• Remember: Another way to spell 'Animation' is S-T-O-R-Y.

Becoming Creative: The Idea Walk

The Idea Walk: An exercise in creativity and idea creation
Last time we touched on the idea of “Pitiful Idea Prison” and how you might be stuck within it and not even realize. Today we begin to make our great escape and dig the tunnel to creative freedom that has zero walls, boundaries, or chains to hold us back! It starts with a little stroll…


Giveaway: The Simpsons Unauthorized History

Giveaway of The Simpsons Book

We’re giving away a free copy of The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History this week, so read on to find out how you can enter!


History, Culture and Future of Animation – Susanne Marschall FMX Interview

While animation is a relatively young art form, it’s rooted deeply in human nature, history and society. Susanne Marschall, professor of Media Studies at Tübingen University, tells us more about understanding animation in a broad cultural and social context. Find out why it is so important to know as much as possible about the past, other cultures and other fields of expertise.

EDIT: Reader Monique Henry-Hudson was kind enough to summarize the video in the event that you’d like a text version as well. Thanks, Monique!

Are You Stuck in Pitiful-Idea Prison?

Are you stuck in Pitiful Idea Prison?

Coming up with creative ideas can be one of the trickiest aspects of our job. It’s possible to over inflate concepts we dream up so that they seem terrific (and oh-so-clever) in our own minds, but fall flat once they hit the screen. Today we’re going to examine if you might be suffering from a long term stint in Pitiful-Idea Prison, and possibly don’t even know it.


Video Settings Explained for Animators

We are back! And present to you: Everything (basic) an animator needs to know about choosing the right video settings and formats for animatics, pipeline exports and final animations. Find out what the many options in one of those complicated export windows mean and which of them you should choose in what situation.
What are your favorite formats and settings? And don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments below.

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Forced Off-Time!

We Will Return!

We do our best at Animator Island to provide you with weekly (and often twice weekly now!) updates. Sometimes, though, life has other plans. Unfortunately due to some medical emergencies and family needs we’re going to have to take a short break from updates while we handle some of that “life stuff.” We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you’ll check back the first week of October for a return to regularly scheduled updates! Thank you for your patience.

-JK, Ferdinand, and the Animator Island staff

Workflow: 7 Ways to Faster Success

Seven Ways to Faster Success
As animators who also happen to be human beings, we make mistakes. And over the course of hundreds of frames with thousands of unique movements and subtle actions, we make a LOT of mistakes. It’s part of the job, and so is fixing them. So how can you get the mistakes out of the way and get on the right track sooner? Today we’ll take a look at how to get the failing out of the way lickity-split so you can arrive at a successful animation even faster.

Interview: Cinema Fantasma about “Revoltoso” – Kickstarting a dream

For three years and counting, Roy and Vonno Ambriz have been working on their passion project “Revoltoso”, a stop-motion film that combines the heat of the Mexican revolution, the passion of artistic creation, and the flare of Picasso. What started as a small project has grown to incorporate a 60 member crew and an improvised studio space in their private home. Find out all about this wild and enthusiastic Guerilla film making process, which has been advancing against all odds, and how you can help make this dream a reality. Please feel free to support them on kickstarter.

Is Anime a Legitimate Form of Animation?

Is Anime good or bad Animation?
Anime. Chances are good you either love it or you hate it. And if you’re an animation teacher, very often you fall into the hatred category for the simple fact that young, starry-eyed animators refuse to work in any other style if they’re obsessed with Anime and Manga. Some professors even go so far as to say it’s not legitimate animation! What do you think?


Composition: What is “Breathing Room?”

Breathing Room in Composition for Animation

Great (or even decent) composition can make or break your animation, because composition and layout are the first thing an audience views even before any movement takes place. Today we take a closer look at “breathing room” in composition. What it is, how it works, and when to break the rules and do things “the wrong way.”