Category: AnimSchool Malcolm Rig

New AnimSchool Character: Marshall

For Immediate Release

Orem, UT  United States – September 11, 2014 — AnimSchool is proud to present our newest character, Marshall, exclusively for AnimSchool students!

AnimSchool is the leader in appealing, flexible characters. Our students animate with the most refined, advanced characters, using the popular AnimSchool Picker.

Marshall has clothing options: shirt, jacket, pants, shoes, poseable toes, as well as fat controls and UV’s for textured rendering.

AnimSchool rigs are built with each part and control being tested to extreme levels, making the strongest poses possible.

You can see the range of motion and poseability students can achieve with Marshall.

AnimSchool students are using him to great effect, like this shot below from graduate Ricardo Puertas!

To use Marshall, apply to an AnimSchool program or individual class.

AnimSchool characters and the AnimSchool Picker are used by more
than 20,000 users worldwide, and have been used to win numerous
animation contests and for commercial needs. AnimSchool is known as the
most trusted name for appealing 3D characters.

With over 200 students, AnimSchool
was founded in 2010 to bring character-focused 3D animation instruction
to students all around the world, through live online sessions with the best film professionals.

Isaac Nordlund
560 South State Street, Suite F3
Orem, UT 84058

801 765-7677


AnimSchool Interview: Alaa Aldeen Afifah

We’d like to welcome Animator Alaa Aldeen Afifah. Can you tell us a little about yourself, what is your background and how did you get into character animation?

Firstly, I want to say thank you for having me in your Blog.
I’ve become obsessed with animation and film making at a very young age, when playing video games and watching
Since then, I’ve come a long way. Now with 11 years of industry experience, I focus on character
animation and how to bring characters to life.
During my career I’ve worn many hats, from rigging to modeling but also lighting
and other aspects of CG, which gives me 
a solid understanding of the entire CG pipeline.
I’ve started as a self taught animator but when I realized that I couldn’t push myself any further I decided to join an online animation school to expand my knowledge.
I would love  an opportunity to work
on a big studio like BlueSky, Disney or Sony. 

What is your current

Right now I’m a Senior Animator and the Animation Team Lead for Real Image Post Production Studio. I also work as a tutor where I record video lectures specifically focused to the Arab World future animators.

Your shot “The Elf” it’s pretty
impressive and really funny. You went for a cartoony style there, what were your
thoughts before animating it?

Actually, I am always looking for something
challenging and that I’ve never worked on before. For me, this is very important in order to improve my skills as an animator.

Also I have been animating  subtle shots for a
while  so I thought it was the right time for something cartoony. I wanted to get out of that mode and try out something new and
fresh, where I could push the character’s facial even more. And in the process have some fun with
it too!

What was your workflow for this shot?

first thing I wanted to do is determine the cameras position and the entire
flow of the shot.
So I did a simple animatic  where I had the
character in position and I could see
the shot flow, and also seeing whether my thoughts were working or not.
Basically, I’m very obsessed with Blocking,  and I love staying in the Blocking stage as much as I can so I get to nail down everything I want to see in the shot.
I recorded  lots of video reference for myself playing the two roles. I had different takes for each character and
then I chose the best ones and combined them together.

is a progression for “The Elf” shot showing my workflow: 

You’ve worked with the Animschool Malcolm
rig for that shot, what do you think of it?
Amazing! Malcolm is one of the best rigs I’ve ever touched, he is very appealing
and expressive, and it has never constrained me or hold me back on doing any expression
I had ever thought of.
Not to mention the performance and the speed factor of the Malcolm rig, where I could play the shot  in real time inside Maya’s viewport without making any playblasts!

AnimSchool’s Malcolm Coming to Life in the 11 Second Club June Competition

We were excited to see that AnimSchool’s Malcolm was featured in 8 of the top 10 animations from June’s 11 Second Club Animation Competition (the other 2 of the top 10 were 2D animation entries).

AnimSchool founder, Dave Gallagher said: “Before there was such a thing as AnimSchool, I had a personal dream: I wanted to make very flexible, appealing, and expressive characters that people all over the world could use for free.”

Over 15,000 animators from all over the world have downloaded the Malcolm rig. We can’t wait to see what the animation community does with AnimSchool characters next!

Here’s what past 11 Second Club contestants have said about Malcolm:

Camille Campion, March 2013 winner
“The first important thing for me is the model, the design and appeal.
Malcolm looks good, his design is simple, but with potential- I like
that. The rig is very complete, the facial rig is superb and powerful.”

Aju Mohan, September 2012 winner
“I was blown away by its flexibility, and I knew instantly, that Malcolm was the one for my shot! “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.”

Aulo Licinio, April 2012 runner up
“I looked at other animations and his flexibility looked amazing. I just kept imagining all the things I could do with it.”

Tim Kallok, March 2012 winner
“I would like to thank AnimSchool for making such an awesome rig
available for public use. I really love Malcolm’s design and his overall
flexibility. He can be pushed and pulled further than any other rig
that I have used. His facial setup is awesome; it’s really easy to get
appealing shapes and expressions. Because of the nature of the
competition’s dialogue, I didn’t get to utilize the rig to its full
potential, but for my shot, the IK elbow pinning and the IK/FK switching
came in very handy.”

Peter Nagy,  January 2012 winner
“Malcolm is the best rig I have ever worked with! (And I’m not only
saying this because I won with Malcolm) Until now, I have always
thought that there are no bad rigs, just weak animators, but I have
found out, it is crucially important how much latitude a rig can
give to the animator. At first I got frightened by seeing the amount
of controllers, but with a little practice, it can easily be seen
which controller should be used to which action. It was a great help
that I could change body position by moving the hip or the abdomen,
and the shoulders kept their position at the same time. I loved that
I could handle the arms in arch and that I could stretch the
character. These are very important factors on a rig for a nice
cartoony animation.”

Will Sharkey, September 2011 winner
“The thing about the Malcolm rig is there
are also lots of additional controllers for specific situations (e.g.
elbow pins, hyper extend), things that aren’t essential, but really help
when animating.  It took a few poses to work through the controllers
but Malcolm Rig is very light weight, so all that extra control isn’t
slowing the rig down. All these details really speed up animation and
makes things a lot more fun.”

Featured animation images from 11 Second Club June competition animators. In order from top to bottom: Muhammad Irfan Farooq, Ozan Basaldi, Sean Liu Jian Woei, Kiran Jay Babla, Muhammad Zohaib, Josiah Haworth, Linus Gan, and Kenta Lee.