Meet the Artist: Victor Navone

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  07 July 2005
It's sad about Animation Mentor by choosing Flash as technology.

Java would have been smarter, especially when this is multiplatform.

Infographists have to care about technology, especially for Online exchange, it should be a reflex, usual.

go back to manual "computer history".

anaway, cheers Victor

Last edited by ghZaaaRK : 07 July 2005 at 09:21 PM. Reason: big error, sorry
  07 July 2005
Hi Victor,thank u so much for doin this,its really great! was it the Alien Song that let u IN,for Pixar?
. . .
S c r a t c h-My scratch book
[ Convertion is what which is happening to me... ]
  07 July 2005
u re the mannnn

nothing more to say..
Rafael Grassetti
  07 July 2005
Hi victor . I have a question from U , and I`ll be happy if U answer .
I am an animator and have character animator skill s . How can I do any work to pixar meetting
with my works or in the next step work with Pixar animation team ?

in the end pleas excuse me cuz of my bad english .
Good luck ...
  07 July 2005
Hey Victor.

Thank you for comming on here and answering the questions we all have.

my biggest question isnt so much about how to get into pixar or too many tricks of the trade, but I am wondering what advice you would give to a student about to graduate in animation. Should a reel focus more on motion and simple acting or have a short story. Does fancy schmancy editing and music make a better impression than a nice, simply cut demo reel? What can a student expect while looking for his or her job, based on your experiance and stories you have heard.

Thank you very much for your time.

Love your work.

-Rob Wilson
Rob Wilson
Hybrid Medical Animation CGer
  07 July 2005
First off congrats on all your hard work and completed projects.

This is a Q and A post so lets get started.

I noticed alot of studios using MAYA, I personally am a all out XSI user. Does it matter what program your rockin when you enter the field of 3d/CG. Maybe you can give me some feed back to prepair myself. Like I said im a XSI user, but know the basics in many other 3d programs.

When your a modeler or animator do you ever get the chance to create the charecter? Or do you mainly animate and model someone elses charecter[s]?

What degree [schooling] would be the best choice for someone wanting to be a perfectionist in CG.
  07 July 2005
Hey Victor,

It goes without saying that your work is outstanding. I have been a fan for some time. I have been trying hard to pump up my own animation portfolio and I would really appreciate any comments you may have. I know you're a busy guy so I won't take up too much of your time.

  07 July 2005
Wow, so many questions so fast! Thanks for the warm reception. I'll try to answer as many of these as I can over the next week. I probably will NOT be doing any animation critique as my time is limited and it might conflict with my work.
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by nineinchneil: what are you most comfortable with in terms of rigging your characters, provided that you do indeed rig characters (i'm know that some people have rigging as their job)? is it wise for me to always do my rigging from scratch? thanks. take care
Hi Neil, at Pixar I have nothing to do with rigging since we have Character TD's to handle that for us. The animators do provide feedback to the TD's during the modeling and rigging stage, but I'm not usually involved in this. As for my personal work, I use Animation: Master for my rigging and I tend to be pretty nit-picky about sculpting all my joint deformations. I use many different techniques that I wont bore you with here. As for building your own rigs, that's fine as long as the models do what you need them to do. It's great to be able to build rigs that suit your style of working.
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by AJ_23: 1. In regard to your Big Bang project, have you found that you've had to move it further and further onto the backburner with your commitments to work/family & of course now, Animation Mentor?

2. Given that you have possibly the strongest internet prescence of any Pixar animator, do you ever find yourself biting your tongue or double thinking any comments you might have normally made online?

3. Is there any project or part of a project at Pixar that you wish you'd been a part of?

4. Have you ever hidden food/livestock in a colleagues cubicle?
Hi AJ,
1. Yes, Big Bang is really hard to get to these days. I have taken it off my site for various reasons right now, but it will definitely return sometime in the future. It's too much in my head not to make, but I have very little time to devote to it these days.
2. I think I've been pretty good about self-editing my internet response re: Pixar. I'm always aware that I'm an unofficial representative of Pixar whether I want to be or not, and I don't want to risk my job or make them uncomfortable. They're really cool about letting us participate in the CG community and I don't want to abuse their trust.
3. There's a short film in development right now that I can't talk about (not One Man Band) that I tried REALLY hard to be involved with it. Because of my commitment to Cars it just didn't happen. It would have been nice to work on the original Toy Story as well, of course, but I shudder to think of the primitive CG animation tools they had to use back then.
4. No, but there is a giant inflatable monkey that gets passed around, as well as the occasional tasteless drawing.
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by studiomaxer3d: It would appear that you are a self taught animator. How did you go about working and teaching your self something as complex as animation? What teaching or training methods and/or books did you use?

