As this will be my last blog post in 2016 I wanted to do a Year in Review of how this year has been. Many of these things we have gone into greater detail in past posts, so this will just be a quick overview of the year. Overall it has been a great year. We got to work on some great projects, and I got to attend some really exciting events. The business was profitable, and we did a lot better then we did last year. I’m very excited, and looking forward to what we will achieve in 2017.
This last Saturday evening my wife and I attended the 43rd Annual Annie Awards which was in Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. I could tell you about who won what awards, but you can find that out in many other places like here. Instead I want to share my experience of attending to the Annie Award show.
I have never been to the Annie Awards, so I figured I would get general admission tickets to check it out before investing in the VIP tickets another year. Before I was able to get tickets the attorney for Eric Miller Animation Studios, or as he calls it EMAS, said he had two extra VIP tickets and wanted to know if I wanted them. Free VIP tickets are always a better option, so I quickly said yes.
Here is a quick update on our animated short. As you can see by the banner image we are now getting some early lighting renders, and all the assets are starting to come together.
It is important for me to note none of these images are final, and it is a special treat I’m sharing the work of artists before it is complete. With this said I have a lot of caveats about these images I’m sharing with all of you.
I had a great time this weekend at the CTN Animation Expo. This was my second year attending and I could not believe how much it had grown since last year. I heard in the last few years this animation expo has doubled in size. It shows there is a desire for this type of an event, and you almost wonder if more will be springing up.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
This weekend was the Producers Guild of America’s annual Produced by Conference. This is a conference for producers, and has a lot of really great panels, mentoring, and networking opportunities for members of the guild. This was my second time going to the conference, and I wanted to share my experience with all of you. If you are interested in reading about last year’s conference you can do it here.