It’s the science of figuring out how to animate things that aren’t in line with the rules of physics or physics mechanics. We’re not going to do it in this course, but that stuff goes back to the time before the Internet.
For a more academic example, check out my work with the New York Times. They actually made the first animation on the cover of TIME in 1985, and in 1986 they made the first full-length feature on the cover of TIME magazine, “The Magic of Harry Potter.”
A typical day in the life of a writer or artist is pretty much the same as any other day in an animator’s:
Day 1: Get in the car. The job of an illustrator/animator is not to be a slave to deadlines. It’s a passion-based job, and not the kind you sign up for for a six-month contract with Pixar or DreamWorks. (Yes, some things are work–it’s like those “WTF” days with your employer where you never knew what to do. I don’t take credit for making it happen. I don’t get an extra month of pay when they call you back. My time at Pixar made me want to spend more time with my kids. But more on that later.)
Day 2: Find a computer. (Note: I was just reminded of that thing where it’s a computer in a box and a mouse is the key. It’s actually an old mechanical laptop.)
“Don’t use an online calculator to go find a calculator.”–Curtis Kottke, illustrator of The Little Mermaid
The key to your future success is to find a place to work, even if your work is all over the internet. Use a computer for as long as you can, but don’t use it for any amount of time at a time, like you might in a film or video production. You’ll miss out on the opportunity to learn. (The one and only exception I’ll make to this rule: if someone pays a fee for your time on set, it’s a nice way for your company to thank you for your willingness to do your work.)
Day 3: Buy some work.
This is easy. Take the time to find stuff to draw. Try and find something that can be easily scanned into a digital image (like a drawing from an old magazine article that you’re still curious about.) Take a look at a real world example: find pictures of
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