If you haven't been to the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco's Presido Park you should definitely check it out. Along with the great collection of Walt's history, Disney art work, and animation paraphernalia, they offer "Learn form the Masters" workshops. These are all mainly lead by their animator in residence, Ruben Esqueda. The first couple I went to involved hand drawn 2D animation and were great. I learned a ton on how the actual process works with traditional animation. For the second class, Ruben brought in Pixar animator, Doug Frankel, who did a few short critiques on any animation we brought in and then talked about his approach to 2D animation.
This past weekend, I was able to take a little time off from the new baby and stop by The Learning Center for their Stop-Motion Armature building class. This class was solely run by Ruben and after a few hours of building, going through best practices, and seeing the different materials used, we ended up with a really cool bi-pedal wire armature. The main take aways I got from this class were to:
- Make a puppet as light as possible
- Longevity of a puppet is very important
- Make sure they are easy for an animator to work with.
So, if this is something you're interested in and in the Bay Area, there are still a couple more stop-motion classes coming up. Here's their upcoming calendar.