View Full Version : Jeff Lew DVD praise

Unkle Bunkle
06 June 2004, 09:52 AM
I've always had some general questions about animation and bought countless DVD, books about "character animation" that end up talking about rigs, blendshapes and then if you're lucky "oh yeah and this is how you set a key".

This DVD is by far what everyone should be doing. I know all the technical basics, but I was always pulling my hair out and couldn't find a good method to approach what I wanted to do. The 3rd and final part of this DVD is basically Jeff doing an animation and showing every stage along the way. Here you learn how he deals with problems, how he works, and it;s jst so great to see it take shape and understand how he's got there.

Though this sounds like a shameless plug I just really want to recomment this to other students, and also ask if there's any other DVDs or similar videos anywhere where you just watch an animtor over his shoulder while he does an animation??

It would be an awesome series of DVDs if they were just this sort of thing, just take a really great animator doing a short piece of animation and film them then have a whole DVD of different people. Surely this would be reasonably easy to do and would be the best DVD ever!!!!

What do you say Jeff??!! Please do it, pretty please!

06 June 2004, 02:35 PM
The three Character Animation DVDs from Gnomon Workshop have more of what you want; they also go more in-depth into stuff than Jeff's DVD on some subjects. If you are a student you can get them for a discounted price, or check Ebay for a good deal. I can't really recommend one over the other, because they both have their purposes and are really two different styles.

Also, I would check out the Animation Mentor thread going on in the CG News forum.. while not a lot is known yet, video feedback from professional feature-film animators sounds absolutely amazing.

06 June 2004, 11:03 PM
i've been a little sketched out by Jeff Lew. Granted he has tons of industry experience and he might be good now, but killer bean 1, i thought, was one of the worst animated shorts I have ever seen. KB2 was better and had good moments but the animation doesn't seem "industry par" to me. I saw some clips for his new KB3 but I have a hard time taking advice from this man. tell me if I am wrong here. Is he that much better now? KB1 was made a while ago so I will give him slack, but I felt a little offended that he would teach me how to animate.

if anyone can show me some examples of his work to prove me wrong, then I will agree. I guess I just don't get it.

I have learned to animate all from observation so maybe I have a bias against learning how to animate from someone else that's not a legend. i don't know.

I say bring on Victor Navone! now he can animate. as well as Doug Sweetland, Carlos Baena, Mark Walsh, Cameron Myasaki et al. Someone should tell them to come out with a DVD.


Jeff Lew
06 June 2004, 12:18 AM
To bawhabmw:


I can't believe you just trashed my entire career!


Anyways, I'm not here to defend my work or my DVD. I mean, being that I had something to do with them. I looked at your work and I can say you definitely have the skills and eye to back up what you say and you probably will go far in the industry. (BTW, your Quark short is great. The end made me laugh.) But I think I can honestly say, when I animate... I make WAY more money than you, sucka!!!!! :buttrock: YEAH! TAKE THAT! :buttrock:

Just kidding, all in good fun.

Anyways, to Unkle Bunkle:

Thanks for enjoying my DVD. I have no plans as of yet to make more DVD's anytime soon. I have thrown around ideas of making additional libraries for my 1st DVD. I'm also thinking of more DVD's not related to character animation, but right now, I am fully in production for a different project of mine. And working on two projects at the same time really dilutes my focus.

But I know a couple more industry people who are making their own training DVD's on various subjects. Combined with that new Animation Mentor website and all the Gnomon stuff out, I think it's safe to say that there will be plenty of learning material around in the next year or two.


06 June 2004, 01:18 AM
Dear Jeff,

wow I don't think I could have sounded any more ignorant. please accept my appology. The outburst, if you will, was more out of frustration of my own lacking career. I see so many people succeed and I seem to be falling short. This happened to be directed at you and I didn't mean it to be. Just the right place at the wrong time.

Yes you do make much more miney than I do. ha ha. I only wish I had the career and experience that you have. Truely jealous and that's all really.

it was very big of you to say the things you said about my work and believe it has eased my weary tired animator soul. I thank you for not only not getting upset but being man enough to compliment me. I admire that very much. So thank you.

