Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bobby Beck hits Dallas with a BOOM!

I had the good fortune on Friday to attend an animation masterclass tought by Bobby "BOOM" Beck, President and CEO of AnimationMentor.com. In a word: awesome! In two words: really awesome! In a few more words...

Well, it was just a wonderful opportunity to see Bobby talking so passionately about the art of animation. And it was all about the art. There wasn't a single technical tidbit in there...no magic method for fiddling with curves in the graph editor, no insider insight into the best animation software on the market, no super-secret science to getting constraints to work just right. He did share one big, massive secret, though: the ultimate secret of great animation. And that ultimate secret is...

There is no secret.

All the tools and techniques that make great animation have been around for years. They're not the property of big companies. They're all around us if we just take the time to search them out and apply them with care and attention. I must admit, there have been times in the not-too-distant past where I felt I just needed to get my hands on something I didn't yet have...some nifty trick or process or idea that has been eluding me. And the embarrassing realization is that what has been eluding me is, in large part, the proper application of the stuff I already "know." Which clearly means I don't know it well enough yet. Which means I need to get in gear and push myself that much harder! Woohoo!

The cool thing is that, if someone had told me prior to Bobby's class that there is no secret to great animation, I would have gone anyway. As Keith Lango mentioned prior to the start of the class, and as Bobby also mentioned during the class, every opportunity to learn will present things in a slightly different light than before. You never know when something that someone says will be the final push to switch on a certain light bulb. But if you never take those opportunities, that light will stay off even longer. And as I mentioned in a previous entry, I don't want to ever find myself at a point where I feel I have nothing more to learn. There's always an opportunity to learn something new, even if it's hearing stuff I've heard a thousand times. Who knows...perhaps the thousand-and-first time will be the kicker!

Thanks for a great day, Bobby!

1 comment:

RyanWatson said...

Awesome Justin. I wish I could have been there to get a listen to what Bobby had to say. Who knows what I might learn at this year's Siggraph though :)

Other then the fact that you and I will be really really hard to control in the same room. :)