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  • Is Your Demo Reel Ready for a Major Studio?
    By: Shawn Kelly

    Shawn Kelly Demo Reel Webinar

    In our recent webinar, Animation Mentor Co-founder and Industrial Light & Magic Lead Animator Shawn Kelly took a little break from working on Avengers 3 to critique some student demo reels and to talk about do's and don'ts, creature animation, and what studios are looking for when they review reels. It was awesome sauce and we learned so much! And now you can watch the replay.

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  • HOW TO: Light an Animation Sequence
    By: Yasin Hasanian


    special effects hair fur tiger lion

    Yasin Hasanian is a VFX artist who continues to stun the world with his work. Today, Yasin drops by the Animation Mentor to share his tips for how to light an animation sequence from concept to light setups to polish. Big thank you to Yasin for sharing his passion and knowledge with the Animation Mentor community!

    -The Animation Mentor Crew

    Where do you start when lighting a sequence?

    Generally, there are two cases when it comes to lighting. First case is when I have done the shading of the scene myself, whereas the other case in which I have not worked on the shading and only responsible for lighting. This is critical to have in mind because at some points it helps me skip some parts. In the former scenario, I'm aware of how the materials in the scene react to light and I'm able to start lighting right of the bat and play with different looks that I'm looking up to, whereas in the other scenario, the scene might have been shaded in many different ways under specific light setups by other artists, for example, non-photorealsitic (NPR) shadings are usually not done under the same lighting condition as physically plausible shadings, and this matter specially varies a lot for NPR scenes where you need to investigate material and analyze or find the rough logic behind such shadings. One very obvious and simple way to get a quick idea of how the materials work in this case is by creating a single light source and progressively tweak the light parameters to find a decent balance throughout the look of the scene. Doing so helps me somewhat figure out the logic behind the scene materials and find the answers to the questions like, Are the materials reflective or diffuse? How much reflection do they have? What are their diffuse features? and so on.

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  • Your shot lit, rendered and ready to rock.
    By: Lindsay Talbot


    Studios are looking for artists with real-world production skills. Those skills can be difficult to come by without actually working in a studio. In January 2013, Animation Mentor took online education to the next level with the launch of the studio school model. At Animation Mentor you, students, and graduates can learn together in an exclusive, cloud-based pipeline built by engineers from top studios.

    In the studio school model, you learn how optimize your workflow with a pipeline, how to produce shots with artists from other departments, and how to be successful in a top film studio. Instead of telling you how the studio school model can benefit your work, we thought we’d show you.

    Meet Nicholas and Joshua. Nicholas is an animator who thrived in both the Classic Animation program and the Creature Animation classes. Joshua is an artist who excelled in our Maya Workshop and VFX Fundamentals program. The two of them produced an incredible animation scene together. Let’s get to the good stuff and have Nicholas and Joshua share with you in their own words.

    -Lindsay (Animation Mentor crew member)

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  • VFX Training Lectures for $50
    By: Ben Fischler

    learn visual effects online with tutorials

    Hey everyone! This is Ben Fischler, VFX Curriculum Director, and I wanted to tell you about some fantastic additions to our Animation Mentor Vimeo On Demand channel.

    We’re rolling out NEW lectures dealing with the VFX side of production. We’ll dive into Nuke, Arnold, and Houdini, covering a variety of concepts and workflows. These lectures are designed to give you a solid foundation with specific tools and techniques so you’ll be able to get up to speed fast and start using them in your own shots.

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