alumni talk

Sabrina  Lecordier

Why did you join the online stop motion course?
I always wanted to learn stop motion but I was never sure where to begin. I studied 3d animation and I have been working as a character animator for 4 years now but the idea to try stop motion never left me and I had to give it a try. I looked everywhere for schools, but it was impossible for me to stop working and go back to full time studying for a few years. I tried to find an internship in stop motion studios but didn't have any luck as I had no experience with that kind of animation. Then I found your online school and thought it was now or never. I'm glad that I did,the course is really interesting!

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
Chuck is an amazing teacher. It would be very hard for me to choose one particular thing as everything that he taught me is so important. The performance is a key thing I guess, you have to become the character, to feel it and try to avoid mechanical animation. You have to give life to the puppet and make people believe in it!
It is also a really slow process so you have to learn to be very patient, take your time and be well organized.

You only finished the course in June but have you found any work yet?
Since I started the course I worked on two commercials. On the first one I was doing some model making, pressing mouths and arms for the animators. I had a great time there and learnt a lot just by being in the studio, surrounded by inspiring animators and model makers. My second job was only a few days but it was a great experience too. I was working on a commercial for John Lewis. It was set in and out of two houses outside of London, all the object from the house had to be animated going outside. It was impressive as we were so many people animating all the objects and furniture.


David  Mattock

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
Originally a friend at Dneg saw a reel of mine and said I could do with some quadruped work on it, after researching it and finding animation A team I thought the students work was amazing and I felt really excited at the prospect of creature animation in general.

How has the course changed the way you worked previously?
I think its made me criticise my own work more and push further, hopefully future projects and longer deadlines will allow for this.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
You are never finished with a shot.

Where are you working now?
Freelancing for a range of clients on a range of work, from 3d animation to 2d motion graphics as I was before, now hoping to work professionally on a creature animation project in the near future.

Do you think you are a better animator for taking the course?
Yes definitely.  Free from the restrictions of a deadline it was like going back to college and really being able to criticise every frame or movement in depth.  Through general critique I learned to look for new things and even how animals move in general.

I think this course has pushed me in the right direction and my dreams of hopefully getting to work on creature animation projects for commercials, TV programmes or even film.


Sawan Thakra

How has the course changed the way you worked previously?
The techniques for creating a walk or run cycle in a quick and efficient manner stand out to me.  I’d have never thought of doing so in the way Rob showed me, but it proved to be a great way to  get things done fast. That, and knowing what to look for when scrutinising one’s work.

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I joined the animation course because I was in need of some realistic creature animation on my showreel.  It was something that had always escaped me, and having worked at a couple of effects houses  in Soho, I saw first hand the kind of work that was being produced and how far behind I was.  Seeing the student work coming out of this course left me with no doubt that it was what I needed.


Cormac McCabe

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I joined because I was, at the time, unemployed and I wanted to get into either the VFX or games industry. Also, I was blown away by the student work here at animation A Team.

How has the course changed the way you worked previously?
I had no real workflow in CG animation or even the confidence to tackle large complicated scenes, I would get lost after the blocking stage.  The course rectified all of that and gave me the ability to make considerable changes to a scene late into the process, as well as being able to spot seemingly small hiccups that might badly affect the scene as a whole.

Where are you working now?
I am currently working at Boulder Media Limited, in Dublin, Ireland.


Ian Shepherd

How has the course changed the way you worked previously?
That’s an interesting question- there are ways of working that are the complete reverse of normal workflows taught elsewhere. It requires a spot of unlearning but once you do that it falls into place

Why did you join the online course?
To avoid the olympics- just kidding!!
I wanted some realistic creature work on my reel and felt that aTeam would be more ’boutique’ than other creature courses, with fewer people using the rigs. I wanted to stand out basically and London is a big creature animation vfx centre.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
I’m still acquiring the eagle eyes needed to do animals well, but daily feedback from Rob is sharpening my quality control up to a new level. There are also some great working methods that help make really smooth animation.

What are you animating on your second sequence?
I’m going to be animating an eagle in hot pursuit of a squirrel.


Dafydd Morris

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I wanted to improve my animation skills,  and am looking to move from my current role at MPC into an animation role.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
The two most valuable thing I took from the course were, firstly the workflow and techniques which are so useful.  Also having someone with such a good eye reviewing my work and giving feedback really helped me learn how to see ways to improve my animation.

