There's more on my page https://vimeo.com/bobbyliauw
Here's some old iAnimate stuff that I still haven't finish due to my workload at office. I hope someday I could come back to it and finish the job! Meanwhile, enjoy!
There's more on my page https://vimeo.com/bobbyliauw
A Promo for a show that we've finished working on at the studio. It has been a blast working on
this project , and with a bunch of amazingly talented and fun group of people I ’ve been able to
work with.. I'm really proud with what we've done.
But the journey is not over yet, with an upcoming show that's been ongoing for a while now..
It will be as good, if not better than our previous projects. So hopefully you'll like it!
You probably won't get this anywhere.. but when you're working on a very tedious animation
project, people tend to get burned out due to long working hours and sometimes, not a few
of them are getting sick of it. Yes, they are.. It's an unfortunate and also unspoken truth of
It is true that you will most likely work crazy hours and need to work 6+ day weeks on
projects. It’s easy to become jaded and the negative energy tends to overpower and rise to
the top. But you've got to be careful not getting sucked in to this ugly pattern. And that's
where most people failed to do.
What I want to talk about in this post is how to keep your morale high and also everyone's
around you. Starting by this simple question;
" Why do you want to be an animator in the first place?"
If you can't find the answer, then maybe this is not the right job for you. But for those who
can recall, then you're already halfway there. Most of us will answer; because we LOVE this
artform, we LOVE this medium.. You need to keep recalling those moments, maybe by
reading books, watching movies, listening to music, or even just smell the fresh air in the
morning. It's all about staying INSPIRED! What is your vision, what do you want to be..
that's the most important thing to keep you going.Find something that keeps you motivated,
that you can use to get your inspiration everyday.
In my particular case, whenever I feel stressed out or almost reach that line, I always have
something that keeps me going. I read.... I also watch a lot of interviews. It helps me to
remind how hard for them to get where they are today, and they must also have gone
through what I'm going through right now. With determination and by not giving up, you can
be someone someday.. And that's my core, it's how I got inspired everyday. I wanted to be
What also keeps me motivated was this great quote by Brad Bird:
"The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved.
… “You don’t play it safe—you do something that scares you, that’s at the edge of your
capabilities, where you might fail. That’s what gets you up in the morning.”
So, stay inspired! You just need to remind yourself that no matter what, you have to keep
your Professionalism. It is your job as an animator to do the best that you can. Let's create
more “inspired” animators and populate our working environment with hope and enthusiasm.
After all, We’re making cartoons for goodness sakes. We should have a blast!
I think I'm being too excited right now.. But yeah, I will be joining our next upcoming project
as a Lead Animator!! Woooohoooo!!! This is an exciting, but also a daunting undertaking at the
same time. This time, the quality expected is way higher than our previous projects, and since
we got the directors and supervisors in the house, it will be a lot tougher for sure..
This will also be my first time to managed a group of talented animators under my wings, it is
my responsibility to nurture them and make sure we act as a team to deliver the best quality
animation possible. It is not an easy task, this means I have to upgrade my skills up the ante.
But first and foremost, it will always goes back on how I perform.. Whatever shot I got, I will
do my best for the shot, that's for sure. So, I hope it'll turn out just fine..
Anyway, have I told you that I'm excited?? Hmm...
Yes, it's been a while since my last post on this blog. Been busy with work these days. I've got
to tell you, it can be hectic sometimes, with all the quota and the deadlines... it sure is not an
easy job. And to be honest, I've got nothing to share regarding to animation and stuff right
now, but I just felt that I've been abandoned this blog since I began to work full time, so this
time I'll try to catch up with you guys..
