My Animation Life Contest! Share your Animation Life with Us!

Win FREE Dragon Con 2015 4-Day Pass by entering the My Animation Life “Share Your Animation Life” Contest! Share a photo, video, or graphic highlighting your animation life, and tag it to our instagram. All artist within the animation pipeline are eligible. For FULL contest details, visit this link: http://on.fb.me/1Tki7cI
‪#‎MyAnimationLife‬ @myanimationlife

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Seed by Aixsponza

This is some amazing work! I think I will just leave this right here for you all to enjoy.

Get excited for Vray 3.1 for Maya 2016

VRAY 3.1 for MAYA 2016

I am a big Vray fan and user and I am very excited to get my hands on some of the new features for Vray 3.1 for Maya 2016!

Animation basics: 5 pro tips for getting your character to walk | Animation | Creative Bloq

Animation basics: 5 pro tips for getting your character to walk

3D artist Rob Redman offers some great advice about walk cycles.

After rigging, the first task that is needed for most character work is a walk cycle, which is the (reasonably) simple task of setting up a basic looping animation of your figure walking, usually on the spot (the global positioning is done later).

There are many many tutorials on how to actually do the step-by-step bit of this but all they do is show you what buttons to hit and what order to keyframe your character. What is way more important is making things personal to you, so, with that in mind, let’s look at some tips on how to do just that.

01. The rig

The key to successful character animation is a good rig

The key to success with any character animation is to have a good rig. This means a number of things but, most importantly, to make sure any Inverse and Forward Kinematics are working correctly before you start.

Making the knees and elbows rest position slightly bent can help hugely and is recommended by many. Secondly, make sure that your controllers are easy to access, either by clearly labelled nulls or using something like Cinema 4Ds Visual Selector (pictured above), which makes it a breeze to find exactly which controller you are looking for.

02. References are king

Study silhouettes to learn how different people move

You can’t animate properly without knowing how things move. Don’t rely on intuition. What you think happens when somebody walks is probably a long way from the reality (at least until you have a lot of experience). So watch people, take notes and film yourself to gain a proper understanding of what’s happening. Look beneath the surface too, as clothes and fat can mask what the joints are doing.

03. Learn from the best

Pick up a copy of The Animator’s Survival Kit to boost to your skills and understanding

To start with, your walk cycles will look dull and lifeless and you may feel uninspired to continue. But if that happens, there are ways you can learn to inject some life into things. Try looking at the rigs that ship with your 3D software. Seeing how other people build things is a great way to understand how to do things in your chosen app.

Better yet get a copy of The Animator’s Survival Kit, by Richard Williams. It’s the best book on the subject, in my opinion, and will be a massive boost to your skills and understanding.

04. Keep things natural

Really think about the way people move

Often, a new animator will make things too stiff and that’s fairly easy to fix – but what you really need to think about is the way people move. What gives them an interesting walk and why? As we age things wear out, joint seize and we walk differently than we did in our youth. You need to account for these things in your animations to keep the viewers believing what they are watching.

Likewise an overweight person will carry themselves very differently from a skinny one, with slower stride and a different carriage, as they balance the additional weight. Even simply moving keyframes to less even spacing can help, but you need to think about why.

05. Balance and rotation

Concentrate on the hips – get this right and the rest will follow

Make sure to look at the left/right balance and rotation. The easiest way to look at this is to watch somebody walk towards you. Concentrate on the hips and you will see that they move more than anything else in the skeleton.

Not only do the hip joints rotate but so does the pelvis. They both move and rotate together but also individually and it’s the balance across body that will have most impact on your animation. Start here and, if it’s right, the rest will follow.

Words:Rob Redman

Rob Redman is the creative director of Pariah Studios, a boutique animation and post production house in the UK, working on film, vfx and animation.

via Animation basics: 5 pro tips for getting your character to walk | Animation | Creative Bloq.

Get free art resources and win a Wacom tablet | Creative Bloq

Get free art resources and win a Wacom tablet

Tablet king Wacom has launched a dedicated website for pro artists and illustrators. Sign up today and get access to a ton of freebies!