Where are you working now?
MPC (London)


Gary Priest

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
Although I’ve been animating for a while I had no real experience in animating creatures/quadrupeds and after looking around decided that this course offered the best results that fitted in with my schedule.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
The ability to take a complex piece of animation and using Rob’s techniques, break it down into different stages and tackle it head on with confidence.

Where are you working now?
I’ve just finished a job and am now looking for work.


Roberto Pita

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
The main reason for joining, was to learn more about the process of animating creatures.
It was an area that I needed guidance in and learn a proper working method of going about animating realistic creatures.

Looking at the past students work, I realized it was the right course for me.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
There are a numbers of things like being more confident when approaching a shot, studying and dissecting my reference to be used. The workflow Rob showed me was priceless, not only does it work on creature animation but on all kinds of animation.

The other valuable thing would be the critique process. Rob is very detailed when it comes to his critique which makes you more aware and work in more detail before submitting. I now crit my captures with the same level of detail.

Where are you working now?
I’m currently working on a feature film at Triggerfish Studios in Cape Town, South Africa.


Harinarayan Rajeev

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I had seen the Student works that came out of the creature animation
school and was amazed by the amazing feature film quality
animations, hence I wanted to know the magic behind the same. So I went
to the creature animation school’s website and learned more about the
mentor and the course contents…and I was super excited,because I know
the best way to learn art are from the masters especially in
animation, so Rob’s Reel was soo inspiring and  I was absolutely sure
that I was going to learn ton’s of stuffs from him in person.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
Confidence…its like bring it on, i can literally do any creature
animation now…that is the main thing apart from the animation tricks
that i had gained from the course…his tricks and tips on approaching
such complicated shots have made my life as an animator a lot more
easier and helped me boost my confidence.

Where are you working now?
Well, When i joined the course i was working on a feature film at PRANA animation studios, INDIA and I recently joined Dreamworks Dedicated Unit @ Technicolor,India as a 3d animator.


Eugene Mishchenko

The more I work as animator, the more I understand how valuable & important techniques Rob showed. So once again thanks.


Mohammad Sadeh

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I joined the course cause I’m always interested in animating creatures but couldn’t find a solid course that can teach me how,  and when I saw the students work at Ateam I was blown away by the quality and I’m glad that I joined.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
it’s hard question there is a lot of things, I would say the techniques that Rob teaches about how to approach your shot and how to break it down is really amazing cause its not just for creatures but also apply for characters.

Where are you working now?
I’m working now in Vancouver Canada in a company called SKNP productions as 3d generalist.


Jorge Rausch

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I signed up for the course to improve my animation skills… I’m a character animator and I had never made a creature animation before, so I didn’t have a clear idea on how to start with quadrupeds.
Rob has an incredible eye for detail and his technique is very helpful.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
The most valuable thing I took from the course is how fast you understand how to start a shot with creatures and how to add extra fine details in your animation

Where are you working now?
I’m working as character animator in the project “Futbolin” (foosball) a CG movie directed by Academy Award Winner Juan Jose Campanella at Catmandu studio, Argentina


Guido Pagotto

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I was fascinated by the realism of the animation by Rob. I joined your course because I wanted to become a creatures animator.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
I learned a lot. Definitely the workflow, the importance of good reference, world space control, timewarp for control the timing of animation ,the importance of having good blocking poses and much-much more.

Where are you working now?
I’m work in advertising agency, in italy but I think I’m ready to go to work in some vfx studios.


Alberto Gracia

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I knew about the course looking around the internet, the animations on the website looked so natural and realistic. I always wanted to learn how to animate animals like the professionals do, and with Rob’s background it was a warranty.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
I learned some interesting tricks on how to finish realistic animation successfully, but the most valuable thing for me was the use of the timewarp to give smooth flow overall and also how to implement a good cycle to the scene, adapting to the terrain and changing the timing. It is amazing how much time was saved using these techniques, it also looks awesome!

Where are you working now?
Actually I am working in The Monk Studios, in Bangkok, Thailand.


David Beer

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I knew I needed to improve my creature skills, I was let go from DNEG early in my contract, and it became apparent I needed to hone in on my skills more.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
Definitely the workflow, understanding the process better takes ALOT of the stress out of animating creatures.

