Browse More

Friday, January 24, 2014

This is how I work it!

In late 2012 I was asked to complete an animation test before being hired at Disney Interactive for their most ambitious title to date, Disney Infinity. The test was a character walk cycle and a fall in under 2 1/2 days. 

The first night I spent walking up and down the hall trying to find a character that felt unique and appealing. A cautious old man getting hit by a railroad cart emerged as the unlikely winner. To highlight a number of technical challenges I gave him a lantern, side gate, and old man shakes.

How do you get reference for that?! My wife filmed me being repeatedly pummeled by a cart that Hobby Lobby hesitantly let me borrow. Those last few barrel rolls were rough :(

Oh, and that night I got the flu!!!

Here were the results from the test, it came back positive! I landed the job and got to work with some amazing animators and exciting characters. More on Disney Infinity to come soon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How I Trained My Dragon Dreams

Good Heavens is that me with Dean DeBlois, director of Lilo & Stitch and the How to Train Your Dragon films?!?  Yes it is.

Dean and I met on the day I graduated from Animation Mentor in 2010. He was on a creative high for just having just solved the character arcs for HTTYD (How To Train Your Dragon) 2 and 3. I was wrapping up my first console game as an animator at Ninja Bee Studios. His enthusiasm was contagious and I fell in love. I wanted a chance to animate the fantastic characters he and Chris Sanders created.

I understood that there was a large experience and talent gulf separating me from Dean's Dragons. Through the next 3 years I animated on a number of games and gathered wonderful feedback from mentor friends. There were spectacular CTN-X workshops with Ted Ty and long long nights battling splines (they are now bending to my will).

After working on Disney Infinity (more to follow about that) I heard about a smaller studio that was working on a HTTYD mobile game. My name was recommended and I was asked to take a few art tests. I was thrilled to join the tight team at React Games; it was exciting to wear multiple hats in the pipeline again. We produced How to Train Your Dragon : Dragons Adventure for Nokia smart phones and tablets!

I was an animator, concept artist, and UI Designer for this title. Fulfilling my dream from 4 years earlier with Dean DeBlois, I am a dragon animator. 

From the login process, hatchery, settings, achievements, some popups dragon animations, painting ALL 54 achievements, and a few other spot - I got to live in Berk while at React with some killer game makers. Jess, ScottGary, Ezra, Brandon and Nick.
My dreams of dragons are far from over, but it was fulfilling to see this ambition come full circle.
#Animation #AnimationMentor #DavidWilsonAnimation #DeanDeblois #HowToTrainYourDragon

Monday, January 6, 2014

Aaron Hartline - Just getting better

At the time of my last post on this blog, about 4 years ago, I was right in the middle of the Animation Mentor character animation program. I was considering quitting my job as a packaging designer to let me focus on learning animation and pursue the dream.

I really did it! But it wasn't the way I had planned it.

Aaron Hartline was incredibly generous in his time my class, often he stayed for an extra hour teaching. As I look back, I wish that I had recorded the sessions - some lessons have sunken in only after a few years of experience have passed. Who knows what other golden info he shared that I missed due to ignorance or pride. Regardless, I learned a ton from Aaron and the other classmates I had, thanks Sven!

Here's my reel from my time in Aaron's class. It's painful now but I grew in leaps and bounds there. NOTE THIS IS NOT MY CURRENT DEMO REEL

Aaron continued to be a mentor and friend to me after I graduated. I went to San Francisco to look for a job with a few gaming companies in the area. I had called Aaron to see if I could come by the Pixar studio the afternoon before I interviewed. He said YES! I drove my car through the Pixar gates in awe. He showed me exhibits around the fish bowl area (and may or may not have escorted me back through to his office to see some fantastic Cars 2 shots). He left me with a poster shown above and some great advice which has served me well.

"Don't worry about getting a job, just worry about getting better."

BEING BETTER is far more important that having a better job. With that in mind, at the end of this year I know I'll be able to say I am a better animator and a better person than last year. Thanks Aaron.

And for your viewing education here is an interview with Aaron with Bobby Chiu.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gifted-Spline revisions

It's really exciting to see my own progress and continually see room for improvement- no plateu in my horizon yet.

This shot will have another week or so to refine some movements and create some kind of deformation lattice for the cloth. No it's not in the curriculum but it will definitely come in handy to have a cursory knowledge of a few associated techniques. Please let me know if you catch anything and I'll be sure to address it in the next post.

Also of note, I'll be attending CTN-X again this year. Let me know if you'll be one of the faces in the mix and I'll be sure to find you. Cheers!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Here is the latest shot that I'm working on. A young 3-5yr old awaiting his b-day present. This has been a fun shot so far and I can't wait to finish re-blocking to move it toward splines, getting all the breakdowns in.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick exercises-- rough spline & blocking

Here are a couple of quick exercises I did during the break between animation terms. One for snappier timing, the other for variation in weight and spacing/timing.

I'm anxious to finish them up as I start a new term with Aaron Hartline!!! He's the pixar animator that animated the mr. tortilla head shots. Man, does AM have ANY bad mentors?? I haven't met one yet, it's awesome!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quick Exercise

Here is an animation quickie. Take two related poses and animate the breakdowns in between. I animated between the two extremes of a punch pose with the Animation Mentor rigs..but I couldn't stand to see the action without the anticipation, so I added it on afterwards.

There will be a lot more of these coming soon, so I hope ya' diggs. Any actions you'd like to see?


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Contact our Support

Email us: Support@templateism.com

Our Team Memebers