Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Happy Medium (the flip side)

Maybe I'm just making excuses. It's not that I do not want to workout, I just want more time to work on my animation.

Since I didn't hear from Reel FX, I know I still have a lot of work to do on my reel. I am switching my focus from dialog shots and going to work on body mechanics. That is the one course that gave me trouble in school, so I know I have my work cut out for me. I've been in touch with the career services lady from AM and she gave me a listing of game studios here in Texas. A lot of them were in Austin. I then started doing research and seeing what they look for in demo reels. I saw a great video from an AM alum who works at a gaming studio. He gave a lot of tips and pointers as to what the recruiters look for. Here's a quick rundown of what he had to say:

•  Strong body mechanics
        ex. monkey bars, swimming, jumping over stuff
•  Bipedal action
•  Quadraped action is a plus
•  Nice run and walk cycles
•  Knock downs and get ups
•  Make it interesting. Give it a bit of a story
        ex. guy jumps over a car, leans against the car, starts to run away and trips and falls, then gets back up
             and runs away.
•  Avoid cliche scenes.
        ex. walk up to a boulder, push it, walk away
              walk up to a rock, pick it up, throw it and walk off screen
•  Do the animation geared towards the studio you're applying to. Know what type of games the studio
              makes, realistic or cartoony.

All great advice and things I can do. I have so many ideas running through my head right now it's difficult to find a starting point. Which one do I do first? Do I need to build any extra props? Which character rig am I going to use? Do I start sketching out ideas or just go for it and start blocking it out in Maya? My next day off is going to be dedicated to answering these questions.

Like I said, I want to add a new shot to my reel at least every two months. If I can do enough of these little bits, come next year I'll have a whole new reel to start shopping around.

Another tip I received from someone on the forum was to try some combat stuff. Anything from punches, kicks, swords and stuff like that. Gun recoils are a plus. Apparently a lot of the games out there now are combat oriented scenes like this can e more relevant that simple cycles. Also include at least a one hit combo and a two or three hit combo. He also suggested to stay away from using the AM rigs since they are not really great game style rigs. I can agree with him there because Bishop has a pretty big head and long fingers.

These tips have been some of the best. Now I have a whole NEW direction in which to focus my animation. Now I have to do "research" and start playing video games. WOOHOO!

No comments: