Tito A. Belgrave: Hi Jeff, you have been quite
a busy man in the past year, tell us some of the things you have been
doing and some of the things you have planned for the year.
At the time, I was planning out an animation course in the company where I worked, to teach other employees the art and science of character animation. That class never materialized however, because things got rough schedule wise. So I had to focus on my actual job. Then things started clicking in my head. I said to myself, “Why don’t you make a training video?” Then I said, “Ok, let’s do it.”
Tito A. Belgrave: I must say 4 hours of solid
content on character animation itself sounds like a winner, what can we
expect to see in this double dvd set?
The second dvd will teach the art of character animation and achieving the goals with the tools and knowledge learned from the first dvd. It will focus on the traditional principles of animation like anticipation, follow through, weight, timing, posing, secondary actions, staging, etc. It will also touch lightly on how to develop a character, not only in the way it looks, but also its personality and history. A character with a history is much more interesting than a character without one.
Finally, somewhere in there, I fit in 2 full examples of animation where I start from an idea and animate the first pass and then return to animate the polishing pass. You can get a glimpse of the two examples from my trailer. They are the green guy doing a jump kick and the blue guy throwing the rock.
Ultimately, this DVD set is meant to be an entire college course about 3D character animation and maybe even more.
Tito A. Belgrave: How well will your teachings
work with the array of 3D packages currently available?
the principles and then show you how to achieve those
principles in a 3D software. It will also show you methods of keyframing
on the computer and ways of organizing your keyframes so they can be easily
edited if you want your animation to change later on.
Seasoned professionals may learn a few things as well. From working in many companies in the FX industry, I learned that most animators animate differently. If you are a seasoned pro and are noticing that some of your coworkers are finishing their animations much quicker than you are, then you may learn a few new ways of using the tools and more efficient means of animating from these DVD’s.
Tito A. Belgrave: Being involved as an animator
in such films as X-Men, Kung Pow and the recent position as lead animator
on the upoming "The Matrix Reloaded", how have these experiences
helped you in assembling your own training material?
Also, if a traditional animator transitions into a 3D animator, then they may not be using the software as efficiently as possible. So when I was planning this DVD, I added training material that will help animators trouble shoot their animations and also overcome some technical hurdles. This way, the animator will be more prepared to go out in the field without having someone to assist them.
I’ve seen talented animators who animate very well but may lack in experience. An animator may animate something great, but then a director may say, “It’s good, but let’s have him do this too and let’s take this part out.” If you are inexperienced, you may try to change your animation to the point of destruction, and the great animation that you once had has been mangled beyond recognition. (trust me, I’ve been there!) In this DVD set, I’ll show you how to organize your keyframes so that they are easily editable, and how to go about your animation while anticipating changes from a director.
Tito A. Belgrave: Matrix 2: Reloaded is more than
likely the most anticipated film this summer, is there anything you can
tell us in regards of the shots that were lead by yourself?
Jeff Lew: Posing is part of the art of animation. Not
only should a pose have depth, but also portray the character’s
mood, intent, and/or personality. I also go into character design and
character development lightly in the DVD set.
Tito A. Belgrave: One of the shining qualities
I noticed from the trailer is that it's not just a voice you hear when
you're watching the training material, but more as if you yourself are
actually there "teaching" us in a class. What was the idea behind
On the other hand, I’ve watched many documentaries, and good documentaries
keep your attention and leave you wanting for more. Documentaries make
you eager to learn. So I decided to make my training video in a documentary
fashion. Expect to see many different types of footage edited in with
live footage. I also plan on composing a multiple song soundtrack to help
deter the boredom and snoring. Going the extra mile has added a ton of
extra work, but this DVD set is something that I hope people will watch
more than once. So I hope to make their viewing experience at least doable
if not pleasant!
movies! I mainly learned Tae Kwon Do. I took that for 4
years. I also took karate for 1 year and I dabbled in kung fu after college.
Learning martial arts and gaining a martial arts mentality has also helped
me a lot in choreographing better fight scenes. In KB3, not only will
you see more intense action, but also a much deeper mood between characters.
People are people. Going through the mental process of squaring off against
another person in full contact sparring makes you realize that from a
movie-making perspective, action for action's sake is quite boring. It
is only when you can see and realize what a person is thinking and emotionally
feeling, then the action gets a whole lot more interesting. That's one
of my goals in KB3.
Tito A. Belgrave: As for price you
stated at one point you would like it to cost less than a playstation
game! This is remarkable considering the amount of time and effort that
will be involved, any particular reason why?
|Tito A. Belgrave: Jeff you're an inspiration
to many, and I think I can speak for everyone reading when I say, we anxiously
look forward to the upcoming Killer Bean 3. All the best to you.|
Jeff Lew: Thanks! Killer Bean 3 is gonna blow up the spot!! I really can’t wait to get back on it. It’s funny to hear that I’m an inspiration to others. I’m not that old, am I? To me, it only seems like a couple years ago when I was inspired by others to get into CG. BTW, thanks for the great interview!
Discuss this article on CGTalk - Digital Visual Effects Professionals >>
the Director of Community Development, Tito "Lildragon" Belgrave