SO is an online animation workshop where animators can show me their animation shots, sequences or demo reels for feedback. Feedback is given via recorded video reviews (examples are on my YT channel) for a total of 16 submissions.
What is the schedule for submissions?
You can submit whenever you want and when it is best for you. Most animators submit on a recurring and specific day once a week. But you can submit twice a week, once every two weeks, or whenever you're done with your updates to your work, and you can take breaks if needed as well. The schedule is flexible and tailored to your needs.
When can I sign up?
The workshops are open all year, so you can sign up whenever it works for you.
How do I apply?
Send me an email to: signup (at) spungella (dot) com
Subject: SO Workshop sign-up
Body: "I'd like to attend the SO workshop" and/or whatever other information you want to give me.
How much does it cost?
$500 per animator, paid in full prior to workshop start via Paypal.
How do I pay?
Payments can be sent via Paypal. On the "Send money" page use this email for the transaction:
me (at) jeandenishaas (dot) com
You might have to put in my name "Jean-Denis Haas" and country of residence "United States".
Put in the amount of $500.00 USD and then choose the "Paying for an item or service" option. Review your transaction and if everything looks okay to you go ahead with "Send Payment Now".
What kind of feedback are you giving me?
Honest feedback. Feedback might be tough every now and then but I prefer to tell you the truth (from my subjective point of view of course) so I can help you improve your animation. You're of course free to apply whatever notes work best for you. Feel free to watch examples on my YT channel if you want to see if it works for you or not.
Is a demoreel needed to qualify for the workshop?
Nope. Feedback is given to beginners as well as advanced animators.
So how is this really structured? Let's get to the juicy details:
HOW IS FEEDBACK GIVEN?
Feedback is given via video reviews for submitted shots and that counts as a submissions. But if you need help with a list of exercises or want to chat about your ideas and plans for shots first we can totally do that and none of these emails count as submissions of course.
The length of the video reviews depends on the complexity of the shot and what you need feedback wise. Some submissions are about layout and therefore more about staging and camera work, others send in a few shots of their short and then it can be about editing, shot flow, etc. The usual feedback is for single shots of either performance based animation (pantomime or lip-sync) or body mechanics shots. Ideally you'd want to work on two shots at the same time so you'll be able to work on one shot while you wait for feedback for the other shot. But again, the schedule is totally up to you.
Animators also have the option of sending me their Maya files so that I can illustrate certain points hands-on, if my feedback is not clear enough (the turnaround for that will take a few days to a week depending on the complexity and my schedule).
For examples in this shot, I concentrated the tweak on the hip:
(click image to play the movie)
Whereas in this clip I tweaked the whole body and the camera:
(click image to play the movie)
Sometimes I also just concentrate on one specific section of the shot for pose changes:
(click image to play the movie)
As mentioned, it's not a school, so you won't receive a general syllabus. Instead I tailor the workshop to your needs individually. I can help out on existing shots you're working on, or give feedback to your short movie or thesis, or come up with a series of exercises that will either strengthen specific areas you need help with or outline a step by step guide if you've never animated before.
The main focus is on giving individual feedback tailored to your skill level so you can get the most out of the workshop.
WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?
Someone was asking if I was going to hand out assignments. As mentioned before, this is not a school, I don't have a teacher's license, so there won't be anything resembling a school system during the workshop. I won't tell you what to do.
But I can suggest what you might be able to work on if you are inclined to do so. I can give you my opinion.
So if you're not sure what you want or should do, just send me a link or a file with all your current work. I can take a look at it and suggest areas of improvement and offer exercise tips or how you could strengthen your demo reel.
Speaking of exercise. Let me know if the shot you're working on is intended to be an exercise or a demo reel piece. The feedback will vary depending on your choice. Why? Read this post:
And while you're at it, you might as well read this post for more shot ideas:
If you feel that you've done a ton of exercises already and don't know what else to do, read this:
In fact, a list of things I recommend reading, if you haven't already, are all the links in this best-of section:
I'm not arrogantly saying that those posts are great, but they seemed to have helped a few people and it was suggested by third parties to start a best-of list for easier browsing, so there you go. :)
And if you prefer video lectures over written posts you can always check out my posts on my YT channel: www.youtube.com/jeandenishaas
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PRESENT MY WORK?
I would like to see movie files for your shots (as MOVs, or MP4s, etc.) Either email me your shot as an attachment or a link to a download option for it.
I would aim for a 1080p resolution. No need to send me a super duper HD version, but it needs to be bigger than 160x120. :)
A visible frame counter is also helpful.
Please put "Submission 1", "Submission 2", "Submission 3", etc. in the subject line for each submission. It will help us track the progress. If you have questions for a current submission, you can reply to that specific week email so that each submission has its own thread.
All feedback request has to be sent to feedback (at) spungella (dot) com.
WHEN DO I SHOW MY WORK?
First off, I'm located in San Francisco. So if you live in another country there will be a time difference. When you're sending it I might be asleep and vice versa. So before you go "Cuuuurse you JDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!! WHERE'S MY FEEDBAAAAACK!!!!", there might be a reason for it. :)
I would say that the best times for me to look at your work is in the morning, so 6am - 7am (SF time), as well as in the evening, 10pm-12pm. But I will look at it whenever I can, early in the morning and throughout the day.
Most animators have one day a week as their deadline for shot updates (you can pick any day that works best for you). If you need more feedback between each week, that's no problem of course. You can also just submit whenever you're done with the updates to your shot.
I also recommend working on two shots at the same time. If you get tired of one you can work on the other one in order to keep the momentum and motivation going. Or while you're waiting for feedback on one clip, you can work on the other, that way you don't waste time.
Usually animators send me one shot per review. If you send me two shots or more, then it will take a bit longer to get feedback.
It would be really cool if you'd let me post your feedback on my YT channel. That way other people can learn from it. But I understand if you prefer not to share or are not allowed to share your work, no pressure, all up to you, just let me know.
WHY ONLY $500?
I'm actually being asked this question funny enough. Yes, other workshops charge more and that's up to whoever organizes that, and it might look more professional or feel more valuable to do so. I prefer to keep it as cheap as possible so that you can afford it, while being compensated for my time and experience. And if you want a free preview or just benefit from the critiques you're more than welcome to watch the feedback I post on my YT channel.
I think that's it so far. If you have any questions that haven't been answered here just let me know. And of course, check out Spungella or follow me on twitter.com/jeandenishaas for all the latest news and updates!