Thursday, February 21, 2008

What makes a good animator and running!

So I have posted this elsewhere...but I wanted to add it to my blog.
This is my personal take on what I believe a good animator to be...
and it's also about how much cross country taught me... and how I carry those lessons over to other things such as animation! :O)
...and it's about how I find running so inspirational, ok, so it's kind of a huge big metaphor of sappiness...but it goes! (just promise not to laugh);)

Good animators have great technical skills (weight, timing, spacing) along with a great attitude. I feel that they are able to make a shot their own...make it entertaining, but not over the top...They can get the right balance in there. They just really pay attention to the detail and add the little bits that make the shot believable, fun, and unique. They add in those bits that they observe in life that take the animation a step further!
Good animators are definitely able to step away from their work and are open to critiques... Understanding that the critiques they get are making them stronger...not personal attacks on them.
I also feel that a good animator will help critique others. One can learn so much from their peers it's amazing!
Motivation and the drive to succeed are huge factors as well..
I ran cross country for all 4 years of high school...and well...that's a very mental sport. My coach always told us that running was 90% mental (because of course there is a tiny bit of natural talent that plays a factor as well). But 90% mental is a huge part! Instead of thinking negatively, we'd just phrase everything positively to keep a positive atmosphere..."alrighty well that's 1 mile repeat down only 6 more to go" ^_^ During a race or a practice run, no matter how out of breath you were, we always let out a "good job" to the person we were passing even if they were our opponent (because we all knew how hard it was and we all had great respect for each other). There were of course times where you wanted to quit..create an excuse...I could trip on this rock or root flying down this hill and it would look like an accident..nobody would know that I did it on purpose (I equate this to not accepting criticism on animation...I meant for the arm to move all choppy like that...? It's creating excuses)....but you could just never bring yourself to actually do this. Your will power would kick in and think "what am I doing even thinking this way"... when the going gets tough the sprinter would just keep putting your all into it and it would pay off. There is always somebody else out there who is faster than you...just like there will always be somebody else who is a better animator than you..but that is no reason to give up. "If you give it your best you'll have success." Or "luck is when preparation meets opportunity"... you have got to want it and work as hard as you can to achieve this goal.
I know that this all sounds very sappy...but I got through all of my long runs and races off of those silly quotes (or roughly about 2,000 miles during those 4 years).. You wouldn't believe how powerful they can be as you would just keep repeating them over and over as you powered up the hill or kicked it into a sprint at the end of a 3 mile race to pass one girl then one more... I carry that same drive that same work ethic over to animation. (not the whole passing thing :P) but the mental attitude...there are so many similarities that will help you go far....
-always keep a positive attitude
-when the going gets tough, the tough get going
-you've gotta give everything your best effort
-oh, and there is always strength in was always so much easier to push yourself when you were running along side a friend or a encourage each other and make one another stronger... my cross country team was a group of 50 girls and when we all ran together...I can't even explain it...dropping out of the run was not an option..if they can do it, so can I :O)
Ok...I'm going off on a tangent... I just had to touch on how powerful attitude and your mind set can be!
lol...this is making me want to go for a run....

edit- oh, and cross country, although, it is a team sport in a way it is also individual. You couldn't get discouraged just because you couldn't run even close to the speed of that girl who won state... Instead you had to look inside yourself and just see how far as an individual you had come and be satisfied with that.

I have to throw in a pic of one of my favorite runs (i'm one of the ones on the left hand side ;) ......this is what I look at when I need to remind myself to feel inspired...

I know that this wasn't related to being a good animator..I mean it was, but wasn't...I just find talking in metaphors way easier...:P You don't have to be a runner to be a good animator obviously...but runnning is where I personally learned so much about myself and I think it is what shaped my "go get it, permanently positive" attitude. So I just thought it was a good place to share it! :O)

Ok, that's all for now! I'm just feeling very inspirational at the moment..maybe it's because I'm listening to Phil Collins "Strangers Like Me" as I post this lol..I love that song! :)

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