We’re big fans of Wacom at Creative Bloq. So we’re hugely excited to see they’ve launched a dedicated website for pro artists and illustrators, packed full of useful resources.

Sign up to the Create More website today and you’ll get instant access to tutorials and ebooks from internationally recognised artists from around the world. And it’s all totally free!

Check out this great new website today!

The site also offers downloadable brush sets and tablet preferences, as well as a range of special offers. Plus you can choose to sign up to the Wacom community, allowing you to benefit from special offers, tips and tricks, regular newsletters with useful articles, and extra inspirational content from professional artists to help in training and creation.

And if all that wasn’t enough, here’s one more reason to sign up. Wacom has teamed up with Creative Bloq and Imagine FX to give you the chance to win some amazing prizes.

In this special competition, the lucky winner will take home an Intuos Pro L tablet, while the runner-up will win an Intuos Pro S tablet. You’ll find full details of how to enter at the end of this article.

Create more with Wacom

The ‘Create More’ site is helping to spread the message about the Intuos Pro range of Wacom Pen Tablets, which pro artists and illustrators worldwide are using to push their creative boundaries and quite literally ‘Create More’.

Take Miss Led, an artist and illustrator based in East London who’s known for obsessively detailed and lushly rendered pieces across a wide range of media and scale including paper, canvas, murals, installation and digital.

Pro illustrator Miss Led is a big fan of Wacom tablets

“Recently I’ve been working more with Wacom tablets from scratch, and it has this much more finished feel to it,” she explains. “The tool allows me to take more chances to be more experimental. Because the element of risk is gone on the tablet, it helps with the momentum, it keeps me excited and motivates me.”

“When using the Intuos Pro, I swapped the nibs straight away: it just feels natural and organic, and it is. Drawing on Intuos Pro has this special texture to it.”

Accurate and precise

She’s not alone in her love for the Intuos Pro. The most popular model in the Wacom range, this clever pen tablet offers the accuracy, precision, and comfort of a traditional pen or brush.

It provides 2,048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, recognises pen tilt, supports multi-touch gestures and features customisable ExpressKeys to give quick access to shortcuts, so you can work seamlessly and your art can flow freely.

The Intuos Pro is the perfect tool for artist and illustrators working digitally

And that’s not all. From now until December 31, anyone who buys an Intuos Pro will get full access to a value pack that includes a free one year pro membership to AutoDesk Sketchbook, a 30-day membership to online video training from lynda.com, and a free software package (Perfect Effects 9 Premium) from on1.

Want to improve your technique and boost your artistic career? By taking advantage of the great tutorials, resources and inspiration to be had at the Create More website, and harnessing the power and versatility of the Wacom Intuos Pro pen tablet, there’ll be no stopping you!

How to enter the competition

Be inspired by the tips in Miss Led’s ebook and create an original illustration that showcases your individual style

We want you to show off your skills, so we’re asking Creative Bloq readers to create an illustration, based on hints and tips you receive from Miss Led’s ebook tutorial, free to download from the Create More site when you sign up to Wacom’s newsletter. Anything goes, so feel free to unleash your imagination and create something that reflects your own personal style and artistic vision!

via Get free art resources and win a Wacom tablet | Creative Bloq.

Is traditional freelancing all that it’s cracked up to be? | Career | Creative Bloq

Is traditional freelancing all that it’s cracked up to be?

Full time is for the birds, right? But traditional freelancing isn’t what it used to be either.

Creatives of all sorts tend towards less rigid lifestyles than most other folks. We don’t need a major research grant to know that unlike our straight-laced pocket-protector brethren, art directors and graphic artists are far more likely to be found working at a coffee lounge in the middle of the day.

This might be our version of “working remotely”. It could also mean we’re between freelance gigs and simultaneously tweaking both our portfolio website, and our caffeine levels.

While the creative industries have always had more freelance workers than most other professions, over the last decade or more a number of things have conspired to make employment matters worse for the technically savvy creative freelancer.

(Here we are looking specifically at the more traditional in-person/on-site freelance market, rather than the online freelance market best left to a separate discussion).

