This Week in Animation: September 1

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Breaking news in the world of animation and motion graphics.

How to transition from motion design to web animation
In an interview with Motionographer, award-winning cartoonist Rachel Nabors has revealed what it’s like to move away from traditional motion graphics and animator work towards web design and app development.

“‘Motion design’ is the practice of designing with animations. ‘Web animation’ is the delivery of said animations using web technologies like CSS, JavaScript, and WebGL,” says Nabors. However, making the switch between the two disciplines isn’t always easy.

“Transitioning can be hard,” warns Nabors. “You can be a relatively successful motion designer with awards, accolades, and then when you enter web development, these won’t mean as much as they do in your current industry.”

Adobe launches another series of mini-tutorials called Creative Coffee Breaks
Following on from last week’s news story about a collection of tutorials from Adobe called The Art Makers: How Did They Do That?, the software giant has unveiled yet another series of how-to videos.

Launched by Adobe UK, Creative Coffee Breaks are fairly self-explanatory – bite-size tutorials for Creative Cloud apps, designed to offer quick insights whenever you’ve got a spare couple of minutes.

So far, videos include “Colour Grading Video in Premiere Pro,” “Retouching Images in Photoshop Using the Clone Tool,” and “How to create a mood board using Adobe InDesign.”

Maya 2018’s new 3D tools get studio seal of approval
Maya 2018 is proving a huge success at several studios due to its new 3D tools. Integration with Arnold 5 and Adobe After Effects has expanded its technical capabilities, while improved workflows are helping 3D artists speed up modelling and animation.

“I feel like Maya lets people be nimble on small projects and have a framework and structure they need on big projects,” says Bohdon Sayre, Chief Technical Officer at Moonbot Studios.

Other additions to Maya 2018 include a new World node for arranging 3D objects in natural clusters, an improved vector graphics workflow, and a more artist-friendly UV Editor interface for character creation.

Real-time rendering’s impact on VFX and animation production
In recent years, the convergence of video games and visual effects has been a hot topic of conversation. But perhaps a more interesting point concerns video game technology and how real-time rendering is now being used in visual effects (and animation) production.

“Because complex images tend to take longer to render, real-time rendering has never been quite the same quality as what has been possible with final renderers in VFX and animation using tools such as RenderMan, Arnold, and V-Ray,” says Ian Failes in an article for Cartoon Brew.

But with physically plausible effects and ray tracing now embedded inside game engines, it might not be long before high quality real-time rendering is possible for VFX and animation production.

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