We were lucky enough to host Industrial Light & Magic Animator Jean-Denis Haas for our two-part webinar, Animating From Home. Not only is Jean-Denis a talented animator, he’s a personable and informative one too!
We had such a good time talking through the challenges of working from home as an animator and, as usual, our wonderful audience asked great questions. If you didn’t get a chance to attend live, please enjoy the replays below.
Part 1: Best WFH Animation Setup
In Part 1, Jean-Denis (JD to most) covered his preferred animation set up at home, from his desk to his stylus and even his water bottle!
The keys to being productive from the home office are comfort (Are you prepared to sit in that chair for 8 hours?) and health (Have you been drinking enough water? When was the last time you stretched?). We think you’ll find that once your desk is set up the way you’d like, you’ll be more efficient and productive at work, er home.
Working from Home Set Up Tips
“I use a pen. If I do [animation] polish and I start squeezing the mouse really hard—because I want to move every single pixel—my hands hurt. So I switched to this (pen) a long time ago.”
“If you’re on a PC, I highly recommend you get [F.LUX]. It adjusts the color temperature of your monitor.”
Try to stay hydrated and eat healthy during the day so your energy levels stay the same.
“Try to stay hydrated and eat healthy during the day so your energy levels stay the same.”
“When I’m at work, I look at the monitor and then go to dailies, meetings, go grab lunch, whatever I do and my eyes will focus on something else that’s further away. You have to think of your eyes as muscles. Now that I’m home…I try to take breaks.”
Part 2: Motivation Tips for Animators
Animating from Home, Part 2, focused on mental health and motivation. It can be hard to feel motivated and enthusiastic while working from home, especially given the news.
For that reason, it’s more important than ever to check in and make sure you’re allowing yourself to take the time you need to re-charge. Check out JD’s personal motivation tips below!
Motivation Tips for Animators
“I highly recommend that you [catalogue animation ideas], through email or it could be something on a blog that’s private. It could be something in your personal reference folder, whatever you have on your phone etc…but I would do something like that where you can get back to it. Sometimes I don’t know what to do and I go through this list and it gives me ideas for something else.”
“I watch whatever [animation] I can, everywhere. I save it, I analyze it, and that’s for me a massive source of inspiration.”
I watch whatever [animation] I can, everywhere. I save it, I analyze it, and that’s for me a massive source of inspiration.
“If you look at higher budget movies, you may or may not like the story, but probably 99% of the time the animation is fantastic. So even if you ignore the story, you can look at any recent animated movie and just grab a sequence and study that.”
“Animation is a process and you just have to be patient.”
Shout Out to JD’s Shout-Outs
If you attended the webinar or watched the replay, you’ll know that JD’s enthusiasm is endless and wide-ranging. He shares it freely and loves to shout out his favorite films, people, ideas etc.
- Carrying on that enthusiasm, below are some of our favorite shout-outs from the webinar:
- Tintin – Can you see the poster behind JD?
- JD’s Wife – “I have the best wife in the world!”
- Animation Mentor – JD wore his AM t-shirt and we loved it
- The Crown – “It’s such a great show!”
- Frame by Frame Animation – “If you are not following them I would recommend that you do!”
To watch more videos from Jean-Denis Haas, check out his awesome YouTube channel.
Want more advice from the pros? Watch these webinars:
Animation Career Advice with Shawn Kelly & Carlos Baena
Animation Tutorial with Lead Reel FX Animator
How to Become an Animator with Blue Sky Animators
Start your animation journey today by learning from animators at studios like Pixar, Blue Sky, and ILM! Get more information about Animation Mentor’s Character Animation Program.