Monday, September 13, 2010

AM Showcase

Hey guys!

I hope to write a more elaborate update soon to let you know a little more about the amazing trip to the US this July/August, where we had a fantastic time at Siggraph, the AM graduation and then touring the south-western states. We travelled about 2300 miles and saw so much that it can't be put into a few sentences.

Thanks to the crew of AM for putting together a wonderful and very emotional graduation and several fun meetings during Siggraph and at the San Francisco annual BBQ. Besides that huge thanks go to Alex, Sara, Julia, Jason, Aly, Teri, Jeff, Emily, Becca, Bobby, Dana, Travis, Mike, Bernhard, Nico (and everyone I forgot to mention) for helping and supporting us and making our time in California so special. You rock!

Last not least, some shameless self-advertising :)
I made it into this year's AM Showcase!! I'm very happy and proud to be included alongside those talented students and alumni who created some of my favourite shots within the school.
Congrats to you guys!

Go check it out on the AM Website!

I was also lucky enough to win the Student Choice Award for the best acting shot at the graduation, that was one overwhelming day! Thanks for your votes :)

More to come soon.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

small reel update

Hey guys,

I will be leaving for the US very soon, and I'm starting to get nervous and excited. Booking motels, planning national park trips and routes, stuff like that. It's way more work that you'd expect :)

I also updated my reel a bit, adding some horse animation tests and tweaking the monkey a little. They are just simple horse cycles, but I wanted to tackle the basics first, it's pretty much my first quadruped animation. This is the reel I will use for Siggraph and the coming job applications. Check it out on Vimeo and wish me luck!!

I'll be back in the middle of August, and I will have occasional email-access, although I'll try to stay away from computers as much as possible :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Journey is over

Hey guys!

I've neglected the blog a little bit in the past few months, and I won't have much to post during this summer either :)
My last day on the AM campus was June 18th, and now I'm officially an alumni of the school, hence the new badge logo. I will be getting my diploma at the end of the month at the graduation ceremony in San Francisco. Before that I'll stop by L.A. for this year's Siggraph conference, and in August I will have two weeks left to see some more places in California with my girlfriend. Wohooo!

I'm really looking forward to meeting my AM buddies and the staff in real life, after 18 months of text, chat and video communication.

I will be looking for new job opportunities starting September this year, and I'd love to work outside of Germany for a change. We'll see what comes up...

Finally I want to thank all the people who helped me get through this program, my family, my mentors, the AM staff, my fellow students, classmates and AM friends (yes you actually make friends on an online campus), and last but not least my girlfriend, who was very patient and understanding even though I worked almost every weekend and didn't have much time for social life. She was always there for me when I was down or I needed a push. So I'm very grateful, couldn't have done it without that support! I hope the whole thing pays off in the future :)

With that, back to travel preparation!! If any of you have some tips about must-visit-places in California and the southwest of the US please shoot me an email, we're still flexible :)

Have a great summer everyone!! We will make the best of it even though Germany won't be soccer champion...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New website

I wanted to create a website for years to be able to show my portfolio, this year I felt like I had to get it done for the job search after Animation Mentor and for the fmx conference. So thanks to my sister Sabine, I managed to put something up :)
Feel free to check my latest reel and resume at

I am planning on adding more stuff to the site, such as animation clips from the feature projects I worked on and probably a links section, right now it is still pretty basic. You can also download the reel as a quicktime.

I registered at too, which seems to have become a very popular and widely used video platform, especially for animation. You can find me here.

I was very happy to find my reel featured on Jean-Denis Haas' animation blog Spungella!
Wohoo :)

This week's featured artbook is called "Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series - Animation". I got it for my birthday and it's full of big-size animation drawings from many major Disney animated movies. It's so great to be able to study the drawings of the masters this way, almost as if you're holding the precious original drawings :)

There are two more books of the series so far, one about Story and the other about Design.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AM Class 6

Hey guys!

Haven't posted in ages, so here is a summary of Class 6 so far. It's only 3 more weeks before this journey with Animation Mentor is over, very hard to believe at the moment. I wasn't sure what to expect from this class, because I was surprised that we aren't supposed to do new shots but "just" polish the stuff from previous classes. To be honest, I wasn't sure that I liked the idea.

I was fortunate enough to get one of my favourite mentors of the school for class 6 - James Chiang. I watched quite a few of his critiques over the last months and attended one or two of his Saturday Q&As, and I was really impressed by his teaching style and professional approach. He seemed pretty tough too :)
James studied at Sheridan College and was trained at Disney before working at Lucasfilm, Blue Sky and Sony. At the moment he is freelancing, teaching and working on his own projects.

I can say the term has been awesome so far, I learnt a ton of new things and I think I was able to push the dialogue shots quite a bit more with James' help. I was reminded how important it is to keep learning to see, to train the eye to look for even timing, weak shape changes, lacking forces and to address those issues.

This term is about getting the shots polished and selecting the best ones for the demoreel. So instead of posting the weekly progress (which is quite subtle in many cases), here is what I ended up with a few weeks ago for my fmx demoreel.
I'll only post the dialogue shots, because the mechanics shots had not been touched yet.

Cocktail - final

Exterminators - almost final

Right now I'm trying to improve the monkey shot during the last weeks. More to come! Hope somebody is still following the blog :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

AM Class 5 Multi Character Shot

Hey guys!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, so here is an update.
These are a few iterations of my 2 character dialogue scene, where Ben and Andy, two exterminators, are called to an appartment to catch some scary furry critter. Basically I tried to have contrast between the character's personalities and acting, so one of them is totally scared and freaks out and the other one tries to calm him down to get the job done.
The audio clip is from the movie "Evolution".
I still have a lot of work to do with it, 2 more weeks left.

The clips are in reverse order, latest first. I added some of my planning sketches too.

Refining (transition to splines, adding details, more facial animation)

(acting changes, poses and breakdowns)

Layout (rough poses and cameras)

Character backgrounds, analysis

Storyboard, sketches and thumbnails

Ok, that's all for now!

Artbook of the week is "Animating the Looney Tunes Way" (Tony Cervone, Walter Foster Publishing). I got this tip from my Class 1 mentor Mario Pochat, and it's a really fun and entertaining book, full of awesome poses, drawing tips, modelsheets and animation tips. It doesn't go into extreme detail and has "only" 95 pages, but it's definitely worth it if you can find it somewhere cheap.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AM week 503

Munich is all snowy again! Wohooo, it just looks so nice getting up in the morning, looking out the window and finding everything white.

Here is my final dialogue assignment with refined lipsync and face animation. One can keep working on those details forever, but I'll leave it like this for now and move on to the next shot. I wouldn't have that much time for a shot in an actual production environment anyways.

As always, feedback is much appreciated :)

This week's featured artbook is "The Disney Villain" by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, which I only got recently. It's been out of print for a while and it's full of great info about villainous characters in Disney movies, and contains tons of sketches and artwork. Within the 230 pages there is also information about many animators who dealt with villains, like Glen Keane, Andreas Deja or Milt Kahl. If you can find it for an acceptable price (and in good condition), it's really worth it!!
There is even an edition that is signed by the authors :)

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