Long time no blog, I guess, but here I am again. Well, what is new in animation land over here in Seattle/Redmond? First of all, the job is a looot of fun. At first I was sceptical whether I could enjoy working in game animation since I've only done commercial and feature work before that. But let me tell you, since we are a small team and I'm completely in charge of animation I really do enjoy every single minute of it. I basically define how we approach things, and I get to try out different versions of the same animation. Are trees really cheerful and bouncy or are they realistic and tight? The cool thing is that I get to animate both versions which really helps to broaden my animation skills.
I do miss acting but this really strengthens my basics. I've done so many bouncing balls lately and played around with overlap and squash and stretch, that this experience will help me a lot in later works. Not only that, I learn a lot about company policies, too, and how to work in a team of only 7 people. This is stuff you can't find in books and have to experience first hand. Microsoft is a great company with tons of opportunities and even though I look forward to animate acting shots sooner or later again I'm really happy about being given this amazing opportunity.
Game animation has tons of restrictions (even the amount of bones is limited!) and I have to work within those means and still get a great performance out of the characters. What a challenge! I will make the most of it and learn as much as I can. I hope I can show some of the work I'm doing at the end of this year...
Next thing, AM is doing a shortfilm project for alumni (organized by students) and I'm stoked about being part of the team. I will most likely miss Siggraph this year but working on the shortfilm will balance that out, I hope. And finally, if you haven't seen Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda yet, please do. Both of them are very enjoyable and Wall-E is a class of its own.
Happy animating, everyone,