More Wisdom From SynchroLux

I'm always thrilled to see that there is a new post on the SynchroLux blog, so many educational goodies to be found there. When I first started to read this latest post It wasn't as thrilling as I hoped, it seemed to be mainly a recount of an event Kevin Koch had attended. Nice, but mainly just a "and then this happened and then that happened" kind of thing.

BUT then just three paragraphs from the end Kevin stopped to reflect on some things highlighted for him by the event, his observation hit me like a slap in the face. "One of the things that this program highlighted, and that I’ve been concerned with for awhile, is the huge difference in mentoring between hand-drawn animation and CG animation. It used to be that animators began as assistants and ruff inbetweeners, and worked their way up the ranks. For a long time the accepted wisdom was that it took about six years of concerted effort to become an animator. There were exceptions, but long periods of training and mentoring were generally part of the process to becoming a competent animator.

In CG, there aren’t any assistant positions. . . . . . . . . . . In the CG animation world you basically get the best training you can, and hope to get hired right onto a production. Yes, most studios have “mentors” who are assigned to new hires, and there’s usually a ramp-up or training process, but it’s nothing compared to how it used to be."

It's so obvious, and no wonder we are faced with such a mountain to climb now as students, we are trying to cover in a few years what used to take 6!

I love an impossible challenge though, so strap on you climbing boots, pull on your ear muffs and grab a spare change of underwear! ITS CLIMBING TIME BABY! YODELAHEEEHOOOOOO!


Karl said...

This is very true. When looking for someone to join the team we find it hard to get someone who can come in at our level. The problem is we simply don’t have the time to sit and bring them up to the level that we need them to be so we can plough through the work and create something of quality in time for the deadline. It’s a bit tricky; I think it does depend on where the studio is at when you apply.

However one thing that does grab my attention when going through showreels is if the animator/illustrator shows diversity. It gives me a sense that they are trying different ideas, styles, or ways of approaching a piece of interest. Locking yourself into an anime, or Disney, or Tim Burton type animator/illustrator is going to seriously limit your field and make studios wonder if that is all you can do. Define yourself by your craft and not your genre.

For me it looks like the individual can catch up quickly weather by our help or by finding tutorials or books. Point is they show initiative in their work and subsequently should in their learning.

Dana said...

"Define yourself by your craft and not your genre."
I love those words, so insperational. I must admit, as a student it can be extreamly hard to find your own style when you've grown up with disney and started drawing anime when you were younger, so much of it is influenced your drawings. When I started doing my portfolio for tafe and uni applications, I spent for ages trying to improve and change my style but now that I have changed, I agree how staying to one style can really be a burdern for this industry.

thanks for the words Karl, I'm gonna have to keep them in mind ^__^

Ian said...

Hey Karl

Great to see you're still dropping by the ARC, and thanks heaps for sharing your words of wisdom :)

Karl said...

Cool, good to know I've learned something worth passing on. After reading that phrase I couldn't help myself.

frank said...

Hey Ian. congrats ob the ARC scoring a link fron the Synchrolux blog.