ReAnimania 2009

Producing Animation


Instructor Mr. Max Howard
October 3-6, 2009

Course Outline and Objectives

Who can attend?

Participants and target groups of the training will consist of professionals from the animation film/film sector, mainly producers, directors and animators, but also any other entrepreneurial/decision making, advising or creative professions from the film sector, for example, representatives of public film bodies, commissioning editors from broadcasters, distributors, exhibitors, media lawyers, directors, writers, film school teachers, etc.

What are the objectives?


Day 1 – Saturday, October 3 – 10am – 1pm (dur. 3 hrs, 15min break at 12pm)

How to develop an effective story and how to pitch it (Part 1)

Three projects will be selected from volunteers who do not mind their work being discussed in a public forum. These projects will not have been seen in advance by Max Howard. Each project will be given a number; the numbers will be drawn at the beginning of the session. There will then be a 15 minute break to allow the participants to prepare their pitch.

Max Howard will provide notes and suggestions directly applicable to each project to clarify story, theme and develop an effective plan to create a successful pitch.

Day 2 – Sunday, October 4 – 10am – 12pm (dur. 2 hrs) 

How to develop an effective story and how to pitch it (Part 2)

On day two Max Howard will once again review the projects, provide a further set of suggestions. The projects will be pitched again, this time to a panel of judges, including Max Howard, Yoshi Tamura, Vrej Kassouny and Susie Wilson.

Day 3 – Monday, October 5 – 10am – 1pm (dur. 3 hrs, 15min break at 12pm) 

How to produce an independent animated film from development to distribution

Day 4 – Tuesday, October 6 – 10am – 1pm (dur. 3 hrs, 15min break at 12pm)

A special screening of Max Howard’s latest film, Igor, released last year and currently in worldwide distribution

Igor is a playfully irreverent comedy that brings a new twist to the classic monster genre. In a world filled with Mad Scientists and Evil Inventions, one talented evil scientist’s hunch-backed lab assistant has big dreams of becoming a Mad Scientist himself and winning the annual Evil Science Fair.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Max Howard and the film’s animation supervisor, Yoshi Tamur

Max Howard

President, Exodus Film Group

max-howardMax was formerly president of Warner Bros. Feature Animation and senior vice president of Disney Feature Animation. During his twelve years at Disney, Howard was one of the senior architects of that company’s animation renaissance. He has collaborated on such animation successes as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” “The Lion King,” and “Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron.” At Warner Bros., Max oversaw the award-winning animated feature “The Iron Giant” and the international hit “Space Jam.” Most recently he was an Executive Producer on “Igor” for the Exodus Film Group, which also has “The Hero of Color City” and “Bunyan and Babe” currently in production and slated for release in 2011.

Max is a member of BAFTA , ASIFA and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars)

2D Animation

Motions and Emotions

Instructor Mr. Yoshi Tamura
October 3-4, 2009


Day 1 – Saturday, October 3 – 2:15pm – 5:15pm (dur. 3hrs)

Introduction to the Animation


Day 2 - Sunday, October 4 – 2:15pm – 5:15pm (dur. 3hrs)


Questions and Answers


Yoshi Tamura

I’m in the animation business since 1991. I’m a 2D and 3D animator and I mostly have a feature animationmovie experience:

I was also participating on TV series and shorts as an animator, character designer or storyboarder:


Direct video:

Teaser (as director):

I have a passion of sharing experience with others through teaching in some schools such as:


Director, Animation Supervising, Character Designer, Storyboarder, Visual Development

3D Character Animation

Fundamental and Advanced Concepts

Instructor Ms. Melanie Beisswenger
October 3-6, 2009
(This workshop was canceled)

Course Outline

Participants will learn fundamental and advanced concepts on how to bring a character to life in 3D animation and how to create a believable character performance.

The course will cover the art and craft of animation from the ground up with a look at the classic principles of animation and their application and adaptation to computer generated characters. Body mechanics and physically based movements are a cornerstone of animation that will be analyzed in depth. How do external and internal forces affect our body and how to create the illusion of weight? Important concepts of weight, timing and spacing, among others, will be practiced hands-on.

