Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

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Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby dkwroot » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:00 pm

I've noticed that there are a LOT of request threads searching for animators that are willing to work on 'dream projects' for free. These requests are often made in good nature, but are woefully ignorant regarding how production pipelines actually work. So, I figured that it would be a grand idea to make a thread regarding how to properly approach this forum in search of free talent. A requester should have the following checklist completed before searching for animators:

+++++++++++++++++++
LINKS:
+++++++++++++++++++
hire writers/musicians:
http://fanbuilt.com/studio/forum/?action=goto&index=1

hire artists:
http://forum.deviantart.com/jobs/offers/
http://blenderartists.org/forum/
https://www.odesk.com/?from=verify&new
https://www.elance.com/

find/hire voice actors:
http://voiceactingalliance.com/board/activity.php?s=e4099e74b46ea11b01d85b18c0d3f535

+++++++++++++++++++
CHECKLIST:
+++++++++++++++++++
A completed script
So, you wrote a story? That's great, but have you scripted it? Before starting anywhere, you must make certain that you've properly scripted your idea to easily convey it to other people. If you don't know how to write in scripting format, watch this video:


Concept Art
Concept artists play a different role in a production pipeline than animators. Although there are some animators that do both, it's best not to presume that an animator (especially a free one) is going to be willing to pull double-duty. If you can't find a concept artist, you might want to seriously consider paying an artist to develop character turn-arounds for you. Turn around sheets help animators tremendously with character rigging. Example:
Image

A Storyboard
You don't need to be an artist to make a storyboard. This is simply where a director gets their scene idea on paper. Watch the video for info:


Voice Actors
Animators NEED voice recordings to match lip-sync. Logically, voice work should be done before animation. If you can complete the previous checklist, you should be able to find voice actors willing to work with you. Just remember to be courteous and upfront about your finances!

An Animatic
An animatic is somewhere between a storyboard and animation. These are often accompanied by animation cues like arrows and so on to tell the animator what the director wants done. Again, you don't need to be able to draw to make an animatic, it's mainly used for timing and camera direction.


A solid plan for future funding AND distribution (NOT Youtube!)
As of 2014, youtube has changed its monetizing policy so that it rewards video length more than views. This is extremely bias against animators and makes youtube essentially unprofitable for them. (unless you're using some crappy drag-and-drop software) This video explains the issue in more depth:


++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ONE MORE THING...
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Requester should also be willing to share whatever they have developed with interested animators. In short, you can't expect to attract talent while simultaneously withholding information. If you're serious about your project, you'll prove that you're a professional by being upfront and prepared.

If anyone wishes to add more info to this thread, feel free to drop advice. :D

PS: If a moderator wishes to make this thread sticky, I think that would be a fine idea. :wink:
Last edited by dkwroot on Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby Danimal » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:13 pm

This is a great idea and a true fountain of information! Something tells me there'll still be the pie in the sky posts though... :(

Oh, and this:
dkwroot wrote:If you don't know how to write in scripting format, watch this video:

Yes, watch it but stop around the 5-minute mark where he talks about parentheticals. The correct way to use them is not to use them ever. It's the surest sign of a hack to add notes to either cue the actor or director. The descriptions were also a bit long and wordy as in general, the shorter the better. In doubt? Break that paragraph into separate sentences that only take up one or two lines. Movie/TV makers LOVE blank space on a page.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby synthsin75 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:47 am

Brilliant post. Definitely needs to be a sticky.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby Víctor Paredes » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:07 am

synthsin75 wrote:Brilliant post. Definitely needs to be a sticky.

It has been sticky for some hours already :wink:
Víctor Paredes - Former Moho 12 Product Manager
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby synthsin75 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:31 am

Ah, the sticky icon isn't as obvious as it use to be.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby dkwroot » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:48 am

Danimal wrote:
dkwroot wrote:If you don't know how to write in scripting format, watch this video:

Yes, watch it but stop around the 5-minute mark where he talks about parentheticals. The correct way to use them is not to use them ever. It's the surest sign of a hack to add notes to either cue the actor or director. The descriptions were also a bit long and wordy as in general, the shorter the better. In doubt? Break that paragraph into separate sentences that only take up one or two lines. Movie/TV makers LOVE blank space on a page.


I wouldn't go so far as to say that parentheticals are worthless. They get bashed on a lot by actors because actors and directors often feel that it limits their creativity and ability to improv. There is merit to this when dealing with live action recordings, but animation is a special case. Voice Actors aren't using their bodies in the show, so they often rely on the script to tell them what their character is doing while speaking a line. Also, a director is not always on the recording set (especially when over the internet) so verbal coaching for lines isn't always possible or practical.

A lot of voice actors like to move around when they're delivering their lines as it makes their performance more vivid and less dry. Parentheticals are useful to them, because it tells them what the animated character is doing while giving the line. The actor can then mimic the action while recording their lines to make it sync better with the toon. For example, if I gave you the line: "No way." You wouldn't know how to express the line in your voice without parentheticals to stress the action.

Example:
JASON
(gasps)
No Way.

JASON
(shakes angrily)
No way!

JASON
(sad)
No way...

Again, stage actors and directors HATE parentheticals because they're physically on set. Voice actors don't have this luxury and often work autonomously. I agree that parentheticals should be used sparingly, because they can break up the flow of a script and make it hard to read. Whenever I write scripts, I usually only add parentheticals when dealing with important scenes that require guidance for the actor.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby Danimal » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:55 pm

dkwroot wrote:They get bashed on a lot by actors because actors and directors often feel that it limits their creativity and ability to improv.

I don't think it limits them, in fact, rather the reverse: most will go out of their way to ignore them or do just the opposite of what they say, and rightfully so.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby hayasidist » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:27 pm

Monty Python took the line "no time to lose" and built a whole sketch around the different ways it could be said - they moved the stress from word to word; changed the pause duration between words; in short varied pace, volume, pitch, rhythm, timbre ... net result: humour

The text books offer a phrase such as "I didn't tell her you were crazy" and invite the reader to say it. Without context it's impossible to decide something as simple as which word to stress - putting the stress on each of those 7 words in turn gives you 7 different meanings.. so that context has to be supplied somehow - either in the narrative itself or by some other means.

one way of supplying context is in the parentheticals - and a good parenthetical supplies otherwise missing context (enabling interpretation) not direction (constraining interpretation) - unless, of course, it's 100% essential to the story.

stealing the "Jason saying 'no way'" example - the voice actor gets "direction" such as:

(shocked) or (furious) or (sad)


The animator is expecting to do:

Jason reels backwards, mouth agape / thumps the table on each word rattling the crockery / sinks to his knees, tears rolling down his face.


And when the animator gets the voice track, that animation will be modified by:

the gasp that the actor adds before speaking and the long sigh at the end / the pace and venom with which the words are spoken / the voice actor's quiet sobbing through which their words are barely audible.


I'd go so far as to say that well-written parentheticals are essential where the context is not clear to the actor (oh, and the BBC gives examples of their use: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/ ... playtv.pdf)
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby Danimal » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:32 pm

hayasidist wrote:I'd go so far as to say that well-written parentheticals are essential where the context is not clear to the actor

Which happens never. The context is the script. If the guy writing the script feels his script lacks context, he shouldn't be writing. Also, there's no such thing as a well-written parenthetical. Again, it's always the sign of a hack who feels his vision is the only one. The screenwriter isn't the one to determine the vision, the director is. The screenwriter provides only a basic framework.

You're right that different performances can change a line radically. That's for the actor to determine, not the writer.

If for some reason an actor is handed only a line like "no way" and told "aaaaaand, GO!" He should bow out of the production immediately. If he feels he should follow the parentheticals like their rules or even suggestions, he should bow out of acting immediately.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby dkwroot » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:45 pm

Okay, let's not make this thread into an endless debate about parentheticals. I think we can all agree that some people like them and some people don't and leave it at that. I believe an advanced discussion on the topic would be more suitable for another thread. :D
-------------------

The subject of this thread is writers/directors looking for free labor and things they should know and have prepared before searching for them. Tips and Advice for these folks are always welcomed, but lets try to keep on topic.

Also, if anyone has any useful links they would like to share, that would be great.

It would be fantastic if we could get some more links to forums or websites that are related to:
- Concept Artists
- Writers/Script writers
- Musicians
- Voice Actors

I'd also like to see some ideas for funding and managing ambitious projects.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby Danimal » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:52 pm

It's been posted here before, but this is an outstanding resource for what you listed and then some:

http://johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com/
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby dkwroot » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:10 pm

Danimal wrote:It's been posted here before, but this is an outstanding resource for what you listed and then some:

http://johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com/


This is useful for artists looking to improve their skills, but I was referring to sites where directors can recruit other people to their project.

EXAMPLE:
find 3d Artists: http://blenderartists.org/forum/
find writers/artists: http://fanbuilt.com/studio/forum/?action=goto&index=1
find concept artists: http://forum.deviantart.com/jobs/offers/
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby George R Powell » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:38 pm

dkwroot wrote:
Danimal wrote:It's been posted here before, but this is an outstanding resource for what you listed and then some:

http://johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com/


This is useful for artists looking to improve their skills, but I was referring to sites where directors can recruit other people to their project.

EXAMPLE:
find 3d Artists: http://blenderartists.org/forum/
find writers/artists: http://fanbuilt.com/studio/forum/?action=goto&index=1
find concept artists: http://forum.deviantart.com/jobs/offers/


Thank you. I didn't know DA had this section.
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby dkwroot » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:53 am

George R Powell wrote:
dkwroot wrote:Thank you. I didn't know DA had this section.


Just keep in mind that the DA forum is for paid work only. They are very strict about the forum, so when you post be upfront about the price point you're seeking and the art style you want. There are a LOT of artists on that forum so you can get good prices, just don't haggle or you'll piss people off.

If you're trying to get the best price possible for a turn-around sheet, I'd suggest advertising for a raw sketch with (3/4 view, Side view, 3/4 back view). Your animator can easily extrapolate the front view and back view from the 3/4 views and it's really those angles that are difficult to rig anyway.

If you follow my advice and don't request incredibly detailed artwork, you can probably get a turn-around sheet for 20-30 dollars a pop. :D
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Re: Searching for free Animators? (READ FIRST)

Postby Kedric » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:18 pm

As somebody who has been asked to delivery free animations multiple times, I really appreciate this post. In fact I think I'll just link to this anybody somebody asks me about doing an animation for them. Thanks for writing it!

As somebody who has been doing youtube productions for a few years, the thing about Youtube not being a good source of income for animators isn’t exactly true. I have spoken with animator who have made up to $20,000 on a single animated video . . . and that’s just the animation portion. I can understand the art community’s bias against youtube but it is indeed a worthy distribution method for low to mid budget projects. I would suggest altering the original post to say that the final product would need to be released on a worthy channel.
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