Meet the Artist: Simon Otto

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  11 November 2006
You guys really did an amazing job on Flushed Away! It's a shame Aardman and Dreamworks won't be working together again...

Anyway, I was wondering a couple of things:
1. I read in Animation Magazine that a year before the release the hamsters that were in the first trailer were removed to make Roddy a more likable guy. How did you guys manage to reanimate all the scenes that used to have the hamsters? Was it very time consuming, or were they not really around enough to cause a problem?
2. I also read that there were no hair simulations, so how exactly was the hair animated?
3. Any interesting things about animating the slugs?

Thank you!
  11 November 2006
I just saw it, we were the only ones in the theater (I love that) and it was magnificent. Flawless animation, couldn't think of any changes. Great sense of humor, unique style, creative dialogue and a wholesome well-thought story. 5 *'s for this one!

Question - In the trailer, there was a joke when Sid came to the Kensington residence, where he said My names Sid, and you are? and Roddy said I am appauled. and Sid said, Nice to meet you Paul. Was there a reason it was cut out? Also, how come they never kissed? Also cut out? Heh.
  11 November 2006
Hi Simon, thanks for everything. This interview is very interesting and inspiring.
I have a "couple" of questions for you...

1>I use to watch lot of cartoons and live action movies, because of fun end inspiration as well. But I'd love to know what do YOU mean with "study" a movie. Which approach do you suggest to make it really usefull?

2>Which kind of reference do you use for acting scenes. I mean, do you use to shoot yourself acting on the given line or just imagine the action by thumbnailing on paper?

3>Are you going to post somewhere on the web your graduation short or something you did back in Paris? I'd love to watch your first steps in the field.

4>Can you list a short breakdown of the best shots you animated on your movies? I know something that Alessandro did, or William, Jakob, Kristof and of course sometimes I can recognize some James' stuff but I'd like to know something more about your contributions. Besides, which are the main characteristics of these great animators I mentioned above. What makes them peculiars and differents each other in your opinion?

5>Wich are your favourite animated shots ever?

Thanks again, cheers!
Illusion is the first of all pleasures (Oscar Wilde)

Last edited by rieber477 : 11 November 2006 at 11:12 AM.
  11 November 2006
a few more

Sneakybunny Thanks! I have it on me all the time, but still don't feel like I'm drawing enough!

aes I'm glad you liked the film.

Well, a good animator is a good animator. I know a lot of guys who don't come from 2D and they're top notch. Generally the big differences I see though, are in the clarity and the design of the poses. A good, traditionally trained animator has learned to make a good drawing and will take that experience into CG. Plus, ex-2D animators usually question and criticize the results that the computer is giving them more, because they would draw it differently. This feedback has improved the look of our characters and their animateability a lot over the years.

In contrast, the CG trained animators have an edge on us, because they all modeled and rigged characters in school and through that have a much better understanding of the inner workings of the character rigs. So, ideally, knowing it all would be the perfect solution. But at the end of the day you just need to be a good performer and you will succeed.

jjjazzz Thanks for checking my blog, Thibaut! I block it all in in stepped mode as I would do in 2D. I just want to see the main keys first (except for special cases, like if the character has to be on a path f.ex.). Then I add the breakdowns. Once I am happy with the rough performance, I spline everything and let the computer give me the inbetweens. From that point on I finesse my work in layers (starting with the top node working towards the extremities).

I choose my moments to blink very carefully. There are a number of different kinds of blinks, so depending on what you want the speed might be different. The most classic blink occurs during a change of expression. There are no rules on when the blink exactly should happen, but generally the eyes close as you start to change the eyebrows. Try offsetting stuff differently and see which result you like. Sometimes, especially fast changes require the the eyes and the brows to move and open at the same time. But again there are no rules, just don't make it floaty!!. (Try only closing the eyes half-way for example, it'll show you that there are an incredible amount of ways to express emotion through a blink.)

The commonly known spacing principle of a blink is like this: open - 1/3 open closed for at least 2 frames 1/3 closed any number of inbetweens depending on speed between that

I have to go. I'll try and check-in later today!

  11 November 2006
Hey Soto, I don't think this has been asked yet-

I'm 16 and a junior in High school. I sketch as often as possible and am taking oil classes on the weekends. I'd like to learn either photoshop or 3ds max, but where do I go? My school has Photoshop, so finding a workplace isn't difficult, but I feel like there's nothing out there on the web for complete novices such as myself. When did you begin working with computer applications and where should I go to begin learning for myself?
  11 November 2006
New to the game

edit: bump

Last edited by JumboWumbo5 : 11 November 2006 at 05:29 AM.
  11 November 2006
Time to go!

Yep, its that time.

Thank you very much to everyone who has taken part here this week with questions for Simon, and a big thank you to Simon Otto himself for taking the time out to give his insights.

Thank you also to Olivier and the other people at Dreamworks who are making such a splash with this release [pardon the pun].

Thanks again Simon.

Those who missed asking their question, please stay tuned for the next exciting 'Meet the Artist,' around this time next month. Another surprise guest is in store.
Fmr Editor and features writer, CGSociety; Global Artist Liaison, Ballistic Publishing. Freelance writer, media consultant & digital producer.
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:32 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.