The Hotel Transylvania director
passes on his advice…
… on what makes a good CG animator
What I’ve noticed in CG animators is that if they can draw, or if they have an understanding of drawing and the sensibilities of drawing, then they’re good CG animators. The ones who know the computer well but don’t have the foundations – especially for the way I want my films to be animated, which is from a 2D aesthetic – they struggle. And I think, “Okay, you’re just puppeteering, rather than really drawing in the computer.”
…on capturing a performance
I’m not a great draftsman, but I have a knack for posing and animation, and the two definitely go hand in hand. I see some people who are great animators, but their drawings aren’t as strong, and vice versa where some people are amazing drafts-people, but their animation understanding – which is a performance of sorts – isn’t at the same level.
…on fleshing out the visuals
As I animate or draw it’s always “Ka-boosh!” when drawing action. Music also helps a lot: obviously, music has a great natural rhythm, so I try to follow it. When we’re coming up with characters we do a voice: “Maybe it could have something like this high-pitched squeak?” and then you pitch it with that idea. You try to flesh out the visual with all the tools you have, and audio’s a huge tool that we use and embrace.
…on his own work ethic
I try to keep my point of view as pure as I can. It’s all about that point of view – it’s all I have – and so I try to create the purest vision I can deliver on to the screen.