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Hannah Jacobs: Text

Style Frame

Hannah Jacobs created this style frame for our very first workshop in May 2019. We use these styles frames as a jumping off point for our community to create animated work too. You can see the results of this animation challenge below.

Hannah Jacobs Style Frame
Hannah Jacobs: Image
Hannah Jacobs: Text


May 2019

Q : Throughout my animation career I’ve found that there are some things I like animating more than others, for instance, I love animating morphs making something really fluid and fun, whereas I find realistic walk cycles less exciting as they’re so technical. I was interested to know what it is you like to animate and how that relates to your work?
A : I absolutely love designing and animating morph sequences that flow organically between each other. I often design my films with very few, if any, cuts. For as long as I can remember, this approach to animating had always been the biggest attraction to the medium. For me personally, it totally embodies the endless possibilities that animation has to offer, being able to create a visual journey that would pretty much be impossible to make in live action. It makes the most of this bonkers medium and I love the challenge of thinking about how to get from A to B and then back again in one seamless movement.
I think this is largely due to coming from an illustration rather than traditional animation background. Animation isn’t something that comes particularly naturally to me, I’m not a huge fan of character animation or animating realistic movement, mostly because I’m pretty terrible at it! So I think as a result I’ve had to think of other ways to approach animation and communicate my ideas in a way that feels intuitive to my own way of working.
Q : Clients can vary from project to project, don’t feel like you need to name names, it would be great to get a sense of the difficulties that directors can face when interacting with clients. What’s one of the more frustrating things you’ve been asked by a client?
A : I think it’s mostly a general lack of understanding of just how much work goes into animation. So many clients have unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved, in often very tight schedules, and the compromise very rarely seems to come from their side! It’s often when it comes to making changes that clients don’t seem to understand just what an undertaking that can be, and that can feel super frustrating. Recently I had a client who hired me for some animation work, and the list of demands and deliverables seemed to constantly be changing and become more demanding as the project went on, without any compromise on schedule or budget! And this was way past the early chats of negotiating deliverables etc. It can feel difficult to manage expectations and deliver work at the standard that you’re still happy with sometimes, which can feel very frustrating.
Q : Everyone has low points on jobs, and I feel it’s important to turn those low points into something you can learn from and grow with. Have you learnt something from a low point on a job that changed the way you worked?
A : For me I think it’s managing my time/schedule and my own boundaries when working on a job. I feel so invested and passionate about every project I work on, which I think is super important and also makes me feel very lucky to do what I do! But the flip side is maintaining a healthy work/life balance and not letting a project take over all aspects of my life – which is something I have spoken a lot about with other creatives too. I think I’m learning to be more boundaried with my time and when I reply to emails – for example making sure I don’t work later than 7pm, and really trying to carve out weekends so that I’m not working 7 days a week! Working long hours is not conducive to producing quality work so I’m definitely learning the importance of downing tools and having a life around animating ha ha.
And obviously there are certain times and jobs when this can’t be helped, around delivery time or if I’m working with a company in the US, but I think just being more aware has enabled me to start to put in place a healthier work/life balance.
Q : Freelancers can get stuck in making the same mistakes from job to job, what advice would you give a freelancer working today?
A : I think you have to set yourself work ‘rules’ in a way that you would have in place for any job in an office or shop etc. Similar to the above, I think being boundaried and knowing your worth! Also, I would say about the importance of maintaining good working relationships. It’s often those clients or producers that will be recommending you on to someone else, or even returning themselves to work with you again.
Do you have a software tip that changed your world?
A : Yes! I recently learnt this, and it blew my mind as I’ve been doing this for the last five years in a totally backwards way in AE! A quick way of looping boils or sequences in AE is to bring your boil sequence in as a PNG sequence, and then right click the sequence in the project window and select ‘Interpret Footage’. As the bottom is a box called ‘Loop’ which enables you to loop the boil as many times as required! MAGIC.

Hannah Jacobs: Text
Hannah Jacobs Animation Challenge
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Hannah Jacobs: Video Player
Hannah Jacobs: Text
Hannah Jacobs: Text
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