Sunday, 6 July 2014

One month at Tiger...

Hi folks! Hope you're all healthy & well? I can't quite believe how fast 2014 already seems to be going! It's been roughly one month & a week [updated below] since starting at Tiger Aspect, so thought I'd share my experience so far with you all.

So for those who missed my last post, I'm currently employed by Tiger Aspect Animation as a 2D character animator on the second season of the 'Mr Bean: Animated' show. I had initially planned to make a post at the end of my first day there, but never found the time.

Day one was great. We were given a tour of the studio by the production manager & then shown to our desks, where we had place-cards waiting for us at our allocated work stations [classy]. There are 3 teams of animators on the production; I was one of 6 in team 1 starting that first week. Team 2 followed the week after, & team 3 the week after that.

A little about the production... We're working in Cel-Action (CA); a program originally created for producing advanced cut-out-style animation... I'd used it years ago on one of my first industry jobs for a studio called Dinamo Productions where I was an animator on a Welsh animated TV series called CNEX. Here's a scene from the show [I animated the couple in the bed]...

Needless to say, but since it had been so long since I'd opened the software, I needed to have a crash course to familiarise myself with it again, which the studio ran for about 2 or so weeks. During those few weeks, I quickly discovered that today's version of CA is far FAR more advanced than what I remembered or ever thought it could be. The layout & interface was more or less the same, but the things you can do in it now + the results you can achieve really are quite incredible. I'll save going into the details of that for another post, but for the most part, a finished scene could easily pass for something that was hand-animated. Here's a showreel of an old friend of mine which demonstrates just a little of what can be done technically within the software.

*UPDATE* Since it's taking me so long to find the time to write this post, this in now current my 6th month at Tiger Aspect [haha]... Crazy!  So much has happened between when I first began composing this post to now, like the studio craftily surprising me on my birthday with a sing song & customised cake that almost gave me a stroke!

It's actually become somewhat of a tradition at the studio, so you can just imagine how much cake I've eaten over the past 6 months... Just last week in fact, there were 4 birthdays! For those who haven't seen me in a few months, I may look a little looser around the hips & chin area, but don't be afraid, it is me.

It's been an incredibly challenging but progressive few months getting to grips with the software whilst adjusting to series animation production time-frames. It's generally more of a faster pace than working in commercials, but again, I'll go into the details of that in another post. I will say I do miss the extra freedom I had being freelance, but only from a 'personal work' point of view... For those who know me well, I'm someone who likes to create & be creative all the time. I have films I want to make, paintings/ illustrations I want to produce, & generally much I aim to achieve which all require a lot of time, focus & dedication. So I'm finding I now have to be a lot more disciplined with my free time... This more than anything else is what I'm dealing with most.

All in all though, I'm very much enjoying my time here! I'm working with a bunch of positive & very talented individuals who are brilliant at what they do in their given areas of production. Also many opportunities are presenting themselves which confirm that this is currently where I'm meant to be, & I know I have God to thank for that.

Signing off now, but here's a full crew photo for those interested in counting how many people it requires to produce this 2nd season of Mr Bean TAS, in comparison to the 1000's it took to produce the first... Can you spot me?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend & have a positive week!
More to come...