It's been 4 months I've joined IFW as an animator, the works's fun most of the time, but there
is something that I realize along the way. The more and more you're doing character
animation in your day to day routine, the more and more you're steered away from your
other skills as well i.e modeling, rendering, etc2. It's just very hard to divorce your mind from
animation by the end of the day because we are so dedicated to the job and not thinking of
anything else except for delivering the best animation possible. I don't know whether if it's
good or bad, but I do know of this "You've become more specialized and more expert in what
you do." Yes that's true, I believe it has it's own downside and upside . But I think they have
a big advantage (as a specialist), when you want to work especially in the big industry, where
everyone is already working in a team.. and usually, they only need someone who's good on
one thing, and one thing only, while the others take care of the rest.
But I didn't say it's all good thou, being a specialist also means that you have no other option
and limit those possibilities to work on other areas.. Well, I guess you just have to figured it
out yourself whether you want to be a specialist, or you want to be the "Jack of the Trade".
Me?? I think I'll stick with this "specialist" thing for a while.. =)
Till next time guys! Adios!
YES.. New updates! I've been playing with this Squirelly Rig by Josh Burton. Just to practicing
my skill to be better all the time. And I also started getting a hang of my workflow, so I can
animate faster now. Yippi!! Plus I'm trying to find a way to host videos so they play at speed
here. So, here goes a test:
Well, Here it is as promised.. I'm gonna breakdown my workflow for the creation of
First of I'm going to explain how I modeled the suit. The suit was heavily influenced by Phil
Saunders and Adi Granov design. I really like the Iron Man suit in the first movie, it has some
sort of realism to it, and I always wanted to recreated Iron Man myself, so that start of as my
base motivation for the creation of this image.
I am using Autodesk Maya as my main tools, I modeled the suit with a real working suit in
mind, so everything was a high poly Hard Surface modeling without any normal map
generated from Zbrush or anything.
* Click on the image for the full resolution.
Here's the wire :
Next thing is the shaders, which is the hardest part in the creation of this image. It needs
that sort of metal and car paint mixed together. Not to mention the brushed feeling in the
metal itself. But after a few tweaking it's started to get there.
Then it comes to Photoshop. I painted the model in Photoshop to added some rusty-ness
feeling to it, so it doesn't look so squeaky clean, I also put some initial little details like
stark insignia in the weapon and few other things too.
Notice that I'm not creating any UV map or using any textures for this. It's because the
suit does not move in 3D space. So I just render a particular view that I wanted and paint
the rest in Photoshop. With this method, I don't have to spend to much time building the UV
and painting the textures for the model in 3D space.
I think this method is the best and fastest workflow for me to create a still shot, instead of
the other way around. Especially with this image.
This is the most fun part from the creation of this image. This is where everything starting
to get together and where you determine the final look for the shot.
VFX is always been my passion.. And my vision from the beginning is that I wanted to
create this image exactly looks like a snapshot from a movie.
Foundry Nuke is used for composite the image. It's a complete pipeline tool with great node
based compositing system and a precise color grading tools.
Here's the snapshot of the whole project:
The first thing to do is to composite all the character passes. The diffuse, specular, reflection,
and ambient occlusion. Set the value for them using the blending mode.
Next thing to do is to put all the elements needed for the shot. Put some special effects,
adjusting the level, color correction, etc. This helps to bring more excitement to the scene.
Make sure everything is match together as if all of them were actually there and shot at the
After all of the elements placed in the shot, now it's time to make some final color grading and
adjustments to make the image stand out more. With Nuke color grading tool, your image will
be processed in 32 bit floating points, so it's a very sensitive and very precise color correction
tool. But it does gives a fast feedback just like working on 8 bit image. For me, it's just hard
not to fall in love with the Nuke engine.
Well, that's all folks! I hope you enjoy the workflow, and thanks for watching. I'll see you again soon.
For Indonesian friends, you can check out the workflow I posted in local forum: War Machine at KutuCG
Hello again, Just as promised.. I'm going to put all my progress work here for other animators to look at and give their opinions or suggestions to make the shots even better.
I'll be open to any feedback =)
Here's the playblast for my first attempt in the journey to become a kick ass animator =D Yeaa!!!
You can see the comparison between the blocking phase and the polished phase. How the blocking contribute so much for the final polished phase.