Freelance As Commodity

Life as a freelancer used to be fine for many of us, even if it meant we were riding an economic roller-coaster at times. Because back in the day there were enough safety nets to cover our derrieres.

For example, certain industries had the concept of “hazard pay”, which didn’t just apply to firemen. Both the advertising and film industries recognized that in many ways even their full time employees were much like their freelancers. This was because most folks worked on specific projects or accounts. And sooner or later, projects complete, and accounts move their business to other agencies.

The people on those teams would then often be let go. As compensation, these industries paid staff and freelancers a somewhat healthier salary than similar – but more stable – work elsewhere.

There was also another concept that has evaporated over the years:  Overtime! If you are lucky to still have it today, you almost certainly don’t get what your predecessors did, like double-time. And frequently if there is overtime, it is based on the number of hours over 40 per week, rather than any daily overtime. Thus employers get to sidestep paying extra for your super-human efforts.

For example, say you are be working on an important deadline and asked to work a double or even triple shift. Despite the negative effects such work has on your life and health, you would still not get “overtime” pay for it, just your normal rate. Bummer.

And, there is more. Because in many markets, freelancers are no longer treated as people or employees, but more like “at will commodities”. For example, companies have no issues with booking someone for an entire week, and then without notice canceling the project on that Tuesday afternoon. The company (or freelance agency) may or may not pay you for the remainder of that Tuesday. But for the rest of the week that you kept open for them, you are so out of luck.

Let’s do just one more common example. One that hoisted atop all the other items seems to just rub salt in the wound. In addition to paying less for your services, hiring and firing contrary to agreed bookings, we freelancers are also now asked to “Bring your own laptop.”

When I first started seeing this a while back, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s one thing to work remotely and have your own gear. But to be asked to go on-site and still underwrite a freelance employer’s operation seemed outlandish. But it has become the norm. We are now expected to provide hardware, software and our own tech support.

I’m waiting to see the first job ad stating: “Please bring your own chair, as well.”

Tech Downsides For Freelancers

Some of our problems stem from tech itself. While the digital revolution has spurred the creation of many new jobs in media, technology itself is also one of the top culprits in our creative job crunch.

The first issue has been that creative tech jobs are just unbelievably attractive to so many people. It used to be that creative fields were for those childhood doodlers and writers in class. But tech changed that, and soon everyone wanted to be creating designs, 3D monsters, and branding campaigns.

In the early days of creative tech, this was fine, supply and demand were in balance. But then all the colleges started pushing digital media, and new specialty schools began popping up just to train digital artists for creative tech jobs. Supply and demand shifted.

One parent of one of these students summed it up well:

“When my son wanted to go into 3D effects work for film, I was really skeptical. But I looked into it and those jobs were starting out at $80,000 US a year, not bad! So I gave him the green light and paid for his education. But by the time he graduated, the market was glutted and he was lucky to get an entry level job at half that amount. I’m angry, and so is he.”

Like with any gold rush scenario, these industries have attracted more people than they could ever really support. The old supply and demand flipped from the early days of digital when few knew how to use the tools, to today when too many do.

This has effected our markets in many ways, both entry-level and established creatives, and both full-time and freelance workers. With so many applicants for each creative tech job, it is a buyer’s market, a trend that began even before the global banking crisis.

As a result we have seen the (adjusted) hourly rate for creatives in most markets plummet. Many have an hourly rate that is no higher – and often even lower – than the same job paid 10 or 15 years ago.

Technology has also given employers options they didn’t have a few years ago. In addition to being uber-selective on who they hire, they are also opting to simply not hire at all. Technology has made subbing out work to other countries very easy, and many companies have been taking advantage of this. So the inveterate freelancer is now competing against perhaps a few hundred local applicants, as well as all the talented people abroad.

What’s a freelance creative to do? We’d love to hear your thoughts below. How do you navigate this brave new freelance world?

Words: Lance Evans

via Is traditional freelancing all that it’s cracked up to be? | Career | Creative Bloq.

Inspiration for the week – Product modeling/Commercial

I work in more of the print side of product modeling but I would love to venture into the more commercial side of things. This video created by Cum is amazing and a great inspiration for me in my career! What do you guys think?