Jeff Lew
06 June 2004, 05:09 AM

Dont' worry about it.

I think you're just putting way too much pressure on yourself. I mean, aren't you 20 yrs old and still in college? At 20 yrs old, you shouldn't even have a career. When I was 20, I was failing my circuits class. I was more worried about girls and if I could ever beat that one dude in Street Fighter II. Discovering 3D animation was an accident for me. And when i did, I just had fun with it and made fun stuff. A CG career was just plain luck.

That's what your missing. FUN! Just have fun with CG right now. I think you have enough skill to let your career grow by itself. Trust me, you are not a "weary tired animator soul" just yet. Wait until you worked your ass off in the industry for some years. I would like to see what you describe yourself as then. Don't burn out right now. You'll need that gas for later.

Success doesn't come easy. Don't kill yourself if you don't get a job at Pixar the week after you graduate. You WILL pay your dues. Everyone pays their dues. You also have to make the right choices down the road. What's better for your career or what's better for a happy lifestyle. Those choices will come often.

Good luck man! Don't stress out so much. Go drinking or something.


06 June 2004, 01:57 PM
i feel like i'm highjacking this thread but Jeff, wouldyou recommend trying out the gaming indusrty as well as feature film? i have heard that there are a lot more jobs, opportunities and sometimes more fun in the gaming industry. any truth in this? or since i want to do feature film should i stick to film and commercial companies?


06 June 2004, 09:35 PM
if anyone can show me some examples of his work to prove me wrong, then I will agree. I guess I just don't get it.


Jeff Lew
06 June 2004, 10:56 PM
i feel like i'm highjacking this thread but Jeff, wouldyou recommend trying out the gaming indusrty as well as feature film? i have heard that there are a lot more jobs, opportunities and sometimes more fun in the gaming industry. any truth in this? or since i want to do feature film should i stick to film and commercial companies?

I think if you want to work on feature films, or animated features that is, you should really focus on trying to get a job in one of those studios that is creating an animated feature. I happen to be very lucky where I got to work on projects that fit my style of animation.

Most places I've worked were really fun to work at (even this web place I used to work). Put a bunch of young guys and girls, (but mostly guys :sad: ) in the same studio and of course it will be fun. We all play Battlefield 1942 and drink booze and blast music.

It's not fun when the politics and egos and agendas start to take over. That's when it sucks and everything becomes BS. Be sure to shield yourself from all that. Just do good work and let your work speak for itself. And never fear getting laid off, cause it will happen. Just think of it as spring break.

But I know a bunch of guys who came from the games industry before working in FX and also going from FX to games. I think it depends on where your interests lie. If you want to make movie fx and see your name on the big screen, try getting into fx houses. If you like playing video games and actually want to make a video game, then there you go. For me, I want to be a director and working in FX houses allowed me to see how big budget movies are made. I love playing games, but I don't care much for making them. However, movie fx can be very limiting creatively at times.

Granted there may be more job opportunities where you are located for games. I don't know of any film fx studios in NH. If you do take a games job, do a good job, learn what you can. But once you start yearning about working in movies, it's time to break it off, you know what I mean? Finish the project you are on and say, "see ya. It was fun, but I gotta go." You sometimes have to gamble if you want to make it to the next level, meaning try relocating for the job, quit when things get boring, reinvent yourself when things get stale. Anyways, this is getting long. See ya, I gotta go.


06 June 2004, 07:21 PM
thanks Jeff. i do want to do feature film. i love gaming as well, but like you said i don't really want to make games. even though it might be a little bit early seeing as i have another year until i graduate, i was looking into 3d animation companies. as cliche as it sounds my dream is to work at Pixar. DreamWorks and Sony are looking for people as well. I also looked into Blue Sky, ReelFX and Vinton Studios. I was curious about Disney and the 3d direction they are taking. Can you suggest some other companies that I could "pay my dues at" before trying again for Pixar? possibly ESC or Warner? maybe Tippet?


06 June 2004, 02:07 AM
Killer bean was one of the first things that inspired me towards animation because I knew that I had the capacity to tell funny stories the way this dude did...moons ago

Still doin it...

