1. AM Blog
  2. Animation Mentor
  3. More CTN-X Love from Robin Linn

More CTN-X Love from Robin Linn

by | Nov 29, 2012

CTN X 2012 01

Marlon Nowe (left), Bobby Beck (center), and Robin Linn (right)

Holy key-frames, CTN-X was off the hook this year! I love this event more and more. So many talented artists all crammed elbow to elbow to elbow in one room.

This year, I was on a panel with Marlon Nowe and Bobby Beck (Demo Reel Review: Live, On Stage, and Uncut) where we did a live reel review in front of a large crowd. Kudos to those animators who submitted their reels to be critiqued in a public setting. Like Bobby said, it takes a brave soul to stand up there to take one for the team — but in the end, everyone benefits.

What was refreshing for me was that even though Bobby, Marlon and I approach a reel from three different perspectives — there were a lot of commonalities that all three of us hit on:

Put your best work right up front. That rumor that we only look at a reel for ten seconds is TRUE-TRUE-TRUE. Now, we make look longer if we like what we see, but we may not make it to the 10-second mark if you put your bouncing ball test at the front of your reel.

You need thick skin to work in this industry. Not all of the criticism you will hear may feel like it is of the constructive type — but trust me, it is. Listen, take notes and a deep breath.

Acting is key. Yes, you have to understand how something moves — that’s a given. But you better be able to show the viewer that the character you are working on is not just moving — but is thinking, reacting and moving.

Your reel should read like a good book — don’t start off too boring or we may lose interest. Hit us right off the bat with a nice meaty acting shot and then show us some nice physics coupled with acting and then WHAM! another great acting shot to send us home.

Remember, 30 seconds of “That’s awesome!” animation is better than 2 minutes of “Meh” animation.

As big as the animation world is — it is incredibly well connected. Everyone knows everyone who knows everyone. Guard your reputation, it will precede you and follow you wherever you go.

I know some of the stuff I wrote up there seems pretty harsh — it was meant to be (see comment 1.5). And let me also say this — the ability to animate is a gift few are given. Just because you really want to be an animator does not mean that you have what it takes to be one, but hard work and dedication may reveal skills that you never knew you had.


From Animation Mentor:
We always tell you that Animation Mentor provides you with in-depth industry perspectives, insights, and resources like this. A big thank you to Robin for his spot-on, honest recap. Now that you know what it takes, you are ready to pursue your animation dream. Apply today.

Related Articles