As much as I have tried to squeeze in time to write my blog each week, I have found it incredibly difficult to do. The good news is I have not had time to write the blog because I have been busy with new projects I have been bidding on. While many of them I can’t talk about in details, I wanted to quickly update you on what I have been working on.
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.
This week I started updating our freelance artist roster. Animation is a team effort, and requires a highly skilled, and highly trained crew of artists, technicians, and production staff. The larger studios with deeper pockets tend to have more specialized artists that work on a very specific part of the production pipeline. Think of a factory where you might be responsible for the same task on the assembly line. A large animation studio would have artists that are specialized in character animation to be the animators, or specialized artists to do all the modeling of characters, props, and set pieces. Each step of the pipeline is done by artists who are specialists in that area.
I wanted to give everyone a June Update on everything I’m working on with the company. Although I don’t currently have any client projects I’m working on I’m still pretty busy with many other tasks. Here are some of the things I’m currently working on.
I mentioned in an earlier post I was working on a CG animated short. We are making progress with it, but have been taking our time to make sure it looks great. As I write this we are working on the design of the main character, as well as brainstorming the set location. To keep costs down it will be in one simple set that we can reuse for the different episodes. Once we finish the character design phase we will start modeling the character, and then rig it for animation. At the same time we work on the character rig we will also be surfacing it.
This last week I have been doing a lot of work on updating my website, and putting a demo reel together. It has been a while since I have used DreamWeaver to make a website, and it is proving to be much more difficult then in the past. Granted I normally did not try and do anything special or overly complicated with my website design as I am doing now. I want my website to be simple and clean in the design, but I want it to have some more advanced features under the hood. For example I want it to look great on all platforms, so no matter if you are looking at it on a desktop or mobile phone you will still have a great experience.
I would like to get in a habit of doing an internal review of how my company did at the end of each year. It will be my opportunity to see what I have been able to accomplish in the last year, or not accomplish. Things can get pretty busy while running the day to day of a business, and it is easy to loose track of where you are, and where you are going. By looking at where you have gone in a year’s time you can get a better idea of how things are progressing, and see if you are heading in the right direction.
I hope you are all enjoying your Halloween today. It is my wife’s favorite holiday, so we always have a great time celebrating it. This will also be my son’s first Halloween, so this year it is extra special.
This has been a pretty eventful week for the company. Our biggest client has asked us to deliver some commercials earlier then we originally planned, so we had to start staffing up. We now have a team of 9 after effect artists(maybe 1 more), and 1 CG animator. This team is now bigger then my modeling team I had at DreamWorks Animation. I’m excited about bringing on our first animator, since my company has not actually done any animation work yet. So getting to do some animation is really exciting for me. I’m also really enjoying the VFX world, so it is great getting to work on something that combines the two worlds.
I’m starting to run a little behind on my blog posts. Finding the time to write these are becoming harder and harder to do lately. It is important to me to continue writing posts, so I will keep trying to find the time. This week more then other weeks I have had a lot of people mention to me that they enjoy reading my blog. I sometimes forget people are actually reading them. Sure the site will tell me numbers of how many people have read them, but it is easy to look at that as just numbers. When people tell me they are reading my blog it makes it seem more real. So thank you everyone for taking the time to read my words. I promise I will keep getting better at this writing thingy.