Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Posted by Bobby Beck at 4:52 PM
Animation Mentor: 2 New Ebooks

Today we launched two new ebooks. These ebooks are not meant for people who are currently animators so much as they are for people who are interested in becoming animators. Although we feel that Animation Mentor is a great place to learn animation and we do give a shameless plug or 3 throughout, it is still filled with great info for people who are interested. We also decided to make the content 100% free. No, "give us your email" "Free." This is actually free, so we hope the link gets passed around.

I also was stoked to see us pop up on regarding our new student showcase. It's a nice critique of the work we're doing and they also ask some great questions that we are always asking ourselves internally:

1. Are our student reels starting to look the same?
2. Is Animation Mentor flooding the market with animators?

Addressing #1:
I addressed this topic a couple posts back on things we are doing to vary up the look and feel. SO, to paraphrase:

1. We have updated the curriculum and launched this in January of this year which addresses adding new assignments which now allows students to pick from a variety of assignments.

2. Stewie (the "generic" character with coal eyes) now has a "costume picker" which allows students to "dress" Stewie up in a variety of combinations to give their shots a more individual feel while still keeping the Animation Mentor branding; i.e. look and feel.

3. We have made it way easier to customize Bishop so people can add hair, lipstick, stubble, hair styles, clothes etc. You can also scale the proportions of Bishop to get a different look and feel.

4. We are launching something next quarter which will also excite the students and will DRAMATICALLY change the look and feel of future reels and showcase reels coming out of Animation Mentor.

Addressing #2:
I hear this a lot and it's important to note a few things:

1. Because we are worldwide we are providing opportunities to people in other countries, not just the U.S. Almost half of our student population are from overseas.

2. Have we helped change the dynamic of studios hiring policies? Perhaps. It is true that some studios are now bringing in more entry level talent than they did before. I honestly feel it's because the overall talent is going up from students and Animation Mentor definitely does provides talent to the studios. Is this bad? Depends on how you look at it. We feel it gives more opportunities to people allowing them to get in to the industry. We also think it helps keep jobs in the U.S. as opposed to watching all the studios jump fully over to the outsourcing bandwagon. I'm actually very happy about that one! There are plenty of studios all over the world making unique and amazing content for people to be entertained by. I'm SUPER happy that Animation Mentor is one of the providers of that talent, not only in the U.S. but overseas as well.

I hope this inspires some healthy discussion. :)

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