometimes very hard to do, given social circunstances or things on the way. But I'd say you have to try it at least...and try it again...and again.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 11:28 PM
I'm also currious when U would continue your short "screws".

Hi Pensart,

Someone asked the same thing before.
I talked about this earlier.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-18-2005, 11:43 PM
Amazing job that you are doing along with bobby and shawn and others over at AM. Thank you for doing this. Here are my qs
1. What would it take for a person to get into pixar. how was it for you trying to get into pixar?
2. How willing, do you think, are companies hiring people from outside US? I would like to see myself working in a place like pixar in the future. Is there a chance for me (from India) to catch my dream?
3. Are you coming to India any time soon?
4. How effected are animators by computer related health risks, like damage to eyes, hands, etc? and are there any specific precautions that you take to stay safe?

Hi Dwarakanath,

Thanks for the great compliments on the School. We are trying our best. Little by little...

1) Check an earlier post.

2) This is something I get asked a lot. I believe since 9/11 and all the new Inmigration laws, it's not so much up to the company to bring you to the US anymore...even if it's Pixar, Lucasfilms or any big company. These companies they still have to go through the same inmigration laws/timeframes and options as everyone else. And the options are getting smaller and smaller for foreigners. It's really hard...and my only advice is to keep trying. Maybe working out visa stuff on your own, as some friends started doing. It's very expensive, and in some cases even if you pay, they won't accept certain cases...or they might. It's a very difficult area for us, to work in the US.

3) About going to India, I would love to go. I love to travel as much as I can. I'm not sure when I would be able to go there.

4) It's good to get check ups everyonce in a while. See how are you doing with your arms, wrists, neck, shoulders, eyes. We only have one body, so it's up to us to take good care of it. It only takes very little time in a day to stretch. I know we can all get lazy...or get very very focused in our work, our computer, our shot...but ergonomics is something we should be more conscious of...or else we are going to break ourselves. For me it's been always my shoulders on and off. Sometimes they are all right, other times they are screwed up. My position when working is not exactly the healthiest...sometimes I look like a monkey in front of the computer.

Carlos.

johnomahony
10-19-2005, 12:03 AM
Hi Carlos, like many others here.......im a fanboy of yours.

My question to is: What skills should a character animator posses to become great at his craft?

Thank you very much for your time, have a nice day :) .

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 12:50 AM
First of all the fanboy bit: Your work is always completely awe inspiring and films like The Incredibles are a real source of inspiration and motivation for me. Oh, and nice work on the fingerboarding skills too. :)
1. What kind of reference do you use when animating things that can't be reproduced in real life, like animating the characters in Cars for example, or the arena monsters in Episode II?
2. What's your favorite piece of CG animation or visual effects ever?
3. When most Pixar people get asked which animation work really blows them away, they usually seem to cite 2D work, usually Disney films or films like The Iron Giant. Do you find that most 3D animation from outside of Pixar itself, isn't particularly inspiring to you, or is, at least, alot less inspiring than the old classic 2D stuff?
4. If you play video games then are there any games that you've played where you were particularly impressed with the animation (bearing in mind the technical limitations of the medium)?

Hey Dan,

Thanks man. "The Incredibles" was indeed such an amazing film, because the crew just kicked so much ass. About fingerboarding skills...no comment. :)

1) For Reference of things that can't be reproduced in real life, I try to find whatever feels closer that I can learn from and study. There is a great making of in the first "Jurassic Park" DVD, where they talk about real animals they used to study, because their proportions/shapes/weight (in some cases) resembled those of the dinasours that the animators would be animating later on. For the Arena monsters in SW 2, I did the same thing. I actually really enjoyed the energy that the guys at Tippett animated the bugs in "Starship Troopers". So I was constantly inspired by that. Then I looked at other things, like real bugs or crabs. For one shot (giant green crab coming out of a tunnel), I actually went in a room with two other ILM animators, David Weinstein and Rick O'Connor. And the three of us started acting stuff out, and pitching ideas here and there about what would be cool to see that we haven't seen before in a creature movie. All those things always always help.

2) One of my most favourite pieces of CG animation/Visual Effects I've seen recently, I'll have to go with Framestore's Buckbeak (the Hippogriff) in the third Harry Potter film. I was blown away.

3) For me it's not that other 3D work outside Pixar isn't inspiring. For example, I really enjoyed "IceAge"...and came out of that film with a big smile from ear to ear. I personally get very inspired by live-action films as they make me want to see more things like that in 3D. In terms of all time animation inspiring works for me, I'll have to go with "Nightmare before Christmas", "Jungle Book" and "Toy Story".

4) I'm actually not a big videogame person. I tend to get very hooked up on a particular game...and I'm so bad at it, that I can't really get too far. I try hard...but I always get my ass kicked. Recently I was very hooked up on driving games like "Need for Speed2" and "GTurismo4". But I've watched some cinematic reels for games that are really good and some of them have really great character animation.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 01:19 AM
i remember in a interview about AM, i think shawn had mentioned that you had started creating video tutorials of your own even before AM was created...
where can i buy those or are those reserved for AM students only?-rj

Hi ragdoll,

I did start working on something like that sometime in 2002. They were going to be like a mix between a skateboarding video, a JackAss show and Animation. Therefore, it was going to be a disaster...guaranteed. :)

Just kidding. After getting myself involved in AnimationMentor with Bobby and Shawn, we turned those efforts in creating much better classes/lectures for the School itself, that weren't just tutorials. Tutorials can be very beneficial in some cases...but it's not what we had in mind. We didn't want to tell people what to do in our lectures. Instead, what we wanted to do was to explain more our thinking process for animating...all the way from planning to finishing a shot. And we wanted students to apply that to their work right after. I've done a lot of tutorials for different things, and I get tired quickly. I barely ever have the patience to finish a tutorial, as I want to start doing stuff. We also didn't want our lectures to feel like a classroom...we realized that early on, as our lectures had the potential to become about the most boring lectures ever in history of boring lectures. We were like "wait, we've got cameras, and we are always out there observing, looking things, watching people, studying films, frame by framing stuff, being animators...then let's show that on the lectures if we can".

I do believe there are great sites with videotutorials, but AnimationMentor has very little to do with that. We are trying to take as much advantage of both the technology/internet to teach the art over the medium, and also bring together the best talent we can possibly bring.

Carlos.

Mechis
10-19-2005, 03:43 AM
Hey Carlos,

I just checked out your site and saw some clips from Hubert's Brain, made at Wild Brain (fantastic work)! I actually interned at Wild Brain just when that movie was getting made (I was doing tradiational animation though). haha. Do you know where I could see the whole movie? I know it was going around the festivals and things, but I was hoping it might be online somewhere, since it has been a few years...

Thanks!
Mechis

mstram
10-19-2005, 06:04 AM
Hi Carlos,

I really enjoyed "The Incredibles", congratulations to you and everyone at Pixar !

It was also very interesting watching the "making of / behind the scenes" material on the dVD. I didn't realize that the animators acted out / made their own reference footage. When I saw that, I thought, why don't they just use mocap? I don't really know much about mocap but I guess it's more expensive , and less flexible than keyframee tech right now. I realize that if mocap was sufficently sophisticated that it might eliminate your job,
but if the technology was advanced and affordable, wouldn't you be interested in it, if that meant you could crank out your own full length movie? :)

You mentioned music as one of your passions. Do you have any of your music online ?
As for the complexity of LogicPro and other sequencer software, I "hear" you (yuk yuk). I still have my Atari version of Notator (and the atari computer). Fortunately, it is possible to use only a small subset of the features of the software and get recording and playing right away.

Have you experimented with any of the "software synthesizers", like Reason or Fruity loops?

Here is a thread about Reason and links to some great music that Taron has created using the software.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=277946

Looking forward to seeing "Cars".

Mike Stramba

andy_maxman
10-19-2005, 08:49 AM
These days, you see reels coming to Pixar that are just so good, that I can see why it's so hard to get in. It really pushes me to try harder on my work. It's funny...it took so much work to get there, and once you are there, it seems that things get harder.


that's got to be scary than the scariest movie there is.....

*hit by a thunderbolt*

Hyphen
10-19-2005, 08:57 AM
Hey there Carlos. Before I start, I'd like to congradulate you on a totally awesome career. I have to say that you and the other Pixar animators are who I look up to. If I could even get critiques from you guys on my stuff, it'd be an honor.

Anyway, I'm an aspiring character animator and am currently working on my demo reel. Unfortunately, I feel that my instructors are unintentionally misleading me and I'm sort of lost with no direction. I'm currently working on creating my own characters for skits on my demo, as well as using premade, distributed rigs (like lowman and generi. i'm not sure if you've heard of those). Is it really not advised to use premade rigs?

Also, what sort of animations do guys at major houses like Pixar, BlueSky, and Dreamworks look for in a reel? Acting pieces, miscellaneous tests, or would it be a combination of several things? Because I see all these demo reels that have amazing renders and are much better eye candy than mine. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a modeller or texture guy so I feel inadequate in that sense. Should I worry?

Sorry about all the questions, I really feel guilty because you're on vacation and I'm bombarding you with a gajillion questions. Thanks in advance,

William.

*edit*

One last question, I've heard from a few people that the Pixar animators are the modern day Disney masters. How do you feel about that and do you think that Pixar compares?

Dogway
10-19-2005, 09:08 AM
Ese Canario!!! de q isla por cierto? por curiosidad. hehe hablo en ingles q si no me palean.

Im not going to ask you anything specific. Just to congrat you coz the success that is to be working in the industry you like, and in one of the best companies of the world. I also was astounded when I saw Toy story. Around one year ago, my sister found an article in a spanish magazine about you, and sent to me. Well Im not focused onto animating but its encouraging to see that. And the last day I just discovered ur webpage so its already setted in the favourites folder. Im trying to improve my modelling and texturing skills, but I find a lot of obstacles in how to give birth to my drawing skecthes, is kinda frustrating, anyways have been many years learning the softwares, and guess will take a few more. gotta become a geek to... be good? or stand out?. I wonder if you have to study in the states if you want to get into an american company. A friend of me had a similar problem.
And the last thing. where exactly do u live? its... funny living there? (talking about your spare time). The job situation defines where you are going to live so, I wanted to know how is the american life seen from a Spanish.

Bueno, felicidades tio, todo esto me motiva un monton. sigue con ese nivelazo y deleitando a la gente en los cines ;)

Ismail
10-19-2005, 09:27 AM
Hey, Carlos
COOL! :) Thanks for answering the questions, Greatly appreciated. :)

tanel
10-19-2005, 11:39 AM
So, for me, everytime I go to work, I'm not even thinking I'm going to work...because I love the place and what I do that much. Honestly...I'm not giving much of a constructive answer...other than for you to follow your dreams wherever they are at.


Hi Carlos!

Thanks for doing this. I met Rodrigo Blaas in Spain, at one 3D event, and I must
say that he radiated the same energy and passion. I'm currently involved with
one full length feature and I must admit, sometimes I loose the perspective, just
work, work, work. But reading Your repiles and thinking back what Rodrigo said
makes me think again how lucky we all are - to do what you love.
Thanks again.

Tanel

EDIT: Cameron Miyasaki's Q&A session at strutyourreel.com:
http://www.strutyourreel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=394&start=0

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 11:46 AM
- After all your success do you believe that you would go back and change anything you did career-wise?
- If you switched from animation to another field (in 3d or other) what would that be?
- What other company would you like to work for? Any plans for your own studio or another venture? (apart from the animation mentor program).


Hi George,

-I don't think I would like to change anything that has happened in my life both career-wise and on a personal level. Anything I've done and gone through, good and bad, are experiences that I had to go through. Ok, this answer is turning into something too philosophical. But to keep it simple, no.
-I would of love to do more 2D...but man is it hard. My drawing skills have been always very limited...but it would of still been really fun to try.
-I'm very happy at Pixar. Always been. They treat us really well, and I couldn't be more proud of the films we do. About my own studio or other venture, I have lots to learn before I even think about something like that.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 01:05 PM
Hi MR.Baena! its really good to see u here! im o BIG FAN!
i had one question:Befor u get a career, Did u grow ur self as an animator,or a lover of all the stages of maing a 3danimation,i mean did u forexaple love Modelling as well,and then when u get some job,then u chose being animator? did u have both skills as well? and at the same amount !?


Hi Ali,

Hey, thanks man.
On your question. You know, before I got full on into animation I did learn all other stages as well. But I found I got tired of some of them quickly. For example, modelling is something I've never had too much patience with. I discovered that quickly after spending a long time trying to model a skeleton dog full of wires and mechanical gadgets around it. It took me so long, plus it was so heavy geometry wise to animate, that after that I decided that simple was definitely better. About your last question, I definitely never thought I had much skills in other areas. I see works on the internet that I get really inspired about, that are light years away from me in terms of technical skills.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 01:26 PM
Hi, This is my first oppurunity to post my question to you and I am super excited about it. :bounce:
First of all Congratulations on fabulous work on Incredibles, I liked the line where Brad Bird says, when there trouble go to Spaniards !!! All those scenes that you have worked on are FANTASTIC. There so much to learn from you guys ( Bobby, cameron etc). My questions to you are,
1. I would like to know more about the process of interaction between you and Mr. Brad bird, What kind of correction do you used to get ? and how you used to solve them ?
2. Is there any thing which still gives you hard time while animating ?


Hi Vinayak,

You guys are really nice.
1) My interaction with Brad Bird from an animator's point of view was a great and unique learning experience. It's amazing how much you can learn from him. He gave the studio that 2D touch that 3D tends to lack in many situations. So he would draw in your work, in your poses. He looked and gave corrections in shots from an animation, cinematic and composition point of view. For an animator that is used to thinking about just the animation side of things, it's a great learning position to be in. How would you solve his corrections, you asked. You do a blocking pass...if it's going in the right direction, he'll let you know. Otherwise, he'll let you know what's not working in a pose, maybe act stuff out, or involve the rest of the room (supervisors and other animators) to give their feedback. This is a great quality that I've seen also John Lasseter do. Even though they are the Directors and have the last word on what has to be done, they still involve the rest of the team and there is a lot of room for possibilities. I loved that. I also noticed that when I worked for ILM, and I was animating under Rob Coleman/Hal Hickel. Hal would turn around sometimes, and flat out ask "how do you guys feel about this shot". That to me is priceless, as I know we are all working in a team and animators voices are heard, and I don't feel just like a robot being told "do this.do that.do this."

2) Things that still give me a hard time? Yeah. Definitely. I still have a hard time knowing what it is that I'll animate from an acting point of view...and if I'm exploring all the different possibilities on it.

Carlos

marciowski
10-19-2005, 02:14 PM
Hi Carlos,

-Was "Cars" easier to animate than the others?

-As you had a realtime feedback for animation, did you animate straight ahead on "Cars"?

