Official Artist
Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
542,311 views| 255  Posts

Directing Animation: Luminators

Okay, so I've decided I'm going to make an effort to show more of the work that keeps me busy.  While much of it is non disclosable, I do a lot of work that I can share, but I just sort of forget to by the time it's released.   Today - 3D animation directing. 

Now and then I direct animation.  I stumbled upon this clip of 3D commercial I directed on youtube, so I figured I'd share a couple commercials I've done in the next couple days.

Directing 3D animation is an odd thing for commercials because so much of the work is handed to you with commercials.  The designs of the characters, the storyboards even are done by the company's creative ad agency.  Your job becomes to bring that to life and make it work and entertaiing.  I feel like one of the biggest contributions I do is performing all the characters for the animators.  (And no, I will not be posting those versions... maybe someday when I'm so successful I'm beyond embarrassment... but for now, I'm not posting me hopping around the room as Calibear.)

Having a background in acting, dance, and martial arts is very helpful for that aspect as characters for animation tend  to need to move expressively.  Animated characters move very much like dancers as their bodies are telling the story.   When it comes down to it, though, it's the animator's interpretation of your motion that makes it work or not.

Other than the character performances you end up focusing  a lot on interpreting  how to make something shift from an abstract flat format into something that not only moves and has depth, but has drama.  I think just like live action, identifying the drama of the moment is key.

The drawback of 3D on a budget is that in some ways it's like moving a car gliding on ice with your hands.  You have to make sure it's aimed in the right direction before you start pushing it.  Once it's moving, you can shove it a bit to aim correctly, but forget about having it shift directions entirely - the momentum is too strong and if you start shoving back and forth too much, you're just going to break through the ice and fall in and never finish.  So the most important time for me is before people actually start the work and really breaking down  the boards and then explaining the interpretation carefully to the artists.

Now note the budget we have to do these things is not remotely comparable to a studio animation (like toy story).  In fact our entire commercial would not even pay for one aspect of one character's development for them - probably not even a single model though I don't  have the breakdowns on that.  I have just watched some documentation of studio 3D animation and was just in awe of the amount of time and money they were able to spend.

Anyway, it can be fun, so just for kicks, here was the last one we did:

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMJZGj6Vw0w

over 14 years ago 0 likes  3 comments  0 shares
Photo 22998
lol, moonchild... would be funny if it was an episode of KRDK that I directed (it wasn't) because it would be like a straight block of MY WORK... how it should be... 24 hours a day. ;)
over 14 years ago


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Los Angeles, United States
Member Since
April 13, 2007