A few weeks ago my friend Eric Scheur asked if he could re-post one of my posts about the Fear of Moving Past Blocking to the awesome website http://11secondclub.com.

You can see the repost here:

I thought it was a great idea. I hadn’t actually re-read my post in a while, but was very happy to hear that it had a great influence on him & other animators he spoke with. I just read through it now & realized how much relevance it actually has on my latest “obsession”.. trying to better manage my time & prepare for production.

See the show I’m currently Head of Character Animation on starts animation production pretty soon & I’m in the last stages of making sure everything is ready for our crew so we can just kick butt the moment we get our first sequence. There are a lot of little loose ends to tie up, threads to follow, and loops to close and if you take a 40,000 foot look at everything it can become pretty daunting.

alexJust like trying to move from blocking to spline animation can appear daunting at times.

So I’ve been investigating various task management theories.. the one that’s sticking with me the most is the Getting Things Done methodology that was started by David Allen.  It’s all about creating a process for handling all the various forms of “input” that you get, and then managing that stuff systematically.

What I love about it is that you can take a seemingly daunting task.. say, getting your email inbox to zero, and approach it a step at a time until it’s done.

The other thing I really like about it and this method of moving from blocking to first pass of animation I wrote about is that once you fully commit yourself to this method of working, it totally relieves all your stress about the task you’re working on.  Now that I have this method of animating that I completely adhere to, the only stress I have about my shots is whether or not the animation and ideas are any damn good to begin with.  Not whether or not I have the chops to take them from blocking to first pass, which is where most of my stress was before.

So with this method of handling my inbox, as long as I completely follow it and stick to it religiously, I won’t have any stress about there being any loose ends I’ve dropped, or balls I’ve left untied.  Instead I can focus on the pure excitement of a deadline coming up that we can’t change & the knowledge that my team and I are getting ready as best we can.

For someone who likes to react to things emotionally and intuitively, this systematic stuff is actually pretty cool.

*note:  in case you’re wondering what that picture is.. It’s Alex Wong from the group “The Animators”.  He and I went to elementary school together & is an awesome musician who also likes to draw.

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5 Responses to Fear of Moving Past Blocking posted on 11Second Club

  1. Teresa says:

    Hey Jason, just wanted to thank you for the great post! 🙂
    Super duper advice!!! thanks!

  2. jason says:

    My pleasure Teresa! 🙂 cheers!

  3. Hey Jason! Thanks for letting us post your article on our site.

    I also wanted to let you know that Safari/Google have marked your site has potentially malicious/fraudulent. Check out the instructions here to fix: http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?tpl=safari&site=

    Best of luck GTD!

  4. jason says:

    Thanks mark! I can’t seem to find anyplace that google has marked my site as being malicious/fraudulent.. I’m not getting any notices & I’ve been tryign to use google’s tools, but haven’t seen a problem.

    Is anyone else getting this?


  5. Anirudh says:

    Hey Jason ! I remember reading your blocking to spline, quite sometime back, and it was nice to refresh all those time!

    And you couldn’t have said it better when you said, instead of worrying on how to take it to first pass, we should worry whether our acting choices/ideas are good ! Thats some very good insight !

    Just that these things take time to get into my subconscious when I can focus purely on the entertainment part of the scene and not worry about how to go about doing it.

    Thanks !

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