-How is this film anyway? Many people think that it´s not going to be so good as the others.

Thank you

Marcio Bukowski

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 02:21 PM
1- you're both an animator for large more industrial studios, and also created/creating your own shorts, in which you direct and tell your own story.
-which of the two do you find more satisfying overall ?
-which would you say is the best way to evolve in the animation world;
create short films or character animation exercises that concentrate only on animation ?
do you think that when applying to big studios, as an animator, the judging ppl would rather see only polished character animation short scenes ? or is there additional value to proving storytelling, and cinematic cababilities (edited within a demo reel of course).
2- animation technique: by which method do you usually animate ?
do you set stepped pose 2 pose, with lots of keys, or do you work mainly in the graph editor on the curves themselves ?
which comes most naturally to you ?



Hi Tsahi,

Great questions.
-I have found both to be really satisfying overall...for their own separate reasons. I love to be part of someone else's films, and especially when I really believe in the film. I loved working on both "Incredibles" and "Cars" (after being at Pixar for a few years) because both Director's energies were so freaking contagious, that it made me fall in love with the film (even if I didn't watch it just yet). :)
-The best way to evolve in animation. I would give you two advices that hopefully they'll help you. First, do what feels FUN. If an animation test feels fun for you to do, go for it. Now, if you wanna say something in the form of a story, then definitely do a film. I wouldn't think too much in terms of "I wanna get a job at Pixar. Period. I HAVE to do animation tests. or. I HAVE to do a shortfilm". If you start thinking along those lines, it'll kill all the fun that you want to bring out of yourself. Those things definitely matter, but I would definitely work on things that will make you enjoy the day to day. When I started animating, I did this little piece of an skeleton mechanical dark dog. Some of my friends were like "what the hell is going on in your head man...". If I sent that to Pixar, they would of said something similar. But to me, that was fun. I wanted to do something along the lines of "Aliens" and pretty industrial and gothic looking. A big side of me loves things with that style. Always have. From music to art. Then after that, I started wanting to focus more on the character animation part of things...so, after having a hard time animating a creature that was so insanely heavy, I thought I'll do a simple character. At the time, I really really enjoyed a Levi's commercial that Pixar did back in the late eighties, of a manequin searching for the right bouncing ball. I was like "That looks like so much FUN!!". That was so inspiring for me to watch. So simple to my eye. It was instant overdose of inspiration. That's why I've been always very inspired by people like John Lasseter, Pete Docter or things Pixar has done. Anything they are involved with has so much heart and soul, is so innocent and playful. It makes me feel great. So I thought, I'll go with a simple character...plus it may be easier for me to learn animation then. So I started working on simple characters from that point on, and it made my animation life and learning, simply so much FUN.

So basically, while doing tests will be great, especially for people judging your animation skills....make sure to enjoy whatever it is that you are doing. Because people will see that in your work, no matter what.

2) What method do I use. It's been changing over the years. After working on the 2D shortfilm, I switched to animating poses and breakdowns for blocking things, and working out details in straigh ahead and layering mode.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 02:54 PM
1. Looks like "Screws" has been out of production for a while. Are there any plans to finish it?!
2. Do you know where we can see Hubert's Brain?! I've been wanting to see that forever... :sad:
3. Having worked for the big studios on big projects, do you find you lack the opportunity to tell your own stories? Do you have your own stories anymore?
4. can you give us any information that hasn't been released yet about Cars or any other PIXAR films?! (heh.. had to try... :D )


Hi Tevih,

1) Yes, it has been out of production for a while. I talked about it earlier.
2)You know, you get me on this one. I would think they would put it somewhere for everyone to see it, as it's a great film. Phil Robinson, the Director/Creator of it, was cool enough to let me place some clips I worked on, on my site. But I don't know where you can view the whole thing.
3)Yes, I keep a little sketchbook with stories, ideas...even just images of things I'd love to see or do some day. For example, other times I'll be playing my Ipod when I'm on the subway or doing something, and my imagination goes nuts...especially when I'm playing my favourite soundtracks. I get inspiration and ideas through music a lot. But in working on these things, I have to go one thing at the time. Right now, our current films at Pixar, and our students at AnimationMentor are my big priority.
4) You know the answer. :) Can't discuss any information on future films. Sorry man.


Carlos.

Shazam3D
10-19-2005, 03:08 PM
Hi Carlos,


Is an pleasure and honor (y un coñazo que no veas intentar expresarme en otro idioma :) ).

I'm very curious about the techniques for facial animation in Pixar, because the characters are very expressive there, more than others animation studios. What kind of facial rigging do you prefer? Bones, muscles?

Can you explain the pros and the cons?

Regards (cuando tengas un tiempillo, visita un foro de paisanos donde apreciamos mucho tu trabajo (http://www.3dpoder.com/foro3dpoder/showthread.php?t=30722))

Un abrazo. :buttrock:

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 03:23 PM
Mis preguntas:
- how do you see 3d production in europe?
-now i'm starting to look for a job and people is telling me all the time to start in usa or canada and then may be go to europe... what do you think about it?


Hola Alvaro,

-The 3D production, and where it's going I'm very excited about. Seeing things like the new "Wallace&Gromit" film, some spanish Feature Films in progress, even seeing "Corpse's Bride" being done in England...I don't know, for someone whose family lives so far away from the US, it's more than exciting to see things like these going on. Like I said earlier, I only hope that Animated Films in Europe (or anywhere else) get done for the right reasons, and not to just make a few gags, and loads of money.

-Starting to look for a job. Well, it's hard for me to tell you what to do. I've found work in the US. I've known people that had to go to the US to do what they love to do, including myself. Now, the other part of me wants to tell you to remain in Europe as well, and help build a strong as hell market over there. This industry needs that. There is so much amazing talent in Europe, is not even funny. So, my advice is...do what you feel is right.
It's a hard decision, really.

Carlos.

Chris Bacon
10-19-2005, 03:45 PM
Hey Carlos,

My questions have already been asked, however just wondering what it was like to work with Brad Bird, what kind of person is he,

LOVE your work, AMAZING....

Thanks

Chris

cartersnoopy
10-19-2005, 04:03 PM
Hi Wcnike,

Ok, this is a hard question. Let me think about it. You are asking about the difference in the cartoon performance of a US actor and a Chinese actor....??

...man, that's tough. I wish I had my co-worker Andrew Gordon here, as he really has a unique understanding in performances, gestures...plus, he's been in China giving lectures. I know he would of been of more help than me here.

With performances and cultures, it can go a million different ways. Certain things acting wise, like pantomime, are more universal than other things. Gestures can be very country/culture driven...and they can be originated in a specific context or place that doesn't apply to another country. Therefore, acting choices or gestures that in the US mean one thing, in China they may mean something completely different or nothing at all, regardless of whether it's a cartoon performance or a realistic performance. There are great books written by english author Desmond Morris, on the subject of body language/gestures and cultures,that maybe helps you further. Two great books come to mind, "Manwatching" (1977) and "The Naked Ape" (1967).

I find myself studying films from my own country Spain and the US where I live...and even I have a hard time trying to figure out what makes the acting of some films/actors more believable than in other films. Last year, over a period of one week I watched two pretty hardcore films, Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" and Almenabar's "Sea Inside". Both amazing films with stunning performances. But I came out wondering what made the performance of "Sea Inside" more believable and honest in some cases than other moments in "Million Dollar Baby"...especially on some of the secondary characters of the first one, which blew me away. This is my own sensibility and appeal, which other people may not agree to. For me, maybe it was characters/personalities that I could relate in the spanish film even more...therefore I felt more engaged in those performances, and they felt truly real...Whereas in parts of "Million Dollar Baby" I would tell myself "I'm watching a movie. These are movie performances. What makes me feel that way". It's definitely not that one movie is spanish and the other film american. Has nothing to do with that, as I've seen spanish films that are so bad performance wise, that make you cry. But in these two particular cases, it was something that made me wonder for a while. So, no real answer here I feel...I think it enters more the subjective area on what makes you feel this or that way to you individually.

Carlos.

hi ,Carlos. i think u r right.
anyway, i think there's some still obvious difference. ummm..... for example,it's za cartoon books.
i find u usually use much lines to make background and the way u express the characters.and i'm afraid the dialogues.......some of them r hard to get the meaning though they are for kids. ............ that's just one thing....so i think the culture causes.
i don't know if you have read some eastern cartoon books so that i'm not sure u people would think so.

and one more~~~i like the super family u 've shown us: much fun and enjoyment! that's the best thing u gave me. thank you~~!

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 04:06 PM
Tal solo decirte Carlos que eres una gran fuente de inspiracion (en mi escuela hay un poster tuyo firmado y el libro de nemo) :scream: , me alegra que hayas conseguido llegar donde lo has hecho, tan solo una pregunta..... fue muy duro llegar hasta pixar??Un saludo desde Malaga

Muchisimas gracias Victor. Todo un detalle por tu parte.
Se agradece mucho el cumplido. A ver si nos conocemos en persona algun dia.

About your question "Was it hard to get to Pixar?", I answered a very similar question earlier.

Carlos.

HAntunez
10-19-2005, 05:48 PM
First of all, congratulations on all the success. I am a big fan of your work, both your actual animated stuff and of what you guys are doing with animation mentor, I could not imagine a better way to learn animation.

I am currently studying Art at LSU in Baton Rouge, LA. As far as I know, there are no animation schools near here and so I have always kept Animation Mentor at the top of my list of schools I would have liked to attend. For several reasons I will most likely be taking a break from studying at LSU and want to pursue the possibilty of attending Animation Mentor. My question is does Animation Mentor accept many students that have no animation background? I keep putting off applying because I figure that there are more qualified people applying and my chances of getting in are pretty slim. Do you have any advice?

Thanks,

Hector

andre22uk
10-19-2005, 08:02 PM
Hola Carlos,

Hope you are having a great time in Spain, I was there in August so I know how it feels :) I wanted to add that im a big fan, and your work is really inspiring to see. I was at the Cgchar event you talked at in Siggraph, that was great to see how you work. And Im an Animation Mentor student too, and love the crazy classes you teach. What more can be said... =) Anyways, we've met a few times in person but I never had the chance to ask you this question. So here it is, hope it hasnt been asked already..

I know you were studying at school with Bobby and Shawn, and you guys did a year or two and then moved on. During the time you were in school were you taking mostly foundation classes, or did you actually get some time to animate? I was just wondering how you found your learning of animation. Im just starting out with Animation and Im overwhelmed with everthing that has to be learned, all in one go. The 12 principles are just a starting point and there are so many other things that need to be thought about, I was wondering what advice you could give to someone wanting to try and understand this art of animation. =)

hasta luego,

Drew

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 10:15 PM
Happy Birthday to me!
1. I have been finding that my pose to pose starts to miss that extra something after the blocking and in-betweens, it is great for setting up the timing and handy for my extremes. I find it hard to make the life from putting an in-between in these two extremes and then another between these extremes...etc Do you ever just stop the pose to pose and just go straight into specific areas. Would this help bring more life to the character considering the research has been done? Does this make sense?
2. Do you ever feel the need to be re-inspired?
3. Sometimes I think there is so much to keep in mind when animating, do you ever just try a different approach and find your results are achieved from this as opposed to your regular approach?
4. Are there times when you go out and do different things to collect knowledge for Animation, or do you just make a point of being a keen observer?
5. I heard that during your dailies you just sit there with a pen and paper and write down everything that is suggested to you, I find when I post my animations, I keep this in mind and as a result reap better results from my work. Anything else you may do to improve at the different stages of animation?
6. Are you better at heelflips or kick flips?
7.Really enjoyed your finger-boarding movie on the web! Maybe you should go pro. Although, I do not think there is much of a circuit for that.
8.I heard there was a skateboarding gang at Pixar, Is this true? If so, are you the Chief in Command?


Hi Jeff,

Happy birthday dude!

1) Makes total sense Jeff. Ad it's something I do constatly. What's important for me first is to put all my ideas on the blocking/breakdowns first. I try not to get into details for a while. Then as the shot blocking gets approved, I start throwing some details. Some parts I start going straight ahead...but not too far. I wanna show the stage of the shot one more time at least to make sure I'm still going the right direction. So, if that's the case, I go for it, and start working out the details of the shot as much as I can.

2) Being re-inspired. I think we all have that need. I feel pretty lucky constantly, as it doesn't take long for me to be inspired...or at least motivated on what I'm working on. Pixar films have a lot to do with that, as they seem to get funner and funner for me at least. Then there are ups and downs, when something is not working in your shot, you are stuck and what not...and in those situations, I tend to go to other co-workers' office and see what they are up to. Sometimes they show me what they are currently working on, and it's a nice inspiration charge. Also, I fill my room with stuff that is always inspiring me, whether toys, sculptures, drawings or posters. I really enjoy it...and it keeps me in that creative spot to do stuff...

...I think.

3) Yeah, I do that...but I think I tend to do that unconciously Jeff. Almost as if I'm reworking the way I approach a shot, as I''m working on a new shot. It's something I don't think as much...or else I'll stress myself out even more.

4) TONS. TONS of different things. I think every area can be useful for learning something about animation. Whether you go to the Opera...all the way from watching people breakdancing. It doesn't matter. They are artforms that animation as another artform can benefit from.

It's also something we try to reflect at AnimationMentor, as we interview people in other areas constantly...such as physical therapists, stand up comedians, live-action filmmakers, etc. Anything that we think will help an animator the way it helped us, we'll put it there.

5) Always listen to what other people may suggest on your shots. You don't have to put all the suggestions in the shot...but in never hurts to listen to what people have to offer. In the end, everyone is trying to plus your shot, not make it worse. If it's a Director who you are listening to, then try to find a way to work along the lines of what he/she wants...because in the end, you are working on their movie, so you are trying to make their vision come alive.

6) Heelflips. Definitely. I suck at kickflips man. Seriously.

7) Me. Pro Fingerboarder. Ok. I'll try.
In exchange, I want you to become a Pro Cereal Eater.

8) There is a few people at Pixar that skateboard. That's true. About the commander in chief, that will have to be my friend Jason. He's a character designer at work, and by far one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He's the one always wanting me to go out there to the skateparks, which I'm glad he does...because I tend to stare at the screen for way too long.

I hope this answers your questions Jeff, and happy birthday again man.

Carlos.

DarkSun
10-19-2005, 10:24 PM
Hi Carlos,

You're one of those animators who are always inspiring with their craft and attitudes :) Thanks for everything you share :)

*I wonder if you're making radical changes on your acting stuff when you're animating. Or does supervisor or director requires a radical change in the middle of a shot? If something like that happens, do they give you more time to finish it?

*when you plan your acting shots, what is your most important helper? thumbnails, reference shots, ideas from collegues? And You said in one of your previous posts, you animate what character thinks, not what he/she says... Do you use anything else to get into the mood of the character?

