Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stop-Motion News: Shaun the Sheep Series 2

Shaun the Sheep, the unlikely hero from A Close Shave has done quite well for himself since then. He got his own show, which won numerous awards, and he's coming back for another round with the second series of his show.

A lot of changes have been made for the new series. The first thing most people will notice is that some of the characters have undergone makeovers, some as big as Bowser's new white splotches and some as small as the farmer's scruffier face.

A cart load of new characters has also been added to the show, and some of the minor characters from the first series have been given bigger parts.

The show is now being shot in HD, and the new crispness is definitely visible!

The show is already being aired in the UK and a few other nations, but I could not find any air dates for the USA.

For more information you can check out the Series 2 Production Blog on the Shaun the Sheep website.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stop-Motion How-To: Failure

Sooner or later, there's a time in our life when we come across something many people consider a terrible thing. Something they think life would be better without. That thing is failure.

Personally, however, I think failure can be one of the most useful things in life and in animation. A lot of you out there may be thinking I'm absolutely nutty, that failure is what brings us down, not the opposite. And that is true, it can and will bring you down. But it can only do that if you let it.

Failure is a teacher, the best one you'll ever get in this life. But you must learn to listen to it. When you fail at something, don't go into depression because you screwed up. Instead, look for the reason behind your failure, learn from it, and avoid it in the future. Often when someone has failed, he says, "I tried and failed, so now I'm just gonna quit." You can't expect to have success the first time you start something, and you also can't expect not to fail even after you've experienced success.

Trying again is often frightening. You may have put so much effort and heart into your project the last time, only to meet the grim face of failure. But I bet if you find what you did wrong and correct it, you'll do far better the second time!

I guarantee sometime in your animation career, you'll have more than a few failures. Puppet modeling, lighting, animation - none of us succeed at these things the first time. Keep your chin up, and remember that a failure isn't something terrible. It's just a stepping stone too becoming a great animator.

The video below isn't about animation, but everything in it can be applied to our craft.