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10 of the Best Animal and Creature Animation Posts

by | Jul 18, 2018

You probably know by now that animal and creature animation are 100% essential for your demo reel if you’re hoping to get hired as an animator. To help get you started on improving that demo reel, here’s a round-up of some of our best articles written by top dogs in animation who’ve worked on projects like Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Game of Thrones, and more!

Top 3 Reasons You Want Creature Animation on Your Demo Reel

By Shawn Kelly

To kick us off, Shawn Kelly, Lead Animator at Industrial Light & Magic and Animation Mentor Co-Founder educates us on why you need more creature and animal animation on YOUR demo reel, regardless of the studios you are applying to. Sit back, read and then go make your demo reel better!

Is Your Demo Reel Ready for a Major Studio?

By Shawn Kelly

In this webinar, Shawn took a little break from working on Avengers 3 to critique some student demo reels and to talk about do’s and don’ts, creature animation, and what studios are looking for when they review reels. It was awesome sauce and we learned so much about creature animation and demo reels! And now you can watch the replay and learn something too.

Shawn Kelly Answers 5 Burning Questions About Demo Reels

Okay, this is the last one by Shawn. He just has so much great wisdom to share about creature animation and demo reels that we did a follow-up Q&A after the webinar. Here he answers five great student questions about demo reels and gives advice on applying for studio animation jobs. And he should know—he’s been at ILM for more than 20 years! Get ready to soak up some knowledge.

10 Insights from a Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy Creature Animator

By Nicole Herr

Nicole Herr is a Los Angeles-based character animator, a longstanding friend of Animation Mentor and an instructor in our Creature Animation: Locomotion workshop. Nicole graciously answered some of our burning questions about her animation career, animation workflow techniques and what it was like to be an animator working on Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy. Read, get inspired and go animate!

How to Animate Quadruped Walk Cycles with a Jurassic World Animator

By Steve Cady

Here’s an awesome how-to tutorial from our veteran mentor and Hybride Lead Animator, Steve Cady! From preparation, blocking, to clean-up, learn Steve’s workflow on how he would animate a quadruped walk cycle. Read and get to work!

The 6 Most Common Mistakes With Creature Animation Demo Reels

By Shawn Kelly

Okay, we lied. Here’s one more by Shawn Kelly. This time he shares the 6 most common mistakes he sees with creature animation in demo reels. Now that you’re convinced to include creature animation on your reel, make sure you avoid these mistakes! Think your reel is up to par? Read on and get motivated.

Animating Toothless: Insider Tips from How to Train Your Dragon 2

An old but great post with Dane Sogner, a former Animation Mentor student who joined DreamWorks Animation to work on Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, became an expert on Toothless during the first How to Train Your Dragon film. For How to Train Your Dragon 2, he took charge of the hero dragon as Character Lead Animator for Toothless. We talked with Stogner about his experiences animating the friendly yet dangerous Night Fury!

Top 5 Essentials of Animating Creatures

By Jean-Denis Haas

Jean-Denis Haas is a long-time mentor of Animation Mentor, a creature guru, and a Senior Lead Animator for Industrial Light & Magic. Here he shares his tips and tricks for what makes a great creature animator, how to bring life into realistic characters and monsters, and why you need to learn creature animation.

6 Animation Tips Every Creature Animator Should Know

By Nicole Herr

With creature animation on the rise, bringing realistic animations and creatures to life matters more than ever. Here’s another great post by Nicole Herr, who has worked on various well known and loved characters from movies such as Iron Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men 2 and more! With over 20 years experience, combined with her own thirst for knowledge and an undying passion for teaching intricacies of the craft, Nicole is the perfect person to share the magic of bringing creature animation to life. Enjoy and become inspired!

Alvise Avati Talks Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Essential Creature Animation Advice for Students

by Alvise Avati

At age 32, Alvise Avati decided to switch careers and become an animator. Now he has films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avatar, and King Kong on his resume. Learn more about Alvise’s unique journey and get some great tips on getting your creature animation skills blockbuster ready!

Rawr! Learn how to animate epic creatures for animated or live-action movies!

Learn how to animate epic creatures with our Creature Animation Workshops! Work with professional Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain animators who’ve worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more!

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