Month: October 2012

AnimSchool Classtime: Creating Appeal with Directional Force

AnimSchool Instructor, Mike Mattesi, shows how to draw an appealing pose by using the force of straight to curved lines.

AnimSchool offers Mike Mattesi’s drawing class to all students signed up for current terms. This term Mike is focusing on Force in Anatomy.

AnimSchool Interview: Aju Mohan, Part 1

Today we would like to welcome Aju Mohan. First of all, congratulations on your September win for the 11 Second Club. Well done! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your animation background?

Thanks a lot for having me here. I’m basically a Mechanical Engineer. By the last semester of my degree, I got introduced to a guy who was working as an animator. I got to see some of his work and it blew me away!!

From that instance onwards, I knew that I wanted to be an animator. After finishing my degree course, I went straight to an Animation academy and enrolled myself.

When all my engineering friends were getting jobs and earning tons of money, I was drawing and animating my heart out. But I have to say, It was the best decision of my life!

11 second club entry, audition!! 🙂 from ajumohan on Vimeo.


Out of all the rigs out there, tell us why you chose AnimSchool’s modified Malcolm female rig for your animation, “Audition”?

It had been a while since I’ve animated anything at home, due to tight production schedule, so I wanted to try something out. I was hearing a lot about the Malcolm Rig from my colleagues and friends, and I thought I’d give it a try.  I was blown away by its flexibility, and I knew instantly, that Malcolm was the one for my shot!

Were there any challenges or difficulties you faced when using the rig, and if so, how did you overcome them?

Absolutely none. I used the Malcolm Rig before too (for my August entry). My only regret is I have not utilized its potential fully cause of lack of time!

You had many dramatic expression changes in your animation. Did the rig meet your expectations to push those expressions and get what you were looking for?

Yes, the Malcolm rig is fantastic for facial expressions, actually now when I look at my shot again, I think I could have pushed the expressions a bit more. But no worries.

In Part 2 of Aju’s interview, he discusses his planning process and how he created the unique look.  

AnimSchool General Review: Jorge Feres by JP Sans

JP Sans reviews AnimSchool student Jorge Feres’s character walk from his Animating Characters class.
Here JP goes over fundamentals and how to push poses to help create contrast in a shot.

AnimSchool offers General Reviews for 3D modeling, rigging and animation students every week for those who can’t
attend their normal class review, or for those who would like an extra

AnimSchool Student Spotlight: Ala’a Hanish

AnimSchool would like to introduce, Animation Program student, Ala’a Hanish. Can you tell us a little about your background? What brought you to AnimSchool?

Well, before animating I was programming. During my second year at a university I took a Computer Graphics class, I remembered the first lecture when the professor showed us examples of CG! My feeling at that moment was as if you take a child trip into space for the first time! Then the professor played a trailer that I hadn’t seen before, Disney’s Dinosaur, and told us that all the animation was done on a computer, this is how my dream was born.

I started learning animation by myself by reading a lot of books, watching hundreds of animated movies and practicing everyday. I downloaded free rigs from the internet and started animating. I was always looking for appealing characters with great instructors living under same roof, a place where I could fall in love with the characters that I’m animating and an instructor who would guide me through it all! I found all this at AnimSchool.

 Ala’a Hanish’s test from AnimSchool’s Class 5, Character Performance

What inspired you to get into animation? What do you enjoy about animating the most?

The idea of bringing a character to life. I remembered when I animated a character for the first time and saw it on my screen, I screamed out: He’s alive, He’s alive! You don’t know how beautiful that feeling is, unless you’re an animator. I always try to build a relationship between me and the character to become real or “alive,” not just a file or pen on paper anymore.

What are you thinking about when choosing dialogue for you animation test?

I’m Always looking for challenging and deep dialogues, something different than my personality. I try to live the dialogue. I love the silent moments in the dialogue where the character is listening to somebody or thinking of something; in my opining these areas are where the animator shows his capabilities as an actor.

So far you’ve done 2 tests with AnimSchool’s female character Marnie, How did you make each character feel so different from one another in your tests?

Before I start animating, I always put myself in the place of my character and get inside their head as much as I can. I believe knowing your character well, will help you cross half of your animation. Even if I have 5 or 10 seconds of dialogue, I always try to come up with a story staring my character. This always leads me to knowing my character  very well. I think this is the best thing that I learned at AnimSchool. Also, the critiques that my instructor gave to me about the character itself, not about animation or Maya, not at all, it’s about performance.

Ala’a Hanish’s test from AnimSchool’s Class 6, Facial Performance

How has your experience been at AnimSchool? What is your favorite thing you’ve learned?

 Wow, that’s a hard question, my experience at AnimSchool has been amazing, learning from the top animators of the industry. This in itself is a great opportunity. I mean, one term left for me, and until now, I cannot believe that the Instructors who teach me are the same animators who animate my favorite movies. And once the term is done it’s not over, the instructors continue to see your work and give you feedback. They always push you to the next level. What’s the best thing I’ve learned from AnimSchool? Well, believe in myself and feel confident.

What advice would you give other students that are just starting out?

Practice, Practice and Practice, don’t be afraid of changing your whole animation. Take advice from everyone, and learn quickly how to take it well and make it your own. One more thing that I find very helpful during critique time, is to look at your classmates’ critiques carefully, not only yours because maybe the instructor gives them some feedback that could help you to improve your next animation.