Acting and character personality will be discussed and how the animator can create the illusion of a feeling and thinking character. What can animators learn from an actor’s approach to acting? How does the animation and acting connect with the storytelling?

Interpretation of dialogue, lip sync and facial animation will be looked at. The eyes are the central organ to convey thinking, feelings and emotion. How can real life facial expressions and behavior be employed by the animator?

Participants will learn from examples in short and feature films.

A case study lecture on the production pipeline of the Academy Award winning feature film “Happy Feet” and the BioShock Game launch trailer will explain how character animation integrates within the workflow of a CG production.

Maya will be used as animation software during the workshop. Basic familiarity with the Maya interface and tools is recommended.
A free 30 trial of Maya can be downloaded at

Advanced users of 3ds max may bring their own laptops and software to animate in their software of choice. Limited support for 3ds max animation tools can be provided.
Day 1 – Saturday, October 3 – 10am – 5pm (duration 6 hrs, 15 min. break at 12pm, and a 1 hr. lunch break at 1pm)

The 12 classic principles of animation and adapting them to computer animation.

Hands-on exercises for an in-depth look at the animators’ tools: keys and the graph / curve editor.
Concepts of weight, timing and spacing will be put into practice.

Day 2 – Sunday, October 4 – 10am – 5pm (duration 6 hrs, 15 min. break at 12pm, and a 1 hr. lunch break at 1pm)

Production Pipeline Case Studies:
A look at the Academy Award winning feature film “Happy Feet” and the BioShock Game launch trailer.

A look at the Academy Award winning feature film “Happy Feet” and the BioShock Game launch trailer.

Breaking down elements of a walk cycle and guiding through a hand-on step by step approach on animating a walk.

Day 3 – Monday, October 5 – 10am – 5pm (duration 6 hrs, 15 min. break at 12pm, and a 1 hr. lunch break at 1pm)

Body mechanics and physical motions
Internal and external forces and studying from real life

Acting and character personality.

Analysis of a weight lift and how to approach it in animation.
Workflow methods: pose-to-pose and stepped blocking to polish.

Choice of exercise (will be advised in discussion with your instructor and in regards to your previous animation experience)

Day 4 – Tuesday, October 6 – 10am – 5pm (duration 6 hrs, 15 min. break at 12pm, and a 1 hr. lunch break at 1pm)

Staging, the relationship between character and camera, and acting for storytelling.

Facial animation and lip sync
Eyes, brows, blinks, and the mouth, and their integration with the body

Exercise from previous day continues.

Melanie Beisswenger

Melanie BeisswengerMelanie Beisswenger is a German born animator, animation teacher and director, leading the life of a digital nomad, living and animating in various countries and continents. Since 1999 she has worked as a 3D animator and artist professionally, and after further studies at the Institute of Animation at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany, Melanie went on to work on high profile international feature films and TV commercials.

Her credits include character animation on the Academy Award winning feature film ‘Happy Feet’, the stereoscopic 3D animated feature ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and the TV launch commercial for the blockbuster game ‘BioShock’.

Currently Melanie is sharing her knowledge with her students at the School of Art, Design and Media, NTU in Singapore and is working on her own animated projects.



There’s Bliss in the Kiss (2009)
Director and animator

Fly Me to the Moon (2008)
Senior animator

Happy Feet (2006)
Academy Award 2007, Best Animated Feature Film
BAFTA Film Award 2007, Best Animated Feature Film

Elsewhere – The Krawallah (2004)

Puca (2004)
Visual effects supervisor
Best Animation award, International Festival of Horror 2004


TV Commercials (in excerpts)

“BioShock” TV launch trailer (2007)
Senior animator

“Kalle Katjes” (2006)

“Scout 24” (2006)

“Plus – The Little Prices”, several spots (2005 & 2006)

“Jaegermeister Wild Shopping”, several spots (2006)

“Arcelik Campaigns” several spots (2005)