View Full Version : Blowtorch Animation Reel

01 January 2005, 09:37 PM

My reel can be downloaded here.. (
(file size is 16 megs)

I've also posted it a link to it in the jobs section but thought I'd give a heads up here too! ;)

Thanks for your time

Jon Baker

01 January 2005, 02:54 PM
Hey Jon, you have some nice stuff there. I really like the first shot with that creature climbing. I also like the 3rd shot with that same creature touching the blue block. Those two are by far your strongest pieces in my opinion. I don't think your acting stuff is nearly as good. The first one really has no life to it, especially in the face. He says, " I can be emotional", but your character shows almost no emotion at all. He is in the same pose throughout the whole first half of the animation. The second acting piece just seems boring to me because he doesn't really do much. I think it would help if it was staged better. Put him in some type of environment. We don't really know what he is talking about. It is just a good idea to be as clear as possible. Tell a mini story, even in this short amount of time. The one with the little guy with the bat. This one has a lot of fast motions in it but you need to be careful here. In my opinion many of them are too fast without enough anticipation. I think you can keep it zippy but you need to let the audience know what you are doing through anticipation so it doesn't seem so "poppy". I wish I had more time. Overall not bad though. Good work.

01 January 2005, 04:15 PM
Hi Disrupt,

Thanks for taking the time to view my reel and post comments.
I have to disagree with you about some of your comments about the acting pieces..

firstly both pieces were worked up using the actual movements/expressions of the actors who originally said the dialogue.
I'd also like to quote here an excerpt from some advice Uli Meyer gave when criting another reel on here recently..

"When it comes to acting the rule of "less is more" does apply. You need to break down the two or three most important gestures that carry the shot and make sure you portray those the strongest possible way. Don't be afraid to keep still at those moments. The end shot of your reel with the character talking to the audience has got all the right elements, but they are watered down and almost hidden by the floaty bits inbetween.
There is the famous bit in 'Taxi Driver' when De Niro looks into the mirror and says "Are you talking to me?". The weird menace in his performance is not achieved by throwing his arms up in the air, gesturing with a fist and bobbing his head up and down. Quite the contrary. There is one pose, a certain angle of the head and a dead straight delivery. The power of this scene is because nothing is moving about unnecessarily."

The 'less is more' is what I've tried to convey in my acting pieces.
I see far to many 'overacted pieces' online and I've made a conscious effort not to do this myself. I feel they work but it's down to each person's preference at the end of the day.

Anyone else care to comment?

I really hope this doesn't sound like I can't take criticism, I regularly post work in progress on various forums and do take heed and make amendment as a result of comments made.

01 January 2005, 03:15 AM
i think your acting pieces are probably the best on your reel. the problem with saying it's important to overact or to NOT overact is that as an animator, you're gonna face situations when both are appropriate, so it's important to know how to do both. your second acting piece is great, and i'd leave it. the first one could stand to be a LITTLE bigger. it's on the verge of being too underacted, but still not a huge issue. i really like your acting choices.

animation is the illusion of life, and if a 3d characters emotions aren't pushed and exaggerated at least to some degree, then we get Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Polar Express. The characters end up looking half asleep. But i don't think this is apparent on your reel. I'd get rid of that ogre shot with the arrows. Not to bee rude or anything, but it sucks in comparison to the rest of your reel. You're such a better animator than that, and it's obvious. same with the one with the tongue sticking in that hole. probably your second weakest piece.

overall, good work, though. i'm sure you won't have a problem finding work... good luck.

01 January 2005, 02:57 PM
Hey I can definately see your point of view. I am one who has done my share of overacting, that is never good. But I also think that if you are trying to catch the eye of an employer, you need to have something that will.......catch the eye of the employer. The single most important part of animation, is to entertain. At least that is my opinion. I just think the clips could be more fun, more interesting to watch. I think you can accomplish that without overacting. Remember the principle of exaggeration. In the "Illusion of Life" it says," If a character has to be sad, make him sadder; bright, make him brighter; worried, more worried; wild, make him wilder. Some of the artists had felt that exaggeration meant a more distorted drawing, or an action so violent it was disturbing. They found the had missed the point."

That is really all I was talking about. Part of the fun in animation is being able to go beyond what the real actors do. So I guess we can agree to disagree on this point, but you are right, overacting is never good.

02 February 2005, 09:25 AM
Howdy Peeps,

I've updated my reel.
I reworked the first acting piece..the 'spaced' anim and dropped a recent walk cycle in too.



02 February 2005, 01:05 PM
Actually the troll animation is not bad except tha ending part. it falls unnaturally. I'm sure you can work on that.
About the acting pieces ~ yeah they look natural and i like it, but the point is -- if you look at those 10sec club winners' entries, you know what i'm talking about...:buttrock:

If that character is acting this way, a human model suits better.
actual movements/expressions of the actors who originally said the dialogue.

So, cartoony characters need cartonny acting. that's what i'm saying.

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