Cheers to Jeff Lew;)

06 June 2004, 07:59 AM
Can you suggest some other companies that I could "pay my dues at" before trying again for Pixar? possibly ESC or Warner? maybe Tippet?

Ok, bawhabmw...

Now I'm not trying to be rude...

but working at ESC, tippett, or Warner isn't technically "paying your dues." Those are all established, hardcore, badass motherf**king studios that do insanely good work.

I think your stuff is good, but you'd be seriously lucky to get into a studio like that right out of school. Hell, you'd be seriously lucky to get into one of those with any level of experience.

So, thinking of it as "paying your dues" isn't the best attitude to have. I know we all want to work at Pixar, but working at ESC isn't exactly like working at 7-11.

I mean, seriously...


06 June 2004, 02:20 PM
wow people hating on me in this thread. pardon me for not knowing a lot about the industry considering I've never been in it. I took the risk of sounding ignorant again and i guess i'm still out of line. All I was doing was trying to figure someway to start. some companies that are a good place to start or maybe a resource like awn that I can go to. after all Jeff did say:

Success doesn't come easy. Don't kill yourself if you don't get a job at Pixar the week after you graduate. You WILL pay your dues. Everyone pays their dues. You also have to make the right choices down the road.

I don't want it to sound like "paying your dues" is a bad thing. I think it's a great thing. I'm sure it will help me to realize that I wasn't ready for Pixar yet. Also I will get some good experience and I would be possibly more involved in the pipeline and process. obviously i will be a little upset when places like pixar, ilm, tippet or any of those turn me down but that doesn't mean i can't try for them.

I was hoping that professional industry experienced people could help me out here. help me to make the right choices! I obviously don't know what I'm talking about in terms of companies.

if "paying my dues" is not such a good thing. give me a good example of what TO do. perhaps maybe how you got started Greg. especially being from SCAD.


06 June 2004, 03:59 PM

It's cool man. Here's the deal...

1. Keep doing good work.

2. Stop panicking about getting into the studio of your dreams

3. Realize that no matter where you end up working, if you are producing animation for a living, you are one lucky s.o.b!

There are tons of places out there to work. You'll find something. Don't worry about it so much.


06 June 2004, 09:15 PM
ok. thank you Greg!


06 June 2004, 02:01 AM
Hey Unkle Bunkle,

I am currently working my way through the three Gnoman character animating DVD's by Cameron Hood. They're pretty awesome, and I've learned a lot. I haven't seen all three yet, but I agree with jipe that at least the first one and a half or so were really good. You definitely get to look over Cameron's shoulder as he animates. I plan to buy Jeff's DVD too.

Good luck,

06 June 2004, 06:12 PM
Seriously. I'd work for Tippett for free, just to be a part of something as awesome as what they do.

bawhabmw has a lot to learn when it comes to being polite! :D

06 June 2004, 01:34 PM
thank you agreenster. eventhough i completely appologized and everything is well and good now... don't pass judgement on me.

i have a lot to learn about the industry is more like it.

don't pretend to know me from a post. have you made a mistake out of emotion? I was just lucky this time that Jeff was man enough to not get upset and we actually had a good conversation.

your comment just scratches a fresh wound.


06 June 2004, 09:34 PM
I quote...your comment just scratches a fresh wound.

Yeah foot in mouth can hurt dude, consider yourself lucky it's not foot in arse (Kudos to Jeff Lew) you're just showin your youth, 'sok... Best advice is to remember that Jeff Lews' greatest strength lies in his passion for the media, maybe he's not the greatest (insert chosen 3d aspect here) that ever lived, but he has passion and drive to connect with his audience, and as he stated he earns a living doin it too...I can pick a passionate artists' work from a number crunching software slaves' a mile away...

You may be at the top of your class or whatever right now bud but ego has little real value in the real world. It can kill a reputation quick fast. Humility and dedication will always win out in the long run. If it hurts then maybe there's still somethin for you to get from it still.