*If your character is making a long walk and even making turns, do you have any special tricks :) I know it sounds silly, but I always found long walks with a camera showing the whole body, tricky, umm hard for myself...

*Do you think having a feature film experience in any other company on your CV helps a lot to get into Pixar? I know one of the most important thing is your reel but what do you think?

*Are you interested in moving to a position like "director" in future?

*I enjoy your musics on your site, do you have any plans to add more in future :)

Thanks a lot Carlos. And thanks a lot for sharing your experiences and thoughts :)

Best,


Arslan

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 10:46 PM
Please, let's Carlos answer before flooding this thread.
There are already some interesting questions, please don't drown them.
We know he is great, strong etc etc,... so spare your writings and just ask gently - with a little congrat' :) - your questions to him after he responded to the firsts one.
Avoid the usual mess "questions/responses" por favor :)
Carlos Baena is in da place, let's rocks this great sharing session
best regards!

You guys, I forgot to introduce my bodyguard, Raymond.
He's the best of the best. :cool:

Just kidding. I don't mind the questions and the number of questions at all. Thanks for the concern. I only hope I get to answer all of them and help people out.


Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 10:58 PM
as a student right now, i am learning and doing 2d and 3d animation at the same time. eventually i wanna do 3d anmation but i am not sure how i should balance those to mediums.in your opinion, is 2d animation essential when doing 3d animation or should i concentrate on 3d only, or a bit of both??

Hi Jig,

My advice would be...if you have a chance to practice BOTH, then by all means go for it. It will only help you even more.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-19-2005, 11:06 PM
Hello Carlos. I am wondering what type of shot is the most challenging for you personally to animate? After listening to the commentary on the "Incredibles" DVD, it sounds like you have a solid handle on mass and such, but I'm wondering if there are any types of shots that make you squirm when you think about animating them?Say hello to Rodrigo for me.

Hi Floyd,

This may sound cheesy, but man, every shot has presented its own problems for me. It's so true. If it's a physical shot, then, because it's something physical we are constantly used to watching in real-life, it makes it 10 times harder. Then, if it's subtle (which is an area, I've always had a hard time with)...then, where do I draw the line between not subtle and too subtle. Not sure if this makes sense. With any kind of animation, realistic, cartoon, I've been really enjoying myself but it's been hard as well. Now, the stuff I have a blast doing personally is comedy stuff. Fun funny stuff, it really brings so much from me. I don't know if I do a good job at it, but I sure have a blast doing it.

As soon as I return to the States, I'll be sure to say hi to Rodrigo for you Floyd.


Carlos.

csDevil
10-20-2005, 12:07 AM
Andre,

Legiao!
Wait...that means "cool" in portuguese right?
If it doesn't...then, I don't know what the hell I just said.

Ok, nevermind. Your question.

---really long and cool answer ---

Hello, Carlos. nice to have you here, thanx a lot for that!
I don't know about portuguese portuguese (portuguese from portugal), but here in Brazil "cool" is like "legal"... "legiao" is like "legion". :D

That answer was very nice! I was thinking about getting back to the good-old-bouncing-balls exercise, but was in doubt if it would make any sense.

I also would like to thank you for all the animation material on your site... all those links and references are great, I just can't stop reading those since I first visited the site. Real good stuff there, including your excelent work!

-Daniel

[EDITED PART]Lots of people are talking about The Incredibles, that was undoubtedly a great movie. But one of these days, as I was watching it for the 198723691st time, I thought: "was I the only one who noticed that Pixar started shooting guns and killing people on their movie?" (like on "100 mile dash")
What do you think about this kind of change on films, that would not only make interesting for adults, but include a little bit of violence too?
What do you think about this

crbinu
10-20-2005, 04:33 AM
Thank you Carlos Thank you verymuch for giving us a lot of inspiration.....

www.toonbird.com

cgnetworks_le
10-20-2005, 09:17 AM
Hi Carlos,

I am not sure whether you have been involved in lipsyncs and/or facial expression for character, and i hope my question is not too techinical.

How can you combine these two together, because they can happen at the same time? for example, a boy's lips look different (when he talks in a happy manner) from when he talks in a angry manner.

Software-specificaly, how do u do that in maya - blendshape. Is that really easy or not?

Thanks,

p.s: If you can highlight your answers, maybe, blue, that would be great if everyone want to go back and read our previous answers.

thanks again,

Pollo
10-20-2005, 12:51 PM
Hello,

At Pixar, are there more positions for animators usually or for just modelers, riggers, lighters, etc? Thanks!

Pako
10-20-2005, 01:01 PM
Hooola Carlos!!!
It's great you are taking this time to answer all these questions.

While your are blocking a scene, do you usually switch your curves back and forth between stepped and spline?. I often find myself that while a scene might work great on stepped, once I switch to spline or lineal, I get a lot of problems with wierd rotations, and it takes agees to fix, or even sometimes have to redo the pose so the transitions are correct.

Do you ever get frustrated with all the technical stuff that you have to deal with while animating, gimbal lock, Ik-fk switchs, etc..?

How do you approach a scene where a character is walking and talking at the same time? I find these kind of scenes to be the hardest to animate.

Well, that's about all ...
Muuuuchas Gracias!!
Saluuudos!!

scroll-lock
10-20-2005, 01:14 PM
Hey Carlos ! Nice to see you here! :)

One simple question : Do you read online forums ? Do you browse them to be in touch of everything new created out there in the industry ? Thanks.

aaah yeah, and happy birthday to me too :) yupeeeeeeeyy!!

polypic
10-20-2005, 08:07 PM
great honor to me to talk to u
do is the nooooo
what
1-how much do u think the recorded sound of the actor`s that work in the movie with u
help u to get high creative scene (that if u were animating on the sound of them )?
2- do u think that animator can make very realistic scene with only his mind key framing
with out motion capture or capturing the action from a movie or any other way ?
3- study study studing if i don`t have the resource`s to do so do u think can i make it as a good animator ( ithink i know the answer ) ?
4- u r so good thanX man

Pollo
10-20-2005, 09:40 PM
Hey Carlos ! Nice to see you here! :)

One simple question : Do you read online forums ? Do you browse them to be in touch of everything new created out there in the industry ? Thanks.

aaah yeah, and happy birthday to me too :) yupeeeeeeeyy!!

Hey, it's my birthday today as well! :) 10/20/1983 :)

ThomasMahler
10-20-2005, 09:42 PM
Hey Carlos,

I'd like to know - Are you guys actually reading comments about movies that are currently in production while you guys are working on them?

Remember, Finding Nemo - Man, there was a lot of bad talk about the trailer. When it came out, people loved it.

Incredibles - There was so much criticism when the trailer came out (bad lipsync, animations look stiff, visually not as &quot;kaboom&quot; as other Pixar movies, etc.), but when it came out, people loved it.

And Cars also gets smashed at the moment (I read the &quot;I think this'll be Pixars first flop, the trailer sucks!&quot; line a dozen times now, at least) - I hope it'll be as successful as all the other Pixar movies.

Do you guys actually listen to all this stuff? Do you read all the criticism and &quot;trash talk&quot;? I think if I'd be working on something and people would be like &quot;man, this is going to suck!&quot;, it'd kinda bring me down. Are you actually talking about this stuff at Pixar?

Also, where would you like to see CGI heading? What technology would you like to see that could help you doing your job? Do you think that the current way of doing animation in CGI is how animation should feel like or do you fight against technical limitations on a daily basis?

And - What do you personally think of &quot;straight&quot; CGI Movies? (Like Final Fantasy, Polar Express, Dear Anne, etc.) Would you be interested in doing animation for such a movie?

I think that was all - Good to have you hear, answering many, many, many questions! ;)

faridz7
10-20-2005, 10:17 PM
For someone rather revered in the animation world, you, Carlos are amazingly super friendly and just all around super cool and thats why you're my idol! Ok, enough with the sucking up and on to my question although it might be one that youve heard countless times..

theres so many 3d softwares out there, maya, 3dsmax, xsi just to name the major ones. Does software really matter? I was at one of the leading cg companies here in london, and the head of the dept over there said that they won't take anyone on board for training purposes if he/she doesnt know maya or xsi. Ive heard of ppl who doesnt have any knowledge in maya (theyre proficient in 3dsmax) but are still able to get a job in a maya-operated cg company. Whats your view on that? obviously pixar has their own system and all, but before you came to work for Pixar..so maybe you could answer this question from your pre-pixar-days? cheers for your time! really appreciate it and..rock on yeah :buttrock:!

ziv121
10-21-2005, 12:49 AM
hey carlos i want to say i really enjoyed watching your animations its wonderfull.
i wanted to ask u: when did u start dealing with animation or 3d at all( at what age)?
and at that age how much time did you practice on it ( like how much hours for a day or a week? )
do u have any suggestions for ppl like me who are too lazy to get their ass on the keyboared to start practicing?:shrug:

feeesh
10-21-2005, 02:57 AM
HEy Carlos, thanks for the time for the Q&A!!!

My question is when you get a shot to work on are the camera movements and everything already done and you just move the characters within that or do you have some control over the camera movements as well?

Thanks, and kudos on the 2D animation work. Glad to hear it helped. I am in 3D school now learning animation but they've been gracious enough to let me use their old animation table to draw my own traditional style and its hard as hell but helps sooooo much!

feeeeeeeeesh

r9onaldo
10-21-2005, 03:03 AM
Hi Carlos, and thank you for your time. I'm a big fan of yours.

Is it possible to say something about how to get good at timing animations because thus far I find timing to be the hardest thing to learn in character animation. It would be nice to possibly tell us what was your approach when you first started learning character animation.

rblitz7
10-21-2005, 03:03 AM
Hey whats up Carlos!

How much do you work with the rigger? Like if you acted out the shot and realized that the hands need a lot of controls could you ask the rigger to implement that?

CarlosBaena
10-21-2005, 11:35 AM
I will make this quick, I was hoping you could take a look at a clip I am working on, and offer any kind of crit as to what mistakes you see me making, And what to really pay attention too.
http://www.dondixon.com/scent2.mpg
Don Dixon

Hi Don,

Let me try to finish everyone answers first, and then I'll go over people's clips.
I wouldn't want people's questions to be left unanswered.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-21-2005, 11:57 AM
-What did you like best about working at ILM, and what do you like best about working at Pixar? I'd ask for what you like least about each, but since you're currently working at Pixar it'd be an unfair question.
-Also, coming somewhat from a layman, what's it like switching from one style to another (i.e. from live action films like Episode II to pure animated film like Finding Nemo)?

Hi K.D.

-What I liked best about working at ILM, working with some really special animator friends and people. I loved playing table hockey with the other animators and getting my ass kicked. :) What I like best about Pixar, man, it would be really hard to find one particular thing. The energy and environment couldn't be better, the films I couldn't be more proud, I learn stuff the whole time, being is such good hands having John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs making decisions on the company. It's very inspiring. I'll stop there, because if I wasn't working there, and I read somebody saying what I just said, I would tell myself "Dude, stop it. I get it".

Now, there is one thing that I actually find a problem in both places ILM and Pixar, which is the size of the companies. The size and the places growing, is understandable. But there is a lot of people, and in many cases you don't get to know everyone from other departments well.

-Switching styles was hard and weird actually. Because at ILM I was used to doing realistic stuff, it took me a while to for example, squash/stretch the fishes...or push the animations. It would take my supervisors (Dylan Brown, Alan Barillaro and Mark Walsh), or even other animators, like my officemate at the time (and best friend) Bobby Beck, or other animation co-workers, to look at my work and go "You can push it in this moment"..."exageratte it even more in this other area". It did take some time to switch my head around back into thinking you can actually exagerate the hell out of things in animation, and get away with it.

Carlos.

aversive
10-21-2005, 06:11 PM
Hi again Carlos,

I would just like to say thank you for answering my questions. I did not know you skateboard! I skateboard too, for almost 8 years! Unfortunately haven't had enough time to do that a lot lately and skating the same place over and over again isn't ideal either.

It's interesting to read through all the questions being answered and I just can't wait to see what you'll be doing next in the future. :applause:

- Gael

Teyon
10-21-2005, 07:24 PM
Hi Carlos. Just wanted to say I still love your work. :) I've been ill lately and seeing the stuff the gang at Pixar's done with the INcredibles has kept me laughing through it all. Good luck with the Animation Mentor School, it seems to have really taken off.

-T.

gongster
10-21-2005, 08:15 PM
Hi Carlos :)

Thanks for all this - you're great!

I was wondering a few things...
* How much time are you usually given to tackle say a 10 second shot to a longer shot? How much of that time do you spend planning and how much time do you leave yourself for refining?
* How do you approach things like texture and rhythm in your performance?
* Do you have recommended actors/actresses to study for their physical performances?
* How do you go about committing inspirational acting choices and body language that you come across in your day-to-day and actor reference study to memory? It seems like there's really so much out there it's hard to keep a working library in my head.

Thanks!

Ryan

sNaP
10-22-2005, 02:13 AM
Yo Carlos!

I'm in my 2nd term at AM, and I have to say it is the single best decision I could have ever made. I am absolutely stoked to be part of it! Anyway, my question has to deal with blocking in stepped mode.

I'm still getting used to using stepped keys, and I'm really liking the workflow, but I'm having trouble really "feeling" my timing. Adding slow ins and outs in stepped mode just doesn't click with me. Do you think maybe I'm just not breaking down my animation enough?

Thanks man! You rock!

luonaldo
10-22-2005, 02:54 AM
HI, again, Carlos:
Are you still at the "Spanish Corner" in Pixar? work with Rodrigo Blaas Nacle?
In the "Incredible" commentary, You and He is TWO physics GIANTs in Pixar! :)
In What aspect do you think you learned from him? What kind of guy he is? As two most famous spanish animators in Pixar, in google I can find only less than 1/10 items of him than you, and most of which is the items you mentioned him, It seems that Rodrigo is too introverted, could you talk about him a little more?

ReBootedOne
10-22-2005, 03:58 AM
Hi Carlos,
Big honor to get to 'talk' with you, man.
You be insanely good at what you do.

I won't waste your time and just get straight to my question...

-I'm a highschool student working towards colleges at the moment and my ultimate goal is to become a character designer at a studio such as Pixar. I realize this is not specifically your area, but what direction would you advise in regards to education/focus to achieve this goal in the future?

Thanks so much for your time.

-eric

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 02:04 PM
1) Since you have had such a great experience working for some of the best animation house in the world my question is, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of your job. And could you explain a typical run through of how you go about starting an animation sequence of a character?
2) What has been the most difficult shot to animate in your career?
3) Do you have a preference as far as animating, (i.e.) quadruped, bi-peds, real, comical etc?
4) Last but not least, What was your favorite shot you had to animate? And which was your favorite character to animate?


