iAnimate is proud to announce that James Cunliffe, a veteran in the animation industry and currently an animator at Valve Coorporation, is joining our all-star team of guest instructors for the new Creature workshop starting in September.
His background in both games and feature animation is pretty impressive. Working at world renowned studios like Valve, Crytek, MPC, FrameStore, and Animal Logic, we are privilege to have him share his passion for animation and knowledge with our students. We had the opportunity to discuss with him about his journey has a professional animator, his view about the industry and what he will be presenting for this new workshop. Without any further ado, here's our interview with James Cunliffe:
What path led you to learn animation in the first place?
I was actually pretty invested in animation since I can remember. When my parents bought their first video cassette recorder I was 6. The first thing I did was record WB cartoons and pause the video so I could draw the still frames. Drawing was always an interest of mine and I used it as my medium for telling stories.
It took some time before I ever realised that it could be a vocation and bring me a livable wage. I remember the penny dropping when I went to see "beauty and the beast" at the cinema when I was 15. I got a sense that this movie had been given a bigger budget and marketed more aggressively than any recent animated features and I sensed a renaissance. I started to dream that this could be an actual career. The following years were spent hearing from various teachers and career counselors that I should aim for something more realistic.
I eventually managed to ignore my way onto an animation course at bournemouth art college doing 2d animation. I had been interested in the cg medium but at the time the character animation coming out of cg was rudimentary compared with the drawn work I could enjoy at the cinema. I had bought some 3D software off a computer magazine cover called Imagine. And had been playing with it a little. I was convinced that cg backgrounds with 2D characters would combine the best of both mediums and was keen to explore this at art college.