Monday, December 12, 2005

Animation Mentor 1st. term conclusion

First things first: here is the final version of my demoreel AM 01 and it got a littlebit bigger (28MB, QT6, soerensen 3). You can also download it as a H.264 version with 18MB QT7 but I personally prefer the Soerensen version because it runs smoother =)

Well, AM01 (Fall 05) is almost over. This week we will be getting a final Q&A with Bobby, Shawn and Carlos (whootwhoot!) and see a video that sums up everything we have learned so far. I can't wait to see that, really.

I'm totally excited about AM. Applying to the program was one of my best decisions I've ever made. AM is animation syrup. AM is all about animation excitement. AM is a strong online community. AM is an ongoing learning experience. AM is pure animation - no modeling, no rendering, no things besides animation.

There were some times where I could barely finish my assignments because of the full time job I have... and some times where I thought I couldn't pull it of. But now, after the first term, with many encouraging words from my fellow animation ninjas aspirants I feel like going on forever...

So, to sum things up: if you think about joining AM or any other learning experience out there? I would choose AM. Though I don't know anything about specific programs at other art schools etc. I have studied 4 1/2 years myself to become a 'audiovisual engineer'. I haven't learned 10% about animation at my university from what I've learned in the first three months at AM. And the community is strong.

If you have any questions regarding AM, send me an email at mail[at] - I will gladly answer them. And no, no one's paying me or others for that. It is just by heart that all AM-students love their school so much.

Okay, I will keep on posting over the next weeks, AM02 is going to start on the 9th of January 2006 for me. Then my preparations for Siggraph 2006 will also take place. And some nice jobs at animoto.

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. We have reached 1000 hits finally and I am glad that there are some people out there who are interested in what I and AM are doing.

Merry Christmas everyone and God bless you,

- Alex

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Animation Mentor Week 11

Hi all,

more later, just for everyone to see early, here is my latest assignment (20MB).

God bless you,


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Animation Mentor Complete Round-Up

"Exciting" news this week... Animation Mentor Class 01 comes to an end next week and I am going to have my last Q&A with Michelle tomorrow. Well, that is sad and I am going to miss her! The good thing about the end of the first term is: rest, sleep, doze... and find out what I did all those weeks.

So Bobby asked us to put together a video showing all of our works for this term. The editing alone needed one evening but it was worth it... so, without further adue here is the final 20MB version of term01 of my works:

PICK ME, PICK ME (takes a while, 20 MB Quicktime 6.0 Soer.3 Video, Music Danny Elfman, Men in Black 2, Worm Lounge #1)

So, I would love to hear some comments about what you think... whether you see any improvement over those weeks or whether you like that stuff. Just shoot me an email or take a look at that incredible comment button below. Gee, fantastic those PC-whatevers...

Anyway, some more stuff I feel like writing here... I got a very nice email from Micha who decided to join AM. Hooorray! for Micha. Good decision, you won't regret it. Just to make sure: if anyone of you has questions - shoot me an email! I'll gladly answer them, if I can... to be more specific. I live in Germany, I work full-time and do AM, I work on XSI at work and on Maya for AM and I am 27 years old. So, if any of that interests you, send me one of those package of 01011001's that are called emails...

Last but certainly not least, I got accepted as XSV for next year's Siggraph 2006 in Boston. Yehaa, cheerio and boom..! I still don't know how much time will be involved in being an XSV but I can't wait to get to Boston asap... if you think about going or not going to Siggraph 2006? GO! It is worth every minute of it. And since it is in Boston it will be cheaper for Europeans than LA last year...

Okay, so much for now, enjoy the show, press the comment button down below and don't forget to do your good deed for the day to make the world a better place. God bless you,

- Alex

p.s. I am still going to post the next weeks but maybe a little less than usual =)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Animation Mentor Week 10

(new version of the exhausted pose)

Hi everyone!

