Technical Art for Animation and VFX

Archive for the animation mentor category

Lookslikematt 2010!

January 11th, 2010

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

You might have noticed that my posts have been fairly sparse over 2009. I had a lot of opportunities that I jumped headfirst into and sadly, had to neglect the website. I know… excuses, excuses. Right?

Here’s what was keeping me busy:

  • The Produced By Conference… to see the talks by the MCS panel, VES previs panel, the Stereoscopic 3D panel, James Cameron, Pixar producers and the PGA/ASC Camera Assestment Series.
  • CG CON…  checked out many of the animation classes from the Animation Mentor guys.
  • FXPHD… took classes for crowd work in Massive, scripting with Python, Maya and match-moving in PFtrack.
  • Beta Testing… software and what looks to be an excellent online school for rigging.
  • Some much needed traveling… trips to Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Wellington and Sydney.
  • and of course LOTS of mocap time with the great crew at ImageMovers Digital. 😀

I’ve been very blessed to meet and work with some incredibly talented people over the last year. I hope you all had a chance to see Up, A Christmas Carol, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Avatar (all in 3D of course). Many of the people I met have put forth amazing effort to polishing those films and have been part of an incredible push on technology and artistry to make them a reality. 2009 really was an incredible year and I’m very proud of everything that was accomplished within the medium.

As far as animation goes, the plan for my 2010 is a few more classes with FXPHD, lots more python scripting and a welcome return to rigging and animating – for me it’s still all about the performance. I’ve had a lot of requests to update the The Mocaptionator’s Handbook to include some more detailed thoughts on facial mocap, props and tools. I’m not promising anything on that front this year, but we’ll see how it goes. 😉

Here’s to another great year!

– Matthew

The Moving Hold

June 11th, 2009

Another great article from Animation Mentor…

Animation Mentor’s Shawn Kelly on Mocaptionating

July 17th, 2008

I want to take a second to thank Shawn Kelly for sharing his POV on mocap in the CGTantra article Motion Capture Is Your Friend. Those that have worked with motion capture long enough to actually learn how to use the tool effectively seem to share the same options about the technology. You will find similar statements in in numerous threads on CGtalk, Softimage|Net and most every cg animation related forum (you’ll even find it right here in The Mocaptionator’s Handbook V1.0).

I leave you with Shawn’s closing statements:

“Animation is the act of bringing characters to life. If that’s what you do, I don’t care if you’re using Maya , Softimage, Lightwave, Animation Master, Flash or Motion Builder or your H1B Pencil or an armatured puppet! I don’t care if your reference is video reference, yourself in a mirror, or a day at the park, and I certainly don’t care if you are using your animation skills to mold a crappy motion capture performance into something memorable and truly alive! If you are using the tools at your disposal to bring characters to life, then guess what?


And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

P.S. If you notice the credits in the pictures, you’ll find fellow Phasespace user Greg Worley’s name. Greg’s WorleyWorks studio probably isn’t what you envisioned as a typical mocap vendor. You kinda’ just have to see it to understand.

Animation Mentor Webinar Videos

July 11th, 2008

I’ve been attending Animation Mentor’s webinars. AM just posted the vids of the webinars to their site. Very excellent resources.

My favorites are:


  • Great feedback from the HR and animator point of view.


  • Wonderful supplement to the .pdf.