Nothing personal, just hope you don't need to learn this lesson many more times dude.
good luck

06 June 2004, 11:51 PM
ok wow. people i think need to ease up a bit. not only did I appologize to Jeff I actually said that it was because I was really jealous of him. AGAIN, I said that I was out of line. perhaps you need to reread my previous posts. didn't I already say that I was lucky that Jeff was the big man here? do you want blood from me or what? and saying I have an ego? wow. did I not just say that I was ignorant about indusrty things? and when did I ever announce that I was top of my class in theis forum? Jeff and I now are cool, remarkably. so why do you feel the need to bash me further? I guess my humbling myself before Jeff and complete appology isn't enough. and you don't have to lecture me about Jeff's accomplishments and such. like a somewhat intelligent person, i learned from my mistake. like I said to agreenster... you don't know me. you read so much into a post. ask any of my close friends how dedicated and passionate I am about my work. seriously. i bet you didn't spot me as a passionate artist.

nothing personal, i'm just sorry you feel that way about me.


06 June 2004, 12:11 AM
To bawhabmw


Your defensive, unsociable responses have earned you little respect on this message board.

Swallow your pride and stop replying to this thread.

You stuck your foot in your mouth, twice. People have a right to respond to that, and they will.

No one wants your blood.

No one is "passing judgement" on you...but they will if you keep reviving this ridiculous courtroom drama.

You directly insulted an industry verteran, and he was nice enough to say good things about your animation (a scenario which is about as common as Pixar making a bad film). People are going to comment on that, it just happens. Accept it, and move on.

It's a very small industry. Try not to piss too many people off.



06 June 2004, 11:35 AM
Hi bawhabmw, heehee, defensive little critter aint ya, the force is strong in this one.
Geewillickers why didn't I foresee that you'd take my advice as *ahem* bashing...Maybe 'tis you who should reread this thread Benno

Or you can just be right if you'd rather dude ;)


Jeff Lew
06 June 2004, 04:02 PM
Um, maybe we should delete this thread?

BTW, Pistons rule.

06 June 2004, 02:02 AM
Hey Jeff..

Your DVD rocks. I have it, and I watch it periodically. It's good stuff, so I thank you for putting out vital material.

It's inspiring to see that you spent your college years goofing off and chasing tail, and are now a very successful animator. Sometimes I read these posts from young bucks and get the impression I am late in the game in trying to make a career change. But I know it's possible, so I keep chugging along!

Thank the maker the Pistons won..maybe that'll knock some Laker bandwagon fans off, so that they'll go put their Lakers jerseys in the same box they stuffed their Bulls jerseys back in the day!


Pinoy McGee
06 June 2004, 05:59 PM
Anybody else seen the easter egg? :D

Watching Jeff give the lowdown on 3d animation I thought I was watching a Discovery channel feature or a BBC documentary, you know where the uber knowledgeable host is just doling out facts and wisdom on the fly while avoiding the tongue twisting pitfalls of explaining tech jargon in layman terms. And then I saw the easter egg......"Ah, Jeff's human after all."

Nice touch to include that Jeff :thumbsup:

06 June 2004, 06:39 PM
Easter egg?? Ooh! Ooh! Tell me! :) I've got the DVD sitting right here....

(and if you're still reading, Jeff: kudos on the DVD--I've learned heaps from it!)

- M

06 June 2004, 11:18 AM
I love his work and I have learn a lot from his DVD

Check out my Demo Reel I created after watching his DVD

You can download the Demo Reel from this link
File Size: 9.5 mb
Duration: 1:36 sec
Format: .MPG

06 June 2004, 12:35 PM
I got Jeffs DVD for Xmas from the parents (i nudged them in the right direction of course!) was a bit anti social and spent all xmas day watching it!

I did a animation/programming degree and an animation masters but at the end of all that I had the knowledge of what an animator should do techically (which buttons do what etc) and thanks to Ed Hooks et al. how to try and convey emotions.
This was all well and good, but I didnt really have a specific way of working, so it was really useful to see how an established animator literally starts and progresses through a shot. It really helped me out seeing how someone else works and helped me define my own way of animating.

Ive not seen the Gnomon ones so I cant say how they compare, but Jeffs DVD is definitely worth a purchase!!

Nice one geez.

EDIT: BAWHABMW, had a look at Quark, looks very similar to Adam by Aardman...
I think u should have given Jeff some more respect for an original idea, even if u didnt like it...

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