Thursday, July 22, 2010

Never Delivered

Unfortunately, one of the downsides to finally being in the industry is never having the time to post new stuff... Mostly because whatever animation I have been working on, I signed an NDA... It's nothing much anyway, just some small work on side projects. Still not an animator at Rhythm, but the outlook for this coming year is promising. I have done some drawing here and there, but up until recently, hadn't had a scanner since I moved. I'll get around to it... maybe. -_-

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Step

Warning, this is a long story, so for those looking for art... well... here's a puppy.

Crazy I haven't updated in almost 6 months. I'd been busy sending out my resumes and reels to companies, only to get months and months of silence. No emails, phone calls, nada. Animation is a tough biz to get into. Sometimes it's about who you know, most of the time it's about being the best of the best, and then there are those who just get lucky. As far as becoming a professional animator, I wasn't any of those.

Meanwhile, I've been working as a Lab Tech at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Helping students learn new programs, troubleshoot software and hardware, facebooking... Well, doing all this the past couple of years started to demotivate me as it wasn't where I had imagined I'd be years after college. I was getting restless and I wanted to see progress on some front.

During eternal search for the mythological "Animation Career", I'd applied to Rhythm & Hues, a special effects movie company known for their work in "The Golden Compass" (which got them an Oscar), "Scooby Doo", "Alvin & the Chipmunks", "The Incredible Hulk", and MANY other films. While my animation reel wasn't enough to score me a job as an animator, I was able to get in contact with a friend who had worked there for a couple years. He was a TD in their render department and said he'd pass my resume along since he knew I was a hard working, trustworthy person. Back in college, we worked on a few projects together, went bar hopping, and had a few memories. He'd recommended back then it'd always be good to know a little bit of UNIX code, as a lot of industries run on Linux based systems. You never know when it might come in handy.

Well, it took months after giving him my resume that it fell into the right hands. I'd nearly given up hope that anyone would ever see it until I got the "phone call". It was the opportunity for an interview at R&H down in LA. Without hesitation I agreed, and drove to LA the following week. By the end of the interview I was cool on the outside, but inside, I was a mess. Just being considered for any position at such a reputable company was an honor, and I was nervous and excited at the same time. I thought the worst was over as I drove back toward gloomy San Francisco, but then there was... The Wait. I didn't realize it'd be another month before I got any type of follow-up (especially when I was told I hear back from someone in 2 weeks or less). The anxiety was killing me.

A month after the interview, I assumed that was my shot and though I did my best, they must have found a "better fit". I carried on with my current job, prepping for another semester of students, animation; the daily grind. One night, however, I got, not a call, no. I got an EMAIL from someone at R&H. Ah, so there is my rejection letter I thought. I mean, if they wanted me for job, they'd called me. But the email was an easy impersonal way of letting someone know they just didn't quite cut it. I opened it up just for closure, and my eyes immediately glazed over a few choice words: "Impressed", "Good Fit", and "Offer". I jumped out of my chair and felt a surge of happiness. They wanted me! They were offering me a position as a Render I/O Coordinator. I start in 2 weeks. =D

So what's the point? I didn't get that animation job I'd been pining for all these years. Yeah, well... I am one step closer to my dreams. The first goal coming out of college was to get a job at a movie company. It could be any position, so long as I got to see my name in the credits on that silver screen. I am well on my way. This is only the first step toward achieving the ultimate goal of animator. I am closer, and I feel progress, momentum, and motivation.

Where you go in your career is decided on 3 things. Skill, Timing, and Luck. If you don't have one, you can always make it up with another. Constantly work on your skills, because those are the foundations of your career, never give up on improving if your dreams require you to be one of the best. Socializing is an important skill. Make friends, stay friends, and respect everyone around you, as one day, you realize how much you all need each other. For some, their calling comes early, for others, it could take much longer. Be patient and continue to thrive. I still have a long road ahead of me, but in time, I know I'll reach where I need to be; where I belong.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me. Once I'm settled, I'm going to pick up caricaturing on my free time again. Just to loosen up. Then continue with my animations.

Now then... off to LA!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


It's here! It's finally here! My first official character animation demo reel! These are 6 of my best pieces that I went back and further polished with the help of my boss and her critiques, so a very special thanks to Sherrie Sinclair, Director of 2D animation at the Academy of Art University for helping me out. Comments & Critiques are always welcomed and encouraged!

Animation Demo Reel 2009 HD from Jason Bettinger on Vimeo.

This is my animation demo reel for 2009. Thanks for watching!

I did all the animation, lighting, and some modeling and texturing.

The character in shots 1, 2, 3, and 6 are the Norman Rig provided by the Academy of Art University.
The Great Dane in Shot 4 is modeled by Chris Baker, Rigged by Javier Solsona. The character in shot 5 is MooM v4.0.3 created by Ramtin.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yet Another Walk Cycle!

So no time for paintings or drawings... I got to many idea for animations! This is just a peek of what I will be posting later involving a cave man.

Caveman Walk Cycle from Jason Bettinger on Vimeo.

In light of this walk cycle, I went back and made some slight changes in my previous generic walk, noticed some abnormalities with his pacing, and altered the presentation so that your eye isn't leading off the screen but toward the center. I'll be working a lot on some personal animations over the Summer, and I'm very excited about it. Expect good things. All comments, crits, and hugs are appreciated.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where Are The Wild Things?

Soooo I saw the new trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are" and it looked awesome. I decided to make a few drawings inspired from the book. I tried drawing them in a little different style in each one...I wanna take one of them to refine and color it, which one do you think?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

'Bats' Love!

Happy Valentine's Day! Or for the singles, Singles Awareness Day, otherwise known as S.A.D. I figure I'd post up the gift I made for my g/f. She's in love with the twilight series, which was what started this idea. Anyway, hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So I just thought I'd mention that while my updates are sparse and not often, it doesn't mean I'm not animating! I'm currently volunteering on a production called "Reprogrammed" by Charter Road Productions Inc. They are a non-profit organization promoting the "good word"... Well, those that know me, I'm not super keen on religion and all, but hey, it's a way for me to dip my toes in a real production and to put some experience behind my belt. I've already worked on a few shots for them and will continue to do so until production is done or I find a more demanding job. Hopefully I'll have chunks of time where I can work on some of my own stuff to post up here as I'm not allowed to post any of my current work on the film until it's been completed. Shucks.

Good news though, is a couple of my shots will be shown at the Academy of Art booth at WonderCon! Someone out of the hundreds that will be there may or may not see the 5-10 seconds I worked on, yay!

I digress. Here is a screen shot of the production. Who knows... it may one day be on television.

There is also a website, it's a little barren, but a trailer should be up around the same time as WonderCon (February 28th).

Total runtime of this film is around 40 minutes so there is still a lot of work to be done... I'm guesstimating it'll be done in around a year or two. Here's hoping!