Monday, April 06, 2009

APT Student Profile: Gary Macarevich

Here's another look at a student of my Animation Personal Trainer program (see previous APT student spotlights here, here and here). This time I want to highlight the work of Gary Macarevich. Gary had been working as a professional animator, but wanted to improve his skill level. He first took the APT last summer and then took a follow up session in January. His progress has been steady and solid and his hard work has been well rewarded. First here's a quick sample of some of Gary's work before he participated in the APT...


I determined that Gary needed to work on loosening up his characters and add weight to the animation-- a problem all too common in CG animation. Stiffness and a lack of weight tend to go hand in hand. Thus the plan was to liven up his character's movements by adding more drag and overlap, putting some balance and weight in the torso posing, along with cleaner arcs. Gary also wanted to focus on acting since his reel was a bit short on that. So by putting all that together we made a custom curriculum that targeted Gary's weaker areas while developing his acting skills at the same time. After his time in the APT here's what he was able to accomplish...



Definitely solid improvement. There's a lot more weight and flow in the performance. The tracking on the arcs are clean and add a lot of strength to the motion. The torso is looser and filled with a sense of life. His drag and overlap are much better and the acting picked up, too. As with everybody (myself included) there's still room for improvement, but Gary is definitely on  the way.

Gary's progress shows why I enjoy coming up with customized lesson plans for each animator that comes to the APT. Targeted training is a powerful teaching method and I think it's a great way to get a lot of growth and improvement in a short amount of time. Here's what Gary shared with me after his second session..
I've noticed an improvement at work and find myself finally realizing why my lead was getting frustrated trying to explain and re-explain concepts that just weren't sinking in.  Some "ah ha" moments for sure. Thanks so much Keith, please keep me in the loop on upcoming APT's... I'm definitely interested in doing this again.

If the Animation Personal Trainer sounds like the kind of animation training experience that you'd like to try,  now is a great time for you. I have a new session starting in a few weeks, and due to some late cancellations I have a few spots available. So if you're interested take a moment to email me to learn more about getting involved in the next APT session.

4 comments:

Mike said...

Very cool Keith, and Gary. Nice work. I'm looking forward to starting my next lesson on the 20th

Nate said...

Nice work!

Will Cabral said...

very cool
just curious
can you provide that 1st shader on the rig it looks great!

Gary said...

thanks everyone! the shader is acutlly just the default shader that's included with the rig.