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Crafting a Feature Shot: TUTORIALS

May 10, 2013

in Tutorials

As I’m sure you have noticed the posts have been more sparse these past few months. The main reason is my addiction has been in full blast. Over the last two years I have been working on a shot, this time included modeling, rigging, animation and final render. Why did it take so long? – well, it’s something that I have been working on by stealing an hour here, a few minutes there. Slowly and slowly time add up.

So now what? – well, I have decided to take the work I have done on the shot and use it to help others learn and get better. I have been recording and editing a few short video snippets that show the workflow and explain how I created this shot. I will start posting these in the near future and it should last a while.

I am still editing these and have a few left to record, so I’m opening it up to you all, if there’s something you’d like me to focus on while I’m still mid “production” – now is the time to ask for it, before it’s too late.

The videos will be available to all, and depending on the interest to this post I’ll decide how deep to dive into the actual execution of the shot. Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Crafting a Feature Shot Trailer from Animation Addicts on Vimeo

Keep an eye out – they’ll be here before you know it!

Additional Reading...

brewery May 10, 2013 at 8:49 am

Sounds amazing! thanks so much for doing this and putting it out there! cant wait to see more! 😀

Chetan Trivedi May 10, 2013 at 9:20 am

Love the final look. I have been waiting for the next part of this series and wanted to see how to add nice little character moments in the shot, for example the nose scratch. Also after seeing the final version ild be interested in knowing why you decided to have him constantly moving and where do you draw the line of having a character moving versus HOLDING a key pose.
Love the shot and the acting!

Animation Addict May 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

You have some good points and I’ll make sure to address them in the first video

Chetan Trivedi May 11, 2013 at 1:51 am

Thanks, Tal.

Matt May 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

Can’t wait to see these tutorials! I’d love to know more about your workflow, Moving Holds and even how you time the beats/accents without over acting… anything you have to say will be of huge help !! Thanks 😀

Aloke Sarkar May 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

Great i have been waiting for the continuation of the tutorial for long time.

Himanshu May 10, 2013 at 11:58 am

I am sure your tutorial on the animation part will be great but since you built the rig yourself, it’d be great to see some thoughts on that part of the process.

Animation Addict May 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Funny enough it was my first real attempt at a rig like this, and I learned a lot. It wasn’t the best rig, but to me it was just proof that even with a bad rig you can still do something nice.

Donald Chan May 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Hey Tal,

I’d love to see your workflow after the initial ‘first pass’ of blocking using video reference. You had a post about ‘carbon copying’ reference, but seeing the need to push the posing. But I’m curious to see if you begin to push and deviate your timing from the video reference as well. I’ve noticed for myself that copying the reference timing may not garner the most appealing animation!

Animation Addict May 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm

It’s funny because the blocking of the shot took so long my view on acting and animation had changed over that time span. I really wondering how much I should push the shot, or keep it like it had started out. The main thing to keep in mind I found was that I didn’t want to forget the intent of the shot just to do flashy animation.
My next shot will be much more exaggerated.

Fe May 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Love to know more about the polish and how you get the nuances in there, Tal.

Animation Addict May 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Will do!

alliseeisblusky May 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Heya thanks for the time & effort! I’d like to know more about getting the energy into your blocking pass. I often see pros blocking and I can already sense the “life”, elasticity, squash and stretch and I’d like that in my own.
And what you focus on in Polish.


Matt May 11, 2013 at 7:32 am

Really exciting project! I think it might have been mentioned already but I would really be interested to see how you did/didn’t feel the need to push your reference, and also understanding more about your acting choices.


Dhaval May 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Dear Tal,
Firstly, I gotta thank you for the wonderful service that you are providing to the community here. The ‘Pay It Forward’ analysis that you had done for my reel was very helpful too. Thanks !
What I have a problem with, when I animate, is to deduce how loose to keep the blocking, and how exactly to proceed post blocking, by making breakdowns that help accentuate the performance, even while it is in stepped mode. An example of this is on this page :
The intent of the character is so easily visible that you don’t have to strain your imagination much to deduce, what might fill those held frames later.

And apart from this, one more workflow that I’d love to get into is the layered way to animate, starting out from the root first, and then working up the spine, and outwards.

It shall be awesome if you could manage to shed some light on these topics. Thanks yet again, for your wonderful service, Tal.

Fes Jun 3, 2013 at 8:18 am

Hey Tal,
Second Dhaval’s request about layered animation. Would love to know how to use that technique.

Pranav May 18, 2013 at 2:29 am


Jason Campbell Jun 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Starting to twitch a little involuntarily waiting.




Alexi Jul 3, 2013 at 4:52 am

No question what you are sharing with the world is really a gem. Documenting your process is a great learning experience for me. In return I will be sharing your workflow and insights with my high school students. My goal is to inspire students towards careers in media and animation. Really looking forward to the next stage of learning-I can not thank you enough for what you are doing!

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