Insights by the Pros with Mainframe Studios Animator Andrés Felipe
3D Character Animator and iAnimate Alumni, Adrés Felipe Lopez, shares his stories and inspirations and how he succeeded in his animation journey.
"...It was this abstract idea of how it is possible to create a world from scratch and tell a story…That´s when iAnimate showed up and enlighten my path through these secrets."
Meet Andrés Felipe Lopez, a talented and experienced animator, and Graphic Designer. With a diverse portfolio including work in videogames, animated shorts, and TV series, Andrés brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to the table. As an iAnimate alumni, he is dedicated to mastering the art of 3D modeling and has a passion for understanding the intricacies of locomotion and performance.
Andrés has been in the field for years now and currently working at Mainframe Studios as a Full-Time 3D Character Animator.
Animation Journey and Inspiration
iAnimate: Tell us a bit about your animation journey and throughout your time with us. Who or What inspired you to become an animator? How did you become an animator, and when did iAnimate become part of your journey?
Andrés: I have always loved animated cinema and series. To me, as a child, it was this abstract idea of how it is possible to create a world from scratch and tell a story. The animation was just magic to my eyes, so away from my grasp. And then I glimpsed superficially, the ways of this magic when I started doing my graphic design degree back in my country. and thus I knew what I would want to do for the rest of my life. That´s when iAnimate showed up and enlighten my path through these secrets.
iAnimate: Walk us through a day in the life of an animator at your current work.
Andrés: Day to day basis, plan ahead, research, do references, mark those beats, pay close attention to your supervisors and directors... and You´ll be fine... or at least to me, this has never let me down so far. Might seem a bit routinary written this way but, the animation never is. Good habits go a long way.
iAnimate: What do you do to stay inspired and motivated animator?
Andrés: I watch a lot of movies, animated and live-action. Pay close attention to animals and nature. I try to learn new ways to approach a shot, from other animators. I watch lectures from Ianimate and read literature and graphic novels, I took acting classes, and of course, I play video games; to me is all about the variety of media for storytelling.
[Andrés and helper]
Animation Lessons and Growth
iAnimate: How did iAnimate help prepare you for the industry? What were the most important things you learned at iAnimate?
Andrés: The most important thing I developed at iAnimate is the ability to observe and learned that is not about the software, but the craft itself. You must always have absolute control over your character, and never yield it to the software.
iAnimate: What is the most challenging shot you’ve ever animated, and why did you succeed at the shot?
Andrés: Well I can't think about one in particular, but I believe that the most challenging shots for me are those with many characters (humans and animals) interacting at the same time. What I do is I take my time to plan ahead, do my references, and sort them in the level of importance (meaning the dominant characters and the ones that go along).
[Andrés' Current Reel]
iAnimate: Do you have any demo reel or interview advice you can share with animators on the job hunt?
Andrés: Elevate your interview by embracing humility, and honesty, and taking the time to research the studio you are about to meet. Your demo reel is a critical component of your success and an opportunity to showcase your skills. Take inspiration from industry leaders like Disney, and Pixar, and strive to create a demo reel that truly embodies their advice on what makes a great one. Your dedication to preparation and professionalism will make a lasting impression and set you apart as a top candidate.
iAnimate: What other advice do you have for current or future iAnimate students?
Andrés: Maximize your animation education by making the most of every moment with your instructors. Ask questions, delve deep into your craft, and watch Jason's demos that are worth years of animation classes. With a proactive and engaged approach, you will unlock the full potential of your animation education and set yourself up for success.
Animation Career Advice & Tips
iAnimate: If there’s one animation tip or technique you’d share with someone wanting to animate in a feature film, what would it be?
Andrés: To excel as an animator, it is essential to approach each project with a spirit of preparation and collaboration. Do your research, build strong reference materials, and maintain clear and open lines of communication with your supervisor and director throughout all stages of your shot. This will not only ensure the quality of your work but also foster a positive and productive work environment, and ultimately, lead to the successful realization of your artistic vision.
iAnimate: Given that there’s so much to learn, how would you recommend a brand new animator start their training?
iAnimate: What makes a great animator or an animator a studio would hire?
Andrés: Watch a lot of cinema, get the basics right, ( 12 principles - bouncing ball - etc) imprint them as second nature in your brain. Those will save you down the road.
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