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What I learned at Animation Mentor

by | Sep 27, 2012

What I learned at Animation Mentor


Dave Logan completed both our Character Animation Program and Animals & Creatures: Master Class. Since graduating, he has gone to Industrial Light & Magic. Naturally, we’re so excited and proud of Dave and we’ve asked him to share a bit about what learned on campus. Enjoy … The Animation Mentor Crew


(That’s me on the far right.) When I look back at my time at Animation Mentor, I’m kind of blown away by how much I learned from the experience. I learned about the principles of animation, the mechanics of a body in motion, and how to deliver a (hopefully!) good performance. Perhaps the most valuable skill I honed at Animation Mentor, though, was that of taking direction.

What I learned at Animation Mentor - Dave Logan

Every day at my job as an Animation Assistant at Industrial Light & Magic, I take direction. Whether it be on something technical such as which methods I should use to fix a broken shot; or on something more artistic — what my poses should look like in my shots, or how my secondary action should complement the primary action — I’m always taking direction. And I most likely always will be. Even if I were to climb the ladder all the way to Animation Director, I would still be getting notes on a daily basis from the actual director.

I really believe the ability to take direction and criticism is absolutely essential to thriving in a collaborative field such as animation, and I feel the way Animation Mentor is set up really helps prepare you for that. You may not always agree 100% with your mentor, but you will follow his or her direction, and I guarantee you will become a better and more professional animator in the process.

And that’s really what matters. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best animator in the world. If you can’t take direction or are a general pain to work with, you will have a hard time finding a job. So I strongly encourage all of the students at Animation Mentor to view each eCritique as a learning experience not just toward honing your animation skills, but also as opportunity to get better at taking feedback and direction. Trust me, it will pay dividends down the road.

— Dave Logan

P.S. from Animation Mentor:
Join Dave and his fellow Industrial Light & Magic animators for a special webinar panel. This illustrious group will discuss the polish and extra steps they see in the best demo reels — and provide an inside view of the recruitment process and what you can expect. The webinar panel is sure to inspire your learning and elevate your work to stand out. The webinar is $25 and airs on Wednesday, October 10. Learn more and register today.


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