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Finding Fulfilment As an Animator
Before becoming a lecturer at Raffles, Barry graduated with a degree in animation and worked at Lucasfilm Singapore for six years. His projects include: the TV series “Star Wars – Clone Wars”, “Transformers”, “Rango”, and “Avengers”.
When asked about his opinion about where professional artists find fulfillment from, he said: “Sometimes, it’s the projects you want to work with. Like how one of my biggest accomplishments was working on The Avengers, even though I didn’t do much of a big part, I still managed to work a little on my dream project. When we reach a certain level, we tend to pursue dream projects – something we want to work on instead of nothing.”
Barry teaches “Knowledge” in his animation class. In this module, students learn the importance of character animation. By understanding possibility, an artist will be able to weave convincing stories and allow viewers to relate to 2D or 3D characters.
She shares with us about life as a professional artist, and what you can expect as a student at Raffles Singapore:
1. As an artist, how do you go about finding inspiration? Do you need it?
Yes of course! It is quite creatively tiring to do that every day. As a student, you wouldn’t think that he would be bored because there is only one thing he wants to do. When I was a student, it never really crossed my mind that inspiration would be hard to come by. But really, after working out every day, you’ll have a productivity bump.
You have to find inspiration somewhere so it’s good to see that inspiration comes from work and colleagues. Sometimes students’ works are not only impressive, it is a kick in the back to remind us that there will always be someone better. And we should always push for improvement.
For me, the inspiration comes mainly from the industry itself. Because movies keep breaking new ground, keep getting better, and get even more beautiful…
2. How long does it take to make something fun?
It can take anywhere from one day to two months, depending on the circumstances.
3. When you work in a professional environment, do you only create jobs? Or do you have a group?
The way the company works is, if you have anything to do with animation, I’ll do the job. Obviously other parts of the work such as lighting and modeling are done by someone else. So for just one event, the pipeline can take about a month to half a year to complete due to different categories.
4. What do you think makes people interested in working in sports?
I would say it is an art form. It brings out the human imagination. Because many animations are aimed at children, many of us have been bombarded with animation since – especially the next generation, who will be bombarded with even more cartoons. These people tend to get support from them. Some continue to believe in animations and cartoons, and bring it to their adult life and want to be in this place.
So I realized that this is what people are interested in – the need to watch movies from – like Disney cartoons.
5. Is that why you chose to work in sports?
Yes! That’s true. I must say it is because of the wonderful cartoon as well. But I think it’s also because of making movies? I think making movies is cool because I’ve always loved movies, storytelling and stuff like that.
It is very close to the action, but I will say that because I can’t do it, I’m afraid to be in front of a camera, so I go behind the camera and work through the game characters – the same idea – a different way. getting closer
6. After your experience as a commercial-level athlete, what do you like most about the field?
I think it’s the actor bit of it. There is an element of acting in animation when you play the models as dolls. It is best when you have actual inspiration and share it with artists or students who are studying the subject.
It’s cool when you see great stuff out there made by people you know. You can actually talk to them and tell them “Hey, what you did was good!” and discuss it. They don’t become stand-ins once they become famous – they are still friends.
7. What software do the professional artists out there use that the students at Raffles learn to use too?
We use Maya. And it is the most advanced software at the moment.
8. Is Adobe’s Creative Suite often used in the entertainment field?
Adobe is still used, but for different types of things. It is not the main software used, but it is used for small tasks like cloning or brushing. But it’s only used in a specific area of the pipeline, like background fill, where they fill in the background for an event. So they should really use Adobe for that, and that’s only part of it.
9. What else do they learn in your class?
I learned about ethics. It is an advanced skill to understand and know how people behave. So, we watch movies and I trust them to understand it.
Although understanding is one thing, application is another. Actors in real life are simple – they have themselves and have been living in them for their whole lives. But as an artist, what they have is software skills. Creating good animation is about training your software skills to blend well with rendering.
Acting is mostly about mental or physical awareness, I even get students to stand up and do some physical activity and exercises like what actors do.
10. For the benefit of students who are interested in learning sports, can you tell us what potential players should look out for when they are selected. animation of course ?
Good courses are focused on getting your work up and they want you to have a good portfolio. At the end of the day, the student needs to be able to produce something. Other than having software knowledge and design skills, you need to graduate with a good portfolio and demonstrate that you can consistently produce that quality.
11. What are some of the problems that students should prepare for before registering for a certificate in sports?
I think they should be expected to work hard. Because this industry is really about self-determination, it takes a lot of hard work to get there, even if you don’t have basic training.
It won’t be easy like other university jobs, it will be taxing. Be ready when you want to do this – it’s really passionate. Sports require a lot of hard work.
12. If a student wants to get a laptop for sports classes, would you recommend a Mac or a PC? Why?
Actually, I don’t have a preference. It is not a serious problem. There is no fixed standard in the industry itself. The good ones actually use Linux because it’s easy to customize. Both Mac and PC work well because they have the necessary suites to run the required functions.
13. How do fresh graduates go about finding an animation job in Singapore – or abroad?
Students will need to know who is hiring and what positions are available. Secondly, they should know the skills that companies are looking for so that they can tailor their portfolio to suit their needs.
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