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The Art of Animation

Hello my name is Jake - my passion for animation came along time before I joined Escape Studios as an aftercare coordinator. I have a strong love for discovering every 2-disc special edition DVD, to examine the ‘making of’, every attention to detail.

My love for Pixar documentaries grew further from the 80’s and 90’s ‘making of features’. I have always dreamt of becoming an animator, for that reason I began my journey and started training with Escape studios in February 2020. I have now studied 3D animation, where I thoroughly enjoy seeing my animations come to life.

Whilst I was studying 3D animation, I realised that there was still so much to learn from 2D animated films. All principles of animation remain the same! The legends who came before us still have all the fundamentals to produce incredible animation. In the 30’s and 40’s, a group of Animators emerged who were given the title ‘Disney’s Nine Old Men’. These Animators developed the Disney style and are responsible for the way Disney movies look. Before these men, the cartoons were very crude and did not resemble real anatomy, facial expressions, weight or any of the fundamentals that we see in Animation today.

Walt Disney and his group of Animators wanted to make you feel empathy for these characters. To the Animators, the characters were real. They knew them on a personal level. They ensured they knew everything about their characters; how they would walk, how they would react in each situation, why they would react in certain manners. Whilst at the studio, this team of Animators developed the 12 principles of Animation. Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson would go on to document this in their famous book ‘The Illusion of Life’. This book has become an essential read to Animators.

My biggest advice to people studying animation, is to look to the past, to see the origins of this art form. There are many pencil tests available to watch and study frame by frame. I run an Instagram account called @jakeleeanimation which is full of pencil test and model sheets which I have collated over the years. It is a great place to study the classic animations. I also run a YouTube channel where I am doing 100 facts about every Disney animated movie from the very beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all the way up to the present day. This can be found here at Puzzled Panda : 100 Facts about The Lion King | Disney Animation 32

Come check out how we can learn from traditional animation and implement it in our own 3D animation!


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