An­drew Gor­don

ImagineFX - - Imagine nation - An­drew teaches an­i­ma­tion and sto­ry­telling mas­ter­classes. Get more tricks, tips and info via @spline­doc­tor and his web­site. www.spline­doc­tors.com

The Pixar di­rect­ing an­i­ma­tor talks tips, tricks and tech­niques

What skills do you want to see in an an­i­ma­tion port­fo­lio?

I want to see that some­one un­der­stands the prin­ci­ples of an­i­ma­tion: weight, phys­i­cal­ity, over­lap, squash and stretch. There also needs to be good act­ing sen­si­bil­i­ties – an un­der­stand­ing of how to ges­ture or when not to.

Any­thing you don’t want to see?

I don’t care about ren­der­ing or light­ing. I just care about sto­ry­telling, en­ter­tain­ment value, great pos­ing char­ac­ter and great act­ing – the el­e­ments that make qual­ity fea­ture an­i­ma­tion. If you’re ap­ply­ing to be a tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor or a lighter, they want to see great stag­ing and light­ing. Modellers want to see de­tails of mod­els. An­i­ma­tors look for that spark.

What ex­actly is that spark?

When I see an orig­i­nal char­ac­ter that’s well posed and has a funny lit­tle story, I know this per­son is think­ing about en­ter­tain­ment. That’s what grabs my at­ten­tion. That’s the spark.

Which port­fo­lio traps do peo­ple most of­ten fall into?

When you’re tai­lor­ing a demo reel to­wards what you think a stu­dio wants to see, don’t copy old tests. Make it orig­i­nal. Add per­son­al­ity. If you’re go­ing to use a stock rig from a school, come up with an orig­i­nal de­sign and test. Don’t leave the de­fault shad­ing and ge­om­e­try of stock in place. It lacks imag­i­na­tion.

What are your showreel tips?

Show sto­ry­telling. I re­ally love the idea of see­ing a lot of shots, and con­ti­nu­ity. And keep your ti­tles sim­ple and classy. You don’t need a beau­ti­ful logo that’s been done in Af­ter Ef­fects with ex­plod­ing phone num­bers!

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