December 21, 2009

Unplugged 17: interview with Lloyd Alvarez

Motionworks' Unplugged 17 features an interview with Lloyd Alvarez (Twitter @aescripts):

"Lloyd Alvarez, the talented and generous founder of, planned to be a doctor. Somehow that didn’t work out and these days he’s an in-demand freelance designer and creative director, working for some of the biggest name companies around. In this up-close and personal chat, Lloyd reveals how a willingness to set aside ego and do the most mundane tasks has lead to a successful career in motion graphics and visual effects. Lloyd shares his love for scripting, introduces us to and explains how scripts can be great time savers and give you edge in your productions.."

"Wonder Pets" (mentioned in this interview) on the AE-List,

"Yay, Wonder Pets! Yes, the whole show is done in AE, with characters and sets painstakingly crafted in Photoshop. Dan and I designed a whole workflow for Little Airplane Production, including a set of custom expressions and plugins that allowed them to build libraries of animations for their characters, to make ongoing animation efficient. Basically, think of animation presets that capture the entire state of a comp, with all its layers, precomps, etc. and then a system for saving, naming, and recalling these complex presets. So to animate a character, you just import its Photoshop file as a comp, launch our custom palette, and click on "walk in", "stop", "look left", "run off left" etc. A whole episode could be assembled very quickly this way, and let the animators focus just on the custom characters for each particular episode.

The system works beautifully (Thanks to Dan's brilliant programming) and saved them tons of money. We toyed with the idea of making a commercial product out of it, but the workflow was so specific to Wonder Pets that we figured the general demand wouldn't be there.

The tin can phone never goes to voicemail because they turned it off--too many crank calls from the Rugrats."

Update: Lloyd is teaching an Intro to After Effects Scripting course at fxphd this term.

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