Hi Romero,

I talked earlier on your questions 1 and 2. Check in earlier posts.
3) I have found animating quadrupeds to be really really hard to do. I had to animate a Lion a while back, for a spanish film...and it was really really hard to do. It´s something I think you need to study soooo much reference to study. Animating realistic stuff is equally hard, and honestly, not as fun for me to do as animating cartoon stuff. Doesn´t necessarily have to be cartoon funny stuff even, but exageratted stuff and taking advantage of the animation medium is definitely I enjoy the most.
4) I did talk a bit about this earlier. My favourite characters to work with might of been a couple of characters I´ve gotten a chance to animate in "Cars" and Mr. Incredible. From "Cars" unfortunately we can´t discuss anything.

Carlos.

madanimal
10-22-2005, 03:16 PM
Wow this is pretty cool, i first came across yer stuff Carlos not too long ago and i was emidiatly hooked, all the movements in your characters are so.....free and expressive and most of all fun!

I'm relatively new to animation, i've only started getting serious about it the last 1 and a half years mostly during A-level art, doing a bit of animation in good ole truespace, and combining it with some hand drawn animation, just very simple sketchy-stuff but it looked effective, and i turned it all into this little 4 minute short film and really enjoyed the whole process :)

Anways, just wanted to ask a couple of questions, is animation what you always wanted to do? you must have had some other ambitions as a kid right? In other words what do you think you'd be up to if you weren't animating?? Plus, what do you get the most kicks out of, watching already made cool animations, or making cool animations yourself?

Congrats on gettin' a career that you can love! Oh and great stuff as well!! :thumbsup:

Seeya :bounce:

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 03:44 PM
I am in the game industry and Pixar comes up a lot in conversations. As a manager I am curious just how much animating a professional Movie animator does and is responsible for. I hear often that it is 30 seconds per week of feature film work. Also, what kind of hours does a animator typically do. Could you answer for both leads, and grunt animators?
If that 30 second part is true can you elaborate on it? Is that 30 seconds total for the week or 30 second that has to be approved for final? And how many versions or first passes does an animator take to complete it. What is the animation drafting phase like if there is one?


Hi Hays,

I understand your concern. Let me see if I can explain it good enough, as it´s an area I honestly don´t deal with as much. Sequences and shots are distributed among animators in terms of length of the shot, complexity of the shot, how many characters are in the shot, etc etc. I believe producers meet with animation supervisors to figure out how much time an animator will need for a certain shot. How they assign schedules and how many feet or seconds per week a production has to do, I don´t know...and it almost seems as if it would change from company to company based on resources, number of people, etc. I´m not the right person that could help you on that answer.

In terms of how many hours a day, it´s been also different from company to company. At Pixar, it´s been really great schedule overall. Usually from 9am to 6pm. Beginning of productions is slower, but as you approach crunch time and things have to get finished, then you start spending more time. Also, if you have a shot that´s complex, I´ll spend more time in it. So there has been situations where I´ve had to be at work until very late...and other times where I can leave early. Again, it depends on many things in my opinion. In terms of the blocking passes, let´s say you have about a week to final a shot, I try my best to show my initial idea within the first couple of days to the director, regardless of how rough it is. If the idea is approved, then I take the next two days, maybe until a thursday to put detail on the shot...and I show one more time. If the shot gets final, then I go and put those details where there is really no going back from. So I do a lot of frame of frame plotting arcs of the different parts of the character, overlaps, putting detail on things until I feel ok with moving onto the next shot. There have been shots where you are never fully satisfied, but at one point you have to force yourself with being ok with what you have done (even if it could use more work). But a Film has to get done, even when animators or artists are extremely picky. I read this in someone else´s interview, but he said animators feel as their shots are always a work in progress...and that´s so true. There are shots that you see on the screen that you wish you could go back and work on it again, but it´s not like they give us a ton of time to work on one specific shot. Whenever I´ve gotten that rare chance, I try to push and detail the shot as much as I can.

Not sure how much I answered your question, as I feel a producer would give you a much better answer than mine.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 04:21 PM
-BTW, I've had about 15 years of training in music theory and piano. If you tutor me in animation, I'll be glad to tutor you in piano and music. With those fingers from the fingerboard videos man, I think I could whip you into shape in no time! :D lol.
1)Do you plan or block in your slow ins and outs during the blocking phase? Do you also account for this in your original timing?
2)I remember you talking about a slow in or out of 10 frames needing about 10 frames to finsish up the action. Is this 10 frames of overshoot with very very tight spacing, and in general are these overshoots defined by a smooth arc as well or more of just a back and forth motion.


Hi Jono,

That´s funny man. So it took you 15 years, and I´ll learn in NO time?? You sure about that? Then, you got yourself a deal!!

1) I definitely account slow ins and outs on my original timing, even if it´s for a blocking pass. Because sometimes I may be using a long slow into a pose for acting purposes, or maybe I´ll just hold the pose and work on cushioning things later.

2) I think this depends of the situation or the context which I can´t remember off the top of my head when or what I was talking about. But timing/spacing and how much time you need to slow in and out of a pose can be different at times. Same as how long you take to overlap something. They´ll both depend on things such as material, weight, gravity and so on. A big object will take more time to slow into the next pose than a small object. The tail of an elephant will have different timing on its overlap as the nose of the elephant for reasons like weight, size and proportions. But what I do wanna point out is that you definitely wanna spend the time to make actions read. If if you have an action that´s a few frames fast, you´ll need to put some time before and after this action to sell it. Sometimes I´ll use slow ins and outs or holds as part of this reading process, and other times I´ll use overlap.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 04:40 PM
1. Do you have any tips for eye darts? I found this to be extremely difficult, trying to find the right timing while also conveying thought process. Sometimes I get it but often times I don't and in the TV industry, we're forced to only spend a limited amount of time on this.
2. Because my coleagues and I work in the TV animation industry, our time is very VERY limited. Do you have any tips you can offer that might help our work look better in the long run? By that I mean areas we could focus on? When you average about 40 seconds a week, it's hard to experiment without falling behind quota. Fredrick

Hey Fredrick what´s up,

1) They certainly can convey so much in a character. Sometimes they can say everything in a shot. Instead of talking timing, I´ll recommend for you to watch and frame by frame the Close Up shots of Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca". Most specially those shots of her while listening to the piano music, or when she´s hiding stuff emotionally. We are constantly eye darting. We never fix the eyes in one place for too long...and in some cases we dart like maniacs. Same thing as blinking. They can be part of the acting. Someone that doesn´t eye dart as much or blink, may show confidence, whereas the other case (lots of eye darts and lots of blinking) may show a lot of internal thinking, maybe nervousness. Also, eye darting and having someone thinking looking up may tell something about a character that´s different about someone looking down and darting. Don´t take any of these as a rule, because they are not. You can make your own annotations, and studies. So I do recommend the study of close up shots in both actors and interviews or documentaries. You´ll find great stuff.

2) Which areas to concentrate if you have limited time. I would focus on which parts of the acting are important or the point of the shot always, and need work and clarity for people to read right away. In terms of mechanics, a big part of our mechanics starts in the hips, so I would spend time in there...and maybe how the other parts of the body relate to what the hips are doing as the driving force. In other cases the hips will not be the driving force...so you have to be economical on your shots, and balance what´s important and what´s not. If we are looking at the gestures going on the right hand of a character, I would spend minimum time in the other hand then, because chances are we´ll never look at that part in the screen.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 09:59 PM
-From your experience, what do you feel most reels lack and if you could give one solid piece of advice when submitting a demoreel, what would it be?
-Also, although some people have a seemingly endless amount of motivation to finish projects, I sometimes have a hard time getting going. What motivates you most when youre just not in the mood to work with 3D?
Joel Carlo

Hi there Joel,

-Tough question. Aside from all the things you´ve probably read in other forums and interviews, about making your reel show that you know the basics in animation, not using distracting music, keeping it short, nice and well executed, etc etc. For me, I would say personality. Not doing things that resemble other things, and instead showing YOURSELF in your reel. Your personality will bring other aspects that I find extremely important in people´s work...such as showing that you had a GREAT time animating, showing that actor in you and how that comes up in your work, and giving your work/animations/art a something different than other reels you see.

-We ALL go through that Joel. Sometimes you just don´t feel like doing things. In many cases you don´t have much choice. But for me, outside Pixar, I try to find motivation in other areas that are not necessarily 3D all the time, but are somewhat related. Many Pixar artists do find other areas outside animation/3D to keep themselves motivated and inspired in art. And the best part is that Pixar actually encourages that...and that´s another big reason of why Pixar is so rare and unique, and such a role model for an artists studio.

So for me, outside Pixar, I´ve devoted my free time to AnimationMentor for the last couple of years to teach people and for me to learn as well. So, I´m not always doing 3D stuff. Lately it feels like quite the opposite. I´m currently involved with the creative side of things that involve the lectures, and how to improve them, style/editing/shooting wise. Meeting with our kick ass editors and videographers that are doing such a terrific job on the classes. In addition to doing those things, I´m still working on creating music for these lectures, and doing things with our little mascot Spike animation wise.Through our video lectures, I also get to meet all these amazing animators from different studios that are teaching different subjects in animation for the School. It´s so refreshing to see and meet the human side of these really talented artists, that struggle just how we struggle, and are willing to share what they know. I love it, and it´s almost as a way to keep myself creative in other areas I´ve always had interest in learning about. I have to really thank this School experience, and my two amazing partners Bobby and Shawn, that allowed me to focus on these areas as part of my own self learning.

But we are artists, so don´t be discouraged if you find yourself unmotivated now and then, as it´s more than normal. Finding ways to keep yourself inspired is a great way to enjoy animation and art in general.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 10:19 PM
-once you've reached such a high knowledge in the field, are you still looking forward to discover what's left as much as you were in the beggining? what would you like to learn next, or what do you do to make sure you never stop learning?
-Do you ever feel limited by the tool/software? Do you think it's still something less "natural" than drawing maybe?



Hi Frinsklen,

-Great question. Well, for me, I think of animation how I think of acting in regular movies. You always find a new actor that just amazes you, and does things differently. For me one day I find this Benicio del Toro guy in "Usual Suspects" stealing the got damn movie in just a few scenes by his very unique acting. The day after you see Johny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean". Same thing. An acting you wouldn´t expect in a pirate. He brought his own personal take to our cliche idea of what pirates are like or behave like. So I think of animation in this exact same way as acting . It´s constantly evolving...and in many cases, regardless of you working at Pixar, ILM, doesn´t matter...you do feel like you are just starting. About making sure I never stop learning, it´s becomed a habit for me to study the hell out of things whenever I can. Over the last few years I started making my own library in a couple of hardrives with digitized clips of things that inspired me from an animation point of view to a cinematic point of view. Sometimes it goes from a little weird face expression a comedian did in a DVD that just felt unique all the way to the photography and composition in another film. I may be able to use something like that for a future shot or not. But from a personal learning inspiration point of view, I love doing that. The resources and technology we have these days for our own learning is something I just can´t take for granted and I try to use it as much as I can.

- I always felt more confortable using the computer than using the pencil, from an animation point of view due to my drawing limitations. I do feel like there are your normal computer limitations that seem to be less and less of a limitation as technology progresses. Like sometimes you wish you didn´t have to wait for things to load, for feedback speed...but it´s never bothered me personally.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 10:37 PM
1) Do you have a set amount of hours you work at Pixar every day? Is there such a thing as a 40 hour per week job for anybody or do you guys have so much fun you lose track of time altogether and end up working 60 to 80 hour work weeks?
2) Would you be able to direct us to demo reels that Pixar has hired from and list the reason(s) as to why that demo reel stood out among the others?
Nathan

Hi there Nathan!

1) I talked about this earlier. It does depend on the state of production and where it´s at. There are times when things are pretty slow, and other times that due to crunch mode, the shots having to get done or you wanting to put the extra time to your work, makes you stay up really late at work.

2) I can think of two of the top of my head:

www.cameronmiyazaki.com (http://www.cameronmiyazaki.com/)
www.ronzorman.com (http://www.ronzorman.com/)

Both reels with such unique acting styles. Both top top animators at Pixar today.
For me personally, their acting stood up in front of many many other websites/reels for a few reasons:

-Great understanding of the basics right off the bat.
-Very strong sense of enterntainment, and both two different styles in that area.
-Simplicity in their work. Simple is great.
-Great poses, genius timing in some cases, great polish in the work.
-Their exercises/animations/personal work to me tells me they are learning and doing the homework, but on top...is just FUN. Very fun to watch and I bet fun for them to work on.

I can go on and on...
Everyone´s sensibilities and tastes are different. Judge for yourself and see what appeals to you in people´s work. To me, Cameron and Ron´s work are the kind of work I respond to instantly. They are both animators I´m always really excited to see what it is that they´ll do next at work.


Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-22-2005, 10:42 PM
Cool, another animator! I really don't know you but I want to ask did you enjoy animating in 2d a lot. thanks for taking your time to visit us at cgtalk!:thumbsup:

No problem Bryce. My pleasure. I love doing this, and I hope people get something out of it.
About your question, YES. I loved practicing doing 2D and working on a shortfilm. I wish I took drawing classes before as it would of helped me a lot. But to keepo the answer short, yes. I had a great time.

Carlos.

chocomeow2004
10-23-2005, 09:01 AM
Hey Carlitos!

Wow what a response, so proud, dude...so proud! Chocobear! I have a question...What other animators have inspired you over the years and who mentored you?

maelstrom
10-23-2005, 11:40 AM
Hey Carlos,

Just dropping by to thank you for the awesome job you are doing on Animationmentor.com.

You are an inspiration, an animation powerhouse and also probably the funniest guy ever caught on video tape.

In all your lectures, entertainment value just goes through the roof! :)

CarlosBaena
10-23-2005, 12:09 PM
1)I have heard a lot of great animators talk about acting and stuff, so I took an acting foundation class. I found out that while it offers a lot of useful info, it's a bit different than acting for animation. I have also read the book acting for animator, and while I think it's a really good book, something seems to be missing. you have a list of books posted on your website, and I am trying to get my hands on as many of them as possible. I would like to know how you and other animators you know go about perfecting the acting skills?
2) You also talked aobut filming yourself and stuff, obviousely, it's only a reference for you, but I am wondering what information when you review the clip do you take, and what info do you discard?
3) I have been in the industry for almost 3 years now, but I still find myself struggling with my timing, as they tend to be a bit slow, well, not snappy, I would say. sometimes I have to force myself to make it snappy, so I am wondering if you have any tips or exercise on improving one's timing skills
gary

Hi Gary,

1) I never really taken full acting classes or courses. I did take a small improv class at Pixar and I´ve attended a couple other things. I did get a lot out of reading certain books, such as Keith Johnstone "Improv" and a couple other ones. But I´ve always found myself curious as to why certain acting choices in some movies here and there felt different and unique at least to me. So I would really study that. I´ve also watched some lectures from other animators talking about their experiences with acting. I´m a huge fan of pantomime and silent comedy. There was a show called "Twak" in San Francisco, that I peed on my pants laughing because it was so incredibly unique, funny and enterntaining. It relied purely on pantomime, sounds and visual comedy. Then, there is a pantomime group in Spain called "Tricicle". I´ve followed them for at least 15 years, and they are genius in my opinion. So I´ve studied them constantly. What is it about this or that one sketch they do that I find so enterntainning. Things like that. So, for me it´s never been formal acting training....but instead, grabbing about every single resource I can get my hands on.