Well, in case you didn't notice... it 'still' is week 10 since AM had a server crash and had to restart week 10. Those guys are pros and know how to handle difficult situations. Anyway, next to a great live Q&A with Jason Ryan (yes, Mr.Animation Supervisor for Chicken Little) yesterday and meeting the awesome Clay from Animation Podcast live (same Q&A - thanks Clay, you rock!) we had this nice assignment this week: "create a character walk with a character that has character"... sounds great, huh?

I dived into the mind of a sneaky animation ninja ball that sneaks up to his animation skills and came up with this:

Since we just had one week (actually because of the crash it were two - but one was eaten up by my full-time work) from planning to final animation I'm quite happy with what came out of it. There is still sooo much to work on (knee flapping, hard drop of knees, sqash&stretch for the body) but the character is in there already what I really like. I hope to have some time to put that stuff into revision because I really like the character walking like that.

Oh, I forgot to post the final assignment for last week: Week 09 new

And this is the most recent one: Week 10

Feel free to drop me some comments on these (better on week 10 though =) You all be blessed and have a wonderful upcoming christmas time!!!

- Alex

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Laila, Andy and Marcel

Hello! It's been a while since I was able to post something here. AM server was down for two days which threw us all back one week. Believe me: that was really helping me out! I could tweak my walk at least a littlebit more and upload the newer version. It still has some minor spacing problems and the push-up of the leg doesn't work but it runs smoothly at least =)

Currently I'm experiencing the feeling on missing too much of the good stuff out of AM... I can't sit full-time on AM... hey, I can't even sit more than 2 days on AM plus those nights I spend. But there is soo much information I want to read and threads I want to participate... Carlos was talking 2 hours in a Q&A (which was only for students that missed their Q&A, I think) and a nice guy wrote down notes... others are talking about Chicken Little and we got two featured mentors I couldn't even READ about... But work is demanding right now. I was finishing two different projects and already hopped on other jobs. I even missed out the second part of the Eric Goldberg interview because I thought I still had time.

Well, that teaches me one thing: if 80 hours aren't enough for work AND Animation Mentor why don't I spend 100h? At least the week has 168 hours, right? I'm still searching for the leak in my time schedule that drives me crazy... but I think that leak is called 'life'... Anyway, I attached a picture of my current exhausted pose... and no, it is not a photo of my current life situation =) but I really knew what I wanted to create. Tell me, what you think, still got 3 days for this assignment and creating a personality walk. I will do a sneaky walk which i can't wait to see myself (I hope the weekend is good to me timewise =).

But... as you may have noticed this blog-entry is called Laila, Andy and Marcel - there are three persons I'd like to introduce you to.

Midget no.1: Laila is a very talented drawing artist that has worked on the 'big project' in our studio. Next to being one of the happiest persons on earth, having a wonderful talent in drawing and kicking serious b... in Capoeira, she also has a talent of dropping things on the floor (I really miss that sound these days while she is on holidays!) and getting lost while turning more than 180 degree on a spot. She currently travels through Costa Rica (will she ever find the way home?) and specializes on storyboarding. Check her work at:

The next upcoming talent is Marcel. Marcel has worked on hundreds of projects as sound artist and composer and speaking about him like this he would wave aside like 'no big deal'. He is a very humble person but his talent is outstanding and I am sure that he will bring the world some wonderful art in sound and music. Next to providing the sound for all of my short films he worked on Bloodrayne and German radio dramas. He is one of the few people showcasing a hear-reel and I recommend listening to it at: (even though the website is German =)...

Finally let me introduce you to Andy. This ambitious fella is a very special and dear friend to me - one of my best. Since my opinion about him may appear subjective I let his work speak for himself: being an assistant director for more than 12 German (and international) broadcasted music video clips he also worked as a director and screenwriter. He is currently developing childrens TV series' for international release and earns his money with proofreading and consulting screenplays for TV and cinema. After finishing his diploma about developing, creating and financing a 27 episode children TV show he got a job for writing short stories for a German TV show. His variety is broad and his insight covers many if not all of the necessary aspects for creating visual story content and media - a rare talent from writing to directing to producing ... check his website:

So much for now, next episode I will talk about Timo and Thomas... until then, back to my Wacom and the computer!

- Alex