Saturday, March 21, 2015


Hey Guys!

   8th shot was just approved and I feel like its my best yet on Kubo.

 I feel very excited that my Next shot is not only my first REAL dialog piece. Its a  GREAT dialog piece....I get a good 5 second spot of the character rage filled and boiling before she lashes out.


and I feel like this could be the reel piece front runner I am looking for!! wish me luck!!

as for getting into a groove the last time we talked...

It has been Hard and the stress definitely has gotten the best of me more than once
...felt a few hints of a sore throat....and some lost sleep....but luckily i was able to fight the sick off fight my inner demons- and take some perspective that the sun will come up tomorrow and the world moves forward.

Stopmotion is already an obsessive field - tracking body parts in the search of perfectly smooth movement as well as the perfect performance can really mess with your head.

Every little imperfection can feel like the end of the world  -

when you are chasing the LAIKA standard - trying to make your Quota - as well as battling your own internal dialog one frame at a time. It can put you in an state where you could easily get a bit kooky.

  I have questioned my own abilities on this project many times.....but a few conversations with some of the sr. animators reassured me that they all go through the same thing.

They feel that after I get a few under my belt I will be able to move smoothly and a lot of the angst will go away.

I think its true and can even feel it starting to happen....

Stopmotion is HARD guys....really really hard.

....nothing comes easy.

   and......I love it!
 sharing the process with you guys...

I thought I would clarify a few things with NEW shot Rigging set up for anyone interested.


When a new shot is analyzed before starting-

The rigging team looks at the shot and whats required - the puppet being used and access for the animator on the set. The main puppet will need support - Lots of falling rocks - The Main Rock Base and then pebbles and leaves

After Talking to the camera guy and animator they will usually build a rig that will get you through a rehearsal on 2's-

after the rehearsal is looked at in the Theater by every department head- Puppets -VFX - Lighting camera - sets - so on

The animator - VFX- will ask for any changes needed from lessons learned in the rehearsal.

Then you go into the real shot.

  That is how rigging works....and the rigging team at LAIKA is incredible. They pretty much take as much pain out of the shot as possible before we start the clicking.



Shelley Noble said...

Killer shot of you on set, Justin. And thanks for explaining some of what the process has been like for you at Laika.

Best of luck with it.

Alonso said...

Keep fighting the good fight :) we're all cheering for you and know you are going to knock it out of the park.

Do you do the lipsynch/facial ahead of time in the computer and get a tray of faces delivered? Seems like it would be tricky to animate expressions on a still head divorced from the body language.

How's you're beard coming? It's required in Portland right, maybe you get secret animator powers with a beard.

jriggity said...

Shelly} Thanks! yes....I will get into the facial process next post since I am doing my first real facial animation.

Alonso} Thanks man....yeah...the film looks incredible....jaw on the floor awesome!!

Yes...we previs the facial performances in maya before we hit the set...but once out there things change - and we adjust.

and yeah...I did not like the idea of doing them seperately but I got the hang of it and usually can adjust on the fly if It doesn't work.

No beard...ha....and yeah...Portland has lots of grubbage for sure!