2) This is great question. When I use personal reference of myself, I always take the reference takes, and look for things and bits on each take thati can incorporate on my shot. Sometimes it will be as something as smal as a little hand move. I´ve also seen people even edit their live-action takes in an editing software, to see how the whole thing flows. But for me it´s usually a starting point in my planning. Then I write the ideas I´ve taken from my reference, as well as ideas that come up as I go, in a piece of paper. So, this piece of paper, will include thumbnails, little notes all over the place, and notes referencing what I acted on video. Once I have that, I feel ok about starting to block my shot. Otherwise I rather not jump on the computer not knowing what it is that I´ll animate.
I strongly advice against doing that, as the work will suffer without planning.

3) I´ll go with practice, observation, and studying other timing examples that work for you. Also, don´t just study timing in animated movies, study timing in real-life as it will give you a starting point especially for acting purposes (contrast, comedic timing, readibility of actions, anticipations, etc)

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-23-2005, 03:38 PM
Carlos, my man! Awesome of you to be doing this. You have been a huge inspiration and getting to meet you and chat has been such a high point for me. Since there have been so many great questions already I will ask only two.
-What have you learned from working with so many other animators in Animation Mentor?
-Is it true that many consider you the world's greatest karaoke singer?
You kick butt you crazy Spaniard!

Brian!

You are the man. Thanks man. Actually, you guys (and you all know who you are) are the ones that we do have to thank for being patient with us in many occasions, as students of AnimationMentor especially at the beginning. And I can speak for everyone involved in creating the School. The School wouldn't be what it is, if it wasn't for the attitude of people like you and the rest of students.

Onto your questions,

1) This is a huge one. AnimationMentor has been such a gift, not just from an animation learning point of view, but from a collaboration point of view. But I wish I had more time to be on top of all teaching things going on. There has been many many occasions where I miss what's going on in some areas of the School because of something else going on for me. There was that one Q&A live session with Charles Alleneck, Delio Tramontozzi, Kevin Martel and Shawn Kelly with all students where they were talking about their experiences in SW.3 and ILM. Because that particular day I was working on another area, I missed it and I was bummed. I worked with those guys in the past, and I wanted to hear anything they had to say as I know it was going to be fun and informative. Same thing with barbeque events with students.

Anyways, I have learned great deals of information with every single animator we've collaborated and filmed for AnimationMentor. Sometimes is just as simple as getting to know someone I've never met before, but I learned tons from him from lectures he's given before as it was the case of Mark Henn, a Disney animator that has been animating for almost as much time as I've been born. These animators have learned from animators I can only dream of meeting nowadays. So anything animators like Mark Henn can pass on to me and the students, I'll eat it in a heart beat. In other cases, I've learned things that are not only animation, but are other areas I enjoy as well such as drawing, staging and composition. I've found myself a few times while filming some of our teachers, thinking to myself "shit, I didn't know you could do that"...or..."I'm renting this film he's talking about"...and so on. Now, these are the people we originally started the school for. People that have decades of experience in the art, and truly know what matters. That's what we wanted students to get. Then, there has been cases where I knew the animators before hand, and I went to film them not even thinking I was going to work. But instead, I went to have a GREAT time hanging out with them while filming the classes and being there for whatever they needed me for. That has been the case with people like super JasonSchiefler, Chris Hurtt (Sony Supervisor, who I worked with in the past and who is a pleasure to hang out) or Andrew Gordon (who I currently work with at Pixar, and who loves to share what he knows about animation as well). So basically, I've been feeling more than lucky because just like with working at Pixar, not everyday you are working on something where you get to have fun and enjoy.

Sorry for the long answer. But it's been something that has been on my mind for a while now, and something I can't take for granted.

2) "World's greatest Karaoke Singer"??
Brian, you know that's classified information...and I'm assuming you've talked to specific key people that witnessed the worst horrible display of singing skills in history of singing. Many people went deaf after that night. True. Other people have needed psychological counseling for weeks after listening to me singing.

...but the fact is, if Lil' John and Dave Chappelle would of hear me singing that night, they would of been PROUD.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-23-2005, 04:08 PM
Hey Carlos, man, I owe you big time, I'd still be struggling to learn this stuff on my own if I hadn't seen your website last year. :-)
I'm wondering, has getting more into teaching animation affected how you animate?
(That's all, I had to ask this quick before Brian stole it!) ;)
Thanks Carlos!


You are very very welcome Aja. And by the way, you guys are rocking out senorita. By accident, I got a chance to see the other day the Stewy test you did, of the character's limbs suddenly dissapearing and it was really good!! I believe you animated it, right? Anyways, just wanted to let you know.

About your question. Yes, it has affected me. Not sure if in a good way or a bad way. But what I have noticed, especially in the last couple of years (and more recently while working on "Cars") is that I've becomed very critical with my work. Specific areas that needed a lot of improving for me, teaching has forced me to do my homework all over again...and do it well if I want students to get something out of it at least. That happened to me especially when teaching what I knew about Posing and Staging, to name a couple. It wasn't easy and it stressed the hell out of me. But in the end, it was so worth it. Now, teaching animation has not affected the way I approach things...as that's something I'm continuosly figuring things out.

Carlos.

luonaldo
10-23-2005, 04:40 PM
Hi, Again, Carlos:

Thanks * 10^2 ! For your time spending here from so many busy thing. For every answer you typed with great careful attitude. You are a really very nice guy! ^@^

I'd like to show you some links for the Chinese version of some great articles I've got from your site. I really hope some of them will be helpful to Chinese readers.

Eng: Richard Williams Animation Notes (3D Ark's Website) (http://www.3dark.com/archives/animation/richard_williams_notes.html)
Chn: http://www.cghelp.com.cn/tutorial.aspx?id=130&menu=258

Eng: Compilation notes on BLINKS. (http://www.carlosbaena.com/Blinks.html)
Chn: http://www.cghelp.com.cn/tutorial.aspx?id=210&menu=258

Eng: Life After POSE to POSE - Polishing Animation (Keith Lango) (http://www.keithlango.com/popThru/polish.html)
Chn: http://www.cghelp.com.cn/tutorial.aspx?id=170&menu=258

Some other articles has been finished translation, while have not been posted yet.
In case that your PC can't display Chinese correctly, it's pics, :)

All the articles is free! As is said: "Freely you have received, so freely you give to others". And I'm looking forward to see more great materials on your site, and your more awesome animation, both in features and your own shorts!

Best Regards!
-Victor

krugar
10-23-2005, 06:21 PM
Hi Carlos,


Just a few quick question as i can see you have alot to answer.

1.ok when you first started animating what exercises did you use to practice your timing and weighting?
2.Do you still use them now?
3.How do you practice now?
4.Also i would like to know what goes through your mind when you are given a shot that heavily relies on showing convincing weight (like when Mr. Incredible is lifting and controlling that statue) :applause:

I've got alot more to ask, but i think i will let you get through more of these Qs. Anyway keep up the good work. :buttrock:
oh and i can't wait till you finish the screws

trevor1213
10-23-2005, 08:42 PM
Hi Carlos:

You are realy a nice person who is busy and famous but kind to answer our questions with patience.:thumbsup:

- I was wondering how's the learning when you were in the art school (college school)? Was the training helped you a lot? how? I am a foreign student who is considering to join the art school in the U.S for learning Animation now. Do you think that the location and be teached by people who's from the industry will give a big help? Cause I got lost in making the decision between schools located in C.A and G.A...

Due to people on this forum said that self-learning and observing things...etc. are much more important than where you go for study, my question might be a stupid question, but I just get confused and need to listen to more experience from others for reference.:sad:

Thank you so much!!

DerPapa
10-23-2005, 09:07 PM
Hi Carlos

I have a question regarding animation of eyes.
Eyes are usually popping around from one target to another, independent from the headmotion.
I mean the head follows the eyes motion. I almost always struggle with this animation, because if I free the eyes from the Head (IK) I find it hard to control them. If I link them to the head (FK) i have no follow through of the head.

I know, this is more a technical then an artistical question:

How does your "eye system" work? How do you animate eyes?

cheers
Michael

Bastardo
10-24-2005, 12:07 AM
Hey Carlos !
Could you please post some more reels of people who made it to pixar !
Thank you
You rock, man !

Sciortino
10-24-2005, 03:49 AM
Carlos,
For practicing animation in Maya, the place to start is with a sphere. What about moving beyond that and animating a pair of legs and hips--are there models out there somewhere that are ideal for that without having to build them oneself? (You mentioned the AM character that's a sphere and two legs, but I would guess that's intended for the use of AM's students.) I'm working through some Maya tutorials this evening in foggy SF, and am finding that things like "Skeleton -> Connect Joint (mode = Parent Joint)" seems kinda removed from getting to animation itself. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
-Paul

CarlosBaena
10-24-2005, 12:50 PM
-In the first shot of boundin's , the little bird is so cute, I watched it frame by frame! And also, It's very strong in physics, really, hehe, admire you.
1. How do you think the main differences between "ALIVE" animation and "Animated" one? and could you please give us a check list of Yourself to do when it come to the last 10% work to level your works up (from "OK" to "Great")?
2. Could you please take a little time to have a look on my new Animation DemoReel
3. I enjoyed the animation materials you offered on your site, and I'm thankful!
But one title I'm interested in named "Staging in Animation" by Brad Bird" does not works.
4. So firstly I wish to, of course only if you have some time and interest, have an interview with you, in order to introduce you to Chinese CGers


Hi Luonaldo,

First I wanted to thank you for all these things you are doing for the Chinese readers, to bring them animation closer. That's really cool man. Especially translating into chinese all those animation documents. That must of taken a really long time, so I think me and many many people will thank you for doing it.

About the "Boundin" shot you are talking about. I wanted to clarify who did what, to give the proper credit to the other animators that worked on that shot. The bird was animated by former Pixar animator, Alex Orelle. Then, the fishes that follow the camera move throughout the river were animated by Pixar animator Matt Majers. I worked on the lamb, who you start to see halfway throughout the shot.

1) Between "Alive" and "Animated"...you are right. They have been big differences in how I perceive a shot. A lot of animation I see feels "animated". They follow principles, they are really good animated...yet, they do feel "animated" to me. I've seen that happen with my own work a lot. Honestly, not sure what makes me feel that way. It may be a combination of things that maybe makes a shot feel "alive". Sometimes, it's not enough to have that extra 10% of polish done to the shot. The choices and ideas in the shot, and how they are told have a lot to do with creating a unique shot. For example, gestures or poses, that are non-cliche...that tells me that the animator is not relying on a library of gestures we have all seen before, but has done it's own observation on how that type of character would gesture instead. I go back to what I was talking about unique acting I find in movies that just click for me. The example of Benicio del Toro in "Usual Suspects". In an interrogation scene, he delivers the dialogue "I'll flip ya...I'll flip ya for reals"...in such a unique and original way (with the gestures and the subtext of his body language), but also along the lines of what that particular character would do, it just blows me away. So, to make the answer short...it's many things. But it's how you use all the million choices we have in our character, personality, body language, timing, polish, etc....what makes a shot feel so different than another.

2) Let me finish the questions if you don't mind, and I'll try to go over people's work.

3) At one point Brad told me last year that he wanted to revise that talk. He wrote it a long time ago, and he told me there were things he wanted to update or something like that. So I passed the document to him to change it. Brad is really busy, so whenever he gets back to me, and is able to change the document, I'll put it back online.

4) I would love to do that. And it'll be an honor. I'll also pass you names of animators that I think will be amazing for interviews.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-24-2005, 01:10 PM
There is an ongoing debate about the value of going to school (in your case Academy of Art) to learn CG and animation vs learning on your own. Since you have been sooo succesful, I wanted to ask you if you think that the education you recieved was invaluable. Or was it just a stepping stone? Was it where you learned the core of everything or did you learn more through other means, such as through your peers, observations, books and tutorials? I appreciate your time in reading my question.
Ines

Hola Ines!

You know, I learned a great deal while I was both at USF/Academy of Art. No matter where you are, you will learn things. I also was able to use the equipment they had, which at the time was really expensive. It was really expensive for me to study there, so I did make sure I use whichever hardware/software resources I was given an opportunity to use. I also did learn a bunch of theory things from different teachers. But of the classes I took for 4 years...only 6 months of those classes focused on the art and the animation, and I always wish I learned more on that. I remember a few particular teachers at the Academy who I learned a lot from. Technically, I remember a teacher named Tim Coleman, who was not only about one of the nicest guys ever, but was so technically knowledgeable in 3D/Character stuff (Alias Power Animator at the time)...and then I learned a lot from two Pixar people, Jimmy Hayward (former Pixar animator) and Oren Jacob (main TD at Pixar), who got me completely hooked in both animation/film...and who helped me GREAT deals when I worked on my 2D film.

The rest of the time, if it wasn't for other students and practice, and playing around on my own (not too patient on tutorials myself), I wouldn't gotten anywhere honestly. So...I'm not sure how much curriculums have changed in any school I know of. But I do know what animation made me go through in order to learn...and no matter where you study, no matter what you use, you'll have to spend a GREAT deal of time on your own practicing, doing trials and errors, trying things around, observing and studying, making more mistakes and making more advances. But now, there are a lot more resources, and it's a matter for you to know what's worth it, what's affordable...but also to take into account that part of your learning will have to be practice, patient, pushing yourself, studying and observing. It's all part of the process.

I hope this helps you Ines.
Muy buena suerte con todo.

Carlos.

el_mone
10-24-2005, 04:34 PM
Hey Carlos,

What´s going on man?

First of all, thank You for take the time for this Q&A in your hollidays time. I´m not sure if this questions was already asked, now I have´nt time to read them all, well, here goes anyways...

1- How do You see the switching from the videogames industry to commercials or feature animation? I mean, is difficult to change if your experience is only animating for games. Surely, quality side proyects might help, but is that enough?


2- What do You think is better to show in a reel, a finished short film or a compilation of tests.


3- What do You do in that frustrating days, when all the things go wrong and seems like all your animation skills just dissapear? I think the big ones has bad days as well.

Thank´s in advance.

Ivan.

