A call for topics. And a “thank you.”



First, I’ll start with the “thank you”. The enthusiastic response to last week’s video releases was so great. Thank you so much for all of the notes, comments and cheerful correspondences. It’s always really scary putting something out there not knowing whether it is going to deliver on its intended purpose, so the encouragement and the reviews are really nice. Please, everyone, keep the conversation going. I’d love to hear what you might like to talk about in future videos and blog posts.

And speaking of that, the second reason for my post today is to ask for your input on podcast topics. Before I dive in to the standard interview format, or sit on camera and pontificate on all things animation, I’d really be more interested to know what specific animation related topics you’d like to have included.  My intent for the podcast is to create short 10-minute “how-to’s”, or more accurately “how-I-do’s” on everyday performance-related or process-related things while in my animation workflow. Or, to steal some time from my friends and ask them to share some of their knowledge and experience to have a wider variety of approaches to draw from. But what will those things be? What would you like them to be?  I’d love to hear, so I don’t go wandering off wildly in to the world of cheek muscle nuance, when what would really be more interesting is to get tips on IK/FK matching or something like that (ok, I think I just put all non-animators to sleep with that last sentence.) Anyway, let me know your thoughts (by posting in the comment section down below), and I’ll start a list and begin to create a schedule 🙂

Lastly, I encourage everyone to drop some reviews on the product pages. I think it will help in two very important ways; 1) it will help me know what I can do better in future videos, and 2) it will help other animators know what to expect from the purchase they are considering. So, if you have an extra minute, I’d love to have your thoughts to share!


That’s all for now. I’m cooking up a real blog post for this week, so stay tuned.

And, again – thanks!

16 Responses to "A call for topics. And a “thank you.”"
  1. Thank you for the tutorial videos, I just bought three of them and I am going to watch them after downloading.
    It’s so good to know this website.
    Look forward to upcoming tutorial. 😀

  2. I would love to see how you derive giving your chars their personality. How their personality makes any difference in a different context, etc.
    In short, more on developing the char from scratch. 😀

  3. Thanks for starting the podcast .. 🙂
    If you are still taking suggestion for podcast topics..

    A while ago Fardinad at AnimatorIsland started this really brilliant series about eyes. I had few questions about eyes .. so here I am re- posting those again .. Hope to see some of them to make it as podcast topic..
    I know most of these questions can be answered only through visual media.. but I still think its worth the shot.. so here I go… 🙂 🙂

    I have just started doing acting assignments and first part that I have to learn is to animate eyes meaningfuly
    In my quest of learning acting in animation, I am in pursuit of the answers for the following questions since past few weeks

    1. How do you plan eyes, I mean I usually I have decent idea about what’s going to happen since I prepare rough pencil test first,
    My question is,
    What do you exactly look for in video reference regarding eyes?
    What’s your usual process?
    What are the most common or basic things you look for in eyes (eye movements)

    2) there’s this really great article by Shawn Kelly “Blinks Have a meaning”
    I would love to see your take on blinks..
    Your usual thinking process about blinks

    3) Eye movements usually could be strong narrative beats or sometimes connecting tissue between dramatic blocks
    I usually see in badly animated movies, the mechanical blinks and unintentional eye movements which ignore subtexts or actual words completely

    How do you plan/ animate eye movements with respect to head and entire body motion ?

    How to deal with subtext and narrative beats while planning and animating eyes ?

    How to enhance the essence of that particular moment without making eye animation too much distracting from entire performance?

    4) I love Dexter series, and Michael C. Hall is an amazing actor.
    He has this incredible control over blinks, eye movements which amplifies the emotions and subtexts in the scenes at times he doesn’t even blink, its so brilliant

    Do you have any reccommendations for eyes?
    Or some specific scenes

    & what should we be studying – looking while watching talented actors eyes
    What are the things we should note down?

    5) there this awesome scene in movie Bolt, where Bolt runs towards Penny but then realizes(thinks) he has been replaced.. he stops

    His reactions, the eyes, the one slower blink.. its so perfect …amazing acting performance

    How do you bring that finess – awesomeness in scene, with eyes and blinks?

    What must be done right in these delicate scenes?

    6) what are 3 foundational things one must do while planning eyes and why?

    7) what’s the ultimate goal of eye animation or eye movements in a scene?
    Of course it will mean different in differnet scenes and in different context
    But what’s ultimate goal we should have for eyes in general?

    our goals for eyes in body mechanics scenes?
    our goals for eyes in pantomime?
    our goals for acting scenes?

    8) what are 4 most frequent things you see in eyes in badly animated acting scenes?

    9) Usually big eyes are preferred for more expressiveness in eyes,
    But what are the things you must do when you have to animate character like Rango who has tiny eyes & pupils?

    10) How do you explain the relationship between eye brows – eyes – cheeks
    What are the ways to animate them together meaningfully as a whole unit

    11) do you have any tips while animating using the area between upper eyelids – brows?

    12) I would love to see/ read about your thinking process for any of your shot where character is talking
    How you planned your eyes? What you got from reference? How you amplified it?
    How do you make clever choices?
    What questions you consistently ask while animating eyes?

    13) What are things that need to be considered while animating a character where the subtext is different than actual words ( for ex. Lying)

    14) while animating animals what things need to be considered as there’s huge distance between eyes and mouth or it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever

    15) how to deal with challenge of animal or bird eyes when they are far apart or on completely different sides?

    16) I don’t remember exactly that it was Ken Duncan or Glen Keane but
    One of them mentioned that sometimes with eyes,
    Doing less is more…
    There are some really impressive scenes in Tangled where characters are only breathing

    How to sieze that opportunity of doing less is more?
    What caution should be taken while doing that?

    How to define that line between over animating eyes and expressive eyes?

  4. I remember in your attitudes and acting beats that you said impeccable spacing was one of the things that separates the best of the best apart from the rest of us, so I would LOVE a video just dedicated to spacing

    • I address that a lot in my classes right now, and it relates directly to the principles of weight and acceleration I mention in “Breakdowns.” Good one. Putting that on the list. Thanks Kelly!

      • haven’t gotten to breakdowns yet, but attitudes and acting beats is easily the best animation tutorial I have watched, so I am looking forward watching the two that follow it. Also, I attempted to leave a review on attitudes and acting beats but the review link is not working for me.

    • I am considering a podcast on multiple characters giving and taking focus. Yep, that’s a good one. And yep, Cesc’s shot is brilliant, I agree 🙂

  5. Really great stuff as always! I would like to see some tips on what you do if you have a very limited time to work on a shot. Working in games, we don’t have the luxury of as much time. Sometimes, we have to block out 4 or 5, 30 second shots in a day and we only get a few hours to complete each shot.

  6. Thanks for the awesome videos … Animating a Basic Acting Shot and attitudes & acting beats… soon i will buy part 2 and 3, can you please do videos on approaching cartoony pantomime….



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