Express yourself through the art of animation.
Project Title: Express Yourself
Have you ever made faces at yourself in the mirror? Or mimicked your sister or brother to get on their nerves? Or imitated a monkey at the zoo or a character on TV? That was all good practice for becoming an animator. Animation is the art of bringing a character to life. To become a good animator, you need to be a keen observer of life. Study everything—people talking, eating, walking, dancing, laughing, crying, arguing. Study animals playing, preening, coughing up hairballs. Study objects and how people interact with them. Studying the movements, expressions, and body language of others helps you to learn who you are and how you want to express yourself. The art of animation is a great way to express yourself by creating your own show based on your observations of life.
In this project, Carlos Baena, co-founder of Animation Mentor and Pixar and ILM animator, helps you to express yourself through animation in this exclusive Digital STEAM animation project. In a series of seven videos, Carlos vividly describes the creative process of animating a character—in this case, a simple robot named Anibot. You can follow along and create your own character. Begin by brainstorming and deciding what you want your character to do, and then draw thumbnail sketches of your character doing those things. Acting it out with your teammates helps immensely and is a total blast. (Don’t be shy!) You learn to block scenes and to use a rig in Autodesk® Maya® software to experiment with facial expressions and body movements. Ultimately, you create an animation that is so you. Don’t be afraid to give and take constructive feedback—listening to good feedback can’t hurt and can only improve your animation. (Hey, we’re in this together!) In the end, you will have expressed yourself in ways that you never dreamed were possible. Who knew?
As a child growing up in Madrid, Spain, Carlos Baena enjoyed films, cartoons, skateboarding, comics, and drawing. In 1994, he moved to the United States to study art. After graduating from school in 1998, Carlos worked at notable visual effects and animation companies such as Will Vinton Studios (now Laika), Click3X, Wildbrain, and ILM/Lucas Films. Carlos currently works as an animator at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California.
Go to the Project Packet page to download all the project files, view the project in real-time 3D and read the Project Brief.