CarlosBaena
10-24-2005, 05:17 PM
Look at that! ...57 users reading this Thread right now!!! and probably all those users are typing some more questions for you.
I am sure your fingers are gonna hurt soon, if they don't do so already.
Don't wanna make you type more, just wanted to drop by and say ' you are awesome '
You are Truly an artist to be inspired by.
p.s I am kinda confused about the procedure to make that instant paella you mentioned, having a hard time getting all those ingredients together.
Thelvin C

Yo Thelvin,

Thanks a lot for the cool post and stopping by.
As for the paella and the procedure to make it work...well...you know, I don´t even know myself anymore. But it tastes great. :)

Carlos.

Grrrrrrr
10-24-2005, 07:01 PM
What can i say.....even if your finger are in pain, you must feel really great, and you have all the reasons! :bounce:

Now if you don't mind, i have to ask you :

1) Even as a pro as you are, do you still encounter BIG problems, that give you white nights, and bring worries to your mind?If yes, what kind of problems?

2) How did you felt when you first started working for Pixar? Were you nervous? Did you had the feeling that you woun't bring your work to their expectations?

3) What motivated you the most, and made you study and study even more, until you reached this stage!

4) Were did you enjoyed working better?

5) How do you fix problems that bring up? You try yourself until it works, or you do some research, and maybe ask other pros??


Thank you for your time spend here!
And thank you CGTalk!

mstram
10-25-2005, 02:12 AM
Hi Carlos,

On the Incredibles dvd, Brad Bird mentioned that you animated Mr. Incredible jumping to save the suicide jumper and also Mr. I. lifting / carrying the huge statue.

What other shots did you do in the movie?

Mike

yeray
10-25-2005, 02:48 AM
Hola Carlos

He leido cosas muy interesantes, gracias por contestarnos :D, bueno yo me pasaba solamente para saludarte :D y desearte suerte para el futuro (aunque creo que no la necesitas ;) ) y nada que si quieres un cargamento de platanos de aquí avisa ;) un abrazooo

jschleifer
10-25-2005, 06:25 AM
Hola Carlos!

I just wanted to say "woo!" you're awesome & kick-arse & all that jazz & I think that cgtalk is super lucky to have you answering all these questions 'n stuff.

And that I hope that having to answer.. what is it.. 72 pages or something of questions will help burn your mind enough to make you forget about karaoke.

forget about karaoke..

forget..

forget..

ooooOOOooOOoooo..

anyway, I actually DO have a question for you, sir! :)

I know that you quite frequently try to videotape yourself acting out your shots (as do I.. mainly because I love the camera and it loves me. Well.. it doesn't really, but we are good friends and try to get together every once and a while to catch up. Okay, we haven't caught up in a while ,but the camera's really busy, I'm sure.. I mean, you know.. lots of people have to be photographed.. and... okay.. you're right. the camera hates me. we had a falling out. I took a still pic once and.. well.. it got messy.)

where was I?

oh! something I always find difficult is that now that I've been animating a while, for many shots I'll get an instant "idea" of sorts for what a shot should be.. you know, what the timing is, some general ideas.. even so, I'll still go act it out in front of a camera, if possible.

My question for you, kind sir, is what techniques do you use to knock those pre-conceived ideas out of your head when filming reference? Do you film others instead? Repeat the action 20-30 times until you come up with something unique?

What methods do you use to keep your ideas fresh and interesting.. and when I can do more classes with you guys? those were fun. :)

friggin 2 minutes of bloopers tho.. darn that shawn kelly! darn him all to heck! :)

andy_maxman
10-25-2005, 07:16 AM
I know that you quite frequently try to videotape yourself acting out your shots (as do I.. mainly because I love the camera and it loves me. Well.. it doesn't really, but we are good friends and try to get together every once and a while to catch up. Okay, we haven't caught up in a while ,but the camera's really busy, I'm sure.. I mean, you know.. lots of people have to be photographed.. and... okay.. you're right. the camera hates me. we had a falling out. I took a still pic once and.. well.. it got messy.)


energy...energy...energy...loads of it...so many positive vibes swooning this place...

thats THE best thing about cgtalk.....its an equal dose of fun and seriousness....in the end its very satisfying to be a member here.

CarlosBaena
10-25-2005, 10:17 AM
Will you do this for me, and pitch to PIXAR, if you're gonna do a part 2 into Incredibles how about a daytime full CG Incredibles CG TV Show or considered cartoon, there are huge shortcuts on creating episodes and re using models and riggs, you could pump out 6 shows if there is nothing really in the way of doing it, but they would have to move fast on completing it, I would give it a shot and see, of course I know there are no gurauntee's


What's up TheRookie,

You want me to get fired don't you...
I'm guessing you are serious...or if you are now, it's a new technique you are using with me here, I can tell. Tell Pixar to turn Incredibles into a TV show and pump out 6 shows and move fast on completing it...and right after, take a picture of their faces and see what happens!

TheRookie, unfortunately pitching things at Pixar is a very delicate area, I can get into. Animators pitch ideas for shorts, and in some cases they have to wait a while to do so, based on all other things going on at the studio at the moment. In terms of bigger projects, Pixar and the board of directors are very critical on what gets put out there with the name Pixar. It happened with ToyStory2 and the whole direct to video...and John Lasseter turned the direct to video movie into Feature Film magic. But my point is, they don't just put stuff out there for no reason. They really think and figure out where they are at and what they are doing, to see if it's worth it. So, the part that applies to me, and back to your question, I doubt Pixar would do something like that. I really doubt it. And while I can't comment on what gets pitched at Pixar or future projects, I will tell you that they are very very careful on what new project is being done.

Carlos.

markovicd
10-25-2005, 10:43 AM
Hi Carlos ,

I wanted to ask you... what is your secret tou your animation ... .
I Don`t expect u to tell me really the secret , but just some facts ... i.e what is your inspiration... what do u keep on your mind while u animate... where do u need special attention in animation to keep it smooth / cool

and here is my frist walkcycle ( 3 months ago )
Walk (http://markovicd.animacija.org/Walkcycle2.avi)
is there potential in me ? because i am still young (18) and don`t know what i wanna do in my life ... modeling , animating ... or something else...
thnx

CarlosBaena
10-25-2005, 11:27 AM
1. When could we see an updated site of yours with maybe some shots you worked on in Finding Nemo and the Incredibles ?
2. this next one is a little hard for me to explain but ill give it a shot ,Please dont take this as a prejudice question .. but do you think maybe animators that focus more on full body action shots have more opportunities of finding work ( in the majority of the industry ) than animators who mostly like to expertise in close up shots ? i know you should do both well but what is your take on that ??
3. Do you feel that the industry ( games and film ) is taking a turn mostly towards realism animation as opposed to the more cartoony pixarish believable style ?? i ask because like i said before, i see mostly Visual FX stuff coming out apart from the Madagascars and Incredibles movies..
Julian


Hi Julian,

1) I've been wanting to update my site for a while. But there have been many other priorities going on for me. "Cars" and the School were huge priorities this year for me, and I wanted to do a good job. Then, whenever I got myself some free time, I would try to at least have a life, and make sure my friends didn't forget who the hell was I. But with time I will update the site, and maybe change the layout.

2) I have a similar opinion. As an animator it will always help you to know different areas. Even if your strong area is lypsinc, it will only help you to know full body mechanics. Same thing with cartoon versus realistic. It will only be better for you to be skilled in different things, even if you only like one better than the other one. So for me, whether you work in commercials, videogames or feature films, the more multifaceted you are in animation, it makes sense that a company will want to hire you because of it.

3) I really feel there will be room for both. There is a time and a place for different styles. Audiences like variety, so in my opinion there will be more cartoon style films as well as more realistic FX films.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-25-2005, 11:34 AM
This isn't really a question as more a request... I would love to see one of your clips of you acting something out for animation, like the previously mentioned Mr. Incredible one. I think it would give me/us some insight into the level of acting an animator goes to, in order to create animation as good as yours.


Mark, I'm hoping to have a chance in the future to update the site, and when I do I'll be sure to include some of what you mention. It's something I'd like to do in case it helps people to see the process. I know that when I was back in school, any things like these from professional animators I enjoyed and learned so much from. So I'll try my best to do so.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-25-2005, 11:45 AM
-Im currently building a micro studio in my country and are currently developing ideas and experimenting to see if we are able to make an animated series between my wife and I. So i wanted to know if you had a couple of advises on how could we approach these projects.
-at animationmentor, in a near future, are there going to be any free video tutorials?? or free passes for very poor students? :deal:


Hola Glen, como estas.
Honestly, I think I'm the wrong person to give you advice on this, as I've never done it myself. If you are really interested, I would contact places that have done so. Maybe there is helpful people that will give you advice on how they've done it. So maybe places like Nickelodeon, Wildbrain, CartoonNetwork, FilmRoman or Rough Draft Studios (not sure who are the ones doing Simpsons, Futurama, these days) and many more, may have somewhere in there who can give you invaluable advice.

About AnimationMentor, what we'll be able to offer in the future, unfortunately is not something we can discuss at the moment. Sorry Glen.

Carlos.

D@vi$
10-25-2005, 01:47 PM
Hi Carlos

In fact I can say, that I hasn´t knowed you yet. Sorry for my english i hope that you will understand.
I ask you simply How did you begun? I´m now modeling on open source program named Blender (because is free and it´s something .... what I like more). How did you learned to draw by hand? I´m now trying this and it´s not going me good, respective I haven´t any basement. I´m now 18 and I don´t now, if it´s not late.
Happy polygons and hi :)

hopper2k
10-25-2005, 03:17 PM
Hey Carlos,

I'm not sure what to ask since it seems like everything has been already!

But any tips for animating background characters and those who are just in an idle state? I know these aren't the most exciting characters to animate, but it's a challenge because you have to make them seem "alive" by just standing there, and it can be so easy to make them look "dead." Sometimes I think animating a character standing still can be more challenging than a character who does a triple backflip mixed with a kung fu kick or something.

Muchos gracias, amigo! (that's as good as my Spanish gets!)

-Richard Hopper

powerdan
10-25-2005, 05:05 PM
Hola Carlos!, Hi im from Venezuela.
I love Pixar Animation, in 2004 i talk with Brian Rosen (he was here, in a CG Show) he spoke a little about How its Working in Pixar and sounds really cool.

I am very happy of the successful that it has been to pixar until now (Even though that means that it becomes harder to get hired by the company ;) ). I think the successful Secret of PIXAR its in the People that Work there, you guys are simple guys with a dream with good skills, and also are in a good ScriptWriters Hands with so Cool Storys... Wow i love to have the opportunity to work there someday. lol

I congratulates you of your works.

Im a Visual Fx guy (beginer), also im learning Character Animation.

i have one questions.
1) Do you know if Animation Mentor has (or it Will have) a Visual Fx classes.?



Finally some update of the CG-Revolution in my country

Im working with a Team (5 people) doing some TV spots (publicidad) in 3D, but our plan its for doing a 3D TV Show (kids oriented).

There are more of 5 or 6 Studios In Venezuela that also want to create TV series or a movie.

I wish the best for you, and i hope someday we can meet in PIXAR... jeje.

Omita
10-25-2005, 05:11 PM
Not sure how much I answered your question, as I feel a producer would give you a much better answer than mine.

Thanks Carlos! You answer was very helpful. The truth behind the magic of Pixar is a wonderful insight. If you see Fereed M. at Pixar please say "hey" for me (old highschool friend of mine).

Thank you so much for your answer and all your time. I am hoping that one of these days I can take at Animation Mentor class but it's tricky with a full-time job that is so time demanding. These days I am playing to my strengths and just being a Technical Artist/TD. But I would love to expand what I know about animation. These days I learn the most from watching the Extra's on DVD to get an insight into studios.

I can't say how excited and curious I am to see where Pixar goes post "Cars".

Thanks again for you time.

-Hays

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 12:28 AM
- I don´t know wether I remember those two numbers correctly, but I think I read somewhere that Pixar has about 60+ animators. And in the Incredibles Commentary it says that even a ninja animator would animate a max of 100 feet of footage in a movie. Considering that Pixar works on several movies at the same time, like Cars, Hogblogs and Monster Inc 2*, I wonder how this could work? Unless, you have a SECOND, secret underground studio, where thousands of nameless interns animate for their daily share of rice and water. In that case, would you please PM me with the contact info for the responsible HR?
- I remember that drawing - was it Milt Kahl´s - in the Animators Survival Kit, about listening to music while animating. I find that though it keeps me awake longer than any coffee ever could, music slows down my (in any case nonexistant) animation talent. Do you listen to music while animating, or aren´t u smart enough either? :D
Michael.


Hi Michael,

-No, there is no secret underground studio. All Pixar current and future movies, are being worked on the same place.

-About listening to music while working. Well, I'm definitely not smart enough...but I just love listening to music. :) But you know that Milt drawing is very true. It's hard to concentrate while listening to music sometimes. I listen to music (and a lot) in specific moments. If I know where I'm going in a shot, let's say I'm working out details or I'm cleaning a curve...or doing something that doesn't require too much concentration. In these cases, I'm actually blasting the music in my office. It's a good thing I can close the door sometimes.

Now, when I'm planning a shot...I'm not usually listening to much music. But if I'm looking for inspiration in a shot, I play music that's somewhat related to whatever it is that I'm animating. I've done that a lot, and while sometimes I don't find new ideas because of the music, at least, it's a great ambient place for me to try to be creative.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 12:44 AM
Don't want to turn your thread into a working Visa thing , but since you mentioned it how did you go by handling that part ...?
Or did studying in the US help you out with that part...? or being REALLY good will open the doors for you and make anybody want to handle the paperwork. ( I think I saw in Pixars site in the FAQs that they only accept people with permission to work in the US)
How did you get your first "break" in a working/paying position ..?
Just wondering, hope its ok to ask ..


Hola Fernando como estas.
Visas and working in the US. Quite the topic for many of us foreigners.
It's not easy...and to tell you the truth, it's not getting any easier since 9/11.

I was on a F1 visa while I was studying in the US. It did help for me to graduate in the US to get a H1B visa afterwards. When I finished studying, there was this thing called "Optional Training" where they allow you to work for one year after college in the US. That's how I got started in this industry. Then from that moment on, the companies started getting me H1B visas. Now, the studio has to be really patient with inmigration issues for one, and second, they must really have an interest on you in order to wait lenghts of time for Visa applications, processing times. Plus, it's also a big gamble for companies, as Inmigration never guarantees that you'll still get a visa. So, no matter what it's a really hard process for both the company and the animator.

Carlos.

Bowmana
10-26-2005, 12:29 PM
Hello Carlos, sadly I'm not as knowledgeable about your work as many of the people here, but I must say everyone at pixar does a fantastic job, I'll have to take extra note of any scenes you worked on when I watch the incredibles again.

