Concerning style, how have you learned to match the style of a film? In other words, how have you approached animating so that the film appears as if it was animated by one person?
Consistency is a big issue at Pixar, because we don't have Character Leads, in the traditional Disney sense. Pixar animators are assigned scenes, not characters, so any animator may animate any character at a given time in the film. This is one of the reasons that dailies are so important. We can all sit down in a room with the Director and Supervisors and see what's being done with the characters. The Director can decide what works and what doesn't, and further define how the character behaves. This helps us to all get on the same page and understand who the character is. Usually one or two animators will demonstrate a knack for a certain character, and their work will become a touchstone for the other animators to reference. These animators will occasionally give lectures to discuss what we've learned and give tips on how to approach a particular character.
We'll also develop model sheets (collections of images of the character in poses that are considered in-character on and on-model) as well as libraries of facial expressions that other animators can use as a starting point. Ultimately it's up to all the animators, Supervisors and the Director to police each other and work towards a consistent portrayal of the character.
Guest Blogger Victor Navone