Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jason Manak - Character Animation

Well, hiya fello animators! It's my first post here and I'm going to force myself to be active on this one. Perhaps it'll make me polish more of my material than I usually do.

I'm currently living just outside of San Francisco and attending the Academy of Art for a master's degree in Computer Animation. I have a great interest in CG films and also video games. Although I haven't written out the possibility of doing special FX, it's lower on my list of interests.

I'm working on the final parts of preproduction on my thesis, so I'll post material as I get it finished, but the animation itself should be starting this coming fall after all the models / environments / characters are built and textured.

Anyways - here's a short piece I did last year.


Thom said...

Hey Jason, welcome aboard! Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff.

One thing I'd like to encourage is critiquing each other's (recent) work. Would you mind if I offered a few comments on what I see here?

regina doman said...

My comments won't be as penetrating as THom's, I'm sure!
Anyhow, I thought it was funny! Made me laugh!
God bless your thesis

Thom said...

Overall I see real progress since your last demo that I saw a few years ago. You really nailed the fluidity of the motion down -- but almost too much for my taste. I'd like to see more snap. Fewer inbetweens between some of the moves, particularly at the end. Also the staging could be clearer. He comes directy at the camera the entire shot, which may not be as interesting as him jumping from side to side or something. See what I mean? Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing more!

Wish we could frame through these blogger videos. I'm going to look for an alternative...

Just thought of's a tutorial Keith Lango wrote a while back on snappy motion. Good stuff.

Jason Manak said...

I love productive critiques! Thanks for the feedback, both of you.

Yeah, I just thought it was funny to to have some 'super duper flipping kicking martial artist chick' actually wack the camera and then turn all girlish and shy.

As for the style, I'm not really sure what exactly I want to persue and focus on in my style. More Cartoony? more realism ... hmmm ... each peace can of course have it's own style and things that are too fluid do tend to be boring / uninteresting, but I guess it's still something I'm exploring at this point.

Thom said...

You should learn to do both, naturally. :) To paraphrase St. Paul (I think -- hey, I'm Catholic!), there's a time to be snappy and a time to slow down -- even within one scene.

Look at the great Tex Avery shorts known for their snappy animation. Most of the animation is actually quite tame, even naturalistic. The snappy bits simply punctuate the jokes. Then look at Pixar movies known for naturalism. There's lot of snappy motion in them too.

It's like vocabulary; the more you master the better you can communicate. I wouldn't worry too much about developing your own style until you've mastered the vocabulary, which takes a long time. I don't think I'm quite there yet after nearly a decade.

By the way, I liked the concept of the piece too. Post some more when you get a chance.