I am 16, (as of earlier this month) and I've been working with 3d since May or June this year. I'm about to complete my first animation, it was very simple, and took a long time, but I've learned very much. Anyway, regarding my questions, The main question I have is,

1) As quite a young person,(I'll start university or a visual effects school in september 2007) my main concern is; will there be an overflow in the 3d industry with the growing popularity of games and digital effects in so many popular movies? Or will there perhaps be more opportunities, and I refer to between now and 2010 perhaps? It's a though question, but just an opinion would be nice.

2) I wonder, as I really fancy modelling compared to everything else, (Although I do my best to expiriment and practice with all aspects as much as I can) Are there equal opportunities out there for modelers and animators? Or which would you say is the most in demand?

3) I'm sorry if someone asked this before, but anyways, as a child or teenager growing up, how did your path to cg generally occur? What was your inspiration to leave your family and aim for your profession?

Thanks,

Jotham

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 01:07 PM
He's come here to take some time off but I guess our school reps somehow swayed him into giving us a little teaching on the side... I was wondering if there was ANY chance whatsoever that you may be holding or would be interested in participating in a similar event?
Carl(os)

I would love to do that. I haven't spoken to anyone about that.
But for me, any chance I have to go back to my own country, I'll take it.
:)

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 01:14 PM
I'm considering Animation Mentor and I've asked this question several times but no one has answered it yet-- I'm deaf so I'd have problems following the lectures, are there any lecture notes/ captions/etc available to students? I bet this would help people whose first language is not english as well.


Hi Theresa,

While we didn't want to discuss what things we'll be adding in our classes in the future, I wanted to let you know that we are constantly looking into things like that for the future. Unfortunately Theresa, we want to first make sure the School is solid as it is. So there are many things to be worked on currently. Our current students are own main priority to make sure their experience is the best one we can offer on our end. Plus we are redoing the entire school to make sure it's way faster, effective, informative and visually more solid. I can only ask you to be patient with us. We are going little by little with the School...and we are trying to make it as confortable of a place for both mentors and students.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 02:13 PM
1) When working at Pixar, how much input had the director about how the animation should look like? How much was your own signature? Is it essential that your opinions should line up with the director's?
2) Was it fun working at Pixar or did you have some impossible deadlines? Were you at any time under stress? And if so, how does it affect your work?
3) Do you have to do facial and body animation in the Incredibles? What are the stages of animation? I heard Brad Bird wanted pose to pose animation? What were the advantages?
4) When object touch eachother, two people holding hands, Bob Parr picking up a piece of cake or sitting on a chair, how do you prevent those two meshes to intersect? Is it just endless tweaking or is there an easy way?
5) I hope I'm not out of line here, how do all the animation packages compare to each other, i.e. which one is most intuitive, which ones offers the most tools?


1) I believe I talked a little about this earlier. It is essential that your opinions, ideas and blockins line up with the Director's vision. In the end, you are helping someone else to create their vision onto the screen. Now, at the same time, Directors leave you enough room and freedom for you to have a lot of ownership on the shots. Brad Bird and John Lasseter did that a lot for me. They still gave me revisions and things to fix, just like in any other shot being done by any other animator. But in my opinion, there is a lot of freedom for you to push the shot even further to what the director is expecting from you. And in a way, I think it's pushing the shot, the story, the characters what makes a movie far more unique and special in audience's mind.

2) Yes, there is pressure moments. Times when your shot is not coming out the way you throught it would. But you have to figure out how to work under stress. While it's not easy at all, it's essential in any production. You also asked if it's been fun working at Pixar, and for me it hasn't be just a fun place to work, but it's been a very inspiring environment where I've felt artistically challenged and motivated. What I like about it is that the environment is very realistic. People know when they have to work, and when they have to get stuff done...and they also know when it's time to play.

3) In every shot you have to animate the face. It's always part of the acting, whether you are working on a very physical shot, you still look at the face to see how it relates to what the body is doing. Now, the body in full physical shots should read first, but you still always have to animate the face. About Brad Bird only wanting pose to pose, not sure about that...I remember him being pretty open to whatever it was shown to him by an animator. He would review whichever method the animator used to communicate his/her ideas to him, whether it was linear blocking, stepped key, and even shots that would have some detail added to them.

4) Contact animation with characters grabbing objects...characters interacting with other characters. I can't speak for other animators on how they approached shots like that, but for me it was definitely tweaking and try to get it t oa point where it looks right, and it feels as if the contact is really happening. This has been really hard to do in the computer on my own experience.

5) About software packages. No, you are not out of line Alexander. There is good things about different animation packages. But for me, after working in different places where they used specific animation tools or softwares, after a while, you simply just don't see it as an issue anymore. You have your graph editors, your curves, your controls, and your keyframes. You know what you want to see on the screen, and you try to get it there as good as you can.

I hope this answers your questions Alexander.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 02:20 PM
Might sound like a noobness question but what programs do Pixar use during a movie, just really want to hear the animation programs though. Thanks man and congratulations on all your success, nice/pleasure talking to you.


Julian, Pixar uses propietary software they wrote for animation.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 02:25 PM
Hi,
I admire your work. I just want to know if people outside of the animation industry respect your work. Or people outside the industry look at the animation as a hobbie.
I hope to enter Animation Mentor in spring.


Super_dios,

My experience with people outside the industry, is that they respect the time and effort it takes to create animation. They don't follow on details or things like that. Now, more and more people outside the animation industry know more about animation than before. I've heard people that don't know anything about animation to say things like "that looks wrong", "that's not very well animated, right?" or "that's different animation style than yours". So that tells you that regular audiences are learning to train their eye as well.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 02:31 PM
-Como animador que adoras y que detestas en como esta hecho el rig de un personaje?...que controles encuentras fastidiosos y que controles encuentras estupendos...


Sin problema Yolao,

Yolao's question was "As an animator, what do you love and what do you hate in a character's rig? what controls give you a hard time and which controls you find great."

I love simple rigs, where I know where the main things I have to animate are. That saves me time to block, saves me time to figure things out, and it helps the overall production a lot more. Now, you find that sometimes you get that, and other times you don't. So you work with whatever it is that you have to work in the end. I love controls that pay a lot of attention to the 2D quality of a drawing. Incredibles had a lot of that. Even "Cars", the riggers did a tremendous great job. Now and then you'll want to do something that will require a special control...and just like before, there will be times where you'll be lucky to have a rigger take that and add it for you, and other times, you have to break your head and figure out a way to make something work with what you have.

Carlos.

joselopes
10-26-2005, 04:28 PM
Hello Carlos, Jose Lopes here (Portuguese Dude). I am a big fan of your work and your will to succeed! You are one my biggest inspirations.

This questions might have come to you late I guess, because of all the posts you got to answer already but if you find sometime can you answer this questions, Thanks a million...
I have been practicing loads of animation tests. Currently practicing Weight and Timing
And my biggest problems so far are...

1. OVERLAPPING this is my biggest problem, how do you normally go about on doing this, do you set it up whilst blocking?
2. WEIGHT I read somewhere that you a superduper expert in this matter, do you have any books or references that you could give me? And what is you most valuable lesson whilst learning how to show weight in a character.
3. SNAPPY MOTION I haven't got in depth in to this matter yet in my animation tests, but how exactly do you work this magic, because it seems that this is one of the most important factors in to the best animation out there. And at what point do you normally set it, Blocking stage or Details?

Thanks a Million in advance

Muito Obrigado(Portuguese for Thank you Very Much)

Jose Lopes

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 04:30 PM
Hey Carlos! Dude, you're just an awesome animator and i love watching your lectures at AM. By the way, thank you so much for creating AM and making it such a perfect place to study animation.
1. i'm in the body mechanics class right now and i need to start making some money as soon as possible to help pay for the rest of my education at AM, so i was wondering, if you were in my shoes, at what point in the program you would put your assignments on a reel and start sending it out?
2. i'm wondering from your own personal routine, if you could list the order you go through your checklist and what you are remembering to include in each pass of your shot?


Hey Sean, what's up man?
First of all, thanks so much for telling me (and everyone involved in creating AM) what you just said. It makes us feel good knowing how hard it's been to teach and share what we know in a pretty much unknown medium such as the internet. I'll pass the message to everyone. They'll love to hear it.

Onto your questions:

1) You know, you should do what your instinct tells you in all honesty. Now, if I were you I would hold on until you have more material and you can apply what you've been learning in body mechanics onto acting tests you'll be doing in the future, even shortfilm stuff. We designed the school with that in mind, which is for people to build their demo reel progressively. Otherwise you'll find yourself with a reel that has basics or mechanics but has no acting on it. In the end, it's always your choice and what you want to do with your personal situation, but from the point of view of someone who started sending his reel with only rollercoaster rides and some basic 3D spaceships (that would be....uh...me), to a company like Pixar or ILM, I would strongly tell you wait until your reel is as strong as it can be acting/mechanics and potential wise.

2) For basic blocking, I include rough motion and through with the minimun number of keys, whatever it is that represents my ideas/acting choices. If the arm of a character gesturing represents what it is that I want to say (acting wise), then I'll block using the arm/wrist/etc. Always whichever way is more economical, as there is always a chance that the blocking may get turned down because the director had something different in mind. Now, if the blocking gets approved, I do a second pass, this time including anticipations, basic overlaps and acting accents, onto my original blocking/timing pass. If that blocking also gets approved, I start putting detail in most areas, but depending on how much time I have to finish a shot, I'll mostly focus on whichever areas you always look at, compositionally speaking. It would be pointless for me to spend a great deal of time on the overlap of the left arm, if 80% of the time, the audience is looking at the right arm.

I hope this makes sense Sean.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 05:15 PM
what is your expectations about future of 3 D animation world in near future. Do you have any foresight, any guesses? (for example, can mocap and facial mocap systems become more important in 3 D animation film etc...?)


Hi Asim. I personally think that there is a time and a place for a particular tool to be used.
Because I see films in the future that will be either cartoony or realistic, people will use whichever method work best for them. Some studios have chosen to use motion-capture for specific areas or characters. When I was at ILM, they would use motion-capture for the stormtroopers for example...and then give specific shots to animators to hand keyframe, such as creatures or human stunts. But studios like Pixar, PDI or BlueSky never rely on motion-capture due to the nature of their films, and all shots are animated by hand.

Carlos.

FantaBurky
10-26-2005, 05:24 PM
Hello Carlos!

I love your work! Every little bit of it!!

I got some questions which are related to probably every cg aritsts dreams, getting a job at Pixar :D. Allthough I know my chances are like one in infinity, but:

1. Concerning the demo-reel, would a short film one creates himself like 15minutes, be okay to send in? Or should one like, take bits and pieces and put it togheter as a trailer and show that instead?
2. Can you send in a short with copyrighted music from others? The original having own music but the version you send in is with famous music.
3. How big are the chances when you send in stuff that wernt use for special occasions but just created for fun and learning. Meaning personal work which is still top-notch quality but not used for commercially occasions.

Questions not concerning the demo-reel:

4. One thing I hate the most when creating my stuff, is that I am soooooo disorganized!! :bounce: All my textures go from smart naming to bad naming, example:

Textures:
01 - Table_Wood.jpg
02 - Table_Cloth.jpg
03 - New_Texture.kpg
04 - New_Texture2.jpg
05 - New_Texture3.jpg
06 - New_Texture3jasja.jpg
07 - New_Texture3jasjaasfdasd.jpg
08 - New_Texture3jasjaasfdasdaSDLASKLDKLADKLA123123.jpg
08 - New_Texture3jasjaasfdasdaSDLASKLDKLADKLA123123aldlaldkadka1020120.jpg

You get the idea hehe, same goes for models, when I go for bigger projects I keep just adding some letters after the old one. Do you go through a specific process when doing a scene, like what do you think about before making a scene. Kinda hard question I know, but I got to learn how to organize everything better, cause I seem to be the ONLY one being able to go back to my projects and make changes hehe.

5. One of the most important things I've learned in my life (from editing real footage) is postwork. What I mean is color grading, filters etc. Personally I prefer on 3D projects (NOT real footage, bleh) to use Photoshop to make my postwork cause I believe its the most powerful image editing software, and actionscripts makes it so much easier. Can you perhaps go through how much postwork is done to frames in like the Incredibles? Perhaps teach us any techniques?

Thanks in advanced, and congrats on all your success on the hard work!

Best Regards,
Kawa Taki

CarlosBaena
10-26-2005, 05:42 PM
1) For instance, Mr. I and Frozone in the burning building and they've decided Mr. I will bust through the wall. The way Mr. I sort of jumps on one foot, anxiously and slightly off balance, carrying all the weight of six people as he's finishing delivering his lines is really great. The easy way would have been to just have them stand there and finish the lines then run down the hall. Would you care to comment on this sort of stuff further?
2) Also, did you work with the hair much? I was WAY impressed with the wet hair in the scenes after the plane crash.
I really like what you said about the value of studying traditional 2D art. My father-in-law is one of the old animators from the animation golden years that worked with Freling and others. He did Pink Panther. I sometimes think that when he goes it will be the end of an era. He's commented to me a lot that these 3D guys aren't studying real animation and they should. He'd be proud that you did (and he loved Incredibles BTW)


Hi Loren,

Thanks a lot about the comment about your father-in-law.
Onto your questions:

1) I think that particular shot is a great example of what an animator did (I believe Travis Hathaway animated that shot), where it's not just the bare minimum being done on the shot, but instead, it's taking that shot and pushing it and making it unique instead. I think as animators working on these films, it's not just coming up with what the shot requires, but instead, it's to do a little something extra that makes that shot better or more unique. Audiences remember these things, even if it's unconciously.

2) I'm not involved with the Hair or cloth work of the films. But we do have a Technical department at Pixar that really makes things take onto another level. I saw that happened in both "Incredibles" and "Nemo". For example, as much as I loved the animation, story and characters in "Finding Nemo", the backgrounds, colors and environments are so rich and detailed, that it makes it a crucial element in how we perceive that film. I have friends that loved "Nemo" that always come up and tell me how impressed they were with the colors, art direction and underwater backgrounds.

Carlos.

paperclip
10-26-2005, 06:46 PM
Carlos, thanks so much for your reply.. I know you guys are doing a fantastic job with AM and I wondered if there'd ever be anything like that in the pipeline (notes etc). I'm happy enough that you're keeping it in the back of your minds. Maybe someday I'll be a mentee!


Keep up the good work, man. I'll be looking for your name in the Cars credits! :thumbsup:

gruvsyco
10-26-2005, 09:45 PM
Mark, I'm hoping to have a chance in the future to update the site, and when I do I'll be sure to include some of what you mention. It's something I'd like to do in case it helps people to see the process. I know that when I was back in school, any things like these from professional animators I enjoyed and learned so much from. So I'll try my best to do so.

Carlos.

Thanks man, you totally rock!

