CGHero chats to 3D animator and Maya specialist Juliette Gales about her experience, tips and what she loves about being an animator.
The header image used for this article was provided by Juliette. View here
Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from, how old are you, what would you consider yourself?
Hi CGHero! I'm Juliette Gales, I'm 27 yo, from France. I am a very emotional person, always with a smile!
What’s your current role? How long have you been an animator? Where did you study animation?
I've been a 3D Animator for four years. I specialize in keyframe animation, I like to imagine and create life. I studied animation at Supinfocom Rubika for five years. During my studies, I learned how to do all the stages of an 3D film, and I chose to specialize in animation because I find animating truly fulfilling.
What software do you use? Do you still study or teach yourself animation skills?
I'm most comfortable animating on Maya. I’ve had the opportunity to work on several 3DSMax projects, but if I can choose, I prefer Maya! In my spare time, I slowly try to learn Blender, as a lot of companies use it. For that reason, I say that I’m still learning and self-teaching in my spare time. I watch a lot of videos of animators explaining their workflow. Now and then, I like to do little personal projects, just to have the pleasure of animating what I want.
What project was the most fun to work on?
Without hesitation, the most fun project I worked on was making an animation to test the rig of Enz0 from Long Winter Studio. They were looking for someone to test their new rig, I literally fell in love with this little robot, so I wanted to do it! I really enjoyed animating this little robot with this audio from the original Robin Hood movie.
Source: Enz0 and His Crown of Power, Vimeo. We agree - he is adorable!
What was your most challenging project?
It's not the most technically impressive, but my graduation film was the most challenging for me. I animated 95% of the movie, while I was still learning animation, I worked on Saturdays, Sundays, evenings and sometimes even at night! It was very tiring, but I'm glad I gave so much because it taught me a lot.
Pulse, Juliette's graduation film. Source: Pulse, Vimeo.
What was the biggest project you’ve been involved in?
With 140 million views, The Call is clearly my biggest project. I had always dreamed of working on a Riot trailer, so when I found out I was finally going to do it, you can imagine how fast my heart started beating!
Source: The Call, YouTube
What is your dream job?
I would love to work on more Riot trailers. But, if I could animate a Na'vi from Avatar, that would be amazing.
Unit Image, the studio behind Riot's trailers, was one of the studios I really wanted to work with, so I am very happy to be part of their team. Obviously, I would love to work with Weta Digital, who work on Avatar, Game of Thrones and the Marvel franchise, but otherwise I like working with a range of studios. I learn so many different things, whether it's technical or social skills.
Any tips for people starting out in the industry?
You should not refuse any job (as long as you’re getting paid appropriately!), because regardless of the project, you will always learn new things. You have to keep practicing to develop your creativity, to be critical with your own animations, which will help you push yourself more and correct your mistakes. Above all, when working on a production, take advantage of the seniors around you to learn from their experience, and listen to their tips!
One thing I always recommend, mime your animations. Filming yourself for your own reference will help you visualize and recreate the human body for animation.
What key plugins to help you do your job day to day? Any animator shortcuts you recommend?
How did I manage to animate for so many years without AnimBot?! Haha! This is the best plugin for an animator! It really makes the job easier.
Source: Sir Wade’s How to Use AnimBot