Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The James Baxter class...

Yesterday we met James Baxter! YAY!! When I was shaking hands with him, I said..."Hi! I'm Amrit". Then he said very softly...."Hey, I'm James!" At that moment, I was just looking at his face and thinking..."Okay! Am I dreaming or what? I'm shaking hands with James Baxter!!" It was really an extraordinary feeling which I
simply can't explain in words. I've heard so much about him and now I'm meeting this guy and shaking hands with him.... it was an honor! It was my dream to meet James Baxter one day, but never thought that my dream would ever come true... at least not anytime soon!

He shared some super cool tips and tricks with us and gladly answered all our questions. I wanted to video tape all his lecture ... but I don't wanna break any copyright rules and stuff.... so, just to be on the safer side, I recorded everything in my head.... and this is exactly what Tim Ingersoll (our animation/EMO instructor, a great caricature artists, and a super cool magician!.... this guy is super talented!!) did.

Tim made a cool note on James Baxter's lecture and gave me the permission to post it here on my blog (I've added some of my notes too! Thanks Tim! :) So, here here you go folks.... Enjoy!

James Baxter's Notes (Jul 1, 2008 at DWA, Glendale)

1) Don't have a gesture (pose) for every beat (accent). Choose a few powerful storytelling poses and work within them!

2) Act from the gut, not your head. Who is the character? What does she/he want? think of a character he is like.... animated or real life. For example, Nathan as Chris Farley.

3) The body can be very flexible, loose and stiff. James shows the character pointing in a soft overlap, cartoony way.... or lead with the finger, really aggressively. You don't add overlaps everytime to make it look fully animated.... sometimes you want that character to look angry, aggressive and stiff... so you make him look stiff but be careful with that!! You don't wanna make the pose look stiff! This is the hard part because somewhere you are adding stiffness (in the character) and at the same time you are totally avoiding the ugly, stiff feel. You know, what I mean?

4) On walking, placement of the feet are crucial. Think how he'll get off balance to move and take a step. Which foot is taking the weight?

5) When doing a dialog shot and thinking about the dialog in your head, go with the pace of the dialog! Don't slow down!! For example, if your dialog is: "You know what? I hate you!!" The character is full of anger and disgust... and so, she speaks really fast. When you're going over the dialog and thinking about it in your head, maintain that pace and that feeling and that emotion. Don't slow down...."Aaaaaaaiii.....haaaaaate...... yyyouuuuuuuuuu........" This is somthing which a lot of new animators do when they are thinking about the dialog... they slow down. Not a good idea!

Well, thats it for now! Hope you like it.


Edit: Changed the picture.... some website had problems with it. I don't wanna break any copyright rules.

Edit 2: Check out James Baxter's cool interview on!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The DreamWorks gate...

Click to Enlarge

Standing (Left to Right):
Ashok Pallati, Vivek Ram, Aayush Sharma, Kapil Sharma, A
di Shayan, Pramod Deshpande, Mira Arte, Soumitra S. Gokhle, and Amrit R. Derhgawen

Sitting (Left to Right):
Sumesh Kumar, Shajo John, Manish Kumar, Anand Baid, Rajesh PK, and Theo