MattEveritt
10-27-2005, 09:47 AM
Hello Carlos


Who has the funkiest office/work space at pixar?


Cheers

Matt.

CarlosBaena
10-27-2005, 11:30 AM
Hi Carlos!! Fingerboard Champ of the Universe!
-I have a question about the different characters you have had to animate at Pixar so far. I would assume it is a whole different ballgame animating a car as a character as opposed to a human being which we are all more familiar with. What did of research did you do to infuse life into those piles of metal? Did the process call for a lot of experimentation?
-My other question is about the learning curve at AM. There are some students who come into the program with animation experience under their belts, and some, like myself come in as animation newbies. Do you have any advice for us newbs who are trying to get to their animations up to the polished level of their more experienced peers? Have you seen improvement as impressive for the relative "beginner" animators. And what advice do you have for when the time comes to enter the work force, how do you see our chances against the AM graduates with prior experience?
Anthea

Anthea!!!

You and me have to talk!! I got your email you sent us!! Ok senorita, I'll have to get you a few drinks, for reasons we both know, and that make me really really happy. :) I'll leave it at that...

Ok, onto your questions.

-Unfortunately Anthea, before I started this Q&A, the PR department at Pixar, asked me to not comment on "Cars" if possible, at least until the movie comes out. But next year, I'll let you know all about my experience in this film, as it has easily been my favourite experience animating at Pixar for many different reasons. It's been also the film I've worked on the longest.

-The learning curve in students. You know, my experience in animation is that it the learning curve is usually a normal one for everyone...but it comes to a point where certain things you learn just CLICK all of a sudden, and all of a sudden it totally shows in your work all. I've noticed that with a bunch of students at AM, that don't have as much experience animating but they've gotten certain principles and concepts way faster. Then with the students that have had experience animating, I did notice that their work got even way stronger. The cool thing is that stronger students are very good at helping newbies, or students in beginning levels of the School. Brian, Rebecca, Aja, all of you guys all do a great job helping the other students constantly. In terms of what chances the newbies have compared to the experienced student animators, I'm pretty sure whether you have no experience animating, companies will tell whether a newbie student has potential.

RubenDrakkar
10-28-2005, 12:11 AM
Hello friend, I am going to make a seminare of ZBRUSH 2 here in Argentina, so I don`t know about seminaries structures and how can I proceed in making this comments great, so that people can understand well about zbrush. I need your appreciationabout this topic, please email me at:

rubens_modeler@hotmail.com

Please I need a hand regarding this point. Thanks

Avi T
10-28-2005, 03:36 AM
Wow, this is really cool that your over here, although I'm not to sure of what animation you've done in the Pixar films I have enjoyed watching the other clips on your site. Now, I'm curious, do you have any good tips on timing in animation? Also, is AM going to get classes for people under 18 at any point?

Thanks,
Avi T

ODoul
10-28-2005, 06:00 AM
Hi Carlos,

This thread has been taken off of the front page and I hope you are still answering questions. This is more of a rendering question and I realize that you may not have anything to do with this but I was wondering something.

Naturally, I'm amazed with the animation (of which I have an enormous amount of respect for you) but is there any way you could tell me how long it takes to render an individual frame of most of the scenes.

I realize that it probably all depends on what is involved in the scene but could you give a ballpark figure?

I've done a few scenes that I think the lighting is pretty nice but they always end up taking way to long for me (someone who doesn't have hundreds of computers at my disposal) to make a 20 second scene practical.

Thanks bud!!

Ray

leigh
10-28-2005, 06:57 AM
Please do not post any additional questions from this point onwards. Thanks everyone.

ODoul
10-28-2005, 07:04 AM
Oooops ... didn't mean to break any rules.

CarlosBaena
10-29-2005, 11:47 AM
-What are some of the biggest obstacles an animator for television can face transitioning to working on feature films?
-what are the turn around times like working on an animated feature film (Pixar, etc.)?[/font]
-What would be your recommendations to get a visa to work in the US - are studios willing, or do they have any issues with setting that up a work visa for animators, or is it better to just move to the US and try and make a go of it?


Hi Mr D,

-Mostly schedules in my opinion. But that's a in a pretty general way. Usually schedules for TV stuff are shorter and tighter that schedules. Actually, it depends on what schedules you are used to working on TV. It may be that wherever you are working doing stuff for TV they give you more time than for Features. When I worked in commercials, sometimes you had a lot of time to work on something, and other times you had NO time to get something done. It's all relative to the company and type of work.
-Same thing actually. Like I said in an earlier post, there are times that things are pretty slow, and other times where you find yourself working many many hours. But at a place like ILM or Pixar, things haven't been too crazy overall...and schedules are actually pretty generous and realistic, at least on the Films I've worked on.
-Read an earlier post regarding this as well Mr.D. But one thing I wouldn't recommend you, is for you to move here and try luck while you are in the US and without a visa. Chances are most places will ask you to SEND the stuff by mail...and also, even to get a visa you have to go back to your country no matter what, to get a visa issued by the American Embassy. So, in my opinion, I would try maybe at places like Siggraph or Comicon, but other than that, I wouldn't go through the trouble of coming to the US, and moving here temporarily just to apply to studios.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-29-2005, 11:54 AM
-I am really interested in enrolling at AM to really learn how to animate well but the problem is I suck at drawing especially when it comes to action poses. That's why I'm thinking of taking a fine arts course here in my country (because the cost of studying in other countries are way too expensive) before enrolling at AM. Do you think that thats a good idea?
-And what books could you suggest for an aspiring animator like me so while im saving money for AM, I could get some heads up on the lessons to come.


Hi there Patrick,

-DEFINITELY a good idea.
-This may help you here Patrick:

http://www.carlosbaena.com/books.html

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
10-29-2005, 12:01 PM
Y por otro lado (no quiero complicarlo preguntando esto en inglés) Cómo es ser freelance allá? y qué tan viable será para alguien recién egresado de AM? Crees que es estrictamente necesario vivir allá para ser freelance?


Hola Magenta,

Mira la respuesta de Anthea para tu pregunta anterior.
-The second question Magenta asked (for everyone else interested) is:

What is it like to be a freelance over there? Is it worth it for someone coming from AM? Is it strictly necessary to live there to be able to freelance?

I'll tell you what I know. I personally CAN'T freelance in the US...because I don't have a US citizenship nor a Greencard. You do need those in order to freelance in the US. So, anything I've been working on (places like Wildbrain, ILM, Pixar, the AnimationMentor School) I needed their respective visas to work on it. About freelancing for a US company, I honestly don't really know how it works, so I can't give you advice on it.

Carlos.

raffael3d
10-29-2005, 07:32 PM
hi carlos
I am AM student and its simply awesome! however I would love to get your opinion on this.
On one hand this school creates a lot of great animators, on the other side jobs are very limited these days, so AM als coreates a lot of competition. So I just wonder how realistic do you see the chances of students of AM getting animator jobs in the industry.

thanks

CarlosBaena
10-30-2005, 04:44 PM
1) who are in your opinion the best animator of all time? =)
2) someting that sometimes destroys a nice animation is gimbal lock, how do you work around it or dose the pixar software have a solution of some kind?
3) at animationmentors, is it possible to just pay to get feedback on your work?
4) is it really that fun to animate cars all day? ;)


Hi Calle,

1) Milt Kahl I'd say. Maybe John Lasseter right after, for what he's created in animation.
2) Gimbal lock. To avoid it, let's say that I set an arm in one pose, a few frames later, instead of creating a new pose with that arm, FROM the pose I created earlier (which in many cases gives me gimbal lock), instead, I reset the arm rotations back to ZERO. Then I create my second pose. That usually helps me to avoid it sometimes.
3) At AnimationMentor, mentors usually try to stick with the curriculum. But if any of the mentors, is cool and nice enough to give you feedback on anything else you are working on outside the AnimationMentor assignments, I'm sure they will.
4) Honestly, you can have fun animating anything. Sure you miss arms, legs, fingers, a neck, a foot, etc....but the way I looked at it wasn't from an animation parts point of view, but instead, from an acting/performance point of view. I had a GREAT time animating on "Cars" because of the story and characters, and the acting possibilities in something as simple as a car (which is basically a bube and 4 wheels). Just look at "Luxo Jr.". For me it's not what I animate, but instead, what it is that I'm bringing out of whatever it is that I'm animating.

Carlos.

Tasimasu
10-31-2005, 09:57 PM
thanks for reply. also ı want to thank you for your patience to giving answer to all the questions. you are so modest for a such a great guy :rolleyes:....

CarlosBaena
11-04-2005, 08:00 PM
-Do you think its possible to become a kickass animator without sacrifying your social life at some point?
-Wasnt it a blast doing facial animation with Mr. Icredible?


Hi Banano,

-I think it definitely is.
You just have to balance your life as well as you can, and set your own priorities on what's very important in your life, what's less important, and so on.

-YES it was. Animating not only the face but any shot with those characters was a gift. That whole film was a blast from beginning to end. Superheros and Brad Bird combined with Pixar's sensibility. It was great.

Carlos.

Book
11-05-2005, 01:55 AM
Hey Carlos, thanks so much man for doing this. It's been great! Here's my question (if you're still answering): I'm moving back to the Bay Area after 9 years in the LA animation world. In LA there's a strong animator community, since we all move from studio to studio and see and work with different friends at different places. Talking to Bay Area industry friends, it seems like people spend a lot longer at one place, and are less migratory. How strong is the animator community in the Bay Area? Do you meet people from other studios at ASIFA, SIGGRAPH, industry events, etc? Or are the studios a little more isolated?

Can't wait to get back!

Josh

norman365
11-05-2005, 02:50 PM
Hey Carlos, just want to congratulate you on everything you've achieved in your career so far. I only have a few questions:

1. After just finishing reading 'The Illusion of Life' (quality book!), was wondering how different the working procedures are at a company like Pixar compared to the Disney studio of the 1930's?

2. Would you or anyone consider writing a modern day equalivant of the above mentioned book, describing how CGI evolved into what it's become? I really think there's a place for it and I can't think of anyone better to write it than you guys.

p.s thanks for your time reading these despite the holidays!

CarlosBaena
11-08-2005, 12:19 AM
1. Is there anyone that might have inspired you to do 3d animation?
2. Do you get a special program to work with by pixar or do you use some of the major applications like 3ds max,Maya, or something like that.
3. Was it hard to find your animating jobs and what was your first animation job like?


Hi Travyse,

1) It depends for what. Talking in terms of acting, no one in particular. I just think I had a side of me that was always interested in performance. In bringing out different characters and personalities out of me. With animation I had the opportunity to do that. In terms of the 3D factor, definitely Pixar and StarWars inspired me a great deal. Also 3D allowed me to learn things in other areas such as Film & Staging. In terms of artist inspirations I mentioned a few people earlier.
2) We have a propietary software that was written at Pixar, to do the animation.
3) It's always hard Travyse. It's never easy...and in many cases it's more like a ladder. The industry can be very competitive, so you have to get experience, practice working in other places before you can work in your dream place. My first job was at Will Vinton Studios, and it was not an easy job...mostly because I had to learn new software, figure out the production ways of working and start animating in very little time. Luckily, they made it very easy for me to feel confortable over there.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
11-08-2005, 12:25 AM
How difficult is it for people outside the US to get a job there? Does your reel now have to be mind blowing for them to justify the time and immense effort to get work visas and everthing sorted out or would they rather take someone within the country whose work might not be as great as say an international applicants reel? Can you describe how difficult it was for you to get work with Pixar not being a citizen from the US, the process it took for you to get into the company.


For a place like Pixar, given the quality of work out there...yes, your reel has to be mind blowing in many different ways. And still, given the new inmigration laws, it's getting harder and harder for a studio to go for it and wait through the process of getting somebody. I wish I could give a more uplifting answer....but looking at it realistically, it's honestly not looking good for us foreigners. Pixar's visa process was a little easier for me as I already had a visa coming from ILM. Still I had to wait for the transfer of company visas, which took a bit.

Carlos.

thehive
11-09-2005, 06:30 PM
thimsj about your immigration post you really need to speak to a lawyer an not only that i would strongly suggest doing your home work on immigration they like to keep you running in circles thats there angle, its about submitting papers on time an correctly one slip up an forget it, im a citizen of the US but im currently in the procces of adjusting my wifes staus an can get really expensive really quick. jus make sure you know the rules cause the rules change every week it seem so before you make the move also get everything in writing an signed , an be ready for long turn around times for from to be approved.

hope that helps

thehive
11-09-2005, 06:37 PM
hey Carlos you mention before that when you hit gimbal you freeze the transform an continue to animate doesn’t that mess up the previous keys?

also have you had any animations get corrupted or any pit falls due to no fault of your own? an how are they handled



thanks

CarlosBaena
11-10-2005, 04:46 AM
I've been working once an several 2d and 3d related softwares but the situation in my country forced me to abandon the artist's life as I partook a different job. Today I was able to save up a little cash to buy the practical PC parts I need and resigned from my "business" life to return to an artist's career but I want to know if I havent touched these softwares do I start from the very beginning again as if it is my 1st time again? And to make things worst is the fact that I have no idea where to education regarding this cause I cannot afford certified trainings and there is practically no institution here that knows how to teach it properly in my country. What do I do?


Hey Mugsy,

Tough situation. Are you talking specifically for animation? There are software packages that are not that hard to get you going...especially since you've had experience in the 2D-3D area. I wouldn't be intimidated by the software. Seriously. I'm on my sixth or seventh animation software (since school) and at this point, my third music software (as a hobby)...and honestly...it gets to a point where you just don't care what you use. Of course there are certain limitations and special cases, but the base and foundation is always really similar. So, even if you have to start from zero, I don't think you necessarily are, as many things you will remember right away, and other things it will only help you more to be updated to the new technologies as advances/updates keep coming, you know?

In terms of education for animation, you don't want to ask me...as my answer might be biased, and you might guess which school I'd tell you. :) How I would like to learn animation if I were to start again is actually something our school has been working really hard.

Carlos.

CarlosBaena
11-10-2005, 05:26 AM
I know that studies in tradicional art and 2d Animation is very useful in 3d animation, but is essential?,
my studies are technicians and I think that animation is diferent to draw and with hard work you can to become a 3d animator
, what do you think about this?, do you known any great 3d animator whitout training in tradicional art?


Hi Jose,

It's NOT essential. But just like with everything else in animation, it will HELP you tremendously. It did for me. A lot of things all of a sudden just started making a lot a lot of sense. So, like with everything else, it's up to you to decide what helps you best with your animation learning. For me 2D, and maybe studying acting in films and in real life may have been my biggest sources of learning. Then other things help add to that.

Carlos.

norman365
11-11-2005, 12:09 AM
Oops! sorry for asking questions past the cut off point. (Been reading the thread from the beginning to this point, so just got to Leigh's message. honestly.)