Mar 20, 2008

Mike Walling - Workflow

Whenever I find myself on the net looking for animation "stuff"... I'm always looking for two things
  • Inspiration
  • workflow techniques
To be honest, its not hard to find inspiration on the web these days. There are so many amazing animators posting stuff up. Sometimes I see stuff that almost makes me shake in fear... how will I ever be that good?

On the other hand, its hard to find decent workflow explanations. I think this is mainly because of the following reasons
  • It takes time to document it well. Good animators usually don't have much of that.
  • Its hard to describe a workflow. much of it is almost cerebral, and difficult to fit into a structured system that can be written down. Its a very organic process that depends on a lot of varying factors.
  • The validity of the explanation depends on who looks at it. Everyone is looking for different answers.
Anyway... I just wanted to link up here to a great little page I found by Blue Sky animator Mike Walling. He has a nice page that describes very simply his approach to feature shots. I like his ideas. Blocking is my nemesis right now... and I'm looking for any good information on how animators who do this well... do it well!

Mike is obviously very talented, and you can tell by how he describes his technique. He doesn't sweat it or over complicate it. Its supposed to be fun after all! This is why I like his page.

If you know of any other good ones, please comment, and hopefully I can combine something together for all of us.

Mike's workflow


- Tim Sormin - said...

I saw Walling's post a long time ago and had forgotten about it. These things always reveal more when you re-read them. Thanks!

As for others who have documented their workflow, Justin Barrett posted some really sweet examples including this shot of Puss in Boots.

Marcus said...

Be sure to check this out:

Jason Ryan is an animator at blue sky (formerly at disney and also ex- Animation Mentor teacher). He's going to be selling (soon) a series of 18 videos that show his complete workflow when doing animation.

Also, to generate interest in his tutes, he has released a bunch of free tutorial videos that show basic principles of animation. To get the links to these videos-- you have to sign up for his newsletter. It's totally worth it though!

What I like about Jason's stuff is that he goes from 2d to 3d, so you really see how he breaks everything down.


Anonymous said...

Hey Cameron,

Nice posting mate! I tend to agree with the comment you made about inspiration on the web.

Also I came across Kyle Dunlevy's website a few weeks ago. It has some insights about how he approached some of the shots he worked on for TVCs.

Check it out on the following addresses:

Anirudh said...

that was a nice article about Mike's workflow. we often forget the golden rule - KISS, keep it simple and short.

the best of animated scenes are those which have the utmost simplicity both in terms of workflow and animation.



Carl Campbell said...

Workflows are great study material, no doubt about it, Cameron.

Keith Lango also has lots of stuff on the matter, definitely worth checking out and his stuff is what got me so enthralled to working with CG using more of a traditional approach.


Matthew Doble said...

Hey Cameron,

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to explain your work flow and make tutorials. Your post have inspired me recently and are appreciated =)

I also want to mention that, on the Spline Doctors Blog, Andrew Gordon posted up an interview with John Kahrs about polish. It's full of great stuff about his workflow. He polishes his work in the same manner as Mik Wallings, concentrating on the root and torso and then working his way out. Check it out, if you haven't already.

Amrit Derhgawen said...

Yeah! Mike's workflow is great and has really helped me a lot. :)

Marcus: Jason Ryan is not working for BlueSky. He's currently with Dreamworks Animation SKG.


Rajesh Gupta said...

Hey Cameron,

I always get useful tips from your blog. Mike's work flow has cleared many of my doubts. So, I am now more confident with my works.

Tim-Thank you for knowing us about Justin Barrett's work flow.

Marcus-I could not open jasonryan's workflow. It's not working.

Amrit-Yes, you know where Jason Ryan is working presently cause you are working there in India.

Cameron Fielding said...

thanks for the comments everyone.
tim i really liked the workflow example that justin barret posted up... very insightful. Avner the Kyle dunlevy posts were interesting too.. i get the feeling he has quite an organic process mixig layering and straight ahead over a blocking pass...