Do you have any tips for someone with a full time job who is trying to learn animation on his own?
Hi Justin, I learned a lot from books such as Maestri's "Digital Character Animation" and of coures "The Illusion of Life". I also talked a lot with an animator coworker (Mike Brown) and I frequented CG-Char. My background in art and acting helped a lot, I'm sure, as I was already accustomed to posing and performing. In addition to this I can also recommend if you willing to pay for instruction. Most of our students have day jobs, and the quality of the training is top notch. Okay, so I'm a little biased...
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by My Fault:
1) What is your process for developing a character and getting in to their head?

2) Since you have become fairly well know for having a more, shall we say, warped sense of humor, are you given crazier shots to work on at Pixar?

3) What would Oscar say about your overall body of work?
Hi Brian,
1) Usually when I work on a film at Pixar the characters are pretty well developed by the time I get to them. Watching other animators' work and the dialog recording session helps flesh things out for me. In a case where the character is not as developed, I will discuss him or her with the director to try to find out what they have in mind and possibly recommend some live-action actors to look as for reference. With Syndrome, for example, I looked at Jack Black, Jack Nicholson, and of course Jason Lee.
From there it's a lot of exploration, experimentation and back-and-forth with the director. As for getting into their heads, I have to think about the arc of the story, the arc of the scene, the arc of the shot, and how the character fits into these. What does he want? How is he feeling, and how much of that is he letting show on the outside?
2) There are plenty of "warped" animators at Pixar, I just get more attention on the internet. Still, I have developed somewhat of a reputation for being able to do slimey characters. Hey, you animate what you know. After I did that gag shot of Syndrome licking Mirage I have been cast in a lot of shots where characters are being lecherous. I'm often called upon to do tongue-imation, and sometimes I'll add some tongue into shots that don't need it! Usually I get cast to do physical gag shots or shots that are technically complex because I'm pretty good with that stuff. I've been lucky enough to get some more serious acting stuff on Cars.
3) Oskar and I aren't on speaking terms right now.
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by nards26: among the list of animations that u've created' sorry for my bad english' Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Cars and others who do u think is the BEST for you' who do u like the mos
Hi Nards, my favorite Pixar film in all respects is The Incredibles. It was the most fun (and most difficult) to work on, and it's my favorite of our films to watch.
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
  07 July 2005
Its great to have you in Q&A Session Mr. Navone.. You are a BIG BIG inspiration to make the Animations look better. Here's a couple of my questions, will be greatful to c ur replies.

1) As you get your story board for a particular scene and may be you come up with some nice gag or acting idea in it :
Whats preffered ?? Ur idea or the Storyboard.
In Short > How much an animator is free to put in his creativity to make the scene look better?

2) Every animator has got his own preferences when it comes to Rigs and many Animators must be working on the same character. So the Animators make themselves comfortable with the Rig or Animators change or get the Rigs changed according to themselves ?

3) What do you prefer when it comes to acting out your scene .. Thumbnails ? Video Recordings ? Basic Blocking of the Poses ?

4) And yaaa... who animated that little boy on the tricycle in The Incredibles with a bubble gum in his mouth and who watches Bob lifting his car high ? That was just cooooooooll !!

Thnx for taking out your precious time....
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by arts&rats: .what did u show at that time in that portafolio? why u think they hired u?
My demo reel consisted of Alien Song, my other two alien animations and some of my effects work that I did for games at Presto Studios. I also showed some of my life drawing and digital paintings, all of which you can see on my web site. I think they hired me because they saw my potential, not becuase any one thing I showed was particularly great. It also had a lot to do with timing. I doubt that I would be hired at Pixar today with the same demo reel. I was in the right place at the right time, and Alien Song got me in the door for an interview.
Originally Posted by arts&rats: I would like to know if u give classes at, what recomendations would u give to a person that wants to get involved in characther animation and dont know anything at all? What books should i buy, what things should i pay attention?
I would love to be good character animator and i found that usually animators are laughing and having fun, is that true at all?
I don't teach the courses at AM but I give individual critiques on the students' assignments and I speak with them live in our Q&A sessions. I've compiled lots of advice and links on my web site for those interested in becoming animators:

We animators have a lot of fun at work, but we work hard, too.
Victor Navone
2-4D Artist
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