Where are you working now?
I am an Animator on Disney’s Jungle Junction, being animated in Cornwall by Spider-Eye Productions.


Aditya Gupta

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I joined your course because I wanted to become a kick ass animator! I’d only done a 9 month course in character animation at a UK college and the 3d part of the course was quite weak. its a slow learning curve trying to pick up on your own, especially when you just have to meet deadlines at work with no time to really think about what ur doing and why. So this was my opportunity to learn some new stuff and prep me for when I start looking at some feature work.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
I’ve learnt the importance of good reference and how to use it. the concept of breaking up movement in the different parts of the body to make it feel more organic . Framing through and identifying problem areas/ frames.

Where are you working now?
I have been working at Blue zoo productions in London for the past 4 -5 years.


Toby Winder

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I joined the course so increase my knowledge of creature animation. My reel was generally focused on more character animation, and I felt that working in Soho this wasn’t ideal!

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
Well for me the most valuable part of the course was having such an experienced eye to look at my work, other than that I really learnt to examine my video reference

Where are you working now?
Im now working at Cinesite in Soho


Dylan Hunter

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I joined the course because I had no experience at all animating animals, and the whole process fascinated me. It was also a great chance to learn a more realistic style of animation and being a creature animator would undoubtedly make me a more valuable resource to a studio.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
That’s a tough one, but I feel the whole course helped improve my eye alot and taught me to look for things in a different and more meticulous way. I also learned a number of valuable tricks for adding texture and creating a realistic movement I otherwise don’t think I would ever have learned.

Where are you working now?
I’m an animator on Nickelodeon’s Planet Sheen


Raphael Sousa

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
I wanted to experiment with a more realistic approach in animation and the best way to learn is with the help of a really experienced animator. So I joined the course.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
The way you tackle the shot. You need to be open to changes during any stage of the shot and with the workflow that I learned in this course you are able to do that.

Where are you working now?
I just finished a contract at Oktobor animation


John Knowles

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
The chance to learn from someone with so much experience in creature animation seemed like an opportunity not to be missed.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
The course provided an excellent workflow for animating creature shots and I revised my own working methods considerably as a result of this.

“Where are you working now?”
I currently work at Annix Studios for Chapman Entertainment.


Rameshbabu MorkondaSethuraman

Why did you join the online Creature Animation Course?
After years of experience in character Animation, I felt I was missing something. Any good animator can do realistic creature animation, but there needs to be a procedure in it to give character and life in the animation. Learning through an industry veteran will definitely give the experience of working in the high end studios.

Since the course structure is very narrow one can learn for what it’s meant to be.

What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the course?
Not only quality animation, but i also have improved my personal qualities as well. Patience and dedication will always pay in the end. I have further pushed those abilities to do quality animation using Robs techiques that speed up the workflow.

One good thing is collecting references, editing and ordering them to suit our animation needs. I learnt how to setup initial blocks to a high standards. If the first step is crooked, the end result is gonna be crooked too.

Where are you working now?
I am starting work for Real time UK on Microsoft’s Kinectimals.

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Daniel

*How did you find animationaTeam.com?  answer: Facebook.
*What happened next?  answer: I signed the from on the animationaTeam jobs page. Soon after I got a email from the HR dep. of Double Negative and later on that same week I got a phone interview and 2 weeks after I was fullfilling my dream of working on a feature animation film.

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Your ‘offset’ locator technique saved me a HUGE headache at work the other day, just thought I should let you know.

animationaTeam.com Online Course Student

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I had a phone interview today with Framestore and not sure how it went but just wanted to say big Thanks for sending my reel to them and recommending me, you’re awesome! Thanks!

animationaTeam.com Online Course Student

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Working on a dialog shot at present , with the knowledge gained from you. I must say one thing, it feels like my character animation is going to become  much better.
Thanks to you!!!

animationaTeam.com Online Course Student

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WOW, world space control ROCKS!!!!! For the first time in a long time I felt like I had control!
I had so much fun last night that I decided to work on it a bit more before sending

animationaTeam.com Online Course Student

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I am very happy to have finished the sequence, I’d never been able to animate a scene like that. I’m really glad about the course!

animationaTeam.com Online Course Student

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freakin awesome…
I was overjoyed by seeing the results of that technique yesterday :D

animationaTeam.com Online Course Student

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