You probably know by now that animal and creature animation are 100% essential for your demo reel if you’re hoping to get hired as an animator. To help get you started on improving that demo reel, here’s a round-up of some of our best articles written by top dogs in animation who’ve worked on projects like Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Game of Thrones, and more!
By Shawn Kelly
To kick us off, Shawn Kelly, Lead Animator at Industrial Light & Magic and Animation Mentor Co-Founder educates us on why you need more creature and animal animation on YOUR demo reel, regardless of the studios you are applying to. Sit back, read and then go make your demo reel better!
By Shawn Kelly
In this webinar, Shawn 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 about creature animation and demo reels! And now you can watch the replay and learn something too.
Okay, this is the last one by Shawn. He just has so much great wisdom to share about creature animation and demo reels that we did a follow-up Q&A after the webinar. Here he answers five great student questions about demo reels and gives advice on applying for studio animation jobs. And he should know—he’s been at ILM for more than 20 years! Get ready to soak up some knowledge.
By Nicole Herr
Nicole Herr is a Los Angeles-based character animator, a longstanding friend of Animation Mentor and an instructor in our Creature Animation: Locomotion workshop. Nicole graciously answered some of our burning questions about her animation career, animation workflow techniques and what it was like to be an animator working on Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy. Read, get inspired and go animate!
By Steve Cady
Here’s an awesome how-to tutorial from our veteran mentor and Hybride Lead Animator, Steve Cady! From preparation, blocking, to clean-up, learn Steve’s workflow on how he would animate a quadruped walk cycle. Read and get to work!
By Shawn Kelly
Okay, we lied. Here’s one more by Shawn Kelly. This time he shares the 6 most common mistakes he sees with creature animation in demo reels. Now that you’re convinced to include creature animation on your reel, make sure you avoid these mistakes! Think your reel is up to par? Read on and get motivated.
An old but great post with Dane Sogner, a former Animation Mentor student who joined DreamWorks Animation to work on Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, became an expert on Toothless during the first How to Train Your Dragon film. For How to Train Your Dragon 2, he took charge of the hero dragon as Character Lead Animator for Toothless. We talked with Stogner about his experiences animating the friendly yet dangerous Night Fury!
Jean-Denis Haas is a long-time mentor of Animation Mentor, a creature guru, and a Senior Lead Animator for Industrial Light & Magic. Here he shares his tips and tricks for what makes a great creature animator, how to bring life into realistic characters and monsters, and why you need to learn creature animation.
By Nicole Herr
With creature animation on the rise, bringing realistic animations and creatures to life matters more than ever. Here’s another great post by Nicole Herr, who has worked on various well known and loved characters from movies such as Iron Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men 2 and more! With over 20 years experience, combined with her own thirst for knowledge and an undying passion for teaching intricacies of the craft, Nicole is the perfect person to share the magic of bringing creature animation to life. Enjoy and become inspired!
Alvise Avati Talks Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Essential Creature Animation Advice for Students
by Alvise Avati
At age 32, Alvise Avati decided to switch careers and become an animator. Now he has films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avatar, and King Kong on his resume. Learn more about Alvise’s unique journey and get some great tips on getting your creature animation skills blockbuster ready!
Rawr! Learn how to animate epic creatures for animated or live-action movies!
Learn how to animate epic creatures with our Creature Animation Workshops! Work with professional Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain animators who’ve worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more!