Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Film Contests & Festivals

What can you do with a thesis film? Besides showing it online,  or putting parts of it on your demo reel,  you might consider entering it in a film festival.  If your film is accepted for screening, you'll get exposure, networking, and the potential for new job opportunities.  Most festivals require a small entry fee.  Students have an advantage, because many festivals include a "student" category.  Also look for film festivals that include an "animation" category.

Festival and Contest service sites:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rigging in 3D Studio Max

If anyone is interested in learning how to rig using biped in 3dsmax, visit my tutorial page.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Free 3D models and scenes

Here are some resources to find 3D models (meshes).  These sites are for sellers and buyers, but if you enter "$0" or search for "free," you will find free models.  As with any other product, some 3D artists or studios offer freebies.

The 3D Studio
Creative Crash
3D 02
3D Export
Falling Pixel
Plutonius 3D
CG Trader

Another place to find Maya rigs:

Friday, January 27, 2012

3D Animation Job Resources

IGDA Austin (jobs specific to Austin)
Austin Game Companies (link list)
AAUGA job list (3D Autodesk Users of Austin)
Texas Film Commission Animation Jobs

Gamasutra (game industry website)
IGDA jobs (job feed for game industry)
Game Dev Map (companies by location)
CG Society jobs
YouAnimator (database)
Creative Heads (recruitment agency & newsletter)
Digital Artist Management (recruitment agency & newsletter)

Pixar - Disney
Blue Sky
DreamWorks (warning: this site has sound that autoplays)
Rhythm & Hues
Nickelodeon Animation
Hydrogen Whiskey

Don't forget that networking sites such as LinkedIn and Deviant Art can also be useful for finding jobs.  Also, there is a regularly scheduled Austin Game Developer Beer Night twice a month on Thursdays.  The last one was Jan 26, 2012, so the next one should be Feb 9th.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

If you're on a Mac, and you need to a way to unzip the Norman rig .rar files, you can download this program:  Stuff It Expander.  If you're on a Windows computer, you'll need WinRar.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

3D Animation IV Syllabus / Course Outline

ARTV 2479
Sa 1:00pm-4:00pm
NRG 3132
Spring 2012
Instructor’s Name – Abigail (Abby) Goldsmith
Office Hours  – Mon 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Office Location and Number  – [home]
Phone, Email, Website, etc. –
Arranging Conferences/Appointments – Skype: AbbyGoldsmith, or gtalk (

Course Description
An advanced studio course in the theory and technique of three-dimensional ( 3D ) animation utilizing appropriate software. Topics include advanced animation tool sets and techniques, including the preparation and implementation of 3D animation into interactive applications. Emphasis on advanced, industry standard character animation techniques.

Course Prerequisites
Prerequisites: ARTV 2476

Course Rationale
3D Animation IV is an advanced course for the 3D Animation curriculum.  This course provides students with advanced character animation skills and samples for work produced in Portfolio.  Students can also apply skills learned in this class to other areas including game art, motion graphics and 2D Animation.

Student Learning Outcomes
Course Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to
·         Plan out animation
·         Locate and use reference footage
·         Use advanced biped and / or creature character rigs
·         Integrate weapons and / or props into animations
·         Construct lip sync animations
·         Design and animate cinematic animations
·         Integrate convincing acting into animation
·         Detect character personality traits and incorporate them into animations
·         Create thesis animation samples

Discipline/Program Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate skill in industry standard tools and techniques of 3D Animation.
  2. Construct animation that reflects distinctive character and personality.
  3. Create animation work based on current industry trends and practices.
“The Animator’s Survival Kit” by Richard Williams
“Cartoon Animation” by Preston Blair

Instructional Methodology – To help you meet course objectives, the teaching methods in this class are based on professional experience and best practices in the area of animation.  These methods might include:  lecture, demonstrations, critiques in groups and one-on-one settings, group activities and student presentations.

Grading System
You will be given at least 4 grades over the course of the semester.  Each of the four grades will contain exercises and / or projects.  The 4 grades will then be averaged to compute your total score for the class.  

You will be graded on the following criteria:

1. Project turned in on time
2. In-project Attendance/Punctuality (no late coming/early going)
3. Followed Directions/Specs
4. Work Ethic/On-Task (hard work, focus)
5. Organization (naming pages, folders, documents, elements, layers)
6. Comprehension
7. Technique
8. Pace/Timing/Flow
9. Composition/Design/Polish
10.  Ability to work alone
11.  Resourcefulness
12.  Naming convention

Grade Scale
90 – 100 = A ( Industry standard )
80 – 89 = B ( not quite industry standard )
70 – 79 = C ( falling short of industry standard )
60 – 69 = D ( skills lacking in major areas )
59 = F ( failing, must retake )

Passing Grade Policy - Effective September 2005, D’s are not accepted as a passing grade within the Visual Communication Department courses. Students receiving a grade of D must retake the course to receive credit and to progress to the next level course. Students who made a D prior to September 2005 will be allowed to proceed to the next level course.

See the Student Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Process and other policies at

Course Outline / Calendar

Week               Exercise                      Description

1                      Ex 01                           2 character scenario
2                                                          2 character scenario (cont.)
3                                                          2 character scenario (cont.)
4                      Ex 02                           Gymnastics
5                                                          Gymnastics
6                      Ex 03                           Planning thesis
7                                                          Planning thesis (cont.)
8                      Ex 04                           Thesis
Spring Break!
9                                                          Thesis (cont.)
10                                                        Thesis (cont.)
11                                                        Thesis (cont.)
12                                                        Thesis (cont.)
13                                                        Thesis (cont.)
14                                                        Thesis (cont.)
15                                                        Thesis (cont.)
16                    Demo reel