Character Animation REEL 2014 : Michal Zabek


Here is my Character animation Reel 2014. Last reel was from 2012 so it was so old.
All animations was made by me, I work on 3dsmax and Maya.
Rigs of it was a CAT and custom rigs.



After a few comments and advice I decided to correct my reel.
New link in first post.


Also I update my CGPortfolio on this forum:)
More personal animation and I add new links to commercial projects.


You really like to smear those characters… :} Don’t do it. Might be interesting in 2D handdrawn, but it doesn’t work in 3D. Stay true to materials, don’t make wattery rubbery deformations… if there should be a skull there, or flesh and bones. Especially don’t squash the cranium. Squash the mouth, or other areas that make sense to be squashed. The belly is fine… Also, extreme squash and stretch works better with very simplified characters. Anyway, focus on the animation itself, not on extreme squashing : >

I think you should try something simpler, not acting, build some solid body mechanics. Do a bunch of walks and bouncing balls and simple things. Lots and lots and lots of them. And use reference for them too, get timing and spacing… as accurate as possible. A bouncing ball can be very alive and entertaining, if it has good timing and spacing… : D So I’d say… study the simple things and get as deep as possible into the details of that simple thing. And then move on to other body-mechanics exercises, like pushing or jumping… Well, in fact animate anything that inspires you and feels doable and fun to do. But keep it simple, don’t over-complicate for the sake of it. Work on your poses, on your timing, on contrast… In animation everything is relative, a big movement is only big if you contrast it with something subtle. And subtlety is lost if if happens in the middle of big movements. Also, look into framing and cinematography in the meanwhile. There is so much to learn before doing fancy acting. And there are a lot of really fun things to animate or to learn about… that are not fancy acting. : >


I agree with Virgil, squash and stretch can we a great addition to an animation, but be careful you don’t lose the volume of your character. It should be subtle, something you feel but don’t necessarily see. It shouldn’t look like your character’s head is made of jello.

Your creature work is much stronger.

I’d also add that your animation is very loose, try to find some moments of stillness, or stiffen up some of the motions. I know this sounds wrong, but if your animation is too loose, moving too much, then you lose any contrast in the movements, and it all feels mushy.

As Virgil said, maybe try out some simpler exercises, you can always learn more doing them! I know I do.


Thanks :slight_smile: yeah, I did use squash&stretch too much and too long.
I learn myself and it’s taking me lot of time to understand everything, but I still work and use every your advice in my work and animations:)
In free time I will be back to beginning and I focus on simple animation, last time I did ball, here is link:


thanks guys for every advice and critique:)