Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Squirrel That Launched an Animation Career

The free "Squirrely" animation rig is an excellent cartoony rig that can be used for character animation. It was created by the very talented Josh Burton and can be downloaded for free at Creative Crash.

To see some excellent animation featuring Squirrely rig, check out this shot by Escapee Henry Fenwick below. It's an excellent dialogue shot, which is technically strong and also has a good story-telling element.

The audience gets what's going on here, and the action is entertaining and funny. Best of all, this shot helped Henry land a job with Jellyfish Pictures, one of London's leading independent animation and VFX houses.

The Squirrely shot was one of a number of well-polished shots on Henry's demo reel that helped him get a job with Jellyfish. Putting togethe a demo reel is something that takes time and effort - but it's effort well spent if you get it right. An animator's demo reel is their digital shopfront - it's how producers will judge your work, and decide whether or not you are right for their project.

Jellyfish Pictures
Jellyfish is a London-based company with big plans to expand production - most likely this summer. They'll be looking for more animators, so keep an eye on their website and polish your animation demo reel.

Back to Squirrely. The only tricky part about animating with the Squirrely rig is the enormous tail which is almost a character in itself.

This means that lots of your time will be spend doing overlapping action and follow-through, to make the tail feel natural and the motion feel smooth.

Still, what did you expect - a squirrel with no tail?

We congratulate Henry on his success - and recommend the squirrel rig to all our students. To see some other rigs we recommend for student use, follow this link, or visit the excellent website, which has plenty of free rigs for students to learn their craft.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt starting in September 2016, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.

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