The World Animation and VFX Summit

Last week I attended The World Animation and VFX Summit which was held at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.  While it was my first time attending it was actually the 4th year the summit has been held.

I have been to a few different conferences now, and I found this one to be very interesting.  The reason I found it to be interesting was because its attendees were mostly producers, executives, and/or founders of animation companies, so all the discussions were geared towards topics I was interested in.  Most events I find are either for artists in animation, or producers in live action films, but not producers for animation.

Is it really almost November?

Is it really almost November?  This year has been flying by, and will be over before we know it.  I guess that is what happens when you are having fun?  This year has been a very busy year with running the business.  I feel that I’m learning new things everyday, and there is always challenges to overcome.  To me the challenges are part of the appeal of running my own company.  There is no roadmap that will work for every company, and it requires you to constantly readjusting your strategy.  Below is a quick update on some of the things I have been working on lately.

Here or There: Outsourcing of Animation

I wanted to talk about outsourcing of animation that many US companies are doing.  The main reason to outsource work and make the experience of producing animation more challenging is because of cost.  In my previous roles I had learned the Salary for one US-based artist could pay for 4-5 artists in India.  Even if it takes the overseas artist 3 times as long to complete the task it will still be a cost savings.

Eric Miller Animation October 2015 Update

Is it really October already?  Wow this year is flying by.  I’m already starting to see Christmas advertisements online and in my email inbox.  I have not been doing the best job at posting every week.  It is challenging to find the time to think, let alone write a post for my blog.  I will do my best to keep posting, so I thought I give you all a quick update on what is going on.

Staying Healthy While Starting a Business

When I worked at DreamWorks Animation my co-workers would often joked about the DreamWorks 50.  Similar to the Freshman 15, it is the idea that new employees often would gain weight after starting working at the company.  DreamWorks Animation is known for its free food they provide for their employees.  With copious amounts of food for breakfast, lunch, soft served ice-cream machines, cookie day, and snack kitchens all around campus it is hard to resist the urge to fully take advantage of your new employee benefits. Many new employees inevitably pack on a few extra pounds.  Eventually the excitement of free food wears off, and they learn to be more reserved with their eating.

Techniques of Animation

While talking to clients I often realize they don’t know the different techniques in creating animation.  This can create confusion when trying to explain what my studio does and does not do. I thought I would give a quick overview of some of the main techniques of animation.

While there are many different types, styles, and techniques of animation I wanted to focus on only 3 of the techniques.  It is understandable for someone not in the industry to be confused about the differences, since I have often heard people in the industry talk about them in different ways.  I won’t go into great detail about each, but instead will give you a general overview.  To get a little more details look up Animation on Wikipedia, and they have a great breakdown which I actually used as reference while writing this post.

My First SIGGRAPH

IMG_6447I finally experienced my first SIGGRAPH conference.  I have always heard about SIGGRAPH, and while at DreamWorks Animation I would often have artists requesting time off so they could attend the conference.  While I had a pretty good idea about what it was I had never gone until this year.

SIGGRAPH is short for Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques.  It is an annual conference on computer graphics which you can imagine is pretty important for computer animation.

Eric Miller Animation Studios Incorporated

Eric Miller Animation Studios Incorporated!  That is right, as of July 24, 2015 my company has been reborn as its own entity.  I thought I talk a little about what this means without getting to technical and boring.

So now what?  You might be wondering what this means.  When I started my company it was a Sole Proprietorship, and basically myself and the company was one and the same. By incorporating it separates my personal assets from my business’ assets, and this basically gives me some legal protection and tax savings.

A Decade Living in California, the Struggles & Success

Tomorrow will mark a decade for me of living in California, so I thought it be appropriate to look back on my struggles & successes which brought me to where I am today.  On occasion I have been known to write in a journal, and when I first moved out here I did not have many people to talk to.  I ended up writing in my journal every night, and I read over it to help in writing this post.  I’m really glad that I wrote down what I was going through, since it was an eventful part of my life. I don’t write in my journal as much as I used to, but this blog has taken the place of documenting my life’s journeys.

July 2015 Update

This last week I have been mostly working on our animated short. Animation is a slow process, but we are making some great progress. It might be a month, but I do plan to get some fun concept art to share with all of you.

I have also been working on a bid for a potential client that will require a mix of a CG character in a CG environment, with a live action actor.  I’m collaborating with some other companies to do the live action, and sound, since those aren’t services we offer.  I will find out later this year if the project was awarded to us.