Start us off by telling us about yourself and what you’ve been up to since graduating from Animschool

I have been studying animation for 4 years now. Animschool was an inflection point, where I started to really learn animation in a professional way. I’m currently working hard to be able to have a good demo reel in order to start looking for an animation job. Meanwhile I work half time in a architecture studio modeling and rendering architecture stuff. It isn’t animation related, but it’s ok.

Some of Luis’s professional models and renders from his Architecture Studio.

So I didn’t do too much since I graduated from animschool. I’ve continued working hard, trying to do good shots, and continue learning. Doing English classes ( that’s important because I’m planning going out Spain).

You recently won the 11 second club contest in November. Can you tell us about your shot?

My shot is about a school principal who’s very angry with a student about something that had happened. He doesn’t want to look tough, so perhaps he’s annoyed. He is containing himself because he shouldn’t lose control because he is the school principal. So he gives the kid some kind of advice, “you should never make important decision while you are upset”, and we see the kid very ashamed about that. In the end we discovered what the kid did, the principal shows him a firecracker.

Did you model the set yourself?

I didn’t, I downloaded from a site which had some free 3d scenes, like restaurantes, offices,bars,streets. The site recently disappeared. Anyway, there are lots of good sites with free 3d models and scenes. I think animators shouldn’t waste time modeling things for a shot, only if it’s necessary I model some particular stuff that is difficult to find on the internet. But you can find almost everything for free or for a few bucks.

Can you describe your workflow and thought process for this shot?

When i first I listened to the audio I started to imagine what type of character would say that words. I usually do a very big researching job, thinking about the situation and planning my shots. I search the internet for images and ideas according to what I have in mind. Sometimes I get really good ideas for the shot with an image. Especially about the staging and the composition. I use, because you can filter results in order to search exactly what you need.

So, finally I came to the idea of a school principal very angry with a student about something that had happened. The character sounds like a big guy with a strong voice so he should move slow and show weight in his movements for this reason I decided to use Animschool’s Marshall rig for this shot. He is a big guy perfect for this shot.

I started with a basic layout, with some poses and the camera changes in order to have a general idea about the shot. After that I started to shot myself for some video references, having in mind the attitude of character: Confident, Imperative, and the physical characteristics: Strong, Slow movements, Big guy,…
With the video reference I started my blocking pass with 4 or 5 basic poses being sure this poses are the best I can. Then I add some breakdowns and I start a basic lip sync. When I think everything looks as best as possible I go to splining and I clean all curves. Finally I’ll polish everything.

You are really thinking about what is going on in the characters heads. Do you have experience in acting?

No, I don’t. But I think that considering the characters thoughts is an important part of the shot. We, as animators, need to build a complete personality for the character, that include physical characteristics, visual aspects and personality.

Do you have any advice to new animators?

Learning animation is a long and difficult journey. There are lots of up and downs and frustration. My advice is to never give up. There isn’t a magic way to learn it quickly, just hard work.

Are you working on anything now? Can you tell us about it?

I’m thinking about participating to this month 11secondclub competition. But maybe it is a bit late for it. Anyway I’m working on some shots that I’ll able to finish by the next month I guess.

Do you have any animator heroes?

I follow lots of artist, not only animators.There are very inspirational work around there.
Some artists I like: Aaron Blaise, Goro Fujita,Ram Imaquinario,Marta Masana,Anna Cattish, they all have facebook page, so follow them!

What have you thought of Animschool?

Animschool is great, they have a very structured way of teaching and that’s really good for starting animators. Students learn directly from professional animators now working in the industry.
Every class is very structured, in this way you learn the whole process of a shot.

In addition to your animation classes each term there’s a new animation related class for students and graduated, like drawing or storytelling plus the animation general reviews, where you can attend for additional review of your work.
Animschool also have so expressive and appealing rigs, really easy and intuitive to use. All characters are joint based. In opposite to blend shapes, joints are more flexibles so you can find better poses without breaking the rig.

Thank you, Luis!