Tuesday, 16 February 2016

How Pixar Animators Plan Their Work

The secret of good animation is in the planning, and experienced animators know that by drawing clear thumbnails to plan out their work, they can save a lot of time in executing their shots.

I have always used thumbnail drawings to plan my work, but I rarely saved my sketches - most of them went in the bin.  But one animator who has saved many of his planning sketches is Pixar's Victor Navone, and you can see his thumbnail gallery here.

Victor's gallery is a great resource because you can see how much planning Victor has put into his shots. Each one is carefully thought through long before he starts making poses in Maya. It's a great way to work - takes a little extra time up front, before you get started, but it will save you plenty of time later on as you wrestle with your key poses in Maya.

Why did Victor save his thumbnails? Who knows? Good housekeeping, perhaps, or maybe a desire to share his work method with other animators. If so, it's lucky for us, because his thumbnail sketches are an excellent for how a good animator approaches his shots.


The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MA starting in September 2016, follow this link.  

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