Sunday, 12 April 2015

Edu Llobera interview

Hello guys and gals,

December's winner was created by Edu Llobera. Below, he tells his animation story so far, beginning with a unique experience of he first stumbled into studying the craft.

Thank you Edu. Beautiful work, I look forward to seeing more.

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Artist portfolio  
Ecritique
Winning Entry
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Can I start off by asking what inspired you to become an animator?
I have always liked to draw. I have an artist family, so I suppose my motivation comes from my environment and upbringing. When I was a child, my mom made comics as a hobby and made some illustrations in her free time. My grandpa was a great illustrator http://www.josellobera.com/ and my uncle is one of the best painter in his style http://www.perellobera.com/

However, I started studying architecture. Then one day, at 22 years of age, I discovered animation as a career option. My mother signed up to one course of 3D Maya, but she changed her work schedule and she offered me take her place.  I didn't know what to do with my  career and although I had started to study architecture, when I went to my first class of 3D I was fascinated. The mentor showed us some video clips with effects and animations and my mind said "I want to do like this". I remember "enjoy the silence" video clip from DEPECHE MODE as an inspiration.  

Then I gave up architectures studies and I dedicated all my effort to do this new path.

Now with several years in the industry under your belt, how have you found this experience in becoming the artist you are today?
I have 6-7 years of experience, this is the time I needed to achieve my current knowledge about animation. Every person is different and they need to make their own way. There are people with less experience who know more than me and vice versa. There is no formula.

Mid-career, you opted to take some classes with Ianimate. Please can you talk a little about your time with the school and the reasons for choosing the classes?
It was really hard for me. This is due various of factors, particularly timing and also that I hadn't done much acting previously. 

At the time that I enrolled, I was living in Spain and had just finished a project. However, three weeks into the course I started work at Axis animation, in Scotland. I had to move from Barcelona to Glasgow and I made the rest of the workshop with a small portable computer. That I was working full time during my stay in Glasgow, made studying harder than it otherwise could have been. Lastly, the English language was disadvantage for me.

All this meant, that my two exercises finished after the deadline of four.

With all this said, I would definitely do it again. 

What are your career goals, both short term and long term?
I would like to become an animation supervisior at features films. In the short term, to deliver my animation shots on time, I have a 1 day delay :D 

Looking at wip reel, I love the action sequence of the middle shot. Other options could have been to use cuts or a held side view, but I love the way the camera moves with the action. In terms of camera and composition, what advice would you give to somebody looking to do similarly?
My advice is if you don't know to do something, ask who knows it. I don't know too much the theory of camera but I looked in action feature films and I copied a few ideas, after I showed my options and asked for advice to people who knows about storytelling.
Films that inspired my decisions include 300Ong Bak, Matrix, and cinematics including Star Craft, League of Legends, Elder Scrolls, and 2 short-films (Kairos and the red). Mostly, however, I took a camera from Kairos.  


WIP from edu llobera on Vimeo.


Looking at wip reel, I love the action sequence of the middle shot. Other options could have been to use cuts or a held side view, but I love the way the camera moves with the action. In terms of camera and composition, what advice would you give to somebody looking to do similarly?
My advice is if you don't know to do something, ask who knows it. I don't know too much the theory of camera but I looked in action feature films and I copied a few ideas, after I showed my opcions and asked for advice to people who knows about storytelling.

The multiple hands in Slimy Git, reminds me very much of Looney Tunes. Can you talk a little about the planning for their timing and positioning of the multiple hands? Also a little about their execution? Thank you.
It was a great challenge, I had the idea but I didn't know the animation technique to do it. Slimmy Git is one of iAnimate exercises, I took longer to finish (wrapping up 9 months later). 


Slimmy git from edu llobera on Vimeo.

The quick movements happen in 1 frame, but our eyes need 2 or 3 frames to follow it so Slimmy git has hands and glasses duplicated. I'm not an expert, there may have been a different technique, for example I could have used smear frames. However, its important to leave a trail where it comes from. 

Don't be afraid to experiment and give it a try.

Focusing now on your winning entry, can you tell us a little bit about your animation process?
I studied the characters personality. I immediately recognized the Carry's voice (from Homeland tv series). I looked for reference including bipolar people or angry people. After I recorded myself 1 million times until I find something interesting. I prepared the staging, the blocking of 3 shots, I passed to spline and finally refine. On the fly I made some changes, for example at the beginning the can of paint was a teddy bear and she held a knife.

I love the nervous tension shared between the two characters? Kerry's little shakes, the madness in her eyes and in particular the desperate look for reassurance around frames 111-114. Please talk a bit about your inspiration for these characters.
She is a normal person who is feeling fears about her life. Kerry must take a risk, face her fears but she's scared (I represented this with a green colour and pink colour). Who has never felt similar in a period of change?

Although the competition is an animation competition, the beautiful quality of the render, makes me ask about Kerry's teeth. As Keith Santay comments, it looks like her teeth are all knocked out. Was this a character choice to her breakdown?
Unfortunately, it was a mistake. I would like to be a better renderer, but on a few frames it is missing light in her mouth .

Where did the idea come from for the little face on the paint can?
At the beginning I thought to put a teddy bear in the background. However, when I decided she had a paintbrush, this was changed to a can of paint. The face is inspired by the volleyball, Wilson, from Cast Away.
  
Is there any advice you would give to others entering the competition?
Try to explain an instant from some history. It is only are 10-15 seconds, there is no time to explain many things. Try to be most clear and try to do a decent render. I believe the 11 Second Club entries may usually obtain better results with nice renders. However, we shouldn't forget the render help to the animation to explain better the stories. For example, we can to do a render in black&white for express melancholic.

Good luck! 
Interview by Steven Hawthorne

1 comment:

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