Stay tuned for more =)
Character animation is all about acting and stuff.. in fact, all animation in feature film or series requires a lot of dialogue shots. But I knew before I jump into any acting performance or action, I have to learn the basics all over again. And that means starting from the very bottom.. The weight, timing, and body mechanics is the most crucial thing to make your animation believable. Without them, it would never feel organic, it will always feel robotic and computery, even when your character is doing an acting with full facial expression.
That is why you have to be veeerryyy good at this first before going to put any emotion for the character. It's probably gonna take a very long time before I finally perfected my craft. But patience is the key here.. One key lesson that I learned is, no matter how bad you want to do acting performance for your piece, you cannot do any dialogue shot for the character before you understand the basic of the body language for the character.
That is the tiny little details that will sell your animation to the audience or any potential employers. Forget about acting or emotion for the character (it helps if you're already in advanced level) , it's the BODY LANGUAGE of the character that's telling the story and your idea for the shot. Just look at this film REACH by Luke Randall, it's a perfect example. It has no dialogue at all, but the emotion of the character is shown through the body language. You can get what the story is about and understand how the character feels without hearing any dialogue at all.
To tell you the truth, from my past experience with the employers in this industry, just ONE shot without any dialogue/acting but have a good body mechanics on it can get you a job, rather than a diverse acting shot but with a crappy body mechanics.
That is why you have to master this timing, weight and body mechanic first before doing any other stuff you want to make. That's the key.
I will post up some of my progress here soon, so you can join me and we can learn together and share our knowledge in the journey to become a better animator =)
Just drop me a mail if you have any question, or if you want any suggestion or reference material for your animation. I'll be happy to answer them.
Have FUN animating! =)
After a few years working as a 3D artist in the industry (pretty much as a generalist). I finally overcome the problem what most artist are facing in the first time of their career.
Some artist just didn't know what they like to do..especially if they're still students or fresh graduates. They tend to do everything rather than focusing on one particular area. This is because most of the schools are still implementing this system, where they throw everything at you and get you to do a lot of useless modules. But a really good school should have a specialization from the early on, like Ringling and Calarts for Animation, or Vancouver Film School for modeling and VFX.
I know it's good for students to get to know what the medium is about, but keep this in mind, you have to decide from early on what you wanted to focused on. 3D is a very broad field, and there are lot of choices that you can pick to be focused on. Whether it's modeling, texturing, animation, lighting, rendering, FX, etc..etc.. it's endless. You can't do everything all together, remember an old saying "Jack of all trades, a master of nothing." You need to pick your choice and focused on it! That is why I gave up my previous job as a generalist, and focused on becoming a professional animator. Because that's what I wanted to do!
To be honest with you, even after I worked in the professional environment, I knew just a little about animation and it's art form. Hell, I don't even learn anything back in University, I even have to build my own reel from the scratch after I graduated to get to the industry because my final thesis sucks! (yes, it is) At that time, my brain and eyes keep telling me that there's something wrong with my animation, but I didn't have the knowledge and technique that I needed from the school. But even after that, I can see that my animation is still not that good, because I lack the basic to make a good animation.
So I decided to start all over again. I begin to seriously studying the 12 principles of animation, reading a lot of books (Illusion of Life and The Animator's Survival Kit is the most recommended material for animators) I watch a lot of Disney classics and cartoons, and also listening to the 9 Old Men of Disney. I started researching and investigating different ways of animating. I looked at workflows, breakdown reels, sent emails to animators, looked at demo reels, student work, AM blogs... I also started looking more and more at 2D animation and appreciating it much more than I had before. To tell you the truth, I quickly became near obsessed with the process of blocking animation, treating each pose like a drawing, and thinking more and more in a 2D way. And I really wanted to understand it and to work that way.
Well said, all I'm saying is think about this carefully. 3D and animation is very hard, and it takes a long time to learn, so you want to be heading in the right direction as early as you can.
Hope that helps.
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