An interview with Timothy Albee (Independent 3d animator based in ALASKA!)


You are the author of the short film, called Kaze: Ghost Warrior. Could you tell us how was it like doing it?

It’s like mushing 1,000 miles through some of the most difficult country in the world. It’s a beauty and a Magic unlike anything I’ve ever known before. I can drop myself 100% into my Scenes, without fear or worry that just because what I’ve done differs slightly from what the Director preconceived that the hard-work, the Love would be thrown-out. Being surprised is one of the greatest tools of filmmaking

Your main message is to show other people, that today it is actually possible to do feature-quality film with a very limited budget. How are you solving budget problems, how do you support and motivate yourself?

This world is tough, in that people don’t pay for potential, they pay for product. Before you can get funding to “do things right,” you’ve got to “prove yourself worthy” by doing whatever it takes to complete your first “vision piece.” It’s almost like a “rite of passage.”

Me, I’ve done lots of work for other people, but I need to prove myself as a Creator/Director before others will believe that I am.

So, my own solution to solving the financial problems are to have reduced monthly expenditures to next-to-nothing, and to have made connections where I can directly trade paintings, portraits and designs for things like food and rent. My one-room, no-running-water cabin would make most of my LA acquaintances cringe, but you know, it’s a level of how much I believe in this project.

Eventually, I hope to be able to provide “seed money” and guidance for others wanting to make their own films. It’s a part of my Focus of giving to others that which I wish I’d have had, myself, (like the books I’ve already authored).

As far as motivation… well, I don’t watch TV, so what else am I going to do when the sun doesn’t rise for a month in December?

If someone really wants something, they’ll make it happen. Each and every moment is a choice, a decision to do, or not to do…



. . . . My one-room, no-running-water cabin . . . .
wow. this dood is pretty fckn hardCORE.:surprised i guess thats the closest you can come to “subsistence CG-ing” in this day and age. hats off to Mr. Albee!!


I will always have nothing but the utmost respect for this guy. But I would like to know when the f***ing film is coming out on DVD in the UK!!!:banghead:


Tim is one of the better Lw artists out there.
And he’s so good he can do this job all alone!! Can’t wait to see KGW finished :thumbsup:


Great interview. Saw the book at the bookstore, looks nice.



When someone says that they don’t watch TV, are they trying to brag or something? Do they feel superior to everyone else that they don’t succumb to the idiot box?

If he/you isolate yourself totally from the other forms of media, then you’re not gonna know what you’re competition is doing and to what standards you’re being held to.

…just a thought.


Those stills are beautiful. He knows animal anatomy and fur very well.


Tim still goes to see movies, in fact a lot of the sword effects he used he actually changed when he saw Kill Bill II :slight_smile: .

Kaze is a fantastic film especially for what it is… check out the stills…


Ted Turner was interviewed on TV the other night on Charlie Rose. He was asked how much TV he watched. His answer was something to the effect of he doesn’t like to watch TV (or hates watching TV, I can’t remember the exact quote)!

This is from a man who created CNN, Ted Turner Classic channel, and many other accomplishments. So what does he not watching TV has to do with his success? I have no idea :):slight_smile:


In the article he mentions:

I’ve got a development agreement with a company to create a new kind of hardware/sofware interface for complete character animation.

Is this for LW?


I would bet more on MODO or whatever Luxology is gonna call it :wink:


How much do you want to bet? I love to win, so please make it a really big bet.

Tim is VERY serious about how he feels about honor and duty. NT has been a good friend to him and there is no way on earth he would turn his back on that.



I want in on this one as well…

Paul hit it on the head, but I will chime in as well… no Tim is not working with Lux, NewTek has been VERY good to Tim and he and I are very loyal folks…


When someone does one of these projects, its easy for the artist to mention “I used package X from such-and-such company. It does what I need and the price is right.” and to therefore have others become suspicious.

Many times have I wondered if Timothy was indeed in league with New-Tek, but whatever the truth, the simple fact remains that no matter what tools Tim used - he still made a film. Lightwave cannot make a film - only you can do that. I couldn’t care less if Mr Albee used a flic-book with stick-men drawings - the script for Kaze has heart.

Another example is ‘Voices of a distant star’. Despite some extreme short-cuts in the animation, VOADS looked beautiful. Even if Makato Shinkai had unlimited access to ILM and Production IG - it wouldn’t have done anything to improve the film. The heart of it would have been the same.

And dying in your beds, you would trade all the days from this day to then…for one chance…ONE CHANCE - to tell our enemies “that its not the software we use, but the heart of the artist that really matters!!!” :bounce:


well , Tim seems to me a great and good artist and most imporatnt also a generous person. he took all the risk of doing such a movie with Lw and did it well. of course he is a great animator and a very experienced artist, but the fact he always learns something is way cool and its a good atitude.

He doesn’t watches television? well, believe it or not, an artist can produce more interesting pieces if he doesn’t base its work on another artist’s work. maybe taking inspiration from nature is way superior than stupid tV shows or even movies (except great masterpieces wich are a few) so what’s the prob?.
personally i can do nothing than learn from people like Tim, to try and realize my visions in some way.His work and his words even more inspires me.

This is why I recommend that if you've got a group of people you enjoy and can depend upon to help you crate a film, work with them.
 "Flying Solo," requires being prepared to solve all problems yourself. It's not horrible, but it does require Focus, Dedication, and above all else, a kind of smart-ass way of looking at things that is the best asset to successful problem-solving.

I like the above statement, its pretty cool. How he says to work with a group. Hahahaha! That would be nice, very possible, but man can you imagine the possibilities. Folks should start listening to wise men such as him.


Well in that case i cheer NT, it seems LW will finally have some good animation tools. Although i dont see what “honor and duty” has to be with the case…i mean, unless NT provided with lot´s of stuff, because otherwise he only used a companys software he could had used another company software but he choosed LW because of it´s price tag (it´s written on the Making of… that if the other software he likes wouldn´t be so expensive he would had used it).

Anyway, eagerly waiting for Timothy´s input on LW Character Animation tools :applause:


Well, I like the fact he used Lw to do this job.

Tim is actually a Lw related artist. he wrote good books on Lw too both Essentials and Character animation books. He used Lw for its price tag for sure, but also because it has a good rendering, despite being quite old and slow(but things are changing with FPrime)and because Lw allowas a solo user to do many many things easier. Surely, He had to face several problems and to find workarounds, but every app give u problems in some area, so probably in his case Lw was the best bang for the buck.

I really hope that this experience will bring to Lw some new good animation tool to make it better in this area.
Character animation is the way to go for a cool 3D software IMO,because one of the great characteristics of 3D is the possibility to animate objects in the virtual space.
A still image could be made with Ps and a lot of work too.But try do do an animation in that way!!!


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